Birth announcement: Zelie Grace!

Our girl Jenny Uebbing had her baby!! I posted a consultation for her less than a month ago, and she’s let me know that her little green bean turned out to be a Little Miss whose been given the gorgeous name … Zelie Grace!

Jenny writes,

I know you probably saw on social media but wanted to tell you that Zelie Grace arrived yesterday at 5:10 am on the feast of St Thomas Becket and King David, a cool coincidence for her daddy, David, the chancellor.

We named her something else, called her that for the first few scary minutes of her life (very blue high altitude baby) and so I started praying for the intercession of St Zelie Martin who lost so many of her own babies. I didn’t think we were going to lose her, but I did think she was going to need to go to the NICU. Happily she perked up and has been doing great ever since. Her birth was so different and so much more peaceful than her older siblings’ were that at once point Dave leaned over and said ‘if she’s a girl, grace should be part of her name, because there’s so much if it here.’ So there you have it, Zelie (zay-lee) Grace Uebbing. 7 lbs 11 oz and sweet as can be.”

I’m so happy for Jenny!! I know the end of her pregnancy was tough (I just about died when I read her description on Instagram of her Christmas Eve, when she thought she might be in labor: “Santa may or may not be upstairs barfing and Mrs Claus is hunched over her contraction timer app”), so for her to say this birth was so much more peaceful than her others is such a gift. And the fact that, in the first consultation I did for her (for the baby before this one), she’d said about the name Zelie:

Dave will never let me get away with this one but I’ve loved it for years … And yes, I’m aware there is going to be a Catholic ghetto baby boom of little Z’s running around as a result [of St. Zelie’s canonization]. But I still love.”

Dreams do come true! ❤

Congratulations to Jenny and Dave and big sibs Joseph, John Paul, Genevieve, and Luke, and happy birthday Baby Zelie!!

Zelie Grace with Mom, Dad, and big brother

(Be sure to check out Jenny’s Instagram for more yummy baby pics!)

Advertisements

Birth announcement: Marigold Thérèse!

Our dear reader Grace, for whom I posted a prayer-intention post a month ago as she was enduring a difficult end to her pregnancy, has had her fifth baby — a beautiful little girl with the gorgeous name … Marigold Thérèse!

Grace writes,

Our baby girl Marigold Thérèse was born on November 27. Baby turned head down just in time for my induction and we were able to have a successful VBAC and entirely avoid anesthesia, which was my big concern with having another c-section (I had a serious reaction to the anesthesia with my last c-section). Thank you to all your readers who prayed for us during the week before her birth! We had so many people praying for us over the 9 weeks that I was on bedrest and also right before her birth, and those prayers were deeply felt and appreciated!

Now onto her naming story! When you posted my make-believe consultation, long before I was pregnant, I mentioned that our last baby (now 4 1/2 years old) was to be named Iris Maria Thérèse had he been a girl, and that I thought we’d keep that name if we ever did have another girl. (I also mentioned that I was very set on the name Xavier for a middle name if we had another boy, and the doctor who ended up delivering Marigold was named Javier, which I think is a cool connection.)

Shortly before I found out I was pregnant last March, I had started to have second thoughts about the name Iris. I still really love it, but I don’t care for the initial “I” with our surname, and ultimately felt like, as much as I love the name, it just wasn’t the right choice for us. I also started to think a lot about the name Marigold during that time. It has been one of my two favorite Marian names for years (the other is Maria), and with the floral element and a more English feel than Maria, I started to think it would be a great replacement for Iris. Soon after this, I learned I was pregnant, a miracle after several years of trying, so much prayer (so many St. Thérèse and St. Gerard and St. Andrew Christmas novenas and Our Lady’s Impossible novenas…), and some help from a wonderful Catholic NaPro physician.

I was pretty certain that I had been “led” to the name Marigold during that time, and although my husband was at first a little hesitant to change direction from Iris, he quickly came on board. The middle name would, of course, be Thérèse. St. Thérèse has been a companion and friend to me for years and I really wanted to honor her by using her name.

