Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Good Morning, Whitney Madison!!!! Wake Up And Smell The Gunpowder!

Ok, America. I realize that you all want to be happy and peaceful these days. I'm all about that, but since there are the few that decide to screw things up for the rest of us...here goes.
The state of the world is kind of like a giant pile of crap right now. I realize that you have to take the good with the bad these days, but when the bad includes Columbine, the movie theatre shooting, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and multiple other random shootings--this girl is officially pissed off and not just willing to sit around and say, "Awww...that sucks".
So, big whoop...the world pissed off an unarmed blonde girl, right? Well, I happen to be smarter than your average blonde, so I tend to think more about certain subjects, and how to avoid them in the future.
I'm a fence-sitter politically. I know it drives some people crazy, but I am. The big issue today is guns.
I don't want a bunch of sass about how awful guns are. I don't want a bunch of sass about how guns need to be banned. I don't want a bunch of sass about how we should all carry guns and the right to bear arms. FENCE SITTER HERE--I see both sides almost always...SO DEAL!
Tonight I went out for dinner with my twins. It was Christmas eve. The Sandy Hook Elementary incident happened just a week ago. While at dinner, my kids said they were going to go to the bathroom together. I felt fine about it, so let them go. A minute later I heard yelling and screaming. The gal at the table next to me had gone up front, came back and said, "They called 911." I ran up to the front. My kids were sitting there, huddled in a corner on a bench in the foyer. Three restaurant members were behind the entry way desk. Two people were standing there yelling at the staff, and had already physically attacked the staff. My kids were right there in the middle of it.
I grabbed my girls, went back to the table.  and sat there until after the people were arrested. Then packed up to leave. I educated them on what had just happened, and the need to run if that happens again because they told me the reason they sat there in the midst of it was because they didn't know what to do.
I'm done, people. I can't handle the crap we live with these days. This is not my first time with these types of encounters. I even had one Sunday when a man came into a church building, sat behind me, and said he was going to kill everybody. I'M DONE.  I am going to be packing from now on. And my gun might look pretty and pink, but it will blow a hole in your fuzzy butt if you screw with me or my family.

Now...how to make a gun look good under my stylish clothing...??? I will figure it out.
**DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS!!!** or Whitney.
K...I'm not from Texas, but I can pop you one.


Just FYI...all my friends pack up in Alaska and nobody every gets shot. Not in Canada, either. Know why? Cuz it's a level playing field...everyone has a gun.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Tribute That The Voice Did For The Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims

Last night, The Voice opened the show with this BEAUTIFUL tribute to the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School. My heart breaks for the families who suffered loss, and for the sweet babies who were taken from this earth way too soon. Hug your kids today,
God Bless.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

ADDENDUM To My CenturyLink Blog...Doug, This One's For You

Ok. I vented. I'm done. You all have heard about my complete fiasco/shenanigans that I've had to go through with my internet/DirecTV provider as of late. However, I have to add a little somethin' onto my blog in an effort to show gratitude for how **HELPFUL** (yes I said the "H" word) a  of representative of CenturyLink (named DOUG) was to me.
Normally I would not even bother to write a follow-up customer review about things on my blog. I figure I throw out my gripes to the Universe on the internet, and that is the end of it. However, within record time--two days even, of having my blog posted about my fiasco with CenturyLink, I was contacted about my crappy experience.
At first I thought it was a joke. That is until I actually read through the comment posted on my blog, and the guy from CenturyLink contacting me had actually taken the time to write that he had endured the pain, and suffering of actually reading through my entire blog post about all of my CenturyLink gripes, moans, and groans (sorry, Doug--I know I can be long winded. If you're ever in Denver I'll buy you a beer).
Here's the deal. After my internet crashed for the second time in a VERY short period of time, I called the company, spent hours on the phone (losing my mind), got shipped off to multiple countries to troubleshoot my problem, and then, by the grace of God, got back in touch with someone in the US who could actually HELP me. By the end of it, I was so frustrated that I wrote an entire blog about how I was ready to kick puppies, and change providers. That was when Bob, and Doug arrived to save the day from CenturyLink.
Both of these guys were amazing at literally keeping my head from blowing off/exploding off my shoulders. I wrote about Bob in my blog, but I wondered at first when I saw that a representative of CenturyLink had contacted me, if Doug's name was a joke--like past tense for "Did Dig Yourself Into a Hole--so Dug...I mean DOUG is the guy you call to save the day", but DOUG came through. And I'm pretty sure his real name is Doug--just for the record.
Not only did this gentleman get on and look at the trend of my internet service, but actually took the time to credit my account for my troubles, and let me know that if I have any trouble in the future that I have a DIRECT CONNECTION...to a LIVE BODY...in the UNITED STATES of AMERICA (named Doug), that I can call and troubleshoot my technology with. And he was pretty cool to chat with, too, which was a bonus. I didn't need some stuffy, super weirdo, over-the-top, nerdball to deal with at this stage of the game. I was already beyond my insanity threshold.
Doug, you didn't credit my account with enough money to see both my hair stylist (for the grey hair your company caused me), and my therapist (which I don't really have anyhow), but ya done good, Mister. I appreciate you. :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dear CenturyLink...I'm Sending You The Bill For My Therapist & Hairdresser

"Ok, Whitney, we'll play--why are you going to send CenturyLink your bill for your therapist and hairdresser?" 

I appreciate you taking the time to ask. First of all, I don't really have a therapist, but after having to deal with this stupid company (CenturyLink) for the past week, I feel like I might need one. That, and now I'm sure I have a bunch of grey hair from having to deal with these stupid monkey buttheads. Let's start at the beginning, shall we? Mkay? Mkay.

I used to have Qwest. Do you remember good ol' Qwest? They used to have that big, tall building in downtown Denver with the huge Qwest sign that would light the way for all of the incoming airplanes to DIA? Yes, well they decided to pull a Snoop Dog move and switch their name to CenturyLink.

Who is CenturyLink? Hell if I know--they're just the alias company full of dingleberry monkey fluffers that I send hundreds of dollars every month in order to BUNDLE my internet with my DirecTV. For all I know they probably don't even exist--especially since my internet has been down, on-and-off now, for nearly two weeks. I should just send them a check every month via toilet and just flush the stupid money down the loo.

Yes, my internet went down a couple of weeks ago. It was working just fine when I went to bed one night, and I woke up with zero access to planet cyberspace (minus the fact that I have an iPhone--because of this fact I only went through minor internet withdrawals). I put in a call to CenturyLink, and was able to arrange for them to come out to my house to fix it. They did what any good cable company would do--gave me the awesome four-hour window in which they may or may not show up to fix it. The gal on the phone also told me that, "If it is a problem on the outside of your house, then it won't cost you anything. However, if our technician has to set one foot inside the house, then it will be charged to you."


The guy showed up on a day that I happened to be sleeping all day since I had to work that night. I asked them if they would please call before showing up so that I could at least tame the mane and put some clothes on before answering the door. I'm sure cable guys don't make that much money, but I'm positively sure they do not get paid enough to have to deal with seeing me rolling out of bed--it's a cross between Quasimodo, a Barbie Doll that got used as a hood ornament on a semi truck, and a Furby...totally puketastic.

Anyhow, the guy called me and told me his ETA was 10 minutes. I threw on some track pants and a tee shirt, and then went downstairs when the doorbell rang. Mr. CenturyLink was standing on my doorstep. He looked disturbed. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the cable situation, and everything to do with what he was forced to look at-- my hair that was going in 900 different directions, and the mutant/windblown-bug-splattered-Barbie/furball look that I was sporting. *SHIVER*

He told me that the problem was from the main power box that was located down the street from me. Sweet!--then I don't have to pay you, right? And I can take my bad self back to bed now, and you, Mr. CenturyLink, can go wash your eyeballs out with bleach, and look into that red light thingy that the Men In Black zap you with to erase my horrible picture from your memory. It's a win/win situation! Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Wait--why are you still here?


