{A Year-End Review} The Best of 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tim and I want to thank you for your support and love this past year! 2013 has been one of our hardest yet most favorite of years. Your support and kind words have meant so much. Can't wait to see what is in store for 2014!

This Year's Highlights:

Favorite Songs (in no particular order):

Best Albums of the Year:

Favorite Concerts / Live Events:
1. Fleetwood Mac (Louisville, KY)
2. Laura Marling (Louisville, KY)
3. City & Colour (Louisville, KY)

Favorite Movies:
3. Gatsby
5. Mud
8. Anne of Green Gables (my first time to see it!)

Favorite Books:

Favorite Videos:

Favorite Eats (in no particular order):
1. Rye: The Salt of The Earth (Louisville, KY)
2. Basa: Macadamia Nut Cake with Caramel Espresso Gelato (Louisville, KY)
3. Hillbilly Tea: Porter Spice Cake, French Toast & Smoked Chicken Salad (Louisville, KY)
4. Taco Punk: Barbeerbacoa Taco (Louisville, KY)
5. Tupelo Honey Cafe: Sweet Potato Pancake & Rosemary Peach Lemonade (Asheville, NC)
6. Bluffton BBQ: Pork and a Fork with a side of fries and extra pickles (Bluffton, SC)
7. The Lady and Sons: Paula Deen's mac-n-cheese, yams, and corn pudding (Savannah, GA)
8. Lulu's Chocolate Bar: Strawberry Suspension Cake & The Rapture Sundae for Two Charleston, SC)
9. Louise's: Reuben Sandwich & Potato Salad (Black Mountain, NC)
10. Marco's : Pepperoni & Banana Pepper Pizza (Asheville, NC)
11. Sunny Point Cafe: Huevos Rancheros (Asheville, NC)
12. White Duck Taco Shop: Shrimp Taco w chips & Roasted Salsa
13. Eddyline: Homemade Lobster Ravioli (Buena Vista, CO)
14. Atlantic No.5: Smoked Salmon Tartine & Roasted Tomato Soup (Louisville, KY)
15. The Fountain on Locust: Coconut Almond Joy Shake (St. Louis, MO)
16. Royale Bistro: Raised Waffles & Chicken Confit with Roasted Vegetable Hash (Kansas City, MO)
17. RyeKC: Eggs Benedict (Kansas City, MO)
18. Topsy's: Limeade (Kansas City, MO)
19. Glace: Fleur de Sel Caramel and Christopher Elbow Dark Chocolate Gelato (Kansas City, MO)
20. Little Freshie : Chai Tea & Raspberry Chocolate Chip Scone (Kansas City, MO)
Favorite New Website:

Fist Pump Friday:

Looking forward to 2014 because ...
1. Sleeping in a Tempurpedic Bed
2. Road Trips to Nashville & Dallas
3. Growing new things in our garden (Okra, Brussels Sprouts & Lacinato Kale)
4. Continuing our Monthly Baking Goals
5. Seeing this movie
6. Celebrating 9 years of marriage with Timothy James
7. Holding our sweet little for the first time (due May 7th)
8. Learning how to breast feed 
9. Camping in the Smoky Mountains
10. Catching more trout
11. Running 9 minute miles again
12. Learning how to roast my own coffee
Come out and show yourself, 2014. We're ready!
Em & Tim

{Gratitude Lately} Holiday Edition

Sunday, December 29, 2013

This holiday I was thankful for afternoon walks and the opportunity to hold those I love.

For Christmas morning waffles and Twinner's special roasted coffee.

For new chapters and bearded cuties who make me smoked turkey.

For Bell's Two Hearted Ale and aunties who arrive safely from North Carolina.

For leg lamps and the Pledge of Allegiance recited at Christmas dinner.

For holiday sweaters and bourbon balls for breakfast.

For puppy whimpers at 4am and a sidekick for River to play with.

For favorite childhood ornaments and the new places they call home.

For these simple gifts and the people who know me so well.

For Ryder selfies and Santa hats.

For unexpected time with friends and wool sweaters with pockets.

For holiday fudge and chocolate that didn't burn.

For spray painted pasta and overalls worn when I was three.

For homemade eggnog with burbon and mason jars that make everything taste amazing.

For books given to me on my first Christmas and read 33 years later.

For porch pups and little's with special deliveries

And for new polar bear jammers and sick babes who try and laugh as much as they cough.
Here's to gratitude and how it turns everything into enough.
What have you been grateful for this holiday season?
Happy Sunday, brave ones!

