{Today's Letters}

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Dear Mr. Loerke, yesterday you gave both dogs a bath. Thanks for making them smell like dryer sheets instead of stale popcorn. Dear Change, sometimes you're much harder for me to embrace than I thought. May I see you as a dear friend instead of a great enemy. Dear Twinner, currently you're road trippin' it across the country to plant new roots along the east coast. The state of North Carolina just got more amazeballs. Dear Timothy James, the conversation we had on our biscuit the other day was just what I needed. Thank you for listening to my heart, for challenging me to trust, and for reminding me I have much to be thankful for.

Happy Tuesday, brave ones! You are loved, loved, loved!

{Glastonbury Performance} Only Love by Ben Howard

Monday, July 29, 2013


This never gets old. {Performed July 2, 2013}

{Whitney Neal Photography}

Saturday, July 27, 2013




A photographer who shoots with our crazy chickens, bees, and favorite places around the Highlands?
She's a keeper, that Whitney Neal.
Check out her website for rates HERE.

{Husband's Letters}

Friday, July 26, 2013


Dear Sweet Bride, often times you'll say to me, "Patience, little grasshopper." Thank you for reminding me to slow down and trust that everything happens in it's own time. Dear Harvest House Squirrel, lately you have enjoyed feasting on our chicken feed and vegetables. You're lucky I'm a terrible shot. Dear Discontent, you creep up when I lack gratitude, try to control my circumstances, and think only of myself. Life is so much more free when I leave no room for you. Dear Em, just when I thought it wouldn't be possible to go backpacking with the guys you gave me your air miles so I could fly to Colorado. I love how you encourage me to not pass up once-in-a-lifetime guy trips. Thank you!

Happy Friday, brave ones! What are your plans this weekend? Fist pumps for older brothers who come to visit from Florida! 

{Homemade Blackberry Cobbler}

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


This cobbler will make you want to eat your computer screen.
You've been warned.

Ingredients:
3 Cups of Blackberries (or 2 cups Blackberries, 1 Cup Blueberries)
2 Cups of Flour
2 Cups of Sugar
2 Eggs
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter

Directions:
1. Pour blackberries into a 9x13" greased baking dish and set aside.
2. Mix flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, and salt until well combined in a stand mixer.
3. Crumble flour mixture over blackberries.
4. Melt 1 stick of butter in a microwave safe dish and pour over flour mixture.
5. Bake for 35-40 min at 350°.

{Today's Letters}

Tuesday, July 23, 2013



Dear Mr. Loerke, you have a 5 o'clock shadow, know how to use power tools, and make some of the best BBQ wibs I've ever had, yet are tender enough to care about the bird that fell out of our tree. I love this about you. Dear Griswold, you've been nothing but the best adventure. Here's to hoping we find a new ride to hot wire Santa to this Christmas. Dear Fear, sometimes I spend more time worrying about the next hour of my life than I do celebrating the hour I'm in. Time to embrace more of the present. Dear Timothy James (who always gets two letters), on Sunday we walked to Cherokee Park and asked each other our 5 Weekly Questions. We both owned that we fell short of loving each other well last week but I still left feeling encouraged by your grace, forgiveness, and kindness. Thank you for your willingness to work hard at our marriage. It's the greatest gift.

Happy Monday, brave ones! Btw, if you're interested in buying Griswold please send us an email to em@todaysletters.com! You can also check out our Craigslist listing HERE.

{Gratitude} Lately

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Lately I've been thankful for bare feet and post dinner rides in my jammers.


For fresh dill and homemade pickles.



For a mowed lawn and a rooster that makes me laugh.


For the gift of sound and my mom's restored '62 Gibson.


For fresh beet juice and counter tops that won't stain.


For shared beer flights and a best who appreciates good Belgian beer.


And for morning walks and lettuce bouquets from the community garden.
What have you been grateful for lately?
Here's to gratitude and how it turns everything into enough.
Happy Sunday, brave ones.

