On Baby-Naming, Trees, and Choosing to See the Good


Hubs and I aren’t the sort of baby-namers that place much emphasis on the meaning of our children’s names.  While it would be lovely if our kid was “Beautiful One, Destined for Greatness,” profundity hasn’t been a high priority for us.

Just getting our very opinionated selves on the same page is trouble enough.

Our son is called Rowan.

(If you’ve been hanging out here much, you’ll know him as the Buckaroo).


The name Rowan was inspired by trips to Ireland, agreed upon after much debate, and denotes “a type of tree with red berries.”

Which is not a terrible meaning but certainly not “destined for greatness.”  Innocuous, a bit earthy, but nothing profound.

Or so I thought.

We moved from Texas to Farm Town–where most trees have been displaced to make room for corn fields–when I was 8 months pregnant with our son.

A street with mature trees had been at the top of my new home wish list, but with only five days to house-hunt in an unfamiliar place, I had to adjust my expectations.  The neighborhood we chose was plopped in the middle of a cornfield and each lawn possessed only a token sapling.


We moved in the dead of winter and our lone red maple looked frail and vulnerable to the violent prairie winds.  While unpacking, I gazed on our barren front yard and thought again of our lovely street in Texas with the massive live oaks.

Then I looked down at my swollen belly.

And I realized that while our new home was bereft of the trees I loved so much, it would soon be home to a new tree—our little Rowan.

Maybe I’m just a sucker for symbolism, but in that moment, a seed of contentment sprouted.  Even though my home was different than I’d hoped it would be and we moved in amidst crazy circumstances (Rowan arrived less than 3 weeks later) it was good.


It was good because it was filled with the people dearest to me and because it was the home God gave us–and He gives good gifts.

Sure, my version of good and His don’t always line up, but in such cases, the quicker I concede, the better.

For my own contentment and joy more than anything.

As a reminder of these truths, I filled Row’s room with trees.  I like the picture of him growing up to become a mighty oak, strong and brave in the midst of harsh elements, planting his roots deep into a stream that will always fill his soul.



The bottom line?

Your home may not be everything you’d want or located where you’d prefer, but it can still be good.

And the sooner you recognize the goodness, the better.

What’s good about your home?


About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.

  • Tabitha

    Absolutely beautiful Jenn! I am a sucker for symbolism also! Such a beautiful and heart-warming post!

  • I love this . . . especially because I feel like we’re doing good to agree on names too let alone names with great meaning. I’m pretty sure Cannon just means Cannon. 😉 But I love that you found meaning for Rowan’s name and that his room is covered in trees. That’s beautiful! (PS – I’ve missed your blogging . . . are you blogging less?)

    • Laura, I hear you on agreeing on names. If we have a third, we’re ok if it’s a girl but will need counseling if it’s a boy :).

      Not blogging less, but will be over the next couple of weeks :). My Friday posts haven’t been emailing out until Sat; maybe that’s it?

  • Mare Ball

    love the tree branch with the letters. I assume you make that? Just heard the royal baby is George Alexander Louis. Seems like a big name for a tiny tot. 🙂

    • Mare, yes, I made it; tree branch found in local woods, letters @ Hobby Lobby. It was pretty easy. 🙂
      I just heard about baby George! What’s funny is that I read that three names is considered to be low-key amongst royals. 🙂 Ha.

  • I feel like I want to comment on each picture of his room, I love the décor and how you’ve subtly incorporated trees however. Are the four trees canvases? I adore them.
    And we have tons of driftwood around us and I want to use it in the home somehow, this gives me ideas.
    I also love the name Rowan, Irish names are definitely some of some favourites especially for boys. =)

    • Breanne, yes, the trees are four separate canvases expertly hot-glued 🙂 to each other and the frame. They were inspired by some Jon Foreman album covers. And the trees thing was definitely related to Row’s name but also because it’s one of the few things I can draw/paint ok-ish. 🙂

      We were a big fan of Irish-y names too. If we ever have another boy, I may be asking you for ideas.

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