We’ve had our sweet Hazel in our life for
exactly 3 whole weeks one full month, almost 5 whole weeks (yeah, it’s taken me that long to begin and complete this post). What a joy she has been, honestly. I am quite amazed with how smoothly she has added to our family. We’re getting a decent amount of sleep at night, sans those two nights where she thought being contentedly awake from 2:30-3:30 after she nursed as a fun idea. She nurses like a champ, the boys love her to pieces, and she is generally just full of a great disposition, even if a bit gassy at times (which makes me think of the line from Frozen: “Don’t know if I’m elated or I’m gassy. But, I’m somewhere in that zone.“). Little girl clothes are adorable, she makes the greatest faces, her hair is amazing, especially when freshly washed and fuzzy, and we just couldn’t be happier with our new addition. Since the birth, I have felt great, and she is healthy. We’re bless, indeed.
I wanted to share why we chose the name we did for our little girl, our “Hazel, Sister” (sang in the tune of “Hey Soul Sister” by Train).
My friend Julie shared a link that helped people find the trends behind their given names. Turns out Hazel was obviously very popular “back in the day.” Frequently, middle aged people have said “Oh, that was my grandma’s name!” or “That was what my great aunt was called!” I have not, however, heard of anyone young in age going by this name, whether it be from personal connections or from others. Actually, I take that back. three days before my Hazel was born, my friend Tiffany sent me a text to show that Jim from The Office welcomed a Hazel into his life.
Why did we pick it? Well, for one, we like it, despite the fact a few crotchty 60+ people don’t appreciate it (and yes, they’ve let us know that fact, but fortunately we don’t care!). The whole idea of her name comes from the Smoky Mountains. This location has served as a great respite and memorable place for us as a couple. We went there for our honeymoon. After what was at that point in time the hardest year of our life, full of a miscarriage, an unexpected move, and a job change, we took a long weekend there together. Then, for our 10 year anniversary last year, we ventured there once again. While there celebrating our 10 years married, as we dove away from our cabin and took a final view at the lovely mountains, Thomas jokingly said, “If we have a daughter one day, we will need to name her Hazel, because of the haze on the Smoky Mountains.” Turns out, it was a grand idea, and being that I was never going to agree to naming a daughter Rebekah like he would want, that is just what we did.
As for Karen, her middle name, we’ve known this to be our preference since right when we got married. Karen was the name of two beautiful women that the world lost all too soon. Karen O. was the wife of our college minister. She was quiet and wise and introspective. Thomas and I were engaged to be married when she received the diagnosis of melanoma; it seemed like we lost her all too quickly. However, even in her struggles of health, she remained faithful to God and did not waver, at least not before our eyes. At the time she officially passed, it was honestly the hardest thing we had to deal with at that point in our relationship. Walking with each other as a couple through that grief was memorable. I can still remember crying on Thomas’s shoulder in the back seat of our friend Eric’s car as he drove us all back to campus after we received the news that her moments with us were mere minutes. A woman like her deserves to be honored.
Karen W. was my second mom growing up. She was loud and funny and affectionate. So many of my childhood memories involve her and her daughters. When Thomas and I became engaged, we actually stopped at her house to show off the ring before we made it back to my mom to show her. On that day, Karen pulled back a small bandaid on her calf and showed me a mole that had recently been biopsied. It was just a casual conversation that day on something of minor significance, but in reality it was melanoma. Before we left her house, as an accomplished baker, she proclaimed with joy that she would make our wedding cake, as her gift to us. She was at our wedding in May, and before I walked down the aisle, Karen brought to me a blue handkerchief that belonged to her mother. It was to be my “something blue.” I bawled like a baby into that little piece of soft fabric as I recited my vows. After, I bit into a delicious cake made just for us by her diligent hands. Our cake was the last cake she ever made, and when I look at my wedding photos where she is present, I can tell from those pictures that she looks so sick and tired, which at the time was less evident. The next year, in February, Karen passed. We spent our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple at the funeral home, grieving. Until her last day, Karen remained a Godly pillar. A woman like her deserves to be honored.
Karen is also a name to serve as my restoration. Although I never initially chose this name for a daughter based off this reason, it is fitting. Job 42:12-15 are the near to last verses in the book. There reads the following:
12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.
After Job’s losses, he was restored what he once had. No, it wasn’t the same daughters and sons or oxen, but God gave him back what he painfully had taken. When we miscarried our third child, cause Hazel is technically our fourth, it was devastating. Very few people knew about it as we were walking it, and few know the details today, although we do openly share that it occurred. Thomas and I had both felt like the lost baby was a girl. Although we did not ever get a confirmation of that, we didn’t need it. Our hearts said it to be true. A few weeks before we became pregnant with Hazel, I was out for a run when I felt God telling my heart that I would be restored a daughter. It was a peaceful assurance. So, when the pregnancy test was positive, I already had a feeling it was a girl. As I battled the first trimester fears of miscarriage, God kept prompting me to recall the restoration He was promising. Two weeks into my second trimester, I wrecked, and a whole new series of fears and worries had to be surmounted. Even still, in that chaos, I felt God telling me again that He would restore what I had lost over a year prior and that this baby would be fine. I had to spend days, weeks, and months with positive self-talk to recall the peace of that spring run last year, but God proved himself true, and we were given a daughter. Likely, had it not been for my friend Jennifer that named her daughter Keziah, I would not have been overly familiar with the names of the beautiful girls he was blessed with by the Lord. With a name Karen already chosen before any pregnancies, and especially before any loss, it is neat to see that the name Keren/Karen was already laid out as a fulfillment of what once was.
So there you have it: Hazel Karen.
We love her dearly, and I hope that if you are in real life friends that you would come by and visit, snuggle with her, and share in our joy! We’re so proud of our little miracle.