For its 12th season, The Real Housewives of Orange County is bringing back a familiar face: Lydia McLaughlin!
Lydia McLaughlin
| Credit: Jerod Harris/WireImage

For its 12th season, The Real Housewives of Orange County is bringing back a familiar face: Lydia McLaughlin!

A source confirms to PEOPLE that the 35-year-old mother of three will likely appear on the upcoming season 12 of the hit Bravo franchise. According to the source, filming began this week and McLaughlin has been part of it.

McLaughlin previously appeared on RHOC‘s eighth season, where she opened the cameras on her life with her husband of 10 years, Doug McLaughlin, and their sons Stirling, 8, Maverick, 5, and Roman, 2.

Her bubbly personality and marijuana-smoking mother Judy helped make McLaughlin a fan favorite. And though McLaughlin chose not to return for the ninth season, the decision wasn’t an easy one — as she explained in her book Beyond Orange County: A Housewives Guide to Faith and Happiness.

“When I was asked back to do season 9, I wanted to do it,” she wrote. “Being on the show was everything the world tells us to desire and it was what I desired. But deep, deep down — so quiet I could almost silence it — I knew in my heart it was not God’s plan for me to go back.”

“I knew God was calling me to walk away from the show,” she added.

RELATED VIDEO: Heather Dubrow Is Leaving The Real Housewives of Orange County After Five Seasons

Since then, McLaughlin has remained in touch with her previous cast mates including Tamra Judge, whose decision to practice Christianity brought the two of them closer.

“I think she understands me a little bit better. She’s always super sweet to me, and we never had any problems with each other and I love her,” McLaughlin told The Daily Dish in May 2016. “She has a faith also that’s grounding her and she’s become a grandmother, so a lot has happened in her life, and I feel like we’ll remain friends for a long time.”

But there’s one Orange County Housewife McLaughlin hasn’t remained close with. “I guess I just haven’t talked to Vicki [Gunvalson]. It’s not like we have bad blood; I just feel like we don’t really have anything common. She’s a grandmother, and I just had a baby.”

The news comes just one month after RHOC star Heather Dubrow announced in January that she would be departing the series after five seasons.