Category Archives: love

Ch-Cha-Changes…..

There are a lot of moving pieces in my life. Like…..MY life isn’t moving, but there is a lot! of movement around me and a lot of change. And I get it. Life is change and movement, whether that might be forward, or backward, or temporary movement.

Anywho…

My oldest
1. enrolled in the second part of her program, which means along with classes and papers, and reading, and.. and… and… (because it’s college), she’ll be starting her clinicals soon as well. She’s going through all this schooling to be a radiographer. I thought she was going for Xray tech, but this so much more. She kicking ass, so give her a thumbs up!
2. Her boyfriend of a year just dropped her without really any reason. Forget a good reason, it was shit and it was selfish and it broke her heart.
3. So on top of getting into the program, she quit her job to focus on school, and her boyfriend tells her “we’re not compatible”. W T F?!
4. And then her fish died today. She’s having a rough week.

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My boy…well, not “boy”; 6 foot tall, 200 lbs (23 year old) man, but my only son and therefore still my boy is still plugging along at his training to be an electrician and he finishes in November. And he seems to like Northern California, so that’s all good stuff for him too.

But we are having a major shift in the house. My youngest has decided to go to the local public high school and get out there and meet teenagers and go do the high school experience. Which is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but she’s been homeschool since she was 6. I brought her home in 2009. We were just moving way too much at that point with the Navy closing NAS Brunswick, so I thought the better choice was to homeschool her under an accredited school to protect us, allow us to reach what she wants to learn, when she wants to learn and how she would learn. But it’s been 8 years now and she wants to start getting out into the world.

So, between random bouts of tears and panic attacks, I am getting the paperwork together to get this process started.

It just feel like a million things I’m directing traffic to, offering up time and whatever my girls need.

So if you need me, I’ll be hiding out in my blanket fort. With my tablet, my coloring book (and crayons), and maybe some snacks.

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If I Could Close My Eyes….

June and July are funny months in the Xunnie household. There’s always the changing of the seasons, graduations, etc ; but we also have the anniversary of my Dad’s death coming up (06/23), what would have been his birthday (07/06), and the anniversary of what I call My Line in the Sand(07/17).

And now, three years into this, we have the anniversary of my diagnonsense. My brain tumor was found because I started falling down the stairs as some kind of a hobby and I complained to my pain docs about more headaches, so she wrote me a referral to a neurosurgeon who ordered the first MRI. I then saw who has become my steady spot in all of this, my neurologist, who then made a face at me and ordered a second scan. And then it was confirmed on June 20, and the next thing I knew I was headed up to Georgetown for half my Summer.

Yes, THE Georgetown hospital. And the coolest thing (is there is such a thing)? My “team” included the HEAD of Neurosurgery and the HEAD of Radiation Oncology. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I must be an interesting case and I’m grateful for it. But yeah, that was a tough Summer. My son was deployed at the time, so I couldn’t tell him all hell had broken loose and inside of 30 days we signed a contract to have our house built, my dog died, and I got diagnonsensed.

June 23, 2012 my Dad lost his fight with cancer and June 20, 2014 I got diagnosed with a brain tumor.

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The point of all of this is:

  1. I did, in fact, get this year’s results and the tumor is “stable with no change in size”.
  2. I realized today as I was telling my oldest daughter a story about the time my Dad came to Michigan and they didn’t know what to make of him that I have all these images and memories that my kids don’t get to see the way I did. They’ve heard the stories, but they were so little, they don’t remember.

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The story I was telling my daughter was: Grandpa was so dark skinned and we’re all fair, blue-eyed, etc so when people see my kids run up yelling “Grandpa! grandpa!” they don’t know what to think. When he visited San Diego, they thought he was Mexican. When he went to Egypt (for work) they thought he was Egyptian. But in Michigan, USA, this lady could not figure out what was going on. (It sounds terribly racist, but when you see his reaction, it’s just funny!) So, as she’s following us through the grocery store and staring, he turns to me and says “if she doesn’t stop it, I’m gonna run over there and kiss her!”

