Birth announcement: Ev@nd3r H@wth0rn!

I asked for prayers last spring for a newly pregnant mama who was going through a hard time. You all were so wonderful that she wanted to be sure to share her baby’s birth announcement — she and her husband welcomed a baby boy given the strong, amazing name … Ev@nd3r H@wth0rn! (Alt characters used for privacy, at the mom’s request.)

She writes,

Thank you to you and your readers for your prayers last year when we were first expecting our son. The Lord has since provided in amazing ways, and we’re in love with these sweet children more each day …

While [older daughter] H3rmi0ne was a whirlwind born into a calm that followed the chaos of Hurricane Harvey, Ev@nd3r has been a calm within the chaos of our personal hurricane — the move into our first home and the growth of our freelance careers. As such, his name is likewise strong but accessible.

Ev@nd3r H@wth0rn is a name that my husband and I discussed long before our marriage but which felt almost too distinguished for a tiny human. But as we’ve delved into the names, we’ve learned to love the combination for our son more and more.

Ev@nd3r was a mythological figure credited with introducing the Greek alphabet, arts, law, and some of the pantheon. As a Hellenophile that’s studied much Greek literature, I feel a personal affinity for the contrast between the eloquence that can be achieved through the written word and the simplicity of the name’s actual meaning: “good man.” Similarly, our son will have the option to use his robust name in full or one of its approachable nicknames, like Van and Evan.

As for Hawthorn … I was taken with the knowledge that there are two Marian titles that roughly translate to “Our Lady of Hawthorns.” October is a solemn month for our family — one that saw the passing of my sister and grandfather and should have seen the birth of my sister-in-law — and as such, I’ve been contemplating life and loss and the love that is threaded through both. I began to think, “What a way to honor those we’ve loved … by honoring the mother of our Lord, who suffered the same.” However tangential the nominal relationship may be, I hope it reminds our son of the protection and love he can expect both from his earthly and heavenly parents.

Lastly, Ev@nd3r H@wth0rn can be summed up as a name combination that, like his sister’s, incorporates Greek, literary, natural, and spiritual elements. May those meanings and those we’ve yet to discover be a source of comfort and guidance to him through his life.”

What an amazing name story!! I love the reasoning behind both the first and middle name choices (that middle name is in my book!), as well as the “approachable nicknames” (love that!) Van and Evan. A perfectly handsome name!!

Mama also explained Big Sister’s name, H3rmi0ne El0w3n, which I know you’ll all love:

Born during the aftermath of our city’s worst storm yet, many family and friends joked that we should name our daughter Harvey or some feminine derivative of the name. Instead, H3rmi0ne is named for two other forces of nature: the saint, whose steadfast faith and strength evangelized better than words ever could, and the witch, whose courage and cleverness was integral to her friends’ survival and to the advancement of others’ welfare. (Our girl was also born shortly after both the epilogue of the Harry Potter books, 9/1/17, and St. Hermione’s feast day, 9/4.) Additionally, it makes my literary heart happy that Helen of Troy’s daughter and Shakespeare’s queen in The Winter’s Tale share the name.

Our preferred nicknames are Hero and Minnie — the former another literary name (again, via mythology and Shakespeare) with aspirational connotations, the latter reminiscent of the mouse and one of my childhood nicknames, Tiny. I also like that there are other options, like Maya, that our daughter can use should she find them more suitable. (We intend to use nicknames interchangeably with her given name.)

El0w3n is a Cornish word name for an elm tree. While elms don’t have particular significance to us, we love the sound, connection to nature, and similarity in sound to Tolkien’s Arwen and Eowyn. I also hope that, like a tree, she has deeply rooted beliefs but that she’s fearless in branching upward and outward.”

These parents have chosen such wonderful, meaningful names for their children! I loved reading all this info!

Congratulations to the whole family, and happy birthday Baby Ev@nd3r!!


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

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Birth announcement: Greer Eileen!

I posted a consultation for Megan and her husband’s little green bean last year, and I’m delighted to share that they welcomed a little girl! They gave her the fantastic name … Greer Eileen!

