Birth announcement: Caroline Rose and Evelyn Pearl!

Be sure to enter the blogiversary giveaway I posted about yesterday!

A few weeks ago I posted a consultation for Sara and her husband to help name their twin baby girls. Sara’s let me know the little ladies have arrived! And they’ve been given the gorgeous, perfect names … Caroline Rose and Evelyn Pearl!

Sara had actually emailed me to let me know the girls had arrived, and Caroline Rose was easily given to one of them, but they still couldn’t decide on a name for the second. So we chatted about it a little more — turns out the Rosalind/Rosalie idea was one her brother and sister-in-law were hoping to use for their own daughter someday, so Sara and her husband decided not to use it. There were a few others that they were considering, like Elizabeth/Ella, Amelia (and I suggested Emilia too, for JP2’s mom), and Evelyn, and I offered that the only one I would recommend crossing off the list was Evelyn, because the name they would have chosen for a boy is Everett and I thought they might want to save Everett for a future boy — though I also said that if she loves it, she should use it anyway. Funny enough, my comments were actually helpful! Sara writes,

We’re so happy to welcome Caroline Rose and Evelyn Pearl!

It really helped me to see your comments on Evelyn because it made me realize just how much I do love that name and it’s been on my girl list forever … once you said if I love it, use it, I realized I really do love it. Especially because I loved the name Evie from Genevieve but felt it was too short to use alone with Caroline and Genevieve was too long and a different style to use with Caroline. So now I have my little Evie! Also, my MIL Linda said she was called Linney as nn by her brother which could also work with Evelyn if we wanted to use that instead. And because I’m 39 and most likely these are my last babies (so sad!) it didn’t seem like it was worth trying to save the name Everett if we probably aren’t having anymore.

Lastly, I looked into the meanings of many of the names you wrote back about and although I thought your idea of Emilia was absolutely wonderful, I didn’t like its meaning being “rival” for a twin. Amelia also had a less than desirable meaning of work, striving, industrious. When I saw the meaning of Evelyn a long time ago I melted a bit at “wished for child.” That just felt so true for me.”

What a great name story!! And when I was thinking back to how I thought the kinds of names they were looking for could be described as “pearl necklace names,” I really feel like both Caroline and Evelyn fit that perfectly. I also love how both grandmothers are represented in both names — Carol and Lyn for Sara’s mom (Carolyn), and Lin (the spelling) and Lyn (the sound) for her MIL (Linda) — so fantastic!!

Congratulations to Sara and her husband and big brothers Landon and Brooks, and happy birthday Baby Caroline and Baby Evelyn!!

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Evelyn Pearl (left) and Caroline Rose (right)

Baby name consultation: Twin sisters to Landon and Brooks

Sara and her husband are expecting twin baby girls! These little ladies are joining big brothers:

Landon Thomas
Brooks Grayson

I love the style they’ve got going on! Landon and Brooks are such handsome-boy names!

Sara writes,

We already have two little boys, Landon Thomas and Brooks Grayson. His middle name was supposed to be Alexander but my husband vetoed it after he was born and it ended up being Grayson, although I would have much preferred Alexander.

My name is Sara and my husband is Erich and our last name is very German, and long … Because my name was so very common growing up there were always lots of Sara(h)s in my classes and even now. Because of this name baggage I have, I would prefer our choices not be in the top 10 or even top 25 really. But many of the names I like such as Emma, Chloe, Avery, Ella and Lily are too popular.

Genevieve – My husband is really attached to the name Genevieve but my fear is that it’s way too long, especially with our last name, and too hard to spell. We could always have her go by a nickname all the time such as Eve, Genna, Viv or Neve, but then it seems weird to give her such a long name to begin with. Plus, it doesn’t really feel in keeping with the boy’s names (or ours) and that it would feel really out of place.

Caroline – I read that this was a combination of Carol and Linda which are our mother’s names so seemed like a nice way to honor both of them in one name. Again, it’s long with our last name but at least easier to say and spell and feels more like the boy’s names.

Everly – I love this name but my husband doesn’t. If we had another boy, he would have certainly been Everett and this feels like the girl version to me. I realize it is a bit trendy and doesn’t have much history making it somewhat less appealing.

Claire – A pretty name but maybe too plain or common with her twin?

Clara – Same as above and rhymes with my name which could be annoying.

Rosalie – Another one I love but my husband really does not.

Elise – Hard with our last name [which starts with S] since the ‘s’ ending blends together. We already have this issue with Brooks and I don’t want to repeat it!

For middles, we like Pearl and Rose. I like that Pearl is a family name, the birthstone for June, and associated with the ocean which we love. Rose is my favorite flower, the only scent I will wear and I like that it’s shorter with the long last name.

I should mention we don’t want the names to start with the same letter or be overly rhymey.”

