Birth announcement: Hildegard Rose!

I’m so excited to announce the arrival of Haley Stewarts’ (aka Haley Carrots) baby girl — the amazingly named … Hildegard Rose!

Haley actually shared the name reveal for Miss Hildegard, who they’re calling Hildie (😍😍😍), back in April, which I was sure I’d shared here, but it seems I didn’t! It was after the consultation I posted for Haley in February, which was such fun to do (do you remember her hubby’s list of fave names for a boy?! I’m still amazed!).

We were all so anxiously awaiting this baby’s arrival:

haley-twitter

(I got about 58 more likes for this tweet than I usually do for my tweets — we were all on baby watch!!)

and I’m so so excited for Haley that she’s here! That was a rough nine months!

Haley posted part 1 of the birth story yesterday, and be sure to check her blog for part 2 — I can’t wait to read it!

Congratulations to Haley and Daniel and big sibs Benjamin, Lucy, and Gwen, and happy birthday Baby Hildie!!

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Hildegard Rose and her mama

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Baby name consultation: Haley from Carrots for Michaelmas!

You guys! I’m SO EXCITED to post today’s consultation! I know you’re all familiar with Haley Stewart from the blog Carrots for Michaelmas and podcast Fountains of Carrots — she and her hubby Daniel are expecting their fourth baby! Haley’s been struggling with hyperemesis gravidarum (please keep her in your prayers!), so I’m extra happy to provide this little fun little bright spot for her.

Their little green bean (=gender unknown) 🌱 joins big sibs:

Benjamin Daniel
Lucy Elanor
Gwen Stellamaris

Which are amazing names, all of them. I love the handsome Benjamin (who I understand is only and always Benjamin, not Ben), and Lucy and Gwen are the sweetest! And those middle names! The Tolkien Elanor and the Marian Stellamaris! 😍😍😍

Haley writes,

So we’ve been brainstorming baby names for baby #4 (I’m 14 weeks, so we’ve got another 5 weeks before we find out the gender).

We are pretty settled on a girl’s name, but not the middle name and not quite settled on a boy’s name.

We do tend toward names from the British Isles because of the Scottish last name.

For a girl we both really like Evangeline. (nickname Eva)

Other favorites have been Rosemary Catherine (after Our Lady and Catherine of Siena, shortened to Rosie Cate — which I like despite it’s sugary southern feel.)

Other favorites;
Marigold, Felicity, Genevieve, Mairwen, Dorothy, Margaret (shortened to Greta–and after my mom Margot), Magdalena (Lena), Marietta (Etta), Josephine, Imogen(e), and Beatrice (or Beatrix).

Middles we like are Catherine, Carole (after Daniel’s mom), Elizabeth, Anne, Jane, Alice, Miriam, Aurora, Ivy, Violet, Daisy, Helena/Helen, Rose, Mary

For Boys we aren’t in 100% agreement. While I’ve typically been the one that pushes for more “out there” names, this time Daniel is the one pushing for unusual names. I think I can get on board but … I’m not quite there yet.

Daniel likes: Beowulf, Cynewulf, and Merlin for first names. I could live with any of these and I do love the idea of calling a little guy “Wulfie.”

I like:

Sebastian Luke

St. John (Sinjin) — Daniel likes this one, too, but everyone thinks of St John Rivers from Jane Eyre and that’s probably not great and no one will pronounce it right. But … LOVE

Joseph Romero after St. Joseph and Bl. Oscar Romero

Arthur — This is probably my favorite. I think it sounds great with Benjamin and it’s a classic.

I also love Gilbert (Gil) but Daniel has vetoed this one — MAYBE I could sneak it in as a middle.

Middles we like: Solanus, Luke, Joseph, Anselm, Romero, Ignatius, Kolbe, Gawain, William, Seamus, Basil

Oh! And Daniel came up with a few more names he likes (that miraculously don’t have the syllable “wulf” lol):
Llywelyn, Beorn, Abel

I should preface my thoughts by saying Haley and her co-host Christy had invited me to be on their podcast two years ago, in which I offered name ideas for both of them for future babies, so I listened to it again as research for this post — I refer to it quite a bit below. (If you haven’t listened to it, I highly recommended it! It was so fun to listen to again!) Also, Haley loves literature and frequently writes about Austen and Anne and so forth, so I loved including literary names as well.

So first off, I love Evangeline nicked Eva. When I was doing my standard research in the Baby Name Wizard for Haley (you all know that, for each entry, it offers boy and girl ideas that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity), I looked up both Evangeline and Eva for inspiration, and loved seeing that Lucy is a style match for Eva, as is Lena (on Haley’s list as a nickname for Magdalena) and Clara (Haley mentioned in the podcast that Clara was a contender for Gwen’s middle name). And I love that Evangeline is long like Benjamin. I think Evangeline/Eva is great for this baby!

