Kara and her husband are expecting their second baby, a little girl! Their older son is:
Because, as Kara writes,
“Our little boy is Justin Michael, Justin because we both love St. Justin Martyr and Michael because it is my husband’s middle name and I love the angels :)”
I can’t tell you how much I love that St. Justin Martyr was the inspiration here! I think his name definitely needs more use.
Kara had originally emailed me before they knew they were having a girl, and had said,
“[My husband] is a cradle catholic and I am a recent convert, so we really want to name our children with saint names or Marian names … So far the names I have picked are Charles (to be called Charlie) Gabriel and Eloise Marie. I tend to like more unorthodox, old fashioned and elegant names, and my husband is very, very traditional.”
I included this bit for further info regarding their taste in names (Charles Gabriel, love!). After they found out they were having a girl Kara wrote again,
“Just got the ultrasound results and it’s a girl! My husband and I both agree on Regina and Eloise but we are still unsure. Not sure what kind of middle name would go with Regina, and our last name ends in an a so the middle name needs to be substantial (lol). I also love Avonlea, Ava for short, but my husband is wavering. He really dislikes anything totally out of the ordinary. He likes Alexandra and Alexis but I don’t like either one … We would both really like a Marian component and possibly a saint as well.”
Okay, so first off, I love Eloise Marie, just lovely. It’s fairly uncommon but familiar, and has sweet nickname potential in Ellie.
Their new idea of Regina is a great one! Like Eloise it’s pretty uncommon these days (even more so than Eloise), and very Marian, which is always my favorite! I think Regina Marie is a fine first name-middle name combo. Regina Caeli is another idea they might like — it means Queen of Heaven in Latin, and I’ve seen that full combo used as a first name/middle name set, as well as just Caeli as a first name — you can pronounce it KAY-lee or CHAY-lee as you like. Some other middle name ideas I had to go with Regina were Therese, Rose, and Bernadette — I like Regina Rose, Regina Therese, and Regina Bernadette very much — lots of faith significance in each one. The full Regina is lovely, but if they wanted a nickname, I know Gina is traditional and obvious, but I’ve also thought Ree, Ria, Rina, and the tomboyish Reggie could also work.
Also, this mom recently named her daughter Sylvie Regina, which Kara and her hubs also might like — it sounds like the name of the Marian hymn “Salve Regina,” and Sylvie is the French variant of Sylvia, which Eloise makes me think of. I love Sylvie!
Avonlea! What a fun name! And the nickname Ava is beautiful. I wonder what Kara and her hubs would think of the name Avila? It’s so similar in sound to Avonlea, and it’s also a place name, and can also take the nickname Ava, but it’s super saintly as it refers to St. Teresa of Avila. I’m also thinking of a mom I know who named her daughter Ava Maria, because it sounds like Ave Maria, so that’s an idea too.
As for Kara’s hubs’ favorites, Alexandra and Alexis are both sweet and feminine, and I have some ideas below that might suit his taste while still being a name Kara likes.
Okay! So here are my other ideas for this Little Miss:
(1) Genevieve or Evangeline
I’m including these two together because I think of them as being so similar — both with a heavy V presence; both long and sophisticated; both can take the super adorable nicknames Evie or Vivi. St. Genevieve is the patron of Paris, and was influenced by their idea of Eloise; Evangeline refers to the Gospel writers (the Evangelists) and was influenced by Avonlea (it was listed as a style match in the Baby Name Wizard, which, as you all know, lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity). I love them both for Kara and her hubs, and I don’t know which one I would suggest more than the other! The fact that they both have those V’s in them reminded me of Avonlea, and the nicknames Evie and Vivi are similar in sound to Ava.
(2) Victoria nicknamed Cora
Victoria was listed as a style match for Alexandra, and as soon as I saw it I thought it might be just the name to bridge Kara’s name taste and her husband’s. It peaked in the 90’s, like Alexandra and Alexis, but like them it’s so sophisticated and feminine that I think of it as timeless. It means “victory,” which I associate with Jesus, and for an extra faith-y connection, Charlotte @ To Harriet Louise recently said she liked the nickname Cora for Victoria, which I thought was so amazing, and we’re talked a bit about Cora being used recently in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (here, including in the comments; cor means “heart” in Latin).
Originally I had Catherine on my list, for St. Catherine of Siena — Catherine is the French spelling of the name, which Eloise made me think of — but then I was thinking about Kara’s name, and her husband’s like of Alexandra, and it all made me think of how I’ve seen St. Katherine of Alexandria spelled with a K most often (though sometimes with a C), and that made me think — maybe Katherine Alexandr(i)a as a full name would appeal to them both? It could be seen as a subtle nod to Kara –sharing of initials and some other letters — and I think Kate is one of the greatest nicknames ever — spunky and sweet at once. (And I’m not just saying that because Katherine/Kate is my name! 😀 )
Another name that was a style match for Alexandra/Alexis was Christina, which does have a bit of a dated feel I think (though also timeless), but I’ve always loved the Christ- names, being that they’re Jesus names, so I thought maybe an updated version would suit Kara and her hubs. Christiana’s my favorite of them — I love its international feel, and the fact that it’s not as common as the other (also lovely, but well used) variants like Christina, Christine, Kristin, etc.
And those are my ideas for this family! What do you all think? What would you suggest for Justin Michael’s little sister?