//Fifth of January 2017//A Look Back at 2016//

So this was never meant to be a 'Dear Diary' type blog. 


We all know that social media is typically just someones highlights reel. All the things you want people to see and none of the negative. I also don't like to be opinionated or controversial - I dislike conflict (Dave would disagree with that statement). I also like a degree of privacy.


So I'm not going to rip all my skeletons out of the closet for you (trust me, we aint got time fo dat) but I thought I'd just 'diarise' some of my thoughts then decide whether it's publishable or not..


This blog is more for me to be honest. To recap 2016, remind myself what happened, what was accomplished and to remind myself what myself and my family are capable of.


So 2016 was pretty awesome for me. Like anyone, there were crappy bits of course but somewhere in the last 5 years I decided to change my attitude and my outlook so all the crappy things are forgotten and all the good bits are what I hold on to and what I remember 2016 as.


A LOT happened. I can barely remember back to the start of the year. My Google Calendar only started getting used on the 20th of June so before that I must go find my planner...

OK, planner located and the memories are flooding back!


When the year began we were living on a farm in South Canterbury...

  • In the first week of January I zipped up to Auckland alone for a few days for my Grandads funeral
  • On the 30th of January the whole family flew to Auckland to head to Pauanui with all my family for our summer holidays like we did as kids. Had a blast!

  • Over February I was finishing the last of the OTi Organisers, I was chipping away at NZ Landcare Trust work and meeting new people.
  • March looked much the same, Evie's puppies were nearly all sold and homed and Mum came to visit. The Fairlie show happened and I started dabbling in some Crossfit.
  • In Mid April I completed the Agri-Womans Development Trust 'First Steps' course. This introduced me to a fabulous group of ladies and after 2 full days, the core 'thing' that makes me tick was revealed to be 'Helping Others' - This was interesting and I think will prove to be more helpful over time.

  • At the end of April, Kate Taylor wrote an article about myself, Farming Mums NZ and 'Just' a Farmers Wife for the Real Farmer magazine for ATS/Ruralco.

I see this written in the border of my diary. I'm not sure exactly what it is referring to -

"See it, Believe it, Act on it"

  • At the beginning of May we met with some good friends in Queenstown for a week which was a fab getaway!
  • Life went on with nothing overly significant notes in the book.
  • It was about HERE where life started to turn up a notch and get fun.

  • In early June I took on a new position contracting to Grass Roots Media as a Social Media Marketing Specialist.
  • On the 14th of June I started my Kellogg Rural Leadership journey at Lincoln University for 8 nights. It was a hard time to be away. Dave wasn't happy, it was a long time away from the kids.

  • This was quickly followed by a bit of a low where Dave decided it was time to go from his current job after 2 years.. I told him that if he needed to go, we'd go and work it out. 
  • In late June I popped to Dunedin for a day with Landcare for the South Island team meeting - always a fun day!
  • As we stumbled (or in my case, vomited) in to the second week of July after the Young Farmers ball (See pic below with TeRadar) we also moved house. It was a strange time but we landed on our feet and moved to a house on a farm in Waitohi and got a job 2 weeks to the day from leaving. Best move!

  • I was flat out sending out 200 FMNZ Swanndri beanies (also pictured below) in this time too - all happens at once right!
  • In the last few days of July I had a speaking engagement with the Canterbury branches of Rural Women (Side note - PREPARE BETTER, IDIOT!) it went OK...
  • My days really started to get busy as we headed into August. I am now fully engaged in Kellogg study, I am contracting to 2 different businesses, I have a 21 month old, a 4.5 year old, I am training for my first half marathon in October and also balls deep in Farming Mums NZ beanies while overseeing the Cook Book project.

  • We got Hunters skin tested at the Rodney Ford clinic in Christchurch and turns out he is allergic to eggs and sensitive to cats and dogs. 
  • Dave turned 35 and I attended the Beef+Lamb Farm Technology Expo as at this stage, my Kellogg project was to be on 'Farm Management Technology'
  • On the 13th of August, the kids and I flew to Auckland where I was attending and speaking at the 'Marketing to the Rural Sector' conference (See me mic'd up in the pics below). This was great and the non-prepared speech/forum type situation was great. In this time, Mum and Dad had and spoiled the kiddies around Auckland and had a blast.

  • We flew home to Timaru on my 28th birthday, was home for one night then we all drove to Dunedin for a night, I spoke at an event in Tapanui, We carried on for a night in Invercargill before going up to queenstown for the day, Arrowtown for the night. 10 days on the run!!
  • Another wonderfully written article
  • Dave went away for the Next Generation Deer Conference in Hanmer which he was instrumental in organising, the week after our trip.
  • More FMNZ beanies and day to day work being a juggler in the circus of life...
  • We looked at a deer farm that we loved but our potential investor wasn't as keen as we had hoped - no biggy. Wasn't that big any way ;)
  • It's about HERE that I changed my Kellogg topic to 'Farming Mums NZ, The Next Step' Probably what I should have focused on all along!
  • On the 6th of September I flew to Wellington with Kellogg for 4 days. Unfortunately, Izzy had had a vomiting bug the night before I left and by day 2 up there I managed to get to the hotel room just 10 minutes before vomiting and sleeping for the afternoon and evening. I think I was also a little burnt out by this point and am disappointed I wasn't fully engaged in the trip. It was still great.

