Birthday Celebrations

Last week I celebrated what has to be one of my favorite birthdays of all times. I may have mentioned to husband that I only want hand-drawn cards from now on. (Adamantly mentioned) Buuuut then almost immediately saw this one and reassessed my stance and said ‘If I were to get a birthday card, this is the card I would want.’ He said he tried really hard to remember which card it was but still ended up in Chapters for about 20 minutes going, shit, shit which one is it?

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He got it right!!! Cutest card ever. It now lives in a picture frame as bedroom decor

 

Everyone should be so lucky as to start their day like this.

 

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Not my most glamorous of looks but I was so happy to wake up to giggling whispery voices ‘Is she awake, shhh, shh, lets all sing to mommy’. Sooo cute you guys!

 

I feel like they really pulled out all the stops this year.

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Seems about right. Classic.

Lily cried the entire time they sang to me. She wanted to sing in French but the boys began in English. We had to stop and do a full reset where I pretended like nothing happened. This is actually the less disastrous second round. She’s like a little bitty old Jewish lady, often she reminds me of my great Aunt Lillian, ‘Do you know how much a pack of gum cost?! Oy Vey!’

 

But in fun and exciting news, I had no idea where we were going.  Husband kept it a secret right up until we left, which I totally loved and was probably a really good idea. It was so much fun anticipating! I was given directions to dress up a little and think 80’s.

So where did we go???

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DINNER THEATER!

Oh gosh you guys it was so much fun. We went to a murder mystery dinner theater. There is a whole series of videos we made that day. I’m going to try and link them all to youtube. If you were watching them you may have seen that my reaction upon finding out where we were going was less than ideal. Watching it after A. That’s a terrible camera angle and b. Super funny! I completely dropped any game face and was actually pretty rude. That would be why he knew he had to keep it a secret. If you know anything about me you should probably know I am not into scary things, at all! Not even movie previews. I immediately thought we were going to be locked in an old creepy theater, the lights would go out, something would brush against the back of my leg and all you would hear would be screaming. That would be me screaming, just so we’re clear.   Let’s talk outfit for a second.  When he said dress 80’s I didn’t actually take it to heart. This is legitimately what I wore. I love wearing tulle and my little denim jacket. Looking at it now..it has a fairly strong 80’s vibe to it. This caused me to take a look at my clothes in general and I’ve noticed my go-to personal style seems to be a Mennonite 80’s cross. Little House on the Prarie meets Saved By The Bell?

Let’s talk outfit for a second.  When he said dress 80’s I didn’t actually take it to heart. This is legitimately what I wore. I love wearing tulle and my little denim jacket. Looking at it now..it has a fairly strong 80’s vibe to it. This caused me to take a look at my clothes in general and I’ve noticed my go-to personal style seems to be a Mennonite 80’s cross. Little House on the Prarie meets Saved By The Bell?

The show was very funny and cute, I completely enjoyed myself. Good job husband. And good job grandma, I loved these balloons!

I hope you all have birthdays as fabulous as I, and that you feel as loved as I do.

(I’ll post those video links as well)

With Love Kate

Holiday Weekend

This weekend was our first time spending Thanksgiving with grandparents. We played games and painted pumpkins. There was plenty of wine and the weather was beautiful! We were missing the other ‘kids’ (brother and sisters), so we may celebrate American Thanksgiving next month to make up for it. I do have to say, all in all, it was completely lovely and worth the move.

We had fireworks and sparklers.

Sparkler love, time lapse photos of people playing with sparklers, the word LOVE is spelled out with sparkler glow

Sparkler Love

Flatlay large orange pumpkin with small pink pumpkin with gold dots and gold stem. Cocker spaniel is sniffing one of the pumpkins cutely.

Henry photobombed our pink and gold pumpkin shots, lol!

Two little girls aged 5 and 3 holding lit sparklers, both smiling huge smiles, faces glowing from the sparklers

Pure Joy

I can’t remember if I showed the photos yet but last weekend I attended Blogpodium and we all received amazing takeaway bags. One of the items was Krylon spray paint. At first, I thought hmmm, I live in a condo what shall I do with this. BUT then I thought WHAT WON’T I DO WITH THIS?!!! Spray paint is pretty much always a good time! Then, because we were at Grandma’s, I thought, what a wonderful time to break out the spray paint, HAHAHA! Sorry about the garage floor, Grandpa.

We picked some sweet little pumpkins and some went pink, some went black and some went everything!

 

 

7 small pumpkins lined up on a stone wall. Each pumpkin is a different colour, gold, pink with gold Sita, black, blue, multicolour.

