Ireland part 2: Radek

Part 1 here.

I just have to tell you all about the driver we had during our trip to Ireland for my sister’s wedding, both because I can’t recommend his company highly enough — so if you’re ever in Ireland, you *must* hire him! — and because of the Sancta Nomina connection!

First off, because I’m not twenty and single but rather forty and traveling with a baby and my oldest as well and wanting to make things as easy and convenient as possible for myself, I booked a car service from Shannon Airport to Cork City when we were first making our plans. I don’t remember how I found Easy Transfer, but its clean web site appealed to me and its prices didn’t seem crazy. My booking was for four of us (me, my two boys — one of whom needed a car seat — and our dear friend, who is also the baby’s godfather, who was also the priest saying the wedding!) for the hour-and-a-half drive from Shannon to Cork.

But then the Boeing tragedies happened and my flight got re-routed, as well as those of my parents and sisters (who were supposed to fly into Cork itself), and now we were all flying into Dublin Airport, which was double the driving distance away from Cork and, according to my preliminary research, more than double the cost to hire a car service. I looked into bus and train, which were both cheaper, but I’ll admit I was having quite the freak out about traveling abroad with a baby, especially regarding his sleep schedule, and the thought of getting on and off a bus — with the waiting, and would it be on schedule, and would there be enough seats or would we have to wait for the next bus, and all our luggage — either to take the bus to Cork or take the bus to the train station and then get off the bus and on a train (all of which made me feel faint with despair — I know, I’m a big baby), all after having been on a 6+ hour flight — and I’ve never been a super great traveler jet-lag-wise — I just couldn’t. I didn’t know how we would manage a car service for eight people and all our luggage and still have money left to live, but I was determined to do so.

In the midst of this, I went back to Easy Transfer’s site to find their email address so I could cancel my plans, and discovered that they also had a service from Dublin Airport! So I emailed them and explained the situation and they said, “Of course” — of course they can pick eight people up at Dublin Airport and transport us all to Cork, and of course they can pick me/sons/priest up on Sunday morning and bring us back to Dublin, and of course they can pick up my parents and sisters on Tuesday and bring them back to Dublin, and this is what it would cost, which was cheaper than anything else I’d found, and I said YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU SO MUCH and so we were booked. And I’m telling you the absolute truth that every time I emailed, no matter what time of day or day of the week, I had a response within a half hour. I raved about it to my parents and husband more than once — I have no memory of ever having such great customer service anywhere else in my whole life!

When we arrived in Dublin, our driver, Radek, was there with my name on a sign, just like he promised. Karolina was the other driver — she drove a minivan for seven, and Radek’s car took four, so there was even enough room to add in another friend who unexpectedly landed at Dublin the same time we did. From the first moment, Radek and Karolina were lovely — friendly and personable — and the answer was “of course” to everything. Of course there’s room for your friend, of course it’s no problem that this is all taking longer than expected. My parents and sisters reported that the minivan was wonderful; I rode in the car, which was immaculate, and there was an immaculate car seat waiting for the baby, and several bottles of complimentary water. I was SO THIRSTY after the flight (I was so desperate for the baby to sleep during as much of the flight as possible that I didn’t want to drink anything so I wouldn’t have to get up and go to the bathroom) that I would have given my right arm for a bottle of water, so when I saw the bottles in there I about died of happiness. “Are these for us?” I asked Radek, and he said, “Of course!”

“Of course” was also the answer to “Do you take credit card?” and “I didn’t get a chance to change money, you don’t accept dollars, do you?” — every single detail seemed tailored to make the customer’s experience as easy and convenient as possible.

We chatted for a bit during the drive — I discovered Radek is from Poland, and that Easy Transfer is his company — and then we all quickly fell asleep, which he didn’t seem to mind either. It was all so lovely and easy and exactly what we (I) needed.