  • Come mid September we were still planning and budgeting around our future and met with a great bank manager.
  • Mum was down again in early October which meant I had some help with the kids while I was doing a few bigger work days and day trips.
  • On the 8th of October I completed the Mt Cook Half Marathon! It SUCKED! Haha - It was hard, I hadn't trained enough, It was 4 degrees and drizzling, there were more hills than I was anticipating and the camber of the road was hard on the body. BUT I completed (albeit in a horrendous time of around 2hr 35m!) Run goal of 2016 - Completed!


  • 10th October I had a crazy cool day. It started with dropping the kids to kindy, zipping to Timaru for a meeting with MP Jo Goodhew, then zipping back to kindy, picking up the kids and getting home to change them and myself for an interview with Nadine Porter for SEVEN SHARP! Sure 1 hour of filming was condensed into about 10 seconds but any publicity for FMNZ and our ladies is good publicity.
  • I climbed a freaking mountain! 1300m of Little Mt Peel - on my own <3 This was a very self satisfying and perhaps selfish move. I had been away a lo and was going to be away another 4 times before the end of the year but I really felt the need to hurt, burn, see, feel, refresh, challenge and satisfy, physically. (Photo from the top, below)

  • I met with some awesome ladies in Geraldine. One who runs the Newcomers Network for people of different countries who move to NZ and help them out and a Rural Connector making sure rural people are supported and get the right resources as well as Janice who I had met as a journalist before.
  • 28th of October - my final, 30 page Kellogg paper was due!

  • The Farming Mums NZ Cook books go to the printers and go to pre-sale!

  • Early November I met with a property owner of what I call the most eligible site in all of Timaru. I have a business idea for it. He seemed to think it would work... #watchthisspace
  • Mum and Dad came to visit for Hunters birthday Party, November was a crazy month. Our tenants gave notice to move out of our rental property - right for when I would be at the last Kellogg block course. We had 5 weeks between tenants meaning we were paying rent and a mortgage at the same time - I don't like debt so that was uncomfortable for a while there!
  • On the 14th of November I headed to Lincoln University again for the last block course of Kellogg. My presentation was on the Wednesday. I think it went OK, I haven't been game enough to watch the recording yet.
  • The OTi Organisers are back!
  • Wednesday night was the South Island Farmer of the Year Awards... After a stressful and busy year, I was a write-off. Thank God the hangover was milder than it should have been!
  • Thursday was our last classroom day and it was over. Quite bittersweet. I can't speak highly enough of the course, the speakers and the people I had the privilege of doing the course with.  We finished with a tour of Christchurch's still quake affected areas. Sad...

  • I drove home early Friday morning, was home for the weekend before driving back to Christchurch to fly out to Nelson of the National NZ Landcare Trust meeting. 
  • Nelson is BEAUTIFUL. The trip was fantastic. The weather was outstanding and the year was capping off just beautifully.
  • Late Nov I met with a new coach/mentor type lady who I think will be instrumental to 2017..
  • December was a little calmer than November.
  • On the 16th I flew to Wellington with Grass Roots Media to review the past and upcoming year followed by a trip to Martinborough (Beautiful part of the country FYI), staying in a farm house, drinking great wine and eating even better food. The trip was oodles of fun!

Well that was quite a journey... 

If you had told me 1, 2, 3 + years ago that any of this would have happened, I would have said 'Doubt it!'.

I'm finding my life and plans can quickly change from one week to the next with a simple email or phone call. Turns out that's just the way I like it! 

Do I think I am overdoing the career thing and not enough of the mum thing? I've asked myself this a lot and honestly, I think the balance is just right. Although it looks like I've been flitting about all over the show. Izzy has kindy just 3 days a week and Hunter only 2 days - all of them 9am-5pm. A lot of my work has been done from 8pm-11pm in the last 6 months of the year and yes at times,  a few weeks at a time like that has been a bit much but often followed by a quiet spell.


What I haven't said:

  • I have done too much mindless social media scrolling. Not been 'present' enough.
  • Dave has not coped overly well with me being away so often. He appears to be supportive from the outside but he has been resentful at times with his career being at a different stage. This has led to countless arguments.
  • This wont stop me doing it and working on my career, instead he is looking to have an action packed 2017 to balance it out.
  • I have completely neglected myself this year. Yes I trained (poorly) for a half marathon (21km) but I ate too much, drank too much, I skipped meals, I sat too much, I didn't read anything that wasn't work related, I didn't take time for myself.
  • On Boxing Day I was KNACKERED. The enormity of 2016 had hit. Well and truely. I stayed in bed until 9. Fell asleep on the floor around 11. Went back to bed at 3, before spontaneously deciding to go grocery shopping at 7.30pm. AND I was foul. Fast forward a couple of days and I have finally wound down and enjoying time off.
  • I have felt overwhelmed at times
  • I'm still working out who I am, where I want to be, what I want to do and where my place in the world is.


  • I have made new friends and had some FUN times!
  • I have completed set goals
  • I have completed things I didn't even know were to be goals back in January 2016
  • I have met so many new people, new networks and learnt many new things.
  • I have started my FMNZ strategy
  • I have set new goals and challenges for myself for 2017
  • I'm feeling ready to roll despite the next month looking to be extraordinarily MENTAL. (Will fill you in soon)


I was going to continue into 2017 here but 1800 words is probably enough... There are many holes and bits missing above but this is 

2016 was a GOOD year. 

"I am learning everyday to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me, not terrify me"


Stay tuned for a look into my goals and plans for 2017 :)