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04.06.12 / What’s in a Name?

Good Friday, everyone! Sorry for the late post. Mabrey and I had our first girls’ morning out this morning. Mabrey is one week old today and that entailed a well check visit at the pediatrician’s office.

The girl is thriving…already a 1/4″ longer and exceeding her birth weight. And can I talk about her hair for a minute? It’s dark and long and wacky. Left au natural, it stands on end. I haven’t even tried to tame it. I love it.

Anyhow, after a successful trip to the pediatrician, I took the long way home to show Mabrey her namesake.

Many people have asked how we came up with the name Mabrey, saying they’ve never heard it before. Well, that’s probably because we didn’t get it out of a book of baby names or know anyone named Mabrey. The name Mabrey actually comes from a quiet country road that runs alongside a local rural airport. We’ve parked there many times with Layne and Everett watching planes take off and land.

The first time we were there the road name caught my attention. I immediately thought it would be a cute name for a girl. Not that I ever thought I’d have a girl to name!

When we found out we were unexpectedly expecting, Mabrey made it onto our girl name list. After the birth and after learning #3 was a girl {we’re still trying to wrap our heads around the whole daughter thing!}, we ended up choosing Mabrey for:

1) its uniqueness – our last name is so common {Miller} that we prefer less common first names for our kiddos to preserve some sense of originality

2) the emotions that we have tied up in it – we always think of watching planes with our boys

3) its alliteration with our last name – that’s mostly me. I like names to flow well

I think it will be fun one summer day when Mabrey is older to grab some ice cream as a family, park out on Mabrey Road and tell her how her name came to be.

Mabrey’s middle name is Larew. It was my great grandmother’s maiden name. I’ve always liked it.

That, my friends, is the story behind our baby girl’s name. As with everything else we’re passionate about, when it comes to naming babies we take inspiration from anywhere and anything…including road signs.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

74 Comments

06.April.2012

What a mellifluous name! I love it.

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06.April.2012

What a beautiful and meaningful story. Love the name!

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06.April.2012

I love the name. And the story behind it is wonderful. And wow she has great hair!

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06.April.2012

what a sweet picture, she’s a little doll!

love the name choice (and the story behind it.) if I could give any naming advice to other mothers-to-be, it would be not to choose a common name with an uncommon spelling. My nickname in school was Carol with an E ;)

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06.April.2012

I love it! I too just had a baby girl (5 months almost) after having two boys. I can’t explain what having a little girl does to your heart but I feel all warm inside everytime I see her. I’m so excited for you and your family and wish you all the best!

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How exactly is it pronounced? May-bree? Adorable!

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replied on April 6th, 2012

Robin – It’s pronounced MAY-bree luh-ROO. I keep telling people Mabrey is like ‘maybe’ but with an ‘R’ between the ‘b’ & ‘e’.

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06.April.2012

I love her name! It is so unique, yet it doesn’t seem weird or original when you hear it. I also love that hair!!

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06.April.2012

It’s my last name, but with an extra E! :D

Be warned – I’ve gone through my entire life without anyone ever able to spell it or pronounce it properly. My last name is pronounced “May-bree” but I’ve heard every variation imaginable. The most common I get is “Mayberry” like in Andy Griffith. Fortunately for Mabrey, no one in her generation should remember that :)

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06.April.2012

oh, there is so much packed into her wonderful name.
love her hair ~ there’s plenty of time for “taming” things later.

and, to “carole with an e”, i’m “catie with a c” ; )

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06.April.2012

I adore the name! And Larue (spelled differently but pronounced the same) is my great aunt’s first name. So pretty! Congrats!

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06.April.2012

So cute, I love that Mabrey has meaning for all of you, like she was always apart of things. We are having trouble with a boys name. Are you willing to spill your unused name? We have 6 weeks to go, and he’s already 6lb, 3oz, so the obvious name is Goliath, but…

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replied on April 6th, 2012

Amy – Our top pick for a boy’s name was Penn. Again, another ‘made up’ name that paid respect to HH’s home state of Pennsylvania. We were a little disappointed we didn’t get to use it. A few other boy names on our list were Leo, Ike & Anders. Good luck with your new – possibly BIG! – baby boy.

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06.April.2012

I just love it- unique, meaningful, and beautiful!

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06.April.2012

I think it’s a lovely name even without explanation but the story behind it so sweet! Not overly sentimental (like a honeymoon location) but not totally random either (as seen on TV). Our friends had that name on their list for their second child, who ended up being a Matteo instead. I think they were going to spell is Maebrey as a combination of Mae and Aubrey. I’ve loved the names Mae (it’s my daughter’s middle name—after her great-grandma) and Maeby, so I’m a fan of Mabrey, is what I’m trying to say. Good choice.

