what you may not know

At the risk of repeating myself for the eight-thousandth time, I must tell you that I love you. We, and our ouchies, are doing just fine here at TexasNorth. At the suggestion of many of you, I have turned in a referral with Early On. They, amazingly, do not close down for the summer. And, I really like what they say: Don’t worry, but don’t wait. So, we will have an evaluation because she is a late walker and I completely understand that. I know that my doctor is a good man who sees my child through the eyes of science… and only at 6-month intervals. It’s legitimate that he would want to look at things closer to cover the bases, and I appreciate that. It is not his opinion that chafes so much as the whispers of a few around me… but such is life. I live and breathe with my child 24 hours a day, and I know that she is fine (yes, whatever the test results). I know that she is laid-back and she is fine. Your words of encouragement and humor and empathy only solidify my confidence and I so so very much love you for that.

We took a break this weekend and headed East to cheer on friends who were showing their dog in a couple of events at Kensington Park on Saturday and Sunday. It was a good excuse to break out the tent for the first time in 2008, get dirty, and do a whole lot of sitting. There are some pretty hilarious photos here on flickr, but my favorite is to your right… on the way home. Everyone ditched Mamma and headed off into dreamland. How ridiculous is this photo?! It was a good weekend. Good company, good laughs, good show, and very good timing. Our front yard looks like a yard sale as we dry out a few things, but we blend right in to our neighborhood now.

And, now, to today. I’ve been needing to tell you something: I am absolutely not pregnant. Trust me, I’ll let’cha know. What I am is a girl who goes by a nickname of her middle name. I was born Mary Kathryn Sebeck, and have always been Kate or Katie. There was one long semester in 2nd grade when I was too embarrassed to tell Mr. Kirby to call me Katie and so I was ‘Mary’ until Christmas, but for the most part… I am Katie. Mary Kate, if I’m in big trouble.

I was named after my father’s favorite Aunt… Mary Kathryn Murray… who was always Aunt Kate. I never knew her, but the stories abound… and there’s always a smile on the face of the StoryTeller. One year not too long ago, my Aunt Patty (the Aunt who is Keeper of Things, as opposed to Aunt Regina who is Knower of Family Things or Aunt Mary and Aunt Ron who are Aunts who both Dated Different Men Named Melvin) gave me a small box with a small diamond ring snug inside. “It was Aunt Kate’s,” she said, “And since you were named for her, you should have it. I’ve been keeping it just for you.” A treasure! A ring for a miner’s daughter… an engagement ring, though she remained single her entire life. A real family mystery…

I love it. And I know I would have liked Aunt Kate very much.

I wonder what the story is behind your name?


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

35 responses to “what you may not know

  • CortneyTree

    That ring reminds me very much of my engagement ring, which contains the diamond from (and the is designed based on) Matt’s grandmother’s wedding ring. Lots of people have a bigger diamond than me, but I’ve got myself an heirloom, and that is just so much better. All that was to say that I LOVE antique/heirloom rings, and I really dig your Aunt Kate’s ring. But I digress…

    My name is Cortney. Not CoUrtney. My parents were fairly late on deciding what to name me and my brother both, and were kind of exhausted by the process each time (I’m sure that’s why my brother’s a Junior). They were watching TV late one night when pregnant with me, and Natalie Wood was on Johnny Carson. She was talking about her daughter, Courtney, and they both kind of sat up and said, hey, what about Courtney? My mom’s maiden name was Corts (Connie Corts, is that not adorable?)and when they realized they could make it CORTney, they fell in love with the idea, and thus, here I am. Naturally, there are challenges to having a name that is not spelled the “traditional” way, but I’m mostly okay with never having had a unicorn pencil with my name on it.

  • KatieKate

    “I’m mostly okay with never having had a unicorn pencil with my name on it.”

    A big fat guffaw came outta me when I read that, Cort. Oh my Lanta, that’s funny. Bless you.

  • Bec

    A Southern (yes, it’s with a capital “S”) girl always has a good name story… My mother’s first name is Rebecca, although she’s never gone by it. However, her mother’s grandmother was Rebecca. When my mom learned this as a young girl, she asked my grandmother if she was named after her, and Nanny said “Of course not, I couldn’t stand that woman.” Heartwarming. And my middle name is something that would only happen to someone from the sticks – Frye. It is (please get out a pen for flow-chart purposes…) my maternal grandmother’s maiden name, but ALSO my dad’s stepdad’s (who has always been his dad and my grandfather) middle name. Try that on for size. Only in a small town. I also see two of my cousins at both of my family reunions, but that’s a whole different story… 🙂

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    My dad picked Jessica after the Allman Brothers song. Seriously. My sister is Melissa for the same reason. I wont tell you how jealous I used to get because she had words to her song and I didn’t. Plus I did not think she was so sweet then. Good thing my brother was a boy he just got named after my dad! haha

    Jayne was my mom’s Middle name. She gave it to me. I gave it to my Rylie. Myron loved it. He thought I sounded like a super hero. “Jessica Jayne to the rescue” I will not tell you he did pitch a little hissy when I dropped it after we got married.