In May, I had some genetic testing done for the pregnancy (because I’m old😬), which allowed us to find out the sex of the baby. During the time we were awaiting those results, the beloved grandmother of one of my dear friends died. Her name was Marilynn, and as my friend shared stories about her grandmother in the days and weeks that followed her death, I felt a strong sense of connection to her, though I had never met her, and I started to feel even more strongly that the name Marigold was the right choice for our baby (if it was a girl). I felt that I wanted to honor my friend’s grandmother through her name, as well, because I had been so moved by the stories my friend had been sharing. When we got the results of the genetic testing in June and learned that we were expecting a healthy baby girl, I let my friend know that we had chosen the name Marigold and that what she had shared about her grandmother in the previous weeks had confirmed the choice. She told me then that her grandmother had the habit of saving marigold seeds every fall to plant in the spring and that this was a special memory shared by her grandchildren. I’d had no idea there was a connection to marigold flowers, only the similarity of the name Marilynn to Marigold. This was so moving to me and really confirmed that this name was in some way “meant” for this baby.

The final two connections for the name Marigold came from you, Kate, in discussing how marigold flowers can represent the crown of Our Lady (we have selected the Queenship of Mary to be Marigold’s feast day — with a Marian name, there are many choices and the marigold flower/crown connection seemed a good one), as well as the fact that this year was the centennial of Our Lady of Fatima, who is portrayed wearing a golden crown. It’s very exciting to have a Marian-named baby during the centennial year for one of her major titles!

I will also add that I really wanted to do a double middle name for this baby because it seems to be fairly popular in the U.K. (according to the Baby Names of Britain site), and I’m a pretty obsessive Anglophile. One of your readers suggested the name Rosamund as an alternative to one of my old favorites, Rosalind, in a comment on my consultation. Rosamund means “rose of the world” and quickly surpassed Rosalind on my list of favorites. My husband and I went back and forth on adding the second middle name literally up to the evening I was filling out the birth certificate information in the hospital. Ultimately we decided against it, mainly because for it to flow well, it seemed Rosamund would have to come before Thérèse, and I really wanted to honor St. Thérèse in the #1 middle name spot. I’m glad now that we didn’t give her too big a mouthful of a name because she’s such a tiny little thing, though I’ll admit to having the tiniest bit of regret about not getting to do a double middle name on what I expect is my last baby to name.

I am so excited that this lovely little lady has joined our family, and also that we were able to use a name that is both meaningful and also matches our daughter Fiona’s name well in terms of “sparkle”. I feel that the addition of Marigold to our set balances it and also helps solidify the theme of their names (at least in my view).”

I love this explanation so much! I just love it when there are layers of meaning, and you know how I am about Marian names!! All the heart eyes!! Marigold Thérèse is such a perfect combination for this family!

And thank you all for your prayers for Grace! I’m so glad we can ask each other to pray!

Marigold joins her big sisters and brothers:

Elisabeth Grace
James Julian
Fiona Catherine
John Peter

I love them all together — amazing names, all!

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

Grace had professional photos taken of her children after Marigold’s birth by Alzbeta Volk — I know you’ll want to check out her web site after seeing these beautiful photos! The print of the M and the T with Our Lady of Fatima surrounded by marigolds and St. Thérèse surrounded by roses was done by Studio Senn and given as a gift for Grace and Marigold by a friend (I did a giveaway of one of the amazing Studio Senn prints last spring).

Marigold Thérèse and her big siblings and Studio Senn print of her initials and patrons ❤

Baby name consultation: A sister for Lois

Kristin and her husband are expecting their second baby — a second girl! She joins big sister:

Lois Ann

Lois! Very cool, and very unusual! There were only 118 baby girls named Lois in 2016, and it hasn’t been in the top 1000 since 1983. It’s so hard to find a name that’s familiar yet unusual, but they did it! Nice job! I love this bit in its entry in the Baby Name Wizard too:

“… think of Lois as a trim little biblical classic that hasn’t been heard in years. Or fire up your competitive spirit: British parents have already rediscovered this name. Do you want to fall behind?

Haha!

Kristin writes,

These are the names we are considering:

Petra
Maris/Stella/Stellamaris
Marian
Isla
Eva
​Evelyn
Alice
Cecilia
Clara
Eliza
Juliet

I love the names Helen/Helena but my husband has vetoed those. I tend to like classic, yet not too common names, but not too out there. Petra is on our list, but that’s probably as ‘out there’ as we’d go. I’d love for this baby to have a Marian first or middle name. We’re new Catholics and haven’t developed strong devotions to any particular saints yet, but I would love a saint name whether it’s Marian or not. I’ve considered Josephine since my due date is the feast day of St. Joseph, but I’m not crazy about that name. It would be neat to honor St. Joseph in some other way though if possible.”