Then Mr. CenturyLink asked me to double check that my modem was working. I said, "I don't know, but I will go check." Then I walked over to my modem, picked it up, and said, "How do I know if it's working?" I tell you what, they take that, "Mr. CenturyLink cannot set one foot into your house or you will get charged..." thing pretty seriously, because Mr. CenturyLink leaned his Go-Go Gadget neck as far over the threshold of my front door as he possibly could in an effort to see my modem without entering the forbidden den of QuasimodoFurbyBarbieGirl. It was tres impressive. He defied the laws of physics, and I'm sure he needed a realignment from his chiropractor after this. Even a brontosaurus would have been envious at his extreme efforts.

Long story short--the modem WAS working. YAY!!!!! Back to the land of the living! I have internet again! Thank you for coming, Mr. CenturyLink! Now peace out, homey! This chick needs to go back to bed!

**Back to bed I went...**

Did I just say I have internet again? Cuz now one week later, I DONT!!! It went down again.CURSE YOU, CENTURYLINK!!!!

Once again, I went to bed having internet, and woke up to find that I had received my virtual, spontaneous eviction notice from cyberspace for no apparent reason. I had already been in contact with the company last week because, not only had my internet gone down, but my last bill had shown a fairly large increase in my monthly internet fees, and that was after they had to fix my internet for going down the last time. I had called last week and tried to downgrade speeds from "warp speed" (bug hitting a windshield speed), to "spitball shot out of a straw speed", but they ensured me that I would certainly be missing out if I did this. In Whitney's World, it would be like going from shopping for jewelry at Tiffany & Co to having to shop WalMart. SO-- I ended up keeping things status quo, and was just thankful that I wouldn't have to deal with them again anytime soon (famous last words)...until of course my internet went down...AGAIN...one week later.
So I called up my buddies at CenturyLink again. I was put on hold. I love it when I get put on hold on my cell phone and I watch minutes upon minutes fly by as my wireless phone bill starts to increase. I'm not being serious. I actually hate this, and it makes me feel like a mental patient. And it wasn't even like they had one of those, "Your estimated wait time is_____" messages. Nope, I just sat there with them on speaker phone, listening to the same stupid CenturyLink commercial OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN about how awesome their high-speed Internet is. OBVIOUSLY! You can clearly see from looking here at Exhibit A (my computer with a worthless modem and absolutely ZERO internet) how frickin' fantastic CenturyLink's high-speed Internet is!!!

Perhaps I wasn't the best target audience for this CenturyLink high-speed internet promotional advertising. By the time I got done listening to it for the 495th time I was about ready to kick a puppy. (OK--I don't like dogs but I really wouldn't kick a puppy...don't call PETA on me...SHEESH)

The call went a little something like this...

Me: HELLO? Hello! (OMG...it's a real person answering the phone!)
Hi there! My name is Whitney. My Internet is down and I don't know what's wrong with it.

CenturyLink (CL): Yes ma'am...may I have your account number?

Me: Blah blah blah blah blah 6784 (no this isn't my real account number, but work with me)

CL: Um, Ma'am, we don't have an account number like that.

Me: Really? Because I'm reading it directly off my bill that says, "CenturyLink" under "Account Number".

CL: No ma'am...we don't have a number like that.

Me: Can you look me up by name?

CL: No ma'am, we can't do that.

Me (in my mind): "Yes, because that would just be way too easy." W-T...What the crap?

CL: Where do you live, Ma'am?

Me: Colorado.

CL: Oh! Well that would make sense. You're not within our grid. You're in a different grid. Let me transfer you. Please hold...

Great. What the hell is a grid?, and why couldn't you figure this out from before? And DANG IT...don't you guys have a different recording I can listen to? GRRRRRRRRRR. Here we go again with the same old high-speed internet advertisement while I'm on hold. Can I request some elevator music? I'll even listen to Muskrat Love, or Best of Accordian Music 2011 at this point...

So I stayed on hold for another good long while. Then they transferred me...to India. Sweet! There's a country I haven't been to today!...INDIA.Ugh.

The lady on the phone did not speak stellar English, and she kept repeating herself. A conversation that should've taken 2 minutes instead took 15. She had me unplug this, and plug in that. Then she had me hold down a reset button while I was unplugging this and that. I was trying to contort my body under the table where the power cords were to do this, and at one point when I was trying to lean over, hold the reset button, and simultaneously try to unplug the stupid modem I FELL OFF MY CHAIR, dropped my phone, and my modem, and then I fell under my table. It was hot and a super chic move on my part. I felt like it was an episode of Mary Catherine Gallagher SUPERSTAR.


Turns out my modem was broken (duh). But WAIT! Shortly after I found this out, went 900 rounds of repetitious English with India, and fell off my chair and under my table, I GOT DISCONNECTED. Yes...disconnected...NOTHING HAD BEEN SOLVED OTHER THAN WE FIGURED OUT THAT MY MODEM WAS NOT WORKING AND THEN I GOT FRIGGIN' DISCONNECTED!!!!! Are you freakin' kidding me? Ok, I may have said another choice "F" word in there, but I couldn't believe it. After an hour of being on hold, and going through all of this, I now had to call them back and try to finish getting it all figured out, AND START FROM SCRATCH WITH SOMEONE NEW ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE.

You can imagine by now that my head might be on the verge of blowing up. It was.

Let's continue with this story, shall we?

I called them back. They told me they didn't have my account number again. Then once I told them I was on a different grid they sent me to the Philippines. Awesome. Well--I haven't been there today!!!...YAY...let's go! (that was sarcasm)

When I explained to the man that my modem was broken he said, "Yes, ma'am--are you renting that modem? Or do you own that modem? If you own the modem you will have to pay $90 for a replacement modem."

Are you kidding me? How am I supposed to know if I own or rent the modem, you are the dang company! You tell me--do I own the modem because I bought it from you?... or do I rent the modem from you, and pay you monthly for it? Your records should indicate this somewhere, right? (How's that for conversation? You want to keep poking this bear with a stick? I'm going to start answering your questions with questions using the Socratic Method...BITE ME!).

After going in circles with this man for another 30 minutes, he said he would have to transfer me to the business office to see about the modem. He put me on hold...AGAIN. I sat on hold for another 20 minutes, and the same stupid CenturyLink high-speed Internet recording kept playing OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. As if this wasn't fantastic enough, then he would pop back on the line every two minutes to ask me if I would like to continue holding because the business office line was still busy assisting other customers. The best part about this? When he cut back into the line to ask me if I wanted to continue holding HE HUNG UP ON ME.



You can imagine what happened right around this time. I lost it. I had collectively been on hold, and gone in circles with India and the Philippines for over 1.5 hours...on my cell phone...using up my data plan...AND I STILL HAD A BROKEN MODEM WITH NO SOLUTION, AND NO INTERNET CONNECTION!!!!

I gave up temporarily. In an effort to keep my blonde head from completely exploding off of my shoulders I went out and ran some errands. Ok, fine...FIRST, I threw my phone across the room, and then I went out and ran my errands. What? It has an Otterbox now! There's a reason why I bought that kind of nuclear protection for my iPhone! Not only am I a klutz, and drop it all the time, but I also have an attitude problem, and making expensive sh*t fly across the room at rapid speed when I get PO'd just makes me feel better! 
(ok, I'm lying...I rarely throw things...but I did after that call got dropped...just being honest...)