    Cort: I do want to tell you when in the process of naming a child I do think about the unicorn pencils…. Someone (likely you) in our childhood mentioned it once and it alwyas stuck with me. To bad Rylie wont get any, the second wont either most likely. Poo. guess I should be fair huh!

  • Becky Swann

    I am named for my Mom’s sister Becky, Although she hated that it later turned into big becky and little becky.
    That ring is beautiful

  • Anonymous

    My grandmother name all of her five children with the middle initial beginning with M. My Mom followed the tradition with my brother and me. Freaky as it sounds, my Dad’s middle initial also began with M. My Dad wanted me to have the same initials as him so I am Cathy Marie and my initials were CMM. Luck would have it, my husband’s last name begins with M so I stayed CMM!! My Dad would have been thrilled to say the least.

    My Dad wanted me to be Caroline but my Mom didn’t like it so it went to Cathy, just Cathy no Catherine or Cathryn or whatever. I was named after my Aunt Dot with my middle name, Marie.

    Glad to hear you are feeling better Katie, things will be ok with Rylie. She is such an adorable child but then I don’t need to tell you that!


  • The Bruces (but most likely the Mrs.)

    Kate, I’ll be there with dinner at 5! I’ll even give you a headstart on your evaluation with Ry – this is what I do you know 🙂

  • sunday

    you unicorn pencil girls can’t even touch my name. at least you had a pecil with some version of your name. you just let me know if any of them say Domenica Mascaro! Maybe I will just have to go to Italy and find one. They sure as heck don’t make “sunday” pencils either. The sad thing is I used to get excited when the paper would come because my name would at least be somewhere! My mom had heard the name Sunday and liked it, so by the time she got to me, her 3rd she had up enough nerve to name me Sunday. They wanted to have the Italian flare so my official name is Domenica which is Sunday in Italian. Sadly my name was spelled wrong on birth certificate b/c they could not spell Domenica. So pretty much I have been having to explain and spell my name my whole life, and you of course know all of this!
    I love Rylie, her name and all.

  • the bantam menace

    I LOVE names! shocking, I know.

    my own names come from my grandmothers… Marie as a form of Mary, my grandma deyoung’s middle name. And Alice, my grandma sheldon’s first name.

    while I discovered in later years that my grandma sheldon was not a nice person (I once told a nice old lady visiting a gift shop I worked at that I was alice sheldon’s granddaughter, when I discovered they used to work together at the hospital, and she looked at me very strangely and left as quick as her legs could carry her) when I got married I decided to keep my given middle name because it was what my parents wanted to name me. i respect that. (plus, it then made my initials MAD, which is the most awesome thing ever)

    i used to hate, hate, hate, loathe entirely my name (as there were no nicknames for such a short boring name) but I’ve come to love it (and the nicknames that did eventually come into existence). and while it seems it’S EVERYBODY’S middle name, i’m usually the only one around with it as a first name. (except for an occasional white-hair in the grocery store)

    and i had a friend in high school who was mary alice, so we were of course buddies.

    that is my holy awful long comment for the week 🙂

  • Grace

    I was named after my grandma Grace, because I was born on her birthday. I also got her engagement ring when I turned 16, but she had it reset with a ruby since that was our birth stone. I love those old rings! My middle name is Katherine, which is my other grandmother’s middle name.

    Little side-note, my grandma Grace really wanted my parents to name me after her mom, Mena (Mean-ah). Pretty right… except my last name was Gravina. Mena Gravina. Thank goodness they weren’t that cruel!

  • Miss Laura

    Ok, here goes…I’ll start with the middle name, because that’s the nice romantical part…Rose was my Gma’s maiden name, along with Aunt Meg’s middle name, and is now also one of the middle names of my eight-year-old cousin. Needless to say, it’s become a bit of a family tradition and I will be giving a girl that middle name as well. The additional meaning is that my family is English (as in 100%, give or take some Scottish), and the rose has great significance in British culture. (As a side note, I REALLY want a tasteful rose tattoo in honor of all this, but Josh insists that “tasteful” and “rose tattoo” are antonyms. Please help me prove him wrong.)

