NYC-versary: A Decade

NYC 2007 2

Wow. A decade. 10 years. July 3, 2007 we embarked on a crazy new journey of life. I left everything and everyone I knew and loved (except one) back in Maryland and moved to New York City. The Big Apple. Without a job. To chase my dreams. To discover myself. To pursue a career. To build a relationship. To be more independent.

We honestly thought it would last a couple years. We would experience something new and different. Get a great job to put on the resume. Live it up in one of the biggest cities in the world. Eat all the food. Have all the incredible experiences.

There were lots of trips on the Bolt Bus back to Maryland in those early days. We are both such family/friend oriented people and we never wanted to miss ANYTHING. So we were on that bus sometimes twice a month for different events and celebrations.

Two years passed and we realized we had not even scratched the surface of this city. There was no way we were leaving anytime soon. No matter that we lived in a 350 square foot one bedroom apartment with no laundry or dishwasher in a 4th floor walk up. We didn’t care. This was where we were supposed to be.

Part of the excitement of this city was the endless possibilities…so much to do…so much to see…so much opportunity…new restaurants going up daily, the theatre, the nights of dancing, the history, the people, the culture. We learned so much and we were never bored. There was always another adventure around the corner. So five years passed…then 7…now…today is 10.

NYC Engagement

Engagement photos by Misa Me Photography 2010

Throughout this past decade, we have had lots of visitors to give us great excuses to explore our city. We have made many friends (reconnected with some old and made some new). I spent 7 years working in the advertising/animation industry learning SO much about production and creativity and how things work behind the scenes. I was able to travel and work with two amazing people that will forever remain in my life as we shared so much together. I feel very grateful to have had this experience and it was WAY more than just “something to add to my resume” that’s for darn sure.

I played on many soccer teams, had girl’s nights on the Upper East Side, tried my hand at club promoting (which although it was fun turned out not to be my thing ;-)), I lived through the majority of my 20’s here, did rooftop yoga, coached high school girl’s soccer, made a whole crew of neighborhood mom friends in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn that I swear I would have lost my sanity without during those early months of maternity leave when I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing.

My other half explored SO many different career options and ultimately paved such an incredible path for himself. I am truly inspired by his passion, work ethic and confidence every day. He also threw one of the BEST parties/events I have ever been to in the city (shout out to the Electric Moon Dance! ;-))

We celebrated an engagement, planned a wedding, got married, moved to Brooklyn, got a car (see ya later Bolt Bus!), started this blog, had two beautiful babies, I discovered a new career in online health + fitness where I am truly finding my purpose…all while living in this amazing city. We realized how much time we could actually spend at the beach in the summertime without driving too far. We’re actually sending our oldest child to SCHOOl in the NYC school system this fall, so it feels even crazier to know that we are now really raising kids here.

It’s crazy how many twists and turns, highs and lows, experiences and life changing monumental moments we have had since living in this incredible city. I literally still cannot believe that it’s been a full decade since we made this crazy-turned-amazing decision to move our lives here.

I am grateful for the most supportive, kind, hard working, adventurous, loving partner that has been here with me through it all. Zack, baby, I can believe it, but CHEERS to 10 years in New York City!

Looking forward to continuing our countless adventures and creating many more memories with you and our family. ❤


Photo by Senshi Photography 2017

This holiday weekend will always have a special meaning for me on top of it being the Birthday of America. It’s basically the birth of our New York life together.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend! Keep safe. Sending love and happy times to you and your families today. We are off to Hershey Park for the day to chase some thrills and meet up with my brother in law, sister in law, nephew and niece! No matter how long we stay in NY, we will always make time for the fam. ❤




Cheers to 12 Years


Holy cow. Sometimes you get so busy that the days blur together and you blow right past your 12 year dating anniversary without acknowledging it! Back then we never would have missed this day, but with the craziness of work, two kids, a new anniversary, etc. we honestly both forgot! (It was on Tuesday, btw, so we are 3 days late) LOL! Though we both have been mindful to spend some extra time together this week for whatever reason. Maybe it was our subconscious coming through!