Okay, so first, the feel I get from the boy names Sara and her hubs have already used and like (Landon, Brooks, Grayson, Alexander, and Everett) is, I think, best summed up by the Baby Name Wizard’s description of Brooks: “Brooks has always been the name you choose because you want your son to look good in pinstripes. It has a classic old-money style.” I love that! And while I love each of the names they’re considering for their girls for different reasons, some of them really seemed to fit that feel (I’m thinking of them as pearl necklace names, rather than pinstripe names), and some didn’t. Caroline Rose, for example, is stunning and fits perfectly with the feel I’m getting from their boys. Emma, Ella, Claire, Clara, Lily (or perhaps Lillian more so), and Elise all seem pretty well matched with it too. Chloe, Genevieve, and Rosalie, despite being gorgeous names with deep roots, somehow don’t so much — Genevieve and Rosalie feel too heavy maybe? And Chloe is biblical but also sort of spunky — perhaps a little too much of a fireball for the feel of Landon and Brooks? Avery and Everly tap into the surname-feel of Landon and Brooks, but I fear that Sara and her hubs would ultimately be unhappy with that, because it wouldn’t be totally clear at the outset that they have two boys and two girls, especially Avery, which still has good use among boys.

But perhaps I’m totally wrong and Sara and her hubs don’t mind any of the things I just said! Which is also totally valid — parents often have different taste in names for their boys vs. their girls, and eclectic naming — which I would define as basically just choosing names you like, style/theme/pattern be darned! — is totally a cool way to go. I do think the one rule that seems pretty important in naming twins is *fairness*, which you might also think of as *balance* — you wouldn’t want one twin to feel her name is less special than the other, you know? So I’m a teeny bit hesitant about Caroline for that reason — Sara and her hubs already seem to be thinking of it as a mashup of the two grandmothers’ names Carol and Linda (though, in case it’s helpful, it’s not actually so — it’s simply a French feminine form of Charles via its Latin form Carolus — but if they *wanted* it to mean “Carol+Linda” for their family, it totally works as that! And for a singleton girl, I agree it would be perfect!) — which makes me wonder what special family connection is left for Twin B? (And maybe there is!)

So my first idea was to separate Carol and Linda and try to come up with two first names, one for each twin, one for each grandma. (In this case I didn’t worry about matching their boys’ style as much, as it was enough of a challenge to come up with Carol+Linda names!) My favorite ideas for this were:

Caroline Rose and Rosalind Pearl: For this set, I kept Caroline, since it’s perfect for Grandma Carol without being a Carol+Linda name, and I love how Rosalind has the “Lind” of Linda. I also love how Caroline’s middle name would connect with Rosalind’s first name AND Caroline and Rosalind have the same number of letters — both of which are really nice, not overly matchy connections between the two! I do realize there’s a good chance Sara’s Mister won’t care for this idea, since he really doesn’t like Rosalie, but maybe the explanation of the connection to the grandmas would sway him?

Carrigan Rose and Linley Pearl: So I’m going back on everything I said in my first paragraph with this idea! Haha! Both Carrigan and Linley have that surname feel that Landon and Brooks have, but to me they’re exclusively feminine (more than Avery, for example) and I have no idea why! Carrigan has of course the Car- of Carol, and Linley the Lin- of Linda, and I considered the spelling Lindley, which makes it even closer to Linda, but I felt like Linley looked more feminine and this way both girls would have three letters of their grandmas’ names. Also, Finley was listed as a girl match for Brooks, and Linley is just one letter different. But if they went with Lindley, then “Carrigan Rose” and “Lindley Pearl” would have the same number of letters. Wow! But then again, Lindley and Landon seem extra close if they include that “d.” Otherwise though, I don’t mind two L names in the set Landon, Brooks, Carrigan, and Linley, since the two L’s would be separated by two other children, they have different endings, and they’re different gendered children (and one a twin, no less).

Scarlett Rose and Linnea Pearl: I did a search on babynamewizard.com’s NameFinder tool for girl names that contained “car” and “lin” and was so intrigued with Scarlett, especially because a “famous” Brooks is the son of actress Molly Sims, and her daughter is Scarlett! (Her style actually really makes me think of Sara’s family — her kids are Brooks Alan, Scarlett May, and Grey Douglas. Amazing, right?) Finding a first name match for Scarlett was hard, but both Scarlett and Linnea are on the BNW’s list of “Exotic Traditional” names, and Linnea has that “lin” I was looking for. I’m not sure I love Scarlett Rose together — is it overly descriptive? — but Scarlett Pearl is descriptive and doesn’t make sense, so Scarlett and Rose should go together (and the idea of a scarlet rose is quite lovely). Linnea is a flower name, and comes from a last name (the botanist who gave his name to the flower, Carl Linnaeus) AND — how cool is this?? — I just looked it up and it’s also known as the “twinflower”!! I’ve seen its color described as white and pale pink, both of which can be colors of pearls, so I feel like Linnea Pearl is a fine, not-inappropriate combo. As with Landon and Linley, I don’t mind Landon and Linnea as siblings.

