Saturday, November 21, 2015

LaUnDrY dAy!!!!!! A Breakup Blog

I've always been someone who has been somewhat cautious about airing out my laundry on social media. I usually only divulge enough information to keep light conversation going, or show pictures, etc. However, the other day was the first time I have talked more "openly" about my private life on Facebook. I guess I finally just reached a point where I needed to. I needed to bounce some frustration off innocent bystanders--and my Facebook friends delivered.

Actually, I felt much better after initiating the topic of my recent breakup on Facebook. I didn't do it in my actual status, but I did in the comments on my status (so those who were morbidly curious had to dig deeper to find the grit). I had posted a status last week about how excited I was that the Cute Alaskan Man was coming into town and we would be celebrating my birthday (I posted in my status, "I'm going to Disneyland!!!--because while my boyfriend was here I wanted to celebrate my birthday at Disneyland with him). Then a few text messages and a phone call changed everything, and before he ever actually flew here, the follow-up status on my Facebook merely said, "I guess I'm not going to Disneyland." 

I have some awesome, and curious friends, so I decided to elaborate as to why that was the case in my comments--and you responded exactly how I thought you would. Why? Because that is exactly how I responded when told that my long distance boyfriend, who I hadn't seen in over two months, was cutting his 4-day trip to L.A. short so that he could fly back up to Alaska in time to attend his 4-year old nephew's birthday party (the 4-year old that lives 5 minutes away from him, and he sees as frequently as he desires). 

Some of my friends have followed this relationship roller coaster for years. I have been told by multiple people, multiple times that it is time to move on. I'm sure he gets the same thing--nobody has been particularly supportive of our relationship, and everyone has had plenty to say about it--either to our faces, or behind our backs. Perhaps because they don't know the details of the intricacies, and how hard it has been to hold it together in the first place, or because NO RELATIONSHIP SHOULD EVER BE THIS HARD.

The NO RELATIONSHIP SHOULD EVER BE THIS HARD part, is probably very true, and I could've settled with some "easier" guy, ended up in suburbia making him dinner, had a nice double income, and settled for a very predictable life. However, that sounds dreadfully boring, and is totally not my style. I will say that there is part of me that desires that. It's about 15% of my entire being, and I can't talk the other 85% into being that normal. I guess once I lost myself to domestication with my marriage, and became totally unrecognizable to myself in the process, that once I broke free I never looked back. I have always been a renegade of sorts--until I got married that is. During my marriage, even my own sister was like, "What happened to you? I don't even recognize you anymore,"

And it wasn't because I became a Stepford wife. I did have a husband who was a workaholic. I never saw him, and my main form of entertainment was my two twin toddlers. I went through a horrible phase of feeling useless--like I had no purpose in life. I felt trapped. He was hardly ever home, and when he was, he was just a roommate. When the twins got old enough to go to kindergarten, I decided to go back to school for nursing so that I could establish a true career. At that same time, he decided that he was going to go back to school for his Ph.D. in Geology, and then our worlds just parted ways. He had his agenda, and I had mine, and they did not mix, and were not compatible. We had no common goals--we only cared about our individual goals. Nothing was going to get in either of our ways, or thwart our efforts--including one another.

After our mostly friendly divorce, I reclaimed myself. I finally started recognizing myself again, and the strong woman I used to be was back. I never wanted to let go of that. However, although I have not let go of all of it, I have compromised more of myself than I ever wanted to in effort to maintain my current relationship with the Cute Alaskan Man--and there have been many times I felt weak again, and unrecognizable. *blech*blech*blech*

For years I have dated the Cute Alaskan Man--almost 7 to be exact. That's nearly a decade of being with a man who "loves me tons" but refuses to commit to me. I've gone back and forth on the whole commitment thing (ie the idea of marriage again). I had a "commitment" once, and that piece of paper is just that. It's a binding contract that entitles you to half the person's shit if there's not a pre-nup in place. Oh, and it means they will "love you forever". *scoff*gag*hack*splutter*

Back to the Alaskan...

There's always a reason he can't move forward. He doesn't want to leave his family. He loves Alaska. He hates my attitude when he pisses me off, and he doesn't know if he can live with that. The excuses change depending on the immediate circumstance at hand, but there are a million excuses nonetheless.

He recently attended the wedding of one of his friends in Alaska who met her boyfriend online, was a many states away from him, met him in person once, and then married him. Not that I'm saying I would ever want such a circumstance for myself, but in the 7 years we have been dating, everyone has moved forward except for us. It doesn't look super awesome. As a matter of fact, last New Year's we were at his brother's house. His friend is military and was in town for the holiday. He had brought his girlfriend home to meet his parents, and a few months later they were engaged and then married. His sweet girlfriend (upon just meeting me) inquired about my relationship with him. I told her we had been dating for 6 years. She said, "I'm sorry--did you say 6 years?" which I turned to the Cute Alaskan Man and said, "Yes--why don't you go ahead and elaborate."


It's been a bit of a ridiculous ride. Love makes you do stupid things. I've gotten perpetually frustrated with this man, likely broken up with him over 30 times in 7 years, and somehow end up back with him time and time again. I should probably get a CT scan or something to make sure I'm not functioning on a partial brain, or genetic testing to make sure that I'm not developmentally delayed in some way that makes me continue in the same stupid pattern.

It wouldn't be so bad if he constantly wasn't telling me that moving forward with me is what he wants. But I never quite make the grade. The key piece of info that he has left off of that is that he wants to move forward--just not necessarily with me unless and until I am capable of checking all his boxes. This would include, but not be limited to me wanting to be an Alaska resident, have gone through behavior modification courses, and modify my life so that he never has to be "uncomfortable" or homesick.

When he called the other night, I at first was sympathetic to his disappointment that he was going to miss his nephew's birthday party by being here. I told him I understood that he was disappointed in missing the party. Although I understood that he would be bummed out to miss his nephew's birthday party, I also had not seen him in over two months, and this trip was only supposed to be 4 days long. I guess I selfishly felt like I deserved all 4 of those days, and that the toddler could take a number. Especially since this is a 4-year old who will likely not remember down the road that his uncle missed the damn thing, or at the very least, will forgive him for missing it.

