Tuesday, November 29, 2011

**HoW GrEaT iS mY BLOG?!!!!**: A Big Surprise, and a Happy Blogger!

Ok, so some of you probably know a song that rhymes with my title, "How Great Is My Blog", and just so you know, I'm not trying to be arrogant, blasphemous, or otherwise trying to be a very large jerk. I TRULY AM TOTALLY STOKED ABOUT MY BLOG!!! This is where you say, "Why, Whitney?" and where I say, "Because something truly great has come from my blogging (minus the fact that I've ruffled a few feathers along the way, and made some people get their panties in a bunch during some of my finest snarky moments)".

I started this blog approximately a year and a half ago. I've had over 30,000 hits for my goofy posts during that time, from all over the world. I recently posted a blog on a rare genetic birth defect that my oldest daughter has called "Cleidocranial Dysplasia". I posted it in collaboration with my daughter in an effort to get information out to the world about CCD seeing as though it is very rare, and the odds of coming across people with CCD are few and far between (there are only about 500 people in the world have it, and they probably don't live near me in Colorado). I got a message from a person who had read my blog on CCD, and who has Cleidocranial Dysplasia. He lives in Mexico...MEXICO, people! And he found my blog, was able to see someone else who lives with the same condition, and he also happens to be 20 years old, just like my daughter! He told me that he felt so alone with his condition, but thankful to learn that Paige is going through the same thing and that indeed he is not alone at all! :)

THEN...to make things even crazy cooler, I was showing some of my paintings to one of my coworkers on my blog. She is from the Philippines, and when I was scrolling through my blog posts and saw the picture of Paige being able to touch her shoulders together at midline (because she was born without collarbones due to CCD) she said, "HEY!!!! My cousins can do that!!!" At first I was like, "What do you  mean your cousins can do that? THAT is not normal!!!" However, she told me that her uncle was born with this condition. They had no idea what it was called, and people even asked him if his parents were cursed by a witch when his mom was pregnant with him. They had no comprehension of what Cleidocranial Dysplasia was. Her uncle went on to have both male and female children, and it was genetically passed on to all of his FEMALE children--all his male children were normal size and did not have CCD. Then the female children had children and passed it on to all of their female children. CRAZY INTERESTING! Her family members still had no idea what the condition was called, either, so now she can tell them because SHE SAW MY BLOG!

I realize that some of you are probably like, "*YAWN*STRETCH*YAWN* Great...well this was a great blog, Whitney...I'm going to go die of boredom now...", but I am on cloud nine. I'm so excited that my blog did exactly what I hoped it would do--be far-reaching, and help others. I hope many people researching CCD end up "tripping" over my blog post (thanks to Google).

Now when is that CEO of a major magazine company who wants me to write a column for 6 figures/year going to "trip" over my blog???   ;) JK

Monday, November 28, 2011

**NEW PAINTING**: Dance of the Sea Turtles by artist, Whitney Madison

My latest painting was inspired by my love for sea turtles.They are so elegant when they move through the water, and the way they interact with one another. I handcrafted this frame, and graded the blue metallic color in an outward direction with the darkest blue being along the outer perimeter of the frame. The sea turtles are fully texturized and rise up off the canvas. Hand sculpted bubbles and texturized waves in the water make this painting tempting to touch, and fun for any room. This painting has small glass pebbles at each corner. 16"X20" canvas; acrylic medium; high gloss glaze for protection.       

Fully texturized and raised off the canvas.

Each turtle shell has intricate detailing in the pattern.

Blue and white glass pebbles accent each inside corner of the handcrafted frame.

To view this painting, and many of my other paintings, please visit my online art gallery at

Bah Humbug! A Case of the Christmas Blah-Dee Blah Blahs...

It's that time of year again. How come Christmas seems to come so fast? When I was a kid it seemed like it took forever. Now that I have to pay for all my gifts it comes at warp speed. I think the Universe is messing with my head--and my wallet.

I've been at work at the hospital through most of the chaos of Thanksgiving and Black Friday. I saw the circulars lying on one of our tables, and the plethora of crap you could buy for your loved ones this Christmas--anything from kitchen appliances, to footie PJs, to bras and underwear. Really? Seriously, if anyone buys me a rice cooker and gives me a pair of Underoos for Christmas they are going to never hear the end of it. I also saw an ad with photos of the cute matching sweaters for the whole family to wear so they can look like clones (wasn't that popular in the 80s?). Ugh.

I don't know why, but each year I get more and more put off by the hype and craziness that the holiday season brings. It's kind of sad because when I was a kid I was a total Christmas girl and loved every minute of it. Now I feel like I have to shop online or else I'll get tossed around like a pinball at the mall. And apparently it's not PC to pepper spray people just because they try to kill you while you're holiday shopping. Homegirl in California who pepper sprayed a bunch of people to get to the front of the line at WalMart is finding that out the hard way.  And it was WalMart for crap's sake--if you're going to get busted for going crazy then upgrade your crazy to like Macy's or Tiffany for goodness sake.

