{Our Re|Engage Talk}

Monday, January 31, 2011

After receiving several emails and comments from readers asking to hear our talk from Re|Engage we thought we'd go ahead and post it on the blog. Of course this meant Mr. Loerke and I left the house this morning wearing our Wonder Woman and Superman skivvies.
(We do this when we need to feel brave)

Click HERE to listen to our Re|Engage Talk

We trust that you will handle our story with maturity and grace. Even though we only had time to share about 20% of what we've been through, we tried to be as vulnerable as possible in the 25 minutes we were allotted without adding details that would take away from the meaning of our story.

If you have any questions regarding anything we shared please don't hesitate to email us.
We hope you are encouraged.
Em & Tim

NOTE: We also showed several photos during our talk so if you hear laughter in the background it's from these being shown on screen.

It's {Almost} Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Valentine's Day is just around the corner ... start thinking now of ways you can creatively celebrate those you love!

PS, we'll be posting the audio from our Re|Engage talk later today.


{Today's Letters}

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, you refer to our hot pads as mittens and the cardboard box that holds our air filters as a carrying case. I love your vocabulary for things. Dear 70° Weather, thanks for the sore muscles and watch tan on Saturday. They were a perfect exchange for a good day of riding at the lake. Dear Cirque de Soleil, after seeing last night's show I'm convinced you guys eat nails and rubber bands for breakfast. (Insert most incredible display of strength and flexibility here). Dear Coughasaurus Husband, this weekend we went on a run (in my mind), shopped at Whole Paycheck (in my mind), and learned about pulmonary stenosis (in my mind). My mind has a tendency to do these things when you're at home sick in bed. So glad you're feeling better today!

If you haven't add it to your bucket list. It'll leave you speechless!

HAPPY FREAKIN MONDAY! If you're a faithful reader of Today's Letters would you mind following our blog? We love knowing who are Homies are!

{Our Interview: The Blog Guidebook}
{Fist Pump Friday Photos!}
{Husband's Letters}
{MR340 ... Our We Crazy?}

{Interview: The Blog Guidebook}

Friday, January 28, 2011

Go HERE to read our interview on The Blog Guidebook. Werd.


{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, January 28, 2011

Meet 32 young adults from Dallas, TX who threw fist pumps and leg kicks while having a blast at Possum Kingdom Lake. Pretty sure these guys deserve a home cooked meal and a raise for making it their mission to invest in the lives of 4th and 5th grade kiddos!

Katie & Mike have been married 7 years, have 4 children, and live in Fort St. John, British Colombia. Meet their youngest kiddo 8 month old Ben, who threw fist pumps in honor of his first haircut! (Go here to see the before and after photos). Jose Eber would be proud!

PS, if you sent in a sweet photo of you and your beloved throwing fist pumps on your wedding day would you please email me? Somehow your email disappeared into cyberspace and I was unable to include it in today's post!

To participate, send a picture of you and your Homies throwing fist pumps and leg kicks to em{at}todaysletters{dot}com ... it's just that simple.

{Husband's Letters}

Friday, January 28, 2011

Husband's Letters: Dear Mrs. Loerke, the other morning I saw you in the window waving good-bye as I left for work. You didn't stop until I was halfway down the block. You really know how to make a guy feel loved. Dear 6 Year Old Boy, I've never heard of anyone describing pink-eye as "eye guts," but as Em would say, five points for creative use of communication. Dear Macfarlan Family, I'm not afraid to admit that I have a couple crush on you guys. You have the coolest little girl who makes Zoolander faces and your tender hearts and humor challenge me. Spending time with you guys last night was like money in the bank. Dear Queen of Charades, you come up with the most creative pantomimes. Last night you pretended to light yourself on fire and explode like a rocket into the biscuit. Where did you come from?
I love you!


The Mr. asks: What are some of the funniest things your kids have said?


{MR340: Are We Crazy?}

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm sorry to disappoint those of you who thought my exciting news had to do with being preggers. Not yet, Homeslices ... not until I do one of the stupidest most adventurous things I've EVER done!