Our text conversation continued, and it hit me like a ton of bricks in between texts. I suddenly realized that he was buttering me up. He was using frowny face emoticons about missing the party, and saying how disappointed his nephew was going to be. However, what he was really doing was trying to make me feel bad for him so that he could cut his trip short with me to attend the party. Once he had my sympathy, his next text said, "Oh thank goodness...the party is on Sunday! I can leave early and make it back for'll just be sleeping anyway because you have to work that night." Not a direct quote, but a paraphrase that is spot on.

My head exploded. He just played me. He manipulated me into feeling sorry for him, and was banking on me feeling so sorry enough for him about his little toddler party that cutting his trip to L.A. short became ok. Apparently after nearly 7 years he doesn't know me well. I have a very low tolerance for bullshit.

I got a fiddle. And then I blew up.

In true Cute Alaskan Man form, after I imploded, and exploded in rage, he played victim, and basically said he couldn't ever handle being with someone who could become so "enraged" so quickly. I definitely said some things, but when you have been through what this man has put me through FOR YEARS there are a few things that might roll off the tongue with little, if any effort. And I was genuinely hurt. And I'm tired of him hurting me.

7 years. Within that 7 years I have had to leave the state I love and have had to leave my children as a full time parent because I can't afford to live there on what they pay, and with the inconsistency with my work. I feel like a man that truly loved me would've stepped up, gotten a job in CO, and tried to make it work so that I did't have to uproot my entire life. However, he only offered to move to Colorado one time in the first 4.5 years we were dating--and he showed up with a duffel bag, spent 11 days on my couch, and was so homesick he had to leave. Sucks to have to be away from your family, doesn't it?!?!?! After everything I have been through with having to leave my family for work--cry me a river. I get the missing family thing, but sometimes you just have to be strong.

My job in Colorado went south. I had to find an alternative. I got licensed in California and Alaska--the two highest paying states for nursing. Alaska jumped at my resume first. I moved there. I did not move there for him, but I did move to Wasilla, Alaska to be closer to him. He always claimed one of the reasons we could not move forward was because we didn't know what it was like to date from the same state (we had been long distance dating for 4.5 years). So I commuted--1.25 hours each way, on shitty Alaskan roads, so we could "date normally" for two years. But it still wasn't good enough.

So...IT'S OVER!!!

There will always be an excuse as to why we can't move forward. I told him that one thing he has taught me is that talk, and commitment are cheap.

SO I WENT TO DISNEYLAND!!!!!! (by myself)

I almost didn't, and then I thought--why the hell not??? I just had a birthday. I had no one here to celebrate it with me, and DAMMIT!...I'M GOING TO DISNEYLAND!!! 
(It is, after all, only 35 minutes up the road--which is a new concept to me and kind of freaks me out a used to be a major destination/vacation).

I got to the park, and immediately I felt EXCITED! I felt like a little kid! They have the whole park decorated for the holidays, and this is the first time I've seen Disney during the holidays!...AND IT IS AWESOME!!!

I decided at the gate that I should probably buy a year-long passport. One trip is over $100, so considering my kiddos are going to be here multiple times over the next year, and I will be escaping to Disneyland on some of my days off, IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT! 

Then I got in the gate, and found out that all of my parking is now included in my pass, my meals get a 15% discount, and every gift shop item is 20% off. MONEY WELL SPENT! 

I was like a little kid (by myself) all day--only I had no little kids to haul around, so I made some damn good time going around Disneyland! Let's do a ride tally...

*Pirates of the Caribbean X3
*Haunted Mansion X3
*Splash Mountain X2
*Matterhorn X1
*Indiana Jones X1
*Riverboat Ride X1
*Fireworks display X1
*Disney parades X2
  *Thunder Mountain X1
*It's A Small World X1

Not bad for a day at the park!--especially during the holiday season! I never made it over to California Adventure--I thought the winery might send me a get well card or something. Actually, being a loner/loser is the way to go to Disneyland. They have "Single Rider" lines all over the park, and you get in immediately, and IT.IS.AWESOME!!! However, there were three of us girls in the "Single Rider" line tonight at Indian Jones, and as the ride attendant said, "Alright, single ladies, you may go ahead", there was a group of gay men standing in the crowd that busted out in Beyonce's "All The Single Ladies". It was priceless, and made us laugh. ;)

I also think that holding a season pass will open new doors for me romantically. There were a lot of cute men holding doors and gates open for me today. Granted, they all had name tags on and got paid to do so, but nonetheless...

Anyway...I've gone from the most miserable place on earth, to the happiest place on earth ALL IN ONE DAY! I feel kind of bipolar. I think I might go back again today and do California Adventure! Might as well--no sense in sitting around crying in my Cheerios.

Cheers to new beginnings.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

THE KEY New Original Painting by Artist Whitney Madison


I recently read a book that had an entire chapter dedicated to keeping a representation of your dreams in front of you. The idea being that if you had something tangible to look at and remind you of the goal you are working toward, you are far more likely to achieve it because it is at the forefront of your mind.

This painting, "The Key" is symbolic of those goals/dreams. Keys can be such beautiful, and amazing things. Even as babies, our parents gave us plastic keys as toys. They represent the power to unlock, to discover. What do you dream about? What do you need a key to unlock? The words on this painting leave room for you to fill in the blank. Do you need the key for happiness? The key for love? The key for wealth? I personally want a key to a beach house in Kauai--that is what my personal key represents. ;)

This painting is done in a mixed acrylic medium on an 11"X14" stretched canvas. It includes my signature handcrafted frame in a black sequin high gloss. The key is centered on a light sand colored background, and it texturized to stand off the canvas, and fun to touch! The entire painting is coated in a high gloss glaze for protection. The frame of the stretched canvas mounts directly onto nails, and is perfect for any room. Chic, stylish, simple, and intriguing, this painting is certain to turn into a conversation piece. Free shipping is included.

Please visit my online art gallery at to view more of my paintings, or to place a custom order. Cheers! :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

California, Here I Come...

I think the actual lyrics to the song are, "California, here I come. Right back where I started from..."

