Monday, June 25, 2012

Love is a Leap of Faith...

So I suppose it is fitting that my fiancé proposed to me while we were skydiving yesterday! :)

Today is the happiest day of my life! I am the luckiest girl in the entire world- all of my dreams have come true!  For those interested in the back story, here it goes...

I wanted to surprise Jay his 40th Birthday. So I spent months dreaming of what the perfect surprise would be :) A Luau? Inviting the entire channel and family to our house? Hmmm such a hard decision.

Jay mentioned once he rather "make a memory" then receive a "thing".  So I said, I could not agree more, I can do that.

Finally I decided on a surprise weekend mix of relaxation and adrenaline! A weekend at Gurney's beach resort in the Hampton's!!! Volleyball on the beach, a room with an ocean view, walks on the beach holding hands, dinner at sunset- perfect.

The adrenaline? We would ride down on our motorcycle, and end the weekend SKY DIVING! I am terrified (of heights, falling, and death- the trifecta- so I didn't tell anyone just in case). Jay was excited ( I told him in advance- that is not something you can surprise someone the day of). My sister, my two cousins, and one of their gf's all did it. Jay and I were 1st...

I will add our pics and videos as soon as I get them from the skydiving school :)

Though I spent every night dreaming terrible nightmares of what would go wrong- (I even made a will before I left and googled ways to not die skydiving- what to avoid before the white light).  For those interested in what skydiving is like.  There are four people in a plane so small that you can hardly move, no seats, heads touching the roof,the plane ride up I was surprisingly relaxed (or in denial). Perhaps because I have been on hundreds of questionable flights thanks to Kayak's awesome cheap tickets.

As we were getting strapped in- 10 seconds before they opened the door- Jay got on his knees and said. Michelle- I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you. "Oh no, he doesn't think I'll make it"- I thought. Then he pulls out the most beautiful ring I have ever seen in my life! I did the ugly cry through my goggles and pig tails (I think I said- NOW? Really?) and proceeded to kiss the love of my life, give the pilot my ring to hold bc it was a tad loose, and I didn't want to risk it, and then drop blissfully 10,000 feet with an "ear to ear" and "air to air" smile!

My tandem partner, a fellow Canadian- Nick.  Jay says- we are from the same country, I am trusting you with her.  It felt so nice to be the future Mrs. McBain and hear my future hubby request safe delivery of his precious cargo.  Nick and I are attached.  He opens the door- wind starts rushing in, gulp, no turning back now.  He  hangs one leg out, then tells me too, and I added a second slowly.  I look down and freeze looking at the beautiful ocean and towns of  Long Island NY below.  He says SMILE.  I smile, and all of a sudden I am tumble-salting into thin air.

It is not the feeling of a roller coaster where your stomach plummets, but pure amazing.  For 50 seconds, almost one minute I am flying or floating- arms out, turning over and around in the air, free like a bird, and happy as a lark.  Then he puts his hands in front of my face and starts counting  with his fingers 3, 2, 1...

I knew we had two parachutes, and two chances, or say hello to the white light!  All of a sudden I am vertical and floating down gently.  "Look Up" he screams, and I see the parachute opened like a beautiful rainbow over my head.  "Look back", he says and I see Jay!  His parachute opened- YAY!  We made it!

He hands me the reigns... I say, "No, thanks I'm good".  He is persistent and will not take no for an answer.  I am glad he didn't- pull right he says and we spin wildly right, twirling like a ballerina- floating in the clouds.  Center we slow and hover.  "Now, left" he says! Without thinking I pull, and and we spin left, dancing with the wind.  For five minutes I slowly drift from heavens to earth, but I was floating down on a cloud of love and pure happy bliss.

I went 1st (so I wouldn't chicken out...) I am on the bottom, Jay is on top! 

One final request, "Raise your legs when I say", "okay" I say, "just say when".  "Now" and he runs and I an on the floor detached.  Jay lands moments behind me.  I run and hug him, my instructor, and his instructor for safely delivering my fiance!  

Love indeed is a leap of faith.  It can be scary, and exciting.  I took that leap when I met you, and took a bigger one when you asked me to marry you on your 40th Birthday, June 24, 2012 - 10,000 feet in the air, 10 seconds before we both leapt out of a plane.  I have no regrets.  Every second, every memory has been absolutely incredible, and I cannot wait to make a lifetime more!!!  Jay McBain, you are my heart, my soul, my best friend, my partner in crime, my cover for my tea pot and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with you- making you as ecstatically happy as you make me!!!! xoxooxoxox ♥ ♥ ♥

Special thanks also to the Long Island SkyDiving Center for capturing all the memories on photo, & video, helping our magical day even more amazing, and delivering us safely to each other! (as well as my sister and cousins)  You ROCK! :) Everyone should skydive with your team!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Working Towards Advancing Women in IT

As some of you may know, Women in IT is a cause near and dear to my heart, which I work to Blog, and participate creating awareness and education for women locally and globally.  I just wanted to share with you another great eye opening article in the most recent  IT Manager Daily, “Survey: Skills shortage blamed on lack of women in IT”.

I am happy to now be a part of the leadership team for CompTIA's newest group Advancing Women in IT Created by dream team Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, CompTIA Nancy Hammervik, Chair by Sandy Ashworth, and Vice Chair Cathy J. Alper.  Along with a team of wonderful ladies who are leading the movement within CompTIA Susan Krautbauer and Tony Clayton Hine, just to name a few.  

For more info on the group, see here:

"Advancing Women in IT Community is dedicated to empowering women with the knowledge and skills necessary to help their pursuit of successful IT careers, as well as to inspire women to enter the IT field as a career choice. The community is a vital information resource, provides mentorship and networking opportunities, develops member-driven initiatives and programs, is active in legislation involving women and careers, and is actively involved in pursing the overall objectives of the CompTIA – ECAP (education, certification, advocacy and philanthropy). Members of this group are women who are currently in or aspire to be in IT careers and men who support this mission". 

Please spread the word about this group and our upcoming Webinar:

AWIT June Webinar Registration

June 27th   12:30 Eastern Time

Career Planning/Pathing:  How to Move from one Level to the Next
Some companies have glass ceilings; others have an escalator, which makes getting ahead confusing at best.  Join us for a one-on-one conversation as Nancy Hammervik, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, CompTIA asks Shirley Turner, President and Founder, Black Lab Marketing and 24-year alumnus of Intel, what works, what doesn’t work, and how to apply it to your career.  Learn about Shirley Turner’s journey at Intel from payroll clerk to the Director of North American Channel Marketing, all while maintaining sound work-life balance.  Learn how to recognize the value of your strengths to your organization, network inside your company and out in the industry, take appropriate risks, create a personal development plan, overcome the things holding you back, and when to move sideways to move up.

Link for Webinar Registration:

Invite your network to the June AWIT Webinar!  You do not need to be a member of CompTIA to attend the webinar, so invite anyone you think might enjoy/benefit from this event. Thank you!