This is my final answer...and the winner is...

Sunday, April 20, 2008
Well, a few more questions trickled in. I promise this is the last of them.

Maggie asked how I keep my weight where I want it since I did not mention any exercise in my routine. Well, might not like my answer....but I am just lucky. I have exercised a lot in the past (pilates and aerobics) but not in a long time. So, I am not toned at all. But luckily, I don't really gain weight. I never weigh myself (houseboy doesn't like us to have a scale in the house so we've never had one). Let's just say there was a time when I was a bit obsessed with exercise when we were dating. Oh, how things change! Please don't hate me...I am flabby. I am just small and flabby. I know I ought to exercise just for the health benefits but right now I don't. I am always moving though.

A few people asked me what I am reading. I just finished Sophie Kinsella's new book "Remember me?" (very light chick lit) and all three Emily Giffen books. I just began Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth. One of my favorite recent reads was The Glass Castle. I have several books on my nightstand. I vacillate between mindless, easy reads and tougher more intellectual reads. There is always an assortment of prayer books and devotionals (just got Jesus Calling), my Bible, health books, parenting books, decorating and parenting magazines, and novels next to my bed. Then there is another pile in a basket and another on the floor under my nightstand. I love to read.

Then a few people asked about our diet (gluten-free), recipes and homeopathy. I plan to post on each of those things within the next few weeks to a month. I want to have links and information handy when I write them and I am simply not prepared right now. I will tell you though that changing the way we eat has dramatically changed our lives and health.

Lauren asked
Have you come up with any creative ways to store/keep Kate's toys handy for her to pull out and play with but easy for you to put up if company is coming over? I have tons of baskets but wondered if you had any recommended methods? This particular basket is great because it has a lid that is connected (and Kate can open it). So you don't see all of the toys sticking out. I got it at World Market. When we built this house, we had a large toy closet built in the terrace where the boys playroom is. It has floor to ceiling shelves and everything has a place (lots of labeled bins). The boys used to be really good about putting everything in its place when they were in Montessori school (they really focus on that) but they are not so good at doing so now.
In fact, we spent most of this rainy Sunday cleaning out their toy closet as a family. It was AWFUL! 1,000,000 lego, playmobil and imaginext pieces all mixed up. I cried. They are all back where they belong...for now.


Here is the basket.

It is pretty big and it looks even nicer with Kate's play mat on top of it.

Amy B asked

1) If you had an afternoon of free time (without kids and houseboy) what would you do to relax? This is much to do so little time. I would likely read magazines, have a hot bath (with bath salts) and maybe get a pedicure. Shopping and meeting a friend for lunch woud be really fun too but probably not as relaxing.
The truth is though I could not relax unless my house was clean. Isn't that sad?

2) Are you obsessive about ironing all the laundry before it is put away? Amy B. you are scaring me! Do you know me? Or is this the houseboy playing a trick on me? Just this morning Dave took all three peanuts to the Farmer's Market and I ironed all of the laundry so that it could be put away. How did you know? Am I that predictable? YIKES! I even iron all the pillowcases each week and sometimes the sheets. I have been known on occasion to iron my pajamas but don't tell people that. They might think I am weird.

Kristi asked

1. Do you miss working at all? Do you think you'll ever go back to work at some point? Yes, I do miss working sometimes. I really miss doing the marriage counseling/coaching. I loved that! I think I will work again at some point. As I said a few weeks ago, I would love to write a column or a book or host a radio show on relationships and parenting. Anyone out there have any connections for me?

2. Are there things you do that are just "yours" and don't have anything to do with your kids? Hmm.... not as much as I ought to have. "Pre-Kate" I was so much better about that. I volunteered and was in a book club and went to Bunko. I am slowly easing back into that stuff. I go to a "Stamping up" workshop once a month to make cards and I am taking a photography seminar in a few weeks. I also try to go out to dinner with some girlfriends about once a month. Thanks for reminding me Kristi that I need to focus on that a bit more. I really feel as though I am a better Mom if I am well rounded. Also, I won't know what to do with myself once the kiddies grow up:)

3. Do you ever have a babysitter or do you have family near by who help you? Most unfortunately, we do not have family near by that can help us. We also do not have a sitter. I am interviewing someone this week. For the first 12 years of our marriage we had a date night EVERY week. I am ashamed that we do not have a sitter now. I know that we did what we needed to do for Kate's adjustment to our family but it is time to get a sitter and start dating my husband again!

4. Did you ever find great a great skin care line? (I need one!) I'll tell you what I did get was one of these and it is great. I also tried various product lines (and will still try more) but what is working really well for me is a simple drug store cleanser called Clean and Clear. It is not fancy but my skin is ...well clean and clear! I use it with my clarisonic twice a day. It does sting if it gets in your eyes so be careful. I also use some fancy schmancy wrinkle creams that one of my BFF gives me. Her husband is a fancy schmancy skin doctor. And if you happen to be reading this BFF---I could use some more of whatever is the latest and greatest! I'll pay ya!