I returned home from my errands. I picked up my phone. I dialed CenturyLink. It took everything I had to keep normal tone to my voice. I gave them my account number, they put me on hold, and they transferred me.

They transferred me to Bob. Who is Bob? Well I will tell you...

BOB is the only reason that my head did not spontaneously combust. Bob is also the reason I still miraculously have an account with CenturyLink after all of these stupid shenanigans. 

After the day that I had with CenturyLink on my world tour of India and the Philippines, I liken my refreshing conversation with Bob to be a little like going to a high end day spa after a long day of being on the set of American Gladiators. Do you remember American Gladiators? That show where they would smack the holy living poo out of  people with those giant Q-Tip thingys? Giant muscle chicks and dudes wearing Speedos v. people who thought they were all that and a bag of chips who then ended up getting their scrawny little butts kicked on national television? Crazy. But that's how I felt nonetheless.

Anyway, Bob was the angel of mercy, sent to me by God, in an effort to maintain my sanity and keep my hair from turning grey. It took about 1.5 minutes for Bob (who ironically lives and works in the U.S.) to troubleshoot my situation, and hook me up with a new modem. Bob was also able to consult the Great and Powerful Oz of CenturyLink as to whether or not I rented or owned my modem. Turns out I rent it...SUCKAS!!!!! My new modem is on you fine folks!!!! Ka-CHING! I'll keep my $90.00. Kiss my monkey fluffer ______!!!!!!!

Ok, enough...

I explained to Bob that I had been shipped all over the world with my CenturyLink problem via telephone that day. At one point he had to put me on hold to find out some information, to which I replied, "Bob, I know where you work, and if you disconnect me I will hunt you down, and kill you." Bob said that he understood, and that he would call me right back if he dropped my call. Imagine that!...CUSTOMER SERVICE!

**dying of shock**

Bob hooked me up with a new modem (in less than 48 hours), and got me back into the land of the living via the internet. If not for Bob, you wouldn't be able to read this fine blog post.

PS: Save your snarky comments for someone who cares--after all, you're the nerdball who just spent goodness knows how long reading this stupid thing.

I've decided to sing/dedicate a Christmas song to Bob...

GLORY TO BOB, GLORY IN THE HIGHEST (speed internet connection)

Ok, I'm done.

CenturyLink, you should give me at least 2 months free so I can seek therapy, and get my hair dyed for all of this.

I'm back on the grid, people...I'M BACK!!! :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

**NEW PAINTING**: Tiny Trees Artwork (original inspired by Pottery Barn Kids) by Artist, Whitney Madison

**New Paintings**
Inspired by the "Tiny Trees" collection by Pottery Barn Kids.
These paintings are original creations by Artist, Whitney Madison.

These two 12"X12" paintings have my signature, handcrafted frame in Heather purple. The background is a brilliant Jamaican blue. The entire painting has my signature, texturized style that literally stands off the canvas and is fun to touch!

I love, love, love Pottery Barn. I love thumbing through the catalog, but sometimes the backdrop leaves me wanting for more. More colors! More creative wall hangings! I've started to design a custom collection that accents their bedding collections.
The paintings are done in an acrylic medium. 12"X12" canvas has my signature, textured frame. Each painting has a perimeter that is embellished with grosgrain ribbon. The entire painting is coated in a high gloss glaze for protection. Perfect for any room!


To view these paintings, and more of my artwork, please visit my online art gallery at
www.etsy.com/shop/arcticbarbiegirl. These paintings are also available on eBay.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ESSURE: The Permanent Sterilization Birth Control Option I Chose To Have Done

Ah yes, what fun would my blog be if I didn't dip a toe into controversial waters from time to time, go out on a limb, and try to disturb my male readers? Why, NO FUN AT ALL!

Today we're talking about birth control. Why? Because I recently underwent the Essure sterilization procedure, and I like to get the word out to others and educate people about my experience--that's why.
"But Whitney!...you make cute kids! Why would you want to take away the possibility of ever creating more of them?" Here's the dealio--usually the "making kids" thing is a joint effort. I don't know that I will ever get married again, and even if I did, I would not want anymore children. I got over being pregnant in my 20s. Time to move on with my life. I have a child who is nearly 21 and I don't need one in college, and one in diapers. Time to close down the baby-makin' factory for good. I'm also not getting any younger, and my kids are goofy enough without playing the odds that I'm going to make exponentially more goofy kids due to carrying around a bunch of rotten eggs.

I realize that there are a plethora of options out there for birth control. However, I will say that I am totally anti-hormone therapy birth control. It is my personal opinion, and some experts will probably tell me I'm F.O.S. on this one, but I think the reason breast cancer rates are so high these days are because women are on so many dang hormone therapy birth control methods. They aren't good for you! Neither is having 750 kids. But that's neither here nor there.

I have only ever been on birth control one time, and that was a flipping nightmare. I had the Depo Provera injection back when I was in my early 20s and it jacked me up something fierce. I bled 24/7, 7 days a week, for 365 days per year. And it was a shot so it wasn't like I could just stop taking it. The damage had been done. I should've taken out stock in feminine hygiene products during that time because I think that's where half of my salary ended up going. Not to mention I had raging PMS for an entire year. And I gained about 15 lbs on the stupid stuff. Who could ask for anything more? Weight gain, pissy attitude, bleeding like a stuck pig everyday of my life--It was fabulous. NOT! Oh, and spare me the jokes about how you still think the shot must be in my system because I still have a pissy attitude. I don't know what the half-life is of Depo Provera, but I'm pretty sure it's under 10+ years.

Because I am so anti-hormone therapy birth control, I had limited options when it came time to choose how I was going to be able to move onto the next chapter of my life without risking another pregnancy. It basically came down to two options--a tubal ligation, or Essure sterilization.
I have had super extensive abdominal surgery in the past three years, so after talking to all of the OB-GYN doctors that I work with (I'm a labor and delivery nurse), it became very clear that no one would touch me with a 10-foot pole for a laparoscopic tubal. I have WAY too much scar tissue in my abdominal cavity, and the risks were too high that the surgeon could potentially perforate my intestine. No thanks. I've had enough fun with my guts over the years. I think I'm good.

SO ESSURE IT WAS! What is Essure? Essure is a safe, permanent method of sterilization that can often times be performed right in your doctor's office. It involves the physician using a speculum to access your cervix, going up through the cervix into the uterus, and then inserting small coils/springs into the fallopian tubes. Over a few months, the fallopian tubes will produce scar tissue around the coils that will then occlude the fallopian tubes and prevent eggs from passing through them, as well as prevent sperm entry.
Among many important things to consider about Essure is cost. I did a bunch of research regarding the cost of Essure, and most internet sites said it would likely be "the cost of my insurance copay". This was a crock of crap. I have Cigna health insurance, and I have a 75%/25% split. The insertion procedure ended up costing me upwards of $470 out of pocket, and the HSG will be another $450 out of pocket. Be sure you do your research, know your insurance coverage, and know what the hospital and provider charge. Still cheaper than having another baby, but it can still be spendy.

The day of the Essure procedure I had my daughter as my designated driver (this is required--you aren't allowed to drive on benzodiazepines (valium) and narcotics (percocet)). I was given valium to take an hour prior to the procedure, and then percocet and zofran to take 15 minutes prior to undergoing the scope. Unfortunately, during the time that I had my procedure, there was a nationwide shortage of the drug, Toradol, which is an NSAID drug that they inject intramuscularly prior to the procedure to keep your fallopian tubes from spasming during insertion and to help with pain. As you can imagine, this meant that my procedure hurt like an S.O.B. Instead they had me power load 800 mg of ibuprofen prior to the start of things. Big whoop. Didn't really do a thing for me.