Which is totally appropriate for me because I was actually born in California! Only it was northern California--in Eureka. I think they have a Banana Slug Festival there every year. My place of birth lacks the normal "California" image. But I'm a legit Cali Girl nonetheless!!!

So yes...I'M MOVING BACK TO CALIFORNIA! I moved from there when I was like 3 months old, so they have probably been wondering where I am! How in the world did I decide that I was moving to California from Alaska? I'm glad you asked. So I will tell you.

I left Colorado two years ago, and moved to Wasilla, Alaska. I came to Alaska for work. Work in Colorado was unpredictable and slim--I was being put on call nearly every week. Some of you might ask why that is a problem. When you only work three days per week, and you lose one of them on a regular basis--your bank account begins to notice.

At that time, I was licensed as a nurse in Colorado, Alaska, and California. When work became slim at my hospital in Colorado, I thought that taking a job at a different, busier hospital, would help. So I went to work for one, but it didn't help. And I was put on call every week--again. I knew that I couldn't make ends meet in Colorado as a nurse specializing in labor and delivery. Some of you might say, "But you're a nurse! You could get a job in any area of nursing!!!" True, but the only thing I went to school for was so I could one day specialize in labor and delivery. I would not have gone to nursing school for any other field. I'm not that enchanted with nursing as a whole. I don't enjoy any other field in nursing, and I've always said that if you don't like your job as a nurse, then you shouldn't be a nurse. It's too personal, and your human interactions are too important to not like your job. My calling is labor and delivery--and I LOVE it.

So I had to go. And I had fired off a couple of job applications, and I heard from Alaska first. So I went. Some of you are probably like, "But Whitney! are dating the Cute Alaskan Man! You can't tell us that isn't why you ended up in Alaska!"

Yes, I can. I ended up in WASILLA, Alaska because of the Cute Alaskan Man. But I ended up in ALASKA because I needed a stable job, and they were the first to offer. If I had stayed in Colorado, I would've been eating Top Ramen under a bridge, and my pimpin' ride would've been a shopping cart that I stole from the local Walmart.

Anyway, I moved to Wasilla so I could be closer to the Cute Alaskan Man--who lives in Palmer, Alaska (right up the road from me). But the true impetus for me coming to Alaska was for work. Like Britney Spears says, "You gotta work, Whit!" Actually, I think she called me something else in that song, but it was all about me, nonetheless.

I started my new job in Anchorage, Alaska. I signed a two-year contract. They sent movers, packed me up, and north to Alaska I went! But it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Do not get me wrong--I have been super blessed to work at an amazing hospital, with as many hours as I want, and I have seen some wonderful things, and spent time with the Cute Alaskan Man. But it has been a long two years for me.

You also know that my kiddos were not uprooted to come with me, and consequently, I have worked tons of overtime to make frequent travel between Alaska and Colorado possible. I didn't even know if I would be able to make it to the end of my two-year contract. The first year was horrible for me up here--I cried almost every day. I was SO homesick. About halfway through my contract, I was SUPER homesick, and my ex-husband had just lost his best friend to cancer. All I could think was, "I'm stuck here, and my kids aren't here, and I could die tomorrow--and I just want to be with my family!"

I freaked out. I probably over-dramatized the situation, but the death of my ex-husband's friend really made me do a reality check. None of us know how long we have on this big blue marble. His friend was a divorced, international geologist. He rarely got to see his child, and all I could think was that the same thing was going to happen to me. And I couldn't take it. I wanted to be with my kids.

So I have worked, and worked, and worked, and not done much else this last year besides WORK. This is so I could fly back and forth between Alaska and Colorado to be with my kiddos. Well now my two-year contract is nearly up, and I needed to make my next move. I thought that move was going to be back to Colorado--but a harsh reality check revealed that wasn't going to be the case.

I started researching housing in Colorado. When I left, I was living in a beautiful 4-bedroom, 2.5 bath house. I have twin girls who are turning 13. They have to have their own rooms. I cannot put these two early teen wolverines in the same bedroom--they will kill each other. So, at the very least, I need a 3-bedroom place. I left Colorado the year that marijuana became legal. Due to the influx of people flocking to Colorado since the legalization of marijuana, they can charge whatever they want for houses now--and it has priced me right out of the market to move home. I cannot find a 3-bedroom place under $1750 that is not in "the hood". And that is a huge problem--because wages in Colorado have not gone up.

I crunched numbers, I researched housing, and I figured there might be one hope for me to move back home--so I applied to the highest paying hospital I could find. And I was offered the job! (Yay!) And then the lady who interviewed me told me that I would likely be on call at least two times every 6 weeks (BOO!). And she told me that was the nature of labor and delivery throughout the Denver/Metro area. And I knew it wouldn't work. Apparently people are too busy smoking weed to have babies.

I was heartbroken. The commute between Colorado and Alaska has been brutal. Realizing that I could no longer afford to live in Colorado was a real blow. I had looked forward to nothing else for the past two years. But it was a reality I had to face head-on.

So where to go next? Well, I work for a great company. I want to stay with them. I got on the internal career site for my hospital, and looked up what my options were. I had options in Washington state, Oregon, and California. I don't have a license in Washington, or Oregon (and it's a pain in the butt to get licensed--not to mention EXPENSIVE). So I looked at my options in California. I pulled up a map of Cali, mapped out all the hospital locations, and picked the hospital that is literally blocks away from the beach. SO I'M MOVING TO TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA!!! I put in an application for the position I wanted, and put in a transfer with my hospital, and I am California bound!

Advantages of living in California:

1.) Cheap airline ticket to Colorado from LAX. I can travel there as often as I want.

2.) Surfing

3.) I will be working for a busy hospital and can work as many hours as I need.

4.) Surfing

5.) I can fly my kids out when they have 3 or 4 day weekends from school.

6.) Surfing

7.) I am going to be about 30 minutes from Disneyland, so when the kids come out, we can go have some fun!

8.) Surfing

9.) I will be able to walk, or ride my bike to work.

10.) Surfing

11.) I will no longer have to deal with winter!!!

12.) SURFING!!!

Can you tell that I'm a little excited?

