It’s time for Black Friday in July with Amazon Prime!

Amazon is having a huge sale on July 15, 2015… their very own summer Black Friday event. The ‘catch’ to participate is that you have to be a member of Amazon Prime. Are you? If not, check out this free 30 day trial. You can still get your deals and see how well you like Amazon Prime. Maybe you’ll decide to continue on afterwards.

We’ve had it for years and years and it’s gotten us out of some last minute situations where we had to order something we needed RIGHT AWAY. The free two-day shipping is absolutely worth the membership fee.

Check it out, and let me know what you thought. Also, let me know what deals you snagged!



*This post does include affiliate links.

Naming your baby

Your name is a key to who you and your baby are. It is the link that connects the inner self with the outer world, the first contact point that ties you to family and the community in which you live. Your name contributes to your character and can affect the outcome of events for decades to come. To most native cultures, a name reflects the essence of the individual and is more than just an identification tag.

Naming a child is taking unprecedented importance in today’s American culture, and there are many name books available to help in this process. Unlike other name books, Inspired Baby Names from Around the World offers over 6,000 multicultural names carefully matched with a quote that connects the name’s meaning and original culture with an affirmation intended to enrich and bless your baby’s name, as well as your own. The affirmations are drawn from thousands of inspirational writings and sacred texts from around the world, as well as thousands of inspirational authors and historical figures. Along with the meaning, etymology, pronunciation, and usage of a name, the quotations are offered as tools for better understanding a name. Other features include cultural naming customs, current baby naming trends, and guided meditations to help a reader intuitively approach finding the perfect baby name, or to discover a deeper awareness of one’s own name.  If the book is being used to find a new name, steps on how to legally change one’s name are included. Additionally, helpful glossaries of selected name meanings and names by country usage are included, as well as international grandparent names, the most popular names by decade, favorite pet names, and brief biographical notes of authors from whom the quotes are derived.

Parents facing the often-daunting process of finding the perfect name can consider many factors. Many children are named to honor a relative, religious affiliation, or ethnicity. Some name their children after historical or popular figures, while others simply want a name that sounds right. Americans are using diversity, originality, and tradition in choosing names for their children. Many are making up their own names, and why not? At some point in history, all names were made up!

Parents choose names in all sorts of ways, and inspiration can come from many sources, and not just from family or religious traditions. Movie stars, song lyrics, literary characters, and so on may all inspire us with great names. Current naming trends are influencing modern prospective parents, particularly names drawn from colors, locations, trees, and flowers. Popular color names include Bleu, Hazel, Hunter, Kelly, Jade, Olive, Ruby, Violet, and Scarlett. Place names, such as Tennessee and Ireland, and cross-gender surnames are also popular. Other place names include Bristol, Brooklyn, Cairo, Dallas, and Paris, and popular country names include Africa, Asia, China, Kenya, and India. Tree names sound strong and stable and include Acacia, Ash, Forest, Willow, Juniper, Olive, and Maple. Poppy and Clover, popular wildflower names, are also on the rise. Film characters, such as Katiniss from the Hunger Games and Django from Django Unchained, are also on the rise.

These trends vary significantly from our ancestors. Puritans often named their children after Biblical virtues, phrases, or verses, which resulted in such names as Silence, Abstinence, and Thankful.. One of the most unusual Puritan names was Through-Much-Trial-and-Tribulation-We-Enter-the-Kingdom-of-Heaven — or “Tribby” for short. In Colonial times, parents might open the Bible and randomly point to a word, and so Notwithstanding Griswold and Maybe Barnes were created.

Most of the world’s native cultures believe that your name reflects your true essence. A name reveals, clarifies, or indicates one’s life purpose and goals. In some African tribes, the baby “chooses” his or her own name. While a list of names are recited, adults watch for the infant to respond to one with a smile, cry, sneeze, or other body movement. In other cultures, the baby is offered sticks with inscribed names; whichever stick the child grasps is the name she or he “chooses.” Some Africans regard a chronically crying child as communicating displeasure with his or her name and a new name is therefore chosen.

