Wednesday, January 30, 2013

**NEW PAINTING** "ON THE WAY TO CAPE MAY" For My Friend, Michelle McTague



My friend, Michelle, and her husband, Brian, just had a little baby boy named Jack not too long ago. Jack is adorable, and the spitting image of the perfect 50/50 split of his parents. I had told Michelle back around Christmas that I was planning on doing a painting for Jack's nursery. This is what I came up with.

Brian and Michelle were married in Wildwood, New Jersey, and their wedding reception was on Cape May. It was seriously one of the most beautiful, and fun weddings I have ever been to (and those of you who know me know that I absolutely hate weddings--however, I would've gone to theirs 10X if they had let me).
The (actual) Jersey Shore (not the ho bag TV version) is gorgeous. When we lived in Delaware we would go there all the time. I spent hundreds of hours on my board in Ocean City, NJ. The waves were amazing. I loved getting up in the morning, going for a long run on the beach, playing in the waves all day, and then hitting the boardwalk at night. Michelle is a photographer and came down to the shore when the twins were little and took photos of them. Brian and Michelle also spend as much time in the summer on the Jersey shore as they possibly can.
Below are the photos Michelle took of my baby girls.
Michelle and Brian created a "shore themed" nursery for their son. At their wedding they played the song, "On The Way To Cape May", so I included some of the lyrics on the painting for Jack's Nursery.
The painting is in brilliant metallic acrylics. It includes my signature handcrafted frame, and texturized style. It also includes beaded, and metallic glass embellishments, and it is sealed in a high gloss glaze for protection.
This photo of the Cape May lighthouse was my inspiration for the painting.
Brian and Michelle, you have a super cute kiddo on your hands! I hope you enjoy yet another Whitney Madison original painting for your home!
To view more of my paintings, please visit my online art gallery at

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My New Rule For Dating

The past few weeks have been very interesting for me. The prospect of dating new people has somehow become a bit intriguing, and exciting to me. I think I'm on the verge of heading in that direction and may accept a couple of invites for dates. With this, however, has also come some serious reflection about how to actually go about choosing people I should, or should not date (I'm very picky).
Some of you might be like, "Dude, it's not that hard. Do your hair, put something on that isn't too "Renee Zellweger in Jerry Maguire", and go out with some random man for food so you can stuff your face, and keep your mouth busy in case the conversation goes south. Nuff said."
Well doesn't that sound just easy and fabulous? (I'm lying)
Dating is very overwhelming for me. I have not been on a real or normal date in about 15 years. I was married for 8 years, and dated the Cute Alaskan Man for 4 years, but prior to that, I think it had been about another 2-3 years since I had gone on an actual DATE. I'm a rookie. So what do I do now?
After serious thought (about 20 seconds worth in my car on the drive home this morning from work), and reflections on current potential suitors, I decided on one thing in particular. I have decided to revert back to second grade and start weeding out potential dates by pairing my first name with the potential date's last name.
"But Whitney!--you said you didn't want to get married again! If you pair first name with his last name it will sound like you want to marry him!!!"
This is not the case. I have, however, decided that if any man is even going to stand a chance of surviving a dating relationship with me that he has to have a last name that isn't going to make my first name look stupid--ever. And this still has nothing to do with marriage. I know you must be confused as to why I would start axing men off the date list due to last name, but here is how I feel about it...
Let me give you an example of suitable suitor last names paired with mine:
Whitney Harbaugh (see--it has a nice ring to it...a Super Bowl ring)
Whitney Manning
Whitney Robertson (of the Duck Dynasty Robertsons)
Now let me give you an example of a guy with a last name who would be cut from my dating list immediately:
Whitney Butkis
Do you see my point? We can keep playing this game...
Whitney Levine
Whitney Dingledorf
This list can go on and on and on, but you get my point. I realize that some of you think I'm pretty shallow for going about cleaning out my dating pool this way, but it just seems like a good way to go about it for me. And some of you probably still think it does have to do with marriage, but it doesn't. I NEVER want to be known as the girl that is dating Richard Dingledorf, or "Dingledorf's girl". Nope. Nope. Nope.
Just to give you a head's up, here are some other people I will never put myself in the position to be:
I'm never going to be Mrs. Richard Chopp
I'm never going to be Mrs. Clifton Dumfarht
I'm never going to be Mrs. Juang Takeashita
I'm never going to be Mrs. Phat Ho
It just isn't going to happen. I'VE BEEN THROUGH THIS BEFORE! I used to date this guy back in highschool who had the last name of Peepers. Really? Really. I could've saved myself the trouble of even dating him because I would never in a million years have EVER agreed to be Whitney Peepers. And I'm lucky he was not the father of my son, Beau, because then I would've had Little Beau Peepers.
Not. Gonna. Happen.
So yes, NEW RULES! The very first step in getting back into the dating game is going to be for me to play The Name Game.
Who knows...I may end up as Mrs. Whitney Mele Kalikimaka someday. Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