"But, Whitney!!! There are great white sharks in California!!! Aren't you afraid of getting eaten by a shark? After all, the water is colder there, and you will have to wear a wetsuit that makes you look like a seal on your surfboard!"

I've got it covered.

I have been researching shark deterrent surf gear. Some of you might think I'm a Sally if I'm willing to go surfing looking like a zebra, but I'm all over it. From the research I have done, sharks cannot clearly make out banding with their vision. This is why banded fish follow them all over, and they never get eaten. The shark cannot make them out to make an attack.

These are pilot fish, and they swim right alongside the sharks. The way they tested the shark deterrent wetsuits was to place a bait bucket, covered with the banded material, and one that was covered in regular black wetsuit material. The sharks could smell the bait in the bucket, but could not make out the location of the bucket to make an attack on the banded one. Pretty awesome! So you might make fun of me for looking like a zebra when I surf in Cali, but I will be the one who makes it in with all my limbs! ;)

Also, my girls told me they will surf as long as we sport shark deterrent gear. Although I cannot afford the actual brand name shark deterrent suits, I will be adorning our wetsuits with fabric paint, and call it good. The shark deterrent suits are upwards of $450+. I can buy a quality wetsuit for $100 and paint them myself. I will also band the bottom of our boards.

So, YES...MOVING TO CALI!!! And I'm thrilled. I'm ready for a BIG change. And if I can't move home, at least I can move to a state where I can catch a flight, and be home in two hours. Heck--that's nearly my commute to work right now!

"But, Whitney!!! What about the Cute Alaskan Man???!!!"

Look, I've known this man, and he has been my best friend for 15+ years. I've dated him for 6.5 years. We've had some bumpy ups and downs because of the complexity of our relationship, but we also have dated long distance for 4.5 years, and survived. I don't know what the future looks like for certain, but what I do know is that we are capable of dating long distance. He is supportive of my move, and is flying down with me to look for housing. He will remain in Alaska for now. All we are sure of is that God is the captain of our ships. We will end up together if we are meant to be together. Until then, we will be back to dating long distance. Heck, he has been out of state so much for his job the past year--does it really matter anyway? He can work from anywhere, so I'm sure I'll still see him a lot. Not as much as I do now, but we will figure it out.

"But, Whitney!!!! Aren't you afraid of getting subducted into the earth's mantle during an earthquake, or afraid a giant tsunami is going to kill you--like in the movie San Andreas?"

First of all--San Andreas is a strike-slip fault, which means the two blocks are moving past each other vertically. It's simply relocating California in a north/south direction (geology geek moment). I'll either be on the side of it that ends up in Alaska, or the one that ends up in Cabo (let's vote for the Cabo side of things). I'll be fine--unless it kills me. Look, we can't live forever, and I refuse to live my life in fear. If my number is up in a Cali earthquake, at the very least, I hope God let's me die by surfing on the tsunami wave.

Some of you might have seen my Facebook post the other day about buying 7 new bikinis. Now you know why. Time to pack up the snow boots and put them in storage. ;)

South!...To California!!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Can We All Try To Be A Little More Humane On Social Media? Check Yourself...Don't Wreck Yourself! (Or Anyone Else)

Oh people. What in the hell is going on in the social media world these days?! Maybe it has been going on for longer than I imagined, but it seems like I have read a lot of crap on social media lately--and I'm becoming very disenchanted with it.

Remember the good ol' days when you thought somebody was a total asshole, and you either had to walk right up to them and let them know how much you thought about them right to their face, whisper it under your breath, or not say anything at all for fear of retaliation and because you're a total wuss? 

Well guess what? Now you can fly incognito under the radar with cute and clever made-up names on social media, and literally bash the ever-loving snot out of anyone and everyone on a regular basis! You don't even have to know them! You can just cyber stalk them (cuz that's not creepy)!!! So fun, right?!? I mean, really--let's bash on people for EVERYTHING! It's our right! We had a legitimate email address to sign up for a social media account! And we're American, so we can say whatever we want, RIGHT??? (Ugh)

In the spirit of letting things fly willy-nilly on social media, I've decided to start my list of potential social media targets for my future of entitled, unfiltered, commenting rage (I'm being sarcastic, BTW):

I'm going to start bashing the following:

**Any girl who looks beautiful, is more popular than I am, surfs better than I do, or can pull off a bikini better than I can (cuz really--it's all about me). I'm going to say something on Instagram like, "Wow, getting a little cellulite on the back of those thighs, Gisele Bundchen!! If I were you I would go puke up that teaspoon of cottage cheese you ate today." Clearly, if I can make her feel bad about herself, it makes me feel more beautiful, right??? (I know it doesn't. Shut up. Keep reading.)

**Any far right Republicans (you guys drive me nuts)

**Any far left Democrats (you guys drive me nuts, too)

**Any fanatical Christians (you know...the ones who came up out of the holy water with guns-a-blazin', a do-right stick, and are of the bible-thumping persuasion. CAN'T STAND THEM. I'm going to tell them all they are going to hell. Just kidding. No, really...I was.)

**Anything to do with essential oils, Jamberry Nails, or trying to sell me the latest protein shake that will make me 20 lbs lighter in 2 days. (I can't wear nail polish at work, I don't want to smell like a dirty hippie wearing patchouli, and I would rather go on a water and Ex-Lax diet than chug down some protein shake that tastes like a dog turd smells. I hate it when people use personal social media to sell things. I still like my friends, I just don't need them to sound like they work at a used car lot in their status on a daily basis.)

**Anyone trying to sway my vote with a political Facebook post (BTW--you will almost never see me on FB during an election year--I don't want to deal with any of the garbage, and I have also threatened to unfriend anyone who goes nuts with political postings. I could care less who you vote for, or what your care about politically. I have my own feelings about things, and I'm not afraid to express them in the voting booth independent of your daily rants on Facebook.)

These are just a few things that drive me batshit crazy about social media. But these are things that are more mildly annoying than where I am about to take this blog. Ahem...

What is the matter with us on social media, people? When did we get so mean, and be able to distance ourselves from the fact that REAL PEOPLE are receiving, processing, and internalizing the things that we write?