Middle names are also important, as they often serve as an adjective for first names. For example, Nelson Mandela’s middle name was Rolihlahla, which means “pulling the branch of a tree” or “troublemaker.” Nelson means “cloud,” but it also means “champion.” This name fits Nelson Mandela extraordinarily well: as everyone knows, he was imprisoned by the South African apartheid government for being a “troublemaker,” and yet he became a champion of human rights. His troublemaking cloud had a silver lining, one that inspired millions around the world!

Your name—whether it is the one given to you by your parents or one which you have chosen on your own—can help you to better understand yourself and to better understand what it is you are here to do. So whether you use Inspired Baby Names from Around the World to discover your baby’s name or as a pathway to better understanding your own name, it is my hope that you see your name as the blessing it truly is. Blessed be thy name!

Neala Shane’s religious studies led her to research the meanings behind names. Over time, this became her full-time pursuit. She lives in Vancouver, Washington.


Based on the book Inspired Baby Names from Around the World. Copyright © 2015 by Neala Shane. Reprinted with permission from New World Library.

Inspired Baby Names from Around the World by Neala Shane – Giveaway

We have been a family of four, for four years now. It was pretty certain that we wouldn’t be growing anymore until the recent things we went through, and now we are planning for baby #3.

With our two children, it was easy to name them. We already knew we wanted the same girl name before we even ‘officially’ started dating. Our son is named after his daddy’s Uncle. Easy peasy.

Now, neither of us have a clue what other names we’d like to consider. So the timing was perfect when I was recently asked to tell all of you about this baby name book.

I’ve been browsing the book, looking at names of people I know and checking out new names I’ve never even heard of. It’s fun to see all the variations of names out there and the cultures they come from. Each name includes the correct pronunciation, its etymological root, meaning, country of origin, and a quote about the name.

There are some other features that makes this more than just another baby name book. The author took the time to research and include various naming customs and meditations. There are lists of what to call grandparents, most popular names by decade, and even indexes by meaning and ethnicity. Want your daughter’s name to mean star? Try Danica, Esther, Maia. How about a son who’s name means brave and courageous? How about Brian, Conrad, Jerry.

This book is definitely a must read for expectant families because of all of the research that is available throughout. I am definitely going to be diving in deeper as we consider names for our future baby #3.

You can pick up a copy of the book through the following:

New World Library or

ENTER TO WIN a copy of Inspired Baby Names from Around the World.

Be sure to do the mandatory entry listed below. After that, feel free to do any of the extra entries for more chances to win. Entries will be accepted until 9pm Wednesday, May 27th. The winner will then be chosen via and will be announced on Facebook and on our giveaway winners post. The winner will also receive an e-mail and will have until midnight on Friday to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

MANDATORY ENTRIES: You must do at least ONE of the mandatory entries. Feel free to do both if you’d like.

1 Entry – “Like” The Boy Meets Girl Blog on Facebook

1 Entry – Follow The Boy Meets Girl Blog via e-mail (bottom of blog).

BONUS Entries:

1 Entry – “Like” New World Library on Facebook!

2 Entries – Follow thebmgblog on Twitter

2 Entries – Get a friend to enter this giveaway. (They must leave a comment with your name. You must also do your two entry comments for it to count.)

3 Entries – Retweet our Twitter post for 3 extra entries EVERYDAY.

3 Entries – Comment on a non-giveaway post.

4 Entries – Enter another giveaway (when available).

5 Entries – Tell us the meaning behind your name. How did your parents choose it?

5 Entries – Have children? How did you choose their name(s)?

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this post.

Giveaway Winners Announced!

Thanks for entering our giveaways! If you’re the winner…


(Unless otherwise stated in the giveaway post, we usually allow 48 hours for the winner to respond to our e-mail, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.)

April 2015

Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus tickets – Jonathan E.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey are back at Covelli Centre – Giveaway!