If Sara and her hubs don’t care for any of these combos, however, I think Caroline can work great for both grandmas, as was their original idea, and I’d strongly encourage them to come up with something equally significant for their other girl. I have some ideas below, as well as other ideas of names that might make good matches for Caroline and pair well with Pearl (you all know that I usually start a consultation by looking up the names the parents have used and like/are considering in the BNW, as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity):

(1) Caroline Rose and Margaret Sara
I think Margaret has that same long, feminine, classic feel as Caroline, and it’s fun that they both have the same number of letters! Another amazing feature of Margaret is that it actually means “pearl”! So they can have all the meaning of Pearl while using a name that I think is a better first name match for Caroline. In the interest of balancing out the significance of both grandma’s names in Caroline, I wondered if they’d consider Sara’s own name as a middle? I really like how Margaret Sara sounds, and I love that Sara and Rose have the same number of letters too — it’s just a nice, subtle connection between twin sisters. Both Caroline Rose and Margaret Sara would share a flower theme as well, as not only does Margaret mean “pearl,” but its French form, Marguerite, is the name of the daisy flower in French — hence Daisy’s traditional use as a nickname for Margaret! Roses for Caroline and daisies for Margaret, love it! (And both roses and daisies are Marian symbols, as are pearls, so Mother Mary’s in both girls’ names too!)

(2) Caroline Rose and Elizabeth Pearl
All the Sara(h)s I know have Elizabeth as their middle name, so while I didn’t know if Elizabeth was Sara’s middle name, I thought if it was, it would be a perfect complement to Caroline I think, being that it would have family significance like Caroline and be similarly long and classic. Elizabeth also has a trillion traditional nickname options, one of which is Lily! So they could call her that — thus working in Sara’s love of Lily — and it would also be cool that, like with Margaret, both girls would have a floral connection with their name. Ella could also be used as a nickname for Elizabeth, as Ella is another name Sara said she likes (but in light of George and Amal’s new baby Ella, is it too soon? My personal feeling is no, not at all, especially if Ella is used as a nickname for Elizabeth).

(3) Caroline Rose and Isabel Pearl
Isabel is actually listed as a style match for Caroline in the BNW, and it’s an Elizabeth variant (see above), and I really like it with Landon and Brooks too. Caroline and Isabel are a classy pair.

(4) Isabel Rose and Juliet Pearl
So for these last few ideas I’m moving away from the Caroline idea and just offering names that I think fit their style and go together in pleasing ways. Juliet is a style match for Claire, and Julia for Caroline, and Juliet’s the same number of letters as Isabel, and they’re both so pretty and feminine. In this case, I’m relying on the middle names to provide the significance and not worrying whether the first names connect to anything.

(5) Audrey Pearl and Camille Rose
I love it when I see a name pop up over and over again in my BNW research as similar to more than one name on the parents’ list — Camille was one such! It’s a match for Brooks, Claire, and Elise, which I thought was so great. Then Aubrey (with a B) is a match for Greyson and Avery, and Audrey for Claire, and I thought between Aubrey and Audrey that Audrey was more their speed. I really like Audrey and Camille together.

(6) Ava Pearl and Zoe Rose, OR Ava Elizabeth and Zoe Caroline OR Ava Rosalind and Zoe Caroline
This last one is just a fun, spunky idea, inspired by Chloe and some of the shorter names Sara likes, like Ella, Emma, and Lily. Ava’s a style match for Chloe, Avery, Ella, and Zoe! And Zoe’s a match for Chloe and Ava. I love that they’re the same number of letters; I love that one’s an A name and one’s a Z name; I love how they sound with both the middle names they’ve already basically decided on, but I also love them with the longer Elizabeth and Caroline, or Rosalind and Caroline for the two grandmas. Ava is certainly popular (no. 3), but of course it’s because it’s a gorgeous name! Zoe isn’t all that far behind either, at no. 35, so while the popularity is probably more than what Sara would like, the difference in popularity between Ava and Zoe is similar to that between Elizabeth and Caroline, so it’s really pleasing to match up each combo with one more popular name and one less.

Finally, despite the fact that I agree with Sara’s reservations about Elise running into the S of their last name, and I can see what she means about Claire, I just wanted to offer that Claire and Elise are an amazing pair! They’re both French variants, they’re both five letters, they’re both lovely and feminine. I don’t care for them with Rose and Pearl though, as the one syllable + one syllable feels too abrupt. I would love them paired with longer middles, like Claire Margaret and Elise Caroline. Or Claire Elizabeth and Elise Caroline, where Elise and Elizabeth are a nice connection between the two, as are Claire and Caroline with starting the same initial letter. Or Elise Genevieve and Claire Evangeline.

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What name(s) and combos would you suggest for the twin sisters of Landon and Brooks?

