I often get questions about how we came up with our kids’ names. Chris and I always had a clear idea that we wanted our kids’ names to be unique and meaningful. Early on, we knew that there were certain elements we wanted in their names. We sat down and went through options over dinner one day and made the decision. The rest is now part of our family history.

In case you’re new here, my husband, Chris and I have three kids (2 daughters and a son): 

Maizah Rose
Caliana Lily 
Christian Melokhule

When we got married even before we had kids, we always agreed that if we had daughters we wanted their middle names to be flowers. I don’t even truly remember how we got to that agreement outside of the fact that I love flowers. And because our names start with “C” and “M” we knew that we wanted their names to start with either of those letters. 

MAIZAH ROSE
When we came up with Maizah’s name it was when I was pregnant with her. It’s pronounced “May-Zuh.” We simply looked up names on baby name sites and we gravitated towards “M” names. When we saw Maizah we loved it immediately. I wanted to spell it without the “h” at the end and Chris really encouraged us to keep it spelled as is. I’m so glad we did. It feels more complete in my opinion. Not only did we love the sound of her name, but we loved the meaning. It’s a Muslim + African name meaning “the Discerning One.” We hoped that we would have more children after her, so we loved her being discerning as the oldest.

Roses are my favorite flower but I’m allergic to them. So I always knew that I wanted my first daughter’s middle name to be “Rose” so I could actually be close to a rose. 

CALIANA LILY
When I was pregnant with Caliana, we didn’t know whether or not we were having a boy or a girl yet. So, Chris and I went to dinner and discussed names for a girl and a boy. We approached picking names similarly to how we picked Maizah’s name – we simply opened up baby name sites and started picking names we liked. Chris and I are usually on the same page when we see names we like. 

I loved Caliana the instance I heard it. It’s of Arabic and Greek origin and means “graceful” or “most beautiful.” It’s pronounced “Cal-Lee-Ah-Nuh.” Apparently, Caliana was a Moorish princess who someone built a palace for. (Fancy!) I knew we would call her “Cali” for short, so I loved the idea of calling her “Cali Lily” and so that’s how we went with Lily as her middle name. 

CHRISTIAN MELOKHULE
Before we found out that Caliana was a girl, we saw the name Melokhule and absolutely loved it. It’s a South African name that means “stand for what is right.” It’s pronounced “Mel-Low-Cool-Lay.” When we researched it, we saw both spellings of the name as Melokuhle and Melokhule. We liked the latter and that’s what we chose. We almost chose it as his first name, but it was important to me that our son’s name was close to Chris’. Chris was adamant that he didn’t want a Jr. So we opted for Christian instead of Christopher.

So we went with Christian Melokhule. We call him “Melo” for short. 

Our loved our process behind picking the kids names. Chris and I had so much fun during the process. Maizah, Caliana and Christian are great names not because we picked them but because of who the kids are. If nothing else, they have an interesting story to tell if anyone asks them how they got their name.