Megan writes,

Since you so kindly did a consultation for us earlier this year, I wanted to make sure to send you an email and update you on what we ended up choosing for her name: Greer Eileen.

I loved your suggestion of Greer — it fit perfectly with our naming style. I was also glad that it had the saintly connection through Gregor/Gregory. When I was pregnant with my son, I remember seeing this name in a book and thinking that I liked it (for a girl), but then forgot about it until you brought it back to my attention. As soon as I saw it again I knew that I loved it. My husband took a little convincing, but once he warmed up to the name he was totally on board as well. It seems to be one of those names that you either love or don’t.

I realize that by using Eileen as the middle, we look like huge Greer Garson fans — in reality, we’ve never seen one of her films. Maybe I should. 🙂 Her initials spell “Gee” which I thought could maybe be a cute nickname when she’s little if it fits.

Thank you so much for your help, and spot on suggestion! We love our little Greer, and are feeling very blessed.”

How great is this?? I LOVE the name Greer, it’s one of my very favorites, and it’s gorgeous paired with Eileen. I’m so thrilled!

Congratulations to Megan and her husband and big brother Finnian Daniel, and happy birthday Baby Greer!!

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Greer Eileen


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

Birth announcement: Michael Dominic!

I posted a consultation for Vanessa and her husband two years ago this month, when they were hoping to add to their family via adoption. Vanessa let me know that they were able to bring home a long-hoped-for baby this past summer — a boy! They gave him the saintly, handsome name … Michael Dominic!

Vanessa writes,

This email is a long time coming…I don’t know where the last few months have gone! On July 6, our sweet Michael Dominic came home to us. We are grateful and overjoyed to have a new baby in the house — thanks be to God! So how did we decide on the name?

We ended up throwing out some of our ‘rules’ as his name seemed to ‘just happen.’ Rule #1 — a name that cannot nickname easily — Michael almost immediately becomes Mike at some point in life to most Michael’s but we’ll just call him Michael within the family and hope we can keep it going. As he gets older, I guess he’ll decide! We loved the link to St. Michael the Archangel and we pray that prayer daily. It turns out St. Michael the Archangel is the patron saint of the sick and we learned that AFTER we decided on his name. This seemed appropriate & affirmed the name to us because Michael was born with a significant kidney issue that will need to be followed and could potentially lead to a kidney transplant. For now, Michael is doing well and we’re grateful for that but any prayers your readers could spare would be greatly appreciated!

Also, Michael was a name that originally we’d only considered as a middle name, if at all. But for some reason for THIS child, Michael was the first name that came into my mind when I got the first call from our social worker. When I told my husband about the call, he immediately said, “Maybe this baby should be Michael David” (his name is David!). After a few days of thinking about that name, he suggested Michael Dominic — since we love the rosary and St. Dominic was entrusted with the rosary by Our Lady… it seemed to just fit. Plus as my husband said, “I think he should have his own name.”

I also thought Michael flowed well with Nicholas, John, Mark and Mary. I especially love that the last three children begin with M! Not sure why, but it fits for me!!

So it stuck. Once we thought about it a few days (and this seems to happen to us with each child), we couldn’t get excited about any other name. And we only had 10 days from that first call until the day he came home! Our other children were absolutely thrilled to have a new baby. We waited to tell them until the night before and they nearly didn’t go to sleep! We all drove together to pick him up and it was a beautiful and memorable day.

On another note, our 4 other children loved the name Dominic and even called him Dominic for the first week or two. It was funny because many of our friends and neighbors were confused about what his name was! When they’d speak to our children, they’d refer to him as Dominic! We didn’t correct the children and we knew they’d eventually get it right — of course they did! I wonder if you or any of your readers have had any situations like that!

I loved every detail of this story! Doesn’t Vanessa’s joy just flow out of her email? I love the combo Michael Dominic and all the significance it has for Vanessa and her hubs!

I’m interested, too, in Vanessa’s question: whether or not any of you have had the experience of your other children calling the baby by a different name than the intended call name? The only experience we had that was sort of similar is when we intended the baby to be called exclusively by a nickname, but the older boys called him by his first name for a while after birth. I’d love to hear about your experiences with this!

