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iFLY : You Fly Indoor Skydiving

Have you ever wanted to go skydiving, but you’re terrified of jumping out of a plane? Well, that’s me in a nutshell. I’d love to fall through the air, but just don’t want to deal with the heart pounding and stroke inducing process of getting out of a plane thousands of feet in the air. So, when I was gifted with an experience at iFLY Sacramento, I figured this was my shot to get all the thrills of skydiving without the immanent peril!

iFLY Voucher

Mr. M and Miss L had previously gone to iFLY on their own, and they took advantage of a wonderful offer they have for return flyers. They bought me a “Spread Your Wings” Return package for Mother’s Day that was good for 4 flights for 2 people that’s about 1/2-price of the original visit cost. That way I could go… and Miss L could go again with me!iFLY Sacramento Roseville

The iFLY Experience

We called and made a reservation for the 2nd class on Saturday morning, which was perfect because breakfast had settled down (I mean… no one wants to get sick in an air tube!) and it was the perfect time for lunch right after!)

Well, I won’t get too far ahead of myself here… because I was definitely a little nervous about the whole encounter.

Mr. M had told me it was a lot of fun.

Miss L was ready and rearing to go again.

And I just had no idea what to expect from the entire encounter!?!

Getting Ready to Fly

Check in was easy: tell them who we were, pay extra to upgrade to “fancy goggles” or not, then head into the waiting area. When our time approached we got suited up and I headed in for “training” – aka. watching an instruction video about the best things to do when encountering a GIANT FAN BLADE IN THE GROUND. Then, we marched into the tube and took a seat in the “waiting area” with direct access to previously mentioned GIANT FAN BLADE.

There was a boy in our group that was celebrating his birthday that day, so he had the honor of going in first. Except… well… that was pretty much the most horrific experience that poor kid had ever had in his life. I’m not sure what scared him, but he started flailing and fretting about 5 seconds into his flight and they got him out of the tube quickly… and then he ran to his parents sobbing and never came back.

The instructor went over to him to try to coax him back, but it was fruitless.

Flying at iFly

Then it was my turn! (Yay?)

I was feeling really ZEN about the whole experience right up until that point. I started worrying about what could have traumatized that kid. Was it when he looked down at the fan? Or the force of the wind? Or… OR….?!??!? Seriously why were we paying money to be tortured!!!

There was no time to deal with my complete runaway insane thoughts because the instructor was ushering me into the plastic tube of indoor skydiving fun RIGHT THEN.

I decided to push it all out of my mind, took a deep break and opted for ZEN.

I approached the door, closed my eyes for a brief second, took a deep breath, and then just sort of belly-flopped out into the fan.

And it worked. Zen TOTALLY worked.

The next 60 seconds was just fun and relaxing and easy. Nothing scary. Nothing traumatizing. Just flying and floating on the clouds.

In all honesty, the hardest part was the entry and exit to the tube… which Miss L said I did wrong each and every time. I’m not graceful on a normal day, so I’m not sure how I’m supposed to perfect my skydiving takeoff and landing without A LOT of practice.

When it was Miss L’s turn… she hopped in there like a pro. And she spun around to the top of the tube like she’s been doing this stuff since she was 4 years old. And, of course, she nailed the takeoff and landing.

We cycled through everyone in the group, and then we got the chance to fly again!

This time, we were all asked if we wanted to go up higher in the tube during our ride. It’s an “upcharge” cost, but you get blasted by even more wind and it becomes more of an amusement ride than a free fall float. At this point, I was so zen I said, “Sure!” (Mr. M later told me he was crazy impressed because he never thought I’d ASK, let alone pay extra to get thrown around in there!) Miss L took an extra high dive as well, and then our journey came to an end.

Well… that is until we bought yet another “Spread Your Wings” return package for another afternoon in the future!

iFly Sacramento: 118 Harding Blvd, Roseville, CA 95678.


there’s more to a migraine

I created this post as part of a campaign by Teva Pharmaceuticals. I received an American Express gift card for participating.
If you’ve ever had a migraine, you know how that it’s not just a “really bad headache.”

A bad headache can be alleviated by eating or rehydrating or just waiting it out.

