kmduvalois's Xanga

Saturday, March 23, 2013


I want to get back into my commitment. I have let my blog go as I wrestle with my health, my kid (Crackle), school and just, I don't know, winter lazy. I don't really believe in "lazy" but, yeah, that's how it's been since I have not been feeling well enough to do very much.

Chronic systemic pain can be stifling. Bummer.

Yesterday I found Emily Eddington on YouTube and I am trying very hard to not got back to her page today. I Must. Do. Homework. I Must. Do. Laundry.

I have at least one Guest Blogger post to put up (sorry Julie!) and so many more in my head. 

My goal for my blog was to be honest. I am putting myself out there, saying things "that are better left unsaid," (thanks Dad!) because I want to empower others. Every day is a  struggle for me just to function. Depression, Fibromyalgia, the overwhelming responsibility of having a special needs child, sometimes renders me un-functional. I hate it. I also know it's okay. It's okay for me to fail because I believe in second (tenth?) chances and starting over... and over, and over... just trying to get "it' right. I don't know if I'll ever feel like I've "made it," because my goals are so big and so much more than I can actually DO right now, which is more frustrating than I can express. 
One thing I can say is that I never quit. Doors close on me but that doesn't mean I quit. 

It looks like it will be another year before I graduate. I am killing myself to try and get everything done to do my student teaching by Fall 2013 and it's not going to happen. It's just not. So I cannot graduate until that is finished and it's not going to be until next spring. Disappointed? Yes. Very. But I'm not in a place where I would be looking for a job right away anyway. And maybe now I can work on my MFA applications (they might let me start even though I haven't technically graduated). We'll see. Doors close, but windows open. I believe that.

Today I have done all that I tell myself to do in the mornings. I have read my scriptures, journaled, listed my daily GrAttitudes and caught up with my social networks (even work ones!) and that is my Morning Goals. I struggle with that on weekdays because of being interrupted. 

I am in pain. My entire right side is killing me. It's horrible. And no amount of Excedrin/Advil is doing the trick. I see my doctor on Tuesday and am planning on getting some Gabapentin if nothing  else. This not-being-able-to-function nonsense is for the birds. Bleh. and ARGH!

Superman is out of town. I told Snap he could go to Six Flags. Crackle is doing his disappearing act daily and I cannot stop it. He apparently got into an altercation yesterday and came home believing someone was after him. Lovely. Maybe today he will stick around and I won't have to call the police. [crossingfingers] Pop is bored. Oh. Well.

So there it is. In all its ugliness. I am determined not to be unhappy today. I am striving to CHOOSE to be happy in spite of feeling overwhelmed, in pain and frustrated with everything around me. It's a struggle. I am not convinced that it's a choice every day for me, but today I am making that choice and ByGollyByGosh I'm trying. 

That's all I can ask of myself. And it's less than I would ask of others.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I know I'm not the only one that has those days.
If you haven't seen these, then you need to.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Foot Fetish

Today I have a Guest Blogger! I asked my friend Julie (LIKE her page!) to write some beauty blogs for me because ... well, because. She has a few pots in the fire as you'll notice when you read what she wrote. 
So without further ado...

Feet are gross. Especially in the summer. You know what I’m talking about-- flip-flop season. The time of year when your soles are rough, dry, and chapped. While foot care is something I try to keep up with all year round, I just don’t. I’m not even gonna lie; it’s because I’m lazy.

However, in the spring and summer months, it becomes much more crucial. Therefore, a quick, 30-minute foot regimen is an easy way to keep your tootsies looking and feeling wonderful.

Here’s my super easy Four-Step Foot Bath:

Step 1: Fill a tub, bucket, or bowl (whatever works best for you) with nice, warm water. I love     mine really hot, but you don’t have to burn your feet off like I do ;) Drop a foot bath fizzy in while you’re filling it up. Relax and let your feet soak for about 15 minutes. (This is my favorite part… I’m sure you can tell why).

