{Hagar and Ishamel by Valley Maker}

Thursday, March 31, 2011

There are few songs that can wreck me like this one. Valley Maker originally began as Austin Crane's senior thesis project and has since turned into a musical masterpiece with the addition of Amy Godwin's soulful vocals. I've been listening to their album all day and it's been nothing short of amazing. (Thanks for the rec, Sarah).

To purchase this song and others, go HERE.

{Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!}

Thursday, March 31, 2011

After reading yesterday's comments I'm now convinced of three things 1) The Auburn Tigers know how to R-E-P-R-E-S-E-N-T 2) You listen to a lot of Mumford & Sons and The Civil Wars (be still my heart!) and 3) Ya'll are BRAVE, plain and simple. So many engagements, difficult majors, and adventurous road trips!

We had over 125 comments which left us no choice but to pick our winners at random: Laine L. (OSU), Courtney Pennington (KSU), Amy Kate Wallace (Wofford College), William Hipschman (UNC), Anna_Elise24 (UofSC), Sam (ASU), Sarah (Vandy), K.Bee (UNC), Margaret Rose (Auburn), Caroline (UofV), Sarah (Tenn-Knox), Kellythecloud (UT), Caroline Conner (Auburn), Luci (A&M), EKK (UT), Layne (BYU), Bre (Colorado State), Tally, (TCU), Chelsea Girl (Wash State), Em Morris (Covenant), Erica (USD), Kristen (Auburn), Hamp (Auburn), Meagan (UMBC), and Brittany Sims (Auburn) please email me your addy so the Pony Express can send you some music love!


{Today's Letters}

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke PA-S III, making your graduation invitations this week has been nothing short of therapeutic. Creative outlet + light at the end of the tunnel = better than a 90 minute counseling session. Dear Triathlon on May 1st, I kind of forgot about you. Not gonna lie. Can we still be friends? (Circle yes or no). Dear Garden & Gun, yesterday Mr. McFeely made a special delivery. Thanks for giving me a reason to stay in the bathroom longer than usual. Dear Husband, last night you helped an elderly lady find her lost dog. Then you (and two police officers) helped the lost elderly lady find her house. Love your heart. Love your patience. Love you.

Speaking of triathlons, what's the most challenging thing you've ever done physically? I'll never forget hiking Mt. Sinai at 3am when I was a sophomore in college. Pretty sure I thought I was going to die. Ended up being worth every hallucination to see the sunrise over the valley.

PS, be sure and check back later to see if you were one of the handful of students picked from yesterday's post to win a CD!

{Today's Letters}

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, after waking you up at 4am I touched my ears and throat until you realized I was trying to tell you I felt like sheet. Thanks for deciphering my game of sick charades and for holding me until I fell back asleep. Dear Twinner, yesterday you won a major award at EMT school. A MAJOR AWARD! If only I was in Cali to take you out for vegan cupcakes and tofu. Dear Good 2 Go Tacos, you share a storefront with Stir Coffee, serve $4 tacos that can make a grown man full, and have an old typewriter sitting in your window. Consider yourself officially inducted into the Loerke Taco Hall of Fame. Dear Husband, love you more than 1,000 horses. Over and out.

Okay college students (that means you Auburn, Alabama, Samford, A&M, UT, etc).
We wanna know your:
1. Name
2. Major
3. School & Sorority / Fraternity (if applicable)
4. Best 1 sentence memory of the semester so far and ...
5. The last song you listened to on your iPod / iPhone (No shame if you've got Bieber Fever).

Play along and we might just select some of you to receive a copy of our Top 20 Favorite Songs Mix that we that we included in our 6 month giveaway. Werd.

{Today's Letters}

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, I know it's almost summer when I wake up and find my socks, scrubs, and favorite sleeping shirt on the floor beside our bed. Ima bakin' like a toasted cheeser in there! Dear Champagne Mangos, having you back in season is better than receiving a Red Ryder BB Gun with a side of Randy wearing Napoleon's moon boots. Just sayin'. Dear Songs for Japan, all proceeds from your 38 song album goes to the Japanese Red Cross? Nice work Apple. Dear Beloved, even though I quadruple bogey every hole in Putt-Putt you still pick me to be on your team. Thanks for never leaving your wingman.

Re: baking like a toasted cheeser, please tell me you watched The Sandlot growing up? You know, Benny "the Jet" Rodriguez and Squintz? Eh eh?

Songs for Japan - Various Artists

{PBJB Deliciousness}

Monday, March 28, 2011

Because sometimes a toasted Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Banana sandwich fixes everything. Try it.
(I double dog dare you).