Baby name consultation: Rose’s twin sister!

Happy May everyone!! It’s Mary’s month, and it starts off with the feast of St. Joseph the Worker!! Love love love!!

Emily and her husband are expecting twin girls! These little ladies join big sisters:

Ellen Marie
Lila Gayle

Beautiful names!!

Emily writes,

We are fairly set on one twin being named Rose Elizabeth, but we are having a hard time finding a good match. My husband likes Ruby, but I think that sounds too twinnish 😬 I like Fiona and Lucia but husband isn’t in love with either. We both like Sylvia, and for a short stint we both like Matilda, but I don’t like the nickname Maddie.

I am a recent convert so I would also love your opinion on connecting their names to a Saint or Marian reference or something of the like. Also, could you look into any saintly connection I could do for my Lila Gayle? Thank you for everything!

Isn’t this all just wonderful?! So first off, I love her older girls’ names! Ellen is a form of Helen(a), and St. Helena’s a great patron saint! Of course Ellen’s middle name is a Marian name, which you know is always a win for me! And Lila Gayle is beautiful! I really really wanted to find a connection to Lily for Lila, and though I didn’t (it’s derived from the Arabic for “night,” which I’m not sure how to connect, faith-wise), I do think Emily could consider it to be related to Lily if she wanted it to, based on appearance. There’s precedence for doing so — like those who have considered Oliver because of olive-related meanings (Our Lady of Olives, or olive branches meaning “peace,” etc.), even though it’s not linguistically connected to olives — so if Emily wanted Lila to be related to Lily, then she could have a Marian connection, as lilies are a symbol of Our Lady. If that’s too distant for her though, then I’d look to Gayle — in origin, it’s a short form of Abigail, and Abigail the Matriarch in the Bible, wife of King David, is revered as a saint (feast day September 1); there’s also the Irish St. Gobnat, whose name is sometimes anglicized as Abigail.

As for the names Emily and her hubs are considering for their twin girls (so fun!!), I love Rose Elizabeth! Classy and classic and really faith-y. Rose is a Marian name, and there are so many great Sts. Elizabeth!

I’m not surprised Emily’s hubs likes Ruby, as it’s pretty consistent with their style! You all know I usually start consultations by looking up the names 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 Ruby is a style match for Rose and Ella (which I’m counting as close enough to Ellen!). Rose and Ruby would be amazing twin names for parents who like matchy names, but if Emily and her hubs don’t, then I agree—it’s too much. It made me think of Scarlett right away though—the color connection between Rose and Scarlett is pretty great and not overly obvious or matchy I don’t think, and I thought Scarlett might be approaching their style, as its length and obvious T’s remind me of Matilda. And it’s got a little southern flare, which Lila on its own and Lila Gayle as a combo also strike me as having. I actually spotlighted Ruby a while ago in order to make some faith connections, and I’d say some of the same ones can work for Scarlett. I also included Scarlett in my lists of names for the Luminous and Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.

If they went with Scarlett as a first name, they might like to balance it with a super-faithy middle, maybe a Marian one? Then Rose would have a Marian first name and her sister would have a Marian middle, which is a nice balance.

As for the other names on their list:
— Fiona: I love. It’s classic but a little offbeat, and totally feminine. Like with Scarlett, I’d look to balance it with a super-faithy middle, which is easy to do.
— Lucia: Also love. And it’s very saintly!
— Sylvia: I’m a big fan of going with any name that both parents can agree on! I love Sylvia, as well as its French form Sylvie. This mom named her daughter Sylvie Regina, because of its similarity in sound to the Salve Regina (“Hail Holy Queen” in Latin), which is such a cool idea.
— Matilda: Another great name, and also saintly. If they don’t care for Maddie/Mattie, other traditional nicknames for it are Tilda and Tilly/Tillie, or they could do something like Molly (based on the M and L in Matilda), which is a Mary variant—a neat way to work in a Marian name, and Molly was actually a style match for Ruby! And speaking of Ruby … I kind of love the combo Matilda Ruby!

Okay, I looked up all the names Emily mentioned in the BNW when looking for more ideas, and came up with quite a few that I thought had potential:

(1) Eva
Eva was a style match for Lila, Rose, and Lucia, so I thought it was a great suggestion for this family! It can be considered a Marian name, as it’s a variant of Eve and Mary is the New Eve. But maybe they don’t care for repeating initials?

(2) Ivy
If Emily and her husband don’t like repeating initials but Eva appeals to them, maybe they’d like Ivy? It’s a match for Lila and Ruby, and is a plant name like Rose, but I don’t *think* Rose and Ivy are too theme-y. Maybe I’m wrong?

(3) Nora
I do like the idea of twins having some connection name-wise (not required of course! Just that I find it pleasant to see), and having the same number of letters in the first name is a cool and not-too-obvious one. Rose and Nora seemed like a good pairing (Nora’s a match for Fiona)—different sounds, different number of syllables, but visually sort of similar.