I also love Rosemary Catherine nicked Rosie Cate — Haley mentioned it in the podcast as well, and I loved it then and still do! It’s funny because I think Haley must be more sensitive to the southern influence, being that she lives close to it — for me, being from the northeast and living here my whole life, my first thought when hearing double names isn’t southern (though I know it’s certainly a thing down there) … maybe more like Irish? Like Mary Clare, Mary Kate … actually I guess the Mary doubles are what I’m mostly thinking of, which always make me think of Ireland. But for me other double names have that similar feel too, especially if they’re sweet names like Rosie and Cate. They also have a sophisticated feel to me — like country-club-pearls-and-cardigan. Which, comes to think of it, is kind of my idea of “southern” too! Anyway, all that to say, I love Rosemary Catherine/Rosie Cate and I wouldn’t not use it because it feels too southern (but Haley — and many of you — would know better whether that would be an issue or not).

I love Haley and her hubby’s other favorite girl names too, there are so many great ones on their list! As for middles, I tried playing around with Evangeline with some of the middles on their list, just to see which ones I like the best (not that it matters what I like!). My favorite combos, based mostly on how they sound together, were:

Evangeline Elizabeth (long, but they sound so pretty together I think)
Evangeline Alice
Evangeline Aurora (wow)
Evangeline Rose

I also like the idea of double names with Evangeline … like Evangeline Rose –> Eva Rose; Evangeline Catherine –> Eva Cate; Evangeline Elizabeth –> Eva Tess (I think I saw Tess in a list of Elizabeth nicknames only once, but if Betty and Tetty are both traditional nns for Elizabeth [they are], and so is Bess, then it makes sense that Tess would be. Elizabeth/Tess is at the top of my own list).

For their boy ideas, I’m totally blown away by Daniel’s list! Beowulf, Cynewulf, Merlin, Llewelyn, Beorn, and Abel! Truly, it’s almost always the moms who have the more adventurous taste, I’m super impressed with Daniel’s outside-the-box thinking!

In fact, it was so outside the box that I wasn’t quite sure where to start with research for them. None of Daniel’s names are included in any of my name-matchmaking resources (I used Nymbler.com and the Name Matchmaker on babynamewizard.com in addition to the BNW book) except Merlin, Llewellyn (that spelling) and Abel (which I love as Benjamin’s brother). I did sub in Bjorn for Beorn, just to have some additional ideas, but of course most of them were Scandinavian, which didn’t turn out to be terrible — there were a couple that I thought really felt like their style, like Freya for a girl and Torin for a boy, but mostly I tried to stick to names that were at least Celtic/British, if not specifically Scottish, in my official suggestions below.

One of the things I was also surprised by with Daniel’s list is how not-Catholic the names are (besides the biblical Abel). Which is totally fine! But I did try to think of names with maybe a similar feel that had a faithy connection, and the only one I really came up with as sort of similar (in spelling anyway) to Beowulf is Boethius, aka St. Severinus Boethius — he was a philosopher some of my readers have mentioned from time to time, which prompted me to do this post. One of those readers had actually decided on Robert Boethius for her son, but she ended up having a girl (whose got an equally amazing name).

As for the names on Haley’s list, Sebastian Luke has been a longtime fave — she mentioned it in the podcast. Great combo. Haley’s right that St. John will never be said correctly, but I have to say that my primary association isn’t Jane Eyre but Four Weddings and a Funeral! I asked my husband too — he’s the one who introduced me to Brideshead Revisited and loves all those BBC productions like Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, etc., so he’d definitely have a sense of whether a name is too tied to a Bronte character, and he also didn’t remember St. John from Jane Eyre! So I’m thinking maybe the Jane Eyre association isn’t as bad as they think. But definitely yes to lots of pronunciation issues. If they can’t get past that, it would make a smashing middle name! Pronunciations don’t matter so much in the middle.

Joseph Romero’s awesome, and Benjamin and Joseph are great brother names, being that they were brothers in the bible!

Arthur’s great. Benjamin and Arthur together are great.

Haley raved about Gilbert/Gil in the podcast too, but she said her hubby disliked Gilbert and hated Gil even more! Gah! We also talked on the podcast about Gabriel, which Haley said she liked, but she didn’t care for Gabe — I’ve often liked the idea of Gil as a nickname for Gabriel, which I would totally push for Haley except that Daniel doesn’t like Gil!

I love all their ideas for boy middle names too!

I know Haley said they’re set on Evangeline/Eva, or possibly Rosemary Catherine, and if they decide not to do either of those they have an amazing list of other girl names they like, but there were some names that popped up in my research that, like Freya mentioned above, just felt like their style. I didn’t spend a huge amount of time on girl ideas, but I did just want to mention these few here before listing my boy ideas:

(1) Zelda
Zelda’s a style match for Merlin per the BNW, and it screams “literary” to me, never mind that it’s got the cool Z initial.