I was sent over the edge with anger this week after Bristol Palin revealed on social media that she was pregnant with her second child out of wedlock. This girl might as well have painted a target on her, and walked in front of a firing squad. Some of you may have heard some of the backlash and controversy, but I followed it pretty closely. Is it because I voted for McCain and Palin? No. Is it because I live right up the street from this girl in Wasilla, Alaska? No. Is it because I have nothing better to do? Hell-To-The-No. I have a ton of crap I should be doing besides blogging about a pregnant girl in Wasilla. However, there is one reason I am doing this--to vent about how horrible the social media world has become, and to show my support for this single mother--a cause that is very dear to me. You ever want to see my head explode, heckle a single mom. 

As some of you are aware, I became pretty fired up over the past 48+ hours since the release of information that Bristol Palin, daughter of former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential Candidate, Sarah Palin, announced she is pregnant with her second "illegitimate" child (whatever the hell that means anyway). You may think it is ridiculous to get up in arms over a situation that I am not remotely directly involved in, but as small as my voice is, I will shout it loudly that

"But Whitney, how is that possible? You have bashed far-right conservatives, gotten upset about trying to throw church and state in the same mixing bowl, and basically told us that you are a fence-sitter who will vote for whatever you feel is "right"." How can you support this girl who preaches abstinence as an 18 year-old single mother, and finds herself knocked up with baby number two, without a husband, six years later?"

I'm glad you asked. So I will tell you.

Some of you saw that link that I posted on my Facebook page--the original blog that Bristol posted about her pregnancy. As I read the title, I actually took a deep breath in, and could feel a change in my heartbeat. I knew what was coming next. She was going to say she was pregnant. Why? How did I know before I read anything? Because I've been in that place. I remember having to have this conversation with my parents--not only once, but TWICE. It feels like an impending myocardial infarction--the feeling of impending doom right before you have a massive heart attack. It's very real, and I know this girl probably felt it about 10,000,000X more than I did being in the public eye. It's times like these that I'm grateful that People Magazine isn't beating on my door for answers, and that nobody really knows my name (I'm like the opposite of Norm on Cheers).

In 2008, John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential Candidate. Prior to that, Sarah Palin was living a fairly quiet life in Wasilla, Alaska. However, when the Republican party saw that Hilary Clinton was receiving a ton of the female voter support during the running, the conservatives pulled Sarah Palin into the picture to sway the female vote on the republican side. Some thought it was brilliant. However, even Palin herself was shocked at the nomination. Here you have a woman who has dealt with rural and small metropolitan politics, and then thrust into the position of running to be the Vice President of the United States of America. Oh, and did I mention she's also a full-time mother to 5 children? I can only imagine the reconfiguration her life had to take at that time.

At that time, Bristol Palin was a teen young woman, pregnant with her first child. I truly believe that because of being thrust into the spotlight of the far-right conservatives, marriage promotion for the teen pregnancy was the only ticket for her at that time (nothing like having to marry someone just because you are pregnant with their child, and it is "expected" because of the general consensus of your political party affiliation--talk about an arranged marriage).

So let's tally some of this:
**Hockey mom from Wasilla, Alaska suddenly thrust into National spotlight for government
**Teen daughter already pregnant out of wedlock
**Mother of 5 children, including a special needs baby, now running for Vice President of the United States of America.

I am not implying that there is ineptitude for adjusting to a national platform from a state platform in politics. However, I would venture to guess that even Sarah Palin herself was blindsided with the Vice Presidential Nomination. And she already had a lot on her plate to boot...

So back to Bristol. This heart goes out to her. Why? Here ya go...

So imagine yourself a pregnant, scared teen (I know it's hard for you boys/men who lack a uterus). Mom becomes Vice Presidential Candidate. You're barely even ready to come out to your BFFs that you are pregnant, young, and out of wedlock...let alone the entire country. But you have to. So you go on TV. Your hair looks nice. You sport the latest conservative fashion for pregnant women. You hold hands with the father of your baby, and your mom tells everyone on stage that you're going to "make it legit". 

So what's the problem? Real life is the problem. What they created was an image for candidacy that their daughter could not, and did not aspire to live up to. Sometimes "what is right" is not what is right for your life--and I admire Bristol Palin for having a lack of follow through after all of conservative America decided that she needed to be married to the father of her child.

Here's where I get selfish and interject part of my story.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I cried. I was freaking out. I was a teen girl--and I was scared. I told the father of my baby. I had not known him long. He asked when we were going to get married. At first, I thought I had to marry him. That was what you have to do, right?  But I couldn't do it. I couldn't justify committing to a relationship because of a pregnancy. Not that he isn't an AWESOME guy. I have a great relationship with him, and I am so happy we share a beautiful daughter together, but I can't imagine a pregnancy being the foundation of a marriage, and it is rarely the foundation of a strong marriage.

In the same way, I'm glad Bristol didn't marry for her babies. And I think she'll be a stronger woman for it. There is a great sense of rebellious relief that comes with not doing what other people tell you you should/have to do. It's called empowerment. Since we are the ones who have to endure the ridicule, and carry the load, we should be empowered to know that we are still driving the boat for our lives. The main goal as captain is to ensure that it does not become submarine for our lives (much to the chagrin of those who would like to watch us struggle and sink--and those miserable hecklers are in great abundance).

So here comes the good stuff. The reason why I'm pissed. The advocacy that I have for women who have the audacity to get knocked up and carry their babies while the public judges them and calls them whores (because unfortunately, a lot of you do).

I follow Bristol Palin on Instagram. I enjoy seeing the photos of her son, and Alaska. Hell, I live 5 minutes away from her, and her mom and dad in Wasilla, Alaska. I didn't grow up here. I have no "ties" to Wasilla. I don't "party with the locals". And I don't know the Palins. I am here for work, and although Alaska is nice, I struggle with the lifestyle here, and try to understand it more than I make fun of it (sometimes). I digress...

When Bristol was first thrust into the public spotlight as a pregnant teen, I felt sorry for her. Not because she "did it the wrong way" but "because I've been there"--and there is nothing glamorous about it. I don't care how much you want to spin it as an amazing thing or a "blessing". When you're a single parent--it will scare the shit out of you. And frustrate you. And kick your ass.