A couple of weeks ago Tim mentioned that I had been dreaming about entering this year's MR340 River Race. Well guess what? I found my paddling partner!!!

Here are three reasons why I couldn't ask for a better sidekick than Emily McKeaigg ...

1. She's one of the funniest people I've ever met.

I have no doubt that my sides will hurt more from Em's interpretive dancing and witty humor than from paddling 340 miles across the state of Missouri. There's no question she could give Kristen Wiig a run for her money.

2. She strong like bull.
Em can run a 7:30min mile and recently completed her 7th half marathon and 1st full marathon. She also has a mental toughness that rivals that of a mongoose.

3. She's on a mission.
Kent and Em still need to raise $5,000 for their adoption, and have decided that lemonade stands and bake sales just aren't cuttin' it.

Ever since Tim and I went kayaking in Alaska last summer we've had a passion for helping bring the McKeaigg's baby home. We've cleaned out our closets, auctioned off our Vincent Van Loerke paintings, and are now committed to paddling from Kansas City to St. Charles, MO in honor of their adoption.

TEAM MEMBERS: Em Loerke & Em McKeaigg
GROUND CREW: Papa Richmond, Tim Loerke, Kent McKeaigg (+ any other jokers we can recruit)
TEAM NAME: www.todaysletters.com
BOAT #: 5000 {in honor of the 5grrr we hope to raise}
{see the official MR340 roster HERE}
RACE DATES: July 19th - July 22nd, 2011
CHECKPOINTS: Kaw Point, Lexington, Waverly, Miami, Glasgow, Katfish Katy's, Jeff city, Hermann, Klondike, St. Charles.

Stay tuned for more information on how you can help. We've got some fun and creative ideas up our sleeves!

Also, let us know if you know of anyone in the Dallas area interested in selling a tandem racing kayak. Otherwise we might be floating down Big Muddy in plastic barrels like these guys from last year's race.


{Today's Letters}

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke PA-S III, yesterday was the last day of commuting to Cleburne for your pediatric rotation. This left us no choice but to celebrate with chocolate cake and Modern Family. Dear Cafe Brazil, thank you from the bottom of my vegetarian pasta for my free lunch yesterday. You never cease to amaze me with your generous Facebook coupons. Dear Unsigned Note Left In My Satchel, I found you after returning home from speaking at Re|Engage last night. Thank you** Dear Husband, whenever you take your contacts out you walk around looking like Bob Barker staring into the sun. One word: HOT.

What was your favorite game show growing up? I used to watch The Price is Right for hours. Bob Barker was my hero until someone explained to me what it meant to spay and neuter your pets. (Insert terrified 7 year old here).

PS, The Blog Guidebook will be posting our interview tomorrow. We'll be sure and share the link with you once it's available!

Lastly, check back later today to find out more about our exciting news! It may or may not involve blood, sweat, and tears.

{Today's Letters & Reason #985}

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, yesterday you sent me an email asking if you could take me here on a hot date. Reason #985 why I love Thee. Dear Frank Sinatra, while I was getting ready for work this morning you were the first song that came on my iPod. Three points for getting me to snap and shimmy before 7am. Dear Teacup, everything about you makes me long for summer. You win. Dear Husband, I know we don't have Little's yet, but do you think we could buy this? Ima in love.

Seeing those flip flops and polka dotted bikini make me long for warmer weather! What's one reason you're looking forward to summer? I'll share with you one of my reasons soon ... exciting news to come! XOXO

{Today's Letters}

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, last night you started walking around the house beating your chest and throwing jazz hands in the air. Charades at 10:30pm? AWESOME. PS, firecracker. Final answer. Dear Goghee Korean BBQ, I was a little skeptical when I saw that you were occupying the old Big Mama's Chicken and Waffles stand on Inwood Rd. But then I tasted your BBQ beef and kim chee. Four words: BE STILL MY HEART. Dear Papa, yesterday you tried to talk me out of sending you the package that's been sitting on my desk for 2 weeks. You said if I send it now, how will I be reminded to think of you later? (Insert 10 cutie dad points here). Dear Husband, whenever I catch you dusting and listening to medical podcasts it makes me wanna make out. Just sayin.

