david and i have had a going list of baby names for years. whenever we heard a cool name we would pull out our phones and add it to the list. and for the most part, we agreed on names. not knowing the gender meant we needed to have a girl name and boy name ready. the girl name was easy for us. the boy name, not so much. for about 5 months we were totally set on a boy name. then one day, we hated it. we were back to square one. by 8 months we had it down to two boy names. ari and ezra. david was in love with ezra (and still is) but i could never really get into it. i really liked ari and david liked it well enough so ari it was.
we were also armed with a middle name for either a boy or a girl. both were family names. ari's middle name is in honor of his great, great, great, great grandpa ephraim hanks. grandpa hanks is a very important person in our family's heritage as a mormon pioneer.
i get two responses when i tell people ari's name. people either love it or are totally confused by it. ari is a jewish name. in hebrew it means lion. so naturally people are very familiar with the name ari back east. when i tell non east coasters, i sometimes get a strange look. mostly from old people that make me repeat it and spell it for them.