That would have been nice enough, but then when Radek picked us up from the hotel on Sunday to drive us back to Dublin, he told us more about himself — including his RELIC OF PADRE PIO that he always carries with him and his ST. CHRISTOPHER MEDAL in the car and the ROSARY he keeps in his pocket and actually prays! He talked about our beloved St. John Paul the Great, and the Church in Poland, and his beautiful family (his wife helps him run the business, and I got to see pictures of his three children), and how he’d gone to Mass the night before because he wouldn’t be able to that day (Sunday) — I was SO delighted to discover these things! THEN he said to me, “My wife looked you up” — I’d paid the deposit with my PayPal which has my Sancta Nomina email — and that was why he felt comfortable to tell me about these beautiful faith-y things! I’m SO THRILLED! God works in such amazing ways!

So the next time you’re planning a trip to Ireland, I hope you’ll hire Easy Transfer, and tell Radek that I sent you!! (You don’t have to take my word for it either — it’s got all 5-star reviews on Trip Advisor!)


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!

Advertisements

Ireland part 1: Edel

I have so much to tell you all about my fast four-day trip to Ireland for my sister’s wedding! I posted a bunch of photos over the last few days on Instagram, and had some longer things to write here, which I’m going to break up into a few posts.

I’ve written before about Ven. Edel Quinn — e.g., I posted a birth announcement for a little girl given Quinn as a middle in honor of her; I posted a family spotlight of three sisters, one of whom has Edel as a middle in honor of her; and I did a consultation for a mama who loves Ven. Edel and Edelweiss and would love to work them both in somehow — and she has a pretty incredible name story of her own. She was born in Co. Cork, which is where my sister’s wedding was, and I had the fun experience of seeing a twenty-something Irish girl in Dublin airport on my way home whose bag had her name stitched on it — and it was Edel! I heard her friends referring to her by name a couple times, and they said it like “Adele,” which is what I’d always assumed was the dominant pronunciation. BUT that same girl was paged several times during the several hours I was at the airport, and one of the times her name was said to rhyme with pedal (EH-del), and another time like the first part of Edelweiss (AY-del). How cool! Three different possibilities, all used by Irish natives (or so I assumed, given their brogues). Encountering names of the faith “out in the wild” — seeing them used in real life — is one of my very favorite things!


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!

Fun Friday Question: What name pocket are you in (if any)?

Don’t forget to enter The Catholic Working Mom’s Guide to Life giveaway if you haven’t already! You have until Sunday at midnight!

My dear friend KZG, who I’ve known for over twenty years, and with whom I lived and traveled while young, and who was a bridesmaid in my wedding and godmother to one of my boys, has also been one of my longest readers (in the beginning of the blog, she and my mom were my only two readers!) and biggest supporters/cheerleaders. She’s also the one who lets me know any time anyone in the Catholic blogosphere is pregnant — she has “introduced” me to so many of you! I gave her a special shout-out in my book for all the ways she’s been a bright light to Sancta Nomina (and always to me ❤ ).

So anyway, this past Tuesday she texted me, “Have you written about how popular Rocco is?” and went on to tell me that it’s super popular where she is (downstate NY), especially in the 4-6 year old age range (in her experience). So I responded how interesting that is, and that not only is it not terribly popular nationwide, it’s also on a downswing, so she must be in a pocket and I wondered why?

rocco

She reminded me that there’s a high population of families with Italian heritage where she lives, which makes sense, and we continued our text convo about other things and I mentally made a note to write about Rocco at some point in the future.

THE VERY NEXT DAY Laura Wattenberg, aka The Baby Name Wizard, who has a new web site called Namerology (she’s no longer at the Baby Name Wizard site), posted Maeve of Massachusetts, Meet Magnus of Minnesota, which was all about name pockets due to high concentrations of certain ethnicities (specifially Irish in Boston/Massachusetts, Swedish in Minnesota, and Italian in New Jersey [I would add downstate New York — Duchess and Westchester Counties, New York City, and Long Island — which borders New Jersey]).

SHE ACTUALLY SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED ROCCO!

