Meet Big Ocean: Kim Landeen

Kim Landeen comes to Big Ocean with a special interest in protecting the family. This desire has been intensified as she and her husband Allen have been professional foster parents to 13 little boys over the last 2 years. Kim stays busy as a health coach helping people regain their mental and physical health through clean eating, exercise, and structured personal development. Kim served as an LDS missionary in the Germany Berlin mission where she was entrusted with positions to train and guide many other missionaries. Her hobbies include hiking in Moab, ice fishing on Strawberry Reservoir, river rafting, playing football with her boys, taking candlelit essential oil baths, and cuddling with her husband and their dog Toby.

Believe in the most compassionate you.

Believe in the most forgiving you.

Believe in the you that won’t give up.

—Kim Landeen

Kim Landeen has a fierce love of life, and desire to help women become their best selves. “I am extremely passionate about building confidence in women. I want women to feel empowered in their own strengths. I want women to know that they are enough just as they are. I want them to know that they can take control of their destiny and create a life that they are proud of living.” It is this belief in creating your best life, and respecting the unique traits of the individual that has led to Kim to many of her life’s joys and challenges.

She met her husband Allen while they were both working at a treatment center for struggling teens–Kim, working with the girls, and Allen with the boys. “One of the strengths that I feel like we have developed due to our work in therapy is the ability to communicate with each other. This has been essential to overcoming life’s ups and downs.” Kim and Allen currently live in Utah, with their dog Toby. Although they are expecting their first child, a little girl in May, they have been engaged in protecting and nurturing the family since the day they married, and have been foster parents to over 13 little boys over the last two years.

About becoming foster parents, Kim says: “Working as professional parents for the majority of our marriage, we have been required as part of our job to model an appropriate relationship to our foster children. These children often times, but not always, came from dysfunctional family units. They were witnesses to domestic violence and abuse. I remember one night getting into a disagreement with Allen about something little around the house and one of the boys running out of the room and hiding. I went to find him and when I sat down to talk with him he mentioned how he thought that because Allen and I disagreed, we would start to get into a physical altercation. I then had the opportunity to talk with him about how it it is okay to disagree with others and that it can even be healthy, but you need to be able to discuss your feelings with the other person in a respectful way.”

This respect for others extends to more than just parenting, but into all of her interactions with others. Kim recently finished her associate degree, and is now working on her social media marketing degree from LDSBC in Salt Lake City.She has also worked as a health coach, helping people regain their mental and physical health through clean eating and healthy living. Kim explained: “I think the best way to support anyone is to first understand them as a person and then understand their desires, dreams, and needs. I feel like so often we feel like we intrinsically know what others need, and we fail to listen to what they are actually asking for. We put forth our ideas and solutions instead of simply supporting the women around us in their own desires. I believe the best way we can support other women is in the way that they need us to support them.”  

Kim loves the outdoors; white water river rafting, climbing mountains, rappelling off arches, canyoneering, and lying in her hammock after a long day. When asked what her perfect day would look like, Kim responded that she would, “wake up before the sun and start off on a hike/river trip/etc. at sunrise. After  a few hours, I would find a good place to hang a hammock for my afternoon nap and lunch. Later that day, I would gather around a big campfire with my friends and family as we sang campfire songs, told stories, and roasted yummy food before falling asleep under the stars.”  

Although Kim is usually a very healthy, physically active individual, she has found herself struggling to maintain that independence in her pregnancy, as she struggles with the effects of Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a complication characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration.  Kim said:  “I have spent the majority of the last six months in bed. I have never felt more vulnerable or weak then I have during this time, and Allen has been by my side through it all. He has made sure I have had ice to chew on, cleaned up throw up, washed my hair, driven me to all my doctors appointments, and laid with me when I needed someone to talk with.” She goes on, saying:  “Allen by nature is a loving man, but I have seen a protective caring side of him that I have never needed to see before this point. He has worked his butt off at work to make ends meet and make sure we are ready for a family despite his own challenges. I could honestly go on and on about how much I have learned to rely upon Allen over this time, but it is sufficient to say that I know I could not make it through this life without his loving support.”

The nurturing and supportive relationship that they have developed with one another is one reason they were able to be successful foster parents, despite the many challenges– challenges that she is quick to point out are balanced out by the rewards. To anyone considering becoming foster parents, Kim says:  “If I were to tell them one thing, it is love alone will not be enough. If someone is truly interested in becoming a foster parent they need to start taking classes that will help them understand basic behaviors. They need to understand how trauma affects the brain, how attachments are formed and the consequences when they are broken. They need to understand the importance of structure as a safety for children who have experienced trauma. They need to first deal with their own baggage before they can truly help these children in the way that they deserve. They need to make sure that their significant other and close family are not only okay with the idea, but 100% on board and understand what that means. Being a foster parent can be one of the life’s biggest blessings. You are given the opportunity to very literally take upon another’s burden by choice and help them learn the skills necessary to overcome all their challenges. You are privileged to watch the best qualities of humanity overcome the atrocities that exist among us. You form relationships that can last a lifetime. If someone is really interested, there are amazing rewards if you are willing to put in the work to being prepared to get through the heartache.”

Even with the health challenges surrounding her pregnancy, Kim talks about how she wants to help others feel loved and empowered—masters over their own spheres of  influence. “I want everyone, but especially women to feel comfortable in their own bodies. I want women to recognize and build off their strengths, without feeling threatened by others and by their different strengths. I want each one of us to realize we are worthy of respect.” This is one of the things that drew her to Big Ocean. She has a desire to help others and to work with other women who share her views to protect the family. “I want women to be confident enough to work together for the betterment of each other, of their homes, their communities, and ultimately of the world.”

photo-2 Written by ShelliRae Spotts