    As for my first name…first off, I didn’t get it until I was two days old and the nurses kept harassing my parents, who couldn’t decide between Emily and Laura. Laura came from Laura Horton, a character on Days of Our Lives, which my mom watched a lot while pregnant. And Marie, I too was mad that I didn’t have any nickname options…none other than Laurie, which happened to be the name of a girl in my class who I wasn’t too fond of.

    Kate, the ring is beautiful…will you wear it often?

  • Miss Laura

    PS – Kate, you’re in good hands with Early On. Good for you. And again I say…Rylie’s perfect.

  • sunday

    love the new market bags! did my friend get in touch with you about the banner?

  • diane

    I am named Diane because it starts with a D. Plain and Simple.

    Parents: Dwayne and Darlene
    Children: Dawn, Dean, Diane and Debra.

    Middle Name: Joyce…which I share with my mom.

  • Julie

    My parents went with the “ie” theme for my three sisters and me. Amie, Julie, Lorie, and Leslie. My sister, Lorie, thinks we have really redneck names and I guess I agree to some degree, but at least we aren’t Mistie or Tammie. My middle name is Ann after an aunt on each side. I think I would like for folks to call me Julie Ann instead of just plain Julie though……so feel free to do that.

  • EllieRichellie

    I love the Aunts. . .I can just picture them in a children’s book. Patty, Regina, Mary, and Ron. Wonderful!
    Name stories. Hhhmmmm. EllieRichellie is pen name for Elorie Richelle. My parents had it down to Elorie and Antonia in the delivery room. Whew. That was a close call.
    In college I responded to anything close: Hillary, Valerie, Mallory
    Luckily, anyone I love just calls me El or Ellie.

  • thekooiet

    The computer is sucking too much of my time the last two days (It’s not the computer’s fault…I’m not blaming you, dear sweet computer.)

    I’d rather be camping.

    When you get a GSD from us to heard your longhorns, his kennel name will be “Winstrom’s Heat Seeker v. TexasNorth.” S-weet name. And that’s a good story.

    I’m seriously named after Jaime Sommers in the Bionic Woman. (I have no idea why it’s spelled Jami instead of Jaime And my brother is named after Luke Skywalker. My parents are silly….but pretty darn cool.

  • Dan, Annie, Will and Mocha

    Good one, Real good one.
    I am named after my grandmother, a really fiesty lady who I loved very very much.
    Love that ring. I don’t keep much, I’m a purger you could say, but I love me some personal antique jewerly. This reminds me to keep the things that are precious becuase you never know who they will mean so much to later.
    Oooo….find that story out and tell us later, that sounds like a good one about a lost love.

  • Chelsey Meek

    Chelsey after Joni Mitchell’s “Chelsea morning”…the -ey because it was different. I didn’t find any unicorn pencils either. But, Sunday, I don’t know what you’re worried about, you got your name on UNDERWEAR!


  • Danny and Sarah

    Daniel Charles – Daniel after my dad and Charles after my great Grandfather who I never met. Most of my friends have transformed my last name into “Seabass” or just “bass”. My Grandpap was called “Seabiscuit” or just “biscuit”.

  • KatieKate

    What’s awesome is that I never put two and two together about your middle name, lil’ bro. I am a genius. But there are still lots of folks who call me Sebeck from college, which I love. And there are lots of those that call me Seabass. I’m happy to have skipped the ‘biscuit’ phase.

  • Lisa and Gary...

    This is a completely unrelated comment on a completely unrelated subject: Mary Kathryn Katie Kate Sebeck Mulder, please send me your email address so I can, in turn, send you the Sangria recipe.

    As for my name, I think my mom was just a follower. It was the most popular girl’s name in 1964. I’m story-less. And, by gosh, I’m old. 🙂


  • Anonymous

    Well, here’s a little secret. Aunt Regina is really “Janet” Regina. I am the six child of the family and definitely a surprise as there is a gap of ten years between me and my previous sister.

    The rumor has it…that my father like the named Janet however my older sisters hated it. So they were allowed to give me my middle name. Regina was the name of a friend of my oldest sister. Thus I became Janet Regina “God’s Gracious Queen”.

    I was never called Janet at home. On my first day of school, the teacher called roll and used the name “Janet”. Needless to say I did not respond. When the teacher asked if anyone was missed, I raised my hand. Supposely I told her that my name was Regina and Janet must be a cousin. She asked questions and determined that Janet and Regina were indeed the same person. I was never called Janet at school again as the teacher changed my name to Regina Janet on all the school records. Something that haunts me to this day.