In honor of yesterday's lunch, what's one country you'd like to visit?
Sign me up for Ireland and Italy already!

{Coava Coffee: Portland}

Monday, January 24, 2011

One of the bennies of having a twin sister in the coffee industry is staying up-to-date on all of the new and improved ways of brewing the perfect cup of coffee. Two of her dear friends, Matt Higgins & Keith Gehrke, founded Coava Coffee Roastery and Brew Bar in Portland, OR. These guys focus on brewing single origin and small-batch-roasted coffee.

WARNING: The interior of their digs will make you drool on your keyboard. Re-purposed drill press and bench saw tables? Yes, please!

Matt and Keith roast their beans using a vintage 1983 Probat Roaster they restored themselves. They also brew their coffee in a glass Chemex (available online for $36.50) while using a kettle similar to a Hario Buono Drip Kettle (available online for $56.00) which allows them to effectively control their pour.

Perhaps the most unique piece of their brewing system is their recently invented sustainable and reusable filter called the Kone.

The Kone is a photochemically perforated steel funnel designed to completely eliminate the need for paper filters (which can often strip coffee of it's natural oils and flavor).

Since July, the Kone has been featured in The New York Times, Gizmodo, The Fresh Cup Magazine, and several other reputable sources. In fact, Stumptown recently placed an order for 1,000 funnels to use in their coffee shops in Portland, Seattle, and New York.

If you're looking for a new way to start brewing your morning coffee Team Loerke highly suggest investing in Chemex and a Kone. Since Christmas Tim has already gone through a box of Hario paper filters for his V60 Dripper priced at $10.30 a box. It's a no-brainer for us to start investing in something that offers better flavored coffee as well as cuts down on garbage.

Check out this video if you're interested in learning more about how to brew coffee using a Chemex and the Kone. And if you live in the Portland area, be sure and stop by and say hello to our friend's Matt & Keith at Coava!


{Today's Letters}

Monday, January 24, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, this weekend we went to a leadership seminar, slept in, made gingerbread waffles, ran errands, asked for each other's forgiveness, devoured this meal, prepared for Wednesday's talk, watched football, and learned about the history of surgery. Loved this weekend. Dear Sprinkles, you make everything taste better, even waffles. Dear Bon Appetit, the brownies featured on the cover of February's issue is the reason why I slowly open our mailbox like Charlie Bucket looking for a golden ticket. Your magazine is more magical than Wonka's chocolate river. Dear Husband, next week begins three straight months of surgical rotations. (Insert hardest stretch of school yet). Know that I'm committed to good communication, extending grace, and creatively pursuing you. Only 109 days until graduation ...

Are any of you coming to Dallas for the Superbowl? And the big question is ... Packers or Steelers?
Husband's Letters
Fist Pump Friday Photos!
Sam Beam: Tiny Desk Concert
Re|Engage ... let us know if you want us to email you the audio file of our talk!

PS, If you're a coffee lover be sure and check back later today for a special post
written just for you!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tim and I will be speaking at Re|Engage at Watermark Community Church this Wednesday, January 26th from 6:30pm - 8:15pm.

We'd love for you to join us as we share more about our personal stories and journey through marriage.
All are welcome to attend.{That means all my single ladies and friends who want their boys to put a ring on it}

Go HERE for more details.

If you're unable to come but would like the audio file of our talk,
please let us know.
We'd be happy to email it to you!

E & T

{Sam Beam: Tiny Desk Concert}

Saturday, January 22, 2011

1. Half Moon* 2. Big Burned Hand* 3. Tree By the River* 4. Naked As We Come
Only three days until Sam's *new album, Kiss Each Other Clean is released. CAN'T WAIT.
Note: This performance contains language not suitable for all audiences.
Kiss Each Other Clean - Iron & Wine

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, January 21, 2011

To kick off this week's photos I'd like to introduce to you three besties from Memorial High School in Houston, TX. Meet Emily, Kelsey, and Caroline who recently cheered on their Mustangs at the 5A State Championship Semi-Final game. Don't you just love High School football?

Em and Kels also threw fist pumps and leg kicks on their Young Life ski trip to Winter Park. Bravery points for skiing in 2° weather. Are you part Eskimo?

I've decided our next photo should win an award for being taken on the other side of the world. I mean, the Taj Mahal ... Really?? (Insert our coolest fist pump location yet!). Samford seniors Amy, Maribeth, Olivia, and Jessica recently returned from their trip to India with COI. Three Loerke leg kicks for rocking Chacos and TOMS.

Next meet Holly Shay who turns 20 yrs old today! Holly Shay is an education major at Georgia Highlands College and plans on celebrating her special day by stuffing her boca with lots of chocolate cake. Werd. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HOMIE!

Remember Shandell, one of our coffee winners from Twinner's Giveaway last August? Meet her son Kai who couldn't help but throw fist pumps as he enjoyed the abnormally warmer weather in Oregon. Can you say C-U-T-I-E?

Finally, some medical professional love! Meet Lindsey, Ashley, Erin, and Kennah, four first year PA students from the University of Florida. They recently completed two of their hardest classes: Anatomy and Pharmacology. Way to go HOT MAMAS!

Last week Meghan from Kentucky visited our favorite coffee shop in Dallas, The Pearl Cup! It's beyond fun for Tim and I to see pictures of our readers throwing fist pumps and leg kicks at some our favorite places. Kind of like the two chickies in our next photo ...

Meet Caity and Miranda, Aggie roommates who visited our favorite vintage shop in town, Lula B's. Pretty sure they can rock vintage clothing better than Mike Myers.

A special thanks to those of you who sent in photos for today's post! We love getting to know our readers!

To participate, send a picture of you and your Homies throwing fist pumps and leg kicks to em{at}todaysletters{dot}com ... it's just that simple.

{Husband's Letters}

Friday, January 21, 2011

Husband's Letters: Dear Mrs. Loerke, before leaving for work I always peek my head into our bedroom and say, "I love you." Even though you're lost in sleepytown I still can't leave without letting you know. Dear Nilla Wafers, you are my favorite cookie of all time. Sometimes I let you melt in my mouth like an M&M. Dear Kleenex with Lotion, thanks for helping me not look like Rudolf. I like playing reindeer games. Dear Little Running Bear, last summer you started leaving me notes on our headboard. I call them my dream catchers. Now I have seven and feel like the luckiest man in the world.


The Mr. asks: What are you most looking forward to this weekend? Em and I will be at a leadership conference tonight, but we both can't wait to sleep in tomorrow!


Be sure and check back later today for our {FIST PUMP FRIDAY} photos!

{Today's Letters}

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke PA-S III, last night you started throwing hand signals like a base line coach at a Ranger's game. Apparently rubbing your head and scratching your belly is now your way of saying that you need to take a shower. Dear College Students, welcome back. WE MISSED YOU! Dear Food that Shouldn't Touch, pretty sure this would solve any problems for those who like to keep things quarantined. (Not a good option for those of us who enjoy eating like Randy). Dear Husband (who always gets two letters), sometimes you like to sit by our window and read about medical things. This always makes me feel like we're an old married couple. I love this feeling.

What's your favorite magazine? You know, the one you anxiously wait for by the mailbox? The one that makes you want to stop time so you can just sit in your favorite window reading chair and read?

{Just Breathe by Pearl Jam}

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Up late listening to this song as I work on tomorrow's letters. Sometimes all you need is a little Eddie Vedder and some animal crackers for motivation.

Just Breathe - Backspacer

{Today's Letters}

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, last night you traded me 2 cookies for the last piece of pecan pie. TWO COOKIES. I like your trades. Dear Pony Express, recently you delivered the tiniest letter I've ever seen. Pretty sure it was just as fun to read as deciphering a Little Orphan Annie decoder ring. Dear Mabel Pike, after watching your video I couldn't help but want to put you in my pocket. Thanks for reminding artists to make things for the love of the process, not for profit. Dear Husband, sometimes when I crawl into bed I tap your shoulder to see if you're still awake. If you are, you'll squeeze my hand three times for "yes." Who knew Morse Code could make a girl's heart feel so full.