(2) Naomi
Biblical like Benjamin, it’s also a style match for Daniel’s Abel. Naomi’s gorgeous! And I love her story in the bible.

(3) Edith
St. Edith Stein is one of the best, and her name’s a match for Arthur. How sweet is the nickname Edie??

(4) Annabel
Given that Haley specifically mentioned their Scottish last name, and Annabelle’s a style match for Evangeline, I thought it was worth pointing out that Annabel is actually a Scottish name! A variant of Amabel, which points to Our Lady!

(5) Iona, Isla
Iona’s a match for Llewellyn, and like Annabelle I thought it was worth a mention because of its specifically Celtic feel (St. Columba founded a monastery on the Isle of Iona). Ditto for Isla.

As for boy’s names, I basically just tried to find names that I thought would bridge the names on Haley’s list with those on Daniel’s, hopefully coming up with ideas that they both might like. This is what I came up with:

(1) Wilfrid
It was Haley’s love of the idea of calling a little guy “Wulfie” that make me think of Wilfrid. There’s a mom on a name discussion board I follow who has a little Wilfrid, and Wolf is his occasional nickname, so I thought Wilfrid could combine the “wulf” aspects of the names Daniel loves with the St. John/Arthur/Gilbert names on Haley’s list — I think Wilfrid could fit in well with them, and in fact the similar sounding Willis was also listed as a style match for Gilbert. AND there are a few Sts. Wilfrid!

(2) Malcolm
I had planned to listen to the podcast again anyway, to see if there were any ideas in it I’d missed, but I was particularly compelled to do so when I was doing my research (I did all of it except the podcast first) and saw Malcolm in a list of Celtic names I was looking through. It felt so familiar, like I’d already suggested it to Haley, but it wasn’t in the podcast so I wonder where I got that feeling? Anyway, as soon as I saw it I thought it felt like a really good suggestion. Not only is it a good Celtic name — Scottish, in fact — but it’s got a great meaning: “disciple of St. Columba.” (Compare this to a name I reference on the blog quite a bit: Miles, an anglicization of the old Irish name Maelmhuire, meaning “disciple/servant of the Virgin Mary.” Malcolm is from the Scottish Mael Colium.) Mac would make a great nickname for a Malcolm!

(3) Roald
Roald is a style match for Bjorn, but despite being a Norwegian name of course we know it as the British author Roald Dahl. I don’t know if Haley and her hubs like Dahl as an author or not, but with Cynewulf in play I didn’t think anything was out of bounds to suggest! And Roald is a bit more Arthur than Cynewulf.

(4) Tavish
This was in the same list of Celtic names as Malcolm, and I totally had Scottish names on the brain, so I thought it was a fun suggestion. It’s the Scottish form of Thomas!

(5) Giles
What’s more British than Giles? Though it sounds different than Gil, Gil was my inspiration for it. On the podcast Haley had said, in response to my suggestion of Henry, that she and Daniel had been talking about George, and that Henry and George have such a Brit feel, especially with the last name Stewart. Giles fits that to a T! There are a few Sts. Giles.

(6) Magnus
Also on the podcast, Haley said that at that time John Paul Ignatius was Daniel’s favorite name, which added to my surprise at his current list. But Magnus — a style match for Bjorn and a name on the Celtic list as well — might be a way to nod to St. John Paul the Great (and other Greats: St. Gregory and St. Leo, as well as even St. Maximilian Kolbe if they want, since Maximilian and Magnus share meanings) in a new way, and in a style closer to the names they both have on their lists. Since they have Carole on their girl middle name list for Daniel’s mom, they could consider using a male variant like Karol/Karl/Carl as a middle name for Magnus and have it refer even closer to St. John Paul the Great (since his birth name was Karol — the Polish form of Charles). (Magnus Karol/Karl/Carl is also Charlemagne’s name reversed, which may or may not appeal to them.)

(7) Sinclair
Of course you have to know this was almost 100% inspired by St. John. It’s got a similar sound and also refers to a saint (St. Clare), but in a much easier way spelling- and pronunciation-wise. It’s also a style match for Llewellyn, and Haley said in the podcast that she loves the name Clara. So maybe?

(8) Felix
I was pretty aware of the fact that several names I thought they might like are also the names of children of fairly well known mamas in the Catholic world (e.g., Naomi — Ana Hahn; Edith — Rosie Hill), and Felix is one such (Jenna Wilber and Arwen Mosher, to name two), so I know that might reduce its appeal, but there weren’t too many names that were style matches for more than one name on Haley’s and Daniel’s lists (except for the Leo/Henry/Oliver names, which is where their girl style tends to lean), but Felix was a match for both Eva and Merlin. So I thought I had to mention it!