Normally, an Essure procedure takes about 10 minutes. Although it is only 10 minutes, it is a very uncomfortable, painful 10 minutes. Mine took over an hour, and my doctor said I was the hardest case she had ever had, but this was due to my previous surgery, and the fact that my fallopian tubes spasmed like a MOFO due to the Toradol drug not being available.

During my procedure I had three people in the room; my doctor, an Essure representative, and a medical assistant. That's a lot of people oogling your goodies while you lay there spread eagle on the table. However, just remember that health care providers see naked people all the time, so it's really not a big deal to them, and you should relax and just git 'er done.

I had full intentions of doing just that, but then the procedure ended up being so painful for me, and taking so long, that my doctor's lucky my thighs didn't slam shut and crack her head like a walnut.

After you're up in the stirrups, the doctor inserts a speculum into your lady parts, and then inserts the scope through your cervix. This part almost killed me. A closed cervix should remain closed unless a fetus convinces it to open up--and even then, that whole process hurts like a son-of-a--ask any laboring woman how much fun cervical dilatation is.

Once the scope is through the cervix, a bunch of water pressure is used to perform the procedure. This part also hurt quite a bit because that water pressure causes SEVERE cramping. Once the water pressure is present, then the scope is used to place the coils in the fallopian tubes. This part was particularly horrible for me because my tubes decided to fight my doctor. She had to reef on them pretty hard to get the coils in place. Because of this, she called me every day after my procedure for a week because she thought she might have perforated my tubes. We would not know until months later if the coils were in place, or floating up into my abdominal cavity (aka outer space).

Finally, the procedure was done. I do pity anyone who is actually considering getting Essure and reading this because I make it sound horrible. However, MY procedure was horrible. It KILLED me. I was lying on the table in a puddle of tears, and had I known how the procedure was going to go, I WOULD NOT HAVE WORN BLACK EYELINER that day because I looked like a flipping raccoon by the time I got off the table.


I know you are thinking I'm crazy by now to think that you would still even consider Essure, but although undergoing the insertion of the coils sucked serious fuzzy butt, the bottom line is that it is still a very effective method of birth control. I was a hard case to perform, and I think anyone can suck it up for 10 minutes pain-wise should the procedure actually go how it is supposed to.

So after the insertion I was very crampy for about three days. My next period also had more intense cramping, but it was shorter than normal. Then the next one was shorter, and most recent one was short, too. My normal cycle is 5-6 days, and now I'm down to 3. I'm okay with that! **WOOT**WOOT**

So what's "The Wait?". The wait is 3 months. That's how long it takes your fallopian tubes to completely scar over and occlude.Then you have to go to the hospital for an outpatient procedure called a "hysterosalpingogram" which is a dye test that is performed to make sure that nothing can penetrate your tubes.

The hysterosalpingogram (aka HSG test) was something I was terrified to have. The Essure placement hurt so much that I was done having people fiddling around down in my southern region. I was actually so traumatized by the insertion that I almost put off my HSG for the rest of the year. However, I put on my big girl pants, decided to suck it up and go get my confirmation that I would no longer be contributing to overpopulating the planet.

I scheduled my HSG test. This test needs to be performed 6-10 days after your period cycle. I went in to the hospital, and went into the radiology department. They had me put on a gown, and placed the speculum again to access my cervix. I was shaking during this time in anticipation of what the little tube that had to go back up into my cervix would feel like. Fortunately, I felt only very mild cramping--nothing like the coil insertion procedure that I had in my doctor's office. Then they confirmed with the injection of dye that my tubes were indeed occluded.

 After they injected the dye, they placed the x-ray machine over my abdomen, and had me tilt side-to-side to distribute the dye in my uterus. THAT WAS IT! It was actually a very easy procedure, and KA-CHING!!!--NO MORE BABIES FOR THIS GIRL!

Long story short (ha ha), the Essure procedure is not very comfortable, but it gets the job done. It was the only option I had for permanent sterilization, and although it had some ups/downs and scary moments for me (with not knowing about tube perforation), it was totally worth it. I feel like now I can move forward with my life and open the next chapter THAT DOESN'T INCLUDE MATERNITY CLOTHES! :)

(And please keep in mind that Essure does not protect against STDs, and it is VERY important that you continue to use some form of birth control during the three month waiting period unless you want to be called "Mommy" again!)

Arctic Barbie Girl vs. Fifi & The Oompa Loompas

Video blog about my neighbor's dog coming over to my lawn to use the toilet. A 14 minute rant that resembles the Blair Witch Project due to my stellar camera girl. LOL! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Brooklyn Collection Nursery Art (inspired by Pottery Barn Kids) Original Artwork by Artist Whitney Madison

I have spent quite a bit of time lately making custom artwork for my friends and their nurseries as baby shower gifts. I love the variety with all of the beautiful nursery collections available these days. One of my all time favorite companies for nursery themes is Pottery Barn. Their colors, and patterns are unbelievable. Because of this, I had the idea to make my own custom paintings to match their specific collections.
My latest collection matches with the Pottery Barn Kids "Brooklyn Collection". Brilliant purples, sage, citron, baby blue, and aqua. All three paintings are included in this purchase, and ready to mount on the wall.
The paintings include my signature texturized, handcrafted frame. The internal perimeter of the frame is accented with green and white polka dot grosgrain ribbon. Each corner of the ribbon is embellished with white, pearlized buttons. The paintings have my signature texturized style throughout, and literally stand off the canvas. 9"X11" stretched canvas. They are even fun to touch!
The center painting (tulips) is a shade darker purple in the background and meant to be the centerpiece. The snowflake and paisley are meant to accent the sides. Acrylic medium on stretched canvas.                                       
Each painting has a high gloss glaze for protection and makes them perfect for any room. A perfect way to put the finishing touches on your sophisticated and chic nursery!     
To view these paintings, or my other artwork, please visit my online art gallery at

Sunday, September 30, 2012

THE MAN SHOWER--A Baby Shower Put On By Men.

Do you notice how it is the woman who appears to be speaking to the man in this photo? Yep--that would be just like a conversation I would have with a man during football season. "Sorry honey, football season is here. Please only speak when spoken to--there's a game on!!!"
The topic today is Baby Showers. STICK WITH ME HERE, MEN!!! I know I just said the BS word (baby shower), but this is not just a blog about your ordinary baby shower. Why? Because when I was pregnant with my twins I didn't have an ordinary baby shower. My husband threw me a MAN SHOWER. Yes, a MAN SHOWER.
This is the part where you pipe in and say, "But Whitney, you are a woman! Not only a woman, but a girlie girl woman (with the exception of your love for football, your snarky mouth, and being able to verbally biznatch slap most men in about 2.2 seconds)!!!"
Fine. You're right. You can pretty much sum me up with three words. HIGH HEELS & FOOTBALL.
(it's like the hokie pokie--THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT! hot dog)
I have said it before, and I will say it again, I AM A GUYS GIRL. I love hanging with the guys. Not because I'm a sex-crazed love monkey, but because I just think guys are just super fun to be around, and I can just relate to them. This would be one HUGE reason I was pleasantly surprised to be thrown a MAN SHOWER while I was pregnant.
So what is a man shower? I can only describe what was done for me, so here goes...
THE MAN SHOWER was the baby shower that my (then) husband and his friends got together to throw for me. See, we moved to the east coast to be close to my husband's parents when I was about 5 months pregnant with the twins. I knew no one in the Philadelphia area, with the exception of some of my husband's friends that had flown up to Alaska for our wedding, or who I had met on the east coast during sporadic visits. These were all the guys who got together to throw a baby shower for me.
But it wasn't just a baby shower. You can't have a MAN SHOWER that is JUST a baby shower--you have to amp it up a little. So they did. There was awesome food, a ton of beer (which I did not drink), and I think they even had cigars.
"Well, Whitney, I guess if the baby shower had beer then it was a step up from just an ordinary baby shower." OH CONTRA IRE! It was way better than any other baby shower I've ever been to! This baby shower had a built in drinking game that was HILARIOUS to even those of us who had to stay completely sober during that time (no pregnant lady kegstands)!
As I had said, the beer was flowing. These men were AMAZING. Whoever said that men have no taste did not know these guys. They bought me the most stunning baby gifts. They knew my nursery theme, the colors I wanted, and what was on my baby registry at the stores. And NO...they were not gay. There are just super awesome hetero men that actually know what's up...
Seeing how awesome everything was that these men had put together, I was completely stunned. The men sat there, circled up in the living room, drinking beer, and watching me open my gifts. Every time I said, "Awwwww!" as I opened my gifts the men had to take a drink ("Awwwww" was the key word for drinking). It was HYSTERICAL!!!!
Better than any other baby shower in the world, the MAN SHOWER takes the cake. SO happy I was able to experience it!