The Swedish immigrants who flocked to Minnesota are recalled in the modern popularity of names like Ingrid and Henrik, and the Italian immigrants who helped shape New Jersey in names like Francesca and Rocco.”

Of course I texted her right away!! KZG is amazing!!

I can’t think of any names that are particular to my area as opposed to the rest of the country — I know loads of kids with the new top ten names, and the top names in New York State specifically (which KZG also sent me, name genius that she is) aren’t that different, and no names are coming to mind as those I hear that wouldn’t be as known to other places. (I will say that Sancta Nomina provides a Catholic name pocket though! 😂 The beautiful names of our faith are so familiar to me through interacting with all of you and the research I do for the blog/book/social media, etc. that I forget not everyone is as familiar!)

What about all of you? Do you hear names on the little ones in your town/area that aren’t common in other places? Happy Friday!


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!

Birth announcement: Sunday Josephine!

Don’t forget to enter The Catholic Working Mom’s Guide to Life giveaway if you haven’t already! You have until Sunday at midnight!

A mama I did a private consultation for has let me know her little girl has arrived and been given the a-MAZ-ing name … Sunday Josephine!

She writes,

When we went to the hospital, our top choice was Sunny — it was a name we both liked early on, and our both of our kids liked it, too — but it honestly did not feel like “the one” to me. My reservation was that it felt very nickname-y.

The middle name, Josephine, just came to me one day. We wanted something on the serious side to balance out Sunny, that would flow well, and that was not a noun (“Sunny Clementine”). As you know, Joseph was a top choice on our boy list. The name is really special to me since it honors my dad, who passed away on the Feast of St. Joseph, and my surrogate grandfather, whose name was Joseph. I noticed that Joseph is listed in your book as a Marian name, so I feel like Josephine can be Marian also. My husband agreed that we both love the name, and we have plenty of other boy names if we have a son in the future, so we decided to use it.

As I mentioned, I did not feel like Sunny was THE name. So we were sitting in the hospital room on the day she was born, and my husband was reassuring me that Sunny was the name. He said something like, “We have to name her Sunny, it’s such a sunny Sunday.” I had a light bulb moment and asked him, “What if we name her Sunday and use Sunny as a nickname?” He did not jump on it, which did not surprise me. What did surprise me was when he brought it up again a few hours later because he liked it too!

So that’s the story — Sunday Josephine, but we usually call her Sunny. It’s completely different than where I thought we would end up, but we love it.”

How great is this story and this NAME?!! Sunday Josephine called Sunny?? I die! As I told the mama, it’s not often that I’m surprised by a name choice, I LOVE being surprised! And Sunny is just the best, sweetest nickname, I love everything about this. Kudos to these parents for a bold yet traditional, faith-filled choice with such a great, friendly nickname! (Fun fact: Notre Dame du Dimanche means “Our Lady of Sunday” in French [feast day June 8], and as a result Dimanche and Sunday are included in my book of Marian names. ❤ )

Congratulations to the whole family, and happy birthday Baby Sunday!!


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!

Baby name consultation: Kendra from Catholic All Year!

(So sorry I’m posting this so late in the day — I meant to have it up ages ago! I’m running about eight hours behind schedule, of course. I blame the baby!)

I know you all know Kendra from the fabulous Catholic All Year — she of the so-creative ideas for celebrating each feast day and author of a bunch of other books and maker of cool things, wearer of the stunning outfits for the themed events she attends, and designer and painter of the AMAZING chapel she put together in her own home!

She’s also expecting her tenth baby, and I’m SO EXCITED that she wanted some ideas/thoughts/suggestions!

To start, here are her older kiddos’ names:

John Paul nn Jack (“named for Pope St. JPII“)
Elizabeth Jeanne nn Betty (“named for my grandmother and my sister in law“)
Robert Benedict nn Bobby (“named for three of Jim and my grandfathers and Pope Benedict XVI“)
Augustine James nn Gus (“named for St. Augustine and my father in law“)
Anita Camille (“named for my grandmother and my mother“)
Francis Patrick nn Frankie (“named for St. Francis and my brother in law“)
Louise Marita nn Lulu (“named for our neighbor/adopted great grandmother and my mother in law“)
Mary Jane nn Midge (“named for our Blessed Mother“)
George Curtis (“named for my uncle and my father“)

Which is all just so fun — her and her hubby’s often-midcentury taste is fun and fairly uncommon these days! And I love that it’s woven into a really Catholicky Catholic tapestry of given names.

