Happy Birthday Canada 

This week if you have been following us on Instagram you know we have been playing hooky.  I just ran out of umf and I couldn’t go anymore. Once one of the teachers let it slip that report cards are already written I was like I am out of here!! We stayed at the lake two extra days and they were amazing! Theymay have been the best days of the year so far. We were leisurely and lazy, we went to the beach, we swam off the pier, we Pokémoned and did crafts. One of our favourite things to do is collect and paint rocks then scatter them like treasures along the beach. We decided that since it was Canada day we should paint most of the rocks red

and we also made them pretty sparkly.  Now small (and large) humans can find special little gems in the sand. We highly encourage you to participate in this as well. We must warn you things can get pretty sticky!

Glitter, herpes, craft supplies, beach crafts, easy crafts with kids, Kate Shaw, this lovely day

Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies. It lasts forever.

But it is a lot of fun! 
Canada day crafts, easy Canada day craft, treasure , this lovely day

She loves to burry our treasure

 I hope you have a wonderful birthday Canada!!!

Love K 

The Story of Kate

Okay so medically what happened to Kate? Let’s start at the beginning. 

Once upon a time I was a cute twenty-something. I became a pilot, I joined the military and I flew the Harvard and the Hawk. This is the super short version. We can talk about all this another time. As part of the training we learned to do some super amazing things. Formation flying, loops, rolls, all the fancy fun moves. It was completely fabulous. Completely. 

 I can’t lie even now thinking back I’m amazed at what I learned and the experiences I had.

But the thing is the fancy fun moves take a lot of ‘G’, in the simplest terms you pull hard and the force on your body increases, that force pulls on your body and pulls blood out of your head. Because of that we do Centrifuge training to train our bodies to resist it. It’s a small capsule you climb inside and it spins you around to simulate the airplane. Imagine you’re at the fair on a ride, but amp it up so it’s like a ride on crack!  It’s wasn’t really fun. 

I was small and had low blood pressure, I had a hard time with the centrifuge. I failed the first course and was sent home, put on a gym program to increase my leg and neck muscles to help.  I had to do this terrible neck exercise machine in the corner. I remember it felt awful. I carried on, doing my neck machine with increasing force, I do the centrifuge again, am blessed with the pass and I move on to having babies and then multi engine flying over the next few years. 

When I was first pregnant my skin became hyper sensitive, I had all kinds of weird symptoms. I put on an excellent show but I would be sobbing trying to put on my boots in the morning.  I kept going to the doctor saying “I don’t feel good”. I couldn’t explain it. I can now. It was pain. But you know how it is when you’re pregnant everything that happens is just chalked up to the pregnancy. I quote ” the only thing that is going to help you is to have that baby”. Well it turns that is not the truth. 

Lets flash forward a few years. I am now mother of 3, still an Air Force pilot, flying the Dash 8. 

Oh my gosh can you even believe how full of myself I am here? God I love her!

I’ve taken up running over the years and I’ve started doing some fitness classes with a friend. I am slowly noticing strange things with my body. And then it happened. October 20th, 21st? 2013? I remember I flew to California that day and I woke up that morning with a “kink” in my neck.  I thought I slept funny. This “kink”will never go away. 

That Fall I also developed a pain down my left arm. Just over the top of my shoulder. I thought I pulled a muscle going to the gym. I’m grounded ( meaning the flight surgeon won’t let me fly), I’m grounded the last few weeks of December. I rest and it’s fine. I go back to work. This flares up a couple times. Meanwhile the doctor has booked me an MRI. My shoulder feels better but it’s taken so long to get the appointment that I go “just in case”.  I arrive for my MRI and the technician says you’re here for a neck MRI. I say no, shoulder. She says no, neck! No SHOU-LLLL-DDDEEEERR!! She shows me the report which my doctor has written very clearly “neck”.  I give up and let them do my neck even though I know there is nothing wrong with my neck, it’s my shoulder that hurts. Soooooo I’m going to eat crow on that one. 

I hope that you’re fascinated by this and not too grossed out. These are 2 of my MRI’s. If you look at the picture on the, right see that dark line that comes down from the top?Inside the white lines? That’s my spinal cord and it should be visible and straight all the way down. It’s not super clean image because I twitch and that it makes it hard to image. We tried a good sedative once but it actually made the twitching worse. Weird. 