This week I became even more keenly aware of the fucked up society we are living in. I watched this woman post her baby news on Instagram and Facebook in a very humble fashion. And I watched the literary "unleashing of the beast" that followed. It made me sick. Social media is about 25% awesome, and about 75% a disgrace.

So, what do we really know about this girl?...

Bristol Palin's Job(s):

This is a girl who is a blogger for Patheos. I follow it. I don't know the ins and outs of it. I am a follower, not a stalker. She posts a lot of special interest blogs. Blogs on more conservative things. Blogs on more religious things ( I think the blog is actually backed by a religious group--not sure). That is her job. It is how she gets paid, and supports her family. She also works at a doctor's office in Wasilla, Alaska.

After her pregnancy at the age of 18, she took over the roll of promoting abstinence and safe sex as a means of avoiding teen pregnancy (as much "safe sex" talk as what was allowed by the conservative far-rights anyway...God knows if we talk about safe sex, then we are condoning it, right??? *sarcasm*) . She did this through public speaking (public service announcements, public speaking venues, etc).

She got paid for this (most public speakers do). Not sure why she took on that role, and I'm suspicious she was more strategically "placed" into that role because of the McCain/Palin candidacy, and due to being in the public eye at that time. However, depending on the subject matter, it's hard to practice and preach the same thing--which is why I try not to preach too much. I keep my relationship with God as "non-preachy" as possible because I am very aware of my human side, and that of others. But now the public is outraged because they think she is a "whore that talks out of both sides of her mouth". Their words--not mine.

Because this girl has been paid to preach teen pregnancy prevention (like 6 years ago, she was 18 and 19 at the time), she is being hammered by the public for being a single expectant mother (again).

I think the thing that bothered me the most was watching her get kicked while she is already down. Hell, the girl was engaged and ready to walk down the aisle a month ago. I'm sure this is a lot to process for her, not to mention she is probably mourning the loss of her relationship at the same time (not that I pretend to know anything about the details of that, nor do I need to).

So now that we live in a day and age where we can just let things fly out of our mouths, and onto our social media pages without a care, here are some of my favorite (*gag*hack*splutter*) post-baby announcement Bristol bashings on social media:

**crabbycripple81 says: "I'm praying for a miscarriage."

**tracyboutges says: " Hypocrite! I hope you feel embarrassed! You have been so judgmental in the past. I have to say I got a kick out of this cause it makes you look like a fool!"

**23ssmagnolia said: "Do you know how to use condoms? Shouldn't the baby daddy be marrying you to promote this conservative family your mom has paid to promote?"

**googie2311 says: "I see someone's been up to deleting some negative comments this morning,"

**pink_evolution says: "You lying whore!"(and then went on in numerous posts to fight with Piper Palin--who is 13. This woman then made her profile private due to backlash, and continued to stalk every post Bristol made for days, calling her a whore, and antagonizing everyone on there in every way possible...a real gem!)

**doctor_fever: "The only thing wider than your mother's mouth, is your legs." (to which I wanted to reply, "The only thing smaller than a Mike-And-Ike, is your penis."

**aedenandaedrian: "Abstinence anonymous called, you breached your contract and they want their $262K back. Should've closed your legs."

**reno_keoni: "You put on this stupid "I'm pregnant" announcement and now you tryin' to act like the vicitim when it backlashes on you. Girl, bye. Keep your dumb ass in Alaska. You're an idiot, truly. And for anyone saying "why am I following her if I hate her?" I'm not. I just felt like I wanted to go out of my way unnecessarily to look her up as a waste of time--just like she wasted her time when she announced her second pregnancy." 

And multiple people suggested that this was a great argument for abortion, and that she should kill her baby. (Bravo, America!)

WTF?!!! We treat people like they are sub-human. We lash out. It's like we all have Tourette Syndrome, and lack a filter. Most of the people we hate on--WE DON'T EVEN KNOW!!! And then to start slinging hatred at a pregnant women?,,,WOW. Impressive. Not in that they are balls-y enough to sling it, but in that they're such a total Sally for slinging it in the first place.

I've been pregnant twice out of wedlock. Not proud of it--but it happens. I am a labor and delivery nurse. I chose my roll in my career because of  what I had been through as a patient, and wanted to help women/teens/and tweens through it.  I take patient histories. I know how many times they have been pregnant, how many times they have miscarried, and how many times they have aborted intentionally. It is hard to sit there and take a history on someone who has aborted 15 times, and now this baby is "the lucky one".

Have we really become that society? And then we sling mud at those who would actually carry a baby--wed or unwed? Meanwhile, we're encouraging the filling up of the dumpsters behind Planned Parenthood as a means to avoid inconvenient pregnancies? I don't get it.

I'm not trying to start a war about abortion here, but I will always support a woman through her pregnancy, and at the very least, we should be that respectful of ALL pregnant women as a society as well. Stress can lead to a rocky pregnancy, an early delivery, and an unhealthy or non-viable baby. Be careful with them! Let them create a person without putting in your two cents worth about it! They have enough going on without having to listen to your opinion about their life! I get super fired up about stressing out pregnant women--I see the ill-effects of it all the time in labor and delivery and OB Triage, and spent a fair amount of time in the hospital with my first two pregnancies due to stress!

I'm reminded of the toast that Ike (Richard Gere) made to Maggie's (Julia Roberts) family in the movie "Runaway Bride". He was mocking them for always making fun of her for running away from her potential grooms at the alter. It goes as follows:

"May you find yourselves the bullseye of an easy target, may you be publicly flogged for all your bad choices, and may your nose be rubbed in all of your mistakes."

Amen, Ike. A toast! all you who can't control your comments on social media.

Until you have been in the position of a single mother, you cannot possibly understand the magnitude and hurt of the external judgement that comes along with that "scarlet letter" that is your pregnancy. Our society takes it, and runs with it. Stop calling the women "whores" who get pregnant, and high-fiving the men who knock them up. This is 2015. Ejaculation doesn't make you a man--it makes a mess. It also doesn't make you a manly man. Any idiot male can impregnate a woman. I see it all the time at my job.