Kendra writes,

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on both boys’ and girls’ names.

We’ve used lots of family names, as you can see, and names that have a straightforward patron saint.

[Hubby] likes very regular Catholic names. I like names that are familiar and spellable but little-used. I’ve always liked that I’m almost always the only Kendra in the room. (But I don’t like that it’s not a canonized saint name … yet 😉 )

We thought we had that familiar/unusual with Jack, but then a lot of people used that nickname. And there are currently three Guses in our Gus’ sixth grade class. 😬 But that’s more a function of how VERY Catholic the school is. 😂😂

Unused family name is my sister Kara, but it’s also not a saint name.

George would have been Liberty 🗽 Katherine if he’d been a girl (born on the 4th of July, I have hit my due date 5/9 times).

We have the special situation this time of [hubby’s] grave health issue, so I’d especially like to honor him in the names, to the point that we are considering ‘reusing’ James, even though it’s Gus’ middle name. He was a marine artillery officer and is a supernumerary of Opus Dei. He went to a Carmelite high school and has worn the brown scapular for over thirty years.

We have been asking for the intercession of St. Nuno and Bl. Alvaro del Portillo.”

I was so happy to do this for Kendra and her hubs, not only because I love helping expectant mamas, but also in hopes that it’s a fun little distraction for both of them in the midst of his diagnosis and treatment. (Please pray for him!!)

As far as coming up with ideas, I used their kiddos’ nicknames as inspiration in my research as much as their given names — Jack, Betty, Bobby, Gus, Frankie, Lulu, and Midge just evoke the most amazing bunch of sock-hoppers (also Anita and George!). In addition to the names they gave their older kids, I also used Barbara and Liberty (both previously considered by them for girls), Cyril (Kendra’s frontrunner, as she noted in the comments on this IG post, though her hubby doesn’t care for it), and Blythe Fike’s kids’ names (Kendra said her hubby loves Blythe’s kids’ names! See my consultation for Blythe and her birth announcement) as inspiration. I also considered how to work in hubby’s name and Kendra’s sister’s name, and also St. Nuno and Bl. Alvaro del Portillo.

I always start a consultation by looking up the names the parents have already used and those they like/are considering in the Baby Name Wizard book as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity — I did so for both Kendra’s kids’ given names and nicknames. The BNW also has listings of names by category in the back of the book, so I looked at Guys and Dolls, Timeless, Nicknames, Midcentury, and Solid Citizens for additional ideas. I also used my own book of Marian baby names for ideas, and to cross reference with the BNW‘s results. The next task was to whittle all that down into a short-ish list of suggestions! 😅

Before I get to my official suggestions, however, I wanted to address Kendra’s desire to honor Jim in this baby’s name, to the extent they’re considering using James again, after having given it to Gus as his middle name. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that! I have a friend who gave Catherine as a middle name to two of her daughters — one was to honor Grandma Catherine, and the other was to honor St. Catherine of Siena. And I have another friend who has both a Charles and a Caroline. Repeating the exact name or different forms of the same name within a family is neither unheard of nor problematic, as long as the parents like it (and for big families, sometimes it’s necessary!). If Kendra and her hubs wanted to consider ideas that aren’t exactly James but could honor him nonetheless, I came up with:

  • Jameson: This is my favorite suggestion. It literally means “son of James” while being different from Gus’ middle name. It’s a sneaky nod to their Ireland trip last year too, by way of Jameson Whiskey! I’m guessing they’d like this best in the middle name spot.
  • Seamus: Speaking of Irish, they could consider the Irish variant of James — Seamus. This also could be a smashing middle name.
  • Jacob: James and Jacob are actually the same name — Jacob is the Hebrew and James is the Latin. Jacob is perhaps the option that feels least connected to Jim’s name, but the connection is there, strong and impeccable. This, too, might be best in the middle spot, as Jacob and Jake are so similar to Jack. (I spotlighted Jacob here.)

