Happy New Year to you all!! And happy Feast of Mary, Mother of God!!
What a year 2018 was! I’m calling it the Year of Big News because I can’t think of any bigger news than a baby and a book — and I had both in 2018!
Starting with the baby: it was so fun to announce to you all that he was on the way, to have Abby from Appellation Mountain do a name consultation for me, to articulate the challenges that come with naming a seventh boy, and then to announce his birth and naming (on Instagram first, then here)! He’s a dream and a prayer come true. ❤
Then, my book — my non-baby magnum opus: I can’t think of a greater onomastic honor than to write a book of Marian names, a book for Our Lady. From finally being able to share the news with you all that the book was being published — and by a publisher that has impeccable Marian ties and has published so many authors I admire! — to all the amazing endorsements and reviews I received, to the book signing I did at my local Catholic book shop, to the other ways the names for Our Lady were shared (articles by me [here, here] and others), my foray into the world of I-wrote-a-book-that-got-published has been thrilling. Thank you all for the ideas, inspiration, and encouragement you gave me along the way!
As with past years, I also wanted to share some of the 2018 Sancta Nomina stats with you — even with being mostly absent from here for nearly half the year because of the baby, I’m still pretty pleased with what was accomplished:
- 55 consultations done (a mix of public and private), including 29 posted on the blog. These included ideas for a couple of our favorite public personalities — Haley from Carrots for Michaelmas and Sharon from Baby My Love — as well as ideas for a repeat customer (so fun!) and twins (double the fun!), and one that helped back into a patron saint for an already-named baby (so cool).
- 27 birth announcements posted, including four repeat families (here, here, here, here — this one is our girl Lindsay from My Child I Love You, she’s had such a hard time since her little guy was born — please keep them both in your prayers!); twins (different from the ones mentioned above); our friends Haley from Carrots for Michaelmas, Blythe from The Fike Life, and Amy from Our Family Fiat; the nationally famous all-boy Schwandt family (boy no. 14!) and Campos-Duffy family, and the internationally famous prince (which included my name prediction — the actual name announcement followed a few days later [spoiler: my prediction was wrong]).
- 4 name spotlights: Cecilia, Faustina, Helena, and Shepherd.
- 1 celebrity guest.
- 9 CatholicMom articles.
- 2 Nameberry articles.
- 1 Writing Contest (second annual).
- 1 St. Anne pilgrimage (fourth annual), to thank her for her patronage and prayers.
- 2 giveaways (here and here).
- 3 stories of St. Gerard’s intercession in having a baby (here, here, and here).
- 3 name stories (here, here, and here).
- 1 Sheenazing Award for Best Kept Secret (Blog)! (I’m still amazed!)
- 2 radio show appearances: Mater Dei Radio (aired on both Coffee & Donuts with John & Mary and Morning Drive), and Jon Leonetti in the Morning on Iowa Catholic Radio.
- 1 article about the “poetry and pro-life power of baby names” that mentioned yours truly and appeared in diocesan publications across the country.
What a year! 2019’s got some big shoes to fill! I hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s and Marian feast day (giving birth today? There’s a book for that 😉 )!
My book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018), is available to order from ShopMercy.org and Amazon — perfect for the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!