Can I get a What? What?

What's your favorite BIRTHDAY MEMORY?
(see mine HERE and HERE)

PS, there's still time to email me your photos for this week's {Fist Pump Friday} post! So far I've received some great submissions that I can't wait to share with you!

{Today's Letters}

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, last night we celebrated Martin Luther King Day by cooking his favorite meal and watching a documentary on his groundbreaking Civil Rights accomplishments. Pretty sure this has become one of my favorite family traditions with you. Dear 11:37pm, you're one of the best parts of my day. Quiet and only 8 minutes before the sprinklers come on and remind me that it's time to stop writing and go to bed. Dear Girl Scout Cookies, you are the wind beneath my wings because A) you take less than 1 minute of prep time to make a meal out of Samoas and Thin Mints B) you remind me that buying something for a cause has 0 calories and C) you make everyone happy at the office unlike the other fundraisers that sell scented candles and gift wrap. Dear Husband, love you more than fried pork chops, sweet potatoes, mac n' cheese, green beans, pecan pie, and sweet tea. Over and out.

What are your favorite Girl Scout cookies? Pretty sure the $10.50 we spent yesterday on three boxes of Samoas, Thin Mints, and Tagalongs will be the best money we spend all week!

{February Sponsors!}

Monday, January 17, 2011

If you'd like to become a sponsor of Today's letters for the month of February please email me for a rate sheet! Today's Letters receives 3,000 - 5,000 page views per day (120,000 per month) and would love to promote, introduce, and publicize your website or small business.
February is a great month to consider advertising for Valentine's Day!

{Today's Letters}

Monday, January 17, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, Friday night you took me on a hot date to De Rice Thai. Their free sake, food presentation, service, and atmosphere made it one of my favorite date nights of all time. Thank you for continuing to pursue me! Dear Mama, yesterday you celebrated your 16th sobriety birthday. Know that I couldn't be more PROUD of you for taking each day one day at a time. Dear Twinner, this morning I sent you a letter. I walked it to the mailbox myself. In my pj's. Here's to hoping Mr. McFeely is speedy with his delivery! Dear Husband, this weekend you spent 2 hours with me at a flea market. Three points for learning about Replogle Globes, four points for making me feel so known and loved.

What are you most looking forward to this week?


SOME POSTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED:Barton Hollow by the Civil Wars
Made in Dagenham Movie Trailer

An Appreciation for the Craft Movement

Husband's Letters
Fist Pump Friday Photos!

{Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars}

Sunday, January 16, 2011

You may remember me mentioning The Civil Wars here and here before. Ever since a friend introduced me to their free online album, "Live At Eddie's Attic," I've never been the same! It changed my life ... because music can do that you know.

John Paul White and Joy William's new album is just around the corner. Go here for a free download of Barton Hollow. XOXO

Barton Hollow - Barton Hollow

{Made in Dagenham Movie Trailer}

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Have any of you seen this movie? It depicts award winning Sally Hawkins as the catalyst for the 1968 strike at Ford Dagenham car plant in England where female workers walked out in protest for equal pay.

It looks fascinating ...

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ever since I read Donald Miller's book, "Through Painted Deserts," I've always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon. Last week Laura, her mom Pam, and her friend Hamp got to do just that as they attended the BCS National Championship game in Arizona. Bonus points for yelling WAAAAAAR EAGLE! loud enough across the canyon for Darby and her Rover's to hear back in Dothan.

Our next photo also bleeds orange and blue. Meet Sarah Jane, a senior interior design major and Chi O big sis to Amanda Claire (who was featured on {Fist Pump Fridays!} a few weeks ago). She was lucky to attend the BCS Championship game as well, and couldn't help but celebrate Auburn's 22-19 victory over Oregon with fist pumps and leg kicks.