Who said pumpkins have to be traditional?!

 

The only low point of the weekend was Husband used the dryer and ‘adjusted’ the size of a couple of my new clothes. This:

Banana Republic outfit. Black cardigan with 4 buttons on the cuff.

Beautiful Banana Republic Cardigan


Black woman wearing long sleeve black wrap dress, reitmans

Reitman’s Wrap dress

 

And this:
I felt rather cross and may have shouted rather a lot. I since have authorization ‘to buy as many clothes as I want forever and ever and can never be judged!’ OR so I shouted through the bathroom door. And then I felt better.

 

How was everyone else’s weekend? Did anyone have any fabulous family feuds they’d like to share? lol

 

 

Henry and I are happy to be home. We are enjoying a restful day after our big adventure and have no plans grander than a trip to the market for flowers.

Have a beautiful week my lovelies.

 

With Love Kate

 

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The Story of Kate – Toronto MRI

Last week you all know I had a bit of a low point. Emotionally I am so much better. This week has been fun, despite all my children’s woes of back to school. I’ve been making friends, there is a great military community here. We had a little meet and greet with a bunch of lovely ladies. And last night as a group we visited a Jerusalem Restaurant and watched belly dancing. I wish I had a picture to show you!!

Okay, let’s talk medical jargon…This week I had a doctors appointment to discuss my MRI results. They really aren’t great. The good part of this is that it shows something. No more, “We fixed it, suck it up buttercup.” I can do my best to try and explain the results. Remember I am not an ‘actual’ doctor but, I do watch a lot of Greys Anatomy and also have a Masters in Dr. Google. I know. It’s impressive.  In laypersons terms, I have a bulging disc a level above and below my fusion (C5/6), both of which are pressing against my spinal cord. Spinal cords do not like to be touched. That’s a fact! I also have “osteophytes.” Osteophytes are bone spurs or growths, the result is there isn’t enough room, things are being compressed and this causes a lot of pain along with a variety of other fantastic super not-fun side effects.

Have you read the Spoonie story? This might be a good time. (Link below) You should read it before we go on.

The Spoon Theory

So here we are, again. Back to a crummy MRI and talking about treatment options. I have to admit I’m scared. When met with my new Doctor she kept saying, “You knew! You knew exactly what levels!” (of my spine).  Yes….I did. (Whispers: that’s because it hurts like fuck.) I have no gentle way to say it. I’m running out of spoons. It hurts. My arms and hands are increasingly hard to use and tire out. It’s not fair to decide if you have enough energy to wash your own hair. I try to stay positive, I’m lucky that I have a husband who will wash my hair (even when I’m cross with him – I think the nudie sneak-peak part of it makes up for the sour face). Things that make me sad are not being able to hold a child’s hand because I can’t handle to skin contact and pressure. Having to roll away and make a pillow barrier at night because my husband’s breath stirs the air too much and it causes pain. It’s going to be a long sleeve dress and soft leggings type of fall for me.

The plan is to get into a new Neurosurgeon. I contacted mine from my previous surgery and asked if he could help. He requested I send my scans so at least someone is looking at them. I hope to be seen soon, I don’t think I have much wait left in me.

Living on top of a grocery store (and liquor store; happy dance) has been such a blessing. It saves me so many spoons. I can skip the good mom show of baking cookies and buy fresh ones downstairs. Technically they are made in our home so that’s almost the same as ‘home-made,’ lol.

So that’s where we stand. This post feels unfinished. I don’t know what to add or take away. If anyone has questions feel free to post them in the comments. I’m okay to talk about this. We’re going to be okay. We have to be.

With love Kate

Hot Mess Mama

Today we continue the saga of the small human. IF you missed yesterdays post you may want to catch up before you continue. This is a two parter.

We left off as we decided to switch to an English school. Yes, we talked all the options and we decided on the school that this was really best for him. And that’s really what’s important. The English school is right next door, it’s going to be so easy to walk to, so let’s do this!!! (insert crazy cackle laugh again.)

