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I actually love both Elspeth Grace and Eliza Grace and think they sound sweet, wholesome, strong, and charmingly colonial-American. I don't think DH will go for either as the FN--it's becoming clear that he really, really likes Elizabeth, which is fine with me. I do very much hope to use Eliza Grace as a nickname though, if it suits her. I'm also happy to hold on to Elizabeth because I don't want to lose the nn possibility of Zibby (not for everyone I realize, but I really love it for a young girl).
Thanks to ALL of you for your thoughtful replies and lovely suggestions. It's been so helpful to have a sounding board for all of this since we don't like to discuss names with friends and family ahead of time (though I did a little bit with this name). I think we are feeling more sure of and excited about Elizabeth Grace. It's a name that means a lot to me and seems to hold a lot of possibility for different nicknames/moods/variations, so that feels good.
I love Maisie, but it is the name of a little girl in my son's playgroup. She's a pretty close friend so I feel it's taken :( I forgot to put it on the list of names we like but vetoed. But good suggestion!
I ran Louisa Grace and Susannah/Susanna Grace past DH, and he doesn't like either as much as Elizabeth. I feel like we're close to committing to Elizabeth Grace and are feeling more like it's been fully vetted and considered from all angles. I was thinking about my Great-Grandma earlier while I was ironing and how much I miss her and how this may likely be the only time I ever get to name a girl after her, and realized that it really is important to me to honor her. I will regret it if I don't. So it is good to have that clearly in mind.
Thanks, EVie! I love many of your suggestions. I do think I have a soft spot for southern nicknamey names that you don't share, which is perfectly understandable (I don't think I would love Emmylou and Maybelle if it weren't for Emmylou Harris and Mother Maybelle Carter, June Carter Cash's mother--I also love old-school country and bluegrass music). Jessamine for me falls a bit into that category because it sounds southern and old-fashioned and is also a place name in Kentucky where I grew up (and is somewhat relevant/poignant in my family). But I love that it's also a botanical name (jasmine) and sounds a bit more classic than Emmylou and Maybelle (neither of which are seriously in the running, I should point out--they are just on the list for fun somehow).
I agree that Christabel and Emmeline are fabulous and evocative and under-used. Neither of them feel quite as "right" to me as Elizabeth, but they are names that objectively I would rank higher as more interesting / beautiful names. So strange when the name you feel drawn to isn't the name you expected to love.
If this baby were born tomorrow there is a 99% chance she would be named Elizabeth Grace. DH is okay with using Grace, though I know he prefers May (and it bothers me to know that he prefers it--I feel that we should both feel the name we've chosen is perfect). Now the challenge is either to commit to and become invested in a new name, or to come around to the idea of Elizabeth Grace (one of the first names we ever discussed) without feeling like we are settling or like we should have looked harder to find a more "exciting" name. In some ways I feel like admitting that your first instinct was right is often one of the hardest things to do.
LOL at the grandmothers acting up :)
Evie Kate is lovely so it was all for the best it seems.
Thanks for the ideas on the variants of Grace, I hadn't thought of that!
Viola Grace is very pretty. I'll run it by DH :)
Morgan has some weird associations for me so it's not something I feel comfortable using, but I'm not inherently opposed to a more unisex name (Quinn is in that same vein, I think, and I really like it despite its seemingly increasing popularity).
Jenna and Iris feel very different in style from each other and from your sons' names. Of all the names you listed, I feel like Fiona seems to complement Andrew and Calvin the most (Anna works but seems too close to Andrew). I've been trying to come up with middle names and the best combination I've come up with to my ear is Fiona Louise. Fiona with your last name seems to demand a two-syllable middle name to me. Fiona Charlotte as someone suggested above is also very pretty.
Nooo you're not allowed to call Conrad trendy! :) He was named after DH's great-great-grandfather.
I like it, I just think it might be a bit *too* unusual for us. Not for name geeks (that's a compliment!), but for regular people who aren't up on their flowers. Hmm. I might be more likely to go with Susannah and use something like Zanna/Zannah as a nn. I like the idea of a more traditional name and a quirky nn, rather than a flat out unusual name.
Thank you for all your thoughts! Greta is my cat's name so you were right on with that :)
Of your other suggestions I think Emmeline and Louisa are my favorites. I went through a bit of a Louisa phase but somehow it didn't really end up in the running. I like the nn Ouisie, and I think Louisa sounds nice with Grace.
I love Annabel but we have close friends with girls named Annabel and Annabeth (not the same family, just to be clear) so it feels taken.
Anneliese is beautiful but feels too "foreign," like it would be a stretch for us. Some of the other "n" names (Penelope, Eleanor, Helena, Lucinda--I don't know why the "n" stands out to me but it does) are perfectly lovely but somehow don't seem as feminine as I would like if that makes any sense.
Hmmm. I'm adding Louisa to the list, and mulling over the others . . .