Monday, September 17, 2012

Dear Men, Until You Have Been Pregnant For Nine Months, Sacrificed Your Beautiful Body To Carry A Child, Stayed At Home With A House Full Of Crying Children All Day, And Ever Had Any Sort Of Accountability For Sex Other Than Paying Child Support, PLEASE GET OFF YOUR SOAPBOX ABOUT WOMEN'S RIGHTS (before a girl with high heels kicks it out from under you)

OOOOooooh Baby, Baby! Ba-Baby Baby! OOOOooooh Baby Baby, Ba-Baby Baby!
I love babies. I wouldn't be a labor and delivery nurse if I didn't love babies. I love helping women bring these precious little bundles of joy into the world. It is an amazing blessing.
"Well, Whitney, that's just frickin' fantastic!!! So what?" Well hold onto your britches... 
This blog was inspired by a Facebook post that my pastor put up. It was a question about Christianity and Abortion. The question was, "Can you really claim to be a Christian if you are pro-choice? And if so, can you back it up with scripture?
I couldn't help it. I was drawn to this posting like a moth to a flame. I ignore most "hot button" topics on Facebook, mostly because I don't care to argue with people who have their minds all made up and have everything all figured out (scoff*gag*hack*splutter). It would be like intentionally arguing with a two year old--and goodness knows, although I love babies, I can totally do without toddlers.
So why am I feeling so entitled to address this "taboo" topic of the big "A" word (abortion)?
I'll answer that in a minute.
First of all, this is NOT a blog on whether or not I think abortion should be legal. Why? BECAUSE IT IS LEGAL ALREADY! And no amount of pissing and moaning is going to fix/stop that!!!--So stop shooting doctors at the abortion clinics, and showing your awful pictures of what the dumpsters look like behind Planned Parenthood. If we wanted to see them, we'd go to Google Images! Or Facebook for goodness sake...
I was a teen mom. I could've opted out of the huge mess I created for myself back in the day by opting for abortions, but I didn't (DISCLAIMER: This fact does not make me high and mighty in any way, shape, or form). I almost did opt for the big "A" with baby #2, but my dad convinced me otherwise. I'm happy about that now, even though my son is going through his, "I hate you, mom" phase at the age of 19, and blaming every problem he's ever had in his life on me. He's still a brilliant creation. A brilliant creation with a huge mouth--wonder where he got that?
As stated before, I also happen to work in labor and delivery. It is AWESOME!...mostly. However, I work with a fair bit of welfare moms. And drug addicted moms. And moms who have 900 children that they can't take care of already. It makes it hard not to feel sorry for these babies.
This was everything that was racing through my mind when I read this Facebook post on Christians being less than Christians if they are pro-choice.
I hate the terms "Pro-Life" and "Pro-Choice". I'm pro having freedom to do whatever I want in this life because free agency was bestowed upon me by God. What I do with it is between me and Him. Nuff said. Unless you are there to do my bidding for me on the last day, kindly stay out of my beeswax.
 It really rubbed me the wrong way when all these men were going off on this post about what women should do with their bodies with respect to sex and abortion. Excuse me? He who donates his penis for 30 minutes (if that) and has the option to bail does not get a say!!! That's just how I feel about it.
When a woman gets pregnant she commits her mind, body and soul to that child. I just don't get why men think they have such a huge say in this matter. Yes, I just "shushed" you men. You have no clue what it takes to carry a child, or deliver a child, so your opinion (in my opinion) doesn't count for much. PS I love you.
I am a Christian. Do I think abortion is hideous? YES! Is this because I'm a Christian? NO! Do I wish that we lived in a Utopian society where God would only release perfect eggs from our ovaries to be fertilized by amazing sperm IF AND ONLY IF/WHEN we wanted them to turn into amazing babies?? YES! Do I think that preaching abstinence in 2012 is a fabulous way to keep our children safe from premarital sex? NO! Do I think it helps? VERY LITTLE!!!! Do I think we need to get REAL about what is REALLY going on in this life. HELLZ TO THE YEAH!
I (sometimes) understand God's way. The bible says a lot of important things, and I get that we need to take that into SERIOUS consideration and apply it to this life. However, a lot of our society doesn't. We went through a series at church called, "Weird, Because Normal Isn't Working", and I totally agree that going back to biblical is weird sometimes, but that it's necessary. And that's not a bad thing!!!!!--unless you can't convince the rest of the world to live by your standards, and you get all bitter, jaded, high and mighty, and soapboxy about it. I get even more skeptical when Christians start kicking Christians out of the Christian club because of differences in perspectives.
We used to have this man up at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who would to stand in front of the student center on campus, on a soapbox, and shout out a bunch of crap "IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!!!". He called my best friend a slut on the way to class one day because she had the audacity to wear a skirt that wasn't an acceptable length in the Amish community. We didn't really look at him as a holy man of God. I'm pretty sure he never converted anybody by what he was doing. AND we all thought he was certifiably insane. Congrats, Soapbox Dork. You just condemned 1000 students in
-40F weather. Now what are you going to do? You're going to Disneyland? How about hell instead. It just froze over--after all, it was Fairbanks, Alaska.
I know it seems like I'm rambling. I have to say that one of the things I hate about my religion is how ridiculous and close minded we Christians sound sometimes. I'm not saying we have to be all liberal about things--but being narrow minded makes our Christianity sound like it's run by a bunch of uneducated rednecks sometimes. There's no way to sugarcoat it. It gets embarrassing to me, and it's made me not want to affiliate with organized religion because I feel like I'm too smart for that.
My proposal to save women from having babies that are a burden? Or to decrease the amount of "trash" behind Planned Parenthood? I propose that we educate our children. Educate them in God, and sex ed. DO NOT WITHHOLD INFORMATION!!! Teach them about the importance of being particular with sex. About respecting their bodies enough to save them for someone who is worthy to receive them. I have older children. We talk about EVERYTHING--and there is no topic off limits! I don't agree with their choices some of the time, but at least I know what is happening in their life, and I am available to them! Does this mean I condone everything they do? NO. But I am not going to turn a blind eye to them, ignore them, and hope that the situation will remedy itself.
Educate them until they cannot stand anymore sexual education. My children are going to go through the school of TMI (too much information) with respect to sex. I'm going to show them pictures of every STD out there. Let's not keep these kids guessing about all of the implications that being sexually active can have!!!
I appreciate that people have opinions about abortion. And sex. However, it's time to be real (and you can still be real and love God...it is possible). Going all biblical in 2012 on people with respect to sex does very little. Let's figure out a way to empower religion to educate our kids and inspire them in 2012. 
I don't understand some of the people in my religion who were "born again", and all of the sudden condemn sex now that they are in committed relationships and have the "hindsight is 20X20" theory. I would bet that most of them were involved in sexual relationships prior to their conversion, and I don't see how you can now condemn everything in an effort to get kids to "benefit from the wisdom of your experience". Has that ever worked? In any kind of parenting?
Love your children enough to want to keep them safe, and healthy. Educate them. The odds are that your children are going to break your heart with respect to sex more than the broad, controversial topic of abortion ever will. And your child could have an abortion and you would be none the wiser these days. Would you condemn them if you knew? Would you stop talking to them? Would you shun them? How can you call yourself a Christian if you do?
Think about it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