Looking back at this photo (which wasn’t even quite 12 years ago, but I didn’t have FB back then haha), we were just kids! He was a recent graduate from college and I was still in school when we met. We didn’t really know what we wanted in life and we were trying to figure ourselves out. However, we did know that whenever we were together we had a great time and that we could talk about anything. Even if it kept us up all night.

I will be forever grateful that he decided to move to New York with me and we started our own journey together discovering our joint love for culture, food, art, and big city energy. He has always been incredibly supportive with anything I have ever been passionate about, even if it’s something he could care less about. Not many husbands would be incredibly enthusiastic to take photos for their wife’s “fashion blog,” but he still does it to this day.

We both love to travel, and he is the perfect vacation partner because we always want to do the same things. We call it our “vacation magic.”

We have had our ups and downs throughout the past 12 years, and it hasn’t always been easy, but we have grown so much both individually and as a couple. We know that together we can get through anything, and he has given me two of the most precious boys I could ever imagine. Watching him with our boys just melts my heart, and they are so lucky to have such an incredible father.

Cheers to the past 12 years Zack Notes and to continuing to love and grow with each other as the years go on. ❤ ❤ ❤



NOLA {Part 2}


Here is Part 2 of our 4 Year Anniversary Trip to NOLA!


Elizabeth’s for Breakfast in the Bywater


Bananas Foster French Toast



Honey Island Swamp Tour in Slidell, LA







Me and my honey walking down Bourbon Street


Another tourist must – pralines!


Street music was impeccable


And the indoor concerts were just as fab – these are the Brass-aholics at Blue Nile on Frenchman Street / You’ll also want to check out the Spotted Cat, Maison, Cafe Negril, Vaso, dba, and Three Muses. You can pretty much just walk along and pop in when you hear something you like!


Fabulous dinner at Upperline with friends Uptown – everything from the adorable owner, incredible food, art on the walls and wonderful service made this experience perfect


Is it bad that I hung out with gators, and then ate gators? This and an entire menu of amazingness at Cochon in the CBD


Oh how I miss these adorable houses! I wish I had documented even more of our trip. We got a tour through the beautiful Garden District, uptown, and the area near Tulane and Loyola of New Orleans (where I went my first time to Nola). It was so nice to have such great friends to hang out with and show us around, and we also made sure to enjoy some alone time together. We walked down Royal St. checking out all of the art galleries along the way. I could have spent a week or more there just exploring…although I must admit, I was a little tired after running around for only three days! Haha.

Hanging out with my little guy today. Heading to story time and then maybe the grocery store. I have missed him!

Hope you all have a great Tuesday!



We’re in the NOLA, Baby


SURPRISE!!!!! 4 years of wedded bliss and a trip to New Orleans to celebrate! I booked the flights in January, and have been planning out our adventures for the past few months. Somehow, someway I was able to keep this trip a surprise for that long! Many thanks to my mother-in-law for coming up to NY to watch our little guy while we got a few days away to ourselves. Figured we needed a little mini babymoon before the new baby arrives and we are back to crazy town again. I definitely think it was worth it. The best part was being able to stay out and listen to music all night without worrying about getting up early in the morning. We were also able to meet up with great friends while we were down there and they showed us around. The culture, music, art, food, and the people down there really make you feel alive. Nola, you definitely have a piece of my heart!


Super surprised – On the way to the airport


The house where we stayed in the Bywater complete with a beautiful backyard garden. Thank you Airbnb and thank you Marie and Raphael!



Out to lunch at Booty’s – based on street food from around the world – located in the Bywater


Ready to hit the town!


Swamp Donkeys at Bamboula’s on Frenchman Street – so good!


Coffee at Satsuma in the Bywater


Morning stroll – love all the colorful houses!


Beignets at Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter – a tourist MUST!



Dinner in the Courtyard at Bacchanal in the Bywater – amazing ambiance, food, wine (I am imagining) and music



Mississippi River


I know we only spent three days/nights in New Orleans, but I have so many photos to share, that I am going to have to create another post to continue part 2 of our trip. What a wonderful experience to share with my amazing hubby. I know we will be back again someday 🙂

Hope you are all enjoying this Monday. As sad as I was to leave Nola, I was definitely happy to get back to my PiYo mat today and get a nice sculpt workout in as well as start up our Bikini Body Challenge with a crunch-less ab circuit. Nola is not famous for the healthiest of foods…so while it was PHENOMENAL, it was definitely a rare occasion for me to eat so much fried food! My belly was happy at the time, but my body is now craving some healthy eats! Today it’s all about the fruits and veggies!