A “foot bath fizzy” you say? What’s that? While you can find some just about anywhere that has a foot care aisle, I highly recommend Me Time Boutique’s version. Why? Because um… they’re awesome. And- full disclosure- I make them! Aside from being affordable, you can get them custom-made in the color of your choice and there’s even a few different scents to choose from. Typically, though, Peppermint is the way to go. Me Time Boutique’s version of these foot bath fizzies also include baking soda, which is awesome for killing some of that foot odor.

Step 2: Once you’ve soaked for about 15 minutes, use a small amount of foot scrub to scrub away            dead and dry skin. You can use it on your entire foot or just on problem areas. Get ready for another shameless plug… Yes! Me Time Boutique makes foot scrub! Made with sugar and olive oil, MTB’s foot scrubs are also customizable (you choose the color and scent).
Step 3: Got your feet all scrubbed up? Good! Now dunk your feet back in your tub of water and rinse off the scrub. Once you get it all off, pat your feet dry.

Step 4: Once your feet are dry, finish off with your favorite foot lotion/balm. My personal favorite (oh, c’mon, you KNEW I was going to recommend one!) is Mary Kay’s Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion for Feet & Legs. The great thing about this lotion is that you can also put it on over sheer hosiery (for those ladies who might need to sneak a little lotion onto their feet at work).

That’s it! Enjoy your fresh, soft feet!

Monday, March 11, 2013

National Napping Day & SOS 21/40

I read it on the internet. It's National Napping Day today. I've done my job already. Felt awful this morning and stuff that's TMI and not for public publication ...
Anyway, so much on my mind lately and zero focus power.

I have been listening (almost nonstop) to Les Miserables on Pandora and can differentiate between the Original London cast, the Original Broadway cast, the Symphonic celebration & myriad other versions... as well as the movie version ...actually craved the sound of Russell Crowe as Javert. Ack.
As a result I am moved to tears on a regular basis. I don't know if that's good or bad or if I like it or not but it is what it is.

Also, school has been somewhat overwhelming. I found out today that I got a B+ in my last class so that's good news. I took the CSET on Saturday and I feel good about it. I will find out on April 8th if my "good feelings" mean anything. The class I'm taking now isn't too much pressure... finally. Then another CSET (2&4) on May 4th. One more class then hopefully I'll be all done and ready for Student Teaching in the fall. Ugh. Graduation in December? Maybe.

My diet is over. I tried giving up dairy, gluten, fat, carbs... That was not working for me. Now I'm comfort feeding and not feeling guilty. I'm not taking any meds (for depression or pain or anything) so I'm being gentle. I'm still wary of dairy but we'll see. I'll probably do the low-carb Metabolism Miracle when I'm ready to be committed again. Maybe tomorrow. Today I had chocolate cake. (Check out Back Roads Living!)

So here's to hopping back on the bandwagon with everything. With Daylight Saving time there is more sunlight to enjoy and I should enjoy it.

Monday, March 4, 2013

How to be a Human & SOS Day 14/40

I started another blog once. I called it "How to be a Human" because I think people either don't know how to be human or don't care so I figured if I gave some tips and taught a few lessons I could make the world a better place and, you know, bring about World Peace. Single-handedly.


So, that lasted like maybe a week or two then something happened and I lost all hope for humans and took the blog down. I never promoted it or talked about it anywhere but the thought continues in my mind that we really need someone to stand up and just teach people how to BE HUMAN!

And not just be human to other humans but to animals, plants, the environment... I am not a tree-hugger. I am not a Vegan. I am however a believer in agency, free will, choice. I advocate choice.

That being said I had a few things that hit me and made me happy this week. It put my faith back into humanity and made me feel like maybe I'm not the only one that is sad over the state of society, and humankind as a whole. 

So today I am giving you my Top 5 Make Me Happy, There Is Hope For Humans, They Do Exist, Good People Moments of the last week.