Long story short--BE KIND TO OTHERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA!!!! You don't know the shoes that person is walking in, and (I feel like we're in kindergarten here, but it's a good reminder), YOU CAN EITHER USE YOUR WORDS TO BUILD SOMEONE UP, OR TEAR THEM DOWN. What kind of a person do you aspire to be? Just say NO to being an ass on social media!!

Let's clean it up, people. Let's think about what we say before we say it, and the implications it might have on someone's life. Let's be advocates for responsible use of social media so that we can be examples to others. Time to step up and be leaders--not followers and stalkers of the garbage.

Have a blessed day.
(And Bristol Palin--congratulations on your adorable family addition)

#bristolpalin #bsmp2

PS This in NO WAY means that I agree with the far right politics of Bristol Palin, or her family. This is simply support for a pregnant woman, and that is all. My belief in the political views this family preaches is a whole other ball of wax.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter! 2015

Another year has gone by...and I'm still not in church on Easter Sunday. I know that some of you are probably like "How can you claim to be a Christian and not attend church on Easter Sunday???"
 I can't help it. I will attend church most other Sundays of the year (I'm a nurse--sometimes I have to work on those days) , but I can't do Easter. I think it's because I have anger management issues. I am super grateful for what Jesus Christ did for all of us, but I get really pissed off at all the people who killed him. It's a character flaw. That being said, I do not disregard the major sacrifice that Christ made for you, and for me.

Most of the time I do not like being labeled as a "Christian" because I hate to classify my love and belief in Christ through what man has created a "religion". However, Jesus is my favorite guy ever. Fanatic followers of Christ call themselves "Christians". Unfortunately, we have lost some of the fundamental meaning of what it means to be a follower of Christ. I'll explain.
Did you ever read some, or all of the old testament in the bible? God scares the crap out of me. The only way for me to wrap my head around God is through Jesus. Know why? Because Jesus loved everybody. He was the manifestation of God that made us all feel accepted, and forgiven. He hung out with all the peeps who were losers, rejects, hookers, traitors, previous murderers...pretty much the bomb. I think the most brilliant thing God ever did was make Jesus human so we could relate to Him, and so we could avoid feeling totally disgusted with ourselves and our shortcomings.
This week has been a tough week for me. I know I'm coming off a big surf vacation, and some of you are probably like, "Cry me a river--your life is so hard!" However, this vacation started the "clock". The "clock" on not knowing where to go from here.
My contract is up in Alaska in July of 2015. I know in my heart that my next move has to be based out of Colorado, but I have no idea about my job, housing, state to work in...I'm very confused. I have thrown myself into prayer this week, and asked for serious guidance. However, do you know how crappy it feels to throw up a bunch of selfish requests to God when this is the week we should just be thanking Him for sending his Son here?
This caused some conflict for me. However, I chose to focus on the fact that God sent his Son because HE LOVES ME. He cares about my needs, and through His word, I know that "all things are possible" with God. Guilt was removed, and I shot a ton of prayers up to that Guy this week. I also believe He received them.
Perhaps it is me getting older, but the more I think about my relationship with God, the more I desire His perspective on things, and not mine. I want to see beyond this. Beyond my now. Beyond tomorrow. Beyond this life. I desire God to reveal His plans for my life. I want him to help me better serve people. I want His light to shine through me and stir curiosity in people. I want to do His will.
I wanted to post this video. My pastor, Ben Todd, played this during one of his sermons, and it really hit me hard. When we get overwhelmed with things in this life, I think this is a good reminder of how to direct our focus.
I want to gain more of an eternal perspective on life. I am here for a reason. I have a divine purpose. I am a daughter of the One True King--and He loves me. I am a lucky girl!!!
I also want to leave a video of one of my favorite praise songs. I remember after one horrible night at work, after I had a terrible fetal demise, and a heartbroken family--I got off work at 7:00 am, showered, got ready for church, and this song was performed by our worship team. I was so down, and so upset, and so not understanding how horrible things can happen in this life. This life was never promised to be perfect. Our faith is strengthened by our struggles. This song lifted me up, and has been dear to my heart ever since that day.
Happy Easter. We are ALL so blessed by this day.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Holidays 2014!!! it really that time of year again?
First of all, let me say that I'm a horrible blogger. I used to think I was pretty good at blogging--until I moved to Alaska. If people paid me to blog, I'd be fired. Luckily, there are only a handful of people who give a rat's fuzzy behind about this thing, and therefore, this blog still has a heartbeat! I have avoided blogging Asystole! I am verging on Pulseless Electrical Activity from a run of sustained Sinus Bradycardia, but dag nabbit!--I'm still alive! (How do you spell "dag nabbit" anyway? Spell check wants to replace it with "Rabbit"--screw you, Spell Check...PS Happy Holidays)
I literally dropped off the blogging map when I moved to Alaska. I got swallowed up into an arctic abyss of camouflage-laden lumberjacks, and women who think flannel pajama pants and rubber boots are a fashion statement because they have flowers printed on them. HAYeeellllllllp!!!!
Actually, now I'm warped because there are some cute rubber boots with flowers printed on them up here. Oh dear--I've become one of THEM! Not really, but there are some things I don't hate as much as I used to about Alaska. I still fully intend to make fun of everything Alaskan though. It's my right now. I'm a LOCAL! **SHIVER**
I wasn't trying to be a blogging butthead by ignoring you guys. It just happened. Before I knew it, time was flying by--which is weird, because when I moved to Alaska, it quickly turned into the longest two year commitment of my life. I think on some level, the first year here put me in a place where I couldn't really blog about my life. I just didn't want to go there, and drag you there with me. And now it's almost 2015--and I have a new outlook, and am very excited for all of the possibilities that lie before me.
Work has been going pretty well. We are always busy. I moved up here because I was constantly being put on call in Colorado, and I have literally been put on call ONE TIME in a year and a half (on a scheduled shift) at this job. I can't buy a call day when I'm scheduled to work. It's a blessing though. I love having a job I can count on. I also love my job.
Through my work, I have an awesome coworker who is a staunch yogi, and is constantly wrangling me (and others) and encouraging me to push myself in the world of yoga. Before practicing simple yoga poses with this girl at work, and attending rogue yoga classes in CO, I hadn't done a headstand since 1989. She has turned my world upside down, and I literally am loving "playing" with yoga through my Instagram yoga account, "ARCTICBARBIEGIRL".  It gives me a chance to connect with other yogis, and people, and challenges me to break myself in half more gracefully by seeing the examples of other IG yogis.
I yoga at work--even when the security people think I look ridiculous as they watch their cameras.
I use yoga pics as ways to show how amazingly beautiful Alaska is.
I've learned to hug trees with my toes.
I've done yoga headstands on mountaintops--where people think I'm loco (check out the peeps in the background).
I've done yoga with my kids' dog in Colorado--even the dog looked worried that I was stuck like that.
I've tested the durability of street signs.
Tested the durability of trees.

