As part of a previously used "I'm anxious for babies" coping mechanism I would plan as if I was pregnant at the time, which meant figuring out my due date and what I would vote for a baby name. Those unhelpful coping activities lead to a spreadsheet (we use them for EVERYTHING) of potential names for our children. This is top secret stuff, so siblings, NO STEALING! We totally call dibs on at least the first three names!
Most of the middle names are interchangeable, and I'll mention which of us likes the name using R if I like it or N if it's one of Nicholas' favs. Both letters will be there if we both like it. These are in moderate order of preference:
example: Billy--first name Bob/Joe--middle name options, not both (R, N)--who likes the name
1. Isaac Gregory/Neil (R, N)
So Isaac has always been our favorite. There's a lot of scriptural significance for this name and it means "He will laugh." Love. I imagine him with curly hair...no reason, just that's how I see my little boy. Most of the middle names, actually all of them, are either family names or church names. Gregory is my father's name and Neil is Nick's father.
2. Owen Gregory/Neil (R, N)
I didn't like Owen originally, but after a while I grew to REALLY like it a lot! Plus, one of my favorite children's books is called Owen, so I'd read it to him ALL THE TIME! This one means "Desire Born." Whichever middle name we don't use for Isaac we like for Owen.
3. James (R, N)
James is Nick's, his father's, and our nephew Zachary's middle name, but so far no one has it as a first name and I love it!
4. Jeremiah (R, N)
I suggested this name along with Jeremy, and Nick said that Jeremy reminded him of a scary big kid in grade school who slurpped his Jell-o through a straw. Scared Nick to death! We both like Jeremiah though, and it means "God will uplift" so that's awesome.
5. Peter (R, N)
Peter is Nick's favorite New Testament apostle, so it was shoe in. Thank goodness his favorite wasn't Bartholomew! I also like that the meaning is "Rock" but generally I think it's a great name.
6. Alexander (R, N)
Nothing super special about this name other than I like how it sounds with Nelson and I am unaware of any other Nelson in Nick's family with this name. That's tricky since Nick has 44 FIRST COUSINS! Yea, and now they are having babies and taking names!
7. Albert (N)
We are now getting into the names that I am not such a huge fan of, Albert being the biggest offender. Nick's a physicist, and a nerdy one at that. So there are two reasons why he likes Albert: (1) Einstein--duh, and (2) Albert Brennaman, Nick's hero cuz he got the girl WAY out of his league. We love Hitch! Funny guy, but there's no reason to lock him into nerdiness at birth. Just sayin.
8. Gordon (N)
I think the motivation here is President Hinckley, but I would prefer Gordon as a middle name. Besides, Gordon Nelson doesn't really flow off the tongue.
9. John (N)
Nothing super wrong with this, but I understand the need for some name excitement. Rachel Nelson is super plain (not that there's anything wrong with that), so I want some interest in my children's names. That's all.
10. Wilford (N)
Wilford Woodruff: great prophet, old school name, SUPER Mormon...not a fan.
11. Gabriel (R)
Seriously one of my favrites, but Nick doesn't like it. I think Gabriel or Gabe is such a cute name, and no other Nelson has it! It means "God is his strength." I am still holding out that I can change Nick's mind!
12. Charles (R)
I really like Charles, and especially Charlie. Nick's biggest complaint is that Charles does not have a one syllable nickname (Nicholas=Nick, Gregory=Greg, Rachel=Rach, etc.) other than Chuck which I simply CANNOT condone. If you have seen Ella Enchanted then you may be suggesting Char, but that just sounds stupid. I'll keep brainstorming.
13. There aren't 13 boy names on the list, so I'll say that Samuel was on the list until my sister Jen used that for her son. The name fits him, and it's on our middle names list now.
Just as a FYI, other boy middle names we like that are not in the above list are Robert, Rasmus, Thomas, Spencer, Nicosia, William, Ramon, and Nicholas. The middle name list grows quickly!