5. Want to go to downtown Chicago and have lunch and "run errands?" :) Kristi, I would LOVE to do this! So, if I am ever heading there to see my imaginary BFF,Oprah, I will certainly call you and would LOVE to "run errands" and have lunch! From what I can tell, you are very good at running errands.

I was starting to feel uncomfortable with all of the kind compliments about how organized I seem. I am organized but let me tell you that sometimes our house TRULY is a mess. We are normal people here. People (including my closest friends) do not seem to believe this (the mess part). So, I did something that is very difficult for me to post. I took photos of my kitchen Saturday morning before I cleaned it. Take a look...




If you look closely (don't really look--just pretend), you will notice kid's school papers strewn about, dishes by and in the sink, my purse on the floor, a stray sandal in the middle of the floor. See, this is what having 3 kids has done to me. The photos below are of my kitchen "Pre-Kate."

Clotheshouse 003

Clotheshouse 016

Clotheshouse 004

Ahhh just looking at these old photos make me feel better!

And the winner of the subscription to Cottage Living magazine is......... Annette!
I had chose a random number between 1-64. That was much easier than writing down everyone's names! Congratulations Annette! E-mail me with your full name and address (through my profile) and I'll send in the subscription.


  1. You don't have to exercise and you call that a mess? If you weren't clearly a very nice person, I might have to hate you! Your kitchen "before" pictures look like my "afters."

  2. first - love your kitchen and I love it more after Kate :)
    I just finished Sophia Kinsella's Remember Me - love her.
    I too have a constant challenge of organizing lego/playmobile pieces - everything must be in it's place :)
    I also iron my sheets and I am glad to know I'm not alone with this chore.
    My dh bought me the Sony a700 professional camera for Christmas and it's been totally wasted on me - just signed up for a class plus bought some awesome dvd tutorials. They have helped a lot!

  3. You're very funny and very cute! I wish your kitchen "before" looked like my kitchen EVER! You are a lot more organized than you realize. I'll send over my 5 kids and two dogs...well, actually, I won't as that wouldn't be nice...they'd put your house and sanity over the edge. I completely understand about having the house clean before you can relax and your home is so lovely that I know I could relax there. I need to be able to say that about my own place, but relaxation is a fleeting feeling around here ;^).

  4. OH MY GOSH! If you think that is a MESS, you would go into SHOCK if you came to my home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Like I said...... I want to be like you when I grow up!
    Love you......
    PS... you are just too humble my dear friend.... one day you are just going to have to believe us and realize that you ARE wonderful.

  5. Love your answers - as we have discussed, I am an ironing freak!! (Rob wants to put me through some sort of rehab for this obsession).

    The messy pictures make me feel slightly better:)

    And the weight thing -well, just not fair Kimber, just not fair:))

    Thanks for sharing - I must admit it is fun to peek behind the curtains and know each other better.

    Have a great week.

  6. Okay... all I know now is that you are skinny AND have an incredibly gorgeous kitchen?!? My kitchen WISHES it could look like that on a GOOD day!!
    Green. I am green :)
    LOVE all the Q & A's!!

  7. Hee hee....if you think your kitchen is a mess, a tornado must have hit mine!!!!;) It looks fantastic and I think your photos after Kate are much more beautiful!!!:)
    You have a lovely home and family!

  8. Dear Kim,

    I love seeing your home messy! I think I have the same problem about having to clean before I can relax. My husband doesn't seem to have this same issue as me:)

    Your kitchen is beautiful! I love the light fixtures, I'm not sure if I told you that before!

    See you tomorrow at stamp club! Love, Clare

  9. Kim,

    How embarrassing!!! I could never have posted those pictures with that one piece of paper out of place and your purse in the kitchen...seriously. I hope you can hear the sarcasm here.

    Love the post!

    Jennifer (and Landree)

  10. Yes my friend, of course I am reading your blog! We MUST talk soon - so much to catch up on. love, staci

  11. I LOVE your kitchen!! So light and spacious. We have the same taste in chick lit.

  12. Wonderful Q&A session! This has been so fun to learn more about you and your sweet family!! I have to tell you...My Mother in Love....will send her sheets out to be dry cleaned! She likes them crisp and freshly pressed that way.

    Love your beautiful kitchen...and the precious play mat of Kate's! So cute!!!

    Sweet Blessings!

  13. Your kitchen is awesome - and almost even better with the things in it (especially the stroller - I love the stroller) b/c it lets us know (not that it is our business) that it is lived in too! I just can't get over the beauty of the kitchen though! I love that you answered all of these questions - sorry I didn't get any in before it was closed :)

  14. Kim,
    You're killin me!!! If you call that messy, then HELP!!!!! You would probably think I live in a pig sty.

  15. My dearest Kim, I just don't think I could love you more!
    You are so sweet, honest, and funny...and you are my hero!

    P.S. Your kitchen is fabulous - before AND after Kate.

  16. you are just too funny....want to come organize my house with me? I promise fun shopping afterwards! lol

  17. You Iron everything?!?!? Oh, would you hate living at my house!!! Too funny.

    I love your kitchen (before and after), especially the lanterns over the bar.

    The ice cream pictures are so cute.