Please also keep Michael in your prayers, in regards to his kidney issue.

Congratulations to Mom and Dad and big siblings Nicholas, John, Mark, and Mary, and happy birthday Baby Michael!!

(Some of these photos are from Michael’s homecoming day! ❤ )

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Michael Dominic with his family ❤

Birth announcement: Felicity Victoria Kathleen!

I posted a consultation for Lea back in May for her little green bean (=gender unknown), her fourth baby on earth. I’m delighted to announce that Lea and her husband welcomed a baby girl, a little sister for three big brothers! They gave her the gorgeous name … Felicity Victoria Kathleen!

Lea writes,

We had our little baby yesterday, a baby girl that we named Felicity Victoria Kathleen! Thanks for suggesting Felicity, we love it! Victoria and Kathleen are our mother’s names, and we wanted to use them both as we’ve no idea if we’ll ever be able to name another girl. 🙂 We are all doing well, and Felicity’s big brothers are delighted.”

Aren’t you just so swoony over that name?? Felicity Victoria Kathleen is stunning! I love that both grandmothers are represented, and that Felicity has the kind of significant meaning Lea and her husband were hoping for.

Congratulations to Mom and Dad and big brothers James, Paul, and Luke, and happy birthday Baby Felicity!!

Felicity Victoria Kathleen

Birth announcement: Henry James!

I’ve been working through emails slowly but surely, and have a bunch of birth announcements to share with you! I’ll try to post a new one every few days or so; first up is a birth announcement for a family whose consultation I posted back in May for their little boy. The mama, Beth, let me know he has arrived and been given the so-handsome name … Henry James!

She writes,

I wanted to let you know that our little boy was born September 5, weighing 8 lbs 6 oz! It was a strange end to pregnancy with lots of false alarms, but when he finally came (9 days late) he came in a fury- 25 minutes after arriving at the hospital! We finally decided on a name very late in the pregnancy- Henry James! He was very nearly a Samuel Benedict, and we also loved your suggestions of Nicholas and Luke and had them on our final list for a long time. So far he is just Henry with no nicknames (although I do use his full Henry James often), but I’m curious to see how that evolves. I think we’re leaning toward Bl. John Henry Newman as the saintly connection (since I’m a convert I feel that connection strongest), but we’re loving learning about the other Sts. Henry from your post 🙂 thank you for your beautiful suggestions and your positive points about Henry- I think it’s absolutely perfect!

(Ohmygosh — he came 25 minutes after arriving at the hospital!! 😱)

I loooove Henry James!! Such a great combo!! And though the theme of their consultation was trying to move away from the English theme they felt their older children’s name conveyed, I can’t imagine a more perfect brother for Charles/Charlie and Catherine/Cate. Wonderful job!!

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

Henry James


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

Birth announcement: Augustine Paul!

I posted a consultation for Jaclyn and her husband back in April, and Jaclyn’s let me know her baby boy has arrived and been given the fantastic name … Augustine Paul!

Jaclyn writes,

I wanted to touch base to let you know that our little man has arrived! After much debate, we decided on the name Augustine Paul.

As we discussed in our consultation, we strongly considered dropping the final -e to aide in pronunciation (wanting him to be aw GUS ten, vs Aw gus TEEN). However, in the end we went with the more traditional spelling. We’ve already had a few mispronunciations, but I’m not sure whether the alternate spelling would have changed that or not. As for his middle name, Paul was already a front runner both for St. Paul and as a nod to my father and grandfather. So when he was born on the feast of Sts Peter and Paul, it seemed like a no brainer 🙂

Once again, we truly appreciated your input and feel like this name suits this little guy and our family perfectly. I’ve included a few pictures of Augustine and his proud siblings, who love their “Baby Gus” to pieces!

I loooove this baby’s name!! Augustine/Gus is one of my favorites, and how amazing that he was born on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul — Paul as a middle name was a no brainer indeed!

Congratulations to Jaclyn and her hubs and big sibs Lillian, Olivia, Henry, and Gemma, and happy birthday Baby Augustine!!

Augustine Paul and his big sibs! (Do I spy an Annunciation Designs swaddle?? 😍 )