(4) Stella
Another nice idea between girl twins, as I’ve already mentioned, is for both to have a Marian name. I really like the idea of Rose and Stella—Rose is connected to Our Lady through the rosary and the various times she appeared with roses (Guadalupe, Lourdes, etc.); Stella is connected to Our Lady through her title Stella Maris (“Star of the Sea”). Stella’s a style match for both Sylvia and Ruby.

(5) Hazel
Hazel was a style match for Ruby, and I thought it struck the same vibe I’m getting from their name taste as a whole—a little different, a touch of vintage. I like that it’s a nature name too, which has that nice connection to Rose without being too matchy.

(6) Sadie
Sadie was another match for Ruby, and like with Hazel, it just really seemed to strike the right note. It’s a traditional nickname for Sarah, which is where a patron saint could be found (like with Abigail, Sarah the Matriarch, wife of Abraham, is revered as a saint, feast day August 19); there’s also a St. Sara of Antioch.

(7) Adelaide
Adelaide is a match for Matilda, and as soon as I saw it I thought it was a great idea for Rose’s sister. It’s not matchy with Rose at all, but it’s feminine and pretty like Rose is. It’s a long name, so I like the idea of a short middle name—then Rose would have a short first name and long middle, and her sister would have a long first name and a short middle. Very pleasing! (But not necessary, of course!) (This mama, who’s a reader of the blog, named one of her twins Adelaide).

(8) Mae
So what short middle name might I suggest for a longer first name? Mae is a style match for Rose and I LOVE the idea of it as a middle for some of their longer options: Scarlett Mae, Matilda Mae, Adelaide Mae. Not only does it seem to be their style, but it’s Marian! It’s a variant of May, which has long been used as a short variant of Mary, and the month of May—in which the girls are due—is the month dedicated to Our Lady. I love all the connections! I also love Mae as a first name idea—it’s one syllable like Rose, but not matchy. They both evoke springtime and flowers to me, but not in an over-the-top way.

And those are my ideas for Rose’s twin sister! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for Twin B, little sister of Ellen and Lila?

Birth announcement: Alice Catherine and Clare Elizabeth!

You guys! Remember the consultation I posted for Kristin and her husband back in January for their miracle twin girls? A bunch of you told me that it was one of your favorite consultations ever — I loved working on it! Go back and read their story if you haven’t yet, and then come back here because they’ve arrived! And you’ll die over their names: the perfectly perfect … Alice Catherine and Clare Elizabeth!

Kristin writes,

On March 28th, we were proud to welcome Alice Catherine (6lb 2oz. – born at 7:57am) and Clare Elizabeth (7lb 4 oz. – born at 7:58am).

I was extremely blessed to carry the twins to full term (37 weeks + 5!) You’d think we would have been able to pick names by delivery time, but we hadn’t. We knew that one twin would be Alice, but Twin B’s name and both middle names were not selected until after we arrived at the hospital for delivery! We loved so many names that you suggested, especially the classic pair – Catherine and Elizabeth. My husband loved the name Claire/Clare, but I was on the fence because it is so popular! Yet as I prayed about their names, St. Catherine of Sienna and St. Clare of Assisi continually came up in reading or in passing. It was obvious these Saints would be patrons for the girls.

Thank you so much for helping us sort through names for our little miracle babies!

I can’t think of a better pair of names for twin girls!! I love that Alice and Clare have the same number of letters, and are a similar style but not too twinny/matchy, and I love that their middle names are the well matched Catherine and Elizabeth … I love that Alice and Elizabeth sort of echo each other, and Catherine and Clare begin with the same letter … so many great connections between these sweet girls’ names — Kristin and her husband did a fantastic job!!

Congratulations Mom and Dad, and happy birthday Alice and Clare!!

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Alice Catherine (left) and Clare Elizabeth (right) with their patron saint dolls St. Catherine of Siena and St. Clare of Assisi from the Saintly Silver Etsy shop

Reading round-up: Birth/name announcement edition

I know (or I hope) you all know how much I love your contributions to our wonderful little community here, right? 💕💕💕 Over the past couple of weeks I’ve received notes from several of you sharing birth and name announcements you’d come across that you thought I’d like to see, and of course you’re so right — I loved them all! And I wanted to post them here for all of you lovers of the names of our faith.

First up, I hope you all know Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director-turned-amazing advocate for the unborn, as well as for those who work at abortion clinics and who want to get out of the industry (she provides all kinds of resources and support, including finding jobs for them and helping them financially, through her wonderful organization And Then There Were None). She’s absolutely tireless in her efforts, even with being mama to five beautiful little ones AND expecting twins!! She and her husband recently solicited name ideas for their twin baby girls (and shared their older kiddos’ names), and her husband shared on FB last week that they’ve decided! Go check out the beeaauutiful names they chose! 👯 (Thanks to Mary and Jen for sharing this info!)

