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. =)

A Christmas Message

I started this post on the eve of Christmas Eve, while wrapping, baking cookies and trying to find that one missing present that just had to be here somewhere. I felt peaceful and less busy than I had been and hopeful for the holiday. Friday’s snow was just the thing I needed. It was the final push to get me where I needed to be.

And now, here I sit, on Christmas night, still trying to post this message. I’ve had several wonderful days full of family fun and tradition. The kids all loved their presents and were happy and grateful. It was a winning holiday.

However, I would be remiss not to talk about the families in Connecticut who want nothing more than to have their homes normal again today. I ache for them. I hate that every day, if they get any sleep at all, they wake up and remember that their child is gone forever.

I lost Luke last week. Mom and I were working on a craft project and had all four of my kiddos and my niece underfoot. Luke was on the back porch playing with Max one moment and gone the next. He was GONE. The remaining six of us ran around wildly for what felt like 10 minutes, screaming his name and scanning the landscape. My mom headed out front, to the somewhat busy Main Street and an intersection, while I checked the backyard, the vehicles, the bedrooms upstairs.

I was on my way to the railroad tracks, with my heartbeat thudding in my ears, when I passed Lily, who giggled nervously. I told her it wasn’t funny and to keep looking. She said, “I can hear him, I just can’t see him.” And so I decided to switch directions entirely and follow her young, good ears. A couple of seconds later, I heard “I see him!”

My son, beautiful and fearless at 23 months old, was in one of my neighbor’s backyards, two long lots up the street, playing with a red ball. I scooped him up, squeezing him with relief and remorse and respect for the universe and God and all things holy. I returned to my yard to find Max, sitting on a swing with his head down and alligator tears. I told him it wasn’t his fault, it was mine. And we all recovered in time, but I believe a part of me is forever changed.

And forever changed is definitely how those parents in Connecticut are. We all know the details, the names of the victims. We can all imagine the horror those administrators, teachers and children felt and the way their parents’ worlds must have turned upside down the moment they heard the news.

And while we all feel helpless, I believe there are things we can do. We can teach our children well. We can be grateful for them everyday and tell them so. We can take those extra five minutes to snuggle, to soothe, to breathe in our own.

My wish for all of us is that we live the way we should, with our eyes and hearts and minds and arms wide open, always ready to receive the next human gift in front of us, always on the side of the good guy, always aware of the gift of every single day.

And my wish is that some of those parents had happy moments today, maybe when a sibling cheered about a special gift or when they felt–strongly, I hope–the spirits of those who have gone on.

Merry CHRISTmas.

3 Responses

  1. Julie says:

    Love you Erin…’nuff said

  2. Karen Rutter says:

    Yes, they were on my mind all day, too. It’s just so heartbreaking. I’m glad Luke was found safe and sound. I remember when we lost Tom’s boy, Jeremiah, when he was probably about that same age. They lived two streets up from the river on the west side. Incredibly scary. He turned up asleep under the sink – part of a game of hide and seek that no one else knew was going on. I’ll be forever grateful for the near misses that turn out okay, and forever heartbroken for the ones that don’t.

  3. Roberta P. says:

    Definitely hard to fathom what life is like for those in CT and what we should do to stop that ripple,but I agree it starts at home; in every home – with love. You are doing that well and it’s easy to see that in your kids bright eyes.

    So thankful Luke was OK and found! -Amazing Grace! Love you! Beautiful post. Merry Christmas!

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