Ok, so we have one son and his name is Lincoln Daniel (last name is Irish and starts with an M and ends with a Y). My name is Stephanie Marie and hubby is Daniel Raymond. If this baby is a boy we have the name Nicholas James picked out. Nicholas is after my late uncle and I just love the name James and my husband happens to have an uncle on each side named James.
Girl names are what we cannot figure out. I do NOT like Nicole for a girl. My husband has a pretty big family and does not want to use any of their names for first names. This is fine with me for the most part because there are a lot of repeats already (ie. 2 Coleens, 3 Irenes, etc.). However, I LOVE the name Lauren, but he has a young first cousin named Lauren with the same last name. There aren't really any other family names that I like for a first name. My great-grandmother was named Valentina, but I would only want to use it as a middle name. Oh, I am due in Early March but will probably deliver sometime in February. Other names I like are:
Noelle (not sure about using it when baby is not born close to Christmas)
Brenna (hubby doesn't like it)
Such a short list. I don't feel like Valentina pairs well with any of these. My family is Ukrainian and there are a few Ukrainian names that I like, but just sound silly with an Irish last name. I also like a few french names, like Cosette, Colette, Juliet, Gabrielle, but I don't even know anyone that's French and I don"t feel like our families will identify with those names.
So, what name pairs well with Lincoln and can stand up to an Irish last name and flows well with Valentina? Or maybe you can think of another middle name that sounds better.
I think Laurel Valentina is great. I think it flows well, and that Lincoln and Laurel is a cute sibling set---better even than Lincoln and Lauren, which seem like they might cross the matchy line.
(The comments section on the post Baby Naming Issue: Using the Name Natalie For a Baby Not Born at Christmas might be of some use on the Noelle issue, even though it was written about a different name.)
Though Cosette and Colette still sound French to the U.S. ear, I think Gabrielle is nearly as mainstreamed as names like Nicole and Michelle and Danielle (which sound a little French, but probably in the same way names like Patrick and Ryan and Kyle sound a little Irish), and that only the Juliette form of Juliet seems French. Depending on which French names you have in mind, that could be an excellent category to revisit. Or, some French names have an Anglicized version (like Juliet for Juliette): if, for example, you like Cecile, you could consider Celia. If you like Clarisse, you could consider Clarissa.
Do you like Eloise? It's French, without being alienatingly French. I love it with your surname, and with Valentina.
Or Josephine? Maybe too many shared sounds with Valentina. But if so, French names often make wonderful middle names because so many of them have the emphasis on the second syllable: Josephine Celeste, Josephine Colette, Josephine Noelle, etc. It might be a nice way to get a French name you love, without as much of the worry that it won't fit right with your family.
I wonder if your husband would like Bryn (or Brin) more than Brenna? Bryn Valentina M_____y; Lincoln and Bryn. I would prefer to avoid the initials B.M., though.
Lincoln is a surname name---but because it evokes Abraham Lincoln (and because it's been in the Top 1000 as a first name since at least 1880 when the public online Social Security records begin), I think it sounds good with early American names like Abigail, Molly, Ruth, Emily. Molly is perhaps not right with your surname, and Emily might be too common---but I like Lincoln and Abigail, Lincoln and Ruthie, Lincoln and Amelia, Lincoln and Lydia, Lincoln and Eliza, Lincoln and Margaret, Lincoln and Clara, Lincoln and Cora, Lincoln and Adeline, Lincoln and Alice.