One Of My Favorites...I Always Seem To Come Back To It

This is one of those songs that reminds me to get back to the basic fundamentals of things when the whole world seems like a centrifuge spinning out of control.
There are also some little hidden things in the lyrics that I love about this song. Things that I have been thinking about a lot lately--probably more than I should be with respect to matters of the heart, but nonetheless... ;)
Breathe--Anna Nalick

Monday, January 7, 2013

You have to love modern times. You can end relationships and adjust one little setting on Facebook and all of the sudden...THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS ABOUT IT!!!
I know some of you probably saw my Facebook relationship status change today and thought, "Oh Whitney, you have broken up so many times with this man...can't even keep count. Just looking forward to the next status you post that you're "IN A RELATIONSHIP" again with the Cute Alaskan Man."
That would be fabulous. I would look forward to that post...if it wasn't something that neither of us needed. So what's the deal here? Why am I writing a blog about this? WELL HOLY CRAP!--how can you keep from telling the same story hundreds of times?...WRITE A BLOG ABOUT IT!!!!
I do not want to minimize or cheapen anything that I might be going through, or that the Cute Alaskan Man might be going through with respect to our (final) breakup. There are probably multiple reasons why we will both be in pretty bad shape for a good long while. Why? Because when you love somebody, that is what happens after you let them go.
"Well why in the hell did you let him go then, Whitney?"
Pretty simple answer. Because I love him. I finally have achieved loving somebody so much that I am incapable of being selfish. It's a weird, depressing, and euphoric reality when you reach this point. It's like Red Bull, on Prozac, on coffee, on some other sort of downer I have no experience with.
Anyone out there know what it's like to be in a long distance relationship for years?...with someone you LOVE...who you have known FOREVER, and who has been your best friend since you can't even remember when? If not then shut your trap. You have no say here. The bumpy ups and downs, the multiple Facebook relationship status have no say because you can't fathom what has gone on (since JANUARY 3, 2009) for the Cute Alaskan Man and myself.
So listen up a little. I'm only going to say it once so I don't have to repeat it a bazillion times. Mkay? Mkay.
I (kind of) get marriage. There seem to be two extremes of people I know in marriage. People who are SO entirely, blissfully happy, that they can't ever fathom their lives without the other person...and the other 60+% who say, "What the crap did I get myself into?" and "Holy crap...I can't live the rest of my life like this...LET ME OUT!!!!"
That being said, and as someone who has actually gone through a divorce in the past (for reason number two up there), I am not someone who is ready to just jump into marriage again with blinders on. I DO believe that love is blind. You can convince yourself of anything under the guise of love. But there is something that should trump love, and that is HONESTY. Some people would argue this (saying that the greatest of these if love), but you might lose if you fight me on it. Honesty can trump love. As it just did in my relationship. Love without honesty is...well..not super sweet.
So here is the long and short of it.
I adore Tristan. I always have. I never dated him in college, but he was a huge part of my life. Not many people can fathom what I went through to obtain a college education, but Tristan can. Why? Because he was the first one to listen to my frustrations, my gripes, my groans, my heartache with respect to my family. HE KNOWS ME. Down to the core. He knows how hard I have worked to overcome obstacles in life. To go above and beyond. He knows how hard I work right now. My current gripes/groans (apparently they never end). He knows.
