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Posted July 24th, 2012
70 Responses to “A Celebrity Mom Surveys Her Name Choices”
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July 24th, 2012 at 11:29 pm
Gorgeous family! Love your kids names and the explanations. Both Penelope and River were in our final names for our youngest daughter (who was then named Daphne Willow, she’s 8 months). It’s so true, that the right name comes at the right time.
July 24th, 2012 at 11:46 pm
Love your childrens’ names! You did a great job!
July 24th, 2012 at 11:55 pm
Thank you for sharing your path to these names. I love that each one was chosen thoughtfully and with much love. They are all beautiful names and you have given me even more confidence to stand behind the name I chose for my daughter even in the face of the naysayers!
July 25th, 2012 at 1:12 am
I’m curious if your going to stick with the same thing for your next daughter, international classic? Also does your first son go by Jordan or Ezra? If he goes by Ezra, was that intentional to follow in the same footsteps of dad in that he doesnt go by his first name? Thanks for sharing your personal naming journey with everyone on nameberry, it was an interesting read!
July 25th, 2012 at 1:23 am
I thought I was the only one who over pondered on my child’s name. (So far one. But I am set on picking the 2nd baby’s name right. (not expecting either, just …anxious to have a name for the little individual that may be!)
I usually research by first finding the appealing names to the personality I wish my children would develop, then I find my favorites and go by elimination on putting them together and finding their meanings. However there are too many things and a lot of confusion on how to choose a girl’s name if the next one is a little lady. As I am also one with a penchant for sophisticated names that are meaningful. Very silver screen-like.
Any advice on how to find an easier way?
July 25th, 2012 at 1:25 am
Congratulations on the soon to be new baby girl! That’s so exciting.
Also, I love all of your childrens names…especially River!
I sort of had the same thought process when I named my little girl as you, when you named Penelope. I wanted a family name, but not directly. My mom is Norma and my grandfather was Norman… from there comes Norah. I She definitely takes after both my mother and grandfather and she is embracing the musical influence of the name, as well (Norah Jones).
With my sons name we wanted something different and fun. My husband mentioned Kingston while going through albums and ran across the Kingston Trio. He definitely embodies the fun feel of the name.
July 25th, 2012 at 4:10 am
Love the stories! I love hearing other moms who picked a first choice. With my son, Finn was the first name we considered. We threw it on the back burner while going over dozens of other names, only to decide on Finn after all.
July 25th, 2012 at 5:30 am
It is so lovely to read about someone else taking such care with choosing this gift they are to give their children. My husband and I both put alot of thought and feeling into naming our children. A name is a beautiful gift that our children will carry with them their entire lives…
I love Ezra by the way!
July 25th, 2012 at 7:01 am
Love reading naming stories. Thanks for sharing. I was a big Hanson fan in my early teen years, around the same time I was realizing that I liked names more than the average teenage girl did. Now I’m a big fan of the Hanson Family names. Blessings to you and your family as you add a new baby girl soon. Can’t wait to see what you name the new little one and the story behind it.
July 25th, 2012 at 7:05 am
Yay Penny’s getting a sister!! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Interesting that you chose Penelope to honour your mum. I just assumed it was a nod to Penny and Me…
Hope to read more from you 🙂
Thanks for the blog Natalie! As a Hanson fan, I’ve always wondered how the names came about, and as a mother, I admire the names you chosen! Good luck with the birth of baby GIRL in the fall. I’ll also be welcoming a baby at the end of September (2 weeks after I see Hanson in Concert!)
July 25th, 2012 at 7:11 am
Loved this post!! Great read!
July 25th, 2012 at 7:13 am
Great story! My firstborn, due in a few months will be Ezra which is even more unusual here in the UK. If I’m honest, I never would have picked the name on my own but It was the result of a name journey I went on with my husband where we found a name we both could love.
I love all your children’s names and can’t wait to hear what you call your 2nd daughter. Wishing you all the best x
July 25th, 2012 at 7:18 am
Thanks for sharing! I think my husband and I have a similar balance to you and yours, in the sense that I research names and create charts and think about every aspect of a name, whereas he just has names he likes. His taste is good overall, but he doesn’t recognize whether a name is super popular or too much of an old lady name. Your approach to naming gives me hope that if we choose a name we love, others’ thoughts won’t matter as much (and maybe they’ll come to love it, too).