Let us travel back in time a year (make that silly Waynes World sound in your head). Imagine next to the French school is a condo beginning construction. Parents were upset, large construction next door, pollution, etc. Many parents (203-ish) wondered (aka threatened) if they should switch to the English school nearby. That would cause the English school to overflow drastically. So, they made a rule that if you are coming from this one specific school there is now a “Formal Process” and despite moving here mere weeks ago and living next door to the school, having had nothing to do with this other school, except give it a try for a day and a half, you may now have to schlep your 2 kids to the French school and then race 3 blocks to the designated bus pick up spot so your child can be bused to a school in a different area. Even though right now I am sitting without pants on, staring at the school!  See how I twisted that? OMG, are you kidding me????
P.S. I feel I’m done with pants. **You may want to give me a heads up before you drop by.**

Let’s short form this experience, because I do understand it really isn’t anyone’s fault, it’s just how things happened. There were a few days of a really hot mess, confusion, school board, etc.  A week later (yesterday) I dropped off the smallest 2 and was then hand walked by the principal of the French school into the English school. She sat with us, the whole morning, she patiently ironed out every detail. Can you believe the kindness of virtual strangers? We are now registered in our local school. Phew.

We would hope this would be the end of our hot mess, but alas, no. This experience has taken its toll on Jack. It’s hard enough to move provinces, switch schools, get tossed around and feel like there is no place for you anywhere. You’d probably get it in your head that we should move home, cry so uncontrollably that I’m pretty sure you’re starting to have anxiety attacks. All the while I smile and comfort, get mad, bribe, explain, cuddle. There is no good way to do this.  This double-sucks because he has had to do the first day of a new school twice in the last week.  Double the Ativan for me. I can’t keep doing this, it’s tearing my heart out. Not to mention the tearful goodbyes of little pink and having this scene EVERY MORNING.

 

Will this be funny one day? Will I look back and think “oh, haha how trivial this was, la la la.” Right now I am stressed as F about it. Heres hoping he can tough out the whole day. He has two super nice kids showing him around, he just needs to let them in. I’ve seen his classroom and it felt so nice. His teacher is sweet, they have “flexible seating options.”  I love it. I hope he will soon too. How did your week go? Does anyone else keep ending up crying in a Starbucks?

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one week city, one week happy

Hello my beautiful friends how has your week been? If it’s anything like mine you are hot, sweaty, exhausted and happy. We have successfully made it through our first week of city life. Not to say we haven’t had bumps but we have come through, with a bit of hot mess but made it through nonetheless.

I think we are on the right path, we’ve sorted out the fastest route to school, the best buses to take, the best fruit markets. Oh my gosh how had I forgotten about the little street markets? Flowers for sale everywhere!! I had forgotten how lush and beautiful Ontario is. How fresh the produce is and how gorgeous flowers are everywhere.

One of my regrets from living here in college was that I never visited the St Lawrence market. I have fabulous memories of my roommates mother visiting us and buying gobs and gobs of garlic and then making incredible spaghetti. Well we can check the market off my list! What a fun place to visit. It was crazy busy but full of happy friendly market goers.

Some bits felt a little tourist trap-y to me but honestly, aren’t I really just a tourist in my own city?

Lily and I are we’re walking home after the market and saw a man holding the most gorgeous bouquet of flowers, he was pacing back and forth in front of a restaurant and as we passed I said ‘she’s going to be sooo happy’ and he blushed and said ‘I sure hope so’. I didn’t see how those flowers were received but I was able to give these beautiful blooms to a beautiful friend.

Such a sweet happy vendor.

On the way home we were Lucky enough to spot a wedding at the amazing beautiful Fairmont Hotel.

She was so gorgeous I couldn’t help but snap a picture. I hope she doesn’t mind. Isn’t she just breathtaking?! Swoooon….. And then we found a magical cake

Our building continues to be amazing. I’ve been trying to learn the names of all the staff, they are so kind. There are so many things I love about the building, not climbing stairs being one of them. Another thing I’m loving here is I made a pledge when we were moving here that I would start dressing the way I want to dress, not the way I feel I “should” dress. Dress the body you have, not the body you want. (What not to Wear) As it turns out it seems when I wear high-heeled shoes it changes how I walk and I am much more comfortable. Isn’t that the funniest thing? Guess I’d best go shoe shopping and pull all my favs out of the storage locker. This probably also means I’ll have to actually find the storage locker, so far it’s been delegated as blue task. Darn!

Other amenities of the building ~ Our grocery store is amazing and can be accessed without walking outside. It is a touch of a dangerous place as there are so many delicious options at our fingertips. I am trying my best to control myself and as a family we are trying to shop European-style, ala~ ‘day by day.’ We can shop fruits and veggies from the sweet little market stands, flowers from wherever I find them, and everything else falls into place. I even bought one of those old lady wheely shopping carts to bring with me. I know I know I’m fabulously old! 

The kids are still adjusting and there are tears almost daily, but our days are mostly happy and I’m hopeful a few days of chill will settle us in.