Those are my ideas for working “James” into a boy’s name without using James itself, and I also had some ideas for working his name into a daughter’s name:

  • Gemma: While the name Gemma we’re familiar with (St. Gemma Galgani) isn’t etymologically related to James, being instead from the Italian for “gem,” I’ve seen it (and the alternate spelling Jemma) used as a feminine form of James, as both Gem and Jem are old nicknames for James. (You can read more about that here.) Of course, St. Gemma adds that “straightforward patron saint” criteria that Kendra said they both like.
  • Jamesina: They could go right to the “girl James” name — I think it’s got a sweet vintage appeal!
  • Jacoba: As with Jamesina, they could go the “girl Jacob” route — could be interesting! (In case it’s helpful, actress Cobie Smulders’ given name is actually Jacoba Francisca Maria — could a name be any more faithy??)

Okay, on to first name suggestions!

Girl
(1) Margaret nn Peggy or Rita
Peggy is what caught my attention when I was doing my research — Peggy totally fits in with the older kids! And Margaret is an especially good match for Elizabeth, Louise, Mary Jane, and George. Rita is also a fine possibility for a nickname, and while there are lots of great Sts. Margaret to choose as patron, St. Rita of Cascia (whose given name was the Italian form of Margaret: Margarita or Margherita — I’ve seen both) is also a powerful intercessor.

(2) Katherine nn Kathy or Kate, or Karine
Kendra said that George would have been Liberty Katherine if he’d been a girl, and when I saw Kathy in the list of mid-century names, I wondered if they’d consider Katherine as a first name? With the nickname Kathy? But actually, even as I write that, I think I prefer the nickname Kate for their family (and not because I’m a Katherine/Kate!) — there was a fun discussion on Abby from Appellation Mountain’s Facebook page recently on what name or names are the female counterpart to Jack, and Kate did really well. Another idea is that Karine is considered an elaboration of Kara on the one hand, and has another life as being a Norwegian form of Katherine! So I love the idea of Karine for them as a nod to Kendra’s sister while still having a saintly connection.

(3) Susan or Suzette nn Susie/Suzy
Susie was another name included in the mid-century list, and I’m loving it for this family! It might be my favorite. Susie is so cute! Though I love the Susanna/Susanne/Suzanne options, the fact that they already have an Anne (Anita) makes me think Susan or Suzette would be the better full-name options. They’re both variants of Susanna, which has the cool distinction of meaning both “lily” and “rose,” which gives it a Marian twist (I included the Susanna names in my book of Marian names!).

(4) Carol/Carolyn/Caroline/Carla/Karoline
I’m not convinced they’ll love this idea, since my favorite saint idea for the Carol- names is always St. John Paul II and they’ve already named a child after him. But I think each of these variants would fit in well with the names they’ve already chosen, depending on how 30s-40s-mid-century they’re feeling, and Karoline has the additional aspect of possibly being an honor name for Kendra’s sister sound-wise and using the letter K (which is also extra JohnPaulian). There are other patron possibilities as well, of course, including St. Charles Borromeo, Bl. Karl of Austria (whom John Paul was actually named after, which is one of the namey things that has made me happiest in my life), and some lovely ladies like Bl. Karolina Kózka, Bl. Theresa Gerhardinger (born Caroline, and also known as Bl. Caroline Gerhardinger or Bl. Karolina Gerhardinger), Bl. Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret (religious name: Sr. Charlotte of the Resurrection), Venerable Carla Barbara Colchen Carré de Malberg (also known as Ven. Caroline Barbara), Bl. Charlotte Davy, and Bl. Charlotte Lucas (especially if you’re a Pride and Prejudice fan 😉 ). Both Caro and Carrie (and even Cara/Kara, if they wanted to name more explicitly for Kendra’s sister) are sweet nicknames that I like with the other kids.