  18. You iron your sheets? Now I am really nervous about you coming to my house...LOL~

  19. you crack me up!
    but i am totally with you--i can only truly relax if my house is clean ( or as clean as i can get least very tidy!)
    i have always been that way. before i was married, the joke was that when i woke in the mornings my bed looked as neat as it was the night before....hmmm, have yet to meet a man that can say the same!

    my emily often tells me when she grows up her house will be a mess...i guess you could analyze this & let me know what other things i have done psychologically to her!

  20. Fun post to read and yes - fabulous kitchen Kim! (How do you get those counters so empty?). I'm also very much into marriage and parenting courses and books and wanted to ask you what your favorite parenting books were. Should you not know them the Alpha Marriage course is also simply great. They're working on a parenting course right now too :-)

    Blessings from Austria,
    Birgit :-)

  21. The question is: is anyone brave enough to post their kitchen picture before they cleaned it!? I'm not!
    You'll love Pillars's a great read. Your other favorites are also some of my recent ones too, especially Glass Castles.
    Great ice cream pictures too. For another great cone, try Chandlers on your side of town.

  22. I love your honesty, you are so down to earth Kim, you really are. I love the messy kitchen, although I can totally relate to having everything in its place before you can relax. I keep telling myself to enjoy these years, it will be clean as soon as the kiddos go to college, then I can sit around my clean house and cry because I miss them!
    I have been known to spray the Downy wrinkle reducer on my bed to get the wrinkles out of my sheets!
    Love that basket by the way,and you know how much I love that playmat!
    Thanks for sharing so many little details about yourself! I feel like I know you even better now!
    Congrats Annette!

  23. Ok I must say your kitchen is not a mess. It is beautiful and Kate adds a special touch to your kitchen. I looks well lived it. It was far to perfect before her.
    It was also nice to read that you had to reorganize the kids lego/playmobile pieces. Those things cazy me anxiety.

  24. Your kitchen is just beautiful, and you are a Mom. No one expects a perfect kitchen from a mother.

  25. Love your kitchen...just beautiful! I am with you on not being able to relax unless the house is clean.


  26. Hi Kim
    I had to comment again to thank you for the Method products recommendation. They are great! I have been a big fan of Myers products which I buy at World Market but these are wonderful! I also realized when I re-read your post, I had to comment that we too had our son in a Montessori school til' 1st grade and plan on our daughter if/when she comes home attending also. We/he loved it! I had to also chuckle at your white car answer. My last few cars have been a white Acura MDX, a white mustang (fluke when moving south) and now a Mercedes Gl-450 which I wanted white but didn't want to wait so settled for silver. Love white, it always looks clean. Again thanks for the product recommendation!

  27. Kim,
    This is great reading all the interesting facts about you!! I love it. I also love your gorgeous kitchen!! Staightened up or not!! I remember sorting my kids toys when the big kids were little!! I HATED doing it but did!! I also love stamping cards and that is why I am helping my friend with her website to raise money for her adoption!!

    I am getting ready to add pictures of new cards!!


  28. One last question if you're up for it!! Kate is always dressed so beautifully I was wondering how you keep her clean and from ruining her clothes. Did you luck out with a neat eater and a bib will suffice? Do you wash her clothes with special detergent? I nanny a 14 month old little girl and no matter how hard I try to keep her clean she is SO messy Even dry snacks such as goldfish end up mushed and ground into her clothes!!

  29. I love your style, your kitchen is lovely. I feel the same way about anything being on my counters too. Its so wierd though, when I look at your kitchen or anyone elses I don't think theirs looks terrible but if something is on my counters I think it looks a huge mess;
    I think you are doing a wonderful job being a mom to 3.

  30. Oh that is so NOT a mess! LOL... I could not pay you enough to come and organize my house! Too Funny... Love your answers... Have a great week!

  31. Love your kitchen and that is NOT messy. I would prove it but I refuse to show the world yet my messy house at the end of the day.
    I DO though pick up before going to bed so it starts out clean again.

    You iron your sheets and pillow cases? I am so not letting my husband look at this blog! LOL

  32. I iron so seldom that one time a few months ago I got out the iron and ironing board and my kids asked me what it was and what I was going to do with it. LOL! Also, my kitchen doesn't look like your 'before' kitchen even on my BEST days. I have posted before and after pics of my kitchen on my blog, but I won't link to it from here...oh the shame!
    Thanks for sharing your life, you organized, clean, skinny, great mom, you...I'd love to hate you, but you are just so darn sweet! :o)


  33. Pillars of the Earth is one of my favorite books. I love historical fiction. The follow up book was good, but not like the first one! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Beautiful kitchen!

  34. LOL! Could you PLEASE come and make MY house as "messy" as yours??? :-) It would be a HUGE improvement! :-)

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your kitchen, btw..:-)

  35. kim, you should write one column/post per week (or something) here on your blog about marriage counseling/coaching. i'm blessed with an amazing husband and loving/fulfilling/incredible marriage, we are constantly working on making it better. we know there is always room for improvement. anyhow, as a newlywed who has noted the incredible family and marriage you have, your advice means a lot.


Thank you for your kindness.