I always love hearing about the European royal names and how Catholic they often are, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out the names of a British politician’s children! Check out Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has given his fifth child an amazing name and North Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg welcomes fifth child but his name causes a stir. (Thanks to Jilana!)

Check out this little guy’s name! And Clive makes five: a birth story. I really loved reading how perfectly his name fit the naming rules his parents had — like, perfectly! And of course C.S. Lewis. Great naming story. (He’s also got some gorgeously named big sisters!) (Thanks to proud auntie Francine!)

Finally, Amy tagged me on a photo of her twin girls she’d posted on IG to illustrate her announcement that she’d posted about how she’d chosen their names and said, “@santanomina how did I do? They’re both French, places and saints!” I’m still so tickled that anyone cares what I think! Haha! Of course I 🏃 (or more like 💃) over to her blog to read all about these sweet girls’ names in “Are They Family Names?” – Behind the Names Special and can say with authority that she and her husband did a marvelous job. Beautiful times two! 👯 (Thanks also to Mary, who also shared the link with me!)

What a fun round-up! I hope you all have as much fun reading about these babies as I did!

Baby name consultation: Twin baby miracle girls!

I have such a fun consultation to share with you all today! Kristin and her husband are expecting twin girls!

Kristin writes,

After 9 years of marriage, infertility, and countless prayers & tears, my husband and I are finally expecting! Not just expecting, it’s twin girls! They will be here shortly after our 10th anniversary March. God is so good!!!!

You guys! What a story! 😍😍😍

Throughout our infertility and this pregnancy, we pray to St. Gerard Majella, St. Elizabeth, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I was convinced I was having a boy, so we thought to name him Elliott Gerard. Now that it’s two girls, we just don’t know what to do.

We don’t want our twins to have matching names, but rather names that go together well. We’d prefer not to have the same initials or rhyming. We both like more traditional names that are less common. Old fashioned names are great.

Our last name is Pelletier (Pell-let-ee-ay) and my husband is half French, half Italian. His first name is Olivier (Olive-ee-ay) so from growing up with his name he has two criteria: shorter names & nothing that rhymes.

We’d like to pull in his heritage with international names, but don’t want anything that is too difficult for American speakers. We considered Amelie, but after mentioning it to a number of people there were a lot of mispronunciations, usually Amelia. It’s somewhat on the table, but simple is best.

Names that work well in both English & French are nice to have, but not a hard requirement. From that we really like the name Alice. I like Alice Elizabeth, but her monogram would be APE so that’s out 🙂

On the Catholic side, we’d love to have a saint for each girl either in her first or middle name. We have lots of saints that have been a part of our prayers, but aren’t sure how to incorporate them [the above named St. Gerard Majella, St. Elizabeth, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, as well as] St. Andrew and St. Faustina.

We currently love St. Catherine of Sienna and St. Clare of Assisi as such strong women that fiercely followed their faith. We also like St. Francis (although it’s not my favorite name) and St. Clare, representing the strong bond that they shared. St. Cecelia has also been popping up in discussions – she is my grandmother’s namesake … We’re open to nicknames/shortened versions of saints if you know of any!

As for names and combos they’re considering:

We’ve been tossing around Alice Frances and Eloise Claire, but they don’t feel ‘perfect’.

Other names we like are Rose, Mae, Nora(h), Claire, Camille, Amelie, Violet, and Felicity.”

There are so many things about all this that I love! Two girls to name! French and Italian names! Saints’ names! Less common+traditional, old fashioned, short versions of saints’ names or nicknames! A great list of ideas!

Alright, so for my own mental organization I first condensed all Kristin and Olivier’s thoughts/criteria thusly:

  • Shorter, simple names (but with meaning) and no rhyming, different initials (and none that spell something like APE), no matching (but want names that go together), old fashioned is great
  • Elliott Gerard was their boy pick (so awesome)
  • French and/or Italian names would be nice (hubs’ heritage), but nothing too difficult (e.g., Amelie)
  • Names that work in both English and French would be nice
  • Current list includes Alice Frances and Eloise Claire as well as Rose, Mae, Nora(h), Claire, Camille, Amelie, Violet, Felicity
  • Saint for either first or middle (St. Andrew, St. Gerard Majella, St. Elizabeth, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Faustina, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Clare of Assisi [and her friendship with St. Francis], St. Cecilia)
  • Open to nicknames/variants of saints’ names

Alright! I also just have to start by saying that I love Amelie! I know not everyone gets it, but I’ve long loved it, and we know a family at church with an Amelie—I love hearing it! I also think that if they end up going with Alice Frances and Eloise Claire—or any of the names on their list, really—I wouldn’t be at all disappointed and I can’t imagine Kristin and her hubs would be either. Such a great list!

