Natalie Ghidotti, in the air, during a tandem skydive.

As my friend Kyran put it: "My Mother’s Day adventure: going to the mall. Meanwhile, Ghidotti JUMPED OUT OF A MUTHABLOGGIN PLANE YO!"

I can’t deny it. My Mother’s Day was the best ever. I went skydiving for the first time. I jumped out of a plane at 4,500 feet, free falling for 35 seconds before my parachute opened. It is truly one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done.

My skydiving decision was completely spur of the moment. We were at Skydive Skyranch in Siloam Springs to watch my sister, Ashley, and her friend skydive after graduating from the University of Arkansas the day before. As they were training and gearing up, I thought to myself: Why not? I thought it would be a pretty cool way to celebrate Mother’s Day and would make for a great Facebook photo album!

Call me crazy (most of my friends have this past week), but there’s something extremely freeing about looking out through the clouds and just jumping. It’s almost like all the stress -- the demands of work, kids, marriage, life in general -- leave in one moment. You’re flying through the air, and you’re thinking: "I’m flying!! I’m really flying!" Actually, I thought that right after I was thinking: "Oh, crap. I’m losing my shoe. Wait, wait …. Uhgggg. It’s gone." Then, it was back to taking in the scenery and thinking, "This is insane. I’m flying!"

The dive seemed like it went by in a matter of seconds. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not anything like riding a roller coaster. You don’t get that flip-flop feeling in your stomach. You don’t even really have the sensation of falling. It’s more like floating among the clouds -- nice and easy -- even though you’re falling at 120 mph!

As for taking such a risk (and on Mother’s Day of all days), I didn’t really see it that way. In fact, there is much more probability I would die in a car accident vs. dying while jumping out of a plane. I had all of my family there on the day I jumped, including my husband Jason, two children, parents and sister.

Jason was fine with me skydiving. I can’t say the same with my parents and sister. My dad and sister Becca were begging me not to go right up until the minute I got in the plane. Becca called me from Little Rock to talk me out of my decision, ending the conversation with, "See you on the flip side!" That was real encouraging …

As for the kids, they acted excited. Nathan, my 4-year-old, kept telling everyone that his mommy was jumping out of a plane for Mother’s Day. As I walked off to board the plane, he yelled, "See you on the ground, Mommy!"

Well, I did see him on the ground, minus one shoe. I’m really hoping my shoe landed on someone’s roof instead of hitting a cow in the head or something. Of course, I’m thinking losing my shoe while jumping from a plane would only happen to me. It makes the storytelling that much better!

Would I do it again? Heck, yeah! It was awesome, like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Risky? I guess so, but isn’t every single day in life somewhat risky?

(After the jump, more photos from mid-air!)


Taking the dive, leaving the plane.


In the air, before the parachute deploys.


Success! A fine landing.