I’m back, in more ways than one.

Hi. I’m back from my maternity leave.

I hope you enjoyed those 23 guest posts while I was away from this little place (twenty-three!). I loved everyone’s perspective shared on all kinds of topics, from potty training infants, to why dirt is good for you, to why adopting is such a beautiful thing.

I was reminded how much I love this space, what Simple Living Media has become, and how community-oriented we are. Thank you, both to the writers and the readers, for making this a place I love. I hope you do, too.

I’ve been pretty busy, mostly because of this little guy:

On June 11, our family gladly welcomed baby number three, Finn. He was joined by his big sister Tate and big brother Reed, and our life has been a three-ring circus ever since. How did the back seat of the car get so loud?

A refreshing perspective

Stepping away from anything for a good while resets your perspective on the thing; frees you to see your landscape from a new angle. This maternity leave did just that for my relationship with this blog.

I started Simple Mom in February 2008, ironically during the hallowed newborn weeks of my second-born. I wanted a creative space to jot down my thoughts on parenting and home management, and quite unexpectedly, it took off like a rocket.

This was the first time since Simple Mom’s inception that I took a nice, long, much-needed break from writing and editing and designing, and quite delightfully, I was reminded of how much I love this little thing I do.

I want to get back to its roots. I want to be a bit more personal. I want to keep writing on the things that I love — I just want to be a bit more transparent.

In short, it’s important to me that the writers on this blog remain real people here, with real ideas and experiences and faults (they always have been, but I’m not always sure it’s been interpreted that way).  I want to make sure Simple Mom stays simple, that it doesn’t unintentionally morph into an archive of useful articles and that’s all.

It’s on a good path. It is. I just want to make sure it stays on it.

This means I’ll be sharing more of me, using my photos, and chatting with you in the comments section.

I’m a wife and mom. A writer. An entrepreneur. A global nomad who’s not quite sure where we’re going to live at this time next year. I like to read, write, be outside, and drink coffee. I miss walking everywhere, and am a bit weary of the American infrastructure that requires so much driving.  When I write for this blog, I usually listen to Andrew Bird, St. Vincent, Sufjan Stevens, or Grizzly Bear in the background. Just because I like them a lot.

I’d like to know if you’d like to know more. I’ve told you lots of times that I’m just a regular gal, running a home, parenting littles, and learning new ways to do those things while still thriving with my head above water. Sometimes I do well. Many times I crawl into bed with my knees shaking.

I’m not perfect. I’m right there with you, in the trenches, documenting it with my fingers on a laptop.

What kinds of things would you like to see more of here on Simple Mom? How about on the other SLM blogs I help spin — Bites, Homeschool, Kids, and Organic?

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. Congrats on the beautiful baby boy! Love the name Finn, probably would have been my dd’s name, had she been a boy. Sounds like the break was good for you in many ways. Can’t wait to keep reading!

  2. Welcome back, Tsh! I’m so glad to hear that the break was beneficial for you, your family and for your blogging mindset. I thoroughly enjoyed all that the writers shared while you were away, and I’m thrilled to have you back and am eager to see where you take Simple Mom.

    Thank you for all that you do, and congratulations on that precious little man!

  3. Congrats on that cute boy! I would definitely enjoy hearing more about you, especially as you transition to three. I have two kids right now. My baby is turning one in September 🙁 I’m also a busy mom blogger and wondering/nervous how adding another kid to the mix would change my already full life.

  4. Welcome back! Isn’t he just gorgeous. 🙂

  5. It has been ages since I’ve commented here Tsh but this post struck a cord with me. I remember way back when you first started out, Simplemom was my fave place to hang out each morning.

    Life just plain gets busy, after starting a photography business and blog of my own I found that I had no time left to just enjoy life. It’s easy to fall away from that being real stuff 🙂 Looking forward to tuning in more, though I’ve always been a fan I’ve lost the luster to make time for the blogs I used to enjoy reading.

    Anyhow, welcome back, Finn is a doll 🙂

    • It’s weird, isn’t it, how the more involved you get in the blogosphere, the less time you have to read blogs? 🙂

      • I have found since starting my blog – how I have less time to read blogs. Wonder why it is that way. I had to pick a “Top 20” list to read to keep my life in the blogosphere sane. 😉 I check with the others in my Reader randomly when I have “extra” time.