{MR340 Sponsorship Update!}

Monday, March 28, 2011

Last week we raised $300.00 in gear & travel donations giving us a total of $625.00 for our race. We're still short around $4,500 so feel free to donate below! The $5,160 we previously raised has been put towards the last of Em & Kent's adoption fees which will allow them to soon bring home their bambino!

$100.00 or more & get your COMPANY NAME & LOGO on our kayak and blog sidebar as one of our official race sponsors.

NEW Race Sponsors:
Kevin & Sarah Wasemiller
Michael & Courtney Cleveland

Em and I had another great time paddling at the lake on Saturday. We came home with blisters, sunburned shoulders, and sore trapezius muscles. We also saw 1 dead fish and only hit 1 tree. A good day!

Em & Em

{Today's Letters}

Monday, March 28, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, last night I dreamt about saying good-bye to a dear friend while eating cupcakes. You dreamt about being chased by a polar bear that had escaped from the zoo. Reason #256 why boy roommates are AWESOME. Dear Watch Tan, thanks for reminding me of all things summer. I've missed you. Dear Twisted Root, you were the perfect hangout for our Foundation Group hot date on Friday. Your burgers, sweet potato fries, homemade root beer, wasabi pickles, and washer pits had us throwing fist pumps and leg shimmies all night long. Dear Husband, today is the first day of your last rotation. BOO TO THE FREAKIN YEAH.

Happy Freakin Monday, Homies! What's your favorite cupcakery? Society Bakery will always be #1 in our bellies.

Be sure and check back later for our weekly MR340 race update from the Em's!

And in case you missed Mr. Loerke's recent announcement, he's going to be taking the next 6 weeks off from writing letters so he can focus on finishing PA school. That said, we've got an unbelievable lineup of guest bloggers headed your way! This Friday we'll be featuring letters from Naomi Davis of Rockstar Diaries. Get ready for AWESOMENESS ... She's pretty much my blogging hero!

{The Tree of Life Movie Trailer}

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A reminder to acknowledge beauty and joy in all things, especially in family.
Release Date: May 27th, 2011

{Boil & Fight Nathaniel Rateliff}

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Because sometimes there's no better way to kick of your Saturday than with a little Nathaniel Rateliff. (Thanks Twinner!).

Boil & Fight - In Memory of Loss

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, March 25, 2011

Our first fist pump photo comes all the way from Mission Lazarus Ranch in Santa Anita, Honduras. Meet Auburn sophomore, Laura Fraley, who had the privilege of returning to southern Honduras over spring break with ACSC. Way to rock those Chacos and t-shirt cape, Little!

Most of you know the jokers in our next photo. You didn't think we'd let West get off the hook that easily did you?

Our next photo is of Aggie sophomore's Beth and Katie who were featured in our very first Fist Pump Friday photo. Last week they taught their Homies Mia, Caroline, and Elise how to throw fist pumps and leg kicks in Seaside, FL. Bonus points for eating snow cones from Frost Bites!

Next meet PhD & PT students Elizabeth, Ashley and Allison, from LSU who recently participated in The Warrior Dash in Conroe, TX. Tim and I love this race and can't wait to do it again in a few weeks! Way to get dirty, Ladies!

Lastly meet, Anna Claire, one of our sweet nieces from Tulsa, OK. AC threw fist pumps in honor of celebrating the first day of Spring! Love it that she has blue peepers like her Uncle Tim.

Thanks to all of you who sent in photos this week! We always love getting to know our readers.

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

{Husband's Letters}

Friday, March 25, 2011

Husband's Letters: Dear Mrs. Loerke, tonight we have a hot date with the couples in our Foundation Group. The guys are taking care of dinner and the girls are in charge of dessert. Can't wait to be your date! Dear General Surgery, you will be my last rotation and hardest one yet. Already looking forward to the new things you will teach me. Dear Readers, I will be taking the next 6 weeks off from writing letters on Friday's so I can focus on finishing PA school. But don't worry, you're going to love the guest letter writers Em has lined up for you. (I promise). Dear Emma, sometimes you make getting up in the morning a game. Good thing I was home yesterday so I could help you move one leg at a time.


Happy Freakin Friday, Homies! Are you a morning person or a night owl? I'm a morning person and I bet you can guess which one Em is based on this photo.

{The Local Natives: Tiny Desk Concert}

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Because we all know how much we loved their Take Away Show ...

1) Wide Eyes 2) Cards & Quarters 3) Airplanes
Gorilla Manor - Local Natives

{Today's Letters}

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke PA-S III, pretty soon you'll be able to drop the S(tudent) in your signature and add a C(ertified) officially making you the first PA in the Loerke family. Can I get a what what? Dear Pollen, you make the Fart Box look like he's covered in curry. One word: Sexxxy. Dear Pearl Cup, you are one of my favorite places to be in Dallas at night. That's all. Dear Beloved, out of all the girls in the world, you picked me. YOU PICKED ME. (Somebody pinch me).