NURSERY PAINTINGS for my friend, Lisa Hermes "All Things Bright, and Beautiful You Are"

I made these paintings for my friend/coworker, Lisa Hermes, for her nursery. She is expecting a baby girl ANY DAY NOW! :) Lisa has a house filled with boys, so this little princess needs some fun, girlie colors happenin' in her nursery. The three-part painting states, "All Things Bright, and Beautiful, You Are".
"All Things Bright"
These paintings are on 12"X12" stretched canvas. They include my signature, handcrafted frames. The perimeter of the frame is accented with pink polka dot grosgrain ribbon.

"And Beautiful"

These paintings also include my signature, texturized style, which stands off the canvas, and is fun/tempting to touch!
 "You Are..."
A high gloss glaze coats each painting to protect the acrylic paint.
To see more of my artwork, please visit my online art gallery at
Cheers, Lisa! :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

**NEW PAINTING**: "Surf Like A Girl: No. 3 In Series "Watching Barrels Roll In At Sunset""

This painting is the third in my series, "Surf Like A Girl" inspired by women in the sport of surfing.

The 11"X16" canvas has my signature, handcrafted frame and is a vibrant eggplant purple. The entire painting is done in an acrylic medium, and has various shades of purple throughout.

The painting depicts barrel waves rolling in at sunset, as a girl gazes out to the ocean from the shore with her board.

The painting comes to life in my signature, texturized style that stands off of the canvas, and is fun/tempting to touch. The entire painting is covered in a high gloss glaze for protection. Perfect for any room of the house.

To view this painting, or my other artwork, please visit my website at


Monday, July 30, 2012

Three Cheers For The Bus Driver, Bus Driver, Bus Driver

Do you guys remember that song (Three Cheers For The Bus Driver)? We used to sing it all the time on the bus in the morning. I lived up in the mountains, and we mountain folk rode school buses to school. I had the best group of people on the bus, EVER. We would sing all sorts of songs on the way to school and crack up our bus drivers. It was SO much fun.

Oh...and in case you're feeling ripped off because I didn't finish singing to you, the lyrics go like this:

Three cheers for the bus driver, bus driver, bus driver
Three cheers for the bus driver, bus driver ________. (Insert your bus driver's name)
He screams and he cusses, he wrecks all the buses
Three cheers for the bus driver, bus driver ______.

Weren't we cute? We rocked.

"So, why are you singing to us about buses, Whitney?" I'm so glad you asked, pretend question asker person!

We're talking about buses today because I rode on one recently. Well, actually I rode on three. See, my plane got into DIA at 5:10 a.m. the other morning on my return home from Anchorage, Alaska. I boarded that flight at 10:40 p.m. Alaska time, and pretty much practiced the art of head bobbing all the way home on the flight. Why is it an art form? Because few people can fall asleep and wake up for every flipping turbulent we hit for 5+ consecutive hours like I can. What can I say?--I'm gifted.

Because of this long, long, long, overnight flight, I wasn't quite feeling at the top of my "airport game" when I deplaned. I got off the flight, walked over to the luggage carousel that they told me I could find my things at, and then I headed down to where the bus was supposed to pick me up and take me out to the Pikes Peak Parking Lot. No biggie--I'd actually parked there during my last trip to Hawaii. I had this. I knew where to catch the thing, and how to get back to my car in...

Wait. Where is the flipping bus? Where did the bus go? The sign hanging where the bus used to pick people up said that it wasn't picking people up there anymore. As a matter of fact, it was not even picking people up where people get picked up on shuttle buses at DIA. So where did it go?

Upstairs. They moved the stupid bus pickup upstairs for the Pikes Peak Shuttle. They moved it up to passenger drop-off. What? Who planned this garbage? Why do they have shuttle buses now picking passengers up where passengers get dropped off? Isn't that a little confusing? Not only that, but they pick you up all the way across the street from passenger drop off. True story. So now, as if airport travel and safety wasn't stressful enough, we all get to haul our bags across the street at passenger drop off. You know--passenger drop-off...where everyone drives like madmen and they have airport police there to give you tickets if you can't fling your passengers and their luggage out on the curb within 10 seconds and drive off. Yeah...that passenger drop-off. So now not only do you get to play, "Where's my flipping shuttle bus?" but you get to be an actual live member in a human game of Frogger while trying to cross the stupid passenger drop-off area.

The sign in the airport said that the bus would pick passengers for the Pike's Peak Lot up outside of door 611. I finally located door 611 and saw a bus sitting out there. So off I went. Just like Frogger. I dodged a Mercedes. Then an F-150. I almost got clipped by a frickin' Prius, but you know what they say about those people--they spoofed Prius owners on South Park once for thinking that they were better than everyone else for having a hybrid and thumbing their noses at all the rest of us gasoline abusers.

I finally made it across the street to the bus with my enormous bag. I was actually pretty impressed because, as someone who is severely packing challenged (I always get close to the 50 lb limit), I made it at a surprising 47.5 lbs--and that was after adding bear paw salad scoopers that I bought in Alaska to my load. I lifted my enormous bag onto the bus, took my seat, and was glad that I was almost at the end of my journey.

Wait a second. Wait a second. Where are you taking me? This is not the direction of the Pike's Peak Parking lot--the lot is on the left! You just took a right! Where are you taking me, bus driver person???

We pulled into some parking lot where there were a bunch of people in work uniforms. Are you kidding me? What is this? I got out of my seat and went up to the bus driver. I said, "Excuse me, this is the shuttle for the Pike's Peak Lot, right?" To which she replied, "No ma'am--OH! are you a passenger? This is the employee bus! I didn't see you get on here!" (Yes, lady--it's pretty tough to not see the chick with the 47.5 lb giant pink suitcase who can barely lift the stupid thing onto your bus, who then sat down right behind you. OMG...don't quit your day job because TSA would fire you).

She paged "headquarters" and let them know about her little stowaway SNAFU. She told me I'd have to ride back up to the airport, and catch the other shuttle bus to the Pike's Peak Lot. I said, "The one that is outside of door 611 just like you were?" She said, "Uh huh." Awesome. So happy for the clarity that came with all of those airport signs. Good thing I don't have sleep deprivation and jet lag...NOT!

To make matters worse, the bus picked up the employees waiting in the parking lot, literally drove ten feet to the next little area to pick up more employees, and then stopped the bus, made everyone get off, and said, "Sorry--I'm going off shift." Come again, say what? You just picked up a bunch of people, drove them 10 ft., and now you're going to dump us on the side of the road and peace out? What the hell kind of operation is this, anyhow?

So there I stood--just me (confused, PO'd and seriously jet lagged), my super-sized pink luggage, and 30 of my new DIA employee BFFs all standing on a curb wondering what just happened to us. Where did that bus driver have to go that she couldn't finish her route? McDonald's? Was her Egg McMuffin reaching critical temperature under the warming lamps? I was starting to reach the end of my rapidly fraying rope.