Due on the feast of St. Joseph!! So great!!

I really enjoyed working on this, as I was able to delve into names that I hardly ever come across otherwise!

I was so surprised that Kristin said Petra is as “out there” as they’d go — according to my research in the Baby Name Wizard (which, as you all know, I always start a consultation with, as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity), it’s exactly this family’s style! It shares a bunch of style matches with both Lois and Marian. I love it for them!

Of the other names Kristin and her hubs are considering, I see a few styles emerging. There are the Lois-like names — those that are sort of “retro chic” and still relatively unusual: Petra, Maris, Marian.

Then there are the up-and-comers — the ones that have that vintage feel and have already started to come back, or are already totally back: Stella, Eva, Evelyn, Alice, Clara, Cecilia, Eliza.

And then the “miscellaneous”: Stellamaris, which is gorgeous but doesn’t feel like any style beyond Catholicky Catholic to me (which of course I love); Isla, which is currently popular and rising fast (no. 126 in 2016 after entering the top 1000 in 2008); and Juliet, which has a slightly offbeat character — romantic, feminine, not-quite-vintage in the sense that it hovered between 500 and 1000 for all of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first and is currently at its height of popularity after a slow rise that seems to have plateaued (no. 228 in 2016).

Of those styles, I think the retro chic and up-and-comers are the best fit with sister Lois (especially the retro chic names). Even though I love the names Stellamaris, Isla, and Juliet, they have such a different feel to me than Lois that I would worry that the sisters would come across as “unbalanced” almost, if that makes sense. Certainly, it doesn’t matter what other people think, but I’m sure Kristin and her hubs wouldn’t want their girls to feel like one of them got the “better” name or the “cooler” name or the “more interesting” name, you know? Or, I could be totally wrong! I hope Kristin totally disregards what I’m saying if she disagrees!

I love that they’re new Catholics too! I know you all join me in welcoming them to the Church!! ❤ Being that their due date is the feast of St. Joseph (!!), I love that they’ve considered Josephine! It’s actually a style match for Cecilia and Helena, so it seems like a name they would like, but if they don’t like it, they don’t like it! Another option would be Josefa, which is actually a style match for Petra. I knew a girl in college named Josefa so the name has all good connotations for me. There are some other names derived from Joseph as well, like Josephina, Josée, and Josette. Or perhaps they could consider any Jo- name as a nod to St. Joseph, like Joanna or Joleen. Or maybe they could focus on the fact that some translations of the Bible call him a “just man” (“righteous” in other translations; see Matthew 1:19), so maybe they could consider Justine or Justina in his honor.

So I think they have some real winners on their current list, but of course I can always come up with more! Based on my research in the BNW and also some that I did using the Name Matchmaker, here are some additional ideas that I think Kristin and her Mister might like:

(1) Margery or Marjorie
Marjorie is a style match for Lois, and Margery for Marian, so I thought this was a great idea for them! Margery is an old form of Margaret, and Marjorie is a medieval variant of Margery, so they both point to any of the Sts. Margaret — there are a bunch of great ones! St. Margaret of Antioch, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and St. Margaret of Scotland are personal favorites of mine (also St. Rita, whose real name was Margherita — an Italian Margaret variant); you can read about loads more here.

(2) Sylvia
I see Sylvie occasionally from parents, but I think the older-feeling Sylvia is closer to their style — and the BNW agrees, as Sylvia’s listed as a match for Marian and Stella. There are a couple of saints with this name (listed with the Silvia spelling), including the mother of Pope St. Gregory the Great!

(3) Vivian
Vivian is currently at the most popular it’s been since the 1930s (it was no. 95 in 2016), but it actually peaked in the early 1920s — less than ten years before Lois’ peak — so I feel like they’re well matched from that perspective. Sisters Lois and Vivian have a starlet feel to them I think, and Vivian’s also a match for Marian and Evelyn from Kristin’s list. There are a few saints with this name (though they’re all male!).

