Ellen, Laura, and Danielle are the lucky ladies who have won the St. Anne chaplets from my blogiversary giveaway!! Congratulations to them!! And thank you to all who entered! I know St. Anne is watching out for us all in a very special way. ❤ Have a great weekend!!
I intended to be off the blog all week, but I feel like I didn’t properly wish you all a very blessed Holy Week and happy happy Easter!!
First, I wanted to share with you this really cool thing: One my dearest friends, who was one of my two original readers (the other being my mom) and has been so supportive and encouraging and helpful to me since I started the blog, referred a friend of hers to me when the friend was trying to come up with a name for a ministry she was starting. It was such fun to work on a project like this! And I was pretty pleased with the ideas I came up with, and she seemed to be too — I just recently read about her new ministry, sporting one of the names I’d suggested, and I’m really delighted to direct you all to her in case you have what she’s looking for. Check it out: The Madonna and Child Project by Alexandra Sullivan Photography (and be sure to check out her work, she’s so talented!).
Second, the consultation scheduled for Easter Monday is going to be a gooood one! The mama’s back again for help naming another baby, and she’s kind of well known in the Catholic blogosphere, and I canNOT wait to post my ideas for her! You’re all going to love it! Such a great way to celebrate Easter!
Finally, I’m going to try really hard to quiet my mind and focus my heart the next few days, which I haven’t found so easy lately, and I hope for the same for all of you during these days we remember Jesus’ Passion and Death, and of course when we celebrate His Resurrection! There’s such a cloud lifted when Lent is over, I always feel like I’ve been holding my breath for six weeks and now it’s time to breathe again. Have a beautiful next few days and weekend!! ❤🙏❤🙏❤🙏
I just made a new tab up at the top (Name spotlights) where I compiled all the spotlight posts — lots of names are on there! I surprised myself! 😂
Happy New Year’s Eve everyone!! 🎉🎆🎉🎆🎉🎆
I saw this interesting tidbit on Twitter today:
I loved that! And it reminded me of this mama, who’d considered Sylvester for her baby … I’m not great at predicting trends, but with lots of old names coming back, I’m saying it now: maybe Sylvester’s next!
What a year it’s been! I myself am glad that 2016 is over … it’s been a rough one for me and mine and lots of people I know — maybe a lot of you as well! Here in my house, our whole year was marked by the sickness and death of my mother-in-law and the aftereffects of dealing with her wishes and her house … I’ll be glad for me, our kids, and especially my husband to move on from it all in 2017! And of course, THE ELECTION! No matter which way you voted, I think we’re all still recovering! I hope our little corner of the internet has been the bright spot for all of you that it has been for me. ❤
It was fun to look back over the year and see what notable things happened here on the blog. I’m still amazed at how many people love to read and chat about the names of our faith like I do! As of today, since I started the blog in June 2014 (but really since January 2015 with Simcha’s consultation post):
- Over 400,000 hits
- 578 blog followers (includes Facebook)
- 492 Instagram followers
- 290 Twitter followers
- 122 consultations done (a couple still in the queue), including the 60 I posted, including for some of our favorite bloggers (Ana, Chelsea, Dwija, Colleen, Tanya, Arwen, Lisa, Susan, Laura, Rebekah, Blair) and three international consultations (Austria, New Zealand [Chelsea, mentioned earlier], England, and the Cayman Islands [Rebekah, mentioned earlier]), including one for twins, even with a nearly three-month consultation hiatus
- 87 birth announcements, including two sets of twins (here and here); the babies of bloggers Molly, Shannon (Chews Life), Shannon (We, a Great Parade), Chelsea, Susan, Ana, Arwen, Lisa, Dwija, Colleen, Andrea, Laura, Tanya, Rebekah, Blair, Rosie, Lindsay; my fourth nephew, my first niece, and my godson
- 5 guest posts: Lindsay (My Child I Love You), Katheryn (Bucket and Roon, Juniper Plum), Hope (Hope and Justin), Sharon (Baby My Love), Kate (KateWicker.com)
- 2 name consultations for organizations (a not-for-profit and a small business)
- 12 name spotlights
- The Sibling Project started
- 3 giveaways (here, here, and here)
- 1 charity fundraiser
- 1 Pinterest page started
- 1 pilgrimage taken to thank St. Anne for her patronage and prayers and to give thanks and pray for all of you ❤
- 17 name polls posted on Twitter
- 1 interview by Simcha Fisher, which she used in her Aleteia article on Catholic baby names
- 1 appearance on Jennifer Fulwiler’s show
- 1 appearance on the Fountains of Carrots podcast
- 1 mention on The Chimney podcast
- 1 appearance in a Momjunction infographic as a “name expert”
- 1 talk given at at a dinner for Irish Catholic women on the usage of the name of Mary by the Irish in Ireland and America
- 1 chapter written for inclusion in The Catholic Hipster Handbook (due to be released Fall 2017) — fingers crossed it makes it into the final!
