About Me

My photo
I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



Powered by Blogger.




Thursday, January 31, 2013

'94 Rules!

Remember high school?

Riiiight. Me neither. I'm trying really hard in this moment to remember high school, but I'm afraid all I can remember is big hair and being nervous.
I don't think the hair made me nervous but it certainly couldn't have helped.

I'm getting ready to speak at a youth group convention. There will be about a gazillion (700) teenagers in one room and I am the speaker. For three days.

This is where you should commit to prayer and fasting for me.

I'm sure it will be fine and I have every hope that the guy who booked me won't lose his job as a direct result of his irresponsibility in hiring such a WEIRDO, but in the wee hours, my mind does race.

Remember high school?!

I cannot wait to meet these kids, talk with them, hear their stories, share a bit of mine. I wish I could take my 16-year-old self out for breakfast and let her in on a few secrets. Like that high school doesn't last forever. And what's beyond is much more beautiful and full. And that waiting for the approval of others turns out to be just as much of a colossal waste of time in adulthood as it was in tenth grade. And that liquid blue eyeliner is actually kind of creepy.

What would you say to your high school self, other than to photograph your abs daily because they'll never, ever recover after childbirth?

Words of wisdom? Warnings? Cheers? I'd love to hear.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jeggings and Other Horrors

Please, please help me out here.

Why the jeggings?
Try not to concentrate on the fact that this particular woman hasn't eaten since half-way through the Clinton administration and focus instead on my confusion. Why skin-tight jeans that aren't jeans, with cuffs that squeeze all the blood out of one's ankles?

I have man-calves. There. I said it. I am the girl who cannot find stylish leather boots that zip because that zipper will end up slicing into my man-calf. Instead I have to find boots made from scary, synthetic materials that are stretchy and smell funny because they were made in a laboratory in Guam. I am the girl who should have pursued gymnastics or professional calf raising competitions because my man-calves would LITERALLY crush the competition.
So leggings/jeggings are full-fledged danger zone for me. Can I get an amen out there? Or are you all the people who have lovely calves and delicate ankles? I have serious delicate-ankle-envy. And you should be a little scared of my anger because people with huge calves can be vicious when provoked.

Please tell me I'm not the only one. Jeggings be gone?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Reasons I'm Not Famous

Did you watch the Golden Globes? Yeah, me neither. I had good intentions and I think Amy P. and Tina Fey are hi-larious, but I get so distracted so easily and I think that night I cleaned out my shoe rack. Turns out, the Birkenstocks I bought in the mid-nineties really AREN'T coming back in style. 

Which brings me to the subject of the day: Why I Am Not Famous and Should Never Be Allowed to Attend a Fancy Party. First, I might try to wear Birkenstocks. Second, I would absolutely not wear an appropriate dress/gown/ensemble, particularly if we take a look at what important people were sporting this year at the GGs. First, I give you Jessica Chastain:
Gorgeous and talented. But Sea Foam on me would be more like Sea Sick and Midwestern. Her pale and beautiful does not translate to my skin in Iowa winter because there is very little justice in the world. Finally, a sports bra would really ruin the whole look here but I'd be terrified to let things take their natural course. Sea foam sports bra it would be.
I think Halle is a lovely person, but if I tried to poke and prod my extra flesh into this ensemble, I would either be arrested or tied over a spit with an apple stuck in my mouth.

On to J-Nude.
 I don't see the love here. Why nude panty hose behind lace? Is this pretty? I am missing the point, I am sure. Also, I could stare at the camera with a smoldering gaze until all the cows came home and I'd still look like I forgot to cover the groceries.

Emily Blunt:
A wholly unnatural way to stand, but we're talking clothes here and I have to say it: Cut-outs will never touch this bod. I'm trying to show people God LOVES them, not the opposite. Trust me when I say a midriff cut-out would communicate hatred to all God's children.