{On Setting Goals}

Saturday, December 28, 2013

It's that time of year again to start setting goals for the New Year! Tim and I like to keep our goals simple and sweet. After all, it's always better to have fewer goals that you actually accomplish than have several you don't finish!

We choose to break down our individual goals into 4 categories: Spiritual, Physical, Relational, and Professional. A spiritual goal could be to memorize a verse a week, physically you could run a half-marathon, relationally you could organize a reunion with family or college friends, and professionally your goal could be to apply to 5 different jobs that have a shorter commute or buy coffee for your co-workers 1 x a month. Even simple goals can be challenging, just make sure they're measurable!

As far as marital goals go, Tim and I break these down into 4 categories as well: Spiritual, Physical, Relational, and Financial. Perhaps someday we'll simplify our goal categories to just Husband / Wife, Dad / Mom, and friend. But for now, a marital spiritual goal could be to pray with your spouse each night before bed, physically you could compete in an adventure race together (btw, physically can also mean setting intimacy goals), relationally your goal might be to have a different couple over for dinner 1 x a month, and financially it may look like establishing and following a budget or giving X amount more than you gave away last year. Either way, your marital goals should stretch both of you. If they're too easy, you're not challenging yourself enough.

Overall, our main advice regarding goals would be to write them down. Only 3% of people actually have written goals. If you write them down you're much more likely to follow through with them. Also, victory comes with accountability, so be sure and share your goals with friends who will encourage you to follow through with them!

Lastly, always remember the purpose for setting goals is to be transformed by them in the process. What they make of you is always far greater than what you actually achieve!

Em & Tim

{Monthly Baking Masterpieces 2013}

Friday, December 27, 2013

When two best friends set out to bake or create one new thing a month, this is what happens ...

{January : No-Knead Bread}

{Merry Christmas!}

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

{video by Homeland}
From our family to yours, Merry Christmas, brave ones!
Love, Tim, Em & River 

{More Deliveries from Mr. McFeely}

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sent from my childhood bestie all the way from Austria.

From our dear friends Brett & Andrea at Loon Outdoors.

From my Papa {a thrifted burl bank to start saving for our little's wedding.
He's convinced we're having a girl}
This babe is so well loved!

{More deliveries from Mr. McFeely}

{Today's Letters}

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dear Timothy James, I'm encouraged to hear you're on board with incorporating the Pledge of Allegience into our blessing at dinner this Christmas. Surely it will be more memorable than Aunt Bethany's Jello and Uncle Eddie's bathrobe. Dear Buckeye, my mom started putting you in the bottom of her stocking over 30 years ago. Thanks for becoming one of my favorite holiday traditions. #betterthancoal Dear Pregnancy Cravings, first trimester it was olives, then jalapeno's on everything. Now seven cuties a day? I predict Hot Pockets with a side of Pepto will be next. Dear Mr. Loerke, thanks for this text exchange. Love you more than wiggly 2 year olds and Tic Tacs.

What do you normally get in your stocking? 

{Kansas City}

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Our last road trip of 2013.
Highlights Included:
18 hrs in the Rickshaw with these two.
Eating my first Meatball sandwich at The Fountain in St. Louis.
Breakfast with my Papa in the West Bottoms.
Walking around Loose Park in sub-zero weather.
Window Shopping.
Sharing a Z-Man sammy and a half rack of ribs on our hotel room floor.
Watching this movie for the first time.
Walking around on The Dime Store's creaky hardwoods.
Spending time with sweet friends & family.
Seeing the hole in our bedroom floor where Twinner & I used to hide our time capsules.
Eating our way through Kansas City. #butreally
{Raised waffles & Chicken Confit at Royale Bistro, Rye's Eggs Benedict & French Toast,
Chai from Quay, Beet Salad & Truffle Fries from Blanc Burger, Little Freshie's Thermos coffee, a Fresh-squeezed Limeade from Topsy's, Chocolate Drop Cookies & Almond Danish's from McLain's, Port Fonda's homemade guac & pork chimichanga, shared Chocolate Peanut Butter Concrete from Foo's, burgers and fries at the Westport Flea Market, Christopher Elbow's Dark Chocolate Gelato from Glace, and a Miel & Donuts from Oddly Correct}
We. are. still. full.
Happy Saturday, brave ones!
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