July 25th, 2012 at 7:29 am
You are such thoughtful namer. I hope to have just as much thoughtfulness when I name my future children. Thanks for sharing, and please come back with more posts! I’d be interested in hearing more about your naming obsession.
July 25th, 2012 at 7:44 am
My youngest daughter’s name is Romilly (pronounced ROM-ill-ee) and we call her Romy (ROW-me)… I think it would be a good match with sister Penelope! They both have a “fairy running through a forest in England” whimsical feel to me… Penny & Romy, think about it! 🙂
I loved reading this. Reminds me of my own name-nerd thought process. I’m always pleased to hear people put such thought it their children’s names. I adore all of those names, and they fit together so well. Look forward to hearing baby #5’s name!
July 25th, 2012 at 8:04 am
[…] “Thinking back on all the children’s names has helped to give me a fresh perspective in choosing the name for the baby girl we are expecting in the fall,” Natalie writes in her blog for Nameberry.com. […]
July 25th, 2012 at 8:11 am
I love how your kids names are not match-y. A lot of people would not be so bold as to go from Ezra to River to Viggo. They are all as different as each child I’m sure is. I happen to love old, different but not too popular names. My husband and I had a tough time agreeing on a name for our son, who will be 5 this fall. We ultimately decided on Grant. It is a bold and unobtrusive name, much like my son. He is bold but sensitive. I have only heard it a handful of times. It’s a strong name that is not widely used, at least here in the US. For my daughter, who will be 3 this fall, well, I had her name picked out many, many years before she was even a thought in my head. Her name is Charlotte. We call her Charlie. She is the perfect balance between her very feminine full name, Charlotte and her more tom boyish nickname, Charlie. She is very girly (loves nail polish and lip balm and glittery hair clips) but is also fearless and much more of a risk taker than her brother! Names and those that people chose have always been a fascination of mine and I look forward to hearing the name you choose for you 2nd daughter, I’m sure it will be lovely!
July 25th, 2012 at 8:19 am
I loved reading about how you chose the names for your children! Ezra and Penelope are two of my long-time favorite names. I have to add, the picture that’s included in this post is adorable. The name Penelope has always appealed to me because I think it has the perfect balance of girly-ness and spunk. In the picture, your little Penelope seems to embody just that- she seems adorably cute and a tad bit spunky (LOVE the girly skirt/headband with cowboy boot combo!).
July 25th, 2012 at 8:20 am
I was the biggest Taylor Hanson fan growing up and I just LOVE all of the names Natalie and Taylor chose for their kids! Cannot wait to see what baby #5 is named 🙂
July 25th, 2012 at 8:27 am
July 25th, 2012 at 8:52 am
You know, as a girl from that “Hanson era” who was pretty nutty about that middle brother (middle children understood each other, was my theory), I’ve never been anything but happy reading about his happy marriage and brood of children.
You guys have seriously picked some “perfect” names. So classic, but still a little left-of-centre. Like classic names for thinkers and dreamers. Inspiring.
I love it! And good luck with Penny’s little sister!
July 25th, 2012 at 8:56 am
Those are very interesting, sweet names. My daughters name is also Natalie, and its such a beautiful name! I really like how brave you are with your name choices. My family almost demands I choose traditional names, but this blog has surely made me think twice. I am expecting a baby girl in December also, so good luck to you!
July 25th, 2012 at 9:37 am
I am such a fan of your name choices, they are just fabulous. River, Viggo and Ezra are all faves of mine, I cannot wait to see what you pick for you new bundle of joy! And can I say you have a very very beautiful family 🙂
July 25th, 2012 at 9:39 am
I love your childrens’ names, especially the uncommon biblical choices. There are so many name gems in the Bible. Ezra is on my personal list, and we are expecting our first baby, a boy, and have named him Judah David. 🙂
July 25th, 2012 at 9:55 am
July 25th, 2012 at 9:58 am
My sister was much the same way in choosing the name of her 4 girls. Yes, she has 4 girls & I get to be the doting Aunt LOL 🙂 She chose strong Cleitc & Irish names for all of them with deep meaning & importance behind each one.
