I'm Erin Jo. I'm thinking, writing, dreaming, mothering, loving, living, praising, BLESSED to be Fiona to my Shrek and Mommy to my four amazing kiddos.



Shrek is "like an onion with many layers" but has a heart of gold. He's my husband and my friend, and we just get better all the time.



Lily is my first baby and only girl. She's smart, funny, tall and kind. Keeping up with this girl is a challenge and a joy. She's terrific!



Max is one part ogre, two parts lover and all boy! Our little man has a temper but gives the best hugs of anyone I know!



Colby is as ornery as he looks. He flirts shamelessly, even with strangers. He's all mouth and curls and the loudest by far.



Luke is the baby of the family, but holds his own. He's happy and adorable. And he's a terrible sleeper. =)


The four corners of my heart...

I know I haven’t posted much this month. I bought a new gorgeous journal, #69, and have only written in it twice–once on May 6 and once earlier tonight. My fingernails aren’t painted, and my toenails are in need of a redo. I lose things. I forget things. I might be a train wreck much of the time.

But listen. Here’s the kicker: I’m thriving. I’m fine. I have been a little anti-Facebook lately. It’s fun to know what’s going on with people, although I know way more than I would like about some, but really, it’s just not necessary. Facebook pulls me away from real life. From my kids, my dreams, my time to spend on other things. And just think of what this world might look like if we took all the time we spent on Facebook and volunteered. Or even just worked on our own hopes and dreams. Just think of the places we’d go!

Alas, this post is about thriving. It’s about four kids who like each other. Four slightly sunburned kids who are one-upping me on sleep again as I type. And by one-up, I mean they are actually beating me by three or four hours a night.

It’s about the time I spent around a campfire this past weekend with my family, my friends. It’s about my happy hubby tucked into bed and about the solid life we’ve built.

It’s about the fact that I’m happy. I always wanted to be a mom and play house, and now I can’t stop. And I won’t. I’ll live here in the Land of the Free, thankful for the people who made it so. I’ll remember that the language of my heart deserves to trump the language of my head sometimes.

And I’ll go to ballgames and yell at boys and celebrate birthdays with style.

I’ll thrive. And when I can, I’ll write.


And I’ll remind you, again, to let me know you’re reading if you want me to continue. We’re going to form a dialogue here. Because, in a couple weeks, I’m going to do my first giveaway. And it’s pretty sweet. You’re going to have to comment on this blog to be in the running.

So, what will you do to thrive this summer? Think hard, hit comment, and let me know something about you!!


32 Responses

  1. Sarah Haines says:

    The Haines family will thrive this summer by taking time for simple moments. Instead of hustling the kids along while I do house work, I will stop what I’m doing and take the time to listen and look, and really see and interact with my kids better. We will really focus on our family devotionals each night, rather than rush through them to get into bed faster. And we will just enjoy the time we have together, because it is so very precious. Love reading these Erin! :o)

    • erinjo says:

      Great ideas, Sarah! It’s hard to put off our “work” in the house to more fully enjoy the kids, but I’m going to try to do so more often too! Thanks for reading, and thanks for the comment!

  2. Julie says:

    And as always, your blogs make me smile. They make me go back 20 yrs when my kids were little, well 30 actually. It’s 1:44 am, I must be up @5am, but my mind is in Ohio. And my heart is heavy for our family again. But, your blog has brought me smiles. I know life is wonderful, even with it’s pains and sadness. Love you Erin.

    • erinjo says:

      I love you too. Thanks for always being such a great support to me and to so many others. You’re gold.

  3. Karen Rutter says:

    Well, I want you to keep writing! I always read your blogs and always enjoy them. Now……the fact that I could get something….. :). What I’m going to do to thrive this summer is try to keep in mind that we only go through one time, so we need to live every moment of it. I agree with you about FB. It’s nice to keep in touch with people you can’t see, but for those I can see, that’s what I’d rather do. Interact in reality rather than online. Later Gator!

