Thanks for stopping by!  Welcome to Raising Hamilton.  My name is Emily…  I’m a new mom, new to Hamilton, and I decided to create a blog that would serve as a resource to other Hamilton mamas like me.  I hope you will join me on my journey as I navigate raising my little guy in this city that seems to be pretty great for bringing up a family!

The words of Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime” often run through my head as I step back and take a look at my life so far:

And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife

And you may ask yourself, “Well… how did I get here?”

Ok… so I don’t have a beautiful wife, but I do have a pretty great, supportive, and encouraging husband.  But I do often think, “how did I get here?”  How did I end up back in Ontario, in Hamilton, with aforementioned husband, toddler, dog, house, and family nearby?  Let me give you my brief history of time:

Born and raised in small-town Ontario, I was lucky to have parents who sent me travelling in high school.  I escaped rural life and completed my undergrad and masters in the big city and with some time abroad in the UK.  My husband and I met in university, but didn’t know it would work out that way until much later.

In a complete contrast to big city life, I was hired out of university to work in the high arctic, in Tuktoyaktuk, where would-be husband joined me and we lived for almost five years.  During that time we met many life-long friends, experienced places that most Canadians will never see, earned a lot of money that would help lay the foundation of our future, and loved every minute of it (except maybe the days when it was -57C with the wind). If you’re super curious, our time in the North is documented on my old blog, Life Above 60 at 50 Below.  Taking our little guy to the Arctic to meet our friends and see its beauty is on our family bucket list– once he can appreciate the extremely long haul!

After Tuk, we embraced another job opportunity and fell in love with a condo in Edmonton where we lived for four years.  Living in Alberta, we took advantage of living near the Rockies, and fully enjoyed the outdoor experiences the mountains and city had to offer.  We welcomed our sweet little mini-dachshund Starbuck while we were in Edmonton, and she joined us on many of our rocky mountain adventures.  I made some of my best girl friends in Edmonton and still miss them every day.  During our time in Edmonton, we tied the knot at our overly eventful wedding in the Dominican Republic.  Maybe I’ll share that story one day, when I’ve had a few glasses of wine.

So here we are, back in Hamilton, close to where we grew up, close to our families.  We arrived in 2016, found a gorgeous home soon after, and bought it.  We started renovating it, found out there were major hidden and costly structural issues, and found out we were expecting a baby the very next day.  I hyperventilated a bit because who wants to welcome a new baby into a home that was about to fall over?  We got through it, moved in when I was 8 months pregnant, and welcomed our little baby boy in February of 2017, just shy of my 34th birthday.

Although we’ve had crazy, widespread lives, our interests and values remain constant– and now we’re including our little one in these as much as we can.  We love to garden, and even managed to find ways to do it in the 24-hour darkness in Tuktoyaktuk.  If I have my way, we’ll always find a way to have a veggie garden to enjoy in the summer.  We travel.  We’ve been many places near and far, and try to embrace unique experiences everywhere we go.  We’ve started to bring our wee one along on our adventures and having the company of a toddler has been an adventure indeed!  We also both love “treasure hunting.”  That’s right– one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  From thrift shopping to curb shopping we’ve had some amazing finds that I’ll share with you on the blog.

So I guess that’s how I “got here.”  Stick with me and you’ll come to find that I am frugal but appreciate quality.  I try to be sustainable but like to keep things practical.  I love to come up with ways to provide my toddler with enriching, fun experiences that help him to learn about the world around him in Hamilton and beyond.  I can’t wait to share it all with you!