After about 10 minutes of thumb twiddling with my new posse of DIA peeps, another bus came to pick us up. So BACK TO THE AIRPORT I went. Talk about a moment of deja vu. Yay! I just went in a complete circle. Woot!

I got off of the bus, right outside of good old door 611, and walked about 10 ft to the bus behind mine. A very nice gentleman on the curb asked me if I wanted the Pike's Peak Shuttle. I was like, "Um...yes." Then I explained my little circular tour that I had just had around the greater DIA area, and how it was very confusing with the new setup that they had. He felt so bad for me that he put me on the bus. I was the only person on there. He lifted my luggage onto the bus for me. Then he explained to the driver what had happened. The driver closed the doors immediately, and off we went to the Pike's Peak Lot. Just me. I had my own personal bus! It was like a limo for lost blonde girls that they felt sorry for! It was the "special bus" because I WAS special. So special that he turned into the Pike's Peak Parking Lot, passed up all the sorry suckers standing there waiting to be picked up with their luggage, and took me right to my car while they all had the, "What the crap?!?" look on their face that I had sported earlier when I got dumped like a redheaded stepchild on the curb of the employee parking lot with all the other DIA orphans.

I finally made it home at about 8:30 a.m. and was able to crawl into bed so I could work that night at the hospital. I only wish they didn't have a "NO TIPPING" policy in place for the shuttle bus. I would've tipped him extra plus given him Bus Driver McMuffin's dumpy tip to boot.

Three cheers for the bus driver!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Can I Get An "Amen!"...Oh, And By The Way--This Was Not My Most Favorite Weekend In Church


Warning!!!: God blog alert. Click the X if you're wimp. Buckle up your Jesus seatbelt if you can hang.

Our topic at church for the past two weeks has been prayer. The first week I was like, "SWEET! That's my favorite part of my relationship with God!!!", and the sermon delivered--and it was stellar. The second week was a little different. I walked out of the sermon like, "What just happened in there?".

I know that my blog wouldn't be my blog if I didn't go off on tangents. It's right in the warning label that is under the title/name of my blog. All bets are off when you come on here because IT'S MY BLOG AND I WILL BLOG IF I WANT TO, BLOG IF I WANT TO--YOU WOULD BLOG TOO IF IT HAPPENED TO YOU...

Enough singing. That was my vocal segment (you liked it--I saw your head bobbing).  

Most of you know that I'm not very bible literate. I'm like a Christian redneck--I love God, but am not super smart with all things God--including the bible. Sometimes they flash these bible verses up on the screen and I'm like, "Holy frickin' cow--that is amazing." And sometimes they flash stuff up there and I'm like, "Are you freakin' kidding me?--who says that?". True. I'm sure I'm going to have some sort of penalty to pay in Heaven for my critique of the bible at times, but there are some things I just can't wrap my head around--nor would I want to (sorry God--this is the part where you can chuck a lightning bolt at me). *ZAP*

Anyway--our topic was prayer. I am huge on prayer. I pray to God all the time. I probably pray so much that he's like, "OMW (that's for Oh My Whitney), Can you please shut up and let someone else have a flipping turn?". I pray so much that I've even prayed to ask for forgiveness for praying too much. I know it seems completely ridiculous, but it's totally true. I pray about EVERYTHING. I pray on my knees at night for my family, goals, dreams, ambitions, and how I can be of service to Him. I pray in the parking lot of work every night to have His spirit shine through me, stir curiosity in others about Him, and to be in the service of those I take care of. I pray to be competent with my medication administration. I pray sometimes and then realize another car has pulled up next to me in the parking lot at the hospital so I fake that I'm sleeping--not proud of it, but totally true. I'm a fake sleeper/prayer sometimes.

My time spent talking to God is super important to me. As a matter of fact, had it not been for prayer, I would have zero relationship with God. The very first thing I ever did after going through a serious "god-hater" phase in my life was pray to God, ask for forgiveness, and ask for guidance in my life that would lead me closer to Him. This was before I ever entered a church, picked up a bible, or tried to pretend to actually be a good person. True story.

The great news is that GOD DELIVERED exactly what I needed--which was Himself, available to me, in a totally obtainable form--PRAYER. All of the sudden I stopped feeling like I was throwing random thoughts out to the universe, and that there was someone on the other end of my virtual phone call who was actually RESPONDING.

I admit that it was a little weird at first. When you realize that there is a God all of the sudden you're like, "HOLY CRAP!--he's seen EVERYTHING I'VE DONE!!!--the good...the bad..the ugly!!!!! AAAaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!" **Insert Blair Witch Project Puke-Worthy Cinematography Scene Of Girl Running Through The Woods Trying To Hide From Danger (AKA--the wrath of God)**

So I started praying. A lot. Not because God gave me everything I needed, wanted, or prayed for, but because I finally developed a relationship with Him. The more I talked to Him, the more precious that relationship became. The more I realized I could ALWAYS depend on Him. It didn't matter what I was going through in this life, I knew that He had my back, and that I could call upon Him for whatever I needed, and that He would RESPOND to me. For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, for ugly, for pretty, for whatever....HE WAS ALWAYS GOING TO BE THERE AS LONG AS I INVITED HIM INTO MY LIFE.

So back to me praying. I pray for a lot. I know some of you probably think my prayers look like, "Dear Lord, please provide me with a cute, rich, Hawaiian surfing legend who has beachfront property, a Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville blender, and stock in Tiffany & Co, Rip Curl, Chanel, BMW, and is the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles...AMEN." But my prayers don't (always) really look like that. I don't really feel like I have a "credit card relationship" with God--where if I want something I just swipe my card from the Bank of God and it just miraculously appears. My relationship with God means a lot to me, and I know that whenever I am in need, and whenever I am willing to humble myself before him and ask for him to guide me--HE WILL. It is 100%, guaranteed, proven in my life.

"Well I'm sorry, Whitney, I need some proof." I'm so glad you asked, Ye Of Little Faith (ok--maybe you have faith and I'm just being a snothead...but I'll give you my proof anyhow).

I had really gone through some hard times back when I was first married. There were a lot of very serious struggles with my family--struggles that dang near submarined me emotionally. I had been married in 2000. During that first year of my marriage we decided to try to have a child. I was so emotionally bankrupt at that time in my life that I had nothing but my faith in God, and my husband. We prayed, diligently, before having kids. However, I didn't just want to have a kid--I was in, "Go big or go home" mode. I wanted twins. Problem? 1 in 100 pregnancies results in spontaneous twins. And twins don't run in my family. I prayed, and prayed, and prayed for twins. My husband thought I was crazy. He had never had one baby--let alone two. But I prayed DAY AND NIGHT. When I finally did get pregnant we went in for my ultrasound. The doctor said, "If you'll look here, you can see the head, and the body, and here is the heartbeat. And if you'll look over here, you'll see the other one." My eyes lit up--and my husband almost fell out of his chair.

Still not buying it?...

I was very sick in 2008. I was the sickest I'd ever been in my life, I was going through a divorce. I was scared, tired, worried, frustrated, pissed off--you name it. Some of you are probably like, "Well if God was your BFF when you were trying to get prego with the twins, why did you end up getting sick AND divorced in the same year?". Not sure. I prayed a lot about that one, too, and sometimes even got pretty pissed off at God in the interim. I know I'm steering away from the topic of me being sick for a moment, but I truly believe that my divorce was a blessing. I don't care what the church says about it, I don't care what anyone says about it--I was in a relationship that started out very strong with a God-based foundation, and that relationship became very one-sided with respect to God--and it drug me down with it, and it wasn't where I needed to be--AND today, both me and my ex-husband are in a far better place. Anyway--back to me being sick (YAY! exciting!).

