Naming Novalee.

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Since a few of you asked how little Novi got her name, I’ll share the story.

Back when I was pregnant with our first, we decided on both boy names and girl names.

That was, of course, before we found out we were expecting our first son.

So, a few months later, we came home from the hospital with Kamryn Tristan.

And our two girl names…

Aurora Novalee 


Alexia Berlin

…went back on the drawing board.

What’s interesting (or perhaps even lame, really) is where those names originated.

Movies. All four are straight out of Hollywood.

If you can’t guess where they came from…

Aurora - The princess from Sleeping Beauty.

Okay, that was an obvious one. Especially if you’re a Disney fan.

Alexia - One of the sisters in the movie Wish Upon a Star, starring Katherine Heigl and Danielle Harris.

This one is more obscure, but still a Disney movie.

Novalee - Novalee Nation, the girl who lived in Wal-Mart, in the book-turned-movie, Where the Heart Is.

If you haven’t seen this film, rent it now.  Better yet, read the book.

Berlin – Kevin Spacey’s student in The Life of David Gale.

Despite the fact that the character in the movie was a scandalous liar, the name still struck me as quite pretty. And we already had ventured into place-naming territory when Bronx was born, so Berlin didn’t seem too unconventional for us either.

And let’s face it, bad connotations don’t really hold much weight for us. Especially with locations.

After all, Bronx isn’t known for being the nicest borough in New York.

After we had two more sons, it didn’t look like the girl names we’d chosen had much of a chance of ever getting used. The odds were against us, as Matt’s family hadn’t seen a girl born on his father’s side in almost 35 years.

But then something amazing happened.

We had a girl.

After the ultrasound confirmed the good news, Matt assumed we were going to go with one of the names we had originally decided on.

I, however, was ready to crack the spine on the half of the baby name book that had remained pristine for the past five years.

I didn’t want to overlook any possibilities.

I spent hours pouring over the crisp, clean, white pages in the girls’ section, highlighter in hand, determined to find the perfect name for our princess.

Only to come to one conclusion.

I really, truly loved the names we had already decided on.

Except, I loved the middle names a little more. They were more unique.

It was then that our baby girl became Novalee Berlin.

We also discovered, thanks to my baby name research, that Novalee means “new field”.

Appropriate since she was our first girl after three boys.

It also, in some books, means “butterfly chaser”.

I love how ridiculously girly that is.

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