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, July 19, 2013


{Alyssa Leister : Color Run 5K : Philadelphia : July 2013}


{Mindy Nickles & Elizabeth Smith : KC Royals Game : K-State Seniors}


{Laura Boyer's niece, Emma : Born on the Fourth of July : Richmond, VA}


{Gwen & Rusty Robeson : Thorncrown Chapel : Eureka Springs, AR : Happy 5 Years!}

FPF 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) with your first homegrown tomatoes or veggies of the season 40) at your favorite summer camp 41) on top of Mount Agung in Bali 42) with Naomi, Josh, Eleanor or Samson Davis of Rockstar Diaries 43) in Patagonia, Chile 44) while on a road trip 45) during rush and 46) while making homemade ice cream on the front porch. 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!

{Dill-icious} Homemade Pickles

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Nothing says summer better than a jar of homemade pickles.
Here's a recipe my best friend Molls shared with me.
I've never tasted pickles as good as hers.
Also, if you're looking for an amazing refrigerator pickle recipe go here.

Ingredients: (Makes 4 Pint Jars)
8-10 small pickling cucumbers (about 3 lbs)
2 Cups Water
2 Cups White Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Pickling Salt
4 Heads of Fresh Dill
4 Small Cloves of Garlic

Directions:
1. Sanitize glass jars by boiling them in water for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cut a thin slice from the ends of each cucumber.
3. Combine vinegar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
4. Remove hot jars from canner.
5. Place 1 head of fresh dill and 1 clove of garlic into each jar; pack in cucumbers.
6. Pour boiling vinegar mixture over cucumbers to within 1/2" of rim of jars.
7. Screw on lids and boil for 10 minutes to heat seal pint jars (15 minutes for quart sized jars).
8. Store at room temperature for 6 weeks before eating.

Note:
Garlic may turn blue or green in the jars. This is nothing to be alarmed about, it's only the effect of the acid on the natural pigments in the garlic. Also, pickling salt is free of additives found in table salt which can discolor homemade pickles. If you use regular table salt, the pickles will taste fine, but they may turn dark, with a cloudy liquid. Do not substitute kosher salt, as the difference in texture can result in incorrect measurements.

{Today's Letters}

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Dear Mr. Loerke, yesterday morning you helped me take down the garden fence in the back yard. No splinters, cuts, or f-bombs dropped. #success Dear Garden Fence, you kept the pups and chickens from eating our kale, but you also blocked out the sun and wind. Thanks for the reminder we need light and resistance in order to grow deep roots. Dear Chickens, you're laying 4 eggs a day now. This means break-feast's out the yang at the Harvest House. Dear Timothy James, more than repurposed carports, first fruits, and an omelet with extra goat cheese. You. are. loved.

Happy Tuesday, brave ones!  Favorite kind of cheese? Go. I could eat my weight in manchego, cotswold and goat cheese.

{Saturday Morning Inspiration}

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Obsessed with Kinfolk's new Saturday video series.
Oh, to be eating cupcakes on the battery again!
Happy Saturday, brave ones.

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, July 12, 2013


{Anne Howeth & Amber Cassady : Continental Divide : Northern Colorado : Camping Trip}


{Emily Heyduck & Friends : Summer Mission Trip : Eleuthera Island, Bahamas} 


{Blake & Taylor : babysat by Lindy Reese : Buene Vista, CO : Fist Pumps for Fort Building!}

FPF 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) with your first homegrown tomatoes or veggies of the season 40) at your favorite summer camp 41) on top of Mount Agung in Bali 42) with Naomi, Josh, Eleanor or Samson Davis of Rockstar Diaries 43) in Patagonia, Chile 44) while on a road trip 45) during rush and 46) while making homemade ice cream on the front porch. 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!

{Gratitude} Lately

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Lately I've been thankful for little feet and babes who sleep.


For outdoor beer gardens and friends who travel across the miles.


For homemade crusts and gifted spoons from my favorite thrift store in Kansas City.


For new life in nests and turtle doves outside our window.


For blackberries & thyme from the garden and wainscoted walls in our kitchen.


For sunny mornings when fish don't bite and clouds as soft as cotton.


For community breakfasts and the best chocolate chip pancakes I've ever tasted.


And for fresh flowers at the top of our stairs and photography that inspires me.
What have you been grateful for lately?
Here's to gratitude and how it turns everything into enough.
Happy Thursday, brave ones.

