Etched In Stone

The 4th of July has once again come and gone. It has always been one of my favorite holidays. When I was little, I went to an elementary school that drove patriotism hard. Every day began with the class standing, with our hands over our heart and reciting the pledge of allegiance in unison in both English and French. I am not quite sure what speaking the pledge of allegiance in French has to do with being a proud American, but I can still recite it, nonetheless. “Je promet une allΓ©geance au drapeau des Γ‰tats-Unis d’AmΓ©rique….” See, I am such a patriot. But, I digress. I have studied the beginnings of America and have read up on our founding fathers. I recognize the sacrifices that have been made for me and my children. My dad was a soldier in the Vietnam war. I really am proud to be an American, whole heartedly. 

When Steve and I first got married, his hero was Pat Tillman. He was amazed that someone in the NFL would give up a million dollar contract in order to sacrifice and fight for our country. In this day and age, it is extremely uncommon to see someone forego fame and fortune in order to serve. So needless to say, Pat Tillman quickly became a hero to both of us. So much so for Steve that he wanted to name our first born Tillman. While I appreciated the meaning and hero behind the name, I just couldn’t jump on board with that idea. When we were pregnant with Wes, Steve once again tried to push for the name Tillman, and I shot it down again. Finally, when we were pregnant with the triplets, Steve convinced me it was time. So we agreed on the plan to give baby B, Heath, the middle name of Tillman.  The problem I soon realized was that our sweet baby C needed a strong middle name as well.


Hayes needed a patriotic middle name to match his brother, so we brainstormed. But, nothing felt right. How can you top Tillman…one of Steve’s greatest heroes?! One night, near the end of my pregnancy, Steve took me on a date to the movie American Sniper. I cried through the entire thing. It was beautiful and powerful and the story of Chris Kyle truly moved me. As the credits rolled at the end, I remember so clearly, leaning over to Steve, wiping the tears from my cheek and whispering, “Hayes’ middle name needs to be Kyle.” It was like the stars had aligned and it all made sense. Both our boys would be named after men that were true heroes.


It is incredibly inspiring to me that Hayes was named after such a legend. So fitting. We obviously had no idea at the time that Hayes was going to change the world, but how perfect that one hero be named after another hero…both of their names etched in stone, forever.  Hayes Kyle Tate, my own little 20 month legend.

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15 thoughts on “Etched In Stone

  1. Steve says:

    Proud to be an American! And I am proud of what those names mean to our family. Why would you feel the need to even comment? Obviously, there is some extreme resentment on your end that you need to deal with, but please don’t use her blog as a means to deal with your issues towards the US or its history.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rachelnorcal says:

    Yep, whatever negativity was expressed earlier is a reflection of their own personal experiences and issues and this blog of Savanna & the Tates’ very personal experiences (& such an example of love, generosity, hope, and positivity) is not the appropriate place to “debate” politics, etc.
    Anyway!
    Thank you for sharing the stories of the boys’ strong names!! – not completely related but we had friends who decided to name their first son Trafton (a family surname) but realized after bringing him home & calling him(or attempting to!) Baby Trafton, it just wasn’t going to work πŸ˜‰
    Thinking of Baby Tillman reminded me of their story.. Trafton quickly became Riley and it worked much better. πŸ™‚
    I’m glad Steve got his Tillman boy though!
    Our Baby C has family surname Schooler as his middle .. also best as middle vs first πŸ˜›
    Also, that pic of the Tatelets on their first 4th is The Best!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. clevurgirl says:

    It made me giggle when you said Steve kept going for Tillman and you kept shooting it down! We only have one child so far (our little beauty, Ellie) it just made me laugh because it is so hard to pick a name you both like πŸ™‚ Just curious, how did you guys pick names for Reese?

    Liked by 1 person

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