No, he didn’t take himself too seriously.

My daughter smiled and said “I’ve always heard the stories, but I don’t remember….”. All I could think after she went to do her thing for the rest of today and as I’ve gone through my day was I wish I could close my eyes and show them.

Buzzfeed famously has all these ridiculous “What Superpower Should You Have?” or “If You Were in the Marvel Universe, Who Would You Be?” quizzes and lists, but if I had a superpower, I’d want to be able to close my eyes, hold your hands, and show you a memory. I have all these amazing memories and with the 5th anniversary of his loss coming up, I’ll write another blog with some of those. But, God!, what I wouldn’t give to be able to show you.

Hear the music, feel the wind, feel the joy, see the laughter. How much would you really love to be able to do that?

Stuff…and Things

Mostly because it’s been a rough August, and a rough year. For a lot of us…

For my favorite Dookie fighter!!

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And if you’re having a bad day, just remember…

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Believe in a little magic….

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…and find something that brings a smile to your face!

(And if you’re bored, my Tumblr has so cool stuff! I forget about it and then scroll back thru and find more treasures!)

Critters

I was influenced by a post from one of the bloggers I follow the other day. She’s a fellow brain tumor spoonie and shared about her furry babies. So I was inspired to share about mine. Love comes in all shapes and sizes, and on some of my toughest days my furry purr boxes help me survive the pain.

We rescued my Phoebe kitty in 2009 when she was 4 months old. She’s unique in that somehow it seems like she’s all Manx even though her mom was feral. She’s a silver tabby and everybody always asks me why she doesn’t have a tail. She’s sweet and funny (and credited with changing hubs’s mind about cats) and earns her nickname of FeedMe Kitty all the time.

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Next we ended up with Honey Girl. My oldest daughter rescued her, but when she moved back home Honey decided she belonged with us, and her and Phoebe are like sisters. Honey was born on or about July 15, 2011….making her and Phoebe almost exactly 2 years apart.

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She’s a beautiful long haired tortie and she loves everybody, definitely earning her name Honey Girl!

Our youngest kitty has only been with us for about 2 months now. Daisy is a short hair tortie and she’s still finding her place in the household, but she’s very sweet and active and loves sleeping next to my head at night. We think she’s about a year and a half old, but she’s little at only 7 pounds.

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Did you know that cats purr at a frequency that soothes pain?

 

Next up…. probably tomorrow or Monday….we have 4 hermits crabs too!

 

 

Imagine….

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You, ..

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
~ John Lennon, Imagine

I read the paper over my coffee every morning through email. Mostly The Guardian, or maybe the Washington Post or the New York Times. Sometimes Buzzfeed News, or any variety of different sources. I try to stay away from Faux or CNN, but I try to confirm a story through several different news outlets. And every morning, every single day, I see heartbreaking stories of shootings, violence, an argument escalating into someone being shot in the street, misunderstanding leading to people being hurt….or killed.

Children dying…..people crying….

I don’t understand. Do you know how….simple? …ignorant? …maybe childlike in some of the innocence that leaves me unable to comprehend the hate in someone’s heart…that leaves me feeling?

I don’t understand.

I found myself closing my eyes, turning my face up, and quietly whispering…”Please…..please…God? Jesus? Abraham? His Holiness ( I am, after all, a Buddhist), please send compassion, hope, love. Please help us. Please heal us.”

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Hate in your heart will consume you too….

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This is insane. We need healing….

Where is the love?

Go forth and send out some random acts of kindness! 😉

Throw Back Thursday

3 Doors Down, Landing In London

My throw back for #tbt is music. Because it’s always music for me. Music is my breath and life. It’s my memories. My pain. My joys. Play me a song and it’s tied to a time in my life.

