14 February 2011

What's in a name?

Read #10 here first. Then come back =)

So, how does one pick a last name, you ask? Well let me tell ya... it wasn't easy. You want to use a family name, but at the same time you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings in the process.

Before I start this story, there's a few things that you should know...
  1. Again, this all started because Bob wanted to drop the adopted last name of a man that he despised and his mother is no longer married too. Basically, Bob didn't want his wife and children to have that man's last name.
  2. Bob has no relationship with his biological father. While we briefly discussed it, using his last name just wasn't an option.
  3. Bob has had several name changes in his life {i.e. even when he was born, he had a different first, middle and last name and it was changed by his mom shortly after his first birthday.}
There, I think that should do it. And I swear... he's not (1) hiding from the government or (2) a member of the witness protection program. He's just a guy who's been through a lot.

When I met Bob in 2001, I knew from the very first week of dating him that he wanted to change his last name. It wasn't something that he was hiding... everyone knew he was going to do it. We'd talk about it and jokingly come up with last names that we could use over the years of dating that followed. It actually became... fun.

When we got engaged in May of 2005, our talks became much more serious. Bob wanted to have his name changed well before we got married so that I wouldn't have any issues changing my last name after the wedding.

Sooooo, where do you start? How the heck do you pick your own last name?? Well, I think its safe to say that we started with the obvious: his "real" dad's last name, his mom's maiden name, and my maiden name.

Like I previously mentioned, using his real dad's last name wasn't an option for Bob. That idea was crossed off the list almost as fast as it was added. So that brings us to his mom's maiden name: Jones.

Okay, there is no disrespect to his family at all in this next sentence, just pure honesty: I really did not want to be Bob and Jenni Jones. There, I said it. Both our first names are so utterly common, that {if it were completely up to me... which it wasn't} I really didn't want to have such a common last name. And Jenni Jones? Really?

But, of course, if that's what Bob wanted, I would 100% be supportive of that. After all, his mother is amazing and they are really close, so I can understand him wanting to keep her last name as his own.

Like the great man that he is, Bob listened to my opinion as well and actually felt very similar to me, so we kept our discussions open while keeping "Jones" on the table.

The next logical last name we discussed was my maiden name. I love my maiden name. And with 3 daughters, I must say that I think my dad was rather excited about this option. But there was one major problem: My mom's name is Barbara. Her nick name is Bobbi. I think you see where I'm going with this one. Yep, if we took my maiden name, my mom and husband would have the same exact name! Too funny.

Similar to my opinions of using "Jones" and having such a common name {and again, Jenni Jones... I mean REALLY!?!} Bob felt the same way about having an identical name to his future mother in law. And I completely understood that.

At this point, we felt like we had to go back to the drawing board. And I must say... our families were VERY supportive of our ideas and discussions. There was no pressure to pick a certain name, which we truly appreciated.

We discussed other names in the family, such as Bob's grandmothers maiden name, my mom's maiden name, and various other names were added to our list over the next month.

Then, one summer day while eating dinner at my parents house, it hit us. It was just Bob and I with my mom and dad and they were asking us where we were in our last name search. After telling them everything we had been discussing, my mom and I {basically at the same time} said "why don't we just use your middle name as our last name, Bob!?!"

Umm, hello... it was so simple! Bob's first and middle name have been the same since his first birthday. It was his one constant. Through all his name changes, they have always been the same. It was perfect.

Bob loved the idea. We were both so excited about it. It finally felt... right.

We had a name.

So, for the very last name change of his entire life, Bob's middle name became our last name {with an added "s" at the end for the whole "last name" affect} and now being middle-name-less, Bob then took his mom's maiden name of "Jones" as his middle name. Besides wanting to show the utmost respect to his mother and family by using the name Jones, one of the main reasons Bob chose to do this was because he was named after his grandfather: Robert Jones. Bob was extremely close to his grandfather; he was the dad that Bob never had and he was the kind of man and father that Bob strived to be. {And, I can attest to this: it's the kind of man and father that he is.} =)


Robert Jones Formermiddlenamebutnowourlastnamewithanaddeds

Did you get all that?

Bob's new middle and last names were legally changed in September of 2005 and we were married in November, 2006.

With a new name. With a new family. With a fresh start. And it was beautiful.

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Kristen L. said...

What a unique and special story, Jen!

Danyiel said...

Voted 3 times! I am so happy that I know your last name, because if I didn't...these are just the kind of things that drive. me. insane.

Shannon said...

I love the story behind it!!!

Amanda said...

I only know you in cyber life...but I am crying right now. That is beautful....just beautiful.

Toni said...

Aw, I love that story! And I'm so glad I know your real name, too b/c it would also drive me nuts ;)

Anonymous said...

From this day forward, you will forever be known to me as Jenni Jones. :)

In all seriousness, awesome story. You know how when you're in a new group and have to do icebreakers and one is always 'what is something unique about you?'. I'm a little jealous that you have such a great answer!

Jeannie said...

What a great story. It sucks that Bob had to go thru so much :(

kacy said...

#11. bob told me he really wanted to take my first name as his last name because i'm the sister he really wanted to marry. betcha didn't that.

Grammy Brenda said...

beautifully explained...and I cried...especially reading about the love you shared that Bobby had for his grandfather. My dad and Bobby had a very close & special bond, and he really loved him and Bobby has become the great man that I knew he would be. Thank you for loving him and for my beautiful grandbabies!

Steph said...

Jenni Jones in the house! Love the way you told this story and the meaning behind everything!

And, I too, am glad I know your full name or it'd be going nuts!

Mommie Couture said...

Wait, so what's your new last name?? haha This story is amazing!!!


Tori @ FIToriBLOG.com said...

love the story. thanks for sharing! would love to know the name too! ;)

Becki said...

Such a neat story! Thanks for sharing!

Kristin said...

Glad y'all found a good name! Very special :)

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