Somehow we have new starfish?!

Are these even starfish? Where did they come from?! They must have been really buried deep in the rock or sand because we haven’t added anything new in probably a year!!

  

Ahhhh. I love the feeling of a fresh cut…

Especially after my hair nightmare earlier this week. She definitely saw lots of breakage but thankfully my hairstyle hides it well.

And this is what it looks like when my hair is being dried and styled—since I have so much hair, my stylist grabs anyone else available to help. :) (I had the kids with me—and they had their iPhones since we were in Occoquan—so I texted Owen to take the picture.)

And look at what we found on the walk to the salon…

And testing a new lipstick when I got home.

My poor poor hair.

So, iFly was amazing…except my hair is just about ruined. Seriously.

I honestly didn’t think about my hair again until the morning after (this morning!) when I knew I’d have to really condition it in the shower and detangle it. I mean, I’ve had knots before, but you just really douse it with deep conditioner and then use a wide-tooth comb and yes it’s tedious but I’ve done this before and 20 minutes or so was all it took.

Ha.

HAHA.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

My hair was SOOOO densely knotted in the bottom 8″ that 30 minutes in the shower with two of my best conditioners and a wide-toothed comb did almost nothing. NOTHING. I eventually turned off the water and just stood there freezing my butt off while trying to untangle. I eventually gave up, planning to try again later leaving the conditioner in for awhile before I tried to comb through it (of course I had a doc appointment this morning so I couldn’t do it right then).

Fast forward to later that morning and this was my hair saturated with spray detangler, coconut oil, and heavy duty conditioner…wrapped in a warm towel. I honestly didn’t have much hope.

I undid the towel and just stood in the bathroom trying to comb out the nightmare. I’ve had knots before…but this is a whole new level I’ve never experienced. Wind speeds from 85-180mph. It’s literally a full head of this. And you know how thick my hair is.

I would dip my hair in a sink of water, spray it with more detangler, add more coconut or olive oil…and nothing. I even got out a fine-tooth comb and tried to do tiny 1/16″ sections at a time. Nothing. Well, I made a little bit of leeway, but every time I thought I was getting somewhere, I really wasn’t. So after maybe another half hour, I gave up and just ended up going brute force on it because I just couldn’t stand it anymore and I wanted to cry—and I pulled out a crap ton of hair. And my head HURT. If I had been making any decent headway, I would have painstakingly continued, but I wasn’t. I was already scheduled for a trim with my stylist, but I can’t wait to talk to her and see how bad it is and if I need more cut off. I may not end up needing extra inches cut off but I definitely screwed it up. The iFly headquarters is definitely going to be getting helpful feedback about dealing with guests with long hair.

Ladybug dancer

      

Our tree from Halley!

The second graders all brought home trees for Project Plant It. We planted it in a temporary container so we can take it with us when we move this summer!

Where are my iFly pictures and videos?! (Part 1)

April 9—5:26pm

So we get home and I pretty much went straight to the computer to check out our photos and videos. If you recall, our iFly tickets each came with a free video and then Tom and I added on the High Flyer experience which came with a photo. So I login to get our videos and pictures…and guess what? There are exactly ZERO of either for me. Everyone else has a video (or two). Everyone else has a bunch of pics (Katie and Owen each had like 15). I HAD ZERO OF EITHER. The way their site is set you click on your location > date > flight time > name to see your associated media. Except Katie’s name wasn’t listed and my name showed all of Katie’s photos and videos! I flew right before her so had no idea how they could possibly have skipped me…twice? Including a high fly experience AND a double-length flight?!

I called them immediately and told them what was going on and they said they’d have to look into it and call me back. It didn’t sound terribly promising. They did call back within about 15 minutes to ask what color shoes I was wearing—I’m assuming so they could scrutinize the video feed and try and find my media. So I was a bit upset…but in a holding pattern hoping they would come through.

And what really gets me is that I didn’t take (or have Tom take) one single picture or video with my phone!! Why not you ask? Because I was thinking I didn’t want to keep it in my pocket while I was flying…but DUH I could have easily handed it off to Tom because we obviously weren’t flying at the same time. I was so pissed at myself about that for quite some time.

April 9—8:32pm

When we hadn’t heard anything back from them, Tom called to see what was going on. They assured him they were taking care of it.

April 9—11:24pm

I checked my email before bed and discovered they had sent the download links for two videos (so I actually got a free video!) but…they didn’t send any pics (!!) so I had to email them back about that. And after watching the videos…it’s two snippets from one flight and not a video from both flights! (Believe me, I’m very happy to have gotten the videos at all, but I am still very much hoping there’s a picture or two since they are much clearer than the video.)

Love being able to meet up with old friends!

The Mitchells were going to be in Virginia visiting Amanda (getting the nursery ready!) so they had planned to come visit us…but since we were going to be close to them after flying, we met for lunch!

We all flew at iFly!

Today was the day I got to cross something off my bucket list—skydiving!! Or at least a close enough approximation of it to satisfy me!

We had about a 15-minute prep class where we saw a video on the basics, saw a brief demonstration of proper form, and learned the hand signals that they would use (since you can’t hear anything in the chamber).

