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. =)

Sun-kissed & Things Missed

Well, we’re into Week 7 of our “stay-at-home”/quarantine. I’m not even sure what to call it anymore. But here we are.

I think it might actually be getting easier. Scratch that, it’s easier. Just knowing that we won’t see the kids return to school for May and the end-of-year activities, while sad, is also little bit reassuring. If only because we actually KNOW something.

It’s the not knowing that gets to you.

What do I know? I know this has been hard. That this spring doesn’t look like any other spring I’ve ever had, and, especially, like the last couple of springs, when this family chased its tail all over ballfields, high school tracks, volleyball courts across the state and all the places in-between. I haven’t eaten food out of a concession stand for literally months. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s abnormal, especially at this time of year.

I know, from watching home movies, that there would have been much harder times in my motherhood for this quarantine to hit. I had forgotten the sheer noise of four little kids! Plus, I only had an online connection in Facebook with others for the last one or two babies. And Zoom? Forget that!

What else do I know? Let’s see. I know one thing that has remained a steadfast in all the springs of my life, and that is Lake Tweet. My haven is still there, still accessible to me. Thank the Lord! These rare weekends there—with all the rain, there have really only been two or three—are just incredible for the quarantined soul.

Some crazy things went down this past weekend. For one thing, our kids decided it was “hot enough” to go swimming, and hilarity ensued. It’s pretty early for a dip in Lake Tweet, as these photos prove.

I truly enjoyed our time there, as evidenced by both my sunburn and my empty cooler. I was sun-kissed.

But I spent some time this past weekend thinking of things missed.

I miss yard sales. Sounds silly, but they’re a hallmark of spring for me and a great way to spend an hour or two on a Friday morning off work.

I miss hugs. Thank goodness, I have my kids for that kind of affection. But I know my mom could use a hug and that, certainly, some of my “hugger” friends could use some too.

I miss the hustle and bustle of spring mornings, getting all the kids off to school with various uniforms and money for after-school meals squeezed in before sporting events, then getting into my van with my coffee and my music for my long drive to work. Once there, I miss climbing up the stairs and the hills to my office, seeing the beauty of campus in the spring and walking into my building to familiar faces and routines.

I miss cheering on kids, hearing about senior shenanigans, and stealing rare free spring afternoons with my girlfriends with a refresher in the Brumate or in a wine glass. I miss the impromptu nature, the promise and the hope of a normal spring.

I miss flowers… Like, going to the greenhouse and spending a small fortune. Thankfully, there are pockets of flower sales here and there that have gotten me through.

I have traded these things, not by will, but by fact, for other things.

Like the ability to finish my workday around 4 p.m. to do a two-week ab workout challenge with my 16-year-old daughter, who reminds me she has only two more years here at home…. I have enjoyed making wholesome family suppers and eating them without rush around the dining room table or out on the amazingly beautiful (even without flowers) back deck…. I now get to play-fight, on a regular basis, with my son, who is quickly becoming a man… I have had the time to scratch my little boys’ backs while singing prayers to them at bedtime.

I have watched my kids interact in ways they just wouldn’t have done had they not lived through a pandemic together.

There are benefits in this crazy time. Here in Week 7, I find myself settling in a bit, truly accepting things I cannot control, savoring the good times and just becoming.

I’m finding time—because I do have some of that to spare—to be sun-kissed and to feel reverence for things missed.

4 Responses

  1. Andrea lawlor says:

    Thanks for the great read at 445 am when I can sleep. Lol

    I always enjoy everything you write. I’m just anxiously awaiting for your book!

    Miss you all!!!!!!!

  2. Great post Erin! All of your positives are absolutely true. How many times in the middle of the spring chaos have we all thought to ourselves that we would just love one week with nowhere to go and a quiet weekend at home! Sometimes I think this time was much needed and meant to be! We needed a reset! I just hope that we remember these lessons and thoughtfully consider how involved we want to be outside our home.

  3. Jeanette Starkey says:

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Karen Rutter says:

    I’m hoping a lot of families are dealing with this the way your family is. A time to reconnect and learn about each other. And HAVE FUN! I am still going to work every day, but reading about my nieces and nephews and their ways of not only surviving, but thriving through this time makes me happy. I think a lot of precious memories are being made. Love the blog!

Leave a Reply