Lastly, today is the FINAL day to shop my online trunk show with Stella & Dot. Make sure to snag those goodies and a chance to win pieces for free or at 50% off!

Happy Monday!



{33} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. I have been reading a lot of personal development non-fiction lately. As an entrepreneur, I think it’s extremely beneficial to help keep myself on track with my goals for my life and my business.  It’s a practice that I have picked up since becoming a coach with Beachbody, and I think it has really made a difference overall in helping to improve my business as well as my life. The particular book talks about how a few simple daily disciplines can really turn into a massive change in terms of success and happiness.

writing  A workout routine for my new upcoming Bikini Boot Camp Challenge that will focus on the core using crunch-less ab exercises. The challenge will kick off next week right before Memorial Day Weekend, so let me know if you want in!

listening  Loving this new jam by Martin Solveig – Intoxicated

thinking  That I am a very lucky lady. I had a wonderful Mother’s Day Weekend spent with my boys. We had a playdate with friends on Saturday, a date night Saturday, and spent Sunday getting pampered with breakfast and gifts, hiking, and having an early dinner on the water.  I am so very lucky to have incredible moms in my life to call my own (mom, mother-in-law, grandmothers, godmother, aunts, friends, family friends, etc), and I am lucky to be a mom myself to my amazing little boy and babe on the way. I am also super lucky to have such an incredible partner in my journey through life. We are going to be celebrating 4 married years together (and 10.5 together) this Thursday, and I just feel so blessed for the relationship that we have built and will continue to build.

smelling  The fabulous chai that I am consuming at this very moment. Mmm.

watching  Was lucky enough to get a date night with the hubby courtesy of our fabulous parent’s group in our hood. We decided to catch a movie and saw, The Age of Adaline. Starring Blake Lively, this period piece was interesting and although unbelievable at times, if you vow to just be purely entertained and not focus so much on how it can be a little ridiculous…it was a really good movie. It’s almost as if she is time traveling because she is able to live through so many different time periods. And I just love her classic style throughout the film. Would definitely recommend! Even the hubs enjoyed it.

wishing  If I tell you this wish…it might not come true…so I’m going to stay mum for now. 😉

hoping  To finish up the planning this week for my BFF’s Bachelorette Weekend coming up! We already have some fun ideas in store, but putting together the final touches with my fellow Matron of Honor this week. Cannot wait for this little gal’s getaway!  Thanks for getting married, bestie, so we have an excuse to all get together! Hehe.

wearing  Plaid button down, ripped casual jeans, and flip flops! Yes, flip flops!  Cheers to warm weather!

loving  My new pregnancy pillow and the prenatal massage that I have booked for June. Spoiled mama!

wanting  Baby to move up a little bit in my belly! Apparently my placenta is lying a little low and so I am feeling all kinds of movements very low as well…feels kinda weird! But good news is, he is moving a lot!! Always kicking around in there. We go to the doc again on Wednesday for a growth check, so keeping fingers crossed that baby is getting bigger! (I am getting bigger, so I am hopeful!) Today marks 24 weeks!

needing  More sleep! I am so bad at going to bed early as I feel I need to stay up and complete so many more things on my to-do list each night! I really need to start forcing myself to hit the sack just a little bit earlier each night and tell myself that things can wait until tomorrow.

feeling  Tired! Like I said above…I need to get more sleep! I also did the PiYo Drench workout this morning and whew! Talk about sweating up a storm. They were not kidding about the whole “drench” thing. Felt good to get back to PiYo though after taking the weekend off. Never miss a Monday!

craving  Sweets. My pregnancy sweet tooth is starting to come back in full force! Nothing new really though, pregnant or not. I need to start eating more fruit to nix those unhealthy cravings for sugar! Watermelon was my fruit of choice last pregnancy. I would be happy to return to that routine 🙂

clicking  Through the recently launched site Co11ective, where 11 ladies have come together to share stories of health,  nutrition, fitness, fashion, digital marketing, entrepreneurship and more. I am so happy to be included in this dynamic group of powerful and successful women.



