And the winner is …

… randomly chosen by Rafflecopter … Meghan! Hooray!!! 🎉🎉🎉 She said she’d choose a blue B for her newborn Benedict — how wonderful!! (Meghan — I’ll email you!)

Thank you to all of you who entered the raffle — you showed Kortnee some well deserved love!! For the rest of you — be sure to take advantage of the special discount code Kortnee’s offering to Sancta Nomina readers: use SANCTANOMINA15 until June 1 for 15% off anything in the shop! And don’t forget to check out Kortnee’s Etsy shop and web site and follow her on Instagram if you haven’t already!

Finally, a huge thank you to Kortnee for introducing herself and being so generous with her talents! I’m adding her to my Gift ideas & marketplace page as well, so you know where to find her any time you need an amazing gift for a little one (or big one?) in your life. 🙌

Happy Thursday! I’m working on a consultation post — stay tuned! I’ll have it up soon — it’s a good one!

Happy Mother’s Day! (I’ve got goodies for you!)

Happy Mother’s Day!! 💐💐💐 I say this to all of you, even if you’re not moms, because everyone gets in on the celebration on Mother’s Day, don’t they?! At Mass this morning I saw so many older moms that I see every week by themselves or with their husbands, and maybe sometimes one of their children, but today it seemed like they had all their grown-up kids with them (many that I’ve seen grow up) — and I was so happy for them, what a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day. ❤

As I did last year, I really wanted to do something special for you all in honor of Our Lady during her month of May, and also in conjunction with Mother’s Day. I told you all recently about the priest who gave a mission at our church during Lent, and his story regarding the power of St. Gerard’s intercession for couples who are hoping to conceive. Then just recently, someone I know told me she’d encouraged her daughter-in-law (who’s not Catholic!) to ask St. Gerard for his intercession, and they just found out they’re having twins! So I really had it on my heart to do a novena to St. Gerard, specifically for all of you who are hoping for babies. Today was the last day of the novena, and I already said today’s prayers for it, so you’re all covered! I hope you’ll let me know when your St. Gerard babies are on the way! 😊 (I’ll also just die if any of you find out you’re having twins!👯)

Also, yesterday I attended a special celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima and the canonization of our new St. Francisco and St. Jacinta 💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕 at the Auriesville Shrine (I documented it on Instagram!), and remembered all of you and your intentions during the beautiful day. I’m so grateful for you all! 🌹❤🌹❤

Finally, I wanted to give you something tangible and God provided me the perfect thing! Kortnee is a reader who has an Etsy shop called Studio Senn (she also has a non-Etsy web site here, and she’s also on Instagram, where she sometimes posts promo codes), which is “a watercolor and hand lettering small business specializing in wedding paper, watercolor maps and Catholic goods for families and children.” Regarding its origin, she told me,

Studio Senn was born a couple years ago after working for a wedding florist/planner who asked me to do hand lettering and watercolor for some small projects she had. I started doing custom invitations and watercolor maps after that. This year I’ve decided to branch out and add more of my passions to the shop: Catholic goods for families and children, baby announcements, and hopefully soon original artwork.”

You guys! She has some ah-MAZ-ing things that I know you will all LOVE as much as I do! Like this ABC Saint Poster (she paints a little saint for each letter! So darling!):


She also has a boy version and a girl version. SO perfect for a nursery!

Then there’s this Narnia map (available in a bigger size too):


And this St. Therese quote:


There are so many sweet sweet things to choose from! But my very favorite is this Custom Saint, Letter, Color Square Print:


Which is why I’m giving one of them away to one of you!! 🎉🎉🎉 To enter, click here to go to the Rafflecopter page for this giveaway! It starts today and ends at midnight on Wednesday, and I’ll announce the winner on Thursday — the birthday of St. John Paul the Great! 👊💕

For the rest of you, Kortnee’s offering a special discount code for Sancta Nomina readers! Use SANCTANOMINA15 until June 1 for 15% off anything in the shop! And as a special bonus — she also shared about her sons’ names! They are:

Fulton Douglas
Becket Raymond


She explained,

Our son Fulton is obviously (or at least I would guess so for your readers) named after Venerable Fulton Sheen. My husband and I have been inspired by his words for years. His middle name, Douglas, is after my father-in-law. Becket is named after Saint Thomas Becket. We thought he would be a wonderful intercessor for religious reedom in this day and age and we have always loved the work the Becket Fund does for that same cause. His middle name, Raymond, is after my dad and grandpa. It happened to be a coincidence that they are both surnames. Not necessarily a trend we plan to keep but always fun to think of what would go well with them!

I hope you all found this post as fun to read as I had writing it!! Don’t forget to enter the raffle and check our Kortnee’s Etsy shop, web site, and Instagram, and I hope you all have a wonderful wonderful day!! 🌼🌺🌷🌸

Reader question: how to deal with negative attitudes toward big families (and a cool name!)