    • erinjo says:

      You are one of those happy souls who does a great job of having fun everyday. Keep it up! You’re an example for all of us!

  4. I loved your message once again. I am surprised sometimes that more people do not comment. I intend to thrive this summer by trying to enjoy all my darlings and laughing at their antics! A good laugh makes me feel better! I too love the gatherings of family and friends each weekend. I am always happy surrounded by them!

  5. Stephanie says:

    This Summer my family and I will we refocus our energies on maintaing our healthy lifestyle! I have made a (re) committment to working out on a daily basis and plan to encourage my girls to do the same. Summer is also the time when I can finally slow down (perk of being a teacher!) and remember to not ‘sweat the small stuff.’ Reconnecting with my girls and spending time doing whatever THEY want instead of what we HAVE to accomplish in a day. Eight days and counting……bring on Summer!
    Thanks Erin!

    • erinjo says:

      Very good “thrive” plan, Stephanie! I want to be a teacher too. Thinking of either starting a power washing biz or writing books in the summer! 😉 Keep reading! Thanks for the comment!!

  6. Valarie Garvin says:

    We will be thriving by just being, enjoying every moment with each other.. Enjoying the sun loving the summer nights.. Loving on another and watching our boys grow. A thriving family is a praying family and we are praying with and for each other. Keep writing girl I love your blog it’s real and fresh and always gives great perspective 🙂

    • erinjo says:

      Thanks, Valarie. Now you’re someone I wouldn’t have met without Facebook, so there is a positive. I enjoy hearing your approach to mothering a big family of boys. Thanks for your sweet words!

  7. Juanit says:

    Don’t quit writing. I love reading your blog and I agee about Facebook.

  8. Anita says:

    I love reading your blog, remembering the ‘little years’ as my kids move ever so swiftly into young adults (except of course for Andy, the baby who keeps me ever engaged…) You help me resolve to thrive by not missing the moments… I thank you for that!

    • erinjo says:

      Not missing the moments. That’s the truth. It’s a challenge in this busy busy world to keep our eyes on the present! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  9. Patti Miller says:

    As always I love reading your blog. You have such a way at looking at everyday life, it makes us more aware of all the good things in our lives, esp. the small things to be thankful of. I am sad that my years with my kids as litle ones are over, but hope I did even half as good a job as you are doing teaching, loving and enjoying every minute of your hectic life with your kids. No regrets. I will thrive this summer realizing how quickly times flies and to enjoy every minute I spend with my beautiful grandson, Quinten. Also I intend to get healthier and thinner so I will be able to watch him grow up to be a very special adult just like I know your kids will be. I want to always remember to savor each and every day with my kids, family and friends. Life goes by too fast.

    • erinjo says:

      You are a wonderful human being. Thanks for all the love! Quinten is so lucky to have you for a grandma. Can’t wait to spend more time with you soon. Thanks for reading, commenting, supporting and loving me always!

  10. Jennifer says:

    Please keep writing, I LOVE your blog and humble words!
    This summer I am going to thrive by trying to involve Christ a lot more in our daily lives, more than we already do. Not just church on Sunday’s, reading a few lessons from the Bible thru the week, prayer at meals and at bedtime….but MORE. I like to think that we are pretty good Christians but we can always do more and grow… I haven’t figured it out yet what exactly “more involved” will be just yet, but hopefully soon and together as a family 🙂

    • erinjo says:

      This would be a very good “thrive” task for me. I need to do more Christ things in my home. At this point, I try to keep everyone fed and watered and safe while holding down a part-time job!! 😉 Thanks for reading, and thank you for your comment!

  11. Chris Schweikert says:

    What can I say Erin, I have been reading your blog for a long time now. You always find the words to inspire me to be a better mother, wife, friend, ect…. I am going to “thrive” by trying to be more patient and just take it all in. I am going to try to enjoy the little things. Like on Saturday morning when our 4 year old come in our room at 6:30am and says GOOD MORNING MOMMY!!!! Thanks so much for inspiring me!!!

