The Story Behind Lenora’s Name

Like most couples who plan to have children, J and I would discuss baby names off and on in the first few years of our marriage. I learned very quickly that we did not agree on names. Like, not at all. I liked old fashioned names and he liked more modern, popular ones.

We decided to table the conversation until we were actually in a position to name a child, so when we were pregnant with the baby we lost we started talking again about names.

At first it was filled with a lot of “vetos” (remember this Friends episode?). Somewhere in the middle of talking through ideas one of us suggested Nora if it was a girl. Miraculously, we both loved that name. But we thought “Nora Neel” was a little too alliterate; too many N’s.

And that’s when I thought of Lenora.

Lenora Neel.

We loved it. I liked how unique it was, he liked the way it sounded with Neel and that there was a popular nickname (Nora) if she wanted to go that route down the road. It also was fairly easy to spell, which was important for me as someone who always has to spell out my name. It is also the name of one of J’s family friends who is in her 80s and so full of life (here’s a picture of them together). She comes to many of our family gatherings and trips, and we loved the thought of her as our child’s namesake.

Neither of us talked about the name much after our miscarriage, and when we found out we were pregnant again in August we decided to wait until we knew the gender to discuss names again.

One of my favorite memories being pregnant was the weekend that we found out she was a girl. After saying goodbye to both of our families, J fell onto the couch beside me and with a big smile said:

“So… her name is Lenora?”

I said I still loved it, he said he did too. And that was that!

Her middle name is Crowe, which is my mother in-law’s maiden name. We love the way it sounds and the heritage she shares with a generation of strong women.

We decided to keep the name a secret until the baby was born; we both wanted something to be a surprise and it was really special sharing that secret just the two of us for four or five months leading up to her birth. I loved introducing her to our families and finally sharing her name.

The name Lenora means “Shining Light” and our prayer for her is that she will be just that — a beacon light in the darkness, radiating God’s love for those around her.

So far it fits her perfectly.

PS – In previous posts, and moving forward, I plan to refer to her as “L” similar to how I refer to my husband as J (even though with a little investigative work you can easily find out his first name). I don’t really care that people know what her name is, but I want to protect her digital footprint and not have too many references to her full name on the Internet. The last thing I want is for some employer to look her up one day and find a ton of information about her from her blogging mom. :)

  • Vicki Dunbar

    I love the story. I have a similar story of how I named my daughter. And like you, I protect my daughter’s name and granddaughter’s name. Daughter is Buttercup and grand is CocoaPuff. I have a new grand coming (a girl, about the same time your baby girl is due) and I have to come up with a nickname for her.

  • Those are such cute little nicknames! Congrats on your next grandbaby coming soon. It’s such an exciting time! :)