Hope all the mommies out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day Weekend!

What have you been up to lately?



P.S. I usually only share one photo in my “Lately” posts. However, we had such a fun day yesterday, that I wanted to share a little more:

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***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

Creative Ideas for Engagement Gifts


Photo Credit: Misa Me Photography

Since becoming a mom, I sometimes feel that I have neglected to be a very good friend.  I have always been the person who remembered every single birthday of friends and family members.  I remembered to call.  I remembered to go out of my way to do something nice on an important day for them.  Nowadays, I am lucky if I even know what day it is, let alone that there is something special going on that day.  I love my friends and want them to know that I still love them.  I know being a mommy is not an excuse to forget about my friends, and I hope they know that I do still think about them often, even if I don’t always remember to call.

One particular instance of me being a bad friend…my bestie from high school called me up one night when I was particularly exhausted from lack of sleep.  I felt bad for not answering, but I just didn’t have the energy to have the catch up session that we needed.  The next day, she called again when I was in the middle of watching both my son and another child at the same time for the first day.  I figured since she called again, that it was important, but again it was just a bad time.  I answered, but immediately said, “Hey, can I call you back.  I’m watching two babies and it’s a little insane.”  She said “ok” but sounded like she really wanted to talk, so I said, “What’s up?” and she follows with “I’M ENGAGED!!!”

Oh. Em. Gee!!!  No wonder she was calling so much!  And here I am blowing her off, because I’m too crazy and tired on one of the most important days of her life!  What a jerk!  I said, “Congratulations, and I will definitely call you back later to hear the story.”  To which I did follow through.  Upon calling her back, she says, “Did you remember today is also my birthday?” F@#$!!!!!!  Ok, I am officially the worst. friend. EVER.  I knew her birthday was coming up, but when the actual day arrived, I didn’t even know the date.  I felt AWFUL.

Luckily, she is an amazing person and has forgiven me.  And I know gift giving totally doesn’t erase the fact that I am a nincompoop.  HOWEVER!  It’s cannot hurt, and I totally owe her one.  So I have spent a lot of time trying to come up with some creative engagement gifts to send her way, and here are some of the ideas that have crossed my mind:

Wedding Planning Basket:  As a new bride-to-be, it can be really exciting to think about planning your wedding, but it can also be a bit overwhelming.  A wedding planning basket will give them a little boost to get started and fill them with ideas and organization tips.  Include bridal magazines, a planner, pen, thank you card, ideas for local vendors, to-do list with typical budgets, wedding-themed movies to put them in the wedding planning mood, and more.

Personalized Champagne Glasses:  Nothing says celebrate like champagne!  I love the idea of personalized champagne glasses with the names of the couple and the date of their wedding.  They can use them for the big toast on their wedding day, and toast again with them year after year on their anniversary.  Include a nice bottle of champagne for the win.

Take Them Out/Send them Out:  Take them out for a night on the town, a nice dinner, or a fun activity you know they will enjoy to celebrate the new journey they will take together.  You could also get them a gift certificate to send them on their own adventure together.  A couples massage to relax before their big day would be one of my favorites to suggest!

Create a Slide Show:  Gather photos from friends and family members to compile an adorable slide show for the future bride and groom.  The thought and effort put into the project will mean the world to the engaged couple.  You can include photos from their childhood  with family and friend or include photos of solely the couple themselves on their many adventures together.  The slide show can be used at an engagement party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, etc.

Photography Session:  Speaking of photos, a professional engagement photography session could be an amazing gift for a couple.  With all the insane amount of expenses that come along with planning a wedding, a couple might not have it in their budget to include an engagement session as well.  The photos could be used for their future “save the dates,” thank you cards, at the wedding, or framed and hung in their home.

