Saturday, December 17, 2011

love and friendship and sandpits

Mr & Mrs.

we have been to the most exquisite, special wedding last weekend.
seriously - I have never been to such a clever, beautiful wedding, and this stunning couple just emits perfect young love. Sweetest ever.

hubby and I got TWENTY FOUR HOURS off the farm, without kids. 
Was lovely. We caught up with old friends, and made some new friends.
We all have this mysterious connection!

who knew rusty ringlock could look so glam!?

the flowers left me breathless.

these fabulously drinkable drinks said, "eat drink and be married"

oh yes. so sweet!

the peonys!!!

dance floor lighting.

only a photographer herself would have TWO photographers. It was photograph madness. I can't wait to see what they've come up with!

only a true bush wedding ends up with mud and grass on her heels and dress.
and... of course she was still stunning.

in Emma's speech, she mentioned a couple of us gals - that have brought her "country mama" inspiration. I felt full of friendship and sisterhood. 

Tis' true that family is a part of you, but what is really special is that we get to choose our friends. We choose people that inspire us, support us, and make us generally happy and full of life. What's better than that!? 

The last name on the tree is the one that has connected Emma and I - and I'm so glad for it.  Happy Trails to Emma and Matt - galavanting north on an extended working honeymoon. If you cross their path - welcome them with open arms - they're special ones.

...back on the homefront...
we've been attempting calm through all of the end of year breakups, Christmas get-togethers, dinners, bbq's, etc... And we're going pretty well, actually! We FINALLY pulled out a sandbox for the smalls. It was not the complicated expensive exercise we thought it would be.

and is bringing many moments of happiness for 3 little people in the household. Right next to the lower veggie patch, so if one gets hungry - one can snaffle up a few sugar snap peas, and then keep diggin!

and the man with the bobcat paid us a very wonderful visit - so although our backyard will look much like this for the Christmas party - it will be easy to mow, lush green grass before long. Man - it was a total mess. Ditches and holes everywhere, stumps, old concrete - gullies where fences have been removed... 

simple presents for special people have been made, and are still being thought of, lots of gardening - and expectations of wonderful summer produce (come on, basil!!), milking cows, raising chicks, tending chooks, packing eggs, filling orders.  

Friday, December 9, 2011

400 day-old chickens my Mother in Law and a new Imac...

Don't be frightened little children! It wasn't as crazy as it sounds!

(big sister comforting a fretting little man when the loud claps of thunder and lightening were rolling in) (Look at that pink. Yes, friends - that is my house. Don't worry - dad's coming down unda in February to "de-pink" the house - a lovely Cape Cod blue with white trim, me thinks!)

this was the most lovely bit of driving to Melbourne like a mad woman with two pyjama'ed kiddos... My lovely and wonderful Mother in Law. She was a delight to have all to ourselves for a full week. She made our front garden a showpiece and the kids loved her up properly. 

yes, so these little tackers were a main event in the 5:30 a.m. travels... This little girl and 407 of her best friends. Talk about cheep cheep cheep! Little sweetie pies are loving their humble abode... eating and growing, getting strong enough to get outside! This little one had to hitch a ride in my cleavage for a few hours as she had a little encounter with the drinkers.  A day old chick that is wet has about 15 minutes to live. literally. So, if you didn't know it, the best place to dry a miniature chooken off in in your bra. I even went to pick up Gretta from Kindergarten with one, and had the teacher in fits of laughter as I withdrew it from my bosoms to show the kids...  I do believe someone will need to lock me up at some stage...?

This big puppy was a most excellent Ebay purchase. Our old PC has been dying a very SLOW and painful death for many months and causing me so much extra time in the office waiting for it to unfreeze.  So.... we're in Mac land now... A little confronting and frustrating going from PC to Mac, but we're learning (and loving it! - the SPEED!)

lots of calvies being looked after by the mister... Lots of milk in the vat too!

Speaking of the Mister - we're off tomorrow to the fabulous Little Miss Emma / Cinderella at Brindabella's wedding to her beau. She took this picture a couple of weeks ago too. The talent spews from her. Can't wait to see what tricks she gets up to for her wedding!

We're leaving tomorrow.
Just the 2 of us.

I have no idea how I was able to pry him away from the farm, but alas - we're going, and I'm so looking forward to it.
I have mentioned that it might have been easier to give him open heart surgery after working thru the details of going away for TWO WHOLE MILKINGS..., but anyway - I'll shove him in the car and hijack him to the wedding tomorrow if need be.

Christmas party is planned. Festive food ideas are plinking around in my brainbox...

lovely pic of my 3, eh? 
Well it's a little bittersweet for me - this original "Aussie" Christmas tree plummeted to the ground and cracked the vase as I was doing milk and egg deliveries on Monday. Not one ornament was broken - thank goodness, and we now have a very secure 2nd Chrissy tree up - and it's even pine. :)

best stuff ever.

and there's even been a couple of creative eruptions happening of late - like my new bag, votive holders with lace for teachers, and a doily bunting. I was afraid I'd make crocheters cringe a bit by cutting intricate lace doily's in half, so I haven't included a picture, but let me just say that it's pretty and lovely, and I like looking up at them rather than having them holed away in the cupboard...

Well, it seems that twenty eleven is slithering out of our hands. I for one am glad, and looking forward to a magical twenty twelve. How about you?


Monday, December 5, 2011

dads and daughters

This little post probably came around sometime during a fathers day somewhere.  It is beautiful, and I needed to share it with you. Especially for my dad. He didn't need this list when I was born - it came naturally for him.  Especially 1, 7, 12, 16, 21 & 36.  Lucky for me I married a man with a heart as big as my dad's - and he's doing the same for his little girl!
Love you, Dad... Can't wait to get my arms around you in February! xx

1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.

2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.

4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.

5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.

6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball. Make her proud to throw like a girl… a girl with a wicked slider.

7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.

8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.

9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.

10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.

11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”

12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.

13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday. In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.

14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.

Photo Credit :: Danielle Rocke Toews
15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.

16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.

17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.

18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.

19. Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.

20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.

21. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive.

22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.

23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.

24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.

25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.

26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.

27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often. She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.

28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.

29. If her mom enrolls her in swim lessons, make sure you get in the pool too. Don’t be intimidated if there are no other dads there. It’s their loss.

30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.

31. Teach her to roller skate. Watch her confidence soar.

32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.

33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.

34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.

35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.

36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.

37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.

38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.

39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue.

40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.

41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.

42. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.

43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.

45. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.

46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.

47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.

49. This day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.

50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.

Photo Credits can be found at the bottom of Michael’s original post.
About Michael 
Michael Mitchell is an (almost) thirty-something dad who blogs daily tips and life lessons for dads of daughters at He spends his days practicing the arts of fatherhood and husbandry, while attempting to be a man of God and a professional raiser of philanthropic funds. On the rare occasion he’s not tied up with the aforementioned and other pursuits of awesomeness, he enjoys fighting street gangs for local charities and drinking from a cup that’s half full. Bookmark Life To Her Years, follow Michael on Twitter, and “like” him on Facebook for more “rules”.