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. =)

Our Hair Samples

My sassy (in a good way) girl, making herself a sandwich recently.

I’m a ball of energy, a force to be reckoned with. I am flying right through my days, my August, my life. I am in motion nearly all the time, moving into the next moment while picking up mementos along the way.

Since last week, I’ve had a lot of moments I would have liked to have shared, but I couldn’t get here from there. As a result of obsessive research and searching, I now have a beautiful, new-to-me Honda Odyssey waiting on me in the driveway. I finally hosted a girls’ wine night with dear, amazing friends on my refinished back deck. I am three-quarters of the way into a book that is fifty shades of trendy right now. I enjoyed celebratory mimosas in prime meridian hours with my hubby, my sis and my brother-in-law. I have an extremely clean house and very little dirty laundry after a day of Shrekking the place with my hubby. I worked. I played. I loved. I lived.

But as I look back, there’s a story I want to share. It’s got many of the elements of a good story: character, comedy, surprise.

Lily is a helper. But she’s taken it farther than usual lately. She wakes up happy in her new room now, often brushing her hair and teeth and getting dressed before she even comes down the steps. She’d be great at a summer job.

One day recently, though, she was a cleaning fool. She started a load of laundry without my knowing a thing about it. She followed it all the way through the process, feeding more loads as she went. In between laundry tasks, she straightened up, supported me in my work, and had the best attitude and smile the whole time. She didn’t mention allowance, which I once said we’d do every Friday and have only paid out maybe six times in two years. Ha. She didn’t want me to take her anywhere or buy her anything. She didn’t have a dirty favorite outfit she wanted to wear… And she didn’t just keep it up for thirty minutes or so, but at least several hours.

After I finished the mountain of dishes (we wash by hand in this house,) I was in the kitchen doing one of my most mundane and consistent chores. Stirring chocolate milk. And Miss Lil was to my right, washing up a few dishes that had already materialized. And she looks over at me and says, “You know, mom, I kinda like cleaning.” And I agreed, but told her it could be exhausting. And then I said, “I like it too. I think it’s in our DNA.” And Lily got this funny, incredulous look on her face, and without taking her hands out of the sudsy water, turned to me and said quizzically, “Y’ mean, it’s in our hair samples?!?

I laughed out loud. And she giggled. And it was awesome, because nothing is more fun than when Lily and I get started laughing about something silly or funny that one of us has done. And I finally said, well, no, I think it’s just in our genes. “You know, like, it runs in our family. But yes, hair samples are one way to see our DNA.”

She says, “Well, that’s all I know about DNA!”

The girl is smart. She later told me she learned about the DNA/hair sample connection from Ratatouille, which is an awesome Disney Pixar that you must watch if you haven’t yet.

She’s smart. And kind. And usually selfless. And the girl likes to clean. She is definitely my daughter.

And I am so blessed.

13 Responses

  1. Valarie says:

    A good girl raised by a wonderful woman 🙂 you are blessed girl. Thank you for letting me see a glimpse into your life. You have found your calling 🙂 great kids being raised in a great house.

  2. julie says:

    love the pic, love the blog. I’m tired, and I will simply leave it at that. Thank you so much for sharing your little life moments with us. My day, weekend actually, was very long at work for some reason. But, this made me smile, gave me some peace and the overall thing I love most about this is the pic with the blue monkey on the floor. It just says, life lives here and we are happy!!!

  3. Karen Rutter says:

    She’s growing up too fast! And that picture makes her look even older than she is. Nice blog. Great kids! I enjoyed seeing them over the weekend. Such different personalities, it’s crazy!

  4. Jessica Yost says:

    Love that story! If you run out of things for her to do, she can always come to my house:) Can’t wait to spend time with your lovely family at the beach!!!

  5. Patti Miller says:

    Lily is definitly growing up. She looks soooo grown up and pre-tween in this pic. She is amazing and a big help. Those life lessons you’ve instilled are going to shape the kind of person she will grow up to be. Lucky for her she is going to be just like her beautiful mother! She is a sweet heart and I suspect she knows the two of you are in it together for the long haul with all those boys! All of your kids are growing up so fast and all come from the same cloth. They will be wonderful as adults. Great blog!

    • erinjo says:

      You+Me+Family Women. Must hang soon.I can haul seven additional lovely ladies in my van…. Mom gets the same comment. Love you both!

  6. I am so Happy that Lily loves her new room. It is a rite of passage, getting your own room. Lil is such a good helper. Patti is right, you two have your work cut out for you with all those boys in the house! It is a wonderful thing when you finally do get the house clean and the laundry done on a weekend! If only it would stay that way. This was a great blog. You sound settled and Happy. Could it be your much deserved upcoming vacation?

    • erinjo says:

      You+Me+Family Women. Must hang soon.I can haul seven additional lovely ladies in my van…. Patti gets the same comment. Love you both!

  7. Roberta Pitts says:

    God love that girl and God love you for raising her so well! Lil is gorgeous and can work a hat to boot! Loved this article and it was a great Monday morning read!!! I’m excited to see Lily’s new room next time I’m home. I’m sure it is like her own slice of heaven when she needs a minute from those three roudy brothers. -And I think we got you guys Ratatouille in that Christmas gift basket. 🙂 Love you all! Can’t wait to see you in a couple of weeks.

  8. Kim McCutcheon says:

    You definitely have one happy, go-lucky little girl. I really enjoyed her at Alyssa’s birthday the other night. She was so polite, “please” and “thank you” for everything!! You are definitely doing something right!!! Keep up the good work mom!!

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