Congrats on baby girl #2 🙂
July 25th, 2012 at 10:42 am
Personally, with a daughter named Penelope Anne, I would choose something equally free spirited, like Calliope Rose.
I did love the name Willow someone suggested, and would fit the naturalness of River.
But, I’m sure whatever name you choose, it will fit your daughter and your family perfectly.
July 25th, 2012 at 10:44 am
Oh, and for short, like Penny, it would be Callie!
July 25th, 2012 at 11:07 am
[…] for Nameberry, Natalie Hanson wrote, “Thinking back on all the children’s names has helped to give me a […]
July 25th, 2012 at 12:20 pm
Ever since i watched the movie To Kill A Mockingbird, I’ve always loved the name of the little girl on there. Her name was Scout. I also like the name Shayne for a girl. I love the sound and it could be used for a boy or girl
July 25th, 2012 at 1:12 pm
I have to thank Natalie Hanson for being such a wonderful role model. I’m a single mom raising just one baby. I say baby, but she three now. I named my daughter Peyton Bella. I got Peyton because looking at it at 8 weeks pregnant I feel in love with it. Bella because in Italian it mean beautiful. I knew that she was going to be beautiful. Of course I did not know what I was having 8 weeks, but my thoughts told me I was having a girl. So good luck with the upcoming new bundle of joy, and to Hanson been a fan since day one. Thank you guys for the inspiration that you have given to us fans. 🙂
July 25th, 2012 at 1:59 pm
Congratulations on your sweet addition. Choosing names is so tough. I was super concerned with meanings. It’s the reason I did not choose the name Campbell for my daughter; it means crooked mouth.
I have Carson, Olivia, and Emerson. I love my kids’ names, but as my 3 year old starts preschool in the fall, I am concerned about the length of her name as we are attempting to teach her how to spell it.
There are way too many factors to consider when choosing a name, but so far, ya’ll have done a great job, so I have no doubt this little bundle will have a beautiful name too.
July 25th, 2012 at 2:30 pm
Congrats on your exciting news! Choosing a name is so complicated! My husband has a very strict 4-letter rule (so no one can shorten it), so we have a Seth, a Jack, and an Evan. Kind of traditional names, but surprisingly not as common as I expected. When we were picking names for either gender, I loves the name Jocelyn for a girl, but it broke my husband’s 4-letter rule. I skirted this by suggesting Joss Lynn, so when the first and middle names were said together it would be Jocelyn. And Joss is a pretty cool name. Unfortunately, we have 3 boys so I haven’t been able to use it (yet!)! Good luck – judging by the thought you’ve put into the first 4 names, I’m sure you will pick something wonderful. 🙂
July 25th, 2012 at 4:59 pm
Hi Natalie! I’m really happy that you’re going to be a guess blogger on nameberry. I’ve been a Hanson fan for 15 years and a name nerd for even longer. I love all the names you have picked for your kids and can´t wait to find out the name of your new little girl… Congratulations!
July 25th, 2012 at 5:09 pm
I must say I am fascinated by Viggo. I really, really like it. I had never heard it before, but it’s a really great name.
I really liked what you said about how you put so much research into names and your husband isn’t so knowledgeable about it. Although my boyfriend and I have many years before a child comes (marriage, “real” jobs, etc.) we’ve discussed names and it’s the same thing. He suggests beautiful names, but never knows the meanings, popularity, or origins the way I do. That being said, I’m not sure if it’s normal to be as “educated” about names like us berries, but I think the unnatural name knowledge of the woman mixed with the plain opinion of the man (or of course the other way around for you berry dads) is a good balance. Good luck on naming your baby girl, I’m sure it will be something beautiful!
July 25th, 2012 at 6:59 pm
What a great choice for a guest blogger, Pam and Linda! Please have her back again!