I have such a long, faraway journey to make before I can understand the ways of fashion. In the meantime, anybody need a pair of Birks?

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Thanks for entering, for liking, and for thinking about free booties, all in the name of love. Our winner, winner, chicken dinner is.....

Stacie Baumler Gorkow! 

Congrats, Miss Stacie. Kristen of K. Noel will contact you about your spoils.

And because a True Random Number Generator isn't exactly my idea of solid entertainment, I leave you with this:
What is wrong with me that I think this is hysterical?!

Don't worry--Marc is safe. But I might just mention my blog post today, see if he takes a look. I guarantee he'll be more interested in the True Random Number Generator. Physics majors are phun like that. Phun and safe from fatal neck injuries.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Girls in the Know Giveaway: K.Noel

One of my favorite byproducts about this whole writing adventure has been getting to meet so many creative women. That and crying with my mom every time we get the first printed copy of one my novels. And when people give me chocolate. And when I get to talk about books and get paid for it.

My name is Kim and I'm a crier.

But one of the best truly has been learning about and from all these wildly talented women who are creating whilst balancing careers, family, pacifiers, poopy diapers, poopy pets and poopy husbands. (I quickly outsource the conversations about poopy husbands.) 

So I think it will be fun to introduce some of these creative girls to you and show you how to get your mitts on what they're making. My friend Kristen Smith of K. Noel is the first up.
Kristen is the cute, feminine one on the right. Her husband, Matthew, is not feminine but he knows everyone and everything, so you might want to keep his name handy as well.

Kristen makes beautiful, modern crocheted lovelies with patience, skill and a great eye for design. Her grandmother taught her to crochet, and K loves to put a fresh spin on an ancient art form. Isn't her stuff cool?!
You and I both know you want these leg warmers, even if they are for children and can't fit over our big toes. WAY too cute.
Can you handle the cute factor of these Mary Jane booties? My booty, for one, is not nearly as cute.
Lucky for us, Kristen has offered to give a pair of Mary Jane booties to one blog reader.

All you need to do is like her Facebook page (facebook.com/k.noelbaby) OR if you are angry at Facebook (no judgement here), comment below. That's it! And the booties can be yours! 

We will draw a name Thursday, January 24, 2013, at high noon, and I'll announce the winner here. And if you are not the winner, take heart! K. Noel will give a 15% discount to orders placed on her Etsy store before March 15. 2013. Enter coupon code kstuart15 for your discount.

Life is good and there are lots of artsy girls in the know, turns out. Kristen is our first but stay tuned because every now and then, free stuff is going to fly around here. 

Now go try win. And buy the leg warmers. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Perils of Worship Team, Part Two

I'm so comfortable in this long, leather chair, so I'm just going to continue our therapy session. Is that all right? How does that make you feel?

So, this all started at the beginning, see, this fear of public indignities and church. I won't bring you al the way back to my childhood, though that is RIFE with possibilities, but I will recount the very first time I sang at our present church after we'd moved to town eight years ago. I was handed a little electro-awesome pack to attach to my pants. This is kind of what it looked like:
I felt like Faith Hill. I'd always wanted Faith's hair or at least a home in Nashville, and I felt like a monitor pack was the first, significant step toward that goal. So I rehearsed with the team Sunday morning (together everybody accomplishes more), and we had a few minutes before the first service began. I flipped my hair on my way out of the sanctuary, practicing for when I met Faith at the grocery store in Nashville.
And then, of course, God felt I needed a reminder that pride goes before a fall. Or a splash. I went to use the restroom, pulled down ye olde trousers, and heard DUNK. Horror can make your reflexes super fast, and I did scoop that little pack out of the toilet faster than I've moved since. Not fast enough, however, and it was a goner.

THIS WAS MY FIRST SUNDAY. Kevin and Dustin, the head honchos, were very kind to me, though I still recall a little fear on their faces when I told this story to them. And grossed-out-ness. One does not want to travel literally or figuratively to the restroom with one's team members (together everyone gets grossed out). 

