Raising Girls

This morning over a cup of coffee, which was luke warm at best, and feeding my toddler and baby breakfast – I had an epiphany. Well, maybe not so much an epiphany, but a thought. I forgot about this blog which I had started writing more than two years ago. And my thought revolved around which direction I may want to take this blog and how I am going to make it meaningful for myself and potentially others.

I thought to myself what do I do all day everyday, 24/7. It’s raising my to beautiful girls. And having just celebrated International Women’s Day around the world, and seeing so many motivational pieces about women and the amazing things they can do and achieve on their own and working together. And then I thought to myself – what type of girls do I want to raise? How can I teach them to be brave enough? Strong enough? Soft enough? to make it through this life…all I can do is try.

This particular post really got me think. A dear friend of mine posted this quote:

You have the tale twisted,
I am not what you thought.
You had me down as the damsel?
Darling, I’m the wolf.


And my response to her was that I can only hope to raise my girls to be strong women who are the wolf and not the damsel. Her response made me smile. “Oh you will definitely raise a wolf pack sister. This we both know for sure”.

All I can say is thank you for the vote of confidence and for starting the kindling for my fire and journey, documenting my life on raising these two beautiful girls.




Gumboots & Love

As I lay awake in bed last night, after tending to bubs at 2am, I thought it was time to change the name of my blog. ‘Country Crossings’ makes sense to me but not necessarily everyone else. So I have decided to entitle my blog ‘Gumboots & Love’, because really that’s what we are all about here.

I’m a stay-at-home-mum, helping to run our small farm in rural New Zealand. Our gumboots are always muddy and blocking the front door, and before I know it there will be more little gumboots everywhere. And we get by on a whole lot of love. It only really seems fitting to describe my writing in this manner.

I’m finding my writing is changing or at least my train of thought is, and I find it very telling to what stage of life you are in, with what you are writing about. Our interests and focus changes with time, and when we follow and nurture those interests that is when we grow as individuals, and for me as a mother. Life is constantly changing and we will never follow one path, but rather take many diversions and sometimes shortcuts along the way. I’m loving where I am right now and know that who I am today and what I am doing is shaping who my daughter (and myself) will become tomorrow.

Putting lots of love out there today. Kia Kaha

Weekend Love

I love weekends. Not because I work and have time off on weekends – as I’m a stay-at-home mummy so my job is never done. But because we have daddy home on the weekends. And it’s also not because he lets me sit and do nothing and takes care of everything – haha -far from it. I end up doing most of the chores on the weekend because someone else is there to watch bubs.

No, I love weekends because at least once we have a lie-in and snuggles in bed with bubs. I love this time and precious moments we have together and the smiles she gives her daddy as if he is the only man in the world (and I hope it stays that way a very long time). And then I’m usually up with bubs for a bit getting her dressed and sorted for the day and just as she is going down for her first nap, daddy gets up and cooks up an amazing breakfast, usually bacon and eggs fresh from the neighbours chooks (cannot wait to get our own soon). I love it. I don’t think he realises how much I do love it. It’s an hour of ‘us’ time and he does all the cooking and makes me a fantastic latte and I get to sit back and enjoy. Sure I still have to do dishes and the washing and the vacuuming and get myself sorted for the day, but at least we have that time with each other. Conversation is good, food is good and the company well it’s the best. It makes me smile and I love that we can enjoy this time together – I know these days are fleeting and soon there will be little rugrats joining us at the table and wanting to eat what daddy has on his plate and not on their own plate. And this will bring a whole new level of joy to our lives.

Until then I’m going to enjoy those weekend breakfasts and time together of just us.

And duty calls, baby is crying and dishes still are not done. Off I go!

30 Day Photo Challenge

I am embarking on a 30 Day Photo Challenge with a few others in a farming group I am a part of. The original idea is not mine (ie. the list) and is from another blogger and farming mum, Just A Farmers Wife (#jafwphotochallenge). But I also wanted to share my photos with my readers, so here it is…


Day 1: self-portrait. Who am I kidding I love selfies. But how to come up with one that was a wee bit artistic and showing who I am today. Well. I’m a mum first and foremost. It’s amazing how quickly one can settle into that role. But I do enjoy taking a small time out when my wee button is sleeping and enjoying the life I have created. This mornings sunrise and hard frost was gorgeous, made even more amazing by a delicious coffee and knowing that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Life is good and I am happy and nothing beats looking over the paddocks knowing that you worked hard to get here with your partner and that everything is as perfect as it can be. #jafwphotochallenge

Day 2: something new So I decided my new ‘project’ would be learning to crochet. I saw some patterns I thought were so cute so now I have to learn to do it!