Legends logo

Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey are back in Youngstown at Covelli Centre and they are bringing a few mythological creatures with them!
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS unites iconic circus stars with living mythological creatures in a celebration of the LEGENDS that have captured imaginations for centuries. Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson guides Paulo the Legend Seeker on his quest to discover real, living legends from around the world and presents Paulo’s fantastic discoveries to circus fans everywhere.
We took our family to see LEGENDS last October and it was one we will never forget! The look in my daughter’s eyes when she saw a unicorn right in front of her was priceless! Of course we still got to experience my favorites from the clowns to the elephants while they introduced this whole new world of creatures in to their show. If you have yet to see LEGENDS, or would just like to see it again, now is your chance!
Don’t forget to get there early to take advantage of the All Access Pre-show. This allows circus fans to learn juggling and balancing skills, meet the performers of The Greatest Show On Earth, get autographs, take photos and enter to win a one of a kind Pachyderm Painting.
Thursday, May 7th, 2015            7:00 PM
Friday, May 8th, 2015                 7:00 PM
Saturday, May 9th, 2015           11:00 AM   3:00 PM   7:00 PM
Sunday, May 10th, 2015             1:00 PM
Sunday, May 10th, 2015             5:00 PM

Tickets range from $15-$50.

Click here to purchase tickets for a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performance in your area!

*Giveaway is closed. Thanks to all who entered to win!*

ENTER TO WIN a Family 4 pack to LEGENDS in Youngstown, OH.

Be sure to do the mandatory entry listed below. After that, feel free to do any of the extra entries for more chances to win. Entries will be accepted until 6pm Wednesday, April 29th. The winner will then be chosen via and will be announced on Facebook and on our giveaway winners post. The winner will also receive an e-mail and will have until 10pm on Wednesday to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

MANDATORY ENTRIES: You must do at least ONE of the mandatory entries. Feel free to do both if you’d like.

1 Entry – “Like” The Boy Meets Girl Blog on Facebook

1 Entry – Follow The Boy Meets Girl Blog via e-mail (bottom of blog).

BONUS Entries:

1 Entry – “Like” Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey on Facebook!

2 Entries – Follow thebmgblog on Twitter

2 Entries – Get a friend to enter this giveaway. (They must leave a comment with your name. You must also do your two entry comments for it to count.)

3 Entries – Retweet our Twitter post for 3 extra entries EVERYDAY.

3 Entries – Comment on a non-giveaway post.

*I received something of value from Feld Entertainment as part of their Insider Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Our Ectopic Pregnancy – Part 6

I was immediately prepped for surgery.

I had lots of forms to sign, an IV was put in, I talked to the anesthesiologist.

I talked to Dave.

I admit that I was at my absolute lowest at that point. I was devastated that my baby had to be surgically removed from my body. I was scared to death of going in to surgery. I didn’t even get to tell my kids bye when I left the church. What if something were to go wrong? I don’t know if it still exists, but I did make a short video talking to my kids before I went in to surgery. That helped a bit.

I was wheeled in to the OR next to the operating table. It was the hardest thing ever to get up out of the chair and get myself up on to the table, even with the help of nurses. I remember one guy at my head putting the mask over my mouth and nose to put me to sleep. Others on either side of me put my arms out to the sides of me. And that was it. I prayed until the anesthesia knocked me out.

I woke up in recovery, and I think I was the only one in there. It was past midnight so it was to be expected. I was immediately nauseous and was given some medicine for that. I went back to sleep. I think I did that for a couple of hours at least. I’d wake up, feel sick, take some meds, and go back to sleep. I don’t completely remember the time frame, but I went in to surgery before midnight and the friends who came to wait with Dave left at 3am and I was still in recovery. Once I was awake a little more, Dave came in and the nurse gave me some cookies and ginger ale.

I found out the details of the surgery. I had three incisions from the laparoscopy. My baby was in the right fallopian tube and it had started to rupture so they had to remove the tube as well. I had started bleeding again during the ultrasound earlier. It was another monitor and deal with it situation.

They nurse reassured me that if I wanted, I would still be able to have more children in the future.

I thought they had said beforehand that I’d be staying for part of the day. Now they said I was being released to go home. I was not happy about that. I was worried about how I would handle going home so soon.

