Friday, April 5, 2013

What's in a Name?

People mistake Sheppard for a girl about a third of the time. I'd like to think it's because he is very handsome, which can easily be mistaken for beauty. Actually, it's probably because his hair is pretty long and because babies are kind of unisex in their features. I don't really mind and often don't correct them unless they ask for his name.

For some reason, I always feel like I need to explain to people that Sheppard's name is a family name and that it is not spelled like the sheep herding shepherd. Although that is where the name originally came from, it's what you call an "occupational surname," which I think is kind of interesting.

Sheppard's first name is my grandmother's maiden name. Her name is Helen Isabel Sheppard. I'm pretty close with my grandparents and I actually lived with them for a year during college. She had two brothers, and their friends nicknamed them "Shep" or "Sheppard." I loved the idea of using a family name. Since my first name is an Irish last name, it didn't seem strange to use a last name for his first name. My sisters and I had talked about the possibility of one of us using Sheppard for a baby boy. Well, the sons in law all rejected it, including Cory. But, nine months is a long time, and Sheppard is his name! Sheppard's middle name is Jeffrey, which comes from our good friend Jeffrey Klakring, who we really admire. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012 was Sheppard's Blessing Day. Cory got to give our Little Man a name and a blessing. He was joined in the circle by Sheppard's grandfathers, Brian Liddiard and Richard Carroll, his uncle Tyson Fuller, and our friends Jay Hinton, Chris Dansie, and Chris Borjas. 

In our church, we give babies a simple blessing after they're born that announces their name. It's given at the beginning of the Sunday meeting, and is not a big affair. We don't emphasize it quite the same as a baptism or a marriage, but it is still special and sweet. My favorite part about Shep's blessing was when it talked about his tender heart and caring personality.

I was really happy about having my family there and such a beautiful baby boy. Our meeting was at 9 AM, so my family left Austin around 5:30 AM to get there on time! We had some bets on whether they would make it on time, and they did. Shep wore a beautiful white knit suit that my parents bought. I was so nervous he would cry but after letting out one unsure squawk, he was quiet for the entire blessing. Afterwards, we had everyone come over to our house for a brunch of quiche and crepes. It was a busy, but great, day. We took some pictures, which was a bit of a process. I forgot to get close ups of Shep in his blessing outfit, but it had a cute little bowtie. I didn't make him wear the matching bonnet because it would have covered up his long locks. 

A little behind the scenes! My favorite is Tara actually looking scared of Maisy. Oh, and the fact that our niece Maili is in a phase where she always does kind of silly poses for the camera. This is her "Oh no you didn't!" face.

The Baby Blessing of

Sheppard Jeffrey Carroll
December 9, 2012
Our dear Heavenly Father, we come together at this time as Melchizedek priesthood holders to give this child a name and a blessing. The name, which he shall be known by, is Sheppard Jeffrey Carroll.
Sheppard, at this time, I give you a blessing. Thou has been blessed to be born in a family with the Gospel. Thou will love the Gospel. You will grow and be an example to your family, to your friends, to your future brothers and sisters. You will serve a mission. You will help many come to the Gospel and to know of the blessing that it has been in your life and in your family’s life.
You will find an eternal companion. You will be married in the temple and you two will one day have your own family to raise and to lead in the Gospel and in Jesus Christ.
Know that you have a great support system around you—family that loves you and will always be there for you. You have been blessed with many amazing qualities that will serve you in your life. You have a very tender heart and a caring personality. You will know how to help others in times of need and you will always be someone that people look to and come to when they need help and need advice.
Your Heavenly Father loves you very much Sheppard. Always go to Him when you are in need. And I say these things in the name of thy son, Jesus Christ, amen. 

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