(5) Bernadette
I was excited to see Bernadette pop up in my research as a good match for this family! I saw on Kendra’s Instagram that they visited Lourdes a few years ago, so this could have extra special meaning for them because of their trip, but also, I thought, for the fact that Lourdes has healing water, which could sort of immortalize in name the hope for healing for Jim. Bernie is a fun nickname — Food Network personality Molly Yeh just named her new baby the incredible Bernadette Rosemary and they’re calling her Bernie (hmm … but maybe too political though?). Unfortunately, the other nicknames I’d suggest or that I’ve heard (Etta, Detta, Betsy) are too close to Betty.

(6) Dorothy/Dorothea/Theodora
Dorothy was my first thought, just based on that mid-century vibe. It’s got the great meaning of “gift of God” and some cute nicknames like Dora, Dory, Dodie, Dolly, Dot/Dottie, Thea, and Tea. The latter two made me think that Dorothea would also be a nice variant to consider, as would Theodora, which is the exact same name but with the elements reversed.

(7) Dolores
Dorothy also made me think of Dolores, which I might like for this family even better, since it’s a Marian name — Spanish for “sorrows,” it’s part of the Marian title Nuestra Señora de Dolores (Our Lady of Sorrows). I also really like that it’s similar to Anita in that they’re both Spanish names that were most popular earlier in the twentieth century. (Linda is another, for what it’s worth.) Dolly and Dory can be nicknames for Dolores, like for Dorothy, but Lulu knocks out its traditional nickname Lola.

(8) Gloria
Gloria did well in my research, and a friend of mine has a really cute little sister named Gloria (very important bit of scientific evidence there 😀 ), so I thought I’d include it in my suggestions here. But then it made me think about how Bl. Solanus Casey would say, “Thank God ahead of time” and Gloria kind of felt like that to me — a praising name for His goodness and His care for Kendra and Jim and their family in the midst of this health trial.

(9) Carmel
I wonder if they’ve ever considered Carmel? With Jim having gone to a Carmelite high school and having such a devotion to Our Lady and her brown scapular, this might be a really nice way to name a baby girl “after” him. I also stayed at a B&B in Dublin run by a woman named Carmel, so it’s always had an Irish sheen to me as well.

(10) Labouré (with or without the accent)
My last girl suggestion for Kendra and Jim is inspired by the fact that they’d chosen Liberty for George if he’d been a girl born on the 4th of July — Labouré has similar sounds as Liberty, and it’s got a linguistic connection to “work,” which is perfect for a Labor Day baby (I think it technically means “plows”). AND it has a straightforward patron saint! St. Catherine Labouré is a wonderful patron, and I love that the name also has a Marian connection via the Miraculous Medal. If they like the nickname Libby, which would be a natural one for Liberty, I think it can easily work for Labouré as well.

Boy
(1) Oliver
One of the bits of research I did in trying to find inspiration for ideas was to research St. Nuno and Bl. Alvaro del Portillo, and guys — what I found is a Catholic name nerd’s DREAM! I totally understand if no one’s as excited about this as I am, but check this out: St. Nuno’s full name is actually St. Nuno Álvares Pereira, so of course I noticed right away the Álvares of St. Nuno’s name and the Alvaro of Bl. Alvaro’s. Indeed, they’re variants of the same name, and while it’s not totally known for sure, both behindthename.com and dmnes.org make a possible connection between Alvaro/Álvares and Oliver. How cool! So I’ve decided that I love Oliver for this family. 😊 It’s got a straightforward patron saint (and an Irish one at that! St. Oliver Plunkett is great) and a nickname that I think fits right in with the Jack/Betty/Bobby/Gus/Frankie/Lulu/Midge nicknames: Ollie is just darling. And, if I may, Oliver Jameson has a particularly nice ring to it. (It’s also in my book!)

