{New Zealand} Molly's 12lb Brown!

Saturday, January 14, 2017


After hiking all day through the barren tussocks surrounding river "X" (New Zealand), we'd seen only one fish, a feisty little 12 incher--beautiful, but not quite what we had in mind to catch.


It just so happened that in the last hole of the day, a massive snout eating Manuka beetles caught our attention with three porpoising rises.


We snuck up on him and realized he was truly the Lord of the river. After three refusals and a heart-pounding hour, I had a 12 pounder in the net.


Many thanks to @chris_dorenz for his guidance and to Ben for the amazing pictures!


We couldn't be more proud of Moll's for landing this beautiful brown.
What a fish!

{New Zealand} Akaroa

Thursday, January 12, 2017












One of our first adventures in New Zealand landed us in Akaroa.
We saw beautiful views of Lake Tekapo, played with baby Pohatu penguins, fed hungry sheep,
and looked for shells along the beach.
After being in New Zealand less than 24 hours we already knew it would be
our favorite place we've ever visited!

{Hidden Figures Movie Trailer}

Monday, January 09, 2017



After posting about this movie last August we finally got to see it over the weekend!
What can we say ... Tim and I both agreed it was one of the best movies we've seen in the last 5 years!
It'll have you laughing, crying, and on the edge of your seat all at the same time.
It's the perfect {true} story.
Siskel and Loerke give it 2 thumbs up!

{Morning Thoughts}

Monday, January 09, 2017


We returned home from New Zealand to find this box of Orvis Fatwood for Stovezilla on our doorstep.
This company employs some of the most thoughtful humans we know.
What was one of your favorite Christmas gifts of 2016?

{Favorite Tradition}

Saturday, January 07, 2017


If you know my family well you'll recognize this tradition.
For as long as I can remember my Papa has said to open a jar of homemade summer
preserves on the day of winter's first snow.
No bread at our house so plumb preserves on pancakes it is!
Happy snow day, y'all.

{Happy New Year!}

Saturday, January 07, 2017


I see you 2017.
You're gonna be another fantastic year!

{A Year-End Review} Best of 2016

Wednesday, January 04, 2017


2016 was one of our favorite years, marked by more inner peace and adventures than years past.
Thank you for all of your support and sweet comments as you've watched our family
grow, travel, and live imperfect, messy lives marked by grace and forgiveness.
Can't wait to see what is in store for 2017!

This Year's Highlights:

1. Celebrating our 7th Annual MLK Day Feast
2. Visiting Hickory Nut Gap Farm in North Carolina
3. Seeing Wild Giraffe's in Zambia
4. Taking a 3 Mama's + 3 Toddlers Road Trip
5. Fishing in Georgia with Will & Lesa Taylor
6. Writing this post for Orvis
7. Selling Our Eggs for Popsicle Money
8. Playing with Brave in the Rain
9. Catching Browns on Dries in Tennessee
10. Running 36 Minutes on My 36th Birthday with Twinner
11. Participating in the Highland Home & Garden Tour
12. Picking Blueberries at Bryant's Blueberry Farm
13. Competing in Louisville's Big Green Egg BBQ Fest
14. Backpacking in Wyoming
15. Sleeping in a Tree House with the Orvis Crew
16. Seeing the Grand Canyon for the First Time
17. Floating the Green River in Utah
18. Going Muskie Fishing with my Papa
19. Watching Brave Get Her Big Girl Bed
20. Winning Our 4th Annual Corn Hole Tournament
21. Being Featured in Southern Weddings Magazine and Blog
22. Watching My Brother & Brave Decorate her Pink Christmas Tree
23. Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner with Our Tulsa Family 
24. Running with Tim in the Cleveland Christmas Story 5K
25. Ice Skating in Downtown Louisville
26. Spending Two Weeks in New Zealand for Christmas {post to come!}

Favorite Songs (in no particular order):
1. Pieces - Andrew Belle
2. Vapour - Vancouver Sleep Clinic
3. Ophelia - The Lumineers
4. Shutters - Hayden Calnin
5. Heavenly Father - Bon Iver
6. I Need A Forest Fire - James Blake
7. Child's Play - Drake
8. Everything Trying - Damien Jurado

Best Albums of the Year:
1. 22, A Million - Bon Iver
2. Views - Drake
3. Ouroboros - Ray LaMontagne

Favorite Concerts / Live Events:

1. First year we didn't see any live music {insert lots of groans & moans here}

2. This Momentary Marriage by John Piper

Favorite Videos:

1. Coast
2. Pippa & Els Go Fishing
3. Marriage Market
4. Rowan's Mother's Day Tribute
5. Green River, Utah

Favorite Eats (in no particular order):
1. Wiltshire Pantry: Ancho Citrus Chicken Salad Sandwich (Louisville, KY)
2. Royal's Hot Chicken: Fried Chicken Tenders w/ Mississippi Comeback Sauce (Louisville, KY)
3. Fontleroys: Fried Chicken Wings (Louisville, KY)
4. 18th & Vine: Burnt Ends & BBQ Mashed Potatoes (Dallas, TX)
5. Belly Up Taco Truck: Chicken & Waffle Taco (Asheville, NC)
6. French Broad Chocolate Lounge: Carrot Cake (Asheville, NC)
7.  Butchertown Grocery: Butcherblock Sandwich (Louisville, KY)
8. Taco Billy: Mama's Favorite and Migas Tacos (Asheville, NC)
9. Sunny Point Cafe: Salmon Scramble (Asheville, NC)
10. Mercier Orchards: Apple Fritter (Blue Ridge, GA)
11. Steel City Pops: Coconut & Blackberry Popsicles (Louisville, KY)
12. The Treehouse: Confit Yucon Gold Potatoes & Placebo Cocktail (Nashville, TN)
13. Steadfast: Poached Egg Sandwich (Nashville, TN)
14. Jeni's: Sweet Cream Biscuits and Peach Jam Ice Cream (Nashville, TN)
15. Miguel's: Pepperoni & Banana Pepper Pizza (Slade, KY)
16. Copper Onion: Corn, Burger (Salt Lake City, UT)
17: The Rose Est.: Bacon Egg Quiche & Blueberry Goat Cheese Gallete (Salt Lake City, UT)
18. The Rocking V Cafe: Kanab-A-Dabba-Doo Burger (Kanab, UT)
19. Mabel's BBQ: Pork Ribs & Smoked Sausage (Cleveland, OH)
20. Great Lakes Brewery: Pizza (Cleveland, OH)
21. Addington Coffee Co-op: French Toast (Christchurch, New Zealand) 

Favorite Coffee & Tea:

1. Gralehaus: Maple Cortado (Louisville, KY)
2. Quills: Chai Latte (Louisville, KY)
3. Press on Market: Maple Cortado (Louisville, KY)
4. Steadfast Coffee:  (Nashville, TN)
5. Publik Coffee: Maple Cortado (Salt Lake City, UT)
6. The Rose Establishment: Maple Cortado (Salt Lake City, UT)
7. Phoenix Coffee: Chai Latte (Cleveland, OH)
8. Duck-Rabbit Coffee: Latte (Cleveland, OH)
9. Addington Coffee Co-op: Flat White (Christchurch, New Zealand)
10. Ris'Tretto: Flat White (Christchurch, New Zealand)

Favorite Waters Fished:

1. Green River (UT)
2. Lower Temuka River (New Zealand)
3. Mataura River (New Zealand)
4. Orauea River (New Zealand)
5. Provo River (UT)
6. Strawberry River (UT)
7. Stoney Creek (TN)
8. Big Creek (GA)
9. Hatchery Creek (KY)
10. Curtis Creek (NC)
11. South Holston (TN)
12. Watauga River (TN)
13. Otter Creek (KY)
14. Cave Run Lake (KY)
15. Caney Fork (TN)

Favorite New Insta Accounts:
1. @flyshopco
2. @lesavarie
3. @rubyandrevolver
4. @chefeduardogarcia
5. @outsidehilary

Looking forward to 2017 because ...

1. Building a snowman with Bravey
2. Celebrating our 8th Annual MLK Day Feastgiving
3. Taking a girls trip in March
4. Celebrating 12 years of marriage with Timothy James
5. Watching Bravey turn three
6. Growing more flowers in our garden
7. Harvesting honey from our Flowhive
8. Visiting Wyoming in the fall
9. Reading more books
10. Taking spontaneous road trips and landing more trout! 

 Come out and show yourself, 2017. We're ready for ya!
Em, Tim, Brave & River

{New Year Required Listening} Brooklyn Bon Iver Concert

Tuesday, January 03, 2017



If you need an hour of background music while you clean out the expired food in your fridge I highly recommend listening to this Bon Iver concert recently recorded by NPR in Brooklyn, NY.
It's been sweet company while unpacking from our trip to New Zealand!
Happy 2017, y'all.
We've got another great year ahead of us.

{Today's Letters}

Friday, December 16, 2016


Dear Timothy James, you like to show Brave the sunset just because you know she loves the color pink. You also buy fist fulls of Bubblicious on your way home from work so you can greet her with a pink bubble the size of her head. You are the most thoughtful Papa. Dear Stovezilla, you're a heat monster, and we love you. Thank you for cutting our energy bill in half, for keeping the Harvest House cozy, and for forcing us to slow down as a family each winter. You are the little stove that could. Dear Bravey Train, every time River goes to the bathroom you stand at the backdoor and yell, "Yay River! Come inside and get a sticker!" I like to think this is progress in the potty training department. Dear Mr. Loerke, tomorrow we leave at 4am for New Zealand. Wanna spend Christmas together on a sheep farm? (circle YES or NO).

Happy Friday, brave ones! We hope you get a chance this weekend to do things that give you life with the people you love. Slow your hustle and know we're ending you lots of love from Lou!

{An Icy Saturday!}

Monday, December 12, 2016










Saturday was almost as good as therapy.
We took Brave & Rowan ice skating for the first time!
I can't tell you how many times they squealed with excitement.
Once Brave finally figured out how to skate by herself she wouldn't stop shouting,
"I'm doing it! I'm ice skaaaaaating!"
It made my heart burst into about a million pieces.
Getting the kiddos on the ice was by far one of my favorite memories of 2016, especially when I asked Brave at bedtime what the best part of her day was and she said,
"Ice skating, Mama! Papa says you're a figure skater."
Here's to channeling more of our inner Michele Kwan!
Happy Monday, y'all.
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