The city views continue to amaze me. When I can’t sleep at night I’ve been experimenting with the camera.

I love how the street almost looks to be on fire. So I hope everyone is doing fabulously well. We should have some amazing adventures to share this week, starting with the eclipse today.

Check our Instagram feed for more updates and have a beautiful day wherever you are. IG @withlove__kate

Love K

Well Hello TO

OMG OMG you guys I am soooo excited!! The city condo is absolutely incredible. We’ve been here less than a week and it is already so amazing. I haven’t even discovered the full amenities of the building because I’ve been so in love with our space. Husband’s Uncle and Papa (aka Grandpa) set up all the furniture before the children and I arrived. They did such a fabulous job I cannot thank them enough. It made it so easy to move in. 

OK so let’s talk condo in the city; this place is the bomb!  It’s so f#*king cool that I can’t describe it without cursewords. There are a few glitches with how much we brought.  I have heard that when people move to a small space that they undestimate just how small it really is and this is true. It’s a learning curve. Things I didn’t expect ~ the kitchen actually has more storage than our old kitchen had. We had such shallow cabinets in our old house. These new ones are amazing! So much room. I also underestimated the angles of the condo, it’s slightly shorter than I had thought but also wider. A couple of pieces of furniture had to become a little more versatile than we had planned. 

Pictures have come out of their boxes, I’m trying to decide where it should all go.

 My bedroom, oh guys my bedroom!!! (Swoon). I  go to sleep and wake up gazing over the city at the CN tower. My room is a pristine white dream. I was thinking of buying the IKEA Malm bed that lifts up so we could have more storage but honestly I think with the storage room we have already we won’t need it. 

Today we popped over to Pottery Barn Kids. Did you hear that? I just ‘popped over’ to Pottery Barn kids!! It’s a little bit of a dream. We went for sheets but obviously couldn’t just limit ourselves to that. We found the most adorable bunny and just had to bring it home. 

I’m so sorry I’m not keeping you in the loop more. Please check out my Instagram feed for more frequent updates. As soon as I get everything out of boxes I am going to bombard you with so many posts!! You just wait, you’ll be like ‘oh my gosh lady enough already’! Lol! 

So please know that I am happy. So so happy. Everything else is status quo, I will tell you all about work, art, Banana Republic behind the scenes sneak peaks, citylife with the smalls, plans of amazing visits to Montreal, Dublin, Christmas markets, just so many things to tell you!!!  

And let’s not forget about the view….


Have a beautiful adorable week 

Love K

The Story of Kate Part III

The Story of Kate Part I

The Story of Kate Part II
Fall 2014~ish

 I currently have a my super shitty MRI, which quickly become MRI’s. If you are truely broken you get to the front of the MRI line. 

On the right one you can especially see where my spinal cord is losing its long beautiful straight line.


I have 3 small humans, and a flying position posting, which is currently gold in a sea of ground jobs urgently being filled. At this point all I care about is getting my aircraft upgrade to captain. That process is a complete other story, what matters is that I kept trying despite obstacles unrelated to me. 

My doctor was deployed to the xxxx with the xxxx, an issue with the military. I was given another doctor who assured me he’d seen much worse with no surgery required. 

On the family side that was the year grandma wanted us all to go to Disney World. She planned this incredible trip and I loved it. Top to bottom I loved it. But I was in so much pain. I couldn’t ride the rides. I was eating Advil and Tylenol like tic tac’s and drinking in the day. In hindsight a trip to the emergency room might have provided some safer pain control options. I felt like I ruined that trip. I was a complete and utter asshole. I was in so much pain I could not get a grip on it. I still feel poorly about my behaviour. My sister in law assures me that she had a hangry (hungry/angry) melt down and was forcibly removed from the Disney Christmas parade by her husband. Put it on the family regret list I guess! 