Day 3: something cold. Well fairly easy to get a good shot this morning, a minus 6 start and a hard frost. Out breaking the ice off the water troughs for the cows and lambs. You know they were thirsty when they all go running for it. Brrrr need to add that to the morning routine now #jafwphotochallenge

Day 4: food A midweek roast at our house tonight #jafwphotochallenge

Day 5: symmetry. I love these windows in my house. Give it so much character and they will be something I will miss when we eventually build our new home. But single pane windows are cold in the winter. Brrrr #jafwphotochallenge

Day 6: water. It’s a rainy old morning here in Springvale. Definitely will not be hanging out the washing today #jafwphotochallenge

Day 7: shadows. #jafwphotochallenge

Day 8: something orange. Took this yesterday when out for lunch with my sister and her beautiful twins had a great day #jafwphotochallenge #somethingorange #orange #flower

Day 9: animal. My first fur baby. ‘Look I’m sitting so where’s my treat?!?’ #jafwphotochallenge

Day 10: scenery- The Hawkduns. This was taken a few weeks ago when I went to visit some friends. We used to live out this way and had these beautiful mountains as our view everyday. Now I can just see the tops of them from our new place #jafwphotochallenge #scenery

Day 11: something old. This is an old family milk churn. Love that it has been passed down and has original tags. #jafwphotochallenge #milkchurn

Day 12: animal again. This is our working dog Ra. Tough when he needs to be but such a big suck. Loves sleeping on the porch in the sun and playing. #jafwphotochallenge #animal

Day 13: flower. The last rose left in my mother in laws garden. Winter has set in here #jafwphotochallenge #rose

Day 14: what you wore today. This seems to be my go to outfit lately. Super comfy and easy to breastfeed. Can dress it up or down with the right boots. But when we are just mucking around the farm gum boots and wooly hat are the way to go. And my best accessory of course is Little Miss A! #jafwphotochallenge

Day 15: love. Sunday snuggles in bed with my beautiful family #jafwphotochallenge #love

Day 16: black + white. The mailboxes On Keddell Rd. #jafwphotochallenge

Day 17: it makes me happy. It makes me happy to be able to enjoy time with loved ones and friends over a cup of coffee in the winter snuggled up by the fire. There is so much that makes me happy it’s hard to choose just one thing. And I cannot wait to catch up with family and friends back home in September. #jafwphotochallenge

Day 18: what’s happening at 4? Sorting out end of year financials with this wee button helping me #jafwphotochallenge

Day 19: nature

Day 20: art. One of my favourite art pieces I own. A painting by Matt Durant (2009) a Toronto artist. He used reclaimed timber to paint this one. I like the message it portrays about what we as society are doing to the environment. The crane removing the last tree from the city. Should be a wake up call to all of us. I loved it so much it was shipped across seas from Canada when I moved to New Zealand. #jafwphotochallenge #mattdurantstudio

Day 21: begins with ‘t’. Tides. Low tide at Moreaki Boulders. Away for the weekend and loving being by the ocean #jafwphotochallenge

Day 22: lines. Feeling very uninspired today unfortunately. Took this photo a while back in Dunedin. #jafwphotochallenge

Day 23: i spy. #jafwphotochallenge

Day 24: bag. My ‘I can’t leave home without it bag’. Always packed and ready to go. Change of clothes for bubs and a top for me (just in case) extra nappies, toys, spew clothes, hand cream, hats mitts and booties, wallet, lip balm, Plunket book, and probably everything else in between. #jafwphotochallenge #bag #lovethisbag

Day 25: winter. I was secretly hoping to wake up this morning to gorgeous snowfall so I could post a winter picture. But alas that did not happen. So I thought I would post pictures of the stereotypical Canadian winter. I spent Christmas in the Yukon Territory one year dog sledding. Here are some of my favourite shots from that trip. I do miss the snow! #jafwphotochallenge #dogsledding #winter
Day 26: movement. Took this timelapse yesterday when shifting the calves feed break with bubs. Movement of the break and us moving. #jafwphotochallenge. See this link for video

Day 27: body. This little growing body continues to amaze me every single day. Can’t wait to watch her grow into an amazing girl #jafwphotochallenge

The unexpected lunch guest

I love having people come by for a couple of reasons, a) I’m a really social person and looooove to talk, and b) being a stay at home mum it’s really nice to have some adult company once in awhile and have a conversation that isn’t just jibberish (I love baby gagas but I still need to talk). So I’m posing this question to you my readers – what do you make for your unexpected or late-notice lunch guests?

I was lucky enough to know last night when our stock agent invited himself over for lunch today. I still had enough time to think of something easy but delicious to make which included crumbed chicken, a green salad, and a sweet chili rice salad with roasted cashews. But even then I didn’t have all the ingredients and sent the other half out to the grocery store this morning to grab a few things (a luxury at the moment because he has the week off of work -but that will not always be the case). It was delicious and everyone loved it, even Pop enjoyed his lunch and he is a pretty simple eater.

So that got me thinking – I need to have some go to meals that are quick and easy on hand for the unexpected lunch guest. Rice salads are always easy – we always have rice in the house and even just a little bit of sweet chili sauce will spice things up quite nicely. Bacon and egg pie is also usually a big hit around here – although I need to make sure my eggs are stocked up and running down to the neighbours to get some from her chooks does not always work out. May need to invest in some of my own chooks in the near future. But I am honestly at a loss of some quick, easy and delicious lunches? Help me out people -hit me with what you would serve up at your country kitchen…