There are also all of the crazy Christmas commercials out again. Dorky chicks getting excited because KMart brought layaway back. Kay Jewelers making sure everyone knows that "every kiss begins with Kay". Overly enthusiastic women yelling, "He went to Jared!". And don't even get me started on that Target Lady. I won't lie--I'd love to have a whack at her with a broom. She freaks me out. As a matter of fact, if I didn't actually need to purchase things at Target then I might stop shopping there altogether just because of their lame, freaky Christmas marketing campaign. I think they should make a Target Lady voodoo doll, except the thing would probably come alive like that clown in Poltergeist and haul you under the bed and beat the snot out of you in the middle of the night. Eeeek!

Don't get me wrong--I love Christmas. I love decorating my house for Christmas. I don't mind wrapping Christmas presents other than the fact that contorting my body to cut wrapping paper, and tape, etc. often makes me feel like I need a trip to the chiropractor. My home is cozy, and amazing during the holidays. I spend hours in the dark with just my white Christmas tree lights on catching up on my holiday faves like "It's a Wonderful Life", "Celtic Woman", and my girlie fluff movies like, "The Holiday". I'm a girl, I admit it. I like romantic garbage sometimes. I'm not proud of it, but I do. My kids also catch up on all their Christmas shows--the ones I'm too mean to let them watch during any other time of year. They watch Rudolph, and Frosty, and some weird movie called "Nestor the Christmas Donkey" that was made by the same people who made Rudolph. I usually try to workout on my treadmill downstairs during those times. Those movies are kind of dorky, but they love them.

This is probably the last year my twins are going to believe in Santa. It's sad, but it will be good at the same time. I can't tell you how many times I've told them not to have super high expectations for tons of Christmas presents and how many times they've said, "Don't worry, mom!...we'll just ask Santa!" Yeeeeeaaaahhhhh...that's a problem. See, "Santa" got to find out how much fun it was last year to get the twins two American Girl dolls ($$$$$$$) and provide wardrobes for the dolls ($$$$$$). Each doll outfit cost $30-$45. Good thing they were on Santa's (my) dime (gag*hack*splutter). I will miss how innocent the girls are when they say that, but I won't miss putting Christmas finances in perspective for them in the future. This coming spring they are going to Kauai with me for spring break to learn how to surf. They are not getting a whole lot under the tree other than luggage, iPods, surf gear, and beach towels--and hopefully I can find all of it online so I don't get maimed in the stores. My oldest daughter (20 years old) is easiest to shop for. Her birthday is January 1st so she gets two gifts from Tiffany & CO--one for Christmas, one for birthday. I should've just given birth to 20 year olds--it is less complicated than having those little kids, and sometimes cheaper. Of course, I'd probably be walking kind of funny and people would keep asking me if I lost my horse because I'd be chronically bowlegged. That Duggar lady might think I was ok-looking though.
I am kind of scared that my holiday spirit is going to plummet into the toilet by the time I'm super old. As someone who works in nursing, and done a fair bit with the geriatric population in healthcare, I have a theory that Christmas actually kills people. It's true. Every year we have a an exorbitant amount of people peace out before Christmas, or on Christmas. If I'm this tired of being plinked around like a pinball in the mall in my 30s, then I'll probably be one of those old people who times my death right around the middle of December. It will probably tick my family off, too. They'll have to drop their eggnog to arrange my burial in my pink mausoleum that I've requested. That is, assuming they don't take on the perspective of my ex-husband who used to tell me that the illegal dumping fee to toss me in a ditch would be way cheaper and seemed like a better option than having to put me up in my elaborate pink death hut. Of course he was joking when he said this, but all good comedy is based in reality to some extent.

Hopefully my Christmas blahs will get better as time goes on. What I truly look forward to in my life is having a palm tree out in my front yard that has Christmas lights on it, and me wearing flip flops with a santa hat and a bikini. That's all I really want for Christmas. Well...that and a beach house. And a convertible. And a mai tai (or two). See how low maintenance I am?

 Alright all you Grinchless, Black Friday-loving, holiday crazed people--get out there and enjoy the crazy for me. I'll catch you on the flip side. ;)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

PERSPECTIVE: Don't Leave Home Without It! A Thanksgiving Blog

I'm sure we've all heard someone say at one point, "It's all in how you look at things". I think that if you try hard enough you can find the good and the bad in all things. It's about perspective. Somehow learning how to gain it, and how to maintain it even in the toughest of situations can be a bit challenging.