  6. Congratulations on little Finn! And Welcome back! I’m glad to hear you want to keep Simple Mom simple, because that’s what drew me in to begin with. I really can’t see myself taking homemaking advice from the likes of Gwenyth Paltrow, etc. women who probably never clean their own house or even cook for that matter! (not to mention all the nannies at their beck and call when things get to be too much!) Not knocking them, but I’m here to find out how someone more like ME gets through her day. I loved your blog since my first time here, and love the fact that it is like “one-stop shopping” for any other info I may be interested in with the branching out you’ve done with the other mommy-bloggers. Quite frankly, I can’t get my head around how the heck you all do it! I’m a SAHM with two littles and can’t ever seem to fit it all in. I’m also due with my third in a couple months, so I’m VERY curious about the transition from two to three kids! Looking forward to reading…

  7. Welcome back and thanks for sharing your gorgeous babies photo.

  8. Congratulations on precious Finn! I think this might be the first time I’ve ever commented on a post, but I’ve been reading your site for a long time now. I guess it’s about time. I check in here everyday. My baby girl, Elizabeth, just turned 1 a month ago. Your site has been such a lifeline for me. I’ve got it marked on my blog underneath “favorite sites” and have recommended it to all my friends (who have since done the same!) I just wanted to say congrats to you, and let you know how grateful I am for your work here. I check in on all your sections of Simple Mom. You said, “I’d like to know if you’d like to know more.” ok. Selfishly, I’d like to know more about parenting a 1 year old. I spend many days wondering if I’m doing a good job with this particular developmental stage she’s in. If I let her watch 2 tv shows instead of 1, am I being a lazy mom, or is that OK? (Since the American Academy of Pediatrics thinks it’s NOT ok). I use that as an example, b/c I know for me personally- I am always wondering what I should be doing with her, to nurture and encourage the particular developmental stage she’s in. I’m sure it’s hard (impossible!) to speak to every person’s kid- but I love whenever you include ideas for things to do with your children based on the age they are. I look at Elizabeth- so happy, so funny, so curious, so much personality already, and wonder what I should be doing to nurture and encourage this particular stage of her life. And what I could maybe give myself a break on. Does that make sense? I always find lots of advice for things to do with kids who are 2 and up, and things to do with tiny infants, but not as much for the tiny space in between. I want to say, “HELP! I have a 13 month old! What the heck do I do with her?” And since you asked, I always want to know more about self-care. My favorite articles on Simple Mom are the ones that remind and encourage us to take care of Mama. You could never have enough of those articles, in my opinion. We can never be reminded or encouraged enough! Really, you do such a good job with those- I always crave more of your wisdom in that area! The articles where I skim, the ones that sorta lose me- are the ones about making your own jam, or your own deodorant, or canning, homeschooling. But, again that is just ME. I know that many, many women just eat those articles up. This is just one woman’s experience! But to me personally, that would not be the definition of living simply. I think it is amazing- please hear that. Women that make their own toothpaste, deodorant, jam, whatever- you AMAZE me. But to me, that feels like one more thing I’m not doing well. And it seems like so much more than simple. The things I long to hear more about are: 1. how to nurture and engage my child in the particular stage she’s in, and 2. making my home a haven (*sigh* this might be my very favorite section of yours- and one i need the most help in!). those are my top 2. but please know that if you never change a thing, you and Simple Mom are completely fabulous and I will keep checking in on you everyday. And again, thank you so much for the work you do and for sharing yourself and your wisdom with us! Congrats on your baby- but know that you’ve been MISSED!

  9. Welcome back! and Congratulations, he’s beautiful. It’ll be nice to compare notes, I just had my fifth, a boy as well, on July 1. LOVE the name, it was on our short list, but it just doesn’t work in French and we needed a bilingual name.

  10. Finn is gorgeous!! Congrats and welcome back:-) The personal aspect is what I enjoy so much about reading blogs. I’m looking forward to hearing more about you!

  11. Christa says:

    Welcome back!! I love the picture of your son. He is beautiful. I third the request for info on the transition to three. I could have written Nisha’s comment myself.

    • Sounds good — though I’m definitely still learning myself! Finn is only 5 weeks, so really, who knows what it’s like to have three… Might have to have someone else write those posts for awhile. 🙂

  12. christy says:

    Hello from cyberspace and congrats on your beautiful boy.
    I love your blog and read it almost every day. You asked if there were things we wanted to discuss and here’s my request: How, exactly, do we help stop the craziness as it relates to using so much gasoline driving kids all over creation to play sports? (My kids are 11,12, and 14.) We’re not particularly over-scheduled; they each get to pick one sport. It’s more about our reliance on foreign oil, while basketball and soccer games span our city and suburbs. Carpooling, of course, helps, but my conscience is still bothered. I’ve had some initial conversations with parents, but they kinda look at me like I have two heads. Anyway, any advice?