I was basically on what felt like my death bed in 2008/2009. I was so sick from blood loss one night that I had to teach the twins how to call 911 if I didn't wake up after passing out. I was grey in color. I looked like a zombie. Then I passed out on one of their beds and scared them to death--luckily they didn't call 911, and I woke up. However, it was at that point with my illness that I got down on my knees and prayed very hard. I had been going through IV infusion therapy with an immunosuppressant drug that was commonly used, but that was also known to cause cancer as a side-effect. It would be for the rest of my life that I'd have to have these infusions. Three hour sessions every few weeks for this therapy. Do you know how hard it was to sit in a chair, have someone start an IV on me, and know that the crap they were pumping into me "might/could" cause CANCER?

I was over it. I had been to numerous doctors and nobody would listen to me. So I did what anyone SHOULD do in that situation--I went to God. I actually prayed a prayer that may seem super abnormal to some of you. See, I had told those doctors that I just wanted to have that part of my body removed that was making me so sick--because it would cure my disease. It was a non-vital organ, and I was trashing all of my vital organs with medicine to fix the dang thing. They told me that I was "overreacting". They told me that I was acting "emotionally"--that my "frustration was clouding my judgement". So I prayed. I prayed to God that I would get sicker. Some people might be like, "Come again say what?". I did. I prayed to God that if I was supposed to have that body part removed that I would get sicker than I already was so that maybe somehow my doctors would finally listen to me.

I did get sicker. Much, much sicker. I called to make an appointment to see one of my doctors, but none of them were available. They did, however, have an appointment with another doc who I had never met. I took it. When he came into the office, I told him what I wanted--to have surgery that would cure my illness. He didn't say anything to me other than, "You know what you want, and what you need. I'll get the number of a top-notch surgeon for you." That was it. I had my surgery scheduled within two weeks. It was unbelievable. It was a prayer that had been answered in a HUGE WAY.

Not only did he provide the right doctor/surgeon for me at that time, but at that time I was also a new nurse--right out of nursing school. I had just gotten a job on the cardiac/telemetry unit, and my boss had a son with the same disease, and he had had the same surgery to remove the problemtatic organ. He met with me for lunch to tell me about all of the details. He cried with me on the phone out of frustration--knowing the emotional toll the disease can take on you. He showed me his scars. He even tried to book a trip here to Colorado to see me after my surgery but ended up getting sick with the flu. Don't try to tell me that God doesn't know what He is doing. He specifically placed me in these situations, WITH THESE PEOPLE, at this time of my life to help me through this. It was AMAZING.

"So why is it that you are so into prayer, Whitney, but that your last Sunday at church was not your favorite EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECT WITH RESPECT TO GOD????" Because it wasn't just about prayer. It was about perfecting yourself to a point where you are worthy to pray to God, and worthy to receive His blessings. That was where I fell off the boat.

Our job as Christians is to "create followers" of Christ. TO BRING PEOPLE TO CHRIST. I don't know if I am crazy by saying this, or if I'll be shunned by people at my church who may read this, but if I am someone who is "seeking" a relationship with God and Jesus Christ, and that relationship or interest is new/fragile/malnourished, and you tell me that I have to be PERFECT before I can pray to expect anything in return...then I'm going to turn away and go somewhere that is far less complicated. That was what I took from the message at church this weekend. I love my pastor dearly, and I usually reap an amazing amount of great stuff from the sermons, but not this week.

I always try to picture what it looks like to be a "new believer". Or a "curious soul". Someone who turns to church for answers as a "last resort", or as a "new idea". Someone who shows up to our church and is hearing a sermon for the first time in forever. How would they feel? Like I said a few paragraphs up--I am a Christian redneck when it comes to quoting bible verses--slow in the head. I wrote down all the bible verses that were thrown up on the screen last weekend--telling about how one needs to perfect yourself in order to be heard by God in prayer." If you'll excuse me...I must say that God would never hear a single dang prayer from my heart or my mouth if that were the case. There is no perfection here, and there never will be. However, I do know that MY GOD is there, and does listen to my prayers--through all of my imperfections...through all of my selfish wants and desires. I may not get the response I was looking for every time my prayer is answered, but one thing I do know is that if I have to be perfect in this life to pray, and expect that God will answer my prayer--I should not waste my time. It's never going to happen. I don't care what the bible says. You can be the most perfect person ever and you still might not get what you pray for. Ever hear of Job?

To make matters a little bit worse there was another scripture thrown up on the screen this Sunday. I'm paraphrasing here, and I'm not going to quote it, but it was something along the lines of, " Husbands, be good to your wives, for they are weaker than you." Um...scuze me? Maybe it's because I'm a labor and delivery nurse, but HUSBANDS...FYI your wives are not weak in any way, shape, or form. This bible verse ranks right up there with my other faves about how women were an afterthought to God and created from a man's rib, and how women should be submissive to their husbands. I remember being up in Palmer, Alaska at church with the Cute Alaskan Man one Sunday and hearing their pastor bring up the "Women, be submissive to your husbands" passage. After church, Tristan asked me where I wanted to have lunch, to which I replied, "Well I just don't know!? Where do you think I should have lunch?". Sometimes the neanderthal crap really rubs me the wrong way. **insert lightning bolt**

So back to the, "Husbands, be good to your wives for they are weaker than you..." for a moment. Have you ever tried to pass a kid out of your hoo ha (or picture trying to squeeze it through your trouser snake)? Do you realize that it has been scientifically proven that the human pain threshold is exceeded by nearly 300X during the labor/delivery process of a child? I have women come in to the hospital who are delivering precipitously (very fast) and have no time for the comfort of IV drugs, or an epidural. There have been moments when I look at them as they are delivering, and they look like they are actually going to die--which incidentally used to happen a lot back in the day. As someone who made it to 9 cm with twins and passed two 7+ pound babies out down south in 4 minutes, with no epidural "pain relief", I can say that you men are totally full of crap. Tell each other what you will, or write it in a bible, but you would die during childbirth.

I hate working on the cardiac floor at the hospital. Do you know why? I hate dealing with sick men. They are a giant pain in my white, Norwegian booty. They are the biggest MOANER, GRIPER, BABIES when it comes to being sick. I'm not a total women's lib person. I'm a fence-sitter in politics. I am a political bi-sexual--I could go either way on any given election year. What I won't do is sit around and listen to garbage about women being WEAK. If I was a pastor these days, I would guard any of those "weak women" passages and tuck them away somewhere deep. You want to drive a chick outta church, tell her how awesome men are and how much she sucks. Nuff said.

Ok...enough on my Chick v. Dude biblical dislike. The point of this blog is to point out something that I have found very true over time. I can honestly say that I have never been perfect. I have never tried so hard to please God that I finally felt worthy of His blessings. What I will say is that there is a very simple, very easy open line of communication to reach your Heavenly Father should you choose to take that step...and that step is through prayer. I don't care if you are a doubter. I don't care if you are an atheist, or an non-believer. If you take a chance, and throw a prayer up to God, it will be heard...AND IT WILL BE ANSWERED. The very first prayer I ever threw up was a total long shot--and it was answered immediately (an NO...it wasn't the, Dear God, Please give me money for those stilettos" prayer).

Ask and you shall receive. It may not always look like what you expected on the receiving end, and you have to have faith that there is a plan for you, and that your prayers may be answered differently than you anticipated, or wanted. However, there is a very REAL God who is fielding those prayers, and He will provide you with His will for you. Don't leave it up to "fate". Give it up to God.