As testament to the sweet and unfathomable forgiveness one can find from people who love Jesus, they asked me to sing again. They did make me fork over my monitor pack every time I left the room and I had to keep it in a Ziploc on and off stage, but I still think grace won out again. Don't you?!?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Perils of Worship Team, Part One

I'm developing a complex about going out in public. Specifically, to church. Specifically, when I sing on the worship team at church.

For those of you not hip to all the cheeseball verbiage we Christians employ, usually only around each other but as if everyone else in the world understands, "worship team" does not involve any athleticism or uniforms, but it does denote a group of musicians who lead songs during church services. This can refer to vocalists, guitars (acoustic and wild electric), piano, percussion, heck, even a drowned-out string player or flutist if we're feeling crazy. I love being a part of the group at my church and am awed by how talented they are, even if "team" has to be a part of the name. My high school principal ruined that word for me, as he used it not as in "volleyball" or "basketball," but as in Together Everybody Accomplishes More. Unfortunate, but totally ruined.

So I'm scared to go sing at church because I can't seem to keep it together. I'm not talking about losing it and crying in public, though I have a tendency to do that as well. Jesus brings freedom, and for me, that makes me cry. Ana loves staring at me and counting until the waterworks start. Again, no dignity in my life.

I'm talking about keeping my appearance on the up-and-up. A few weeks ago, for example, I wore navy tights with black shoes, mostly because musicians have to arrive at church in the darkness of early morning and I got dressed in that darkness. And also because I am becoming old and masculine and many old men have a hard time with the navy-black issue.
I have also struggled with words. Recently, my children about passed out laughing when I told them I'd massacred the lyrics to the communion song. Instead of "None too lost to be saved, none too broken or ashamed, all are welcome in this place," I sang (As a solo! And boldly!) "None too lost to be shaved, none too broken..."Yes, John the Baptizer, even you, are welcome at our church. Come now, shave later! Mercifully, only our sound man, Dale, had the gall felt the freedom to come up after the service and mock me. But Dale forgot I have a blog and that I could post this in retribution:
I hate to say, now that I'm thinking about it, I have a few more stories to share another day. You guys are so awesome. This is like free therapy! Thanks for listening. You remind me yet again, none are too lost to be saved/shaved, all are welcome in this place.

Monday, January 14, 2013

On the Bookshelf: Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge

I have a friend who is hysterically funny and smart and who collects Bad Jesus Art.

You heard me. And you know you've seen some. I, for one, get nervous around Jesus art, mostly because images don't jive at all with how I picture the Jesus that now, today, gives me hope. For one thing, I don't picture this Jesus as an angry Russian with fetal alcohol syndrome:
 I also suspect my Jesus doesn't wear a wig.
 He might ride a motorcycle, though there's no evidence of this in Scripture.
When you combine this abundant supply of Bad Jesus Art with our own tendency to make Jesus into someone distant, removed, depressed and Norwegian, we have created for ourselves a wacky image of how Jesus actually behaved when here on earth. I recently read John Eldredge's book on this very topic.

He, for one, does not think Jesus wears a wig. In fact, he makes a compelling case for a Jesus who has a great sense of humor (phew!), gets angry at all the right things, despises legalism and loves being with his friends. 

So, good book. You can buy it here.

What are you reading these days?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hakuna Matata...and Other Falsehoods

We had the great fortune of spending a day at Disneyland recently. While not exactly the Happiest Place On Earth, it was enough fun to keep me from going back during my lifetime us busy. I do have some observations that may prove helpful to those of you considering a trip to the Promised Land:

1. Get to know your inner extrovert. There are lots and lots and lots of people at the Happiest Place On Earth.  Many of them are not, in fact, happy. Keep in mind, too, that there are many cultures represented, some of which are comfortable abandoning the idea of personal space. I almost got into a fist fight with a tall European woman who was plastered to Marc's back. I may be short, but I'm scrappy, darn it. Back off.
2. Yes, you read that menu correctly. A corn dog really does cost six dollars.