(4) Daphne
I was surprised to see Daphne listed as a style match for both Juliet and Helena! It’s got the lovely meaning of “laurel,” and though it’s not a saint’s name as far as I can tell, a saintly middle name would be perfect with it (maybe something like Daphne Josephine/Justine? Daphne Marian or Daphne Maria?).

(5) Loretta
Loretta showed up in the list of names the Name Matchmaker offered as matches for Lois. I don’t mind that they both start with L at all — in fact, I think Lois and Loretta sound great! Like with Vivian above, I feel like Loretta has that starlet feel, and the best part is that it’s Marian! The Litany of Loreto is a listing of titles for Our Lady, and Loreto is the name of a town in Italy where the home of Our Lady — where the Annunciation took place — was miraculously moved to from Nazareth. And yesterday was the feast of Our Lady of Loreto! My grandmother’s name was Loretta, and she often went by Rett — I really love the idea of Lois and Rett!

(6) Ruth, Rita, Rhea, Ruby, Regina
Speaking of sweet, four-letter R names, each of these showed up in my research as style matches for various names on Kristin’s list. I love them all! Ruth is biblical like Lois and is a style match for Helen; Rita has a bit of that starlet feel (and St. Rita!) and was a match for Lois; Rhea is a match for Petra and Marian; and Ruby is a match for Stella, and I did a spotlight of its faith connections here.

I didn’t see Regina in any of my research, but these R names had me thinking about this family, whose daughters all go by their middle names, all of which start with R or the R sound, and the older four’s middle names all have four letters (including Ruth and Rhea!), and then their sweet (Therese) Regina was born (she is one of the highlights of my IG feed!) — I like Regina a lot for this family! It’s got a more recent peak than Lois — 1967 — but I don’t know, I’m just feeling like Lois and Regina go together well. Do you agree? And it’s Marian!

(7) Edith
I’m so excited that Edith seems like a name Kristin and her hubs might like! It’s a match for Alice, Clara, Helen, and Marian, and best of all, it’s the name of an awesome saint, St. Edith Stein! She was a convert from Judaism who became a Carmelite Sister (Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross), and was killed by the Nazis. An awesome patron for a little girl!

There were some other names that showed up in my research for this family but didn’t make the final cut for various reasons, but I thought I’d share them here just in case they’re helpful/inspiring: Lucy, Lydia, Esther, June, Willa, Avis, Gloria, and Anita (I thought Anita was so perfect! Except it’s a variant of Ann, which is Lois’ middle name).

And those are my ideas for this family! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for Lois’ little sister, taking into account the “classic, yet not too common” + saintly and/or Marian criteria?

Baby name consultation: Our Family Fiat’s number 3!

Do you all follow Amy at Our Family Fiat (web site and Instagram)? She and her husband Ryan have the CUTEST twin girls with the gorgeous names:

Adelaide Ryan
Clairvaux Elizabeth

Amazing right? As Amy explained, “both names are long, french in origin, honor saints and are names of places (Adelaide, Australia and Clairvaux, France).” They did such an amazing job choosing names that share characteristics without being matchy!

Now they’re expecting their third baby girl!! I was so excited when Amy emailed me for a consultation — I love her taste and couldn’t wait to come up with some ideas for Adelaide’s and Clairvaux’s little sister!

Amy wrote,

I’d love for this little girls’ name to follow suit [meaning: “long, French in origin, honor saints and are names of places”] …

Some other girl names we love are Gemma and Isla but I have some reservations being that they are short and not at all french sounding. I may feel more excited about them, especially Gemma if I had a long, french feeling middle name and bonus points if it’s also a place.

If we found a perfect first name that fits well with Clairvaux & Adelaide I’d be open to a more masculine middle name like Adelaide’s (more than likely “James”)

We clearly don’t mind if a name is unique and we love if they have nickname options. (We often call Clairvaux “Vauxie” but love that she can go by Claire one day if she desires a less out-there name, etc)

The only name my husband has ever liked (without my prompting) is Kyla but I can’t bring myself to agree.

Names I proposed but he has declined: Hawthorne, Genevieve, Hildegard, Xavia, Vivienne, Juniper

Names ending in x are no longer an option.”

So exciting!!