Personalized Art Work:  My husband and I received a piece of art work for our wedding, and we still have it hanging in our home.  Something sweet to hang as a reminder of their special day will always be appreciated.  I really enjoy this simple Happily Ever After piece from Etsy.  Artwork is also not limited to the wall!  A personalized platter, ring holder, pillow, or anything else for the home could be a great gift and beautiful  reminder of their special day.

Wine Box:  If the engaged couple is into wine, a wine box could be a really fun idea.  Choose about 6 bottles of wine or so and label them with tags for different milestones that they will reach in their lives (First Anniversary, 10th Anniversary, First Home, First Christmas, etc.)  Make sure to ask someone at the wine store for advice as they may be able to suggest wines that age well.  You could also include a bottle of sparkling cider to toast their First Child.  If they have a different drink of choice, you could do a similar box filled with beer, mini liquor bottles, or something else that would interest them.

Personalized Greeting Card:  Sometimes it’s the simple things that mean the most.  A personalized greeting card is an inexpensive, yet thoughtful way to let someone know you are happy for them.  I absolutely love the greeting card options available at Treat.  They have lovely designs, deliver right to the recipient’s door, and they can also include photos or a gift card inside if you wish.

I cannot divulge what option I ultimately decided on because said friend might be reading this post, and I haven’t presented her with my gift yet.  😉  Hopefully one of these ideas will speak to you.  I know I will definitely be returning to this list for future friend’s engagements.

Hope you all had a great weekend.  I have a short week here in New York, before I head off to my longtime friend and pen-pal’s wedding in Arizona!  I haven’t seen her since our Tucson reunion last year, so I am very much excited to see her and her awesome fiancé tie the knot!



Mutual Weirdness


Celebrating 3 years of mutual weirdness marital bliss today.  Tomorrow will also equal 9.5 years together.

To my partner in crime:

Thanks for shaking my hand awkwardly at that frat party.  Thanks for accepting my terrible Nextel phone clip.  Thanks for the letters from Nevada.  Thanks for listening and taking me to The Melting Pot for our first date.  Thanks for awkwardly introducing me as your girlfriend to someone before we had had “the talk.”  Thanks for being persistent.  Thanks for understanding me and my quirks.  Thanks for forgiving me after we fight.  Thanks for supporting me in chasing my dreams.  Thanks for moving to New York with me.  Thanks for building a life with me.  Thanks for sharing a tiny apartment without killing me for 4.5 years.  Thanks for being the best travel partner.  Thanks for complementing me in a way that opposites attract.  Thanks for laughing at my terrible jokes.  Thanks for taking my photos for this blog, even though we get strange looks on the streets and sometimes it’s uncomfortable.  Thanks for listening to me.  Thanks for taking long walks.  Thanks for being open minded.  Thanks for working hard for us.  Thanks for being honest and trustworthy.  Thanks for being an amazing father.

I love you to the moon and back, and I cannot wait to see what the following years of mutual weirdness will bring.



P.S. Here is a little blast from the past.

Tucson Reunion


You may recall, two years ago, when I met my pen pal, Angela, in person for the first time.  Yes, that’s right…I said pen pal!  I wonder if kids even know what those are these days?  Crazy as it may be, we met on my wedding day after 18 years of writing and keeping in touch with each other.  She lives in Tucson, Arizona, and I grew up in Maryland, eventually moving to New York City.  While, it was absolutely amazing she flew all the way out to the East Coast for my wedding day, I wished that we had gotten more than 10 minutes to speak to each other.  So now, two years after our first brief meeting, and 20 years after we first started writing, Zack and I headed out to Arizona for the first time to stay with Angela and her boyfriend, Leon, in their Tucson home.

Angela’s entire family blocked off their Friday night to welcome us with a wonderful homemade Mexican feast at her Nana’s home on their family ranch.  Back in the day, they hosted roping competitions and rodeos here, and there are still many folks who keep their horses on their stable grounds.  It was so awesome to finally hang out with Angela, meet her entire family (minus one sister who wasn’t in town…we missed you!) and see the place and land where she grew up and wrote from all these years.