Do you have a loved one graduating in May? Be sure and tell them how brave they are. And strong. And courageous. (Sometimes they forget).

{Mrs. McGeeHee's First Offspring!}

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

After enduring 27 hours of labor Mrs. McGeeHee finally received this bundle of joy and a box of pads the size of flotation devices. James "Braden" McKee was born at 11:15am, weighing 8lbs 7oz and 22" long. He is perfect, healthy, and handsome just like his Daddy. Way to go guys ... We couldn't be more proud of you!

{Today's Letters}

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, today is the last day of your orthopedic surgical rotation. Pretty sure this calls for cupcakes and Riverdance in our jammers. Dear Spot Tracker, thank you for giving our readers the ability to track Em and I online during the MR340. This will be much more fun than wearing giant glow sticks around our necks. Dear Mrs. McGeeHee, yesterday I sat next to you in our meeting while you timed your contractions on your celly. Four points for bravery, three points for making me feel like Bleeker. Dear Husband, you are the Greek of my yogurt, the kite of my string, and the stetho of my scope. Love you more than knee replacements and shoulder repairs.

Happy Wednesday, Homies!

PS, Mrs. McGeeHee is currently dilated to an 8. Won't be long until we get to meet her little poop sack of AWESOMENESS!

{Today's Letters}

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, after getting back from boot camp yesterday you had a protein shake waiting for me on our nightstand. This made me feel so cared for. Dear Empty Spaces, sometimes I fill you with the wrong things. New Goal: clean out the energy wasters in my life. Dear Whole Paycheck, last week you had orchid's on sale for $9.99 ea. WINNING. Dear Husband, journal hidden by Professor Plum, in Emo's unmentionable drawer, with the candlestick. BAM!

What was your favorite board game as a kid? Twinner and I used to play Chutes & Ladders, Candyland, Mouse Trap, and Clue for hours. Pretty sure I still want to be friends with Grandma Nutt and live in Peanut Acres.

{Civilian by Wye Oak}

Monday, March 21, 2011

Me loves.

Civilian - Civilian

{MR340: Road Trip to Austin!}

Monday, March 21, 2011

This weekend we drove down to Austin and spent time rigging our River Rocket with our buddy West.

He kind of knows a lot about kayaks and how to make them AWESOME.

He taught us how to repair our rudder.

Build platforms for our new kayak seats.

Fix our foot pedals using a drill and rivet gun.

Install our Bumfort's with Velcro and contact cement.

Make cable supports from epoxy and carbon fiber fabric.

And install a bilge pump using a dimmer switch from a 1968 Ford Mustang.

After the Rocket was ready to go we loaded her up and headed to Town Lake for our first paddling lesson.

At first, West focused on teaching us how to steer and paddle in sync. (This was after running into a tree seconds after leaving the boat ramp).

After awhile we finally started to get the hang of it.

Overall, we ended up having a blast spending time with West and his family, as well as getting to know our boat a little better. She rides well, especially with all the adjustments we made this weekend. I hope that grin never leaves my face!

Emo Out.

{Today's Letters}

Monday, March 21, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Conductor Loerke, sometimes when you take off your shoes you like to build a shoe train leading into the living room. This makes me want to yell, "All aboard!" Dear Earth Science Facial Scrub, three points for making me feel like I've been to the spa, four points for only costing $8.78. Dear Answers, sometimes you aren't helpful to give until people know which questions to ask. Thanks for often reminding me of this. Dear Husband, I am your quiet place, you are my wild. Love you more than conductor hat's and steam engines.

Happy freakin Monday, Homies! What are you most looking forward to this week?

Btw, we had a blast this weekend in Austin with the McKeagg's. Check back later this morning for pictures of our new and improved River Rocket!

{MR340 Sponsorship Update!}

Monday, March 21, 2011

As I mentioned last week all 340 miles of our race have been sponsored! Fist pumps and leg kicks for raising over $5,100 for the McKeaigg Family Adoption in less than 4 weeks!

We are still accepting General / Gear / Travel donations should you still be interested in donating.

*Sponsor $100.00 or more & get your COMPANY NAME & LOGO featured on our kayak and blog sidebar as one of our official race sponsors.

*McKeaigg T-Shirts are also available for purchase through our donation website.