    • erinjo says:

      Thanks, Chris. I always enjoy our quick chats as we run into each other around town, always talking to each other over our shoulders as our bodies chase our children around. I know you’re a loyal reader, and I appreciate it! And Ella is a smart girl. Up and at ’em early. Make hay with every day! =) Thanks for your comment!

  12. Emily Reeder says:

    I knew your sister at OU when I was learning how to be a Mom. My daughter Amy is now sixteen and I have a little girl who is four. We have had a rough couple of months of issues with Avery’s health. Your blog makes me laugh out loud and cry. I try to forward one a week to my Mom and she always calls me; touched by what you have written. My friend and I always say no one told us what motherhood would be like but you sum it up so eloquently. Your sister, Kim is a beautiful person and I feel blessed to have met her during a time when I needed true friendship without judgment. I am going to try to cherish every moment this summer with family and let go of the things I can’t control. Thank you so much for sharing your life and your thoughts on this blog!

    • erinjo says:

      Emily! What a great comment! Believe it or not, Kim and I were just talking about you last night at my house. How cool that I hear from you now. I am so glad this blog is helpful to you. There are so many mothers who agree, who are inspired to keep on keeping on, and I am glad to help center my readers to their “reasons” and what is important. We will keep Avery in our thoughts and prayers. I hope you figure out what’s going on and find peace soon. Mommas are very special people, and I know you’ll be such a comfort to Amy and Avery always. Thanks so much for your comment!

  13. traci nichols says:

    Hi Babe, I loved this blog, although I too love them all. How am I going to thrive? I am going to take one day at a time. I am going to get out of bed each morning, even when my emotions tell me not to. I am going to break down and cry when needed, then pull myself back up and surround myself with friends and family and the wonderful outdoors. I am going to sing. I am going to smile, laugh, remember with a tear and love with every inch of my heart because I know that tomorrow doesn’t always come. I am going to honor my daughter’s memory, and make sure than others do the same. Lastly, I am going to become a “gardener” and grow something very precious that only I can:) Love you Erin! See you at the Lake…

    • erinjo says:

      Ah, she writes. I tell you, my friend, you are good with words too! This is a great way for you to thrive, and I plan to be with you every step of the journey. You are an amazing woman, friend, mother and “gardener,” and I am honored to be in your circle. Thanks for the comment, sweetpea!

  14. Jessica Yost says:

    I plan on praying more, playing more, laughing more. I thrive to become more nurturing to my children and more fun to my husband. I really want to focus on my relationship with my husband. We are kicking off the summer with a high-adventure date, zip-lining in Hocking Hills. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do. And of course drinking lots of wine along the way:)

    • erinjo says:

      I love this, Jess. You and I both know that four kids can run you ragged, and that you can forget the yin to your yang as you keep all the other balls in the air! I can’t wait to hear about your date ziplining, can’t wait for our beach vacay, can’t wait to spend another moment with you. Love you much and always. Thanks for your beauty, your inspiration, your support and your comment!

  15. Lora says:

    Thanks for taking the time to stop and comment on my blog, its how I found your blog! I know I write way more during deployments than when life is normal and good, I think thats pretty typical. But I also WANT to try and write more during the easy going times, to remember all the good fun things we do as a family.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog!

    • erinjo says:

      Lora, I admire you in many ways. I have four kiddos and a part-time job, but I have a hubby right here with me. He’s a blessing. So you just keep writing whatever you need to write. I will read your blog when I have time, and every time, I’ll send up a prayer for you, your children and your hubby, who makes my life possible with his service to our country. Thank you for checking out my blog and for commenting, too!

  16. Sharon says:

    I love your blog, I miss talking to you on a daily basis. I enjoy watching the kids grow up…time sure flies by! I know you and your beautiful family continue to thrive!! The girls and I will thrive this summer by taking our annual trip to the beach, it will be bitter sweet. This year will be very different, Ash is bringing the boyfriend along. Angel will be off to college soon and I will officially be an empty nester!! Where has the time gone! Enjoy your babies, before you know it they are on their own!

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