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06.April.2012

I forgot to say: Her hair is AHHMAZING! Precious girl.

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I think it’s a beautiful name for a beautiful girl! And I love the special meaning it holds. Congrats to your family!

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06.April.2012

Mabrey is RIDICULOUSLY cute…like so cute I can’t take it anymore adorable…I don’t know how you can get anything done!

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06.April.2012

What a precious story behind Mabrey’s name! I absolutely love it and who knows, it might just pop up in a “baby name” book someday. :)

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06.April.2012

Awww. My daughter, Ellery, was named after a street, too. And we have a road sign photo just like that hanging in her room. Mabrey is adorable, and I predict you are going to LOVE having a daughter!

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06.April.2012

My great great Grandmother is named Mabrey. I love it. I believe her name was German or Polish. I really don’t know it’s orgin though I thought you might like to know it was once a common name. I have 3 daughters, all named after older relatives. My youngest is Ada. Not AVA but Ada. My great grandma’s name is Ada. It is her mother that was Mabrey. That name was on our list too! Beautiful name and maybe as unique and carefree as her hair. Wonderful.

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06.April.2012

I’ve been busier than usual this week with a new shift (and 20 hours of overtime) so i havent been able to keep up lately… but I have been thinking of you… “Gee she ought to have had that darn thing by now!” :o

LOVE LOVE LOVE the name. I met one girl named Mabrey and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, when i do have children, I’ve already decided it doesnt flow well with Nolazco… although not much does ;)

enjoy her <3

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06.April.2012

That name is precious and beautiful and will make some really great airplane-watching memories :) Glad you are soaking up every minute

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06.April.2012

I adore the name and sweet, little Mabrey is so darn cute. I have two little boys myself so you must be relishing the chance to buy girly things. I never thought I’d even care about having a girl, but 7 years spent playing army and trains has me longing for a tea party! Mabrey’s brothers must love her so much : ) Please post a picture soon of the three of them!

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replied on April 6th, 2012

Michele – Would you believe I’ve yet to buy one single girlie thing?! Luckily, we have friends and neighbors who have given us infant girl hand-me-downs over the past few days. I’m sure I’ll cave soon though…

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06.April.2012

such a beautiful name for your girl. I have a similar story of a girls name I like, (I’m not married nor do I have kids, yet) I was driving from Chicago to Panama City, FL with girlfriends for Spring break back in 2002. Late in evening (or early morning…) we were driving through rural Alabama and I saw a sign for a town called “Jemison” (in my head it would be pronounced “Gem-mah-sen”) and immediately thought how cute that would be for a girls name. I hope I have a girl one day to throw that name in the picking mix!!

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06.April.2012

What a fun story for your little girl later on in life! I’m having a boy this summer (#3) and have zero names thus far…I’ll start looking at street names and maybe something will inspire us :)

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06.April.2012

What a great story, so glad Mabrey’s doing well!

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06.April.2012

I actually grew up in Mabry Road. Spelled differently and located outside Atlanta haha. Your little Mabrey is adorable!

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06.April.2012

Gorgeous name, and what a wonderful meaning behind it!

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06.April.2012

Well I just adore the name! So sweet! And even sweeter are her pics. She is such a little cutie!

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06.April.2012

I started following your blog for the decor (you have talent and quite the eye, Dana) and keep reading for the design and the family and the writing and the genuine-ness. It’s like being a peeping Thomasina :)–without any of the ickiness, because you choose to let us in. What a beautiful little girl! Looking forward to seeing more of her, your boys, HH, you, and the Underdog as its transformation continues. As always, thanks for sharing.

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06.April.2012

love names that have personal meaning. All our kids names derived from something very special to us. And Beckett is a street as well. Beckett Ridge Blvd, is the main street leading to our first house (in Becket Ridge subdivision) where we brought Beckett home from the hospital. Of course we were to close in 2 short months on our new house, so it wasn’t so weird after we moved :) Love the name and Congrats again!

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06.April.2012

Isn’t it fun having a girl??? It’s like you wouldn’t know what you were missing if you didn’t have a girl child, but getting to have that relationship is just so special. I love my daughter so much (and my son, too, of course). Each bring parts of my halves to a whole.

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06.April.2012

I love it Dana! She is beautiful! And I love the name! You are so unique! And the story is even better! Take care and thanks for all the great posts and pics!