Saturday, they gave us the grand tour of Tucson starting off with the Sonoran Desert Museum.  I must have repeated a million times “I’ve never seen anything like this!” mostly in regard to the huge giant cactus, err saguaros, that littered the desert.  In the museum, we also saw tons of other flora, fauna, and animals.  My favorites were the coyotes and the prairie dogs…so cute!  After the museum we stopped at The Mission, which is the first Catholic Church in Arizona, and also the oldest European structure in the state.  It was extremely beautiful and special to see.  For more info on the history of the Mission, click here.  We grabbed lunch in South Tucson at El Torero, a yummy Mexican local hotspot, and then headed downtown to do some exploring.  The city is extremely artsy and many of the shops displayed a “Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead” theme.  Angela, actually had one of her paintings displayed in a gallery downtown which was really cool to see.  I am so proud!  We drove past Angela’s elementary school, St. John’s, where she wrote me my first letter.  It was really interesting to see how different the architecture was from my grade school, St. Mary’s.  Saturday night, we attended a Live Theatre Workshop, which turned out to be a hilarious performance, and we ended the night with a fab dinner.

Sunday, we were sad to leave, but also excited to continue on to Phoenix on our state-wide tour.  We had such a blast in Tucson, and it was so much fun getting to know Angela in person.  She is exactly how I thought she would be from her letters over the years, and we all got along wonderfully.  I am so grateful to her and Leon (as well as her entire family) for being such amazing hosts, and I look forward to having them come out to visit us in Brooklyn sometime!


Angela and I on her Grandparent’s Ranch







From left to right: Me, the hubby Zack, Angela, Leon, Angela’s parents




The Mission


Angela’s Painting

Me and Angela

Angelas House

The sun shining down on Angela and Leon’s house

Four of Us

The four of us at breakfast on our last day in Tucson

After our 10 day hiatus, Zack and I are now back in New York, and I am completely overwhelmed by the amount of photos I need to go through!  I have so many updates for you regarding our trip to Arizona, and this is only the beginning.  Stay tuned through this week and next for photos and stories of our travels, outfit posts, and more.

In other news, Happy 2nd Wedding Anniversary to my amazing husband!  Can’t believe we were saying our “I do’s” two years ago.  Tomorrow also marks 8.5 years that we have been together.  I am so very lucky to have him in my life, and I am excited for what this upcoming year will bring for us.  We have embarked on so many journeys together so far, and I can’t think of a more exciting and important one than parenthood.

Have a great week everyone!



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#6 Skydive

May 12, 2012

On Christmas Eve at the age of ten years old, I saw a video that blew my mind.  After we finished opening presents with my family, my Aunt Marie popped a tape into the VCR (yes, I’m dating myself here).  On this video was my Aunt Marie jumping out of an airplane, screaming at the top of her lungs with two thumbs up the entire time.  She had decided to go skydiving for her 35th birthday.  Of course, she had not told anyone before she went, so this came as a surprise and a shock to my entire family.  This especially caused a bit of an uproar with my Grandfather who screamed, “You have two beautiful children, what the hell is wrong with you!”  I, on the other hand, thought this was the coolest thing I had ever seen.  I decided then and there that this was something I would do in my lifetime.  I begged and pleaded with my Aunt Marie throughout the years to take me skydiving, but she feared the wrath of my Grandfather, and there was no way she was going to be able to take her niece without getting hell from the rest of the family, including my parents.  

Fast forward to about one month ago.  My husband planned an entire surprise weekend to celebrate our upcoming one year wedding anniversary, but he was not able to contain his excitement any longer.  He spilled the beans that the surprise was that we were going SKYDIVING in Long Island!  So I must have been totally excited right?  WRONG!!!  I completely hyperventilated, couldn’t breathe, my heart was beating a mile a minute, I started crying…the works.  I suppose that although I had always wanted to jump out of an airplane, the reality set in that I WAS GOING TO JUMP OUT OF AN AIRPLANE.  This was actually going to happen, and this was no longer a wish list item…this was for real.  I honestly expected Zack to plan a nice, quiet, romantic weekend in Upstate NY or something similar.  I expected to relax, maybe go hiking or camping, spend time in the outdoors and get some peace and quiet and alone time together.  And then he tells me we are going skydiving!  I think I was just completely and utterly shocked, and could not believe this was actually going to happen.  It also wasn’t happening for another three weeks, so I had to freak out about it until then.

