Reading round-up, birth announcement edition

I have a backlog of birth announcements from public figures in the Catholic online/social media world that I’ve been wanting to share, so here they are! Happy Friday! (If I’ve forgotten anyone, please let me know! There are also a couple that I’m not totally sure are okay to post publicly — if you’re one of them, please let me know!)

I posted a consultation for Kendra from Catholic All Year back in May, and you’ve probably all seen that her baby was born in September — a gorgeous baby girl named … Barbara Josephine!

I did a private consultation for Lindsay from Just Love Prints late last year, and was delighted when she shared the birth of her baby just after Christmas — a lovely little lady named … Lillian Joy “Lilly”!

I posted a birth announcement for the fourth baby of Katrina from Rose Harrington Art a couple years ago, and she recently shared the birth of her fifth baby on Instagram — a beautiful baby girl named … Liliane Cruz “Lily”!

I posted about the naming of the children of my favorite football player, Philip Rivers, a few years ago (thanks to his lovely wife!), and then a birth announcement for their eighth baby not that long after; they’ve since had another baby — a darling daughter named … Anna! (Beautiful story and picture of the whole family [minus the baby] here.)

The Hanson (MMMBop) middle brother Taylor’s wife Natalie is a name lover like us, and has written about naming their babies on Nameberry here (first four) and here (no. 5); she had baby no. 6 a year ago — a handsome little dude named … Claude Indiana Emmanuel “Indy”! She shared the name story on Nameberry here. (Note: I know they’re not Catholic. I hope Natalie doesn’t mind me including her here!)

I love following Anna and Gabe Liesemeyer from In Honor of Design on Instagram, and couldn’t wait to see what they named their sixth baby! I wasn’t disappointed! They welcomed a sweet little Miss who they named … Chiara Maris!

Leah Darrow was a contestant on America’s Next Top Model and is now an amazing Catholic evangelist! She shared an amazing video on Instagram FROM HER HOSPITAL BED AS SHE LABORED that she’d made in response to Michelle Williams’ recent Golden Globes speech about how she wouldn’t have been able to have the life she has without having had an abortion; like an hour later Leah posted the picture of her brand new baby (!!!), a bouncing baby boy named … Valor Joseph!

Congratulations to all the parents and siblings, and happy birthday Barbara, Lilly, Lily, Anna, Indy, Chiara, and Valor!! Have a great weekend everyone!!

My book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018), is available to order from and Amazon — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!


Birth announcement: Philip Rivers’ baby has arrived!

Chargers’ QB Philip Rivers, favorite football player of Sancta Nomina 🙂 , and his wife Tiffany welcomed their eighth baby and sixth daughter, Clare, this past Wednesday!

Despite the fact that I was googling every couple of days to be sure I didn’t miss the announcement, I didn’t see it until earlier today, hence the belated birth announcement. But better late than never! You can read more here (awesome article. I’m constantly blown away by how he and his wife are loud and proud about their faith and marriage. Catholic courage, baby!) and here.

It was so fun being given a sneak peek into the Rivers’ baby naming, and knowing ahead of time what little Miss Clare’s name would be! Thank you all for keeping Tiffany and Baby Clare in your prayers, and congratulations to the Rivers family!!

Updated to add: I assume the little one’s full name is Clare Magdalen(e) but I haven’t seen any report to confirm that, nor to confirm the spelling.

Rivers Family Baby Naming

You guys. Do you remember the post I did about Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers’ baby #8, due soon? I ended by saying if anyone knows Philip or his wife Tiffany and wanted to pass on the post, I would be delighted? Well our lovely reader skimac was actually able to pass it on to them, and Tiffany wrote back.

Tiffany wrote back!!!!!!

((Trying not to squeal with excitement.))

(Maybe I squealed just a little. 🙂 )

I’m still blown away that (1) she read the post and (2) took the time (very near her due date!) to respond and (3) her response was just so beautiful! I know you’ll all love it! It was left here as a comment by a friend of her mother-in-law’s, but I wanted to post it so you’d all have a chance to read it:

Halle Elizabeth- Philip and I just loved the name Halle and when I was in mass while pregnant with her I noticed the song we were singing had Hallelujah in it and I took it as a sign 🙂

Elizabeth is Philips mom’s middle name and two of my favorite saints. Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and St Elizabeth Anne Seton. Although at the time I think we were just naming her after her grandmother 🙂

Caroline Leigh- we loved the name and her god mother’s name is Leigh Anne

Grace Marilyn- because I was in awe of Gods grace and his love for me. Marilyn- after Mary and my mom’s middle name

Philip Gunner- Philip obviously after his dad 🙂 and Gunner is Philips mom’s maiden name. Her parents had 9 children and passed down the Catholic faith in a very Protestant part of the world.

Sarah Katherine- Philip picked Sarah, he loved the name and I love Old Testament names 🙂 Katherine after my grandmother and st Katherine Drexel

Peter Michael- Peter is my brothers name, but we most of all love it because we both have a heart for the Protestants coming home to our faith and Peter symbolizes that for us… The rock

Michael- Philips middle name and the name of the one who has done much battle for us and all God’s children (St Michael the archangel )

Rebecca Marie- another Old Testament name we both loved. Marie after our mother Mary.

