Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

First trip with a baby and the story of Otto's name

Last week we took a trip to one of the most special places to us--Jason's grandparents' incredible home on the top of a peak by Olympic National Park. Jason and his siblings grew up going there a lot, and now we go at least twice a year. I've been daydreaming about when we'd be able to bring a little one of our own for a while now!

These grandparents/his mom's side of the family are very special to Jason as well, and I thought this would be a great time to explain how we settled on Otto's first and middle names!

This place is amazing. Cloudy day here but I always try to take a picture of us here--compare this trip to December when I was 5 months pregnant!

It was sunny some of the time, too. It's about a 5-hour drive usually, with a few short stops included, but it took us a little longer this time since I fed Otto at each stop. He did not enjoy the drive and didn't take very long naps during it, so I sat in the back with him for big chunks. And there was some crying. But other than that he was a great traveler and didn't mind sleeping or being in a new place.

We did all the usual stuff this trip, except with a baby! Played Liverpool Rummy ever night, went to the rocky beach down the road, even signed the guest book. ;)

I took this photo while babywearing and trying to get Otto down for a nap. But hey, I've never seen/appreciated the house from this angle before, so win!

I am always so relaxed on trips up there... almost nothing to do all day, and this time we didn't even take care of any meals since my mother-in-law figured we'd be busy with the baby. It was really a great vacation before the busyness of closing on our house this week and starting projects!

As for Otto's name. This visit was to the Monroe/Olson side of the family, his mom's parents. His mom has done a great job of establishing family traditions and connecting everyone, and some of the other relatives have, too.

Jason is named after his maternal grandmother's grandpa or great-grandpa, I can never remember exactly how far back. His name was Jason Monroe, and his son was named Otto Monroe. Jason's full name is Jason Monroe Stanley and he always thought it would be cool to name his own son Otto Monroe Stanley, repeat the pattern. And it's a cool name.

Jason and I have been together since we were teenagers, and have talked about having kids for years and years now, so we've talked less seriously about naming a baby Otto for a long time. When we found out I was having a boy, we made a list of boy names and had several others on there as well. By the time my due date came, we had ruled out one or two of them, but still hadn't decided for sure about Otto. We also were leaning toward another middle name for a while, one of the other names we liked.

As I shared in Otto's birth story, we chose Otto Monroe for certain about 30 minutes before we left the hospital! We decided to keep the other first name option for a future child, maybe, and that it would be cool for Otto to share a middle name with his dad.

We had been talking for so many years about a little baby Otto, none of the other names we thought of seemed personal at all in comparison. It feels so special to choose a name that we like after a side of the family we feel close to!

When we visited this time, Jason's grandma pulled out a family scrapbook from... the early 1900's maybe? In it we found a marriage certificate for Otto Monroe, 1875 I think, and some other original documents from the original Jason and Otto. I wish I'd taken pictures or looked closer, will have to do that next time we're up there!

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