    • We can get into this topic more specifically in the future, but just fyi, there are a number of articles on here about how to make choices on which activities your family should participate. Use the search feature to find most of them, but here’s one to start you with:

      Fighting the Tyranny of the Urgent at Home

  13. Michelle says:

    Welcome back from a much needed rest and time of bonding with your new little!! I love that it gave you a time of reflection and perspective on what your passion is. I love that you have the desire to keep this blog going and to share more about you and be transparent. I think we all need that. We connect on our weaknesses and lead in our stregthns and I think you are doing just that on your blog! I only recently discovered it and each post has given me some inspiration or challenge to help me grow, change and see things differently. Thank you for giving of yourself to bless and enrich others!!

  14. I am so glad to hear that you’re back! I love Simple Mom, and I have been noticing less of you. I am looking forward to seeing more of you, your voice, and your photos. This site is (and always will be) useful, but useful and personal would be even better. 🙂

    Congratulations on that beautiful baby!

  15. Welcome back and congratulations on the newest addition to your family. Finn is adorable!! I had a baby, Jenny, on May 30 so I’m right there with you. I have been a big fan of your site for so long. I think it’s one of the first blogs I’ve ever read. I’m looking forward to hearing more of your personal stories and seeing pictures. Thank you for taking on this new direction.

  16. It’s wonderful to hear your ‘voice’ again, Tsh, so welcome back!

    I would love to her more about the transition from two to three kids. Our second is now 2 and I’m getting the baby itch! Do you find it manageable? Easier? Or are you and K outnumbered and feeling so? 😉 I’ve heard both sides of the story.

    We’ll have more kids, regardless, but I’d love tips on transitioning to three.

    Finn is precious, by the way. Looks like he’s a great eater. Yippee!

  17. Congratulations! So nice to meet your little one. I have loved your blog for over a year now. It was definitely nice to get to know you a little bit better. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Welcome back and congratulations!

    I would love to hear more personal stuff. I find real-life struggles and vulnerabilities to be the most helpful information possible.

    A fellow duking-it-out-in-the-trenches mom

  19. This post is right on time for me. I’ve been a subscriber for a long time, but I was about to subscribe because it’s seemed so impersonal lately (notwithstanding the maternity leave, because obviously guest posts are going to feel that way). I’m very glad to see this course correction.

    Congratulations on the new baby–he is adorable!

  20. Welcome back, Tsh! Good to know that the time away has been a time to recharge your writing juices ;p Yes looking forward to all those posts of yours that always strike a chord with me.
    Finn looks gorgeous with your TLC over the past one month! ;D

  21. Congrats on baby number three Tsh and welcome back:-) Love the name Finn. And he is adorable.. While I did miss you, I had a wonderful time reading the guest posts and getting to know some wonderfully talented and yet real moms who blog.
    Looking forward to reading you now and hoping that while SLM continues to grow and thrive, the warmth and personality will always stay constant.

  22. Welcome back and congratulations!

  23. Renee R says:

    Congratulations on the birth of that little guy! I’m happy that you were able to take a break and come back to this blog refreshed. As long as this is a place that you are happy about and it doesn’t feel like a chore then your authenticity will come through I’m sure.
    Best Wishes to you and your family!

  24. Christi says:

    Congratulations! What an adorable little guy. Looking forward to continued reading too.

  25. Stephanie P says:

    Yay! So glad to hear this blog’s going to stay around and so glad to see the pic of your little one. He’s adorable. Congratulations!

    Your post reminded me of a line from one of y favorite (albeit chick flick) movies, “You’ve Got Mail” – “Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.” Hearing/reading about real life and real struggle is what draws people to blogs in the first place. Thanks for making this personal commitment.

    For me, I’ve suddenly had an interest to learn about the many uses of coconut oil. This substance seems to have hundreds of uses but any time I search it seems I have to piece posts together from several different sources.

    Thanks so much and have a great day with your little ones!

  26. Thank you, Tsh! I love Simple Mom. I find it so refreshing, encouraging and supportine. I think the way in which you share your thoughts and feelings is so inspiring, generous and helpful.
    Congratulations on Finn. Wishing you and your family the very best.
    It is wonderful to have you back. Thank you for giving other writers the chance to share their perspectives whilst you were on leave.
    Can’t wait to learn more about you, how you juggled 2 children and now 3 and all of your words of wisdom and thoughts about living simply.

  27. First, congratulations on that sweet baby boy. I have a new granddaughter born on the 22nd of June. Love me some newborn snuggles.

    Second, I love the idea of you becoming more transparent and personal. I really love your blog, but only click over if the topic is something I feel passionate about. And besides, I just love reading about real moms with real lives, problems that are handled by a real God. Thanks for all you do. Looking forward to your new perspective.

  28. Simplemom was the first blog I ever read. I loved it from the start but I noticed it started to change and change and change. I’m so glad it is going back to where it started in a way. Thank you.

    And, that is one sweet little boy.