3. Jasmine has become much more modest in her dressing habits, though she still does rock the gold curly-toed shoes. So if you're hoping for midriff, you'd be better off (and richer!) watching a marathon of Jersey Shore.
4. While you might be emotionally healthy, many people at Disneyland are not. Treat them with care, especially the woman who starts sobbing next to you when the man on the intercom announces the park is about to open for the day. Be ready, though, to explain to your children why the woman is weeping. You might want to start thinking about that well ahead of time so you don't accidentally use the words "freakazoid" and "weirdsmobile."

5. It is almost worth the time, effort, and GNP of a small nation to hear your kids squeal with glee and happy-terror all the way down the Matterhorn roller coaster. Try to embrace the moment, fork over the $75 for cotton candy, and whistle "It's A Small, Small World" on your way to the next ride. Heck, try holding hands with one of the bazillion people next to you. The world is small, and Walt, for one day, has brought you all together.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


You people are fantastic! Or greedy. Or both. Thanks for being fantastic and greedy and for liking my blog page on Facebook. I felt like either a junior high girl or a hooker, asking people to LIKE ME. But you did! You do! Or at least you're willing to humor a hooker.

We have two winners:

Number 44 is Jan Gonda Newell and Number 101 is Heather Chervenka! Congrats, girls. Please comment below (or on the FB page) on which two novels you'd like, and I'll send you books and tea, just the thing for a cloudy January afternoon.

Stick around, all you likable people, because I have other fun stuff coming down the pike. In the meantime, thanks for asking me to sit at your table in the cafeteria in my fishnet stockings. Am I mixing metaphors?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Giveaway: Two-fer and Tea!

It's about time we start giving stuff away around here, don't you think?

I'll start, but I'll warn you to stay tuned. I have a whole line-up of cool stuff that wants to come visit you. More on that in the days to come, but first up, let's give away some reading material. I happen to have some you might like.

Please refer to the sidebar. There are five novels there and I'm giving away two sets of two. You pick which two and I'll sign them to you, to Auntie Golda, to Uncle Billy (awkward), or whomever you choose. And because it's cold outside and I get cranky when it's cold, I recommend banishing the cranky with tea from my favorite tea joint. So I'll throw in some of that too.
To enter, go to the brand-spanking-new Kimberly Stuart Blog Facebook page and LIKE the page. If you are Facebook-adverse, you can also comment below. This contest will close at noon on Thursday, January 10, 2013, and I'll announce the winner here.

Happy reading, sipping, and winning!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Signage, Part Two

Just in case I need a reminder, I've placed this in a prominent position:

True enough, right?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy Old Age!

I, for one, have not seen the north side of midnight since I birthed my last child, and even then I needed a full medical team and IV fluids.

So I'm bright and chirpy this morning! Happy New Year! I hope you rang it in with a bang, or at least without an IV.

Here's the thing about new beginnings: they don't happen much outside the grace of God and plastic surgery. I'm happy to cling to the former, but the latter is not in my future.

Therefore, I witness daily the effects of getting older.

Case in point: I now need glasses.
Looks like I could use a tweezer and some lip gloss too, but I digress.

I now use these babies to read or work on the computer. First, I felt sad because I remembered my beloved elementary school teacher who will remain nameless and how her eyeballs became very small behind glasses so thick, I could see entire rainbow prisms in them when I looked sideways.

But then I felt heartened to know I fit in around here now.
Silver lining. Now maybe people will stop ME in the grocery and tell me I'm cute. Except I can't see humans clearly, just words. So no grocery shopping, unless I detour to the bookstore, which sounds way more fun than groceries anyway.

So you can call me four-eyes now, as in "Happy New Year, Four-Eyes!" I'll totally answer to that, and then I'll squint my eyes and try to see who's talking.