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. =)



My twenty-third anniversary of journaling and the third birthday of this blog passed rather quietly last week, a day after my birthday. I kept thinking I would write, but time is so fleeting. I have been wasting post ideas by not letting them grow anywhere but inside my head. And, sometimes, it can’t be helped.

One that keeps hanging around is how this moment, this day, this summer is a snapshot in time. We’re into June, with the official start of summer ten days away.  But, really, summer has already begun, and I can tell you now, this summer is going to stay with me. Memories of what I did in everyday life will glint like facets of glass in the sunshine years from now.

We have a new {wonderful, talented, natural, heaven-sent} babysitter this summer. She’s keeping all four of our kiddos three days a week, and I love her! On mornings that I work, I pull them all from sleep, coax them into their clothes and drive them five miles or so out of my way out to her place, where she drinks her morning coffee in the rocking chair, other families’ children and her own are sleepily draped on the furniture, and Mickey Mouse keeps court from the television.

I leave there with kisses and in peace and take the backroads towards Athens. Aside from the hellish moments where I am run off the narrow road by my small town’s newly acquired natural gas drilling traffic, my “commute” to work is bliss. I’m not even sure I can call it that. It’s really a drive. It’s a blessing.

Because I wave at everyone I see, and they wave back.

Because I see turkeys and deer every day on that road without fail and other random wildlife including box turtles, chipmunks, rabbits, squirrels and colorful birds that take my breath away: yellow chickadees and finches, cobalt bluebirds, red cardinals that sing.

Because, while I drive, I take in an audio book. And this is how I am able to read in spite of a busy, busy life. And the books are amazing, from brilliant authors with incredible insight. They give me perspective and appreciation for my own life, love for my own husband.

And I feel limitless anticipation for all the activities and trips we have planned this summer. I have a general feeling of wanderlust and a peace that comes with the huge amount of time I spent in nature and with family, paying homage to my priorities, my heart, my heritage.

Something about the present reminds me of summers of my youth. I grew up on the family farm, which was wonderful, but worked long hours in the hot sun tending to tomato and pepper plants. At the time, that wasn’t so wonderful. In retrospect, it’s amazing.

My grandpa had the big farm and the moderate success. My own parents tried their hand at it seriously at least a couple summers in a row. And it. was. painful. My poor mother. How did you get through those summers, ma?


While my dad was at work, she’d coax us into the fields instead of the minivan I coax my kids into now. She’d promise us we could quit by three, and we almost always did.

At three, I’d make either cherry shakes from the tree in our back yard or serve tea in dainty bone china mugs with hook-like handles. We’d sit and sip in the coolness of the house–not air-conditioned, mind you, just way cooler than the heat of that pelting sun.  We’d relax and watch General Hospital and then Oprah. And I’d curve myself into the exhaustion that comes from working in the sun and then cooling down. I remember, vividly, wishing I could climb into the commercials because things were so perfect, so easy, so everything-in-its-place.

And those were good years. I loved my family and the farm and the smugness that comes from knowing that you’re probably earning your keep, unlike your friends who sail into the community pool on pass every day.

But the more I’ve thought about those memories lately, the more I think I just wanted to be an adult. I have always been an old soul. And when I think of those commercials, I remember the moms the most. I wanted to be them, to guide my own crew and sail through my days with just a little more control than I had then, as a woman-child braving adolescence.

And so now this: I guess I’ve made it. Here I am with my captain and my crew and my own sails. I’m the buyer of the laundry detergent, the sweeper of the floors. I kiss the boo-boo’s and make the smoothies. I think of the crafts and drive the minivan to all sorts of fun activities.

To a point, I’m the woman in those commercials, albeit less perfect and shiny, more real, if you will.

I’m the woman I always wanted to be.  Summer is upon me. The calendar is full.

And I am cherishing this snapshot in time.

One Response

  1. Vicki says:

    Beautiful, as always.

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