    Oh yes – my family called me Jeannie and guess what I married a Genie.

    Kate – I have a charm bracelet of Aunt Kate’s that you can also have. The charms are engraved with her nieces and nephews dates of births.

  • KatieKate

    OH MY LANTA. Janet Regina… I had no idea. Aunt Janet. Aunt Jeannie married my Uncle Gene. I think my whole family world is turning upside down right now…

  • KatieKate

    Queenie Jeannie.

    Dad, did you know all this???

  • Anonymous

    Dad said Yes I did ,where you been ?

  • sunday

    so when my name is on underwear, you mean like when i would go to camp and my mom would iron on my name in my underwear?

  • KatieKate

    I apparently live under a rock.

  • Chelsey Meek

    Oh Sunday…you’ve never owned a package of “day of the week undies”? my friends and I sure did…we laugh because we never wore the day on the CORRECT day. Rebels.

  • Miss Christine

    Katie Kate! Did you know… my middle name is ‘Lee’…. and both my mom and my dad’s middle names are also ‘Lee’, spelled the same way! Crazy, right? 🙂

  • sunday

    chelsey!!!!!!! you are so funny. i have been sitting here thinking, “fruit of the loom”….no…..”hanes her way”””…..no
    now i get it!

  • Jimmy

    To get all these folks in one room, I think I would die from the fun of it.
    What a great group you bring together Kate. Me, I was given the middle name (edward)after grandfathers on both sides of the family. But James is way too formal so it has always been Jim except an Aunt we called me Jimmy y because I asked so many questions.

  • anna

    I know I’m late to this party, but…

    First, Katie, I’m totally with you on being the last to know on family names. My Granny (great-grandmother on my father’s side), whom I’m named after (Beatrice/Bea), and loved my entire life — her first name is actually Lola!!!!!!! How could I not know this for almost 30 years!?! It turns out Christian knew from doing some geneaology project in school, and just never bothered to share! As soon as I heard about it, I called dibs. I don’t know when I’ll have any children, but my hypothetical daughter is definitely going to be named Lola.

    Also, as to my first name, I’m named after my great-grandmother on my mother’s side, but her name was actually — get this — EDNA! Mom could never pronouce it correctly, though, and called her Anna. Whew! Talk about dodging a bullet! (With my apologies to any Edna who might be reading this. Of course there aren’t any, because all Edna’s are 102.)

  • ecky

    well…i am named after my father’s father Edward. But my parents came up with Erica after a nurse they met at the hospital. My dad really wanted me to be Samantha but my mom vetoed that one. I always thought that would be a much cooler name.

    as for not knowing folks names until later in life…my grandpa was Grandpa Jack my whole life. then i was doing a report in high school on ellis island and had to interview my grandpa to find out about his journey through there. he told me that his name wasnt jack at all. it was ZESHIA, which is the Russian form of Zeus!!! when he came to ellis island and they asked his name he repeated Zeshia a few times. they couldnt understand his thick accent so apparently they renamed him Jack. Which I just found out recently wasn’t Jack at all but Jacob. Crazy huh?! Grandpa Zeus would have been cool!!!

  • Anonymous

    I am Joy. Not Joyce. Joy. As in “bundle of ____”. I was due near Christmas and came 2 weeks early (in 1964). They were happy to have me so Joy was the choice. That and the fact that my mother taught 1st grade and Joy was easy for a small child to write. I endured a lot of “were your parents hippies?” and “Lemon Fresh Joy!” in elementary school. Somewhere along the line family members thought it would be a good idea to flood me with ugly Christmas decorations with my name on them. Not just ugly but UGLY.

    My two daughters are Julia Kathleen and Anne Mallery. Julia for 2 reasons – my favorite Beatles song Julia (it worked really well as a lullaby for her) and my grandmother’s middle name was Julius after her father. Kathleen is my best friend who has 2 sons and no girls with whom to share her name. Anne is for my husband’s aunt who helped raise him. It was her middle name w/out the “e”. Sadly, here in rural Florida people think Anne is not “ann” but “annie”. Mallery is his mother’s maiden name. I can’t tell you how many people point out we’ve spelled it wrong, that Mallery has an O instead of an E.
    Or the helpful people that point out it would sound better as Mallery Anne. I like the flow of Anne Mallery.

    I also like that my girls have good solid names, names that will be good when they’re grown or old.
    And names which are now not common.

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