This doesn’t have to do with names, but it does come from one of you readers, and it does have to do with big families, and our little community here has a higher-than-average proportion of big families when it comes to most other places online, and I’ve not seen a kinder virtual community anywhere.

So: a mama and devoted reader, who’s expecting her third baby, writes,

Many of your consultations and readers (as well as yourself!) seem to have larger families (4+). How does everyone deal with society’s negativity towards it? How do you maybe evangelize the Catholic way of thinking, openness to life, the idea that there is value and benefit in larger families? Granted we are not ALL called to have large families, it is a personal matter you settle with God. But still, what do you say to help others understand or turn the news from ‘oh ANOTHER one’ to ‘yippy!’

I was so sad to read this! I know having to deal with this is a reality the more children a couple welcomes into their family, but it’s so sad to me when a mama experiences it for the first time. This particular reader has been told (regarding what name they’ll give the baby), “If you’re smart, you’ll call it ‘Quits.'” (Hardy har.) She’s been given eye rolls when she mentions friends having their fourth or fifth baby, and facial expressions and tones of voice that convey to her that the person she’s speaking to doesn’t approve when she discusses things like possibly getting a bigger vehicle.

I told her that for myself, I just try to remember that there are a lot of people who truly don’t understand our mindset and world view — they’ve been so affected by what they see around them, and most people don’t come into contact with big families on a regular basis. And I always try to be joyful! I mean, obviously I’m not always joyful — my poor kids will tell you I’m impatient and have a bad temper! — but in general I am, because I know that our life is full of blessings, not least of which are the children. So I try to convey that to others, whether at the grocery store or school or church or whatever. But not in a beat-them-over-the-head or holier-than-thou way either, you know? Just in general, trying to *not* confirm whatever negative preconceived ideas they have about having a lot of kids. If it’s a situation where I’m chatting with someone, I love to tell the latest funny or cute or sweet stories about my boys — in my experience, people tend to love those kinds of things. Especially funny stories! Laughter is the best medicine after all. 😀

How about all of you? What suggestions or words of wisdom or moral support do you have to offer this mom, and all others who deal with this kind of thing?

(Also, just to end on a namey note, I came across the name of an Italian Dominican theologian from long ago [1580-1660; he’s not a saint or a blessed, just a cool guy], and it’s been rolling around in my head for days because I’m so taken with it: Xantes Mariales!)


Prayers needed please!

The community one of our readers lives in was rocked by a horrible shooting tragedy yesterday, and she wrote to ask you all to for pray for all of them — she said, “It is a small community here and everyone has a connection to someone related to this incident or to the first responders.” She also asked for prayers for the attack in London yesterday, and I ask a special prayer for the protection of my brother and his colleagues who arrived in London yesterday and, according to my sister-in-law, had gone through the area where it happened just before the attack.

For the souls of all those who died in these incidents, and for their grieving families, and for all the injured and all those otherwise affected by these tragedies, and for safety for both communities going forward, we pray. St. Anne, pray for us!

Another prayer request

Thank you all for praying for this morning’s mama — if I get an update and she gives me permission to share it, I will!

I have another prayer request — one of our longtime readers, Joanna, a real-life dear friend of mine who I also posted a birth announcement for when she had her sixth baby, had a terrible scare recently when she had her first diabetic seizure in the nearly twenty years since her diagnosis; it left her mouth and tongue chewed up, and both her arms dislocated. Her husband has wanted to get a diabetic assistance dog for a while, and this incident has sped up their plans. It’s an expensive venture, and Joanna’s family has set up a Go Fund Me page to help defray the cost. If any of you are able to help financially, I know they would be so appreciative! Joanna also has to have surgery on her arm in the near future — you all know how hard these things are to manage when you also have little ones to take care. She’s been posting updates on her blog, if you’d like to follow along, and prayers are very welcome and needed. Thank you all! ❤

February CatholicMom column up, a Nameberry mention, and thanks for the fun!

I’ll start with the last bit of the post title — thanks for all your great ideas re: a sister for Reverie! That was so fun to read! You all have amazing ideas!

Secondly, our reader Clare, who has an awesome name site of her own (Name News) and is also my Welsh pronunciation expert, had a piece posted on Nameberry a couple days ago in which she mentioned Sancta Nomina — specifically the “Men Who Love Mary” category! If I’m ever remembered for one thing, having it be names for Mary would be one of my very top choices. 😍 Go check out her great post: Who Knew Victor Hugo was a Name Nerd?

Finally, my February CatholicMom column posted yesterday — a slight re-boot of this post from a couple years ago: Names for Miscarried Babies. Miscarriage was on my mind recently because my parish just started a miscarriage ministry and asked me to help with it (and you know I tapped into our reader Mandi’s great resources at A Blog About Miscarriage). I hope this is helpful for anyone who’s mourning a little one.