Baby Girl’s Name

Since the moment we found out we were pregnant for the fourth time, both Justin and I immediately thought it was a GIRL. So much so, that we really didn’t even discuss boys names much!

For a girl, the middle name “Jean” had already stuck (after Justin’s late grandmother whom he was very close to), so once we found out she was in fact, a SHE, we were careful to choose only first names that paired well with Jean.  We thought we had decided on her first name early on, but while at dinner for our anniversary, Justin asked if I was dead set on it, because he was beginning to have second thoughts. He suggested we play a game to introduce some other names into the ring, besides our few favorites.

A few nights later, we each wrote our Top 25 names individually on note cards. Any that we had matches of automatically moved on to the next round. After that, we could each nix 10 of the others names. Then we took turns choosing one of the others names to move on to the next round. When all was said and done, 4 of the top 5 were names we already knew we loved, but we had at least a condensed list of favorites to think about.

We told our families our top 5 at the gender reveal party. These were:

  1. Morgan
  2. Olivia
  3. Sydney
  4. Cora
  5. Riley (This was the only “new” name we added to the list after playing the game.)

We had joked about Olivia Jean having the initials “OJ” and Justin said he would call her “The Juice,” in reference to OJ Simpson’s football nickname.  From that moment on, my grandma was convinced that was her name.  After my trip to Chicago, my ENTIRE family latched on to the name Olivia. They were all 100% convinced that was the name, despite how many times I told them that it wasn’t. Even Dylan kissed my belly and said “Bye, Baby Olivia!” I warned my aunties to please not buy her anything personalized for Christmas, because I swear that’s not her name, but even still, they were SURE it was Olivia!

Truth is, we nixed Olivia pretty early. It’s a beautiful name, and we do still love it, but right now it is just too popular.  All through grade school, I was one of six Amanda’s — Two Amanda K.’s, two Amanda B.’s, and nobody went by Mandy.  I want our daughter to have a common name, everyone-knows-how-to-spell-it name, but not an extremely popular “Top 10 in the US” name.

Riley was also crossed off the list pretty early on. Mostly because 11 years ago, I wanted to name Rudy, Riley when I first got him as a puppy. It seemed weird to give my daughter my dog’s almost-name!

That left us with Morgan, Sydney, and Cora.  We loved all three. Justin pressured me for a few weeks to just choose one, and started calling her “LaQuonda” and crazy names when he referred to her, simply to bug me. I finally said, “If you’re making me choose today, then her name is…”


He replied, “Good. I was hoping you would say that.”  And just like that, we were back to our original #1 choice of names!

We decided officially sometime in early November, but we didn’t share it with anyone. We wanted to be sure that we loved it and it stuck, as well as figure out a fun way to reveal her name to everyone. We decided Christmas would be the perfect time.

The Reveal

For Justin’s family, we wanted to make a stocking to match the ones his parents have and hang on their mantle every year, but we were unable to discreetly locate the extra stockings in their attic to follow through with this idea. We ended up making a custom onesie with rainbow vinyl that read: Morgan Jean Peterson and gave it to them the day we celebrated Christmas as a family.  Naturally, we forgot to take a photo of the finished product, but at least we took one of them opening it!


For my side of the family, I had this wooden sign made for my Grandparents to open on Christmas Eve. My Grandma was crying before she could even get the wrapping paper off.  The “Santa’s Nice List” sign had all of their grandchildren listed on it, in order. I pictured her reading each name one by one, beginning with their first granddaughter (ME!) and ending with their first GREAT granddaughter: Morgan. She did exactly that!

There was a moment of silence. Everyone was shocked it wasn’t Olivia!


Because I can’t keep anything a secret from her, my mom already knew the name. However, I ordered this Snoopy (she’s a huge Peanuts fan!) stocking from Pottery Barn and customized it with the Peanuts font so she will have it to hang up next year.


I received a couple of signs shortly after we decided on the name, which helped make me feel at ease with our decision.

  • I loved the name Morgan anyway, but even more so when I realized the tie with the US Women’s National Soccer Team.  There are two USWNT players with the name Morgan: Alex Morgan (forward) and Morgan Brian (midfielder).  Since the USWNT has been a running theme in our relationship (Justin proposed with a jersey, and we watched them play at my alma mater during our honeymoon),  it just seemed right!
  • Without even reading the synopsis, I downloaded a new book by my favorite author, Colleen Hoover. The main character’s name? Morgan. (For the record, I haven’t read it yet, for fear that the character’s personality might sway my decision!)
  • On 12/19 I ran out at lunch to Madtree brewing, to pick up a bar sign for Justin to gift to my brother for Christmas. Afterwards, I decided on a whim I would stop at Starbucks and grab a drink, mostly because I had rewards points to burn up.  I pull up to the drive-thru speaker and hear, “Welcome to Starbucks! My name is Morgan. What can I get started for you?”

    Without a doubt, and especially after reading the book Signs, I knew that was a sign from our girl letting us know she likes her name. Or maybe it was a sign from her brothers, letting us know that they like it too!

    When I got back to the office, my boss asked, “Did you get your sign?” meaning obviously, the Madtree sign. I casually said, “Yep!” but what I really wanted to say was “oh, did I ever!”

    Fast forward to present day, we are now working on putting together her nursery, and Justin ordered the cutest sign to hang above her crib. He stained & painted it to match the growth chart we made, and the other decor we picked out.

    We love you SO much, Baby Morgan! Daddy & I can’t wait to meet you in 9-ish weeks!!


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4 thoughts on “Baby Girl’s Name”

  1. Pingback: Coming Full Circle

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