This is not a blog where I'm aiming to come off like Little Mary Sunshine. However, it's been a bit of a bumpy month for me with some awesome highs and some very low lows, and yet I've still somehow been able to (almost) maintain a reasonable amount of perspective about things. At least intermittently.

As I was driving into work tonight I was listening to the radio. The DJ was talking about a lady who had written in to the radio station. She is a single mom, and she is only able to work part time because she has to take care of her children. She had stated in her letter how her children had started praying that God would provide enough money for them this Christmas that they could afford to put some presents under their tree. They had even gotten excited to find pennies and other coins on the ground that someone had dropped and had given them to their mother to help her buy Christmas gifts. It made me stop and think about a couple of things.

First of all, I can relate to this woman and her struggles to juggle work and family. It's a balancing act, even on a good day. What I couldn't imagine was how hard it must be to make ends meet with a part time job and sole parental responsibilities. I started thinking about the rest of my life compared to hers, and how blessed I am to not have to sit awake at night worrying about where I'm going to find money for Christmas gifts for my children. Don't get me wrong--it's truly by the grace of God that this is the case. I don't know why some people "luck out" and some people don't. People who know me know that I had a rocky start as a young, single mom, myself. I think it's circumstance that allows us to overcome some of these huge obstacles. I was one of the lucky ones. Well, luck, and I worked my flipping tail off to succeed.

It did make me take a moment to be thankful for the fact that I had a full time job that I was en route to, and an income that allows me to maintain a healthy lifestyle and sometimes "share the wealth". It definitely made me think about how having a consistent income is definitely a blessing, and how some people would love to be so fortunate. To those of us who periodically gripe about having to go to work--it's pretty humbling when you think about the alternative.

Do you ever stop to really put your life into perspective like that? To be truly thankful for the things that you do have instead of chronically longing for the things that you don't have? I thought it was a great message to hear on the radio prior to Thanksgiving. The DJ said something along the lines of Thanksgiving being that brief moment to be thankful before the chaos of Christmas ensues. It's almost too bad it doesn't just continue that way through the Christmas holiday. It should be like the olden days at Christmas where you got a doll and a lollipop if you were lucky and called it good (and the doll was actually enjoyed/appreciated all year long). Now our kids aren't happy unless they are opening Play Stations, iPods, iPhones, and goodness knows that the guy down the street probably has a Lexus sitting outside his house with a big red bow on it in and effort to make it a "December to Remember" for his wife. When the heck did $70K Christmas gifts start becoming "normal"? Just FYI...no matter how much cool stuff you have in this life, someone is always going to still have cooler stuff than you. It's a losing battle to try to keep up.

 And what is up with this Black Friday crap? I'd better never die because some jerkoff runs me over with a shopping cart at Super Target trying to get a good deal on a flatscreen TV the day after Thanksgiving. Talk about a totally avoidable, ridiculous way to peace out. I can just hear the coroner now, "And right over here you can see where the shopping cart ran over her spleen and sliced it right in two!" Ugh. WHAT IS WRONG WITH US, PEOPLE? And now they even open the stores the night before Black Friday. Pretty soon we'll just bypass Thanksgiving altogether and have Black November and they will set up little free food stands throughout the store like they do at Costco that have samples of mashed potatoes & gravy, and turkey. The pumpkin pie sample cups will be at the end of Aisle 5--next to the blow up Christmas lawn reindeer and my lifeless body lying there with a shopping cart track across my spleen.

Back to keeping perspective on things. When I was in church not too long ago my pastor had said something along the lines of, "Do you realize that most people who are rich or well-to-do don't realize how well off they are?" It couldn't be more true. Even if I had beachfront property in Kauai I would still probably only believe I was doing "ok" financially. In all actuality I learned on that same day in church that anyone in the world living with an income greater than $50,000/year is actually in the top 1% of the richest people on earth. Well holy crap! Then why isn't there a red carpet out in front of my home, and why isn't the guy sitting next to me at the stoplight offering me Grey Poupon? Doesn't he know who I am? Sheesh, peasants!

It's true. Most of us are pretty stinkin' rich--and we probably don't even know it until we look at the statistics. As a matter of fact, compared to a family of 12 living in a mud hut in Africa making $150/year, the lady who I mentioned in the beginning of this story whose kids are plucking pennies off the sidewalk is probably pretty well off, too! Not by American standards, but the global perspective probably looks much better for her!

This is a great time of year to count our blessings and be thankful for all of the things that we do have in this life. I've seen all my friends posting daily on Facebook the things they are most thankful for. It's been great--mostly because it's not the petty stuff they are thankful for, but for family and the simple pleasures that life has to offer.