I also know him. I know more about him than maybe anyone ever will. Why? Because we were always friends. The relationship changed things a bit, but the core remained the same.
Again, I'm sure there are some questions as to how things could end if all this stuff were in place. I will tell you (a little).
This is a beautiful man. A man who is patient. A man who is kind. This guy does stuff that blows my freakin' mind to help other people out. It has been a HUGE struggle for us to bring our two worlds together. He has never failed me during that process. Even when we couldn't make them mesh, he always cushioned the blow.
After many years, and many, many, many, many discussions about where we should head next, we finally reached a conclusion. And this is what it looked like.
Tristan is a homebody. He loves his town. He loves his family. He is everything that represents Palmer, Alaska. And that is not a bad thing. I have been accused by his friends that I think I am too good for that town, and the people in it. But I am not. It is just a culture shock for me, and has proven more than I can handle at times.
That being said, it is a beautiful town, and a beautiful life. He built an entire life up there--including a house. A house built for a family (not mine). You have to understand...this house was designed, by the two of us,  and at a time when I was SO incredibly sick. This man saw me through one of the worst illnesses of my life. A huge surgery. A huge recovery. We sat in a hospital room making these house plans.
The house is beautiful. But it has a different purpose now. This house is amazing. And it will be amazing when Tristan has a family to occupy it. And I am finally okay with the fact that it is not for me, or my family. Alaska is not going to be my home. How could it be? Holy crap!!!!! I'm a Hawaii girl!!!
The other night, Tristan and I sat down to talk. We've both been feeling it. About six months ago, I finally realized that I didn't want to be married again. This worked out well since our relationship wasn't going anywhere fast--we had proven that after nearly four years. The only thing I failed to realize?...HONESTY.
Tristan is an amazing man. He is so calm. So patient. So caring. He loves kids. He WANTS kids (of his own). I can't give him that. I've been a mother for 21 years...and I'm still not very good at it, but I've been a mother for more than half my life, and I'm just not willing to bring more kiddos into the world. We joke all the time about it, but there is reality at the base of it...I'm not that good with kids. I've already made a pact not to date a man with kids...ever...because I don't want to ruin his kids, too. It's bad enough I've had 4 kids of my own to ruin. There will be no "Brady Bunch-ing" of families here.
But he DESERVES that opportunity. We aren't getting any younger, and now is the time to make that whole Alaskan dream come true...with someone that doesn't want to live in Hawaii.
So what happens to me? For the longest time I've had one goal. Some people dream about Prince Charming. I dream about the Hawaiian Islands. I love the ocean. I love the peace and perspective that it brings. I know it sounds strange to a lot of people, but all I want is to move to Hawaii. And I won't let anything get in the way of that. I'm also a princess, so if I meet some man who says, "Whitney, I am here for you. I want to satisfy your every dream... AND we're moving to Hawaii in 7 years!!" then I might consider dating him. If not?...good luck, Homeslice.
I dropped Tristan off at the airport today. Prior to leaving my house we sat there hugging. We held hands. We kissed. We told each other how much we loved one another. We told my kids that they would not be seeing him again. He hugged me, and my kids. He kissed me goodbye on the cheek at the airport and said to me, "You will always be one of my best friends, Whit."
It doesn't get much better than that.

I Love This Song. I Used To Sit And Listen To It Over & Over & Over Again

Stephenville, Texas by Jewel