A migraine is something that takes over your body and doesn’t let go. It may start out feeling like a headache, but it soon takes a left turn at normal and dives straight into a cycle of all-encompassing pain.

How do I know? Well… I’ve unfortunately had my fair share of migraines throughout my life. My first one hit in high school, and they’ve been sprinkled throughout the years ever since. For me, they start out with a deep dull pain in my head, usually around my eyes and temples. The pain just deepens as the hours wear on and that’s usually when the throbbing begins.

At that point, my body just decides to go into all-out war. In a desperate attempt to gain my attention, my body tries to do everything it can to get me to stop life and take a time out. I get nauseated. My senses (sight, smell, sound) become incredibly sensitive and it’s like people are screaming at me while I stand underneath a direct spotlight.

The migraine is trying to get me to crumble into a ball in a dark room, but it never seems to hit at a time when that’s convenient or feasible. Instead, it’s at 11am during a workday. A time when I think it’s just a headache. But when you realize it’s so much more, and it starts going crazy, you’re stuck at work at 3:30pm and need to concentrate enough to get home, pick up your child from daycare, etc. Those are the days when you know the end isn’t coming that night and you’ve got a long journey ahead to get back to normal. My migraine cycle is 12 hours at minimum, and because life usually can’t stop 100%, it can last multiple days in the worst scenarios.

I often thought I was alone in my suffering, because migraine sufferers aren’t usually out frolicking in public with their symptoms. You usually don’t tell your friends what’s going on when you are in the middle of being sick because you try to lowball your suffering. “Sorry, I can’t come tonight. I’m sick.” Generic excuses and little mention of the embarrassing fact that you’ve been knocked off your feet for hours upon hours. But then I learned that about 18% of American women suffer from migraines, and that it’s one of the world’s most prevalent medical conditions. (Migraine Research Foundation)

And that’s why I wanted to share a little of my story. Because we all shouldn’t be suffering in silence and thinking we’re the only ones. If you, or someone you know suffers from migraines, visit to learn more about them.


we’re excited for NORM OF THE NORTH

This post was sponsored by Lionsgate as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

“Momma! When do we get to go see the Polar Bear movie??? The one where he goes on an adventure and saves the world?”

I always find it amazing how kids pick up on movie themes so quickly. Miss L can summarize most movies she’s seen in less than 30 seconds and she can spoil the plot in one simple sentence. And that means that she digests and takes to heart the themes of movies just as swiftly. And from first glance at the trailer below she’s got the basic gist of “Norm of the North,” but there’s a bit more to it than that.

In the movie, Norm leaves the North Pole for NYC on an adventure to save his home from condo developers. He has to step out of his comfort zone and try something new and in the end he’s greatly rewarded for it.

We’re constantly trying to help Miss L see life as series of daily adventures, full of uncertainty and challenges. Each day, there’s going to come a time to face your fears and to try something new. Right now, we’ve  made her the primary consumer in the household to get over her fear of talking to strangers and doing things independently. She orders and pays for things at the farmer’s market and always orders for herself when we eat out. It’s my hope that by helping her expand her comfort zone that she’ll have the tools to tackle the big things as they come in life with confidence. We also stress that she should make mistakes every day… and that the easiest way to make mistakes is trying something brand new! I think that seeing Norm of the North may help solidify these themes and messages… because, well let’s face it, a giant polar bear is much cooler messenger than mom or dad! Maybe she’ll even get a new lesson she can share with us!

This weekend, we had a little fun with the Norm of the North activity book (you can download yours here!) and Miss L decided that she wanted to make her own “Arctic Shake” video (above) after seeing this little video trailer.

If you’re planning to take the family to see Norm of the North after it opens on January 15th, then be sure to enter the contest below! You have a chance to win one of 5 $100 Fandango gift cards from I-C! The contest closes Monday, January 21, 2015.

*I-C will randomly select 5 winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.

Maybe we’ll bump into you and your family at the movies during the long weekend… we’ll be the ones with all the popcorn!





Miss L’s final “pre-ballet” class of the year is tonight.

Enrolling your child in activities like dance are a modern ritual. And seeing them grow and learn and enjoy it more with each passing day is a real treasure. You wouldn’t think that much would come in just 2.5 short years, but when that span goes from 2.5 to 5 years old, it’s leaps and bounds over what your imagination held.

We began ballet as a duo in “Tutus & Toddlers”  as she learned the basic structures of dance and movement. Then she tip-toed into “Creative Movement” all on her own last year. This year, she practices her dance moves at home with precision along with the French to accompany each change of position.  

The ritual of ballet class has stayed the same since the beginning. A simple pink leotard with pink tights and no underwear. A classic ballet bun sweeping all of that hair off of her face and tucked into a hairnet, no matter what screams and shrieks and tears may emerge. Pink Capezio ballet shoes in size 8… then 9… now 10.5. (As seen above) One class a week where the children tip-toe away into a closed room. One day a year where parents can spy on them. One performance a year where they can share what they’ve learned in that same simple ensemble. No glitter or costumes allowed. And absolutely no make-up.

Will Miss L continue with ballet forever? Who knows. Will she take tap/jazz/modern dance? I hope so… but I can’t see the future as clearly as others.

Will she become “a dancer?”

She already is a dancer. And she was one before she stepped into a ballet studio.

She moves with the faintest music in the background. She skips when she is elated. And she jumps up out of her seat to boogie-down whenever and wherever she gets the urge.

She is a dancer no matter if she ends up dancing on pointe or not.

I hope she’ll continue to study dance to refine her moves, but she had the heart of a dancer when she was born.

Here’s a peek of her Creative Movement performance last year, as filmed by another parent.


Garth Brooks is Coming! Quick… TURN AROUND!

“Just the other night, at a Sacramento music gig, I witnessed concert goer behavior, befitting of a pig…”

Last Wednesday night, on April Fool’s Day of course, I found myself seated on the floor in the third row of a Garth Brooks concert. This wasn’t my first rodeo with Garth… that actually happened at his final public concert before retiring back in 2001. That night I saw trucks painted headlight to trunk with “GARTH OR BUST!” coming from Oklahoma and Texas and every other state that was far far away from the city of Los Angeles, and learned just how rowdy your friends in low places really get. So I thought I was prepared for the madness I was going to endure for 3 hours… and I was for the most part!

I wore comfy boots. I was ready to scream out the lyrics to all those songs I started memorizing in middle school. And I had my iPhone in my wristlet, ready to capture just enough photos and videos to carry as memories from that night.

When Garth Brooks came over to stage right to sing to our section of the crowd, I tried my best to put my phone down and just stare him down. That didn’t work ALL the time… but I really consciously tried my best.

And I wasn’t the only person there with my phone ready to go. Phones were up in the air all night to capture everything!

But I wasn’t really doing the whole photo thing “right” I guess. Because the people in the two rows in front of me… you know… the ones who could actually reach out and touch his jeans? They did the exact opposite throughout the concert.

The second he got in their vicinity, they grabbed their phones and flipped their backs to Garth.


You guessed it.


Now I tried my best to not be the crotchety old “that’s not how they did it back when I was a hip young concert-goer” lady….because I did take a couple myself that night…

So I let it roll off my back and just watched it all happen around me. A group of women in the center front row got Garth to laugh in the middle of the super ballad, “Shameless” due to their antics of taking photos posing with his feet. And during the third encore, a heavily intoxicated young lady pushed her way through our row and almost decked the group of women next to me in her attempt for a 360-degree selfie video of herself.

When I got home I shared the tales of the silly selfie folks with family and friends. And when I started flipping through my photos, I noticed that I had photographic evidence of it as well.

Notice the gentleman on the far right in the front row. Garth is singing to the back of his head.

But luckily Garth notices what is going on (this is definitely not HIS first selfie concert), and decides to sing to the phone instead. (Notice there’s another person on the right doing the same thing)

Can you count how many selfies are going on in this photo? I’ve got 3… but I’m sure I’m missing a couple…

What’s that? Oh… just the couple in front of me taking yet another selfie…

I guess that last one wasn’t good enough for those two, so they tried a higher angle.

Who knows when selfie-mania will be over and done (if ever!), but at least these folks weren’t holding up their iPads all night! I hope, for their sakes, that all those snaps came out crystal clear too… because it’s not every night that you have the chance to look into Garth Brook’s eyes as he sings straight to you.