NEW Race Sponsors:
Mac & Sophie Macfarlan
Meghan & Creed Perry

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, March 18, 2011

To kick off this week's photos we have Mel, Danielle, Mel's Mom, and Ashley with The Pioneer Woman at her book signing in Atlanta. Major bonus points for buying Ree's new book and for getting her to throw a fist pump for today's post!

Next we have Christi, Em, Kelsey, Joy, Em Killough (I love this girl!), Amanda, Rachel, Joni, Lissa, Katie, and Jaye, all seniors at UT who spent their Spring Break in Pensacola, Florida. These chickies have to be good eggs if they're hanging out with my sweet friend, EKK!

Our next photo has me convinced that Hamp always finds the coolest places to throw fist pumps and leg kicks. First it's the Grand Canyon, now it's Catarata de Rio Fortuna in Costa Rica! Pictured here are Shaista, Tim, Sami, Kaitlin, Hannah, Allison, Hamp, and Nick, all students involved in ASB at Auburn University.

Next meet Brittany and Katie from Sam Houston State University. After attending an Aggie basketball they ate at Hullabaloo Diner, home of the 12 egg omelet! Cyndi Lauper would be so proud of your splatter paint jeans.

Our next photo is of Monica's kiddo's Max (16 months) and Abbey (3 1/2 years old). A couple of weeks ago Tim and I met Monica while picking up our packet for Date Night! Jazz hands for rockin bubble toupees.

Next meet some of Angie's kindergarten class from North Carolina who are tryin to keep it real during recess. Doesn't this make you miss climbing on jungle gyms and playing kickball?

Lastly meet Drake and his girlfriend Katie who threw fist pumps and leg kicks in front of the Daniel Johnston mural on 21st and Guadalupe in Austin. If you haven't seen this documentary about Daniel Johnston do yourself a favor and watch it. It's life changing!

Thanks to all of you who sent in photos for this week's Fist Pump Friday post. Can't wait to see your photo submissions for next week!

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

{Husband's Letters}

Friday, March 18, 2011

Husband's Letters: Dear Mrs. Loerke, last night you made me green macaroni & cheese in honor of St. Patrick's day. Most people would think green and cheese don't mix but I think it was the perfect union. Dear Little Old Man With the Dislocated Elbow, I'm so glad we were able to help you by installing an external fixator. You can tell all your friends you have a robotic arm if you start to get embarrassed. Dear Appalachian Trail, it was one year ago today that we wrapped up our 53 mile journey of amazingness. I hope it won't be long before we get to meet again! Dear Pretty, wanna go on a road trip to Austin today? Last one to Julio's is a rotten egg!


HAPPY FREAKIN WEEKEND, HOMIES! What's your favorite place to eat at in Austin?

Be sure and check back later for this week's Fist Pump Friday photos! You don't want to miss these!

{Today's Letters: Happy St. Patrick's Day!}

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, yesterday you rolled down your window at a stop light and started clapping at a flock of birds. This A) made me slide into the floorboards of our car from embarrassment B) convince me you should be bff's with Drum from Steal Magnolias C) start humming "Blackbird singing in the dead of night" or D) all of the above. Dear Spring, seeing signs of you has been nothing short of refreshing. You're like running through a gigantic sheet of fabric softener. Dear Ireland, fist pumps for giving us Damien Rice, Van Morrison, Glen Hansard, U2, Lisa Hannigan, C.S. Lewis, and Frank McCourt. Excited to celebrate you today. Dear Husband, love you more than corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash, and green Guinness. Over and out.

Do you have any St. Patrick's Day plans or traditions?

Also, did you read our important announcement yesterday? {MR340 Special Update!}

{A Special MR340 Sponsorship Update!}

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Em & I are humbled beyond belief to announce that ALL 340 miles of our race have been sponsored! Can you believe it? Yesterday we received an anonymous donation giving us a total of $5,100 raised for the McKeaigg Family Adoption! (Insert lots of tears and fist pumps here).

We wanted to give a special thanks to our latest mile Sponsors: Mark & Megan Scott (2), Anais Doornbos (1), Rebecca Radicchi (1), and to our donors who wish to remain anonymous (148). We couldn't have done this without you!

Currently we are still accepting donations to cover the cost of our gear and travel expenses. Even with our ability to order most of this at wholesale prices we still have $3,000 to raise to cover these expenses. Please consider giving as you feel led, and know that we will continue to post MR340 race update every Monday. We will also honor our promise to add your company logo to our blog sidebar and River Rocket with donations of $100 or more.

Last night as I was trying to fall asleep I couldn't help but think of Em & Kent's future bambino. One day I hope to tell him / her about the labor of love it took to get them here, and how brave their parents are for facing infertility. I might even have to make them Woobie capes just as a reminder.

Em & Kent, you are my hero's!
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