I’M BAAAAACK!!!! And we’ve been busy!

I’M BAAAAACK!!!! And we’ve been busy!

I hope you guys are all doing well! We’ve spent the last 6 months or so deep in some much needed family time and a few other endeavors I’ll talk more about in a minute, but I have definitely missed all of my Simple Stylings friends while I was away. I’m so happy to be back in this space and although I will probably not be keeping a 3-4 blog post a week schedule, I plan on being here consistently.

I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! oib

So where do I start? Basically…my baby is going into middle school. Not sure how that happened but I’ve been feeling a huge pull to spend lots of mom and son time so something had to give. First off, we went to Disney for the first time and contrary to my expectations we had an AMAZING trip! If you have never been to Animal Kingdom’s Avatar experience, it’s worth it just for that!

I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! disney

We finished up our rec basketball season which has become my son’s passion and I’m not mad about it at all. GO HEELS!!!! We also played soccer and spent tons of time at our favorite, Whitewater Center.

I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! whitewater center

In the spring we thought we were going to sell our house, then we didn’t. Then we thought we were going to sell it again, then we didn’t. :) So we spent a lot of time doing some much needed, but far from blog-worthy home repairs. More on this later, I promise…

As a very proud mom to a loving and well-rounded little big boy, we wrapped up elementary school. #bestteachersever!!!!!!

I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! middle school

We traveled to visit a few big kids as freshmen in college!

I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! usma
I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! usc

I am finishing a big project that I’ve been working on as part of a committee at our church that has been quite time consuming but to my surprise, very rewarding. We have been assisting with planning the vision for our church and it has excited me for the future.

I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! bethel

Speaking of church, my sweet boy chose to go through confirmation this year and made the decision to be baptized and dedicate his life to Christ. #proudmama He has such a loving heart and teaches me about kindness every day!

I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! confirmation

This leads into perhaps our most important project thus far…we completed training to become a foster family and are just waiting on our state license. Not sure the whole Hogan gang is on board with us (yet) but this has been on both mine and my son’s heart for a long time. We may have our first placement sometime soon! We’ve gotten the house prepped and ready for this possibility too so you’ll definitely be seeing some room updates.

I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! #lakelife #lkn

I wanted to make this summer special for us because there are some fun changes coming that are inevitable with middle school and changing family dynamics. We’ve made wonderful memories with our neighbors and friends. There have been birthday celebrations and holidays. We’ve spent time at the beach with YaYa and Papa and also brought a friend on vacation for the first time!

I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! papa
I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! fourth of july
I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! family

We’ve spent a lot of time outdoors and have picked up some fun new hobbies together, i.e. kayaking and indoor rock climbing. And we’ve taken some time to just be. To be still, to be less structured and busy, and to be together.

I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! climbing
I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! kayaking

I’ve also become even more interested in fitness and nutrition and decided to take an online nutrition course. I’m trudging my way through it now (going to school is hard y’all!) and I hope to wrap that up this fall. Crossfit is still going strong, although I’ve been doing more yoga, walking and running than I have in recent years and it’s been nice too!

This leads me to running with my big boy! He has decided to tryout for the cross country team this year and we’ve been running together (if you count me running a comfortable distance behind him and his buddies as not to be ‘that mom’) three days a week with a running group from our school. He was not a huge fan at first but I’ve already seen his confidence building in just a few short weeks. What he REALLY loves though is me forcing him to take selfies on our running break :)

I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! running

We rounded out the summer with some dear friends who came to visit from across the pond, a night’s stay at Great Wolf Lodge which most certainly will be a once in a lifetime experience (if you’ve been you know what I’m talking about..yikes!). We’re going to see the live Dude Perfect show this weekend and hope to squeeze a quick river tubing trip in before school starts.

I'M BAAAAACK!!!! And we've been busy! friends

Needless to say it’s been a very busy semester but wonderful in so many ways. I’m thankful for all of you who have stuck around and even emailed us to check in and make sure we were still alive! I’ve already got some fun stuffed planned for the fall and hopefully you’ll get to see a little more travel, healthy living and even some #momlife posts depending on where the journey takes us.

Thanks for sticking it out and we’ll be back soon on social media too…just in a more quality vs. quantity kind of way!


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  1. This all sounds amazing!!! I am so proud of Liam as well going through confirmation on is and making the decision to be baptized and his heart to Jesus!!

    Girl yo have been busy, I am worn out reading all of this!!! I am excited to hear about the foster program, it is weighing heavy on my heart also to do that, would love to chat with you about it, but doubt you would have time??!!!! LOL ……

    best of wishes and many blessings,

    Miss Shell

    1. Thank you Michelle! We miss you and I’ll definitely chat with you about fostering. I took some time off so now I’m feeling refreshed and organized and have time to do other things :) Talk soon…

  2. Was so excited to wake up and see your post in my inbox! I’ve missed your insta and your blog!
    Enjoy your last bit of summer!

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