{A Year-End-Review} Best of 2017

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

This year started out strong, had a hard middle, but ended with hearts full of gratitude.
The books we read forced us to re-evaluate our shame, self-sufficiency vs God-dependency,
and gave us a better understanding of what it looks like to live in emotional health.
This was a year of making mistakes and learning from those mistakes ...
seeing hardships as assets, not deficits.
Thank you for all of your support and sweet comments as you've watched our family
grow, travel, and live imperfect, messy lives marked by grace and forgiveness.
Can't wait to see what is in store for 2018!

This Year's Highlights

1. Celebrating our 8th Annual MLK Day Feast
2. Seeing Tim Take Brave to their First Papa Daughter Dance
3.  Watching Snow Fall with Twinner in March
4. Reading One Book A Month
5. Hiking in Cheesman Canyon
6. Building A New Chicken Coop 
7. Giving Brave Her First Stitches
8. Hunting for Easter Eggs
9. Painting our Faces at Brave's 3rd Birthday Party
10. Celebrating our 12 Year Anniversary in Chicago
11. Harvesting 45 lbs of Honey with my Dad
12. Watching my 76 Year Old Aunt Work in Our Garden
13. Seeing Our Family In the Spring Orvis Fly Fishing Catalogue
14. Playing with Friends at Camp Hi-Ho
15. Surviving Brave's First ER Visit
16. Celebrating My 37th Birthday
17. Picking Blueberries at Bryant's Blueberry Farm
18. Catching My Biggest Brown Trout Stateside
19. Watching Heidi & Ty Get Married in the Tetons
20. Getting Bravey Potty Trained
21. Watching Iron & Wine Play at the Waterfront 
22. Participating in our 2nd Annual Family Green Egg Competition
23. Seeing James Taylor & Bonnie Raitt Perform Live
24. Sleeping in a Yurt
25. Watching the Solar Eclipse
26. Roasting S'mores in our Backyard
27. Bobbing for Apples at our Annual October 1st Party
28. Running my First 8 Minute Mile
29. Watching Brave Paint my Papa's Toes
30. Receiving Bravey's Daily Treasures
31. Seeing Bon Iver Play at the Palace
32. Fishing a Honey Hole on the Davidson with Molls
33. Experiencing Sweet Magee's Birth
34. Paying Off our PA School Debt
35. Seeing This Article in the New York Times
36. Applying to Nursing School!

Favorite Songs (in no particular order)
1. Alps - Novo Amor
2. Birds And Stars - Elephant Revival
3. Like The Dawn - The Oh Hellos
4. Idaho - Gregory Alan Isakov
5. Summer Friends - Chance The Rapper
6. Signs - Drake
7. Call it Dreaming - Iron & Wine
8. Shiver - Lucy Rose
9. Comrade - Volcano Choir
10. Autumn Tree - Milo Greene
11. Fate - Grey Reverend
12. Congratulations - Post Malone

Best Albums of the Year
1. Call It Dreaming by Iron & Wine
2. Damn by Kendrick Lamar
3. Crack-Up by Fleet Foxes

Favorite Concerts / Live Events

1. James Taylor & Bonnie Raitt (Louisville, KY)
2. Iron & Wine (Louisville, KY)
3. Bon Iver (Louisville, KY)

Favorite Movies
1. Hidden Figures
2. Lala Land
3. Wonder Woman
4. Love, Rosie
5. A United Kingdom
6. Gifted
7. Miss You Already
8. Logan Lucky
9. Their Finest
10. Lost City of Z
11. Charged
12. Wonder
13. Lady Bird
14. The Bachelors

Favorite Shows Watched
1. This Is Us
2. Gilmore Girls
3. Grey's Anatomy
4. Parenthood

Favorite Videos

1. Porch Chickens
2. Glorious by Macklemore
3. Can I have S'more?
4. Make Your Bed
5. The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown
6. A Weekend with Papi
7. Garden Shovel Shaving

Favorite Eats (in no particular order)