You all know that I almost always start a consultation by looking up the names the parents 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. It was really fun to do so for these babies, since Kristin and her hubs’taste is really consistent! I also combed my own mental files for ideas, and based on all that, I came up with these:

(1) Elise
This is the first of several ideas I have regarding variants of saints’ names. Elise is so similar to Alice, but it’s a French short form of Elizabeth, so it gets the St. Elizabeth connection in there, as well as being a short, French name that I think is pretty easy to work with/pronounce. Elise Frances would be a lovely alternative to Alice Frances.

(2) Cate
Like Elise instead of Elizabeth, Cate instead of Catherine could be the answer to naming a baby after St. Catherine of Siena without using the long Catherine.

(2) Louise
I had thought that Eloise was a variant of Louise, but I looked it up and it seems that’s not correct (though Louise is sometimes thought to be related). But I love Louise on its own because it’s (1) French, and (2) a variant of Louis, which could be a nice nod to any of the Sts. Louis, but I was specifically thinking of St. Louis Martin because he’s French! Haha! There are certainly other Sts. Louis, and Bl. Louise de Marillac is a great option as well.

(3) Lucy or Lucie
How sweet is Lucy?! It’s a style match for Alice and Nora, and I posted a birth announcement not too long ago for a little one named Lucie—that spelling, because it’s the French spelling.

(4) Rosalie
This was another name inspired by one of the names on their list (Rose). I think it’s my current favorite Rose name, but for I love it for this family because it’s the French form of Rosalia! It’s a bit longer than Rose, maybe a bit too long for their taste, but it’s so pretty I had to include it.

(5) Sophie
I think Sophie hits so many of their requirements: short, simple, old fashioned, great meaning (wisdom), and Sophie’s the French form of Sophia. There’s also the French saint, Madeleine Sophie Barat, who was known as Sophie (St. Sophie’s Day in France is in her honor) and—so fun!—the Sophie the Giraffe teether was named after that same saint!  Sophie can also be considered Marian since one of Our Lady’s titles is “Seat of Wisdom.”

(6) Grace
Along the same lines as Sophie (short, simple, old fashioned, great meaning) is Grace, which is a style match for Alice, Rose, and Claire. Also, like Sophie, Grace can be a Marian name, after Our Lady of Grace.

(7) Annabel(le)
Speaking of Marian names, I know Annabelle is long, but it was such a great match for them per the BNW and one of my very favorites that I had to suggest it! I’ve recently become aware of the fact that Annabel is considered to be a variant of Amabel, which arose in Scotland in the Middle Ages. Amabel is a variant of Amabilis, which means “lovable” and is part of the Marian title Mater Amabilis (“Mother Most Amiable,” where amiable=lovable). What a beautiful and unexpected Marian name! For this family, I thought the Annabelle spelling was best, since it makes it more French.

(8) Juliet(te)
Speaking of great matches for them—Juliet is a grand slam! It’s a style match for Elliott, Claire, Camille, and Felicity (as well as Annabelle, which is how I was able to determine that Annabelle would be great for them). Can you believe it?! I love the name Juliet, and spotlighted it recently to pull out the faith connections. The Juliet spelling can fit into their “short, simple” requirement I think, but the Juliette spelling is more French.

(9) Maylis
This is also based on a name from Kristin’s list: Mae. Maylis is a French name with a pretty straightforward spelling and pronunciation; it’s the name of a town in southern France that behindthename says is possibly derived from “mother” + “lys” (French for lily) and is also sometimes considered a contraction of Marie + lys, both of which point to Our Lady, so beautiful!

(10) Ruby, Pearl
Ruby’s a style match for Rose, Violet, and Alice; Pearl’s a match for Rose and Mae. They’re both short, simple, and old fashioned, and they can both have great faith connections—I spotlighted Ruby here and Pearl here with a follow up here. I like them each on their own, and I *might* even like them as names for twin sisters, but that’s probably too matchy for Kristin and her hubs. No worries—I have a few ideas of how to pair up some of the names I suggested (below)!

So I had a lot of fun trying to come up with name pairs that I thought were great names for twin sisters that fit the criteria and tie in the saints Kristin and her hubs love! I was toying around with middle names, but they were really my secondary concern—I just wanted to give an idea of how I could see the first names pairing up with middle names that include all the criteria.

Elise Majella/Maiella and Rosalie Chiara—I focused a lot on coming up with French names in my suggestions above, since Kristin said they’d really like names that work in both English and French, but I didn’t forget that her husband is also Italian. It could be really fun to do Italian middle names that nod to their saints … Majella is for St. Gerard of course, or they could do Maiella, which was St. Gerard’s actual last name (given that he was Italian; Majella is the Anglicization of it). Chiara is for St. Clare of Assisi—since she too was Italian, her actual name was Chiara (Clare is an Anglicization of it). I love Elise and Rosalie together—they’re both elegant and French; they both point to important saints for this family (St. Elizabeth, and the Rose names always point to Our Lady in my mind); and they could even take the sweet nicknames Ellie and Rose/Rosie. I like the shorter Elise paired with the longer Majella/Maiella and the longer Rosalie paired with the shorter Chiara.