We are awaiting our next blessing, and plan on naming her Clare Magdalene (or Magdalen) not sure about the spelling, maybe you could help me decide 🙂

With all the opinions we have here in our house now, we finally came up with one everyone likes. And will name her after St Clare of Assisi. Magdalene because it reminds me again of God’s grace and no matter how far we fall from God he is always our Father and wants us home! Plus love that fact that she (Mary Magdalene) was at the cross.

Thanks for writing such a nice blog post about Philip 🙂 and you never know we may have to talk about some of your name suggestions- we have been known to change names last minute!!

In Christ,

How exquisitely beautiful are the reasons behind all these choices?! I love each and every one of them. I had my husband read it, and he — a convert himself — was so impressed by how Tiffany said they “both have a heart for the Protestants coming home to our faith.” Along that same line, I also loved the use of Philip’s mom’s maiden name, Gunner, because her “parents had 9 children and passed down the Catholic faith in a very Protestant part of the world.” Beautiful.

And now I think I’ve used up my quota of how many times I can say “beautiful” in one post!

I just have to point out one more thing — “Halle” is contained within “Hallelujah”!! I put that right up there in Master Class naming, I am very impressed with that! And like my sister-in-law said when she read it, now I have a new name to suggest!

(Also, I was totally way off about the Scandinavian influence I thought was revealed by Halle and Gunner. I love the real reasons so much more!)

Please say a prayer for Tiffany and her baby girl as the birth nears, asking especially for St. Anne’s intercession! I’ll be sure to post when I find out that the baby’s been born, and in the meantime — what would you suggest regarding the spelling of Magdalene or Magdalen? (My response, which I’d posted as a comment, was: “this is one instance where I don’t have much of a preference; I quite like both Magdalene and Magdalen. Mayyybe I’d tip toward Magdalene, just because that’s what I see most often when St. Mary Magdalene is written out, but really, I think either spelling quite obviously points out which saint they’re referring to.”)

Updated to add: I forgot to say! The choice of name for their new baby isn’t one I suggested (though I did reference Magdalene in my suggestion of Lena), but I love love love their plan of Clare Magdalen(e) for their new little one — saintly, elegant, just wonderful!

Baby name consultant: A little football, a little Catholic baby naming

I had a little mix-up about today’s scheduled consultation, so I’m going to post this one instead, which I’ve been working on recently. (Yes, I do spend my free time doing things like this. I’m a little bit crazy.)

One of my husband’s biggest disappointments regarding his lovely wife is that I don’t like football. Which isn’t even entirely true — what I don’t like is that when “the game’s on!” (football, baseball, basketball, NASCAR, golf ………………) there’s a lot of ignoring-of-wife. Also, game losses=bad-mood husband. Also, no one can watch anything else because the game’s on! I’m sure some of you know what I mean.

Sports in general I’m a big fan of (though more as a player than a watcher), and I think participating and watching are both great ways to spend one’s time (a lot better than some other things right?). Re: football, I also profess to be a Giants fan because my dad is a Giants fan (daddy’s girl and all). (My husband says I’m not allowed to call myself a Giants fan though because I decided to go to bed with two minutes left in the game during that SuperBowl that the Giants were in, which I couldn’t even remember which one it was so I just texted my hubs and he said: “Super Bowl 42 in 2008. Giants beat the Patriots 17-14 on a crazy last minute drive to beat the previously undefeated Pats (19-0 heading into the game) … And you went to bed.”)

Anyway! All that to say, despite my rocky relationship with football, I’m a huge fan of Chargers QB Philip Rivers. Huge fan! I admit I’ve never watched him play (I probably wouldn’t even know it was the Chargers unless it was pointed out to me. Because I’d probably have my nose in book. I’m such a disappointing wife!), BUT I do know these things about him:

NFL Quarterback Philip Rivers on Faith, Family & Football (by the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word)

Tiffany Rivers, Philip’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know (including their commitment to premarital abstinence, Natural Family Planning, and having a big family)

Touchdown: Chargers QB Philip Rivers welcomes seventh baby (nothing more to say 🙂 )

Catholic in the NFL: An Interview with Philip Rivers (on Life Teen’s blog) (“If you’re going to be a Catholic man, be it all the way“) (“Thanks so much for taking the time today to talk, is there anything that you would like prayers for? Yeah, I can give you many intentions, but I’d certainly be humbled if you prayed for my family and for all the unborn.”)