This is one of my favorite songs ever. It’s one of those songs I always sing along to, at the top of my lungs. I know every word, every note, and if you listen carefully you’ll hear me yowling along. 😉

I was lucky enough to get to go see these guys last summer and it is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I love that I’ve been lucky enough to go to so many concerts and see some truly amazing artists! Jason Aldean and Uncle Kracker are so good live. Trace Adkins was amazing. Even at a county fair and in the rain, he is incredible live.

My first concert was in high school and I saw Joe Satriani. I’ve seen country, rock (Metallica! twice!), alternative, you name the kind of music….I love it. I’m sitting here trying to figure out how many concerts I’ve been to, but I don’t have a number…..somewhere north of …..25?

Music is life. That’s why our hearts have beats.

❤ ~ X

Life: Inspired

So many dead people.

My husband just got back from going to bury his Grandfather. While he was gone, I learned that my biological father died last month as well. I paused. So many people. So much energy moving on to the next thing. I don’t know where we are before we show up here, and I don’t know where we go after this. I don’t even know if those are the same. But I do believe, as much as I know anything to be true, that the energy that creates life inside of the cells that hold us doesn’t simply disappear.

And I believe that we stand at grave sites, or hold on to things from loved ones after they pass, but those don’t really matter. They aren’t there. My *MIL is reluctant to clean out the house and get it sold. On one hand, I get it. We have to grieve and everyone grieves differently. But on the other hand, (and the overly practical version of me that IS me most of the time) I’m thinking that house doesn’t matter. It’s a pile of stuff with a lid on it and none of it is important. The important thing was Grandpa, and he’s gone.

But he’s in good company. My Dad, hub’s Dad, my first step-dad, my biological father, hub’s Grandma, and a daughter I had that never got the chance to be. But when I stop and think about it, I always add in my Dera dog, my mom’s dog, my childhood dog, my daughter’s cat. All lives that mattered. I could keep going….my maternal grandfather I never met, an Uncle on my mom’s side, my father’s parents: his dad died before I was born and I barely remember his mother.Like I said, so many dead people.

I don’t know where they go after this, but I know they’re not here. And that doesn’t stop me when I’m having a really bad day from looking up at the ceiling and asking my dad what to do.

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They’re not here. And all that stuff doesn’t matter. Don’t stand at the grave site and cry. Your loved one is not there.

Inspired by this, I wrote my own version a couple of years ago….

I Am Not Gone

I am the rain
I am the wind
I am the sunlight
that touches your skin
I am not gone
I did not die
Dry your tears
Please don’t cry
I live on through you
I am not gone
Listen to the wind
You’ll hear my song
through sun, snow, wind, or rain
I am always with you
as the seasons change

I am not gone
I did not die
I love you too much
to see you cry
I am with you still
I have not gone
In your heart, you see
I still live on
(c) XunnieMarie

Love the people in your life while they’re here. Don’t leave any regrets. And when they go, let them go. They are not here anymore. I like to think they get to be somewhere really awesome.

* Mother In Law (or monster in law, your choice 😉 )

Was It Worth It?

I have a new favorite song. Or at least it’s in my current top five. But the ironic thing is that it’s a Taylor Swift song. Except it’s a cover, so it’s better. (I liked her when she first came out, but not so much with the current 20-something snotty version of her.)

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Blank Space, originally by Taylor Swift, covered by I Prevail. But it was one line in particular that caught my attention.

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Is the high worth the pain? Is a broken heart worth the experience? At the end, is it worth having gone through it?

I could argue both points. I know people that would say the pain is not worth the chance. The risk of a broken heart is too frightening. Some one may have had their heart broken before and don’t ever want to take that chance again. Or maybe they think that the person that broke their heart was their one chance at love so there’s no point in chasing after what would surely fail. The fear of being hurt outweighs the hope of being loved.

Or, as I believe, it is worth the risk.

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I would rather have a lifetime of “Oh well”s than “what if”s. I would rather say I loved and lost than to have never taken the chance. I would rather live the rest of my life knowing pieces of my heart were off wandering around the world without me because those I had loved and lost took a piece of me with them when they left than to ever exist in a box, never knowing what might have been.

