Monday, 28 December 2015

Holiday Reading

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Can you believe it ?! Christmas has passed us and New Years is on its way! Were heading out to the mountains for New Years and I'm really looking forward to it . I love the idea of a new year and new possibilities for adventures to come after we've spent a hectic month rushing to make sure we have all the odds and ends to create a great Christmas experience for our children. So, while I'm away relaxing and recovering from Christmas and THE FLU! Ugh.. we were hit hard , all four of us, just before Christmas and managed to spend the last week trying to recover and not infect those we came near.. So, while I'm away relaxing and recovering, I'll be doing some major reading..

Just before summer, I joined a group of women who were interested in creating a book club. We've read a few books now and I thought I'd give you a round up of them and share my thoughts. The books we've chosen have been good and bad and REALLY bad. For the most part, we've enjoyed our picks and are at the very least , loving the monthly meeting to gather , eat, drink and discuss for a couple hours sans children. It's a bit of a reminder that we are intelligent individuals with opinions that don't have to relate to childminding, parenting, being a partner in a relationship or housework. It's fun to open up that part of your brain that's been sleepy for awhile (if you're me!) and let the discussions happen amongst girlfriends.

below is a list of the books we've read and my thoughts on them..

1. Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey - We haven't read this one yet but it looks like it will be a hit. (January's book club selection).

2. All the Light We Can Not See by  Anthony Doerr   - This is our December book club selection and I'm 1/4 way into it and it's incredible! I'll post my review after January 10. 

3. Wild by Cheryl Strayed - an OUTSTANDING book. I couldn't put this one down. This was a summer read for us and I literally yelled out on the beach when things took a turn for the worst on Cheryl's humongous hike. It was a page turner, full of anticipation and adventure and I needed it to keep going! We ended up doing a movie screening after we read it and the movie for me was just as good. I will be watching it again soon! However, it did not make me want to throw a pack on and hike the nearest trail. 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Feel Good Post of the Year

This has been a stressful year and an incredible year.. We are fortunate , healthy and full of joy. I'm counting every single one of my blessings from this year and I'm counting , already !, the ones yet to come just in the first couple months of the new year. I think we have wheels for feet, us Hopkins .. We're constantly moving between Calgary, Canmore, Kimberley , the island and Beaumont. We haven't had many weekends where we aren't visiting or being visited . And that's truly a wonderful sign of being surrounded by loved ones.                              

To add to that, I'm opening up my very own nail studio. I spent a weekend this past November educating myself with experts in the field of mani/pedis and expanding my knowledge so that I can create a space that gives people joy and a chance to sit and reflect on themselves and be pampered. I don't have a date for the grand opening but .. The new year sometime .. And I can not wait !

So, amidst all the renovations, the day trips into Canmore for speech therapy (something that has drastically improved communicating with our little guy) , the weekend away at school, christmas baking and visiting with friends, Ellis' school and housework.. I've managed to stay on top of some christmas orders I received and am working away on my annual print for the Janus Academy in Calgary.

I dont do as much charity work as I used to prior to having our babies but offering a print to this school makes me so happy. It's rare that you can donate to something and see the difference your donations are making.. this school is an exception. One of my friends had a child in Ellis' kinder class and they did everything they could to get their little guy who's on the spectrum, into this school to help make a difference. And a difference it has made! I quit Facebook a month ago because there was a lot of garbage on their and people complaining and starting arguments but one gal stayed true to positive posting and let me tell you.. the positive posts were of how well her son was doing because of this school (and because he's actually a cool dude!).  How could you not want to support a school that causes such happiness and joy in children and provides them with the tools and supportive environment to help them learn how they can make the world work for them.  I don't see this family very often.. actually it's once a year so that she can pick up my print for the annual spring gala auction .. but I LOVE the progress thats happened in the last two years for them. 

In The Neighborhood 1
© Lindsey Hopkins 2015

Leaving you with this post, I hope you remember to count your blessings and be grateful and joyful for the things that surround you, the people that love you and the body that keeps you moving (be it slow or fast). This world has much to offer and you have lots to offer back, big or small. 


Sunday, 23 November 2014

family portraits

I don't know why I've never done this before. Probably because nobody has ever asked me to..
But my latest project has been so fulfilling and rewarding that I just have to share it with the world. {That would be you, blog reader. Ps, thank you for visiting my little blog.. }

I also want to share the name of the family that was used in the making of this wee project because the momma is an uber talented woman and maker of fine caffeinated bevvies at one of my fave coffee shops but I do not want to spoil her surprise for family and friends .. But she did say I could post it on here . Eeeeee!

Seriously the cutest family... in real life and illustrated. 

So, if you are seeing this and thinking you'd be a pretty nifty illustrated version of a family and want one of your very own.. head on over to my etsy shop (click on the picture below) and send me a message... It is custom work so prices do vary. 

Note: All artwork and illustrations displayed on this blog are original and created by me. Out of kindness and in good karma , please do not copy any of my artwork nor blog posts from this blog. Should you wish to use any of my content , please contact me for permission. 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

War of the Toddlerhood

Everyday is a day I step on the battlefield of toddlerhood. I'm sure many of you understand where I'm coming from. This battlefield is like fighting a war that I'm not sure is going to end. Somedays I'm really lucky and Baby C calls a truce and let's me get him out of a stinky diaper without getting shit on my hand or allows me to finish a grocery shop without having to turn it into a half marathon just to grab the essentials and get home and realize I forgot lemon juice for the 3rd time this week. Seriously.    Somedays I am not so lucky and I am amazed that I muster up enough energy to brush my teeth because my day has started with a two year old screaming at me to get him God knows what and to not change his bed time diaper that is sagging down his butt because he thinks it's going to keep his little arse warm in this god forsaken -20 degree weather. ( truth be told , I don't mind -20 weather... When I'm inside.. Ha) and then I've managed to get him into his snow suit and boots so we can walk his older bro to the bus stop  but ,  I can forget the mitts and toque because I really don't need to be squawked at in gibberish about how he doesn't like his hands covered up or anything on his head.

Now, I'm not going to tell you that after a really long day of duking it out with the temper tantrums and dodging  the bombs that fall at nap time that I stop to look at how precious my toddler child is. He's precious.. Yes , he's precious alrite. Sweet , funny, independant and oh so loveable . But if I'm going to be honest with you, at the end of the day .. I just want to raise my little white flag and climb into the white trench of porcelain and soak in hot water until I'm wrinkly and the reminiscent sounds of whining no longer ring in my ears and nerve endings return to their normal state of whatever they do.

But what I am going to tell you, is that just when I feel like I am all alone in the battlefield .. I get a call from one of my closest friends. She reminds me I'm not in that battlefield alone, I just can't see her for the smoke and play dough mortar that she is dodging.. And then when my reinforcement brings in the big guns  ( that made me laugh out loud.. ) and takes over to give me a reprieve, I make a call into my parents... The veterans. Change it up they say, experiment, but remember : routine routine, routine, structure,structure,structure. They know, they've seen it all and dealt with it all. 3 kids later. Then I think of my sister and her four kids.. 4 talented, smart , hilarious and respectful kids that are hardworking and are reaching amazing heights in their lives at such young ages... She got through the war of toddlerhood , albeit she's moved into the teen years now  but she did it with 4..and they weren't all easy, I know.  And just when you think hubbies never know the right thing to say, they come up with a gem.. "Stop thinking its you, this is his deal and we have to learn to deal with it. Don't think of yesterday or tomorrow , think of the moment and how to get through it." Surely I can manage this ..

This parent thing is not easy for some and not hard for others. I've experienced the easy, for sure and now I'm doing battle with the hard bits of what's in front of me. Some days you don't want advice , you don't want the help, you don't want people to see that you aren't a supermom or Superdad that day or week. But, regardless of how lonely and long that battlefield feels..When the smoke clears and you wipe the spaghetti sauce from your cheek and pull the play dough off the bottom of your sock, there's another parent doing the same thing.. Checking to see if anyone can see what they are dealing with or trying to hide what they can't handle.

And for all the new mommies and mommies to be, its a fantastic journey to be on raising children.. But it's hard, difficult, rough, emotional and draining and that's not for lack of love or effort. This is just the way it is, no matter how easy your baby is or going to be.

Thank you Ry, Mom,Dad and D, your advice made today a victory and it's only half past noon. But I still need to get that damn lemon juice..