Natalie, I loved reading your story, and I also adore the way you speak about your children’s names! You’re definitely a class-act namer, but you’re also an inspired writer! Ezra is definitely a cool choice. There is something about the combination of E and Z that exudes a sense of classic warmth but also new-age pizazz, right? I get that with my own favorite, Eliza. Miss Penny’s name has just the right amount of oomph to pair with her brothers’ names, and it’s so fantastic that she fits every last syllable of Penelope. I hope you find the same perfect fit for your new little girl this fall! You really caught me when you were talking about River and Ol’ Man River – what a beautiful image, and to share that with your grandfather? Perfect. River is a strong name, as rivers are strong and steady, not to get to “Pocahontas” over here. Finally, little Viggo. It’s playful and fun to say, but it’s also so, so handsome. And Moriah? Intriguing. Back to your own name, I completely agree that Natalie has so much elegance to her. I keep telling the Berries that Natalie is a new-age classic with so much girlish charm and appeal – it’s like Audrey but not as hot right now, right? Bring it back, Berries.
Again, best of luck in choosing a name for Ezra, Penelope, River, and Viggo’s little sister! Agnes, Frances, Jules, Lourdes, Temperance, Lisbet, Scarlett, Christabel – these are names coming to mind. Also, Wikipedia just told me Bryant is your maiden name, so what about Bryony for a middle name? Just a thought, but I don’t think you need any help… 😉
July 25th, 2012 at 7:26 pm
Natalie! I feel like I sort of know you through following your husband’s and brothers’-in-law career for the past fifteen years. Since Ezra was born I’ve wondered about your naming process! Because of your family, Ezra is a name that appears on my list for my future children’s names. I really like how thoughtful you are in your selections and I especially liked the story about writing Viggo’s name on the whiteboard. Please convince Pam and Linda to have you back as a guest blogger! And to get Kate and Nikki to come, too!
July 25th, 2012 at 8:33 pm
Viggo is my favorite name from your little crew! I’m glad to hear a good report on how it has been received. My husband wasn’t quite on board with it for our last baby, but you’ve inspired me to put Viggo back on my short list for the future.
July 25th, 2012 at 8:42 pm
So happy everyone loved this blog so much. We did too and send lots of love and thanks to Natalie for writing it. She promises to come back and write about her name choice (still secret, since we’re not privy to that white board!) after her daughter is born. Natalie, we can’t wait!
July 25th, 2012 at 9:23 pm
How fun to be able to take a peek into your baby naming brain! Thanks for sharing, Natalie!
July 25th, 2012 at 9:37 pm
Thank you for sharing! I gotta admit I am a Huge Hanson fan, their music saved my life and to honor that I named my daughter after your husband.. (his name was the only that could also be a girls) and her middle name is from my best friend. Jordan Elizabeth. My son was named after an actor and a character from a book. The first night I really spent time with my husband he made me watch Supernatural (I’m not to keen on creepy..) we had a great time and as they say the rest is history, we still watch Supernatural together these many years later. It is our special time, let the stress go and just enjoy. We also used to have time to read together and we LOVE Sherrilyn Kenyon and chose the name our son with a character from one of her books. Jensen Malachai. Though I swear I’m done in the baby department my husband already has ideas for the next child’s name lol Kinley Lucille or Dresden Lee .. Congratulations on a second lil miss!
July 25th, 2012 at 9:44 pm
The names that you have picked for your children are absolutley amazing! I have some unique but classic name suggestions for your little baby girl on the way!
Maddisen/Maddisyn etc. Raine
Those are some of the names that I would personally pick just for your baby girl. You could definitley mix and match and “experiment” with these and/or different names. Thanks for blogging your story. I enjoyed reading it!
July 25th, 2012 at 10:07 pm
“it’s like picking out the outfit they have to wear everyday for the rest of their life!” I love that quote and it’s really helpful.
July 25th, 2012 at 11:54 pm
July 26th, 2012 at 6:20 am
If you’re looking for suggestions Sharon or Christine. I know Sharon’s a Hebrew name if that’s like a theme. 🙂
July 26th, 2012 at 8:44 am
How about the name Landrie Grace. Beutiful and yet simple!
July 26th, 2012 at 11:38 pm
Hi, Natalie, how are you doing?
We have lot in common. I’m 29 and my hubby and just had twins boys 2 months ago(one of them named River just like your son), as we already had 3 girls, that makes 5 kids for us as well, ouch!My husband and I had our first baby girl when I was 15 and he was 19,that was insane..lol. Congrats for being a great mother,I love your family, you’ll survive with 5 kids, it’s crazy, but it’s amazing.