I did not end up posting what I was thankful for--mostly because I have a blog and can torture people with long, drawn out stories in order to get to the one paragraph that might have actually fit into my Facebook status. ;)

SO HERE GOES: I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for my friends who are truly some of the most amazing people on the planet. You guys make me laugh, cry, and love me even when I do the sprinkler dance in the middle of the dance floor at the Sand Bar in Juneau, Alaska. I'm thankful for the recent perspective that has come into my life with respect to men and relationships. I'm thankful for the confidence that I have that comes from being a self-sufficient woman. I'm thankful for the blessings I receive from God. It never ceases to amaze me that when I hit a low point how He swoops right in and lifts me right back up with blessings I couldn't have conjured up myself. I'm thankful for being able to work in labor and delivery through the entire Thanksgiving holiday (and just in general for that matter)--helping to bring adorable babies into the world while everyone else in America eats turkey until they feel like they are pregnant and about to explode. I'm thankful for my DVR so that I can cook Thanksgiving dinner and celebrate with my family and with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Friday instead of Thursday after my work week is through. I'm thankful for the opportunity to take a trip to Kauai with my girls this spring to teach them how to surf. I'm thankful for the possibility that comes with some big changes that I have coming up in the next year. I'm thankful for my health, for the health of my family. I'm thankful that I get to run outside again after being beat down with illness and surgery! I'm also very thankful for perspective and being able to see the good in the crapiest of situations. (eloquent, eh?) No matter where you are in life, or what you are going through, there is hope and promise of a brighter future.

Ok...so maybe all of this stuff wouldn't have fit into my Facebook status...but there ya have it.

After having a super blessed week, I pulled into work tonight I heard one of my favorite songs which includes the lyrics, "Every blessing You pour out, I'll turn back to praise. When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say, blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be Your glorious name..." :)

Have a great Thanksgiving! Don't forget about all the things you truly are blessed with. Don't forget to "pay it forward" this holiday season, and PLEASE don't run over anyone with your dang shopping cart, mkay? Mkay. :)

Peace. Love. Tryptophan.

Eat up, people.


Monday, November 14, 2011

**NEW PAINTING**: IN AWE OF THE AURORA: Northern Lights painting by Artist, Whitney Madison

On cold, clear winter nights, the northern skies are often graced with the dancing lights of the Aurora Borealis. This painting is a celebration of the beautiful light show phenomenon. Handcrafted frame in platinum metallic acrylic paint by Artist, Whitney Madison. This painting is on a 16X20 stretched canvas and painted in a metallic acrylic medium. Fully texturized, this painting jumps extends off the canvas, and is tempting to touch. The northern lights are sealed in a high gloss, sparkle glaze. The entire painting is sealed with a high gloss glaze for protection. Great for any room in the house, and ready to hang.       

You can view this painting and my other paintings at my online art gallery at

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

**New Painting**:The Perfect Sunset: Hawaiian Surfer's Paradise

It seems like every time I go to Hawaii I am just absolutely taken aback by the amazing sunsets that occur there. This painting captures that feeling. I am a die-hard ocean/wave, water-loving girl, but I will bring my board in from the water to sit in awe of the amazing sunsets in Hawaii.This painting captures those moments. This painting has my custom, handcrafted frame that has embedded glass beads with swirls of orange. The painting is fully texturized in my signature style and 3-dimensional--tempting and FUN to touch! It is vibrant, and in metallic acrylics that embrace the "spice" of the islands. Fun, whimsical, romantic--this painting is ready to hang on any wall and will certainly be a conversation piece! It is a great reminder to stop for a moment and take in the amazing natural wonders that this life has to offer. This painting is on an 11"X14" canvas and is completely sealed in a high gloss glaze for protection--even if hung in steamy bathroom areas. Sure to give you that tropical respite you SO deserve!!! Enjoy!...and ALOHA! :)       

To view this painting, and my other artwork, please visit my online art gallery at

Sunday, November 6, 2011

**CUSTOM PAINTINGS WITH A PURPOSE** by Artist, Whitney Madison

** CUSTOM PAINTINGS WITH A PURPOSE**: For a limited time I will be offering my customized paintings at reduced rates in an effort to raise funds for an expansion project that my church is preparing for. 100% of the proceeds from my paintings will be donated to Faith Mountain church here in Lakewood, Colorado. My paintings normally range from $60-$300. During this time, I am offering CUSTOM paintings of your choice. 12"X12" for $35.00, 11"X14" paintings for $40.00, and 16"X20" paintings for $70.00. Made to order--you choose the content of your painting. All paintings can have wording added, or be personalized. Shipping will range from $7-$10 depending on the painting size and will ship via parcel post. Custom, handcrafted frame available at no extra charge--your choice of color. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact me at whitney_madison@hotmail.com

Christmas is coming! A custom piece of artwork would be a wonderful gift for anyone on your Christmas list!

To view some of my artwork, please visit my online art gallery at