Homemaker

It’s sad that people think that (homemaking) is a dull existance, [but] you can’t just buy an apartment and furnish it and walk away. It’s the flowers you choose, the music you play, the smile you have waiting. I want it to be gay and cheerful, a haven in this troubled world. I don’t want my husband and children to come home and find a rattled woman. Our era is already rattled enough, isn’t it?
Audrey Hepburn

I’ve been knocked so many times for choosing to be a housewife. I used to get asked so often what I was going to “do” once the kids were at school, as if I’m not really doing anything worthwhile with my life while they’re home. I don’t get it so often now, but when I do I still don’t properly know how to answer that question.

Where do you even begin to explain all that there is to “do” when you’re a homemaker? Not the drudgy stuff, like dishes and laundry and toilets, but the fine-art type things. The ordering of a room so that it bring peace and pleasure. The positioning of flowers and pictures so that they inspire and direct one’s thoughts to their Creator. The planning of meals that nourish growing bones and fill the bellies of those who have toiled all day long away from this home that you’ve stood watch over. How do you explain that what you are “doing” is answering God’s calling for you life and that it breathes peace and joy into you soul?

So how do you handle the “what do you do” questions? I’d love to know 💕

Chicken Pie Soup

I’m a life-long, self-proclaimed soup hater. Hate the texture (smooth or chunky) and don’t consider it a meal…like smoothies.

So I never saw myself ever writing a title such as this 😄 I saw a picture for a Chicken Pot Pie Soup on Pinterest a little while ago, and for some reason it just looked amazing…despite the fact that it was soup.

There was a recipe attached to the photo, but I don’t care for following recipes, so I made up my own. I took notes last time I made it, in case whoever is reading this does like following recipes. Keep in mind that they’re “more like guidelines, than actual rules”, so feel free to play with ratios to get the soup that suits your preferences.

This has quickly become a new favourite of ours. I serve it with thick slices of sourdough toast. My children call it Chicken Pie Soup, because apparently adding “Pot” to the title makes it a bit long winded. It’s an Australian thing.

A few notes.

– Mushrooms are listed as optional simply as I’ve never added them in before, but think they’d make a yummy addition. The rest of my familt disagree, however, which is why I’m yet to try them. If you like mushrooms, add them in and tell me how good it tastes. You might want to use a little extra butter though. Mushrooms are like sponges.

– Similarly you could probably toss in your favourite dark leafy green for an added veggie boost. I’ve not tried this either, for the same reasons as the mushrooms, but if I were to try it I would probably go with spinach.

– The quantity of garlic used is a very personal choice, so put as little or as much as you like. I like to use a whole bulb (not clove, bulb) and sometime more if someone in the family is sick.

– The flour can easily be subbed out for a gluten or grain free alternative, it will simply change how much is needed. You only want to add enough flour to coat the sauted leek (and mushroom, if using).

Chicken Pie Soup

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

– 1 whole leek, chopped fine

– 1 whole bulb of garlic, minced

– 100g butter

– 2-3 tbs plain flour

– 500g chicken thighs, diced into bite sized pieces
– 3 whole carrots, peeled and chopped

– 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped

– 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen

– 200g mushrooms, sliced (optional)

– 300ml cream, or milk-alternative

– 1ltr chicken broth

– 2tbs nutritional yeast

– 1-2 tbs fresh thyme and rosemary

– salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large saucepan (I love my cast iron casserole pot for this), and add the leek and garlic, and mushrooms if using. Saute until soft.

Add in flour, spoonful by spoonful until the leek mixture is coated and most, but not all, of the butter is soaked up.

Add in the chicken pieces and brown. Add carrots and potatoes. Add bone broth and cream. If the liquid does not fully cover everything then top it up with water, or more broth. Bring to a bubble and then simmer. Add seasonings to taste. Continue to simmer for 30mins, uncovered, or until carrot and potato are soft. Add peas just before serving.

This is one of those better-the-next-day meals, and so perfect for cold, rainy weather!

I hope you enjoy!

Morning Picnic: a Tale.

For the past day or so I’ve had this little idea in mind that a morning tea picnic with my girls would be just lovely. Our favourite little farm spot (an ancient moss-covered orchard, that no longer fruits) has a little creek run through it this time of year, and the jonquils have begun to bloom early. Perfect.

This morning dawned clear and bright. I proposed the idea to the girls over breakfast, and they were ecstatic! Picnic dresses were hunted out from the corners they were last stuffed in (think the most homeschoolerish garb you can imagine), banana bread was baked and a few tears shed over not being able to find a favourite pair of socks. You know, normal picnic prep stuff.

I then had this wonderful idea that we could do some school while on our picnic. Yes it is Saturday, and yes it is also school holidays (according to the rest of Western Australia), but we’d done nothing all week due to Miss A needing a trip to the ED for stitches after a head on collision with the wall (that’s another story in itself 🙃). So, I picked some books, the girls each picked a book too, and we added them to the basket.

Now, being the book worm that I am, I had this vision of sitting under a tree, enjoying the sun, whilst nibbling our banana bread and reading poems. Then the children would play gently until lunch time whereupon we would all join hands and skip up the hill back home together.

It started off very well. We loaded the basket and blanket into my little garden cart, and strolled down hill towards the orchard in good spirits, the chirping of birds only being interrupted with my startled shouts of “Miss A SLOW DOWN! You’ll FALL and hit your HEAD!” I really did not fancy another trip to ED this week 😶.

We made it to the orchard, heads intact, and chose our spot. I couldn’t help but smile, it was like something out of Little Women. I tossed the picnic rug, and as it softly lowered to the ground I discovered that two of my three daughters had disappeared…great.

A quick spin around found that they were already ankle deep in the creek, with Miss a preparing to remove her favourite “beautifulest-rainbow-sparkle-fairy-boots” to fill with “icecream” (aka mud).

I strangled my initial response and managed a pleasant, “girls let’s have morning tea first, then you can get wet and muddy?” This was well recieved and my little women trotted back to help unpack the picnic. Upon sight of food, however, my little women turned into Middle Earth dwarves and started hoeing into the banana bread before I could ask them which poem they wanted. I did, however manage a few photos 😄

The good stuff gone, and only some nuts left, it was back to the creek, leaving me and little Miss E to continue our poetry in civilised silence.

The rest of the morning continued to be beautiful; gorgeous flowers, lacking nothing but stems, filled the basket and an impromptu nature lesson was had with Miss E as she stuffed every leaf within reach into her toothless little mouth. Homeschooling at it’s finest.

Miss K and Miss A splashed and ran to their hearts content. They were Robin Hood, the Big Bad Wolf and Daddy all at once. The “bad guys” were slain by having their “heads CHOP-TED off” and general bravity was performed. Anyone who thinks that having all girls is calmer and more refined than having all boys clearly have never met my children 😂

Lunch time rolled round and it was time to skip happily up the hill as I’d imagine earlier that morning. What’s that Mum? Walk all the way up that hill? Funny! We’ll ride in your cart, thanks.

And so it was that we arrived home, wet, muddy, and legs trembling after the first proper work out they’d had all year.

To finish – it really was a beautiful time, albeit not the Victorian vignette I had in my mind. To see my children playing wild and free with nothing but joy on their faces? That’s my joy.

Loosing Yourself to Motherhood

Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest…it seems that whichever social media account I open this past week has been full of posts, written by mothers, about how miserable and stiffling motherhood can be. Posts filled with regrets over how many other things they could be doing if they weren’t shackled to endless dish scrubbing and butt wiping. Posts full of phrases like, “I love my kids, but I’m ready to live my life” and, “loosing yourself to your children” . It’s heartbreaking.

Now don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with a good vent! Ask me how I feel about constantly needing to play referee between my kids, or being required to stop whatever I’m doing to prepare lunch every.single.day 🙃 The need to vent isn’t the issue.

What makes me so sad is the fact that all these women are completely missing the fact that their motherhood is such a beautiful privilege. To be entrusted with 1, 3 or 10 little souls to watch over and nurture is the most incredible gift in the world. Butt-wiping, for example, might not feel like a privilege (especially if you’re one of those lucky mums with 10+ butts to wipe), but to be able to serve a child, to fulfill a basic human need, is a privilege.

Do I miss who I was before I had kids? Sure, I miss the lack of time restraints, the ability to go where I want, when I want. I miss my figure and my sleep. Do I miss the person I was, though? No, not really. Pre-kids-Kayla wasn’t a bad person, but motherhood-Kayla is much more gentle, patient and compassionate. Motherhood-Kayla still has a looong way to go, let’s be real here, but she’s on a much better path than her predecessor.

You don’t “loose” yourself after having children. You grow. You are given the opportunity to truly find yourself. You might miss who you were before kids, but maybe you’re not giving yourself the chance to discover how great a woman you can be with them?

You live your life now, the life that’s been gifted to you. You don’t live it for yourself, but for those around you. You live it for the souls of your husband and children that are under your watch, that are your responsibility to get to Heaven. You live your life to get yourself to Heaven, too, and sometimes the only way there is through the humbling task of butt-wiping.

If you feel like you’re “loosing yourself” to motherhood, stop fighting it. Lean in. Embrace it hard. There’s a better you in there if you can reach in and let her out.

Happy New Year

Well, we didn’t exactly have a quiet start to 2020, but things are slowly settling down now and we’re finding our new rhythm as a family of 5.We’re very excited to have another darling daughter in our lives at the beginning of January, and little Miss E seems to think we’re a bit alright too. 😁I don’t think I’ll write out a full birth story (as much as I love reading other people’s), but here’s a few fun facts about her crazy, hectic birth.

– my first contraction came pretty much bang on midnight, waking me with a jolt. The pain level was that of what my contractions are normally like after many hours of slowly building.

– I laboured for 5 hours without dilating, then dilated 6cm in just under 2hrs. I dilated the last 4cm in 45mins. Yes, it hurt.

– Miss E was born in the shower – according to my husband, I nearly broke the shower chair I was pulling on it so hard 😂

– Miss E was born en-caul (still in her amniotic sack) which, according to Google, happens 1 in every 80,000 births! The midwife assures me that it means she will never drown. Not planning on testing that theory though 🤔

– She’s our smallest baby, at 3.730kg (8lbs 3oz) and is by far my best feeder. Gaining weight like she’s training for a body building comp. She also has the most hair of the three girls, and looks most like her biggest sister Miss K.We have great plans for this year, though leaving it all in God’s hands as to the when and where of it all. One exciting change is that we’ll be starting our venture into homeschooling this year! Miss K is 4yrs old and while Kindy isn’t compulsory here in Western Austrlia, I’ve been slowly putting together a little plan to get us started.Stay tuned to see how we go juggling newborn life and homeschooling over the next few months 😅

Rest on Me

The last 9/10 months of life have probably been the hardest I can recall, in every way – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I’ve felt pulled, hammered, torn and spun in every different direction and life has felt clouded, uncertain and often mechanical.

I felt like all I could manage was to cling with my heart and soul as tight as I could, eyes shut and teeth clenched, to the promise in Deuteronomy 31:6.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lordyour God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

This is not to say that I’ve went about each day peacefully and prayerfully. In all honesty most days were a blurry confusion of heartache, anxiety and frustration, but there were moments when I remembered, and tried to gather my energies to cling once more to Him.

Then, out of the blue, at the end of another stormy day, and after months of patient urging from my husband to pick up my journal and spend some time in quiet prayer, I relented and picked up my pen. I didn’t want to, and had been putting it off for so long, because to put words to how I was feeling was painful.

Finally, words flowed along with tears and I asked “how much longer do I have to hold on like this? Can’t you see I’m breaking?”

And the words came back so gentle of softly, “you’ve never had to hold on. Let go and rest on Me.” And in the dark of the evening it all suddenly made sense for a moment and the sense of peace was like no other.

Then next morning came, however, and I had to remember those words over again, learn what they meant and actually try to put them in to practice.

In those desperate moments that arise throughout the day, when children are crying and the fry pan is over heating and the washing has been sitting (washed) in the machine for 3 days straight, rather than tensing and clinging tightly to that last shred of sanity with a gritted prayer, to breathe and let go of it all. To give that moment to Him, and let peace and grace and forgiveness wash over you. It sounds like it should be easy, but its like jumping into a frigid pool on a hot day; you know relief will be immense, but that initial change can be jarring and keeps you hovering at the edge for longer than you’d expect.

Yet the more you do it, the less of a shock it becomes, the easier it is to do it without hesitating.

I’m totally preaching to myself here – its been a good month or two since that little encounter and I’m still trying to put this into practice. But maybe someone out there needs to know that they don’t have to cling, they can just rest.

Rise and Shine

Its been slowly getting lighter in the mornings over here, I’ve been trying really hard to get up before my kids do.

I’m *not* a morning person. Like, at all. I do my best work late at night, and like to take my (groggy) mornings slowly and quietly.

My children, however, *are* morning people (they take after their father) and I’ve been finding the sudden shock of waking up to loud, hungry, chirpy little birds a little too much. Ideally, when I think about “getting up early before the kids” I picture a solid 2 hours of productivity, all by myself. Then I laugh, and realistically set my alarm for just half an hour before the kids normally wake up. This only gives me enough time to make a cup of tea, drink it in silence, and have a little prayer time, but mentally its been making *such* a big difference! On the days that I manage to get up to my alarm, that is. I’m still working on forming the habit – getting up at 5:45am is hard!

Maybe one day I’ll be disciplined enough to get to bed early, and to rise early to get those 2hrs in, but until then I’ll just stick with my little half hour of silence and my cup of tea.

the Little Big things

For a while now, my husband and brother have been slowly and faithfully working away at a project that has finally come to light! (Let’s ignore the fact that its actually been in the light for the past few weeks and I’m only just plugging it now… #wifeshame 😳).


In a world of click-bait and over dramatized media, the aim of this podcast is to talk about all the big issues in life (both Catholic and non-Catholic) that get so little attention.


This first season starts with my husband, Tom, and brother, Matt, interviewing a number of priests about some of the Little Big things within our faith, and the Church, and boy do they speak some truth!

Follow this link to find them on Spotify. You can also check them out on Instagram @thelittlebigthings.au, and on Facebook.

Tell a friend who loves podcasts 💕

The Baby that We’ll Never Hold…

Statistics say that 1 in 4 women suffer a miscarriage, and after 2 perfect pregnancies I never expected my third pregnancy to be any different. Yet here I am on the day that should’ve marked the end of my first trimester, thinking of the child we lost last month, and who we will never meet here on earth 💔

We’re not angry. Not bitter or resentful. By the grace of God, and by the merit of all those who have been praying for us during this time, we feel such a deep peace. There is heartache, of course. Our baby died. We’ll never get to know him, kiss and hold her, or rock him to sleep. Never know if this baby was girl or boy, or if they looked like their mama or daddy. But behind all that, inspite of all that, we are thankful.

Thankful for the mercy of peaceful hearts. Thankful for the support of our families and friends in all areas. Thankful for two strong healthy children already in our arms. Thankful for the tiny soul that we got to love for 9 beautiful weeks. Thankful for our faith, that gives our heartache and suffering meaning and a purpose.

Please keep us in your prayers 💕

January Reads

I’m back at it again this year with my monthly reading goals! January kind of got the jump on me with the hub of holidays though, so we’ll see how we go this month. I’m exciting to get back into reading again, I feel like I hardly touched a book all December and I miss it, though sometimes I think getting back into reading books (as opposed to screen time) is like trying to get back to eating healthy after binge eating junk food – hard at first but worth it when you make that break through 😁

This year I’m planning on reading 3 books a month – one for self-improvement and one for pleasure, but this year I’m wanting to read more about the Saints, and so plan to read about a new saint each month. Throughout my homeschooled years we always read so much about the different saints, and I always loved it. I’ve been feeling a few of them calling to be better friends recently, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better. This month, however, I’m sticking with just the first two categories given that January is already nearly halfway through! These two books were already on the table ready to go, and one of them is on loan from a fellow parishoner, so I’m starting with these 👉

The Life Giving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson was a Christmas gift from my mum and dad. I’ve seen it on so many people’s recommendation lists, and its been on my wishlist for ages, so I’m super excited to tuck into it.

For Better, For Worse, and For Lunch by Christina Hindhaugh is the diary of a young woman, newly married to her Australian farmer, and completely unexperienced in anything country. I’m a little way in already, and I love the way she describes all her mishaps and learning curves with honesty, tongue in cheek humour, and positivity! As a farmer’s wife, I’ve already identified with many moments of hers! My mother-in-law is keen to read it next, so I’ll be sneaking in quick read throughout my days so as to get it to her quickly 😁

I believe this book is no longer in print, so if you happen to spy it somewhere, grab it!

What are your reading plans for this month? What are you excited to dive into?