I believe we got home around 5 or 6 am. Dave helped me get into some comfortable clothes and got me on to the couch.  At some point that day, Thursday, the friends who had stayed with Dave came over to help out. Our kids came home that evening. All they knew at that point was that I had gone to the hospital. Dave had to tell them the news. We had decided the best thing would be to simply tell them that the baby had to go to Heaven with Jesus and was no longer in my belly. Our girl was very sad right away and our boy buried his head in daddy as he reacted to not having his little brother or sister anymore. I showed them my three incisions so that they would understand that my belly would be sore and to be extra careful with it. Thankfully, our friends had their daughter with them who helped distract and entertain them after receiving the news.

Our friends stayed and helped Dave get the kids to bed. Poor guy was doing everything because I was the one in physical pain. It was very nice to see him have some help and moral support.

I was still feeling very sick and took a nighttime nausea pill that I was prescribed. It did not go well. It made me sick instantly and that’s not a normal thing for me. Our wonderful friends stopped and said they would just spend the night and sleep wherever they had to so they would be here to help through the night too. (Yes, we’re incredibly blessed to have this family in our lives!) At about 3am I took my last pain pill and from then on, the pain had eased enough that I didn’t have to take it.

I spent about four days on the couch, 24/7. After a couple days, I was able to go up to the bathroom on my own. Slowly, but it was on my own. By the last day I was so proud of walking to the kitchen, making myself a piece of toast and a cup of tea all on my own. I showered on day 4, and was in pain afterwards. It took a couple more days until I was able to do that comfortably.

Here I am now, ABOUT THREE WEEKS post-op, and I’ve finally had some normal days. Last week I had three straight days of no pain. It was wonderful. I’m still experiencing some pain at the incision sites and occasional upset stomach. Some days I feel normal and dress normal. Other days I’m in the most comfortable pants I own because of the pain. I am back to my daily babysitting, having a yard full of kids from the neighborhood on nice days, and I’m getting through the daily laundry, dishes, my daughter’s school work, etc. It’s still going to be a while until the pain is totally gone and I’m totally 100% again. It’s going to be even longer before I’m through the loss of my baby. At least I know he or she has a sibling in Heaven as well as grandparents. That has also been a comforting fact for our children, and they say he/she is watching over us.

Despite the fear and concern of this happening again, I do have hope that we will have another baby someday soon. We may have questioned if we wanted more which is what led to getting the Mirena in the first place, but we now know that we absolutely want another little one in our family.  In the meantime, I still have my wonderful son and daughter and my incredible husband and I’m extremely grateful for them. Through this all, we’ve been reminded of the love and support from our families and we’ve seen so much love and support from many friends as well.

*This is Part 6 of a 6 part series.

You can go back to Part 1 here: Our Ectopic Pregnancy – Part 1

Our Ectopic Pregnancy – Part 5

Within 15 minutes of being at the church, things started happening. My nephew had gone off with his group and my mom and I had stayed with my kids and their group. I was standing; ready to help with anything that was needed when I started to feel a strange discomfort in my lower right belly/inside leg area. I mentioned it to my mom right away. The doctor had said to watch for pain one one specific side as it would be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy. This was a major concern with getting pregnant with the Mirena.

I pulled out a chair and sat down to attempt to relax and let the pain go away. The pain grew a little. I went to the bathroom and while I was up I was going to call my doctor’s office just in case. I forgot there’s no service downstairs so that didn’t work. I could barely walk back to my chair. I told my mom I was going to have to leave and I needed her to get the kids’ car seats. I was going to drive myself to Dave’s work just a few minutes away and have him take me from there.

Thankfully, a good friend of mine said she would follow us so that my mom could drive me and get back for the kids. The pastor and children’s church leader said they’d keep an extra eye on the kids since they had no idea we were leaving. I called Dave and told him to be ready to clock out and get me to the hospital. He got in the van and my mom rode back to the church to wait for the kids to be done.

The pain increased as we made the 10 minute drive to Akron General Hospital. Every little bump and turn was making it unbearable. The wheelchair ride to OB triage was rough, too. I could barely do anything I needed to, and my husband had to help get me into my gown and get situated on the bed. By then the pain was going into my back and my stomach.