1. The Table: Warm Winter Salad (Louisville, KY)
2. Decca: Brussels Sprout & Kale Salad with Butternut Squash Ravioli (Louisville, KY)
3. Sugarbacon: Bok Choy Caesar  & Sugarbacon (Dallas, TX)
4. Toasted: Bee Yourself Toast (Dallas, TX)
5. Jelly: Donuts (Denver, CO)
6. Denver Biscuit Co: Cinnamon Roll (Denver, CO)
7. Secret Stash: Crack Fries & Pizza (Crested Butte, CO)
8. Root Down: Pork, Fries, Cobb Salad (Denver, CO)
9. Milktooth: Sweet Potato Donuts, Sorghum Glazed Bacon & Tres Leches Cake (Indianapolis, IN)
10. Au Cheval: Cheeseburger, Raw Vegetable Salad, Fries & Thick Cut Peppered Bacon (Chicago, IL)
11. Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits: Ham & Bacon Biscuit & Key Lime, Cheesecake, Coffee n' Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie (Chicago, IL)
12. 620 State Street: Baja & 620 Suchi Rolls (Bristol, TN)
13. Victor Emporium - Chocolate Peanut Butter Oreo Shake (Driggs, ID)
14. The Girl & The Goat: Chickpea Fritters & Pan Roasted Halibut (Chicago, IL)
15. Molly's Cupcakes: The Ron Bennington & Flourless Molten Chocolate Cupcakes (Chicago, IL)
16. Heritage Bicycle & Coffee: Naked Burrito (Chicago, IL)
17. Morels Cafe: Jeff Salad with Smokey Ranch Dressing (Louisville, KY)
18. Mayan Cafe: Tok-sel Lima Beans (Louisville, KY)
19. Butchertown Pizza Hall: Pepperoni Pizza w Banana Peppers and Greek Salad (Louisville, KY)
20. Garage Bar: Caesar Salad & Brussels Sprouts Pizza (Louisville, KY)

Favorite Coffee & Tea

1. Gralehaus: Maple Cortado (Louisville, KY)
2. Quills: Bourbon Caramel Latte (Louisville, KY)
3. Toasted: Maple Cortado (Dallas, TX)
4. Lula Rose General Store: Chai (Denver, CO)
5. Bellwether: Cortado (Denver, CO)
6. Thump Coffee: Pourover (Denver, CO)
7. Tinker Coffee Roasters: Peruvian Rutas del Inca Cortado (Indianapolis, IN)
8. The Wormhole Coffee: Black Tea (Chicago, IL)
9. Ipsento 606: Cortado & Pistachio Donut (Chicago, IL)
10. Gaslight Coffee Roasters: Chai (Chicago, IL)
11. Heritage Bicycle & Coffee: Maple Cortado (Chicago, IL)
12. Halcyon: Maple Cortado (Dallas, TX)

Favorite Waters Fished

1. South Platte River (Deckers, CO)
2. Gunnison River (Crested Butte, CO)
3. Taylor River (Crested Butte, CO)
4. Soda Lake (Pinedale, WY)
5. Davidson River (NC)
6. Snake River (Wilson, WY)
7. Hatchery Creek (KY)
8. South Holston (TN)
9. Watauga River (TN)
10. Brookville Tailwaters (IN)
11. Otter Creek (KY)

Favorite New Insta Accounts
1. @rubyandrevolver
2. @chefeduardogarcia
3. @outsidehilary
4. @patdorsey
5. @selis  

Looking forward to 2018 because ...

1. Celebrating our 9th Annual MLK Day Feastgiving with Twinner and my dad
2. Taking A Sibling Vacation to Mexico in February
3. Blue Bell's March Expansion to Louisville
4. Taking Pre-Req Courses for Nursing School
5. Celebrating Brave's 4th Birthday
6. Celebrating 13 Years of Marriage
7. Turning 38 Years Young
8. Giving our Backyard a Makeover
9. Harvesting More Honey
10. Getting Time on the Water!

 Come out and show yourself, 2018. We're ready!
Em, Tim, Brave & River


Kristina said...

Wow, Emily, what a great list! Your Year-End-Review posts always inspire me to write my own list. Looking back at the year with a grateful heart is just the best way to start a new year. And congratulations on applying to nursing school!!! That's so awesome :-) Merry Christmas and happy new year to the Loerke Family!

Joy said...

I love your lists! Makes me want to take more notes as I go during my year. My husband and I do a little looking-back list every New Year's but this is extensive! :) Good luck in nursing school! Awesome!

Molly Roberson said...

This my favorite thing to read every year. Love you em

Jordan Raley said...

Watching your family is one of MY favorite things of every year! Such fulfillment in knowing we're not alone in living perfectly imperfect lives and to attempt to make the most of it.

Cheers to you, Loerke family! May 2018 be the best yet!

The Raley Family

Lily said...

I always love reading your year end reviews. Such a sweet reminder to take note of what God has done in your life. I have wondered though, do you keep notes of each section all year long? Or do you just list everything by memory? Blessings to your sweet family this Christmas and New Year! -Lily

Today's Letters said...

kristina, merry christmas sweet girl! gratitude lists are so helpful for me (even reflective ones like our year end review) ... reminds me of all God has done which I can so easily forget!

joy & lilly, it helps that i work on it throughout the year - trying to sit down and write this in one sitting would be impossible for me!

molls, so many of these highlights were made with you by my side. grateful for our friendship of almost 6 years! what a gift it's been ...

jordan, you are the sweetest! thank you! we love growing and learning ... we make lots of mistakes and get to ask for each other's forgiveness every day (truly ... every day!) ... thanks for following along with us as we grow and for being so encouraging!

Bridgett said...

I always love your year end review! Brave is adorable and congratulations on the plans to
pursue a career in nursing! Here’s to a great 2018 for you and your family 💜

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