  29. Oh.my.goodness. Finn is just the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen!

    Welcome back, Tsh, so lovely to have you return and wonderful to hear you sounding refreshed and ready to get back to work with a new perspective.

    Can’t wait to hear more!

  30. As a reader and contributor to Simple Homeschool I can honestly say I welcome this change most wholeheartedly. We are real women, with real lives, real children, real problems, real challenges and sometimes real solutions. This is my approach with my own blog and personally, I’d love to see a bit of that style of writing flavor this space also (smile). Welcome Back!

  31. Your Finn is gorgeous. Congratulations!

    I’m glad you’re back, refreshed, and excited about making things personal. It’s what I connect with most.

  32. Welcome back!! Finn is gorgeous! I love that name!! Our second little one is due in about 2 weeks and Finn was one of my name choices but I just couldn’t quite convince my husband! 🙂 Look forward to continuing with you on your journey!

  33. Congratulation Tsh! We just welcomed our third on June 29th so I have an inkling of what your behind the scenes looks like 😉 Really happy you had some time to reflect and I look forward to seeing how it all evolves.



  34. Congratulations! He’s beautiful! And regarding your thoughts about the blog–I think going back to a slightly more personal approach is a great idea. I think I’ve read every post you’ve ever written here :). I found you in the fall of 2008 when I had a two year old and a newborn and had recently moved to another country (when baby two was 12 days old!). I googled something like “routines for stay at home moms,” and Simple Mom came up. I’ve been a reader ever since!

  35. Welcome Back, and congratulations on a beautiful baby boy! I have read your blog for a very long time, and am excited that you will be sharing more personal stories and photos. I am very new to blogging, and it is always nice to learn a little more about the person behind such a successful blog.
    Can’t wait to read more!

  36. I applaud the approach you’re describing. To a certain extent, the more personal, the better (obviously within reasonable limits). I’m much more likely to follow a blog that includes some real-person flavor than one that’s largely instructional. Not saying that you’re doing one or the other now, but I think you have the right idea for walking that fine line.

  37. Oh, Tsh … he’s just wonderful! Thanks for sharing a picture so we could all ooh and aah over him 🙂 (those cheeks!)

    Welcome back!

  38. Bren K. says:

    Congratulations, Tsh! Finn is beautiful!

    I’m a mom of 3: CJ, a 15-year old cancer survivor and Hol & C-birdie are 13-year old twins and happily married to a guy that values family, hard work and loads of fun. He reminds me to take time to have fun, in fact.

    I arrived after googling “simple mom” because our lives were and continue to be a whirling mix of ‘go-go-go-go’, “I’m bored” and “I don’t want to do that…” I needed some reminders of how to find joy and peace within these walls and within myself and how to sort out what part of the chaos of life to tolerate or comply with. Your little corner of the web is a wonderful place to stop or slow down to a livable pace and cherish the things that matter.

  39. Welcome and Congratulations on that gorgeous baby! I look forward to the new changes at Simple Mom — I think it’s a great new direction.

    Angelica @ ModernFamilia

  40. Hurray! Finn is beautiful and welcome back.

  41. Many blessings to you and your family with the arrival of your new baby Tsh!

    I found Simple Mom during a time when I was feeling completely overwhelmed with every aspect of my life. Deflated as a mom and wife, extreamly disorganized after two moves in two years, and desperately wanting, craving, and, more importantly, needing, to live a simpler life. So THANK YOU for being out “here!”

    What I want to see more of is what you are already talking about: the REAL issues, the real struggles, and the real solutions that all of us moms (and dads) need. A friend of mine recently noted how challenging it is to find realistic help in magazines etc…, instead, they continually spin advice on how to make better cupcakes, dress sexier, and encourage us to morph our home’s decor with each change of each season! Come on! I’ll turn to those sources for entertainment, and I’ll keep coming back her for real guidance!

    Thanks again, and keep up the fantastic work!

  42. Welcome back Tsh! Congrats on your little one. He’s precious.

    I love your articles. But like you I manage so much with two little and often feel overwhelmed. I love the idea of being more real and showing your challenges. Sometimes I feel like other writers have it all together while I struggle. So I guess I’m looking for more practical, real-life advice on how to simply life as a mom who is spread super thin. Thanks!

  43. Welcome back Tsh!

    That sweet little man is such a joy to see.

    As another mom, I feel like I am constantly in the ebb and flow of feeling like I’ve got my game together and then feeling like I need to refocus. Just when we think we’ve got it figured out, potty training comes along, or a move, or a new baby. Eh?

    I love the concept of us all becoming more real. I never want anyone to feel like any of us have the answers…just a bunch of moms sitting around having coffee sharing what has worked for us personally, an ear to listen.

    Much love to you.

    Looking forward to all that is in store for SimpleMom and the other sites. So happy to be along for the ride.

    • “just a bunch of moms sitting around having coffee sharing what has worked for us personally, an ear to listen.”

      Yes, exactly, Eren. That’s exactly what this place should be. Thanks for your feedback, and for your contributions here!

  44. Welcome back in more ways than one, Tsh!

    I’ve started all my businesses shortly after the births of my three kids – we’re kindred spirits! LOL.

    I’d love to hear more from you about the things you love, use, do…I value your opinion and tend to buy, use, implement things in my life after hearing about them from a trusted source.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever considered sharing how you’ve built Simple Mom, but that’s something I’d really LOVE to read. 😀 I have a few “idols” and you’re definitely one of them.

    Anyway, it’s nice to have you back!

    p.s. I made your Honey Glazed Chicken Stir Fry last night and it was DELICIOUS!

  45. And…forgot to say…Finn is gorgeous – those blue green eyes! Oh my!


  46. I’m not typically one to comment on the blogs that I read, but it seems like a good moment to tell you that this blog has made a very positive change in my life (and the life of my family). I first stumbled across Simple Mom last Fall, about a year after leaving my fulltime job to stay at home with my two girls. I was trying to live a healthier, more simple life and this blog hit the nail on the head. It helped to change our eating habits (meal plans, yay!), guided our switch to cloth diapers, and saved my sanity in so many ways. The new direction sounds great, I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family! Thanks for the inspiration and keep up the good work!

    • Aw, thanks! I’m so glad — that’s ultimately why this blog exists, so that really makes me happy to hear that.

  47. Welcome back Tsh!
    What a sweet little boy you have! Congratulations!!
    I am fairly new to your blog, I’d say about 6 months or so. It has become a part of my morning routine even before checking my email! Your words and the words of your helpful friends always encourage me to start my day off on the right note and set the tone for my day. I don’t know what your blog was like in the beginning… I may have to go do some archive digging… ; ) but I am thrilled to have you back and am looking forward to seeing what you have in store!

    Take Care and Welcome Back! =)

  48. Congrats on your new little one – love the name too. Always been on my list as well 😉

    We have three kids with the fourth on the way in Jan/Feb. Our baby is 13 months and loves to nurse and hates to sleep. I would love post on bedtime routines/tricks for sleep, daily routine’s like naps, meals, finding individual time for each kid.

    I’ve loved the posts about homemade things and homeschooling because we do both! Thanks so much!

  49. Welcome to your newest blessing. Thanks for this post. I would ditto much of the above but would also love to hear more about your travels and vicariously be part of your cross-cultural adventures. It’s the next best thing to being there. 🙂 Also, I enjoy the posts that would frugally (i.e. free or almost) allow me to make my house a home. I can’t go to the local stuff-mart and buy throw pillows to spice things up. I love your definition of simple. Welcome back.

  50. I missed you Tsh! Your baby boy is beautiful and I love his name. He was born on a great day, that’s my husbands b-day also.

    When I finished reading your post I said a little Thank You out loud. You are the reason why I read Simple Mom and tell all my friends about your tips and how to care for family and home organization. I will never leave, but I’m glad we will be seeing more of you. I’m glad you had time to rest and rejuvenate.

  51. Rachel J. says:

    Welcome back! Your new addition is just adorable!

  52. Katie Kerr says:

    I really appreciate this post. I love this blog and visit it everyday, but some days I go away discouraged that I can’t seem to be a ‘super’ mom like everyone else. I am sure that it wasn’t the intention of the posts and I am looking forward to seeing more personal posts. Congrats on your newest addition.

    • That’s the last thing I want anybody to feel after reading this blog! None of us are super moms, that’s for sure:

      The Great Myth

      That said, I’m glad you shared this, because that’s more fuel for me to keep things personal. Thanks for being a reader. 🙂

  53. Congratulations! I also just had a little boy, on June 8th. I look forward to hearing more stories “from the trenches”. I am very interested in hearing about life with 3 kidlets, as I am alredy thinking about #3 myself!

  54. Congrats on your new preccious baby. He is just adorable. Just wanted to thank you for your blog (s) I read everyday and they have greatly inspired me. We have switched to cloth diapers and wipes..and have an organic garden in full swing. We have joined a local csa, and have really changed the way we shop. My boys are one and two and while obviously busy I love that I can sneak on here in the morning with my coffee and get support, ideas, and just solidarity from other moms. Looking forward to more great stuff…my specific issues currently are potty training and getting a 13 month old to sleep through the night. Oh and any natural ideas.for acid reflux would help too. Thanks and welcome back!

  55. Yes, we all need to hear the life behind the things that make it to the blog. Sometimes us mothers can get down on ourselves when we see only the filtered finished things that make it to blogland.

  56. I normally do not comment, so this is new to me. I read your blog, and what I enjoy most is the simplicity. I am a mom of 3 little ones, and there are days I can do it all and some. However, most days, I can barely get it all done. I want to learn to live in God’s grace more each day, and live like he is returning tomorrow. I want to live simple, but MEANINGFUL days. I appreciate your “realness”. I am very interested in recipes, adoption, homeschool, health and marriage topics. You do a great job, thank you.

    Amanda In TN

  57. Transparency is the only way to go. If you blog any other way, the blog is detrimental to you (because you have to live up to something that’s not a true picture of your life), and to your readers (because they try to live up to something that’s not a true picture of Anyone’s life.) I’m a veteran mom who applauds your decision to influence others through sharing your thoughts, ideas, successes….and failures (as well as pictures of your adorable children. My kids accuse me of having a blog just so I can show them off…and humiliate them 🙂

  58. congratulations on you new baby! and thank you … i really appreciate it, that you plan to be more on the personal side from now on. i have been following your blog since the middle of 2008 and have lately missed the atmosphere of your former entries. all the best to you and your family – greetings from germany (trying to survive here with two little ones … do you ever plan to write on the issue of sleep deprivation and/or sleep training or something like that?) corrie

  59. Sounds like a good plan to me 😉 Your little man is absolutely gorgeous!!

  60. Congratulations on the birth of Finn – he’s adorable (and obviously healthy!) 😉
    I really agree with your “revelation” to get back to a more personal, transparent and real approach to your blog. For me – that’s what blogging has over other forms of writing… Can’t wait to see what articles come out of it!

  61. My brother had a baby 4 months ago and named him Finn too (I teased him that he got the name from Glee but he insists he didn’t). Love it!

    As a long time reader (I remember subscribing when you only had 100 or so readers!), I am so glad to hear you are going to be more involved. Not that I don’t like it now that you have so many readers, I just love your personal perspective and definitely miss that aspect of the blog. When I started reading your blog, I had 1 year old twins and your posts definitely helped me through some rough times I was having with balancing everything. I never believed that your life was perfect but it helped me strive for something better in my own life. And I thank you for that!

  62. I love the idea of more personal pictures. Love your blog – keep it coming!

  63. Denise C. says:

    Congrats on baby boy Finn! (love his name!) I adore this blog, as well as Simple Bites, just keep on doing what you’re doing with them! 😉

    As a side note, my husband and I are buckling down & are setting up a budget. I have been reading all your posts money related. Great Stuff! 🙂

  64. I forgot to say congratulations! He’s really beautiful.

  65. Kimberly says:

    My son’s 1st birthday was on June 11, so our boys are exactly one year apart. Congratulations!

  66. Happy to see you back, and happy to hear more personal stories from you! Sometimes with all the guest posts I think your “voice” gets lost a little bit, and I’d love to hear more of it. I like all your helpful tips and ideas, but c’mon, you can’t beat adorable baby pics like the one of Finn! 🙂 Congrats!

  67. I never knew you had such great taste in music, though I shouldn’t be surprised!

    Congratulations, your son is gorgeous! Welcome back!

  68. Congratulations Tsh and family! Finn is a beautiful baby with those chubby cheeks! I’m so glad you took a break from this space to just focus on baby and family and recharge your creative juices.

    First, I love, love, love Simple Mom! No matter what you do, I’ll keep coming back and reading. I love that you use giveaways to promote amazing products. The other SLM sites are all fantastic as well. Aimee’s Simple Bites just warms my heart (and our tummys!)

    Similar to what others are saying, I would love Simple Mom to address the emotional side of being a mom. I get so much wonderful “how to” from this site, but it would be great to have the occasional post that looks at the growth we go through as we evolve as parents or the challenges we face to keep in touch with ourselves and not get lost “being mom.”

    How about a series or category based on “transitions” where you and the other Simple Mom contributors could give some thoughts on the challenging transtions they have faced and what worked (and didn’t!) for them in those times. Adding a first, second, or third child, moving, loss or start of a job, sending kids off to school, etc.

    How about a category for “reality check” when someone just would like to share a struggle or explore how an event in their family changed them as a person or altered their persepective. How to we acknowledge and let go of mommy guilt, how do we accept the choices we’re making for our families without triple guessing every time we read some new perspective…

    It would be cool to have some “veteran” moms weigh in or contribute to those areas as well. It’s so great to hear from other moms “in the trenches” but it’s also a good reminder to hear from women that are surviving on the other side!

    (Oh, and after reading the story of Reed’s birth at (in)courage, I’d love to hear how your birth went this time around.)

    Thanks! Hope you are getting some rest or at least enjoying the sleepless baby snuggles!

  69. Congrats on that adorable baby boy! I totally hear you on the trying to keep it real and get back to the roots of blogging once in awhile. It’s easy to get carried away from your original goal – although I think you run an amazing group of blogs here, I certainly wouldn’t mind more personal posts!

  70. Congrats again! Finn is a beautiful baby boy and so blessed to have such a great mama! Thank you, Tsh, for being real and allowing yourself to be vulnerable with complete strangers in the hope that your authentic writing motivates, encourages and connects to the everyday mom. I constantly refer back to “Maximize Your Mornings” by Inspired to Action, and it’s my reason for subscribing to your feed. That one post has made quite a difference in my perspective and has helped me to get up early in the morning, realizing that my “job” is a home manager, mama first, but a home manager nonetheless, and therefore, I need to take care of myself, so as to take better care of my family.
    Thank you 🙂 May God continue to bless all your efforts.

  71. We missed you! Welcome back! I have quoted you so many times to my husband, that when I announced to him yesterday, “Simple Mom is back tomorrow!” he knew what I was talking about. You’re a household name in the Gowins family 🙂

  72. Herbwifemama says:

    Yes, I’d love to know more! My favorite blogs are the ones by “real” moms who blog their days and their kids activities, and don’t hide the imperfections. 🙂

    LOVE your baby, he looks so big! 🙂

  73. Congratulations on the new baby! He’s absolutely adorable. I’m so thankful for your blog. I stumbled across it last year while searching for ideas to make my life simpler and get rid of some of the stress I was feeling. Your blog has inspired me to make changes in my life that has reduced my stress and anxiety and helped me be a better mom and home manager. I look forward to learning more about you and your family!!

  74. I echo the statement- we’ve missed you. I loved your blog from the beginning. I have always admired and enjoyed what I read on this site. I loved your ebook- I would love to see more ebooks on practical subjects (or anything really!), even though I know you have a real book coming out soon! I was also wondering how you come upon the clip art for your blog, such as the ones in the Back to the Basics series. Those are so fun and unique! I am woefully ignorant of how to do that kind of thing. Is that from a program, or something you designed in a program or from another source?

  75. Tsh, he is soooo cute! 🙂 Congratulations! Can’t wait to hear more about these changes. Look forward to it!

  76. welcome back and congrats – your latest addition is adorable! I am looking forward to the back to basics direction you plan to go. Your blog is one of my fairly regular stops, but I daresay sometimes its too “guideline-y” to me and I skim and stop. I want the personal touch, the sharing, otherwise I’ll read a magazine article. So, I look forward to your direction and I’m sure with the juggling of 3 kids and work (something I know well!) you will have plenty to share!

  77. I love this blog and strive to simplify as much as possible. I would love to see practical advice maybe with case studies of other moms and how they have made changes. I still struggle with trying to fit it all in as I work part-time, run a blog and have two small children. I’m naturally disorganized so when baby number two came it rocked my world.

    Thanks again for the great blog!

  78. Welcome back! Your little guy is darling. I have really enjoyed reading your blog for the past year. I would love to see stories of other moms who have made positive changes (before and after). I still have trouble translating advice to fit my hectic mom life.

    Thanks again for the great blog!

  79. Welcome back! I am a newer mom. My little one is almost 10 months old. I would love to tips on entertaining little ones (of all ages, but the littlest of the little ones applies to me the most). I’m thinking of simple games to play with kids, home made toys, anything! 🙂 I’m pretty sure that your blog already features these things, but I would continue to read more!

    Also, how about writing about life beyond the title of Mom? As a woman what do you enjoy and how do you get through your day? How do you balance being a mom and a wife? Do you have any tips on how to feel sexy when you’ve been breastfeeding all day!??!! 🙂

    Overall, I really do enjoy your blog. Thank you for all the time you put into it.

  80. Congratulations, Tsh! Finn is absolutely perfect! Thanking God for a renewed perspective as well! He is good!

  81. Welcome back! Congrats on your new little peanut. He’s adorable.

    I always enjoy reading what you guys put out here! I’ve been married for almost a year and although I’m not a mom (yet), I enjoy all the advice and sources you write about and reading people’s responses is always inspiring. Thanks for making this a cozy, family place! And thanks to all of your contributors. It’s a refreshing place to visit 🙂

  82. Congratulations and welcome back!

    Great name choice. My middle son’s name is Finn..well Finnegan…

    Much love and blessing to you and your family.

  83. Welcome back Tsh! The guest writers have been fabulous and took care of Simple Mom really well. I have been enjoying Simple Mom since I don’t know really know when…over a year ago at least. You have always been enlightening and real, from my point of view. Simple Living Media is a wonderful network and the first blogs I check each morning. Keep up the great work and enjoy that new little bundle of joy, Finn! 🙂

  84. WELCOME BAAAACK! And Congratulations, Finn is a gorgeous little man.

    While I enjoyed your guest writers, I have to admit I missed the voice behind Simplemom. I was relieved to find you right after the birth of my second child because eight years had passed since my first child was born and I was clueless. Google search, led me to your site while looking for info about cloth diapers. (I decided against cloth diapers, because breastfeeding my daughter was hard enough).

    I’m amazed at how you created simplemom during the newborn stage of one of your children. My daughter recently turned one and I’m still having a hard time stealing time to do the things I want to accomplish, but thanks to some of your articles some days are better.

  85. Congratulations on your new little one. He looks so precious!

    This post makes me so happy. Sometimes blogs become the best of us because we want to portray the best of us… the problem with that is that others look as us like we aren’t people but some sort of god who can decorate our whole home with just a hot glue gun and a can of spray paint, can cook a whole meal after growing it, grinding it and grass feeding it – all with our own 2 hands, while our children are wearing homemade clothing from vintage fabrics that we thrifted for…. And the list goes on and on. It makes it unattainable to people who are real, that can’t get it all done, that feel like maybe they just don’t measure up to all of the others in the blogosphere. (not that I’ve ever felt that way or anything…)

    I love Simple Mom – it’s a blog that I really truly enjoy. I’m so excited to see what great things you have in store.

  86. First, welcome back!

    Second, congratulations on your adorable little guy! Finn is so handsome – I just want to squeeze him. 🙂

    Third, love hearing that you’re planning to make things more personal. I’ve always loved the sites but it has felt a little less personal. I loved your posts on your family’s meal plans, things your family responded well to, etc.

    Someone else put it very well that it’s much more fun (and effective) to learn through a personal story than just a tutorial. That’s one of the things I wish the other sites had a bit more of…a personal touch.

  87. He’s so cute! I’m glad you have had a good, much needed break. I have been enjoying Simple Mom for a while now. I have to admit that your more transparent posts but down to earth and often practical posts are what captured my attention and made your blog one of my favorites. It has been exciting to see how it has grown and changed in the past two years, but I will enjoy seeing more “day-to-day” posts. Can’t wait to see what happens here in the next two years!

  88. Welcome back, and congrats on the birth of Finn! (My son’s name is Finley, we call him Finn…great name!) This blog (and all of the SLM blogs) are daily reads for me. It seems like every single post is chock-full of good information. I feel like I’ve bookmarked nearly all of them!

  89. Congratulations!! Finn is a great name….and 3 kids is great too:) Welcome back, we would love to hear more!

  90. Welcome back, Tsh! It’s good to hear your voice again.

  91. Congratulations on your new baby! I’m sure he’ll add so much to your family and your hearts! I trust that you will birth a new, special depth in your writing with great joy and liberty.

  92. Congratulations on your little Finn, he’s gorgeous! It’s lovely to have you back.

  93. Congratulations on your beautiful new baby!
    I’ve been reading your blog for over a year and I love it, and sometimes I thought it would be great to know something more about you. Looking forward to it.

  94. Maryann says:

    First of all, congrats on the latest little cutie…

    I read this blog first, every day, for inspiration. So thank you for that.

    For me, I would like to see some discussions and advice for full-time working moms. That’s not talked about too much in the blogging world – so much seems to be about baking bread, and making your own children’s dresses, homeschooling. And so many seem to have time to create their own blogs…

    I barely have enough time to have breakfast while reading the online news before the chaos that is my life begins. Hopefully, there’s a place for us here too…

  95. Congratulations! He’s such a little cutie! And as a side note, I think Finn is a great name! My friend just gave birth to her little about about a month and a half ago and named him Finn as well. 🙂

  96. Congrats!! And welcome to the outside world Finn 🙂

    He’s adorable! Still has that fresh baby look about him 😉

    Having 3 is different but you WILL find your groove, our 1st 3 children came in 3 years! It was interesting but wonderful. Adding #4 in the mix was more of a challenge not because of him or the kids but because I dealt with PPD & there was just a lot going on right at that moment. But now we’ve again found a groove. Like all things in life, there are ebbs & flows 🙂

  97. Welcome back and congratulations! Love the straight forward approach that Simple Living Media provides – don’t change a thing!

  98. hi tsh! just wanted to say hi and welcome back… you are one of my most favorite peoples in all the world! always love to read about what’s going on here and in your family… hugs to you and yours 🙂

  99. Congratulations and what a beautiful baby boy! Can’t wait to hear more about you personally!

  100. What a cute name Finn, I love it. We all need some time away and it is oh so refreshing.

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