Alright, so though Amy said she’d like this little girl’s name to follow suit, and I certainly went on a hunt for the unicorn name that would check all those boxes (and had a blast doing so!), I wondered if finding a name that exactly fit all that criteria would be too limiting for them in the future? That is, I think they can easily find several long French saint names … or long place names … or French place names … or long saint names … but “long French saint place names” is, I think, hard to keep up in the long run! So when I was researching ideas for Amy and Ryan, I tried to include a mix of all those, even if they weren’t exactly perfect.

Before I get into my ideas though, I want to address their other ideas. I love Gemma and Isla too, and I thought Isla was a great way to nod to the sounds of Kyla while still finding a name they can both agree on. I kept Amy’s idea of long French middles in mind when I was coming up with ideas — I think several of my ideas could work as middles for Gemma and Isla. I also love the idea of James (or other male name) in the middle like they did with Adelaide’s middle name—I can see that being a nice complement to the perfect first name.

I used all the names Amy mentioned that they both like (Adelaide, Clairvaux, Gemma, Isla) as inspiration in my research, as well as Kyla, Genevieve, Vivienne, and Juniper (my trusty Baby Name Wizard [which, as you all know, is my right-hand man in baby name consultations, as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity] doesn’t have an entry for Hawthorn, Hildegard, or Xavia, and I actually used Claire as a stand-in for Clairvaux, and I think the results were helpful!). Okay, so based on all that, these were my ideas for Amy and Ryan’s littlest girl:

(1) Juliette
I totally understand if you’re all tired of me suggesting Juliet(te) a lot in other consultations, I just love it! And it seemed like such a good fit here—using the “ette” ending totally makes the name obviously French and lengthens it out as well. And it’s so feminine that it can easily take a masculine middle—I love Juliette James. I thought it would also go great as a middle—Gemma Juliette sounds pretty great to me (I love alliteration). I did a spotlight on it a while ago, which offers some good faith connections too. AND on a whim I googled “place name juliette,” just in case, and discovered there’s a Juliette in Georgia!!

(2) Immaculée
Juliette and Immaculée were tied for me as coming immediately to mind as I was reading Amy’s email. I love that Immaculée’s a Marian name, and a French name, and though I didn’t find it as a place name, I think it’s so tied with Immaculée Ilibagiza that Rwanda comes right to mind when I hear it. I like that Adelaide has Australia, and Clairvaux has France, so they could think of a little Immaculée as having Rwanda. Maybe? Immaculée James works really nicely, and I like it as a middle too—Gemma Immaculée and Isla Immaculée both sound fine to me. It would certainly be easier in the middle spot, especially with the accent, but if they used it as a first name, Imma is so similar to Emma that it’s quite do-able as a nickname; others that might work include the boyish Mac and Max, and maybe even Molly.

(3) Vienna or Vienne
One idea I had was to suggest Amy and Ryan pick a place name they like and use the French form of it. Vivienne on their list made me think of Vienna, which I think is one of the best examples—it’s gorgeous and very namey, and changing it to the French form Vienne is really lovely. Though it’s short, I had the thought several times while working on this that they could lengthen (and “Frenchify” even more) certain names by adding Marie and making it a hyphenated first name, as is so common. Marie-Vienna or Marie-Vienne are lovely examples. (But would Ryan still decline it, because it’s basically Vivienne with the “Vi” cut off?)

(4) Maylis
Though this isn’t a long name, it was one of my favorite ideas for Amy and Ryan. Maylis is a town in France, and though I couldn’t find a definitive source that said so, most places I consulted say it’s a combination of “Mary” and “lily,” from the French title “Marie à la fleur de lys” (Mary of the Lily). I also found three acceptable pronunciations: may-LEES, may-LIS, and MAY-lis, all of which I think are workable within America, and I’ve seen Maëlys and Mailys connected to it as possible variants. Such a pretty name!

(5) Salette
Salette is for La Salette, which you all probably know is a Marian apparition site in France, and I think it’s such a gorgeous, delicate name. I’d never thought of it as a given name until I saw it on this family’s short list, and I loved it right away.

(6) Lourdes
Since Lourdes is such an obvious one for their criteria, I assume they considered it and decided against it? But just in case, I couldn’t not include it! Lindsay’s little Lourdes is a perfect recommendation for this beautiful name (and she also has a Clairvaux!). Also, Mia Farrow’s given name is Maria de Lourdes, gorgeous!