Catholic Quarterback Philip Rivers Passes On the Faith (National Catholic Register) (the whole article’s the bomb — the Eucharist, favorite saints, the Miraculous Medal, purity)

NFL Star Philip Rivers Tells Catholic University Grads to Never Give Up (he got married and had his first baby while in college)

Philip Rivers — Life on the Rock — Faith, Family, Football (fantastic 52-minute segment from EWTN’s Life on the Rock show, posted on his buddy Jason Evert’s Chastity Project site [which is itself an awesome awesome resource]) (it starts with an opening bit about the sacraments, and Philip comes on around the 8:30 mark)

Challenges ahead for Chargers’ Philip Rivers, but he has faith (“… in May, when the San Diego Chargers quarterback and his extended family visited the Vatican and were in a crowd of thousands for a Wednesday papal audience. Rivers, a devout Catholic, had a prime spot in the crowd and was holding the youngest of his six children, Pete, who will turn 2 in October … “I was about 10 yards away, and the crowd kind of opened up,” Rivers said. “Pope Francis just kind of motioned like, ‘Bring him to me.’ Pete was like, ‘No! What are you doing?!” But we passed him to the pope. It was awesome. The pope kissed him, blessed him. We got great pictures of it.””) (“Real life can be tougher. Rivers and his wife, Tiffany, got that reminder after the season when their 5-year-old son, Gunner, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.”)

I mean, come on. Especially for me as a mom of six boys, Philip Rivers is absolutely the kind of man I’m happy to know is out there, saying things publicly that I want my boys to hear, living a counter-cultural life that’s not hidden.

And happy news! Philip and his wife are expecting their eighth baby — a girl! They have five other girls:


And two boys:


I do love to try to predict what name(s) I think expectant parents might choose, based on the names they’ve already chosen (and what kind of Catholic baby name blogger would I be if I didn’t have some ideas for Philip Rivers!), so using my trusty Baby Name Wizard book and my gut feeling about their taste, I came up with some names that I thought seemed to hit all the right notes:

(1) Sofie (or Sophie)

Halle and Gunner really jumped out from the list of their kiddos’ names — I thought that maybe they didn’t seem to quite fit with the other kids’ names? But when I remembered that the spelling Halle can be Scandinavian (I tend to think of it as more mainstream than ethnic, what with all the Hailey/Hallie/Hayley variants, but Halle is a legit Norwegian name on its own, albeit a male name), and Gunnar (that spelling) is Scandinavian as well, I thought maybe that was the key there. We’d actually considered Gunnar as a middle for one of our boys — it’s a family name on our Norwegian side, and we liked the uber-masculine feel of the sound of it, which we would have said like Gunner (even though I’m pretty sure the Scandi pronunciation is more like goo-NAR?) — so with all that in mind, I really paid attention to the suggestions given in the BNW as similar to Gunnar, and Sofie leapt off the page. That spelling — Sofie — is the Scandinavian spelling, and the Sophia/Sophie names are so similar to the style of Caroline and Grace specifically (and it’s a virtue-type name, like Grace), that it seemed like a really great pick for the Rivers. I really like the Sofie spelling for them because I think it helps loop Halle and especially Gunner in even more with whole group, but I don’t mind the Sophie spelling. (And i could be totally wrong about the whole Scandinavian-Halle-Gunnar/Gunner thing.)

(2) Julia

One of my favorite things is looking at a sib set with names of different styles and trying to find names that bridge the styles. Julia is one such for the Rivers family. It was listed as a style match for Caroline and Grace, and it’s biblical like Sarah, Rebecca, and Peter. And it’s got a pan-European feel — and is indeed used in the Scandinavian countries — which goes well with Halle and Gunner.

(3) Evangeline/Evie

Evie was listed as one of the matches for Halle (or rather, Hallie, as the spelling Halle didn’t have its own entry), which is so sweet, and it made me think immediately of Evangeline, which I thought might have just the right elements: it’s long, like Caroline and Rebecca; it’s biblical-ish, which fits in well with Sarah and Peter; Evie as a nickname is a good match with the shorter Grace; and like Sofie/Sophie and Grace Evangeline’s also a faith-filled concept.

(4) Leah/Lena/Lily (or Lilly)

I grouped these last three together because they’re all four-letter names starting with L. I like each of them for different reasons: Leah’s a major Old Testament woman, so certainly a good fit with Sarah and Rebecca (it’s somewhat pan-European as well, and its Scandi spelling is Lea, but I don’t love that because I think it makes the pronunciation uncertain — Lee or Lee-ah?). Lena was listed as similar to Halle, and can be the Scandinavian short of Helena or Magdalena, or it could be a nickname for Evangeline (I’ve seen a few families do so). And I think Lily — which was listed as similar to Grace — works on so many levels — it’s Marian; it is sometimes used as a form of Elizabeth, which ties in the Bible; it’s got a Scandinavian form (Lilly); it’s sweet and feminine like their other girls’ names.

I don’t know any of the girls’ middle names except Sarah (Catherine), so I don’t know if I’ve listed some names here that are unusable for that reason, but otherwise — what do you all think? Do you think these predictions are well founded? What name(s) would you predict Philip and his wife might choose, based on what we know of their taste from their previous choices?

(If anyone knows Philip or his wife and can pass this on to them, I’d be delighted. 🙂 )

I love to do name consultations! If you’d like me to give your name dilemma a go, check out my Baby name consultant tab.