(2) Gerard nn Jerry or Bernard nn Bernie/Ben
I’m including Gerard and Bernard together because they rhyme and they have a similar feel to me as well — saintly and vintage-y. I also love their friendly nicknames — Gerard is easily Jerry, and while Bernie for Bernard is easy, the issues mentioned above with Bernadette/Bernie make Ben a nice option as a nickname for Bernard (I know a Bernard who goes by Ben). I love St. Gerard Majella — a great intercessor for pregnant mamas and their babies — and Bernard is in honor of St. Bernadette for the reasons I mentioned above. (Of course, they could choose one of the Sts. Bernard instead! Just that it was St. Bernadette who inspired me to add Bernard to the list.)

(3) Henry nn Hank
I’m digging Henry for this family because of Hank. Hank! I love it! I spotlighted Henry and its great patrons here.

(3) Edward or Edmund nn Ed/Ted/Ned
As with Henry, it was the nickname ideas that grabbed me first — Ed, Ted, and Ned can all be used for the Ed- names, and they all have that friendly throwback feel that I get from Kendra’s older kids. St. Edward the Confessor is a great patron, as is St. Edmund Campion.

(4) Martin nn Marty
Ditto the nickname — I love Marty! And I love St. Martin de Porres.

(5) David nn Davey
Annnnd … the nickname. Davey is so great. There are loads of holy Davids, including King David himself. Also, David peaked in the 1950s! I have three Uncle Davids born during that time! It’s also Marian via her title Tower of David (it’s in my book!).

(6) Simeon
Simeon is totally inspired by the fact that Cyril is at the top of Kendra’s list — it’s a style match per the BNW, and seriously saintly and Marian (it’s in my book!).

(7) Stanley (or Stanislaus?) nn Stan
Frankie and Bob were two names my own husband frequently mentioned during our baby name discussions, so I’m thinking that my hubby’s taste might be similar to that of Kendra and Jim, and my hubs was pushing hard for Stan during my last pregnancy (he loves those friendly “old man” nicknames). Bl. Stanley Rother was beatified in September of 2017, and would make a great, fairly recent patron. St. Stanislaus is also a great patron with a cool link to St. John Paul. And I spotlighted both Stanley and Stanislaus here and I have to say, rereading that post has me all kinds of convinced! I think Stanley is tied with Oliver as my favorite idea for this baby! 😀

(8) Walter nn Walt (or Walsingham?)
Speaking of Stan-ish nicknames, I’ve seen Walt pop up here and there in Catholic families because of Servant of God Walter Ciszek. I’d actually suggested Walt to my husband for our youngest, but as a nickname for the given name of Walsingham, after Our Lady of Walsingham (it’s in my book!). (He gave me points for creativity! But that was way too far outside his comfort zone. 😀 ) I’m guessing Walter is more Kendra and Jim’s speed than Walsingham, but either way I like Walt for them.

(9) Charles nn Cal, Chip, Charlie
Ooh I like Chip for this family! What a cuuuute nickname! And it has a 1950s peak in popularity (as a given name)! Chip has good usage as a nickname for Charles, and I do love Charles for this family! There are so many great Charles-es, as noted in that article I linked to in the Carol/Carolyn/Caroline/Carla/Karoline discussion above — it’s a great classic name that fits in well with Kendra’s other kids’ given names. In fact, I’m kind of surprised they don’t have Charles in there somewhere already! If they don’t care for Chip, Cal’s another great Charles nickname that I think would be smashing in their family, and the familiar Charlie is always great as well.

And those are all my ideas for Kendra and her hubby’s tenth baby! I would be thrilled if any of these hit the right note, but even if it just provided fodder for a fun and maybe fruitful conversation, I’d feel like I did my job.