(7) Liesse
This is a Marian name that I’ve fallen in love with. Liesse means “joy” in French, which is an amazing meaning, and refers to Our Lady of Liesse/Our Lady of Joy, AND there’s a town named after her in France! The only criteria this one is missing is length! And again, I think adding Marie can fix that easily. Marie-Liesse is beautiful!

(8) Landry
So I had a lot of L names for them! Haha! Landry’s another that I’ve long loved—it’s an old French surname, and as a first name there are a few Sts. Landry—all male and it’s currently no. 805 for boys, probably because of former Cowboys’ coach Tom Landry (which I realize may be a deal breaker for Amy and Ryan, depending on their football loyalties)—but the BNW lists it as a girl’s name, and it’s a place name—there are towns in France, Canada, and the U.S. with the name. Because it’s mostly used for boys, I wouldn’t pair it with a male middle name, but Landry Immaculée or Marie-Landry sound lovely I think.

(9) Madeleine or Magali
So, we have basic perfection here: a long, French, saintly, place name! Madeleine is the French for Magdalene, which of course refers to the place Mary Magdalene came from (Mary of Magdala). Magali is the Occitan form (Occitan is a language spoken in southern France, as well as parts of Italy and Spain; I believe “Provençal” refers to the dialect of Occitan spoken in France). Madeleine is likely more popular than they’d prefer, especially when you add in all the other forms: Madeleine is 350, Madeline is 91, Madelyn is 62, and there are other spellings as well (Madalynn etc.). But having a more common first name makes an unusual middle name more possible; Madeleine James is beautiful. Magali’s certainly more uncommon—it’s not in the top 1000. I met a Magali once and loved her name. However, I hope I’m overthinking this, but I keep feeling like both Madeleine and Magali are too similar in rhythm to Adelaide—do you all agree? I do love Isla Madeleine though …

Those were all my official suggestions, but I also wanted to list several place names of French origin that might have appealed to Amy and Ryan for first names or middle names: Lorraine, Laramie, Marietta, and Normandy.

Also, along with the idea of adding Marie, I also thought they could Frenchify some non-French place names in the same way, like Marie-Avila or Marie-Siena. And though this gets away from the place name idea, they could incorporate their affinity for boy names in this way as well, like Marie-James and Marie-Becket — so feminine and unexpected!

Finally, I was struck by the fact that there was a name that was listed as similar to both Gemma and Isla: Zara! I had to list it here, just because of that.

And those were all my ideas for Amy and Ryan! I’d love to know what other names you all would have recommend for this family, but only in order to help other families who might have similar sensibilities because … in the time between when I did this consultation and today, Amy and Ryan have chosen their girl’s name!! Go check it out on their Instagram announcement — I looooove it!!

Birth announcement: Claire Rose!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! It’s live until midnight tomorrow night!

Many of you might know that Katrina, whose shop formerly known as HatchPrints (I know so many of you are fans!) is now Rose Harrington (Instagramweb site and Etsy), had her fourth baby last month (do you remember the epic May the Fourth be with you post??), a sweet little girl given the gorgeous name … Claire Rose!

Katrina posted Claire’s name story over on her blog, and it’s amazing. Just amazing! Goose-bump inducing! Such a meaningful name, with such great patrons!

Congratulations to Katrina and her hubs and big sibs Ryan, Conor, and Elise (I love that Katrina posts name stories!!), and happy birthday Baby Claire!! (Check out this beautiful mama with her beautiful babies!)

Baby name consultation: Sophisticated and saintly for baby no. 3

Allison and her husband are expecting their third baby, a little green bean! (=gender unknown) This little one joins big sibs:

Caroline Constance, called Cece (“We loved the name Caroline and it happened to be my great great grandmother’s name. Constance was my husband’s grandmother”)

Gerard Patrick (“My husband calls him Jerry, but pretty much everyone just uses Gerard. Patrick is my husband’s middle name and we liked how they sounded together”)

I love these names! Sophisticated and homey at the same time, if that makes any sense.

