Big Papa’s Big Adventure (and a video to prove it)

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you may have figured out that my husband is addicted to having fun. Not necessarily what I would deem as fun, but that's beside the point. (Let's visit the beside-the-point for just a moment… my idea of fun is stitching and watching a Jane Austen movie. Not jumping out of a perfectly good airplane with someone hanging onto me like a backpack while I free fall toward the earth.)

Mike and Bre have been talking for a while about doing a tandem jump together, but it never quite worked out in the past. It seemed that when Bre was ready, Mike wasn't, and so on. But a few days ago, Mike suddenly announced he was going to just do it while he had the chance, and invited Bre to make the trek back to Omaha so they could finally jump to their doom together. Unfortunately, Bre couldn't get off of work at such short notice, so Mike ended up going it alone.

Sophie and I went with him to stay on the ground and record the event. 🙂

Here's Mike – who was surprisingly not acting the least bit nervous – listening to his instructor, Gary, teach him what he was to do first…

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Then how to free fall…

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To properly "fit" together during the fall, Mike was to lift his legs up in between Gary's legs…

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To the left of this photo is Klicky, the guy who would be videotaping Mike's jump. He was a fun guy, and was very enthusiastic about his job, which made it all even more exciting (for Mike)…

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Let's do this before we chicken out!

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Soph and I gave him lots of hugs good-bye, and he was off to cross one more thing off of his bucket list. (Mostly his bucket list includes bored games he wants to play before his Last Day on Earth. Btw, Last Day on Earth is the title of a bored game he's always trying to get me to play.)

Good luck, Big Papa!

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We love you!

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You're insane, but that's okay!

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Soph and I sort of got quiet as the plane growled away, bc we knew there was no turning back now.

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I had asked one of the videographers ahead of time what color Mike's chute was so we would hopefully be able to spot him, as there were several jumpers going at the same time, and I didn't want to have to guess at who to watch.

Sophie and I got very excited when we first spotted him…

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Unfortunately, we couldn't see his landing bc it was behind another plane, so we anxiously waited for him to walk into view.

And we waited..

And waited…

Finally, Klicky walked toward us, and we were starting to get concerned. Especially when I asked how Mike did, and he said, "We made it… barely!"

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Turns out, after landing, Mike's instructor had to catch his breath for a bit. During their free-fall, they'd been chatting a bit through the mic/headset before the first canopy deployed (which is used to soften the blow of the main chute opening). However, it was the first time this particular brand of canopy was being used, and the instructor wasn't prepared for its sudden jerk, and he got the wind knocked out of him. At that point, there was no communication bw Mike and Gary, which was a bit unnerving for Mike, needless to say. A few moments later, when Gary regained his composure, he said to Mike, "Don't get nervous, but I need you to make some adjustments to your harness…"

I do believe I would have expired at that point. But Mike's wits never left him and he made the necessary adjustments (although he did confess that he was resisting the urge to say, "Couldn't we have made these adjustments when we were on the ground?"). When they landed, he and Gary talked over what had happened, and that's why they took so long emerging from behind the plane. 🙂

Btw, here are a few photos taken up high!







What a day that was! Sophie was very proud of her Big Papa, and I was too!

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In case you'd care to see it, here's a video of Mike's crazy skydive… Klicky did a fantastic job on it, and it even had me wishing – just for a tiny moment – that I could have jumped too. But then I snapped out of it and got back to my own bucket list: stitching an entire reproduction sampler while watching Pride and Prejudice.

Big Papa's First Jump from Paulette Stewart on Vimeo.


  • Margaret

    Ok, I have to admit, that was pretty cool. Very cool, in fact. I loved watching the video! So is Mike doing it again? 😀 Hopefully you won’t have to wait as long for him to appear next time. Congrats to the skydiver!

  • Sheryl

    That was awesome and your husband is a nut but at least he is having fun. lol
    Hope you have tons of life insurance on his butt, lol
    I’m with you on the stitching and movie watching. We do go to the drag races a lot.
    Can’t wait to see Bre do it
    What is Mike’s next adventure????

  • Siobhan

    That’s really neat! Go Big Papa!! I have to admit, though–the pics where you can see the landscape at the bottom would have had me super-gluing myself to the plane!! LOL

  • Laurie in Iowa

    Congrats on your first jump Big Papa. Loved seeing your video… but I think I’d just have stayed in the plane.

  • Ralee

    I’ll never forget the day my “idiot” best-beloved husband came home and said, “I’m going to airborne school, Hooah.” All I could think about was who in their right mind would want to jump out of a perfectly fine airplane? I spent the entire time he was at Ft. Wherever it was with a knot in my gut and couldn’t even look up during the graduation when wave after wave of soldiers jumped out of a perfectly fine airplane. He finally got it out of his system. Boys will be boys.

  • Betty

    There is not enough tea in China to make me do this! I have a huge fear of heights and the only way I would jump out of an airplane is for someone to throw me out!
    And my partner getting the wind knocked out of him–I would have expired with him!

  • Catherine

    That’s something I have always said I’d love to do, but then again, I don’t like heights, so I doubt I’ll ever do it!! Kudos to Mike for going!

  • Michele Hebson

    Totally awesome. I for one am not THAT adventurous…hence why, if you have ever been to my blog, I close my posts “Vicariously yours.”
    A big congrats to Mike. (and you and Sophie for living through it.) HUGS

  • Sylvia

    Paulette!!! I just loved watching this. I am so happy for Mike that he got to do that. I think I could do a tandem jump, but for now, my feet will stay firmly planted on Terra Firma!
    Great pics and fantastic video!

  • Susan

    I think I see a new bored game in the making… Big Papa’s Next Adventure. Kind of a Monopoly setting with cards in the middle telling the player what dare-devil, crazy stunt they have to do before advancing to “go” to collect that life insurance policy.
    Very cool Mike! Paulette, you and Sophie were even cooler watching and not freaking out! At least Bre wasn’t able to make it so you didn’t have to worry about both of them at the same time.

  • Beth Narverud

    So I read Mike is taking his first solo jump next month. Marty is coming to visit in August. Coincidence, I think not. I told Marty to beware. Especially when they board that plane for “Vegas.”. LOL

  • Robin Hager

    WoW!! How awesome is that! I remember my first solo flight as a student, and what a thrill that was. I’m sure this was a bit more intense! I bet he will do it again! Thanks for sharing this great video with us. Mike is a cool dude!

  • sylvie

    en tout cas ce n’est pas moi qui irait lĂ  bas. La photo du jeune homme atterrissant ressemble aux chevaliers du ciel! belles photos bravo

  • Cathi

    Really really wow!!! I admire people who do things like this! My DH and my DD will do what your husband did on next Friday!!! I am already very excited! I will stay safely on the ground and look up to them!! I have not the slightest wish to do this… ;o)
    Have a nice week!

  • Lynn Jones

    AWESOME!!! My oldest son and I have always wanted to do this. Jeff made the jump but I never had the opportunity and at this stage of the game I don’t think it will ever happen. I’m now content to follow your Bucket list. Kudos to Mike! When’s the solo jump?

  • marly

    I’ve always wanted to do this, and now I have through your video! I think I’m on to something – fulfill my bucket list through YouTube. Close enough.

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