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. =)


All photos from a much-needed hike today with some of my loves.

It’s been more than four years since I’ve written for this blog. I’ve been meaning to start back up, and I can’t think of a better time.

Friends, this COVID-19 pandemic and the implications on our society are everything. It’s hard and necessary and unprecedented and inconvenient. It’s truly, truly hard to follow all of the guidelines and obey all of the orders, but we must.

We must, for the time being, band together by staying apart. This is not instinctual. Here in my Small Town, USA, we gather at the first sign of trouble. We watch each other’s kids, we take whole meals to families in need, we hug often and long and many, and we pray in a circle. That’s what feels right and natural. But, this time, it’s highly discouraged, and, maybe sooner than we can imagine, could become illegal.

There’s so much information coming from so many places, and social media is just on fire with opinions that range the spectrum; more sad, love and angry emojis than any one user can process; and all kinds of information, proven and unproven. Every time I look at my email, I’ve got some kind of update from my employer, from crazy company listservs I didn’t even know I was on and, then, inexplicably, some kind of regular old email encouraging me to buy pictures on an upcoming school picture day or to take advantage of some awesome deal I care nothing about. I can’t!

These are dark times, friends. For some, they are the darkest times. For those with elderly in nursing homes they can no longer visit, for parents of sick or formerly sick children with compromised immune systems and fear I can’t even fathom. There are myriad workers from the medical field to the cashier checkout that will not be offered the work-from-home circumstance that I have so kindly been able to accept. There are people—good, hardworking and trained people!—losing their jobs or being laid off because the precautionary measures have reduced their clientele, closed their place of business or slashed their workload so dramatically that their employer can no longer use them or pay them, or, sadder yet, that they, as business owners, are cut to the quick from all sides and cannot even pay themselves.

At the heart of it all, we’re all the same. We’re all scared of something. We’re uncomfortable. We’re not sure where we stand, where we should stand, where we will all stand in one week, in one month. We’re powerless, to a point. We’re frustrated.

But love remains. I know, without confirmation but without a shadow of a doubt, that I feel very differently about all of these recommendations and orders than one of my lifelong, most precious friends feels. And yet, all I have for her is so much love, prayers for her safety and that of her family and the absolute yearning to hug her and tell her that this, like all things, will pass and that we’re all going to make it.

But the truth of the matter is that we are not all going to make it. If we are lucky, we will use this time to make memories with our kids and to shower them with love, and those will be the torches we carry from this and reminisce upon in the future. If we are lucky, we will not remember this time because of the people we lost, the people we loved, who were not so lucky.

So do these things for me:

Give yourself and others grace.
So much grace.
Open your heart.
Accept that you are
but a fleck of sand on this earth, but that God has you
in the palm of His hand.

Heed the warnings. Love your children, your mate, whoever it is in that tight circle that will undoubtedly become your bubble in the coming days, weeks and months. Grow in whatever way you can. Find your reason. Read books. Challenge your mind with a puzzle and your thighs with an incredible hike in the outdoors.

Mostly, hold fast to your faith, to what you know to be true: You were here, you lived this, and while it was the burden of all of us, it was also yours and your feelings are valid and allowed.

Find the beauty in your family and your home. Be gentle with yourself. Stay strong.

May peace be with you.

10 Responses

  1. Wonderful words of wisdom Erin. I for one intend to take this time of semi-isolation and try not to freak out or complain. I am glad you are going to have the time to blog again during this hiatus from hectic life!

  2. Traci Nichols says:

    Erin I am so glad to be reading your written word again. It’s one of your many talents that I love about you! Very beautifully said. Love you my dear friend!

  3. Anita Newsom says:

    Love you. Love this. Im being forced to adjust my perspectives, let go of my perceived priorities, and go with it (not easy for me!!!) But this….the theme of giving grace…this I can support.

  4. Leilani Ruland says:

    Family and friends hold tight.

  5. Jessica Yost says:

    I’m so happy that you are blogging again. The love is always there.

  6. Summer Alkhdour says:

    I am not suprised to see these words coming from you! You are loving, caring and willing to help when help is needed. Women like you are super women/mothers/humans!
    We all are in this together and together we will survive!
    Prayers and blessings to you and your family.

  7. Patti says:

    I am thrilled you are back to writing this blog! You have such insight, grace and love in all of your posts. Beautifully written and so much to be thankful for, you make us look inward at our own attitudes . Not to mention your humor in all things.

  8. Angie McCutcheon says:

    Oh dear Erin, I did not realize you were such a good writer. Thanks for the message. Blessings

  9. Megan M Lang says:

    Love this Erin. I never knew you had a blog. I look forward to reading more from you 🙂

  10. Megan Westervelt says:

    You write with such truth and realism, yet so much hope and positivity, as well. I suppose that is what we all need just now. Please keep this up! Thank you.

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