Allison writes,

I feel like we have a French sounding first name thing going on, but aren’t tied to it. Matt would really like an easy to pronounce and recognize name. Gerard gets a lot of ‘Jarod’ and ‘Gerald’ and it can be frustrating … We do like the names that have some type of meaning or family tie. We also like heritage. Matt is Irish. I’m mostly Greek and Italian. We also like some family last names as middle names. Also nice to have at least one saint in there! All that said—we are open to new names, too!

The names they’re currently considering for this baby include:

Maria Elisa (“too many vowels?”)
Marie Elisa
Mary Elisa (“Mariel nickname?”)
Teresa
Mary Teresa (“Tess?”)

John Finelli (“Finn?”)

Family names that might be inspiring include:

Linda
Leta
John (“My dad is John George, and his dad was George John, and his dad was John George. We’ve heavily considered both John and George over the years. I’m one of 2 girls, so no boys got to carry it on”)
Kevin (“Kevin definitely could be a strong contender in the middle name spot”)
Megan
Kathleen
Brendan
Sean
Mary
Colin
Molly
Ella
Thelma
Elisa
Margaret
Marian
George
Roger
Brian
Thomas
Stephen
Maria
Carrie (Calliope)
Severino (Sam)
Deserina (Des)
Rosemarie
Virgie

So! Many! Great! Names!

I love the names Allison and her hubs are considering for this baby—you all know I’m a huge fan of the Mary+ names, so Maria Elisa, Marie Elisa, Mary Elisa, and Mary Teresa are all up my alley! I do love Allison’s idea of Mariel as a nickname for Mary Elisa—really, it can work for any of those combos. Those combos also remind me of an idea reader skimac left in a comment once: Marielise, as a mashup of Mary/Marie/Maria and Elise. Or Marielisa/Marelisa, to use Allison’s family member Elisa’s name. So pretty! The Marelisa idea might especially help with Allison’s worry that Maria Elisa is too many vowels.

Teresa and Mary Teresa are both great, and I love the nickname Tess. Really, I think all of these ideas are great for a little sister of Caroline/Cece and Gerard. I wonder, though, what they’d think of Therese? You all know that I always start a consultation by looking up the names that the parents have used and like/are considering in the Baby Name Wizard as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity, and Therese is a style match for Gerard! St. Therese’s given name was Marie-Therese, so pairing Therese with a Mary name can be a pretty great nod to her as well.

And just like I love the Mary+ names, I love John+ names! Using a family surname in the middle, with John as the first name, and an everyday nickname from the middle name is SO my style! John Finelli is so handsome, and I love the nickname Finn!

That said, though, I do have to make a case for John George! I don’t think I’d suggest George John, since Gerard and George share so many of the same sounds AND letters, but John George would be so meaningful to Allison’s dad, I’m sure! They could even consider something like John George Finelli with the nickname Finn, if they didn’t want to lose that.

Going through their family names, there were a few others that I thought might do well for them as well, including:
Margaret: Margaret seems like a slam dunk with big sibs Caroline and Gerard! Not only did Margaret show up as a strong style match for them in the BNW, but so did Margo(t), which would be a great nickname. I love nicknames Maggie, Meg, Maisie, and Daisy as well.
Marian: Marianne was another strong style match for this family, per the BNW, and since Marian’s a family name, I wondered if they might consider either Marian itself or tweak it to be Marianne?
Kathleen: Caroline always makes me think of Catherine, like these sisters, and my sister-in-law’s nieces are Kathleen and Caroline, so I thought Kathleen might be a good name to consider! Kate is also a style match for Tess, so Kathleen called Kate seems extra perfect here.
Rosemarie: I totally had Rosemary on my list for this family before I even saw that they have a Rosemarie family member! I love Rosemarie, I think it’s a great option.
Virgi(nia): Virgie’s such a sweet name—I assume it’s a nickname for Virginia? I rolled Virginia around in my mind a few times and thought it might work here nicely.
Thomas: Thomas is solid, saintly, and serious, just like Gerard. It would definitely be a good fit for this sib set.
Stephen: Stephen was another style match according to my research, and having it also be a family name is such a bonus!
(Sam): Samuel showed up a few times for them in the BNW as well, and I could totally see a little Samuel/Sam being a nod to Severino (Sam) … or even Severino nicknamed Sam itself? So cool!