Now back to me. I am happily flying, doing my thing, I’m in a wave of relative comfort. My arm is super hypersensistive, but has been for years. Someone once said “it’s as if the air blowing on you hurts you” and this is so true. The air blowing on my skin does hurt! I’ve learned it’s called Allodynia (abnormal response to non painful stimuli) and Parastesia (tingling, numbness, prickling, goosebumps over my arms and legs). Oh gosh this is sounding awful. I don’t want it to sound like a pity party. Hmm. Perhaps this is a good break point…. 

let’s call this part 1. I’ll do my very best to not make you wait very long for part 2. 

Have a beautiful day 

Love K 

A Little Bedroom Talk 

Hey so let’s switch gears a little. Let’s talk condo life. I am so excited about the move to Toronto. I feel like it is meant to be! We have been working so hard to downsize. I try to visualize everything we have in the new space. If we’re being honest I do feel like I’m a bit of a cheater in the minimimalist department as we have the cottage and it feels like a little bit of an out. We have brought so much stuff to the cottage, though I would like to note there are rules, things go into the cottage: things must come out!  The cottage came to us fully furnished and decorated. That’s how it’s done here, they come fully furnished, I didn’t even have to buy spoons! This has actually made the bringing things to the cottage more work. The bonus is I get to keep some of my beloved items in my happiest place. Which by the way we are keeping, for now….so I’ve gotten to keep some special things I otherwise would have had to say goodbye to. 

As for the Toronto home: I have been mapping out every piece of furniture and trying to find it a home. Initially I debated whether to buy a new sofa that would be a pull out bed. I was pretty close to buying a new sofa but for some reason I couldn’t pull the trigger on it. So I started thinking about what I really want out of my home, about the spaces and functionality. I remembered in our last home when people came to visit us they were forced to stay on the sofa-bed and we had an open concept home. I always wished I had a better place for people to stay, that I could give them more privacy. I like to have a place where we can hang out and I also want people to be able to retire to their room when they’re tired, or need a break,  or just want to. . 

So we came up with an alternate plan,  we have sold the boys single over single bunk bed and purchased a single over double bunk. This way people can sleep with the boys, or we can sleep with the boys and they can take our room, there are endless possibilities and I am so much happier about this solution. It also cost less than a new sofa! Whoohoo! 

For the smallest human we have also purchased a new bed. I haven’t quite decided what to do with her current bed but after doing the measurements and really visualizing what we needed and wanted for her space I knew that if we kept her current bed we would have to give up something else. A dresser, the dollhouse, the desk? Not worth it. We decided to purchase an “extendable” bed to cut down on the space. She actually wanted a crib, no joke, and I considered it for a good while but in the end had to veto it for cuddle factor. Little pink loves to snuggle and I just cannot fit my grown up body in a crib. I did break and let her choose her new bed. It’s not necessarily what I wanted but it’s her room and she deserves a vote. I’ll make it work! I think you’ll all love it!

Master Bed:OK, here I am undecided. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at Wayfair, Joss & Main, Pottery Barn and Ikea. I’m thinking storage is going to be key. Either baskets under, drawers or even one of those pull-up storage under type beds. I have really struggled with letting the big tufted bed go, BUT luckily we figured out it would fit at the cottage! Hurray! Buuuuuttt what style do I want now? I’m not sure I will be able to decide until we’re actually into the space.  I think I’m okay with that, it’s important to feel out a space and not make too many decisions until you’re into it and get a feel for what you need vs what you want. 

So that’s where we’re at now! We are T-2 weeks until our furniture moves and only one week until we become permanent cottage people. 

Have a fabulous weekend all!

Love K 

In which I meet “the internet guy” 

Today is a me day, an honest to goodness me day. I scheduled ‘the internet guy’ to come to the lake. Which my husband by the way says ‘sounds a bit sketchy.’ I’m totally into air quotes today! I’d call him the cable guy but I’m not getting cable! They gave a window of 8 to 4, we’re on lake time I guess. At first I was kind of bummed and then it slowly dawned on me, I will have to spend the whole day at the cottage!I don’t get like to get up that early sooooo I should probably spend the night too. So here I am 1130 in the morning, in my PJs drinking coffee, looking at the lake while Henry lays on his back with his feet in the air, I think it agrees with us. Strongly contemplating pulling the kids from the last week of school and moving here early. 

I’ve had a glorious morning thinking about life and motherhood. Sometimes being a mom isn’t just about being a mom, we forget to be people too. I don’t know why I need an excuse to take a break, why it feels like I’m cheating if I check out of parenting early. If I want to pay someone just so I can have a break. My husband knows this and I’m lucky that he reminds me/pushes me to take time. (That took a lot of training folks, you don’t get that with baby number one lol) But honestly I think as parents, not just mothers but parents, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect and amazing. I don’t know at what point I started letting that go, somewhere around the third child probably? Or maybe it was only after my surgery, but I became more relaxed. 