I came home from the trip and first stop doctor. I was refered to a Orthopaedic Surgeon and put on the rush list and given the first appointment after the Christmas break. It was a painful Christmas. Husband came to the appointment with me, I didn’t take pain meds because I wanted to be able to explain what hurt and how it hurt. I made it half way through the waiting period and the room became so bright I had to take them. The first step was an intern/resident/dr helper monkey who did a full examination, said yes that’s shit, you need surgery (but nicer) to which I said oh no thanks. This moment, this is the moment where I lose my priorities. I didn’t even give him a chance to explain. The resident left and husband and I could slightly overhear the conversation outside the door. “She…surgery…doesn’t want to…non surgical….yada yada…” Basicaly, I said no thanks, I’d like to treat this without surgery, what can we do? I was referred to ‘The Pain Clinic’ and again it was quick, because I’m a ‘Jet Pilot.’ I shut up and let it pass. I was in so much pain.  My real road of drugs starts here! (Jazz hands) I was restricted in what I could take because I was still flying. There are approved and non-approved drugs. Some are ‘As or with co-pilot’ stating you cannot fly a single seat aircraft, I found this unacceptable. Part of my plan was that we could potentially end up back in the training world. I’m good at training, I liked training, it would be a pretty big loss for me and I simply could not have that! My medical status is immediately changed to ‘As or with co-pilot.’ Scowls.  
We tried drugs, drugs that made me fat, drugs that made me blurry. I did Physio, acupuncture, massage therapy, marriage counselling. (Like how I snuck that in there?) Pain is hard on a person, but it’s also hard on those around them. I had a spinal injection that worked so well, for about 2 months. They refused to do it again until I had another MRI. At the same time I was also asking around who is the best doctor, what should I look for. It was decided a Neurosurgeon was the best fit for this surgery and I had a consult with the one I chose end June. He came in, I instantly liked him, he assessed me, he asked me about airplanes, I think he liked me and he said okay surgery it is, tomorrow or a month from tomorrow. I should have chosen tomorrow but silly me still really wanted that aircraft upgrade and I was so close. I thought just one more month, I can do it! 

I couldn’t do it. 

One day I kissed sweet Lily goodbye, she was standing on a stool, a tiny ginger 2 year old, reached out from her stool for a kiss and a hug and jumped into my arms. Her hands around the back of my neck and as she touched my neck the tiny sweet baby and I collapsed to the floor. I never flew again, not from the pilot seat anyway. It had nothing to do with my sweet baby, she was a tiny little thing and my damage was long done but that was my breaking point. I showed up to my docotor on the base mid afternoon (this is just not done), I showed up in tears, sobbing and he knew. He saw me immediately and I said, “I know I don’t usually ask this but could you please drug me?” I gave in. It was just too much pain. He responded with something along the lines of, “Oh yes, thank god. It’s time!” You’ll remember I’d been fighting him on leaving work and medicating for so long. 

That month was the longest month. I wished to god I’d chosen to have the surgery the next day. My feet became droopy and I shuffled and tripped along and could only walk at the slowest pace, I’m not even sure we’d call it ‘walking.’ Elderly people lapped me with walkers, not joking. I would shuffle along holding walls and hands and husband and curse at old people kicking my ass humping along with their super speedy walkers. Every movement, every shuffle, every breath hurt. Every night husband would set me up in bed with a glass of wine and a movie and I would cry. Why did I wait so long? Things in this month become very blurry. I remember my sister in laws came to visit and I forced them to take me yard sale-ing at the cottage but could only make it a street or two (in the car). We made strawberry jam, in that they made it and I sat in the corner of the sofa very, very still. I can’t remember who and when or if I told people about my surgery. Some of you would be better judges of that. I know I kept my cards pretty well hidden until that point. Mostly I remember pain and tears, husband helping me climb stairs on hands and knees, missing my children, more tears, emergency room visits when I started losing feeling in my legs, and other strange neurological developments, discussing if we should do emergency surgery with another surgeon before mine returned from wherever he was for that month, and deciding to wait, and then sitting very, very still. 

One of my bosses said to me later, ‘I know this has been a difficult year for you’ and I did one of those psychotic uncontrollable completely inappropriate laughs which turned into tears running on my cheeks. Yes. It was ‘difficult,’ you have no idea. 

So let’s call it there. I feel like I’m starting a pity party for myself and I hate for you to think of me like that. 

Positive updates, we are T minus 2 days for the move. Can you believe it? I’ve been thinking about how crazy this year has been, not like it’s any less crazy that previous years, lol! But how crazy is this?! We sold/donated/purged at least half of our belongings, we sold our house, we’re moving to Toronto! Oh my gosh I am looking forward to this new chapter. I think we are going to be amazing. This is my year and I am going to love it and live it! Have a fabulous day. Be sure to check Instagram for updates on the move. Once I’m settled the plan is blog posts Mondays and Thursdays regularly with you tube updates periodically. I wanted to share this summer but it turns out not to work well from the cottage. Just in case you were like hey lady you promised us You Tube! It is coming. It’s a tech problem. I’ve notified the tech department (husband/small human boys) and they are working on it (ie said wait til you have a computer in Toronto, hah) 💕 

Now no one is feeling sorry for me, I have a beautiful life, and I am off to have a beautiful day. 

Love always K