Choosing a name for your child is quite difficult. All expectant parents feel the weight of this decision. You are, after all, determining the title your child will use for his or her entire life. But these names actually fell together easily. There were no disagreements, no back and forth, no short lists. These just fit. Barnes Howard and Frances Katherine were always our twins' names.
My paternal grandmother, Lillian Barnes Hodge, had a kind and gentle soul. She never raised her voice to anyone, and she gave people the benefit of the doubt, believing that everyone had a reason for their actions. She was quick to defend others. She loved to cook. When my dad was 12, his father passed away, and Granny was left with her three sons. No matter what the adversity, though, she pressed forward. She had a difficult life, but she never complained and always found joy.
|Granny with my grandfather, my dad (center), and his two brothers|
Andrew's dad, Jeffrey Howard Shafer, is a caring, deep-hearted, hard working, motivated man. His love for family and friends is unwavering, and he is passionate about helping others reach their best. Known as "the Eating Man," you will never go hungry when Jeff is around. In Andrew's words, "Never once have I doubted his level of dedication and love for me or our family, and because of that I can only hope that I can be the same for our family and children." In short, Jeff taught Andrew how to be an incredible father...the most important lesson a father can pass to his son.
|Barnes with his G|
My mom's grandfather, Francis Oscar Anderson, was a man of strong-will. He was gentle, but firm. He was known as "Pop" to his grandchildren, and my mom loved spending time with him. He liked watching soap operas and could often be found wearing overalls. He was dearly loved by his children and grandchildren.
|Francis with his wife, Maude Butler Anderson|
Andrew's grandmother, Katherine Davis Coulter, exemplifies strength of character. Nana was named for her own mother (Katherine Rose), but was always called Betty. With 6 children, 21 grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren, Nana has always made friends and family her priority. Her life is centered around her God and her faith, and she has truly lived the life of a "good and faithful servant."
|Frances checking out Nana Coulter|
Special thanks to Andrew, my mom & dad, and Andrew's mom for the information they provided for this post!