(9) Tristan
Tristan is a style match for Sebastian and Gavin (in place of Gawain), it’s literary, and it can be bestowed it in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows. I love it!

(10) Oisin/Ossian
Interestingly, Ossian was listed as match for Bjorn, which is a variant of Oisín — which was included in the list of Celtic names. It’s definitely out there and has some pronunciation issues (o-SHEEN is, I believe, the correct way to say Oisín, and O-see-en for Ossian, and Forvo concurs [here and here], as does babynamesofireland.com, but I’m sure some people would come up with “Ocean”). I see the evolution of the O names happening thusly: Oliver was a big hit for a while, then became overly popular for some people’s tastes; then Owen; I’m currently seeing Otis and Oscar more and more; so using Oisin/Ossian might be getting in on the ground floor of The Next Big Name.

(11) Gareth/Garrett
This is my last idea, and it’s inspired both by Haley’s mom and grandmother’s names (Margot and Margaret), as well as the fact that Gareth and Garrett have a Celtic feel. One of you shared about a family with a devotion to St. Margaret of Antioch, so they named a son Garrett in her honor (so similar to Greta on Haley’s list). I love that! And Gareth was on the Celtic list, and Margarethe is a German and Danish form of Margaret, so Gareth definitely still works for Margaret and Margot.

I think I’ll stop at eleven ideas! But I thought these posts might have some additional ideas that are similar to those Haley and Daniel might like:

https://sanctanomina.net/2016/11/14/baby-name-consultant-geek-catholics-need-help-naming-no-3/

https://sanctanomina.net/2017/03/09/birth-announcement-winifred-esme/

https://sanctanomina.net/2017/10/30/celebrity-guest-meghan-literarycatholic-namer/

And I’m assuming it wasn’t their favorite, but my idea of Jonathan with the traditional Brit nickname Jonty from the podcast is still one of the ones I love for them!

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What do you think about Haley and Daniel’s ideas for girl names? What name(s) would you suggest for the little brother of Benjamin, Lucy, and Gwen?

Sancta Nomina goes audial

So this posted today:

podcast_image-01.05.16

Hosted by these lovely ladies:

podcast_image2-01.05.16

Can you believe it? I barely can myself! So exciting! I’m sure you’ll have as much fun listening to Haley, Christy, and I chat about name as I had doing the actual chatting, and you’ll get to hear the name ideas I have for them if they’re blessed with more babies — be sure to let me know if you agree or disagree with my ideas, and what others you would offer based on the names they’ve already used for their kiddos!

Let’s Talk About Catholic Baby Names with Kate Towne

(When you click the link you’ll see there’s even a crazy pic of the paper I’d written my ideas for them on — that’s how I do consultations! Old school paper and pen, lots of arrows and doodling and notes in the margins. I will just say there’s an extra lot of doodling on this paper because I had it in front of me while I was talking to them, and if I have paper in front of me I.will.doodle.)

Merry Christmas!!

Are you all getting ready for this most holy of nights? As I write this (in the morning of today), we’ve got cleaning and baking and neverending coffee 🙂 and Christmas carols and candy canes and clean clothes for Mass and gift-preparing going on, from the oldest to the youngest. What a wonderful time!

Before I sign off for Christmas, I wanted to let you know two fun things:

— Yesterday Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas and Christy from Fountains of Home interviewed me for their Fountains of Carrots podcast. I know! It was an awesome hour of talking about some really fun things, all having to do with architecture. Ha! 😀 Of course it was names. It’s so fun to talk with people who love the names of our faith as I do. Just like all of you! I’ll let you know when it posts — probably sometime in January — and you can listen while you fold laundry or wash dishes or relax with a cup of coffee or whatever you do when you listen to a podcast!

— Remember the guest post from The Catholic Hipster (Tommy Tighe)? And how he’s working on a book called The Catholic Hipster Handbook, due out in Spring 2017 from Ave Maria Press? He asked me if I would be interested in contributing to it! I know! There’s no guarantee what I wrote will make it into the final book but … it might! It was a really fun piece to work on and I’m just still in a swoony awe that something I wrote might actually appear in a published book.

So those are my fun tidbits to wrap up Advent with! With that, I want to tell you all, again, how very blessed my life has been because of you all. Life is full of so much sadness and suffering, which we know Jesus uses to draw us closer to Him, but it’s also full of joy, all of which comes from Him. This blog and our name conversations have been part of the joy of my life for the past year — such good, wholesome, innocent, joyful fun. Thank you all, a million times! ❤

I’ll be off the blog from now until Monday January 4, with the exception of the Monday consultation, which I’ll post as usual on December 28 and moderate the comments as needed.

And now — off to prepare for our Little Lord! Fall on your knees! O Night Divine! O Holy Night! A merry merry and very blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones!

Jean-Baptiste_Marie_Pierre_-_Nativity_-_WGA17676

Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons