2021 Summer Recap

Hello September! And Hello to everyone. Who’s ready for a 2021 Summer Recap?

girl waving at the lake

It’s been a little bit (if we’re getting technical more like months) since I’ve graced you with my adorable presence here on the blog. Surely you missed my obnoxious humor. I definitely missed serving it up to you. Hehehehehe!

Truth be told, I needed a mental break from the blog and social media! This summer was filled with a roller coaster of emotions for me and the fam. Instead of dragging you through them with me while you were trying to enjoy your own summer, I opted to take the summer off and actually immerse myself in my own sorrows, happiness, excitement, tears, etc.

You’re welcome for sparing you. Shout to my husband, Patrick, and son, Zach, who took one for the team and helped navigate me through ALL THE EMOTIONS this summer. I love my boys!

Without further ado, let’s get into our 2021 Summer Recap. I’m going to do my absolute best to keep this short and sweet but if you know anything about me at this point you know that I love to talk so no promises…

boy fishing on lake

Zach graduated High School

The best place to start is graduation. Our summer officially began with Zach graduating from high school back in May. He was a double graduate meaning he got his high school diploma as well as his AA degree done with the Dual Enrollment program offered through our school district. Proud doesn’t even do any justice when trying to express our feelings for Zach and his accomplishments!

high school graduation

college graduation

Lake Oconee Family Vacation

To celebrate the graduates, we took a multiple family vacation to Lake Oconee up in Georgia. We vacationed with five families, all with boys who graduated this year, to celebrate them BIG before heading to college.

Lake Oconee

Lake Oconee

Lake Oconee

While in Georgia, we snuck away from the lake for a day and spent some time visiting with my dad as well as my aunt and uncle. It was a wonderful visit!

family photo

Father’s Day

Patrick had to work on Father’s Day so we celebrated him on his day off instead. It was kind of nice because things weren’t busy and we were able to enjoy ourselves without the crowds. We took him ax throwing and out to eat at one of his favorite restaurants, The Whiskey. He loves it because he can sample tons of bourbons, his favorite liquor.

family at ax throwing

father and son at restaurant


This could be a post in itself but I’ll keep it short and sweet by saying a huge chunk of my summer was occupied by our puppy, Forge. We brought him home in the middle of May and life as I knew it changed completely. Raising a puppy is no joke and definitely not for the weak! I go back and forth with all the emotions. One minute I’m thinking I made the worst mistake of my life for getting him only for him to snuggle with me on the couch and I can’t imagine life without him. I’ll get through this puppy stage alive…hopefully!

Boxer puppy

Boxer puppy

Boxer puppy

Boxer puppy

Forge is currently 5 months old and weighs in at about 45 pounds. The veterinarian is predicting his full size to be around the 80 pound mark. “I can’t wait for that,” said no one ever! Wish me luck as I continue to navigate through the craziness of puppyhood.

Boxer puppy

Boxer puppy

Boxer puppy

Our Family Trip to New Orleans

The boys and I took a little family trip to New Orleans together at the beginning of August. We’ve all been to NOLA before and love everything the city has to offer including but not limited to the people, food, and music. We did three tours while there: one dedicated to food, jazz music, and ghosts. Fun was had by all!

Jackson Square

New Orleans French Quarters

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

College Bound

Once home from New Orleans, the countdown to college began. We had just two weeks to get all our ducks in a row before sending Zach off to the University of South Florida. I went into full-on planning mode scouring the internet for anything I could find to help the process of us moving him into the dorm easier. With a list in hand, Zach and I hit up Walmart and Target and got everything we needed for move-in day. It was so bittersweet shopping together. 

Dorm room shopping

Dorm room shopping

Dorm room organizing

Like a well-oiled machine, The Hernandez Family got Zach moved in and set up within hours on move-in day. We even had time to have lunch, make another Target run for little odds and ends we missed, and have a final dinner together before saying our goodbyes. Tears were had by all. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room!

moving into a dorm

Dorms The Village USF

Dorms The Village USF

Dorms The Village USF

family at lunch

family at Target

Family at USF

father and son saying goodbye at college

Zach’s first day of classes was last Monday. Like the good son that he is, Zach went to the Marshall Center to take a first day of school picture for his mommy. Gosh, I still can’t believe we have a college student!

First day of classes at USF

Lucky for us, Zach is close enough that he plans to come home for the weekends. We’re hoping this becomes the norm for him but we know this could change at any moment once he gets super busy with classes. We’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

Patrick turned 40!

Last Wednesday, August 25th, we celebrated Patrick’s 40th birthday. Zach came home after his classes that day and we went out for dinner before coming back to the house for presents and cake. It was a wonderful family day and much needed by us parents because we were already missing Zach like crazy.

photo in front of angel mural

family in front of Reel Fish

family eating birthday cake

bourbon themed birthday cake

So where are we now…

Patrick and I are trying to find our “new normal” now that we’re empty nesters. Truthfully, I don’t think it has sunk in for us quite yet that it’s just the two of us and a dog! Patrick made a comment that he can see how some people end up starting all over with a baby once their other kiddos leave home. But don’t get your hopes up, friends…this baby factory is officially closed!

woman and boxer dog

We will be taking a solo mom and dad trip to Kentucky next month to visit some bourbon distilleries. That was my gift to Patrick for his 40th since he’s the man who’s obsessed with bourbon. I thought it would be a great way to celebrate him. We kind of need to celebrate us, too, for raising an amazing young man for the past 18 years. We really have a ton to be thankful and grateful for. I’m proud of us!

That brings me to today, September 1st. We’re on our way with Forge to visit Zach at USF for the afternoon and to take him to lunch. I still have no idea what life is going to look like moving forward but rest assured I’ll be taking you along on the journey with us as we figure it out. It should be a fun ride indeed!

With that being said, my break is officially over and all regular content will be resuming today. Make sure you’re following along with me on Instagram and have signed up for my weekly newsletter to stay up to date with all the latest and the greatest from the lake.

Thanks for making it through my 2021 Summer Recap post and being loyal readers of the blog. I appreciate you sticking around here with me. It truly wouldn’t be the same without you. You’re the best!


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  1. I’m so glad to see that you’re back! I’ve missed your blog so much! I’m sorry that it’s been a roller coaster of emotions for you. These last couple of years have been so crazy/heavy/scary/sad/all the emotions, so I totally feel you on that. I’m glad to see that y’all got to squeeze in lots of fun this summer before sending Zach off to college, though! I’m looking forward to seeing all of your content again!

    1. You’re not lying…it’s been quite a year or two lately!! Glad to be back. Looking forward to catching up on your content, sweet lady 😘

  2. Welcome back! What a summer for you. I thought about you often and the big drop off to college. Glad he is still close by and you won’t have to go too long without seeing him.

    1. You’re so sweet! It was tough but we’re trucking along. Missed you tons and can’t wait to get back to work with you 💕

  3. I would say you will definitely have your hands full for a while with Forge! But enjoy all those moments too!

    I LOVE that Zack took the first day of school picture for you. What a good boy he is!
    And OMG, his dorm room looks huge! I guess dorm rooms have come a long way since my days in college…lol

    Yes, you and Patrick definitely need to celebrate eachother for raising such a great kid. You are wonderful parents!

  4. There you are! I have wondered where “my social media lake friend” was! So, glad that you are back!
    Good for you for taking a well deserved break and claiming your “space and peace.” Do it as often as you need to. We will wait.
    Congrats to your son! Such a marvelous time for him. You and hubby are wonderful parents and partners. Nice to see!
    Happy lake Saturday!!

    1. You are the absolute sweetest. Thank you so much for your kind words. So very nice to see you too. Happy Lake Saturday to you all!

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