I love all your kids names, but for your new baby girl, I would suggest my daughter’s names, of course: Marina, Joanna and Elisa.
I also love my nieces names: Luna and Estelle! I think those are powerful and meaningful names.
Wish you and your family, all the best.
July 29th, 2012 at 8:51 am
I love your kids names!!! I would suggest for your new baby girl:
July 29th, 2012 at 9:33 am
I’m probably the only one, but this post rubbed me the wrong way. I personally wouldn’t consider the wife of Taylor Hanson a celebrity and I found her stance a little pretentious and “holier-than-thou.” I love the names they chose, and the stories about choosing them are interesting, but this is the kind of post I expect to see in the forums, not the blog.
July 30th, 2012 at 8:29 am
Hey Nat, these are some names i like:
Congrats on your new baby girl 🙂
July 31st, 2012 at 4:42 pm
I hear you and Taylor are expecting a baby girl this fall and just thought I’d give you a name I thought was cute and went with Hanson. Hannah. Just thought that Hannah Hanson had a cute little ring to it. Hope you have a happy, healthy pregnancy and new baby girl and I hope her big brothers and sister love whatever name you and Taylor choose for your newest addition
July 31st, 2012 at 5:03 pm
Thank you so much for your lovely story! I love all the names you have chosen for your children! I’m from Sweden and Viggo is actually a very common name here and I absolutly love that name! That was my first choise for my son (3 years old) but we finally decided to go for the more classic and international name Oscar (also the name of my grandfather). We also decided for a old, classic name for our daughter (almost 1 year old) that would work well with Oscars name and decided on naming her Tilda. I like the fact that we decided to go for only Tilda instead of naming her Mathilda wich is more common. Both their names are old, classic Scandinavian names but they also work well international which was important for me.
Good luck on your naming process for your little doughter and thank you for sharing you story!
July 31st, 2012 at 10:52 pm
I love how different the kids’ names are. I have 2 daughters whose middle names come from my grandmother and great-aunt. But when I was pregnant with my oldest, we had a name chosen for her by the time I was 6 months pregnant. She was going to have 2 middle names. However, my ex’s family is very controlling so even though we decided on it and they like it at first they made him change his mind 2 weeks before she was born. Anyhow, one of the middle names I had found and still love to this day (hoping some day I can use it still) is one that I have never, ever heard before or even after I found it. I was never going to tell unless I had another girl. LOL. The name is Kynthia. It’s Greek. I chose names that I thought sounded nice, but not the most popular, yet not very old. Something that they could grow with, too (and shorten since I never could). My oldest is Alison (because I like Alison Krauss and always loved that name- my Alison is also starting to be very musical!) with the middle name Marjorie (after my grandmother). My youngest is Alexis (her cousin actually chose it and I loved it) with the middle name Hannah after my great-aunt. It didn’t even come to mind until my 2nd daughter was born that both names started with “A-L”. 🙂
I hope everything goes well and I cannot wait to hear the update on the new little one! Congrats!
August 1st, 2012 at 5:02 am
Dear Natalie, first of all, wOw!!! thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing such a personal & lovely story! your family pic is divine & gives us faces to go with those incredible mix of names. i love that you are so like me, in that starting to be name-nerdy as a teen, i really thought i was weird, or chalked it up to the fact that i was adopted. in your picture, looking at their lil faces just confirms how perfect each name choice is. i wish i could pop in for tea to get a look at that whiteboard! i don’t want to throw out any names at you, that’s for you & your husband. however! i will follow closely because i am now jus’ dying to know what baby Hanson’s name is. to me you are not only a celebrity but a true power of example of a strong, beautiful woman, i have no doubt that you are an amazing wife & mother. close-knit families are a precious gift from God. Bless you & your fam(ily) & keep us posted plzzz! do you have your own blog? blogger? wordpress? i would so love to follow if you do. i find you fascinating. k, Love & Prayers from good ole Marlboro, Mass. <3
August 1st, 2012 at 2:50 pm
I think a nice name for baby Hanson would be Taylie Hanson. The name comes from the first letters of Taylors name and Natalies name. I think it is a very pretty name for a special little girl.