As always, I’d love to hear your ideas/thoughts/suggestions for this baby, and I know Kendra would too! And because it’s still May, month of Our Lady💙, AND today’s the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, who’s particularly special to me, AND it’s a month before my fifth (!) blogiversary💃, I’m going to loop in another giveaway! TWO lucky winners will each receive:

–> A copy of Kendra’s book The Catholic All Year Compendium: Liturgical Living for Real Life (Ignatius Press, 2018)

AND

–> A copy of my book Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018)

Woo!! 🙌🙌🙌

How to enter:

Each person who offers name suggestions for Kendra and her hubby here on this post will have their name added to the hat for one of the prizes (Kendra’s book + my book).

Each person who offers name suggestions on my Instagram post and who follow me will have their name added to the hat for the other of the prizes (Kendra’s book + my book).

Please only leave ideas on the blog OR Instagram — honor system!

I’ll then choose one name from the comments here on the blog, and one name from the comments on my IG, and announce the two winners on Saturday, May 18, which is the day of Our Lady (by virtue of being Saturday) and St. John Paul II’s birthday! (Also my miracle sister‘s birthday!) A great day!! ❤ ❤ ❤

So let’s hear your suggestions for the little brother or sister of Jack, Betty, Bobby, Gus, Anita, Frankie, Lulu, Midge, and George!


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!

Birth announcement: Peter Joseph!

Be sure to read the previous post — some fun things brewing in this month of Our Lady!

I’ve done a bunch of posts for Dwija from House Unseen, Life Unscripted, including a consultation for baby no. 8, then another consultation for baby no. 8 (so fun!), then a prayer request for that baby, then a name announcement, and a birth announcement. Baby no. 8 had lots of Sancta Nomina love! I’m delighted to now share that Dwija’s had baby no. 9 — a little boy, given the so-handsome (and feastday-appropriate for today’s feast of St. Joseph the Worker!) name … Peter Joseph!

Dwija writes,

We actually broke one of my naming ‘rules’ because we already have a P name (Paul). But when we saw his ultrasound photo, I had to agree with my husband that he was a Peter 😅. Peter is also a family name and fits well with our other kids. His middle name, Joseph, is not a family name, but my husband has developed a special devotion to St. Joseph recently. Also, he was born on the Feast of the Presentation, we liked the connection to Joseph and Mary presenting Jesus in the temple.”

I love all of this! It’s so fun hearing about someone breaking their name rules upon encountering the perfect name — only a very special name can do that! And of course I love the connection to St. Joseph, both through Dwija’s hubby’s devotion and through the feast day Peter was born on. Well done!

Congratulations to Dwija and her hubs and big sibs Kathryn Marisol (Katie), Elizabeth Anne (Lizzie), Paul Anthony, Cecilia Jean (Ceci), Mary Isabel, Nicholas Robert (with Jesus), John Charles (Charlie), and Helen Margaret, and happy birthday Baby Peter!! (Check out his sweet face on Dwija’s Instagram!)


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!

Birth announcement: Lucy Adelaide!

I posted a birth announcement for Rosie (from A Blog for My Mom)’s sixth baby two years ago, and I’m excited to share that she’s had baby no. 7 — a little lady given the gorgeous name … Lucy Adelaide!

Rosie wrote in Lucy’s birth story:

We settled on a name way more quickly than ever before, which makes me feel really justified in refusing to discuss names before the baby had arrived — Lucy had been on our list for ages but we hadn’t used it because it felt too popular… This time we decided we didn’t care anymore! And Adelaide had also been on our short list (princess, patron of parents of large families) and the flow was perfect so we had a Lucy Adelaide!

I looove both Lucy and Adelaide, I’m so glad Rosie and her hubs just went ahead and chose it! Popularity, pooh! And Lucy Adelaide really does have an exceptionally good flow. Great job, all around! (Although I don’t understand the collection of words “refusing to discuss names before the baby had arrived” … 😂 )

Congratulations to Rosie and her hubby and big sibs John Paul, Cecilia Therese, Elizabeth Anna, Mary Claire, Peter Damian, and Edith Veronica, and happy birthday Baby Lucy!! (Check out her sweet face on Rosie’s Instagram!)


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!