Our brains process emotional pain the same way physical pain is recognized. So yes, that broken leg and that broken heart mean the same thing in your neurons and synapses. If you do take that chance and end up with a broken heart, your brain is going to process it the same way it would if you fell down the stairs.

That being said, I still think it’s worth the pain. The high, the experiences, and everything you took away from it is worth the pain. It’s worth the risk.

Because Who Is Perfect?

The Dove real beauty campaign. Total beauty. Run way models. Magazines and catalogs. Fashion ads. Photoshop. And the media’s more recent spearing of the ideals that the fashion industry is shoving down our throats.

Everywhere women look they see images of what they’re “supposed” to look like. And how to get rid of wrinkles, defeat cellulite, lose weight, wear the right make up, wear the right clothes. You’re not thin enough. You’re not young enough. It’s no wonder that eating disorders are on the rise and Americans spend 50 BILLION dollars on diet crap and self-help everythings.

It’s shocking to realize that because of Barbie, all of the oh-so-attractive kids on all the Disney shows, and the fashion industry going after young girls (thongs for 7 year olds, anybody?? courtesy of Ambercrombie) that girls as young as first grade are worried about gaining weight. By 6th grade, these same girls are on a diet. I don’t know about you, but NOT in my house would I ever allow that to happen. I have dedicated my life to raising my kids and doing whatever it took to give them the tools they need as they grow up, and that means telling my girls over and over and over that they are beautiful, no make up or designer clothes required, just they way they are.

I read a lot of articles shaming the fashion industry, the make up companies, and the clothes manufacturers for what they present to women. Nobody actually looks like that….

The models don’t even look like that. And yes, we’ve seen some corporations fight back. The Dove Real Beauty campaign has done a lot to fight back against unreachable ideals for women. The Fourth Trimester Project is another great campaign. And most recently I fell in love with the Pro Infirmis project.  Because women don’t look like this….

Nobody does. It’s not possible. But because of these unrealistic images that girls are assaulted with on a  daily basis, the incidence of eating disorders has doubled in the US in the last 30 years. Girls as young as 7 are developing distorted body image ideals and eating disorders. It’s estimated that 4-5% of Americans will develop an eating disorder and 4 in every 1,000 die from it. These girls are literally starving themselves to death trying to be thin enough, pretty enough. 
But there are people fighting back. News outlets, corporations, and individual women.

Love yourself. Accept your own natural beauty. There’s no way you’d ever allow someone else to talk to you the way you talk to yourself! I know this from personal experience. Why is it that I can see a picture of my friend, my daughter, my mother, my sisters and all I see are their beautiful eyes? Or how smart, funny, strong, or kind they are. But when I see a picture of myself, all I see is a frozen mirror that I can pick apart. Those laugh lines around my eyes? Oh-em-gee I look old. Those scars? I don’t see the story, just the ugly line.

And I should. I should see that those lines around my eyes mean I have laughed. I should see that that scar above my lip is part of my story. And that 6 inch scar on my left hip that I’m always covering up? That’s my miracle. Because of that surgery I can still walk. I’m going to choose to be grateful for it instead of thinking it’s an ugly thing that needs to be covered up.

I took part in the #barefacedbeauty bit because I think it’s important for my friends, my daughters, my sisters to see someone baring themselves and being vulnerable to see beyond the make up we hide behind so that they can see their own beauty. I uploaded a picture of myself on social media with no make up on, not even lip gloss, and I hope to inspire the women in my life to do the same.

No make up, freshly washed face.
After doing my hair and make up for the day.

Ladies, LOVE yourself. I see my best friends and all I see are amazing, strong women. Those scars on her belly? She survived cancer and I think they’re beautiful. Those stretch marks? She had healthy twin boys. Those are her stripes and she earned them! I see pictures of my daughters and they are amazing. Photos of my sisters and my friends mean that they have laughed, cried, loved, been loved, and done a hell of a lot more than just survive.

And who gets to tell you you’re not perfect anyway??