I had quite a few nurses and doctors come in to my room. The main doctor checked around the areas that were painful. She pushed on my stomach and asked about that pain specifically. She left the room right after that. She came back with another doctor and they said there were going to do an internal ultrasound. I had never had one of those but they said it would show if there was a baby in my uterus or if it was in a fallopian tube, and therefore, ectopic. It was very difficult to watch and listen to them as they discussed what they were seeing on the ultrasound. At times it sounded good and at times it sounded bad.

It was bad.

They confirmed our biggest fear. It looked like an ectopic pregnancy and there was nothing in my uterus.

Everything happened so quickly from there.

*This is Part 5 of a 6 part series.

You can continue to Part 6 here: Our Ectopic Pregnancy – Part 6

Our Ectopic Pregnancy – Part 4

Monday night I noticed the bleeding stop. I woke up the next day and was scared to check but it was still gone. I hoped and prayed all morning that it was gone for good and this was the necessary progress to help me and my baby be alright. Unfortunately, it came back.

On Tuesday, Dave went to work. Our friends came over to help me with the kids through the day. I wasn’t babysitting because of everything going on, but with Spring Break I had both my kiddos home all day. I felt decently good that day. But, I made myself stay in the recliner as much as possible. I had a hard time having someone else doing things for me such as making my sandwich for lunch. However, I know I would not have made it all day on my own without some pain.

Through the night the bleeding stopped again. As before, I hoped and prayed over and over that it was gone for good so that the baby could survive and be healthy.

I had another blood test on Wednesday, April 1st. This time I went to the lab only for the blood draw and did not see a doctor or nurse. Dave had been missing so much work, he had to go right in so I dropped him off and the kids and I went to stay with my mom for the day. I was not going to be alone when the results call came in, in case it was bad.

We got the call and my level had gone up to 1902!! This meant that I was finally to the point that I could get an ultrasound and check on the baby! The soonest I could be seen was going to be the following Tuesday because my office wanted me to go to a high risk doctor for this. In the meantime, we’d have another blood test on Friday and I was continuing with resting as much as I could because of intermittent pain. Dave was scheduled for an outpatient procedure for Friday but he called to reschedule that. He did not want the stress of anesthesia and waiting on another results call. I admit I was upset because I wanted his health concerns to be taken care of it, but I understood. Later it proved to be necessary so I was glad he did this in the end.

That afternoon my kids got to play with one of their cousins who was also on spring break. They played outside and we even did a midday bonfire and my mom roasted marshmallows for them. I was feeling pretty good so I decided I was up for taking the kids out that evening for our church’s annual Easter Egg Hunt. I had even gone out to the grocery store earlier in the day, alone, which was an amazing feeling. I felt normal! I was so happy about the evenings plans and to be able to do something Easter related as our usual plans had been canceled due to Dave’s procedure originally scheduled for Good Friday.

My mom decided to go to the church too and took my nephew along since I didn’t have room for him to ride with us.

Well, that ended up being a very good thing.

*This is Part 4 of a 6 part series.

You can continue to Part 5 here: Our Ectopic Pregnancy – Part 5

Our Ectopic Pregnancy – Part 3

Monday morning we went to my appointment. I had to go to another office since the one I had been going to was moving to another building that day.

The day was aggravating from as soon as we tried to park. We had problems getting a ticket for the parking garage, I had to wait 25 minutes as the first appointment of the day, my doctor was negative the entire time, and I didn’t have what I needed right away for the lab since I wasn’t told that the new office operated differently. It was all so frustrating to have to deal with on top of the already stressful time we were going through.

I’ll get back to the part about the doctor being negative.

Over the weekend when emotions calmed down we realized that even though my hCG level did not increase by much at all, IT WAS STILL AN INCREASE! It meant that something was happening inside of me that could be good for us all! As Dave was saying the whole time, we hoped for the best and prepared for the worst of the situation.

My doctor was not a bit hopeful or encouraging during that visit on Monday. The only thing she could do was talk about the process of watching my levels go way down and then scheduling a D&C. She was all negative the entire time and I just wanted to get up and walk out of that appointment. It was worthless.