- 1 new venue for sharing posts: Association of Catholic Women Bloggers
- Countless incidents of gasping for breath with disbelief and gratitude over the amazing opportunities God’s given me through this blog
Can you believe it?? What a year!! As always, I remain so grateful for all of you — your interest, enthusiasm, and kindness to me and each other. ❤ ❤ ❤
I hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve, and a very blessed and holy New Year! (And be sure to check out Jennifer Fulwiler’s Saint’s Name Generator for a patron saint for 2017! I got St. Margaret of Antioch — check out my IG post to read more about her!)
My December column at CatholicMom posted today! Names for an Advent Baby.
I used this post, as well as your comments on that post, to put it together — thank you for your thoughts!
I also decided to use PayPal buttons for consultations after all (I’d previously said I’d use invoices instead) — I just updated my baby name consultations page with that info — might be the perfect last-minute Christmas gift for any expectant parents you know! 😉
Happy four days until Christmas!! 😁🎄🎁
Happy Monday everyone!
Some housekeeping items this morning: I just posted an automatic response on my email that I won’t be able to accept any more name consultations for a short while — I’m so backed up! I need to take some time to focus on the consultations I already have — I currently have eleven in the queue, which isn’t the most I’ve ever had pending, but the beginning of the school year is totally swamping me, and it takes me a good day (at least) to pull together a consultation that is ready to email to the parents — that’s after doing the research, which sometimes takes a couple of days. I love doing consultations, you know I do! But when I have a bunch that I still have to do, and I get more coming in daily (how I love that you all have such trust in my thoughts/ideas/suggestions!), and my 2yo is following me around crying, “Mommy! Need hold you!” and my 6yo is asking for help with homework and my almost-12yo needs to be picked up from his after-school activities and the other boys are beating each other up and I’m trying to cook dinner and be present to my darling husband when he comes home from work … well, I know you know. And I love you all for your beautiful hearts and for totally getting me. ❤
I admit I’m also thinking of changing from a donation-based model to a fee-based model for consultations. So many of you have been so wonderful and generous with your donations, and I’ve been humbled and honored more than once that it seems you’re giving your own “widow’s mite”! And I love that the names we’re talking about are the names of our faith, and how much you all love Jesus and Mary and the Saints and the Church — I’ve often told people, when they gasp that I don’t charge for consultations, that I just don’t see how I can ask for money to share such beautiful information! And yet … we’ll see. I’m thinking about it. It’ll make it easier for me to spend time on them, and many of my family members and friends have good ideas about how to structure such a model so that it retains the ministry aspect that I so love and believe in, including a financial aid allowance.
On the up side, I’m going to try to do a little more Instagramming and Tweeting — they’re so easy to do! It just takes minutes to post a photo or write a tweet, you know? I also have to catch up on my name reading, which I’ve woefully neglected (and I think my consultations are showing that — I’m feeling a little bit like I’m offering the same ideas every time) — I recently bought Mary’s Flowers: Gardens, Legends, and Meditations by Vincenzina Krymow (Vincenzina!) and I can’t wait to dive into it! I never followed up on my question to you all about whether I should buy the off-putting-title-but-otherwise-drool-worthy Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Names: For Pagans, Witches, Wiccans, Druids, Heathens, Mages, Shamans & Independent Thinkers of All Sorts by K.M. Sheard (I was sort of surprised that you were all in favor!), but I’m ordering it today (I’ll definitely be putting a cover on it, and maybe that holy water suggestion too 😉 ), and I still want to do a review of Duana’s book The Name Therapist: How Growing Up With My Odd Name Taught Me Everything You Need to Know About Yours as well as African Saints, African Stories: 40 Holy Men and Women by Camille Lewis Brown and Ablaze: Stories of Daring Teen Saints by Colleen Swaim. I also have a bunch of things I want to post of my own that I haven’t been able to get to, including two spotlight requests; I also pitched an idea to Nameberry ages ago that I still have to make good on; and a bunch of other things, most of which will have to wait until I’ve caught up on the consultations, but one is an exciting guest post that I’ll be putting up tomorrow! I can’t wait for you all to read it! And I’ll be posting an extra consultation on Thursdays for the next three weeks for families that had interesting dilemmas or situations that I thought you’d all benefit from seeing (as I did).
I hope you all stick with me as I try to shake things up a little so they settle down better! I would love it if you’d think to include me in your prayers, and you and yours are always in mine. ❤ St. Anne, please pray for us!
You guys! I’m so so sorry I’ve been so quiet! Once again I’m backed up on emails and consultations! Tomorrow’s the last day of the first full week of school, and we’re doing great in that regard — we’re chugging back into the routine, I’ve been on top of all the things I need to be on top of children-wise — and I had two writing deadlines in the last week as well (they always seem to fall just when everything else does!), and a million other tiny little things that add up to a lot, and everything else has fallen by the wayside. If it makes you feel any better, my laundry is also a tragedy, as is the house in general. 🤦
I always hope to get caught up on the weekends, and I usually do — hopefully this weekend’s no different! I hope you’re all doing wonderfully well!