There were only a few hand signals and basically you relax in the tunnel while bending your arms and legs a little and keeping your chin up. Easy, right? Of course! (Until you step into the tunnel, but I’m getting ahead of myself.)

After the class, it was time to get suited up. We all got jumpsuits, plastic goggles, ear plugs, and a helmet. I asked how to best wear my hair and was told braided or in a low ponytail so I took the easy way with the ponytail (I actually tried a quick braid but it wasn’t working and we didn’t have THAT much time to suit up). And I have to say: What a joke. They really should have stressed wearing a braid, wearing a cap (which I would have gladly done), or at the very least putting the ponytail inside the helmet. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We were each slated for two one-minute flights, plus Tom and I had added a “high flyer” package which meant the instructor would take us up higher towards the top (instead of staying at or below chest/head level); it also came with a photo.

There was a group of about 10 of us and we filed into the chamber. Katie was the youngest and there were a few older than us—and everything in between. A set of grandparents and a granddaughter went before us. The granddaughter was a previous flier because she started out with a bit more advanced moves which was fun to watch. Soon it was my turn—and as soon as I stepped foot into the wind tunnel my mind kind of went blank. How was I supposed to bend? What were my arms supposed to do? What did the hand signals mean? It’s amazing what 120-180mph winds will do to your brain as you’re being blown around like a leaf! :) (I never once felt unsafe—the instructor is RIGHT THERE with you and your jumpsuit has handles on it for the instructor to grab—but it was FREAKY.) It probably took a good 20-30 seconds to calm down (maybe less, but time almost has no meaning in there) and start thinking more clearly, but by then you’re on the downswing of your allotted time. Needless to say it was VERY, VERY cool and I had A LOT of fun and my first minute was over too quick.

Katie was next and HOLY COW she REALLY flew around like a leaf! (They can adjust the wind speeds on the fly, so they probably calmed them down a bit for her once she got in, but she took off like a shot!) She did very well and appeared to be having a good time…but after her turn was over, she said she didn’t want to do her second flight, so I would use her time instead and get a two-minute flight for my second time!

Then it was Owen’s turn. He actually did better than I expected, considering he’s generally afraid of anything out of the ordinary.

Then it was Tom’s turn. Then it was time for the second set of flights. And let me just say that two minutes practically feels like an eternity in the wind tunnel! But, since I was now somewhat experienced and was getting the hang of it, the instructor let me do some hand movements that made me spin around. It was completely amazing how the tiniest of finger tilts could send you spinning around and around—tilt to the left, spin to the left; tilt to the right, spin to the right. It was also super cool to be zoomed to the top of the chamber with the instructor—we did that two or three times in fairly rapid succession (as seen in Tom’s video after mine below).

Then it was Owen’s turn again, and he didn’t have as good of a time on this go-round. His legs were like spaghetti and he just couldn’t seem to get them under control. Again, there was no danger and he didn’t seem concerned or scared, but the instructor pretty much had his hands on him the entire time.

Then it was time for Tom’s second flight. This is a picture from his instructor-assisted high fly as they came down to the bottom of the chamber:

So, you may be wondering why there is no good picture of me. Funny story, but I’m getting ahead of myself. :|

So after all the participants were done flying, we filed out, received our certificates, and eventually disrobed.

We also took some pictures. :)

And it was at this point that I realized my hair had a big knot in it—I had tried to take out the ponytail to wear my hair down (we had plans to meet friends for lunch afterwards) but it was nothing I could fix with my fingers so I just put it back up in a pony tail and honestly didn’t think much of it.

Of course they had a sales pitch at the end as well, offering more flight time at a pretty good discount. With the assurance that we could use it at ANY location…and since there are three in the Chicago area…we went ahead and bought it. The kids aren’t interested, but I certainly am. Tom might or might not—he enjoyed it, but it really messed with his back (though he thinks that if he stretches out more ahead of time it might be better).

So we left and I was excited to get home and check out our photos and videos—remember, our package had come with one video for each participant plus Tom and I each upgraded to the high fly which came with a photo. But first we had to go meet friends for lunch…

And you will have to keep reading to find out what happened with the photos and videos…

Katie three years ago and now!

  

The only good thing at Chuck E. Cheese. 

Birthday party fun—spending a token on my favorite “game.”

 

I’m really really locked down.

That’s what Katie said when we asked her to get up but this was happening. This dog has become a major lap whore—she literally follows you around and waits until you sit in this chair. She sat next to me at the computer this morning until I got up and moved to my chair. 

  

Purple pearls!

After all these years I finally have the perfect outfit to wear with my Grandma Smith’s purple pearls. She loved her costume jewelry…

   

  

Post-bath EEK face

  

I think she’d stay all day if I let her. 

As it was, she was in for about an hour today. 

  

Little Miss Fashion Plate

  

I want to get up, but…

  

Mama, look who I have?!

Charlie only lasted about two minutes being pulled around, but that was longer than I predicted!

   

Lego build and dinner out night!

         

Post-dinner dancing.

Spring 2017 School Pictures

Damn they take good pictures!!

I happened to get a matching photo today without any planning.