Later, we got the results of that day’s blood test. My hCG was 1357! YES! Things were really looking up now! It was still not doubling, but it was back to the minimum increase.

After getting the results, we went to my parent’s house. I was going to stay there with the kids while Dave went in to work so that I wouldn’t be alone and I’d have my parents’ help.

Up to this point, only our immediate family knew what was going on, as we told them as soon as everything started. We were continuously posting on Facebook asking for prayers from all of our friends and family. We are very thankful for the response we had throughout the days and weeks despite everyone not knowing what was going on. We didn’t want to share what we were going through until things were a little less up and down. We had considered making it public so everyone would know what they were and would be continuing to pray about. We were going to on Friday until we got that low number. Some close friends started to worry something serious was happening with our two children. Once that was brought to our attention, we chose a select few of those close to us to let in on what was happening.

Now back to that Monday, with the good increase…

We decided that since things were looking up, we’d go ahead and share publicly what our family was dealing with. We made a public post to those who were following all the prayer requests on Facebook. Then we went to my parent’s house again. On the way there we debated on whether or not to tell our kids about the baby. I hated that they were going to be the last ones to know about their own sibling but we were holding back for good reasons. We decided not to say anything yet because we were still not out of the woods.

When we got there, we discovered that they overheard a phone call and thought it was silly that someone said I was pregnant. Well, we HAD to tell them at that point! So, we told our 6 and 4 year old that I was pregnant. They were instantly excited and couldn’t wait to meet the baby!

Through everything up to this point, I tried to not let myself imagine everything with the baby in our lives because I knew that could make things much harder if things didn’t continue the way we hoped. But, I already had a newborn in my arms at Christmas and I thought about the mornings I’d have about two hours just me and baby. Now that the kids knew, that’s all they talked about. Grace talked about sharing her bed with the baby and Darren talked about helping change diapers and they were both excited to have another sibling to play with! It broke my heart quite a bit to hear all of their plans while I knew something could still go wrong.

*This is Part 3 of a 6 part series.

You can continue to Part 4 here: Our Ectopic Pregnancy – Part 4

I said YES to the dress!

As many plus size women know, shopping can be a challenge. Finding the right outfit for any occasion can be difficult when you are left with a very limited selection to work with, so imagine my terror when it came time to try on wedding dresses! These issues have very little to do with us not feeling comfortable in our own skin like many people want to assume, and a lot to do with the total lack of style in the plus size section of the few stores that do actually carry our size. Do not get me started on how much it costs to shop at a “specialty” store.

Walking in to David’s Bridal with my good friend, daughter, and best friend I was excited. I had never tried on wedding dresses before or even really pictured myself wearing one. To be completely honest my intention when going in there was to try on a few different styles to be sure I picked the right cut to have custom made for me. I was going through an amazing woman by the name of Laurie from Lorili Design to have my dream dress custom made when I ended up finding “the dress”. I can honestly say that just like a good portion of shopping experiences I have as a full figured woman I was ready to walk out with nothing when the store manager and sales woman convinced me to try on just 2 more dresses. They were both convinced that these 2 styles would be flattering on me and I would really like them. The manager helped to convince me to try some cuts that I would not have considered for my body while the sales woman listened to me and found the simple style I was looking for. You know when they tell you that when you find the dress you just know? Well, it’s the truth!

Once I put this dress on and looked in the mirror I didn’t want to take it off! They helped me to find exactly what I wanted in a dress, a sash that perfectly matches my wedding, and my shoes. I also purchased a full zip garment bag paying a grand total of $524. Since they made sure to find me the perfect shoes bringing my dress to the exact length it needs to be I have absolutely no alterations that need done to the dress. So, if you are a bride wanting a more traditional route of picking out a dress from a shop like I did, I encourage you to check out David’s Bridal in Fairlawn. If you are looking for a custom design or fairly priced alterations I would encourage you to contact Laurie from Lorili Design at 330-844-8198.

Thank you for following as I plan my wedding! I look forward to sharing this journey with all of you.