I really don’t think Allison and her hubs have to look any farther than their family tree, with all those amazing names! But of course I came up with a bunch of other ideas that I thought might appeal to them. 😊 Based on my research and my own namey head, perhaps they’d like:

Girl
(1) Bernadette
Bernadette was actually the first name I scribbled down for them while reading Allison’s email (Rosemary second)! I absolutely love it with Caroline and Gerard, and it’s got some fun nicknames like Benny, Betty, Netty, and Birdie, all of which are great sisters to Cece imo.

(2) Julia
This is 100% based on the BNW—it has Julia listed as a style match for Caroline, Maria, and John, which I thought was pretty solid! I did a spotlight on Juliet(te) a while ago, which included all the saintly connections for Julia—there are loads!

(3) Victoria
Victoria was a style match for both Caroline and Maria, and I feel like it has the same sophistication I get from Caroline and Gerard. Certainly Vicky/i and Tori are well-known nicknames, but they could also get creative like they did with Caroline Constance/Cece and consider nicknames like Cora, Via, and Ria.

(4) Holly
Holly surprised me! It’s a style match for Rosemary and Margo, which I’d already thought would be a good fit for Allison and her hubs, and then I was thinking that since this baby is due in January, maybe they’d like the Christmas connection?

(5) Monica
Finally, what about Monica? The more I think about it, the more I think it’s spot-on for this family! Caroline, Gerard, and Monica are such a smart, saintly bunch!

Boy
(1) Lawrence
I actually felt like I had a bit of a hard time with girl names, but there were so many boy names that jumped out at me that I thought would hit the right notes! Lawrence is one—it’s a style match for Gerard and Therese as well as Constance (Cece’s middle name) and Marianne (which I mentioned above). My 7yo had a Lawrence in his preschool class—he was always and only Lawrence, and it was so unexpected, I loved it.

(2) Paul
Paul was a pretty great match for them, being listed as similar to Mary, Teresa, John, and Carolyn (similar enough to Caroline for this purpose, I thought). It certainly fits Allison’s hubs’ desire for “an easy to pronounce and recognize name”!

(3) Russell
Russell was another name that surprised me—it’s a style match for Carolyn, Theresa, Constance, Rosemary, and Lawrence (and by extension Gerard and Therese)—wow! Russell is such a solid name, and I love the nickname Russ. I’ve also seen Sully considered as a nickname for it!

(4) Louis
I’m listing Louis here simply because it *feels* like it would be a good fit imo. Do you agree? Easy to spell/pronounce, solid and saintly—love it!

(5) Martin
Finally, Martin has just the same feel to me as Gerard. They seem like perfectly matched brothers to me! And Marty is such a cute nickname!

There were a bunch of other boy names I considered including that didn’t make the final cut for one reason or another, but I thought I’d list them here just in case they’re helpful: William/Liam, Robert, Oliver, Leo, Jasper (could be great for a baby born on the Epiphany!), Francis, Gregory, and Raymond.

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for the little brother or sister of Caroline/Cece and Gerard?

Birth announcement: Zephyr Wisdom Clove!

I profiled Katheryn and her beautiful family and her amazing taste in names in this post, and then was thrilled to post a birth announcement for her youngest son, and today I’m so excited to post a birth announcement for her youngest daughter, the incredibly named … Zephyr Wisdom Clove!

As with all her kiddos’ names, little Zephyr’s name is full of meaning. Katheryn writes,

She is named after Mary Seat of Wisdom and also after the Holy Spirit, Who played a big role in bringing us together. Zephyr means wind which is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and then Wisdom is also the first and highest gift of the Holy Spirit. Clove is her birth family connection name, and all our girls also have a botanical name so it is in keeping with that theme as well and is after St. Clovis. Zephyr is also after St. Zephyrine and the prophet Zephaniah, specifically this quote; “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17

I have always loved the way Katheryn and her husband knit together meanings into one gorgeous name combination, and this little one’s name is no different. Amazing!

Congratulations to Katheryn and her hubs and big sibs:

Verity Majella Judea Hawthorne
Gethsemane Juniper Anne
Bosco Willis Yard
Hyacinth Clemency Veil
à Kempis Exodus Praise (“Exodus”)

And happy birthday Baby Zephyr!!

Zephyr Wisdom Clove and her big brothers and sisters ❤