The durability of bikinis.
Used yoga to play with knives.
Attempted to surf upside down.
Fully supported the revival of leg warmers.
Challenged that gravity wouldn't snap my neck.
And had a ton of goofy fun at work that led to LOTS of laughs.
I even show off my stylish footwear with my yoga poses now. What can I say? I'm a girl who love fashion. Why not use Yoga to express that. *cha cha cha*
My kiddos came up for the summer here in Alaska. Last year was so tough. I think at one point I went two months without seeing them, and it almost killed me. I started picking up extra shifts after the twins left this summer, and now head down to Colorado every 3-4 weeks--although, they have been coming up here every three to four weeks lately with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday! LOVING IT!
The plan for next year???
And I kind of like it this way. I am moving back home to Colorado. I will be based out of there, but I might stay on at my job in Alaska as a "registry" nurse (flying up and working chunks of time). I do love the people I work with, and I've gotten into the groove with this hospital. We do some AMAZING things to help women with pregnancy, and through their deliveries--things I've never even heard of or that have been attempted in the lower 48 states to help save the lives of babes, and I'm all about it.
The guy situation
It's good. That's all I'm going to say about that.
There were a couple of situations that rocked my world over the past year. The first of which was my ex-husband's best friend dying from skin cancer. I'm not trying to make a Debbie Downer Christmas card, but it totally sucked. And it sucked for the beautiful kid that he left behind who called him "Dad". Please remember to take care of yourselves in the sun. Why do you think I look like such a pasty weirdo in all my pics???? Even when I get back from Hawaii, people can hardly tell I went somewhere tropical, let alone SURFED the entire dang time!!!! I don't care how "tan" my skin looks. It is not worth the cell damage that occurs with a tan. I plaster on the 50 SPF, and surf my brains out. I don't care that I'm the whitest white girl at the beach. You have to take care of your skin. It's the largest organ in your body, and without it, you are super screwed. Huge shout out to my peeps in Colorado, because we have the highest skin cancer rate in the nation. We are a bunch of white people running around at high altitude. Tans look great, but don't choose a tan over your life. Protect yourself. Be pale white Norwegian pasty like me. ;)
The most recent loss was that of my Godmother. What a blessed soul. All I can think is that God truly needed another angel, because she fits the bill. I want to write an entire blog about her, and I will, because of how amazing she was, and how much she touched my life.  REALLY?? 65 years old, and God scooped you up? You must be doing something right, Auntie Pam. The rest of us have a lot of work to do before we receive that honor. I miss you terribly, and love you more than you ever knew.
This year has been monumental. My father contacted me--out of the blue, and asked to meet up for lunch during one of my trips to Colorado. I have not had a relationship with either of my parents for many years. It never meant I quit loving them, but it just was what it was. Sometimes life pounds on your relationships to the point where you think they are futile, and then God steps in and reveals that life is a wimp, and He has control over the revival of precious things. My dad has periodically kept communication open with me, but my mom is now starting to feel more comfortable with trying to get to know me again. For nearly half my life this has been a struggle, however, God is good. We are a family of faith, and sometimes faith has to be tested before your heart can commit to love. I can appreciate that, but also appreciate the opportunity it presents.
I am so excited for Christmas this year. This is the first year that I have sent Christmas presents to everyone in my family. They are so personalized, and so ME showing love to THEM--I can't wait until Christmas Day--even though I wont' be there to see them open their gifts...they will know they are loved. Isn't that what Christmas is all about? Granted, I spent almost $300 on all those gifts to ship them (and some of them came to me after I ordered them with free shipping...and then I had to re-ship them...DOH!!!), but I got to wrap all of them, and send my love with all of them. That's all that REALLY matters.
I want to wish everyone happy holidays this year. I know everyone celebrates them in their own way, but I want to say I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THE GIFT OF JESUS CHRIST. It is undeniable. As critical as some are of "Christians", Jesus was the bomb. He was the one who hung out with all the people no one wanted to be around--out of LOVE. He was such an example, and that is what I push for through my Christianity--just realizing that purpose of Christ.
It's funny how the simplest of things can bring out thinking back to the most important things. And God bless Charles Schulz for having the balls to make a cartoon that became as mega-famous as it has and declares true meaning of Christmas. "Balls" meaning Christmas ornaments--of course.
May you have a super blessed holiday season. I am so blessed to have the amazing friends that I do, and look forward to a blessed New Year for all of us. God is good. Trust in that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sadie and Mark--Adam and Eve Contemporary Dance those of you who know me KNOW that I love my Duck Dynasty.
Some of you may or may not know of Sadie Robertson. She is the daughter of the CEO of Duck Commander, and she is one of the stars of Duck Dynasty. She is awesome. She is gorgeous, funny, and is now on this season of Dancing With The Stars.
Those of you who know me also know that I am not shy about my faith. I am a follower of God, and my love for Jesus Christ is stronger than anything that I have love for in this world. That being said, I was so proud of Sadie for choosing a biblical theme for her dance this week on DWTS. Not only did this dance, and interpretation of "The Garden of Eden" give me goosebumps, but this girl has made a vow to keep her dancing classy, and tasteful during this show--something a lot of 17 year olds would not do these days.
This was brilliant. It made me look at this story like I have never before. It also made me reflect on the fall of man, and the intensity/impact thereof.
Love. Love. Love.