{Happy 8 Years Mr. Loerke!}

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dear Timothy James,

Today we celebrate 8 years of marriage. Sometimes we say it's been the best 6 years of our life. Thankfully, those first two years were difficult enough that it pushed us towards seeking counseling, doing self work, and being committed to recovery. As a result we've realized that good marriages are a dime a dozen, but great marriages take lots of hard work. I'm thankful that we work hard at ours every day!

I'm also thankful for the places we've traveled and the memories we've made. We've snorkeled in the Bahamas, sipped wine in Napa, eaten crab legs in Seattle, panned for gold in Alaska, kayaked in the Juneau Borough, taken naps in hammocks in Mexico, participated in adventure races, watched Bon Iver perform from the 2nd row, fly fished in Austin, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Kentucky, camped in the Blue Ridge Mountains, spoken about grace and forgiveness in Uganda, named our first dog after one of our favorite things, moved across the country, and bought our first home. These memories will always be near and dear to my heart, but nothing tops giving you stitches in our office and watching you graduate from PA school. I've never been so proud of you!

Thank you for constantly reminding me to get outside and play, to find joy in the small things, and to poke dead things with sticks. I adore you.

All my heart,

{Gratitude} Lately

Monday, April 29, 2013

Lately I've been thankful for Patagonia canvas shorts and fresh farm eggs. 

For front porch pups and paprika colored doors.

For rovers who love superheros and morning juice mustaches.

For the places I've traveled and for glazes that turn out better than expected.

For first meals in new homes and trusted friends.

For handmade gifts and notes found in secret pockets.

For homemade bread left on our doorstep and the thoughtfulness of others.

And for tree tunnels in Cherokee Park and afternoon drives in the Wagoneer.
What have you been grateful for lately?
Here's to gratitude and how it turns everything into enough.
Happy Monday, brave ones!

{A Sweet Reunion}

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A couple of weeks ago one of the best things of my life happened; my Twinner and Papa came to visit.
It had been 10 years since the three of us had been together so the look on my dad's face
when he saw Sarah standing in the kitchen was truly priceless.
Lots of hugs. Lots of tears. Lots of goodness.
The surprises continued as we went to a Fleetwood Mac concert {we. are. old}
and taught Twinner & Papa how to fly fish. They were naturals!
We made our bellies happy by filling them with cheese sticks from Flanagan's, coffee from Quills, beignets from The Fish House, smoked chicken salad from Hillbilly Tea, and
burgers and frijtes from Hammerheads & The Holy Grale.
Our favorite meals, however, were those shared at The Harvest House eaten around Tim's table.
Nothing beats homemade banana bread french toast & my Papa's biscuits and gravy!
We also spent time outside going on walks, enjoying the Flea off Market, and repurposing the carport in our backyard into a garden fence. It looks amazeballs! {more photos coming soon}
I often say "friends are the family you get to choose."
I'm humbled and grateful to know that I'd pick my family just as I would my friends.
They teach me more than anyone about humility, grace, forgiveness, and unconditional love.

... There are many things that can change a life; a surprise visit is one of them ...
Happy Saturday, brave ones.

{Husband's Letters}

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dear Sweet Em, I've been so encouraged lately by your Martha Stewart drive to make the Harvest House a home. Confession: you have much better taste in throw pillows than I do. Dear Natural Light, each morning you remind me there is an exciting day ahead and sleeping in is overrated. Thanks for helping me be productive. Dear Kentucky, I can't tell you how glad I am to call you my new state! Here's to beautiful commutes through rolling hills, annual Derby celebrations, and bourbon on the front porch with friends. Dear Emily Anne, I love that you like to play in creeks as much as the dogs do. You're the most beautiful woman I know.

What do you love most about your state?

{River Loerke} 8 Months

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Things River likes: laying on the fireplace, drinking people's water when they aren't looking, scratching paint off the back door, eating leaves, taking naps on benches, licking silverware in the dishwasher, walks at Cherokee Park, and pooping in the middle of the sidewalk.

Things River does not like: leashes, baby gates, riding in the car, bumblebees, crossing the street,  and sharing her bed with Ryder.

Happy 8 month Birthday, sweet River.
You. are. loved.

{Happy Earth Day!}

Monday, April 22, 2013

"The Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed." -Ghandi
Happy Earth Day, Homies. Because nothing says Happy Earth Day like cake.
{To make just buy a box of yellow cake mix and use food coloring to make 3/4 batter blue and 1/4 green. Pour the blue batter on the bottom of a greased cake pan and add the green on top. Once the cake has completely cooled, slice off the top layer using a serrated knife and voila! Earth cake}

{Happy 3 Year Blogiversary Today's Letters!}

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I can't believe it's already been 3 YEARS since our first post. I remember that day we had 237 page views. I thought we were famous. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that less than two years later we'd be averaging 450,000 page views per month.