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07.April.2012

I love her name and the story behind it! I, also, love that you guys go to watch airplanes with your boys – we go to watch trains with ours! ;) I have to add that I think we have similar tastes :) I have a Leo, an Everett (you are the only other person with one of those that I know!) and just added our little Audrey in January. Enjoy her & them all together :)

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07.April.2012

So precious ! The baby, her name, the story behind her name … and her hair !! You might just want to learn how to make french braids very soon !! Take care !

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07.April.2012

Your little girl looks so much like my little girl did. That little girl is now 13 but at birth she had the exact same hair as Mabrey. By age 3 her hair was so long and so think that I would clip it up with one of those jaw clips with the teeth- you know grab the hair into a ponytail, twist the hair, pulling it up toward the sky as you go and grab the completed twisty bun-y mass with the hair clamp….an adult sized hair clamp. It was sooo cute and got lots of attention because nobody has hair that thick at age 3. Thick and ringlet curls. She literally (I am not even exaggerating at all) cried every single day for 8 years when I had to brush those curls. So fun to have that gores hair to play with and after 2 boys I am sure you will enjoy every moment.

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07.April.2012

What a lovely story! And I’m laughing because isn’t there a Miller Road nearby??

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awwwwww how sweet. She is gorgeous!!! Congrats on your new arrival. I need to catch up on your blog. ;)

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07.April.2012

Love it! My sister just named her daughter Sutton after the street we grew up on:)

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07.April.2012

beautiful, dana. simply beautiful.

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07.April.2012

She is so cute!! I have a huge thing for babies with hair. My babies had tons of hair, especially my son who was born with a full gorgeous head of hair. Mabrey is so, so sweet. Congratulations!

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I love the name, and congrats!!!

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07.April.2012

The more I see your pictures of the baby, the more I think that Mabrey looks a lot like Everett. Do you agree ? Take care !

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replied on April 9th, 2012

Ariane – Yes! Mabrey looks a lot like Everett did as a newborn. It’ll be fun to see how she changes and if she continues to take after Everett.

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07.April.2012

It’s beautiful! Congrats on the baby girl. You are a very lucky mama!

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07.April.2012

Congratulations! Beautiful name for a beautiful baby girl:)

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08.April.2012

Hi Carol with an “e”, I’m Ann with an “e”!
Gorgeous name, story and hair! My youngest, Emma (I’m not very adventurous when it comes to names) has a double cowlick, I’m having great fun trying to decide which way to part it – either way and it hits the cowlick and wants to go the other way. She’s going to have fun with that as she gets older.
Hope you’re enjoying these lovely early days. Thank you for sharing them with us.
Anne x

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09.April.2012

Congratulations! So is so beautiful and delicious!

BTW-what kind of camera do you use? You take amazing pictures!

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replied on April 9th, 2012

Mandi – If you like the pics from this post, they were taken with my iPhone using the Instagram app. It’s a great FREE app!

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09.April.2012

She is soooo pretty! And the hair! LOVE IT!

It is funny but with every little one I’ve thought, omg, how am I going to fit this new person in my life/house/schedule?? And each time they just manage to fit perfectly, like it was meant to be. I could totally feel that in the tone of your XX! post, even before I reached the end. Doesn’t it feel like she’s been a part of your family forever? I can already envision her in the Underdog, chasing her big brothers around. :)

Congratulations again, and thank you for sharing! She is beautiful!

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09.April.2012

I love the double M! I myself have a double MM name and like the way it flows. My children will have the opposite last name problem. My last name is VERY uncommon so I’ve tried to think of names that more common, but also original. My daughters name will be Maggie (after my great grandmother) and my sons name will be Lawrence (my MIL’s maiden name!). Common, but original for us!

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09.April.2012

That is such a wonderful story, and I LOVE the name. She is a beautiful baby, and I love the hair. My second had hair like that when he was a baby, and I loved how it seemed to grow straight up! Seeing that picture made me miss my babies! :)

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09.April.2012

beautiful baby with a beautiful name. congrats!

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09.April.2012

I told my husband about Mabrey’s name story since I thought it was absolutely adorable (we’re having our 4th boy soon so we won’t be able to “steal” the name!). He asked me how Larew was spelled because he expected it to be “LaRue” which means “the road” or “the street” in French: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaRue. Not sure if you were aware of that connection but I thought it was pretty awesome! Congrats on your beautiful baby girl!