This next photo will make you wish you could be adopted into David's family. After his mom and aunt go on vacation they come back and host a destination themed dinner as a "souvenir" for the rest of their friends. This time David and his wife Molly, dressed up as Robin Hood and Luna Lovegood of Ravenclaw in honor of their recent travels to Great Britain. Talk about a fun family tradition!

Calling all GAP and GQ reps ... my sweet 2 yr old nephew Jackson wants to give you his digits! (Cue Pat Benatar here). During the final minutes of last week's Top Blog Competition Jackson threw fist pumps and leg kicks while my older sister Jen and I were chatting on Facebook about Merlot and manicures. (I'm convinced every girl needs a sister you can talk to you about these sorts of things).

Last week we received one of the most encouraging emails from Matt in Florida. We were beyond excited when he and his fiance, Callie, decided to celebrate their engagement in Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo. Congratulations, Homies!

Our next photo features two jokers we've mentioned on the blog before here, here, and here. Jonathan and Steph have become dear friend's of ours ever since we started doing their pre-marital counseling last spring. Pretty sure they deserve bonus points for barely breaking a sweat during their second half marathon. BAM!

Look out Molly Ringwald, there's a new lady lookin' pretty in pink. Meet Nelle Somerville from Baltimore who recently traveled to Las Vegas to host a conference at The Cosmopolitan Hotel. Rumor has it that she also may have recently met one of my all time favorite people.

. Our last photo is just a whole bag of win. Meet Christine's little guy Grevy, rockin his shovel tidy pajamas just before going to sleepy town. Grevy likes books, bean burritos, and his baby sister, Emma. Um, can we be friends?

A special thanks to those of you who sent in photos for today's post! We love getting to know our readers!

To participate, send a picture of you and your Homies throwing fist pumps and leg kicks to em{at}todaysletters{dot}com ... it's just that simple.

{Husband's Letters}

Friday, January 14, 2011

Husband's Letters: Dear Mrs. Loerke, sometimes I like to listen to pediatric podcasts when I run, eat my french fries with a fork, and watch TV with the volume turned up loud enough for our neighbors to hear. Thank you for loving my quirkiness and my hard of hearing self. Dear First Interview, you weren't quite what I was expecting, but I'm still looking forward to the job hunt that will slowly unfold over the next four months. Dear Future Littles, I have enjoyed learning about the gift of parenting this month. Even though this is a huge responsibility I can't wait to meet you some day. Dear Emma, wanna go on a hot date tonight? The Fart Box will be ready to pick you up at 6:00. Vroom, vroom.


The Mr. asks: what have you been listening to on your iPod lately?


Be sure and check back later today for our FIST PUMP FRIDAY photos! You won't wanna miss these!

{Tools to Create}

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's people like Blair Sligar, The Mast Brothers, Graham Bignell & Richard Ardagh who are reinstilling the wonder and magnificence of design by staying committed to the craft movement.

It's a gift when these woodworkers, chocolatiers, and typographers revive long forgotten techniques and tools of the trade. You can't help but want to simplify.

What are some skills or crafts that you admire?

{Today's Letters}

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, last weekend you said we shouldn't get out of bed because our biscuit was surrounded by hot lava. So we slept in until 10am. I like the way you think. Dear Empty Jar of McClure's Pickles, we heard that you can use old brine to make new pickles. Here's to hoping we've figured out a way to prolong your AWESOMENESS. Dear Two Days Off From Work, you were spent sleeping in bunk beds, watching movies, playing outdoor laser tag, and going on walks with my besties. (Insert happy place here). Dear Husband, last night you surprised me with cake from Whole Paycheck as a welcome home gift. Oh, how sweet it is to be known ...

What's your favorite dessert of all time? I'll throw fist pumps and leg kicks for Eno's Sundae Sack or Cafe Brazil's Chocolate Indulgence Cake any day.

{Tree By The River by Iron & Wine}

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Tree By The River" will soon be featured on Iron & Wine's new album, "Kiss Each Other Clean." Be sure and mark your calendars for January 25th, and get ready for another musical masterpiece by Sam Beam & Co.

PS, you can visit Daytrotter t
o download this song (and 3 others) for FREE.

Tree By the River - Kiss Each Other Clean
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