The past three years have been a sweet reminder that words are powerful. They don't need to be complicated, or pretty, or perfect. Just real. It's been an unbelievable 36 months and we're so grateful to have shared parts of our lives with you. So THANK YOU to those who have stuck around since the beginning, as well as those who are new and continue to Google phrases such as "Woobie Cape" and "Fartbox." We're beyond grateful for your kind words, inspiration, and support.

Much love,
Em, Tim & River

And just for fun, here's our ...

Top 5 Most Read Posts to Date:

1. {10 Things} That Have Made All the Difference In Our Marriage
2. Weekly Questions
3. A Small Metal Box
4. Campfire Orange Cakes
5. Loerke Interviews

Top 5 Favorite Blog Highlights:
1. Lifelong friendships we've made
2. FH Bloggers trip to Ethiopia
3. Meeting the couple who found our hidden letter in the Seattle Public Library
4. Stories of life change from our readers
5. Top Blog 2010

Top 5 States Who Read Our Blog:

1. Texas
2. California
3. Alabama
4. Georgia
5. Tennessee

Top 5 Countries Who Read Our Blog:
1. United States
2. Canada
3. UK
4. Australia
5. Germany

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, April 19, 2013

{Olivia Cox : World's Largest Easter Egg : Alberta, CA : Challenge Photo Winner!}

{Bruce Finklea : Bellagio Hotel : Las Vegas, NV : Scott Kedersha, I found your twinner!}

Thanks to Olivia we can cross off another FPF challenge photo from our list! Here are some others: challenge photos: 1) while riding an elephant 2) with your mailman 3) in front of Antique Archaeology in Nashville 4) with Twinner at Local123 5) at your favorite BBQ joint 6) at the Pyramids in Egypt 7) at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo 8) after running a marathon 9) in front of the Sistine Chapel in Rome 10) in front of your sorority / fraternity house 11) at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in DC 12) with your grandma or grandpa 13) with your favorite professor or teacher 14) at Caine's Arcade 15) by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco 16) with Katie Davis in Uganda or at Catalyst Dallas 17) on a sailboat 18) while cheering on your favorite team at the ballpark 19) in front of the Sydney Opera House in Australia 20) camping with friends 21) at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC 22) at Old Faithful in WY 23) at the Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox Statue in Bemidji, MN 24) at the World's Largest Peanutin Ashburn, GA 25) before / after sky diving 26) while stuffing your boca with fried goodness at your local State Fair 27) with your friends at a college football game 28) while fly fishing 30) at Carhenge in Alliance, NE 31) while rocking your Halloween costume 32) with the Fremont Bridge Troll in Seattle 33) on top of the Empire State building in NYC 34) while rocking tacky Christmas sweaters 35) in front of your favorite brewery 36) eating a cinnamon roll at Please & Thank You in Louisville 37) in front of the Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas 38)  in front of the worlds largest Easter Egg in Vegreville, Canada 39) on top of Mount Agung in Bali 40) with Naomi, Josh, Eleanor or Samson Davis of Rockstar Diaries 41) in Patagonia, Chile 42) with your first homegrown tomatoes or veggies of the season or 43) at The KY Derby. To participate email photos to em@todaysletters.com. Happy freaking Friday, Homies!

Each week we receive several FPF photos that can't be posted on the blog due to photo quality. We'd love to encourage you to 1) take your FPF photo horizontally (when possible) 2) use an SLR camera (no blurry cell phone pictures) and 3) take your photos in the daylight. Thanks!

{Projects} Around The Harvest House : Part II

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Harvest House has been a busy place these days! Last week we disassembled the carport in our backyard and repurposed the steel roofing to build an enclosed garden area for our raised beds.

We also got around to hanging the shelf in our bathroom. It took 14 f-bombs, 1 stud & 3 wood screws.
The piece of lumber was found along side of the road just a few miles from our house.

Mols painted our new beehive. Since bees only recognize a handful of colors we thought we'd go with something fun and reminded us of one of our favorite things: the sea.

We officially have knobs and pulls on all of our kitchen drawers and cabinets.
Math was never my greatest subject. Good thing there's tooth paste.

Perhaps our biggest completed project was the assembling of the farm table that Eric and Tim built.
I have to say it's been amazing to sit and have family meals here. Everything tastes better.
Stay tuned for more Harvest House projects coming soon.
This weekend we get our raised beds & chicken coop from Fresh Start.
We couldn't ask for a better local business to partner with!

Happy Thursday, brave ones!
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