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replied on April 10th, 2012

Kerri – Yes, I did know LaRue meant ‘road’ in French! Was wondering if anyone would pick up on that. Larew is after my great grandmother but it’s pretty cool that it goes along with how we came up with her first name as well!

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09.April.2012

This is a great name! My daughter is four-years-old and her name is Mabry. We named her after my college roommate’s last name. I too wanted something unique and different. Your little girl is only the third person I have ever seen with Mabry/Mabrey as her name. I love all of her hair. She is precious. Congratulations on your new daughter.

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Although it’s spelled differently, I thought Mabrey may like to know about another namesake, tennis great Clarence Mabry:

(from the US Professional Tennis Association Hall of Fame webpage:)

Clarence Mabry, inducted in 2006

Clarence Mabry is both a respected player and tennis-teaching professional. As a player, he was nationally ranked and a state champion, winning the Southwest Conference singles and doubles title while at the University of Texas at Austin in 1946. In 1955 he established the Trinity University’s men’s tennis team and went on to develop a nationally recognized program. He led them to the NCAA championship in 1972, and for 18 of his 19 years as coach, his team ranked in the top four NCAA teams, giving him an impressive win-loss record of 319-36.

As coach of the San Antonio Racquets, he led the team to its first professional national tennis championship in 1986. He is also co-owner of the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch, which opened in 1968.

Mabry’s other honors include induction into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Men’s Tennis Collegiate Hall of Fame, Texas Tennis Hall of Fame, San Antonio Hall of Fame, Trinity University Hall of Fame and the University of Texas Hall of Honor.

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replied on April 10th, 2012

architect’s daughter – I’ll pass it on to Mabrey ;) I actually played tennis all through high school.

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09.April.2012

Love her name!! She is adorable! My oldest son’s name is Layne..he is 16 and I still love it!

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09.April.2012

She is adorable! Are you enjoying using instagram? I am thinking of getting an iphone.

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replied on April 10th, 2012

Leese – Just started using Instagram. Love it so far!

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10.April.2012

Such a sweet name and a beautiful baby girl! Congratulations!

I, too, used a road name as a name inspiration. My son’s middle name is “Hayes” which is the name of the street we lived on when he was born. It always makes me think of bringing him home for the first time. Enjoy this precious time!

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10.April.2012

I love the origin of your daughter’s name! If we’d had a daughter (we ended up with 2 sons) I was going to lobby for Mairie. I noticed it when we went to Paris — it means ‘city hall’ in French and since hubs is a lifelong public servant (having worked in 4 city halls/govt centers so far in his career), it seemed apropos. Not sure if he’d have gone for it, but I really liked the idea. :)

Congratulations on your lovely daughter!

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11.April.2012

Know a little one named Mabre, pronounced the same. She was named after her Grandma’s, Martha and Brenda. I loved it and your lil sweeties’ name too. She is a doll! Start hunting for the little Pebbles Flintstone barrette we had for our 1 babe with hair. She got lots of comments on it. was sooo cute, and the best way to keep it up till it grew enough. Lil girly is 2, with hair down to her mid back now. Her cousin is 7mos. older and still just a bit of fuzz.

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Congratulations – I’m so happy you had a girl. When we use to sit around the ol’ Theta house, I remember you talking about wanting to have lots of kids…and I thought you were nuts (the whole kids thing didn’t interest me until around age 29) – but I also thought about how beautiful (and brilliant) your future babies would be. Again, congrats – she is a very lucky little lady to have you to look up to.

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12.April.2012

Hello! I love the name because my maiden name is Cabrey. I’ve often thought about naming one of my future daughters Cabrey and as you can see my name was an alliteration and I loved it! Always a good call :)

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16.April.2012

So sweet! Growing up I knew a family with the last name Mabrey. And the hair is killing me – my oldest had the same. I used to say it was like wheat swaying in the breeze. It just got taller and taller and never fell over until she was well into 8 or 9 months. I loved it and let it stay that way!

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17.April.2012

I Love, LOVE her name! Beautiful choice and beautiful story behind it :).

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31.October.2012

My daughter’s name is Mabry and I named her after a road too!!! that is so funny! people ask me all the time, where did you come up with that? now i know i’m not alone!

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replied on October 31st, 2012

Small world! Love her name ;)

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[…] – Blogger Dana of Housetweaking was already mom to boys Layne and Everett when she found out she was having #3 – their first […]

30.September.2014

I’m not pregnant nor do I have any kids yet, but I’ve loved the name Mabrey for a few years now. I honestly have no clue where I’ve ever heard it- but this story is lovely.

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