August 12th, 2012 at 7:42 am
Love this – great choice for a blogger, Nameberry! Can’t wait to read more.
I particularly love River Samuel as a name – to me it sounds handsome and rugged and organic, certainly not “hippy nature” at all. Nothing flowery about a name like that. I also love saying “Viggo Moriah” – it just sounds so powerful and rolls off the tongue well. The Hanson’s always seem to choose great names.
Very excited to hear there will be another little girl joining this lovely family and can’t wait to find out what name they choose. Obviously don’t want to pre-empt their choice – as I’m sure it will be something wonderful and unique – but I can’t help but imagine a little Tessa or Elspeth or Sofia would match the others well. Something classic but unusual, maybe honouring their Scandinavian surname… Either way it will be great!
August 20th, 2012 at 12:15 pm
I personally like the name Felicity. It’s a virtue name and means “happiness” and I feel has the same “whimsically cute as a child but still business enough as an adult” feel as Penelope. Plus, it has four syllables like Penelope and also ends in the hard “E” as Natalie and Penelope. Just my two cents 🙂 . Best wishes on your pregnancy.
August 21st, 2012 at 3:14 pm
Love the names. It did get me curious about the other Hanson boys and if they had children and what their names where, and they too have fab names. Clarke Isaac married to Nikki Dufresne have two sons, Clarke Everett and James Monroe. Zackary Walker married to Kate Tucker have two children, John Ira Shepherd and Junia Rosa Ruth.
September 22nd, 2012 at 9:00 am
Hi Natalie, you and Taylor have a beautiful family. After learning that you and Taylor met in Atlanta and then you married in Pine Mountain, GA., I think about the name “Georgia” How fitting, right? “Amor” means Love.
I suggest, “Georgia Amor.” or simply, “Georgia Love” (or maybe “Georgianna Love”)
Wishing you and Taylor the best.
October 3rd, 2012 at 3:15 pm
I really like River. But you mentioned hearing it on little girls – and I think I know why.
I just finished watching the series “Firefly” on Netflix. It had some kind of cult-following back when it was on for only 1 season.
The character that the story line revolved around was a brilliant girl named River Tam.
I think that may have been the feminine inspiration.
As for Penelope, I love it. I would say for baby girl #2… something equally feminine with a nick name. It could be anything since all your children’s names are individuals. Good luck. 🙂
October 4th, 2012 at 12:48 pm
Baby girl #2 is here! Wilhemina Jane.
May 2nd, 2013 at 2:08 pm
I still love my children’s names to this day. My DD is Hania Oceana Natalia. In honor of her auntie Shania (like Twain), Oceana-well I like it because it is simple, mystetious, and naturey + the ending of it is -ana like my name & her gma picked Natalia. Natalia fits because my DD is born near Christmas!
My son is Blaize Raul (rah-ool). I love Blaize because it sounds cool & I wanted an inspirational positive name , so, he is named after Blaise Pascal. He was a French mathematician, child prodigy, writer, philosopher, & inventor. My son fits his name as well because he is soooo fast. Most ppl really like his name &some ppl don’t really care for it, but we love it!
May 2nd, 2013 at 2:09 pm
oh yea Raul is his father’s name
May 26th, 2013 at 4:59 pm
So wonderful to read the explanations and even reactions to each name you picked for your children. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful story with us. I cannot wait to hear what name you pick for your new addition!
July 24th, 2013 at 7:24 pm
[…] Natalie Hanson was bold enough to just post her unborn son’s name — Viggo Moriah — on a whiteboard with the note: “That is the name. It will not be […]
September 16th, 2014 at 8:21 pm
[…] Jane (Willa). (Mom Natalie is a name nut like us, and has blogged about the naming of her children here [first four] and here [number […]
September 11th, 2016 at 12:06 pm
[…] years ago, I read an article featured on Nameberry written by Natalie Hanson, Taylor’s wife. She explained her name […]
October 14th, 2016 at 7:25 pm
[…] Berries! Last time I wrote to you, I shared that I was expecting a little girl and that we were searching for her perfect name. Our […]
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