I knew a few years ago that I wasn’t happy. I was angry and frustrated so much of the time. I love flying and I loved my job but if I’m honest about it I wasn’t happy where I was. There was a lot of frustration at work, not being able to achieve my goals. There are many reasons, some are what I call the ‘mommy tax’, some medical, but some out of my control, which technically I’m probably not allowed to talk about until I’m out of the military so let’s save that for the book version. I had a vision of who I was and I struggle, now more than ever, that I’m not who I wanted to be. I didn’t get to do all the things I wanted to do, achieve the goals I set, to be my version of amazing! I struggle with letting that be OK, appreciating what I have done. More than work though I looked at myself and saw I wasn’t the the parent I wanted to be. I was grumpy, I was short, my voice wasn’t soft. I’m so embarrassed to say but shouted, and who shouts at children? I wasn’t a bad mother at all, I baked, I sang, I loved, but I wasn’t the mother I dreamed I would be.  I knew I couldn’t be that person anymore. 

Life is handed me a bunch of bullshit and I’m not saying that any of that was worth it, because I’d give it back in a heartbeat. I didn’t ‘need’ to experience any of those things. I’m just trying to take the best out of everything I can. I realized life is short and if I didn’t like the way it was going I had to change it. I don’t think it happened overnight, but I am changing. I am a better mother for everything I have been through. I can honestly say that. 

Today was a great day for me. I think husband knew I was getting close to snapping point. He probably knew because I didn’t hint or try to shyly say it, I think I said “I’m about to snap!” Last night Henry and I packed up and here we are. 

And so I decided today is ‘our’ day as well. Let’s finally catch up on some of the pieces I think you’ve been patiently waiting for. I think I’m going to have to split it into a couple posts because A. it’s too long for one post and B. I think you’d get totally bored! 

Let us begin with(drumroll please) The Story of Kate….  (this is where you anxiously await my next post, tell all your friends and I become famous) also while you wait watch this clip. It’s not me I swear, but you’ll think it is. I adore her. 

Two Chips

Okay so things here are full tilt escalating. I’m going to say we’ve hit insanity level.  For weeks we’ve been going through the house weeding out, making piles, sorting. The main piles are: Toronto, cottage, donate, sell, dump. This weekend we took the cottage pile out to the lake in a huge trailer. I say it like I was a part of it but really I just sat on the front steps and watched. 

I’ve never really noticed but apparently Husband finds our bed at the lake quite uncomfortable. I’m not a super judge, I’m pretty much always going to wake up a touch crankety and say things like “I wish you wouldn’t hit me in the back of the neck with a bat in my sleep anymore” to which he always responds “oh I’m quite sorry about that.” He’s a funny guy.  So in the great house sort there are a few items I struggle letting go of, my beautiful headboard being one of them. The dilemma is I don’t want to pay to store anything. If it’s not important enough for me to keep close then I need to figure out something to do with it or I need to let it go. I spent so long agonizing over the bed and not wanting to let it go but knowing it couldn’t go in the Toronto pile. Until! UNTIL!!!! last week husband told me how much he hated the bed at the cottage and I was all “ahhhhhhhhhh” and the light shone down. So silly of me. I feel like I treat the cottage as a temporary dwelling.  As if at any minute we will let it go and move on. If you follow my Instagram you know that is ridiculous as I adore everything about lake life. 

So why not really live there? Swap out the furniture that came with it! Make it more a home! I’m so happy we did and the bed looks incredible! 

The room is plenty large to accommodate it. It was such a win! Even husband is happy despite having to ratchet strap that king mattress into a tiny origami bird to get it out of the stairwell in the house. 

The guest room is coming along. There are some adjustments it needs, curtain rod, new headboard and new pillows are definitely in order! There’s nothing quite like fresh pillows and towels. 

How was your weekend? Fabulous I hope. 

Well I have loaned out my children, pre-made dinner and I am off to ladies date! Check you later parenting, this lady is out! 

Love K 


Hi guys(she says sheepishly), 

Forgive me, if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter withlove__kate you know I’ve been under the weather. Totally self induced, classic putting things off and overworking myself. But so much to do!!!

Okay so here’s the skinny on us as of late. 

Sold: The Rose House 3200sqft (according to listing, I’m not sure, I thought a bit smaller) 

Rented: The Glass House 9 hundred and some odd square feet, I can’t quite find a straight answer on. Maybe our house grew a couple hundred and the condo shrank a few. 

Here is what I know so far:

I have listed most of my belongings on kijiji. I have sorted my lifes collections time and time again. In every room I come up with more. It is a scary, frightening and freeing feeling. I sold our dressers and as a result have been forced to live without. It was okay until I couldn’t find my underwear and had to go commando on proper girls outing. It’s not like they know, except obviously I told them, and we all laughed. I went to the mall yesterday. All set now! 

I walk through each room and try to see what holds my heart and what I can…let go… I have a hard time letting go. In all aspects of life (I know that was deep). Honestly though this is an entire new life we are making. We’re not just moving, I feel like we are trying to start anew. One of the number one airline questions I’ve heard is what is your weakest fault” or some such similar question. Can you look yourself in the mirror and see where you could be better? I think in the past mine has been “letting go”. Letting go of feelings, letting go of things, properties, people, anything. I’m trying to do all that in this move, while hanging on to what’s in my heart. 

I heard someone say today “when I purchase or receive things, I use them, I enjoy them, I let them go.” It rang so true. I forget that I did enjoy things and that it is okay to let go. It does not lessen the experience. And if you didn’t enjoy it, or it’s just some clutter you keep stashed about, lesson learned. Maybe you learn something about yourself and change in the future. 

I came home and filled another bin. It’s time to let someone else love them. 

On the topic of getting rid of things. 

Yard Sale: Harder than you think. That lulu lemon jacket you swooned over and paid 170$ for, a lady will see the tag marked fifty and give you two quarters. Honestly I enjoyed the extra cash and the dinner it bought, but I was so tired I fell asleep in my chicken fried rice. 

Let’s look to the future, it’s time to start getting excited! 

Location: Toronto, mid town, fabulous but really really high(scared of heights, honestly considering monkey tether straps) mental note ask Search and Rescue to review Swiss seats. Once to put up Christmas lights husband tied us together and shoved me out the third floor window with nothing but a googled Swiss seat. God knows what he’ll ask me to do in a high rise. 

5 km bike or subway hop to work. (For husband). He’ll commute, I’ll use the car. I have no idea where I work, what it’s like, what I’ll do, if I do, where my Dr’s are, where’s the pharmacy. I have no answers BUT I will not flip out, I will breathe deep, pop an Ativan if I must, show up and figure it out! Right?! I’ve got this. 

School: same distance or closer. French and English available. 

So there you go. That’s what I gots. 3 pairs of underpants and a googles Swiss seat. Wish me luck!!! I promise things are getting on track and we have a fabulous summer of beaches, bands, room designs, probably tears, I’m working on the hot mess thing, I can’t wait to spend the summer with you all. ❤️

Missing Pieces

It occurs to me that over the last while I haven’t been very forthcoming with information about me. I thought maybe I’d try to rectify that and answer all of the questions you may have. I’m guessing some of the questions are things such as What happened to Katie? Is she sick? Why doesn’t Katie go to work? Does Katie go to work? Where does Katie work? What are the small humans like now, they’ve grown so big. How do I feel? Am I in pain? When am I in pain? Am I happy? How’s my marriage? Did outlander wickedly improve my sex life? Ohhhhh Jamie….Jamie. 

I am also furiously working to get ready for the move. To unload things we don’t need from the Rose House. We have a yard sale coming up. To be honest I’m terrified. It feels a little personal spreading all my unneeded items on the lawn. (Dark secret: I don’t like to say used/unwanted lest I hurt their feelings. Now you know, I’m fully insane. I don’t like to hurt inanimate objects feelings. It’s completely ridiculous. But there you have my dirtiest secret, shhhh.) I’ve also been kijijing our furniture. Last week I sold our dressers. The Black brown Hemnes set. It may have been slightly premature as now all our clothes are scattered about, but we’ll figure it out. Pro Tip: a quick coat of gold spray paint and you can totally pop up the dresser knobs glam factor. 

I do have more video, pictures, plans of the The Glass House. I am pretty fabulously excited!  I get to design 3 new sleeping spaces, the living area, storage solutions.   First up is we need to pick beds for Lily and the grown ups. We are moving our furniture in about a month! I would rather have everything purchased here and then be delivered into the new house, seems like less work. I’ve been scouring the Pottery Barn teen and children’s catalogues and there is some amazing inspiration in there.

Today I skipped the gym. I’m sore, my head hurts.I’m going to do a little work here 

And then go for a bike ride with Henry down the beautiful Wellington path while we still live here and the sun is shining. 

I hope you have a beautiful day. If you think of more questions for me pop me an email or leave a comment here or on my Instagram. 

Pssst: Does any have any tips on yard sales? I’m totally in the dark here.