Of course I also chose not to tell my parents, or anyone really, beforehand.  I think I maybe told a total of two people before going.  That decision was not only because I knew my mother and sister would completely freak out, but also because I didn’t want any naysayers whatsoever telling me anything that might freak ME out.  I was determined to go through with this, and I tried to clear my mind of any worry until it got closer.  

On the day of the big jump, I was actually fairly calm leading up to the event.  Zack and I had a nice breakfast together at the place we were staying in Long Island to celebrate our one year, and we went for a nice, long walk on the beach prior.  As we started getting closer to the airport, I began to get a little bit nervous.  We checked in, watched a safety/instruction video, and signed our life away with about 27 signatures and initials.  We then waited for about 45 minutes in anticipation and watched other jumpers until we were called to suit up.  I was surprised that we didn’t really have to wear much gear other than the harness and a pair of glasses to protect our eyes from all the wind.  

My nerves were kicking in a lot more at this point when we loaded into the tiny plane and took off into the air.  I have to say, this was probably the scariest part of the whole experience.  When we got high enough, the plane slowed waaay down, and it was time to take the plunge.  Zack jumped first as I yelled, “I love you!” and then it was my turn.  The photos and video that we paid for are completely embarrassing, but so real!  I went into meditation mode where I closed my eyes, laid my head back on my instructor’s chest, and started taking deep breaths.  At this point, I realized that I was helpless.  The only thing I could do was trust that my instructor knew what he was doing and that the parachute would open.  Freaking out would do nothing to help me at this point.  That being said, looking back at the footage, I look like I am in labor, or possessed, or lifeless.  It’s pretty hilarious, and completely 100% embarrassing.  My videographer tapped me on my head to let me know “it’s going to be okay” and at that point I opened my eyes and let out a big smile as we rolled out of the plane.  I didn’t believe anyone when they told me I wouldn’t feel that roller coaster drop feeling in my stomach.  But everyone was right.  I maybe felt a slight drop for half a second as we plunged head first out of the plane, and then it was all WIND.  Maybe it was all in my head, but it felt a little tough to breathe.  I tried to scream, but so much air was coming in that nothing could come out!  My videographer grabbed my hands and we spun around in circles which was pretty cool, and he coached me to make funny faces for the camera.  We free fell for about a minute, and I really never got the notion that I was falling.  It could have been because there was no perspective (we weren’t passing anything on the way down), or that the ground was so far away, it never looked like it got any closer.  It just felt like I was in a static wind tunnel.  It was a feeling like no other.  After a minute, my instructor pulled the parachute and we went shooting up.  We floated around for a bit and he turned some fun circles while we took in the gorgeous views around us.  And then it was landing time!  We both landed perfectly, and snapped a few victory photos once we were done.  It all happened so fast.  While we were waiting to receive my video, we couldn’t believe that it was over, and we had just jumped out of an airplane!  It honestly felt like it wasn’t real life, and that we didn’t jump yet.  It was a very surreal feeling that is hard to explain.  

Overall, it was a very crazy, fun experience, and I am so lucky that I have such an awesome, adventurous husband who planned this for me.  As much as I wanted to check this item off my list, I probably would have procrastinated so long that I would have scared myself out of doing it in the long run.  It was nice to have him go ahead and plan it, so that way I couldn’t back out!  The experience was ridiculously thrilling yet surprisingly not as scary as I had anticipated.  I’m not going to run out to skydive again next weekend, but if a big milestone came up again (Dad’s 60th Birthday perhaps?), I wouldn’t take the option off the table!   Hope you enjoy the photos.  If any of you are interested in checking this item off your list, I jumped at Skydive Long Island in Calverton.  My instructor was Rich Winstock, and he has done over 10,000 jumps in his career.  You can find more information here: 

******UPDATE******  Thanks to my friend Justin, I was able to convert the DVD of me skydiving to an upload-able format for you all to enjoy.  Try not to laugh too hard at my plunge out of the plane, but I know it’s going to be a challenge: