As the mother of five children and happily married to actor, David Koechner, Leigh Koechner is raw, honest, and funny.
Having survived near death complications during the birth of her first child, Leigh’s joy is to inspire others to embrace the world and each other with an open mind, heart, and arms. Through this message, Leigh has helped women lift the veil of fear and live with compassion and balls.
As a result of her positive approach, Leigh was chosen by Oprah Winfrey, out of 18,000 submissions, to be a contestant on the talk show competition “Your OWN Show.” She also wrote and performed her one-woman show “Miss Junior Overland Park,” which was filmed and aired as a part of Oxygen’s “Life Out Loud” series.
Leigh is hosting a talk show for Everydayfamily.com. She leads an inspirational women’s group called FEMSPIRE in Los Angeles, writes a popular blog called absoluteLeigh, and is writing a memoir, absoluteLeigh infertile, about her emotional journey with gestational surrogacy that lead to the birth of four of her beautiful children.
Leigh is excited to join women on a Moxie March across America to show that blessings come from both life’s peaks and valleys.
- LMD: Congratulations on your show, Every Day Family Room! Tell us how it came about it.
LK: Thank you! i had been a guest a few times on the parent experiment with lynette corolla. the producer of the show, kathee misraje really liked me and thought i was super funny and super smart and super sexy (i added a little bit to that description). when her and her husband, donny misraje, started their own production facility, media o matic, she was offered to produce a talk show for everydayfamily.com and thought of me to host. i was available and off we went.
- LMD: What was your most memorable experience on Oprah’s “Your OWN Show Contest”?
LK: two things come to mind. the first thing, is meeting, oprah winfrey. i always knew i would be on her talk show before it went off the air and i also knew i would be on her new network.
when she walked out on stage the first day of your own show to greet us, i lost my breath. she is an amazing woman who has changed the way we communicate with each other and stripped some of the stigma attached to what we feel are our dirty little secrets. she took my hand, looked me in the eye, and said, “have fun.” and i did for the seven minutes i was on the show! i also walked onto her stage with her on her talk show when she introduced the cast for your own show. next time i visualize about being on a talk show, i need to be more specific like putting in the part of her and i sitting in her big yellow leather seats for 50 minutes gabbing, while sipping out of those clear water glasses with the silver straws.
the second thing that was memorable was: i had just finished shooting my backyard talk show pilot (you can see on my website www.absoluteLeigh.com) and pitched it to dreamworks. i knew it was hot and would be a slam-dunk. the moment i came home from celebrating the pitch at the chateau marmont, my phone rang. it was dreamworks telling me they weren’t buying my show. i know people in the industry are used to this type of thing, but i was in shock! a few minutes after that, my phone rang again. it was friend of mine calling to ask me if i heard about oprah winfrey’s new contest to star in your own show. in that moment i knew the real reason i shot the backyard talk show pilot, was for oprah, not dreamworks. i submitted my show to the contest and was the first person to be put on hold to compete in her show. it was that satisfying moment where you know you did the work and your work paid off.
- LMD: Your motto is “no mundane moments.” How do you apply it to your marriage?
LK: my motto is;
absoluteLeigh live your life with compassion and balls.
“wyg then gyg”. figure out what’s your gift, then give your gift.
“no mundane moments” is a video segment i do for hooplaha.com. it is about never settling in to “i have to do this again today,” but looking at whatever you get to do with a fresh eye. making a decision to find ways to enjoy the activity whether it is doing laundry, driving carpool, etc. instead of dreading it.
applying it to marriage, is loaded. we have 5 children charlie 13, margot 11, sargent 6, audrey 6, and eve 2. so even if i dreamt of a mundane day, it never is. our home is chaotic. dave and i are running around like crazy and on top of that dave is an actor so he doesn’t have a set schedule or hours, like most dad’s do. he may be gone for 2 months shooting a movie, or having 3 auditions in one day, working on 4 different jobs at a time, etc. we never have a “routine” day. so, it is challenging to set alone time, date night, romantic interludes and such. something i do is use technology. i like to text dave to meet me out side to “bring in groceries”, but really i want a curb side make out. i like to send him sweet or steamy emails to break up all the business emails he gets. i also try and schedule date night when i know he will be home. i think it is so important to make marriage a top priority. the love that dave and i have for each other, created all of these children. i don’t want to lose sight of that love. when parents are in sync, the home is in sync. when parents are at odds, so is the home. i feel like a stronger mother when i am connected with my husband. when we are not getting along, i struggle. i don’t like struggling. we talk through our stuff, we pray together at night before we fall asleep, and i think we both respect and admire each other. i am so happy david is my husband and the father of my children. we are lucky ducks.
- LMD: Have you found an after school class that is fun for both boys and girls?
LK: my 6 year old boy / girl twins both enjoyed doing my gym in toluca lake, but then they out grew it. they both enjoyed kids art in studio city for a while, but then sargent didn’t like to sit still that long. my kids are all so different; different ages and both sexes . i have a hard time even finding a camp they will all like. they like soccer, ballet, basketball, pokemon cards, horseback riding, choir, chess, acting flag football, cheer, art. the only place my kids are all happy besides shakey’s pizza on laurel- where they serve beer and have kid games, is great wolf lodge in kansas. it is an indoor water park hotel designed for kids. david and i are from kansas & missouri. we stay there once a year while we visit family. if i say to my kids do you want to go to great wolf lodge in kansas or hawaii, it would be unanimous, great wolf lodge!
i heard on a show once you should only let your kid do one activity a season. i was trying to limit my kids to one activity a season as to not drive myself crazy trying to get everyone everywhere. then one day, as i was writing activities on our calendar, i realized margot was in cheer, soccer, volleyball, and girl scouts. times that by 5. it can get crazy trying to do all of the things everyone else is. it’s good when you find out what is important to you and your family and make your own rules.
- LMD: Where do you take the kids on a rainy day?
LK: i take the big four kids to a movie at the arclight in sherman oaks where there is a cheesecake factory. we eat before or after, then see a movie. that can take most of the day. my baby, eve, goes to the coop on ventura blvd. in studio city or the playroom in sherman oaks. she likes both of those places, but is unable to sit through a entire movie. i hear a lot of mom’s say they just hang out at home. i have found that getting out of the house, even if it is to walk fryman canyon (not in the rain), makes a big difference. being in our house too long with nothing to do leads to senseless fighting..
- LMD: Is there a fair or festival your family looks forward to each year?
LK: yes! 4 of my children attend st. francis de sales. the catholics are awesome at giving a multiple student discount! we love the community at sfds. every year we put on a festival with games, rides, food, margaritas and beer. my favorite mexican restaurant is casa vega and the owner’s kids goes to sfds, so you can get their margaritas, chips and salsa at the festival. that keeps a lot of the adults happy. i would like to branch out and check out some other festivals around this great state!
- LMD: Your skin is always fabulous. What is your secret?
LK: that is so nice, thank you! i use a very expensive and top-secret face wash called cetaphil. you can get it at target or rite aid. i use a nice face cream for morning and night called, Le Mieux. i drink a lot of water and i am happy. i think that helps. oh yeah, my forehead looks 25 because it has botox. my face is about 35. and my neck is 55. dang it, i should have used sun block those years i was teaching scuba diving for club med!
- LMD: Have you found a fun exercise class that you can share with new moms looking to get in shape?
LK: new moms should fast walk to start off (unless you were hard core working out during pregnancy, then carry on). cardio barre is a nice segue into a class. it’s not too strenuous, but you see the toning results. the class i am obsessed with is called dove’s bodies in north hollywood. it is off the hook with great music. the teacher, dove, is hard-core and it is not for the weak. the class never gets too full because people can’t handle her energy or how hard it is. Dove doesn’t coddle or over encourage and she calls you out if you tie your shoe, take a drink or pretend you don’t know what you’re supposed to do next to catch a breather.
i have watched my tush raise and my underarm chicken fat diminish. that class has become a normal part of my life. i wouldn’t miss it, except for the last month because i have been slightly depressed. my son, charlie, left for boarding school, but i am starting to see what a blessing it will be for him, and because my tush is starting to drop, so i will head back soon!
- LMD: What is your favorite hole in the wall LA restaurant?
LK: for breakfast- nats early bite in sherman oaks. sometimes i feel like i need to clean my own eating utensils, but the chorizo and egg scramble is awesome. lunch- katsuya in studio city. looks like a hole in the wall, but a bit pricey and sooo yummy! i am from kansas so i like me some bbq. i get filled up from uncle andre’s in studio city. i always get it as take out because there is not enough room for my whole family to sit down. they have something for everyone. mac n cheese, fried chicken drumettes, corn on the cobb, cole slaw, ribs and bbq chicken breast and of course fries and onion rings. i always get a big cup of the bbq sauce on the side for extra dipping. baby wipes come in handy after that meal.
- LMD: Where do you go for a night out with the ladies?
LK: i like casa vega for margaritas, i like black market liquor bar in studio city for their crazy good “hot and bothered” drink. the village on ventura blvd. is kind of a sexy hang out. but i will have to say i always have the most fun and casa vega. i can really let my long fine hair down there.
and i don’t like capital letters. i think words look more inviting without them.
do what makes you happy, will you? and do what makes me happy by checking out my website www.absoluteLeigh.com you can find my “no mundane moments” videos under the videos tab.
God bless you, thank you for reading this, and have your best year ever.
live absoluteLeigh with compassion and balls.
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