Sophie Majella/Maiella and Grace Perpetua—I like Sophie and Grace together a lot, since they’re both virtue names and can both refer to Our Lady. Majella/Maiella for St. Gerard, and Perpetua can be specifically for Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Clara/Clare and Lucy; Claire and Lucie … Claire Majella and Lucie Frances—I think the Clare names pair well with Lucy. I like the French-ness of the spellings Claire and Lucie, but the other spellings are great too. I also like the idea of Claire’s twin having Frances as a middle name (or even Francesca? To get some Italian in there?).

Elise Majella and Louise Perpetua—this is closest to their Alice and Eloise idea, just sort of with a twist. I might normally think that they’re a little too matchy because of having the same ending spelling-wise, but since they’re said differently (at least the way I say them: eh-LEES and loo-EEZ) I think they’re okay. I’m a big nicknamer and could see Elise and Louise going by Ellie and Lucy, cute!

Cate Cecilia and Lucy Faustina … or Cate Amelie and Lucy Faustine—I know that Catherine is too long for the, but they could totally bestow Cate as a full name (I chose the C spelling to specifically refer to St. Catherine of Siena; they could be even more specific with the first+middle combo Cate Siena … Lucy Majella could be a nice match for that), and I love Cate and Lucy as sisters. So sweet! In my second set there, I changed Faustina to Faustine to match the French Amelie.

Juliet and Annabel; Juliette and Annabelle … maybe Juliet(te) Frances and Annabel(le) Claire?—I know they’re too long, but I just love seeing them written out. 🙂

Lucy and Nora

Nora and Cate

Cate and Rose

Camille and Juliette

Amelie and Maylis

Felicity and Rosalie

Violet and Juliet (too matchy?)

Catherine and Elisabeth (I couldn’t resist! Catherine is the French spelling of the name, and Elisabeth is a French spelling … I know they’re too long for them, but I love seeing them together! Nicknames could be Cate and Ellie … Cate and Lily [Lily is a nickname for Elisabeth/Elizabeth] … Cat and Bess … so many options!)

Another thought that might be helpful in trying to work in as many of their special saints as possible is that St. Gerard was a Redemptorist, and the Redemptorists were instructed by Pope Pius IX to “make [Our Lady of Perpetual Help] known” (the Redemptorists actually just celebrated their 150th anniversary of being given that task) … so I could see a name connected to St. Gerard also sort of being a nod to OL of Perpetual Help and vice versa.

Other ideas that might be helpful for middle names (or even first names) are: Franca and Francesca are both Italian forms of Frances; Cecile, Cecily, and Cicely are all variants of Cecilia; Siena and Assisi could both make interesting middle names that nod specifically to saints that are special to Kristin and her hubs.

Whew! Those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for these sweet little baby girls?

Birth announcement: Lilianna Mary Grace and Lucia Virginia Rose!

A mama I did a private consultation for has let me know her twin girls have arrived! They have been given the gorgeous, meaningful names … Lilianna Mary Grace and Lucia Virginia Rose!

The mama writes,

I just wanted to let you know that our baby girls were born Monday 9/5/16 via emergency csection. They are 30 weekers so they are still in the NICU, please keep both girls in your prayers.

We chose the names
 
Lilianna Mary Grace and we call her Lily
and
Lucia Virginia Rose and we call her Lucy
 
Lily was 3lb2oz and Lucy was 3lb10oz. If you remember they are our rainbow babies, and I began the pregnancy at the Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe, everyday, praying a Novena for her intercession. After that each of my doctors appointments ended up on a Marian feast day, which I did not do intentionally. I decided very early that we would give the girls Marian names. During our consultation we discussed that Lucia wasn’t completely Marian but related to Mary. I have since found out that there is an Our Lady of Light and Lucia means light, so it is more Marian than we thought.
 
The most amazing sign from Our Lady though happened 3 days after they were born when our priest came to give me the anointing of the sick after my csection, he also offered to baptize our girls! On The Feast of the Nativity of Mary our girls were welcomed into the church. It was beautiful.”

Can you believe all the Marian connections!! These girls were covered by her mantle the whole pregnancy, and their amazing names reflect that so beautifully!

After the initial email, I received another update on how they’re doing:

Right now we are just working on getting Lily off oxygen and possibly off her IV tomorrow if she does well. Lucy is still adjusting to eating so we are hoping she starts tolerating her milk soon.”

Please keep these beautiful babies and their family in your prayers!

Congratulations to Mom and Dad and the girls’ handsomely named big brother Erick Bruce III, and happy birthday Lily and Lucy!!

 

Lilianna Mary Grace in purple hat, Lucia Virginia Rose in gray hat

Lucy is smiling, Lily is cuddling ❤