{Today's Letters}

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Dear Mr. Loerke, before I met you I had never had my bourbon neat, shot squirrels with a pellet gun, or watched an episode of Prison Break. Reason #278 why boy roommates are AWE-TO-THE-SOME. Dear Blackberry Cobbler, you go great with a side of eggs & coffee for breakfast. Thanks for letting me taste summer before 9am. Dear Heartbox, you often remind me the absence of gratitude is the presence of pride. May I always remember that I have three sinks {thanks MMR} and much to be thankful for. Dear Timothy James (who always gets two letters), yesterday we sat on the front porch and cranked ice cream until our shoulders ached. Love you more than reliving childhood memories and two hungry pups who lick the window as much as we lick our bowls.

Happy Wednesday, brave ones! What's your favorite summer ice cream? I'm convinced homemade & hand cranked should come with a warning label.

{Today's Letters}

Monday, July 08, 2013


Dear Mr. Loerke, thank you for tucking in the chickens at night when I forget to close the coop. Without you Bacon & Eggs would be scrambled. Dear Hillbilly Tea, stairs like yours make me thankful I don't have to take an elevator. You're perfect. Dear Labor Day Weekend, three days of camping, fishing, and backpacking in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Yes, please! Dear Timothy James, this time last year I was in Ethiopia eating my weight in injera and meeting Moti. So thankful for all of our adventures and the reminder that we've been given much.

Happy Monday, brave ones! What are your Labor Day plans this year?

{St Clarity} by The Paper Kites

Saturday, July 06, 2013


{Required Saturday morning listening : Inspiration found at 1:32 : Thanks HW}

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, July 05, 2013


{Elisabeth, Eric, John & Callie : Haleakala Volcano : Maui}


{Angela & Jonathan's little man, Cole : Vintage Car Race : Portland, OR}


{Jasmaine, Elena, Joleigh, Sarah, Joanna, Maria & Morgan : WinShape Camps :
FPF Challenge Photo Winners!}
 

{Luke, Kelsey, Sadie, Margo & David : New Life Ranch : FPF Challenge Photo Winners!}

FPF 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) with your first homegrown tomatoes or veggies of the season 40) at your favorite summer camp 41) on top of Mount Agung in Bali 42) with Naomi, Josh, Eleanor or Samson Davis of Rockstar Diaries 43) in Patagonia, Chile 44) while on a road trip 45) during rush and 46) while making homemade ice cream on the front porch. 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!

{I Hear America Singing}

Thursday, July 04, 2013


I Hear America Singing
by Walt Whitman
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.
Happy 4th of July, brave ones.

{River Loerke} 10 Months

Tuesday, July 02, 2013










Things River likes: going on walks, leaving treats on her paws, sharing a biscuit with Ryder, going to the Post Office, eating the grill cover, taking naps on the kitchen floor, sticking her head out of the car window, licking the mixing bowl, and sitting on the carriage stones on Cherokee Parkway.

Things River doesn't like: stitches, the dark, squirrels, bee stings, and going to her bed for time out when she gets into the guest bathroom trash.

{Other things River likes / dislikes : 2 mos, 8 mos & 9 mos}

{Today's Letters}

Monday, July 01, 2013


Dear Mr. Loerke, this weekend we taught River how to swim, wore cowboy hats as we worked on house projects, and stuffed our boca's with dollar hotdogs at the ballpark. Let's do these things again and again. Dear Strawberry Thief, you just got outsmarted with lavender, sage, and some plastic forks. BAM. Dear Self, you are imperfect, quick to speak at times instead of listen, and often don't put things back on the correct shelf at the grocery store. Keep growing. Dear Timothy James, this morning I caught you with a fork in my strawberry rhubarb pie. Good thing I love you more than eating the last bite.

Happy Monday, brave ones! How was your weekend? I hope it was filled with learning new things, time outside with those you love, and baking something that reminds you of summer.

Btw, congratulations to Ashley Butz for winning our giveaway last week! Be sure and checkout Miriam Designs and be encouraged to see how your purchases help the women at Thistle Farms.
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