1. The Masai Tribe of Kenya.
Have you heard about this? It's been over ten years, why did I not remember this? Then again, post 9/11 was a complete foggy, depression haze that took me quite some time to recover from. I hoped this story wasn't just a legend so I looked it up and discovered that it was even made into a children's book so PARENTS CAN TEACH THEIR KIDS how to be kind or HUMAN! What a thought. 

The most beautiful part of this story is that the people came together and offered something that is vital and significant to their lives and culture. They recognized the pain and grief of such a horrendous act and DID something. 

The mom with no legs. She has more than survived, she thrives! Married with children she takes care of her family in spite of her disability and does so with a better attitude than I do most days! (I am assuming, because I know I have a bad attitude.) Her story makes me believe in true love, true optimism and makes me humble. She is currently in need... BE HUMAN! If you can help, please do (if you can't, at least send good vibes and share her story)!

No, not quite yet, but a baby was cured of HIV and this is a good sign. Scientific strides to help people overcome horrible illnesses make me happy. HUMANS using their Brains to benefit Humanity. Cool! 

FYI Cancer next you SMART HUMANS YOU!

This picture made me happy. Our family motto (I should clarify this is my family, Superman's family is way to classy for this...!) is "Better Weird Than Mean" and I agree that Weird=Awesome. Yeah, I'm all over that.
Also, this girl looks a bit like Zooey Deschanel who epitomizes the term "Adorkable;" another fun word.

5. The people in my life.
No link for that. My family, my friends, stuff that just falls into place because the time/place/circumstances are finally *right* -- good things. Posts from authors I love about the little things that make them happy. Seeing beautiful pictures of babies, and grandmas and lakeside cottages. Visiting with friends and feeling connected again. Listening to podcasts by "strangers" yet I feel like I know them. 
Our world has gotten smaller on some levels because of the internet. I can post something that is relevant halfway around the world and people there will see it, immediately. Crazy. 

I don't need an entire blog space to contribute my little ideas on how to make this world a better place, I just need to do something. Every now and then I might talk more about this idea but for now it's just here and now and what is making me happy today.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Slacker & SOS Day ?/40

I am overwhelmed. I did some back blogging but as you can see I have not done anything new since waybacklastTuesday! Ugh. FAIL!

But the awesome thing about Failure is that you are not a failure unless you quit. 

I am not quitting.

Today is my 6 month bday so I am halfway done with this project. Yesterday I was supposed to start cross-posting to my new site but that's not going to be happening anytime soon. You are free to look at the empty page if you like... 
I do not have a "theme" for my blog. I am a continuous op-ed piece aka chronic brain-dumping. The subtitle of my new blogsite kind of sums me up; Because I have opinions.


So today I finish some homework (very important class). Tomorrow the new class starts. It's teaching Health in a Secondary Ed classroom. I found out I will probably not graduate in May as I thought because I still need to do my Student Teaching. I don't know because I don't really understand how it works. What I do know is that to participate in the Commencement ceremonies in May I must have all my Coursework completed by September. Since I have to do Student Teaching for 1/2 a semester (how long is that? 9 weeks?) and that cannot be started any earlier than August (at best) then I will not be done by September.


In the meantime I have this class (Methods of Teaching English), the next class (teaching Health), April and May are "free" (haha), then I "retake" Theory & Development. (The class I blew off in December. Grr.) I have until July to finish my Japanese (BYU Independent Study) which is good. All that's left is the 3 classes associated with Student Teaching.

I also have to take a bunch of online "prep tests," submit a boatload of nonsense to my online portfolio & take the CSET (English teacher test for CA). There are 4 tests and I'm taking two this weekend. Yikes. Pray for me.

So. I'm kind of busy.

On top of all that...  I've had some issues, breakthroughs and blessings come my way for Crackle. It's too soon to talk about publicly but it should be a good thing for all of us, especially him. (It's one of those heartbreak moments as a mom, however.)

So. Yeah, I'm a slacker but I am not a failure... Failure is not an option for me.

and here is a blog-blast from the past to tie you over...