Category Archives: Riley

Riley is Heading to Nationals!


Riley qualified last month for AAU Taekwondo Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale! Officials made the decision to let her fight a boy since no girls were available at her level. Let’s just say that she did VERY well. The poor kid was crying by the second round and eventually just quit–he couldn’t finish the fight.

Here’s the awesome video (Riley’s in red):

We head for Ft. Lauderdale on July 1 and won’t be back until July 8. It’s going to be a long trip, but I just want her to do well and have a great experience.


Williamsburg, Random Turtle, Bruschi Visits and School Starts


Well, it’s been a busy month here…we ended July and began August celebrating Charles’ birthday in Williamsburg, VA. Neither Charles nor I had been in years and we were excited for Riley to explore the town. Overall, she loved it and we had a good time re-acquainting ourselves with the spots we remembered from earlier visits.

This guy was an amazing story-teller!

The Governor’s Mansion.

Tree-covered walkway in the gardens.

While there, we enjoyed a ghost tour. Riley was super-excited and we had a great time listening to the more “modern-day” ghost stories as related by our tour guide. Quite a few of her stories really made you think…

Riley listens intently to a ghost story about a young boy and a man said to “reside” in this house.

I took a picture of this particular window because this is where people have seen a face staring back at them…I guess he was camera-shy.

Another stop on the tour…

The last stop on the ghost tour…and the creepiest story of all!

Riley acted up a bit during our trip, but we took care of that…

We were tempted to leave her there, but realized we’d really miss her…

It’s been unbelievably hot here with the heat index reaching as much as 109 a couple of weeks ago…even the creatures around us must be searching for a shady place to rest. This guy showed up out of the blue…

He was right at our doorstep, but had trouble reaching the doorbell.

We also visited Beaufort a couple of weeks ago for their annual Pirate Invasion. Riley got all dressed up and revelled in the excitement!

The perfect pirate pose.
Taking part in the costume contest…
Meeting up with a couple of her old friends…
Highlight of the day: Lunch with Blackbeard!!!

As I’ve mentioned before, our neighbors’ dog Bruschi is Riley’s best friend. Last week, Mark dropped by and asked if we could babysit for the afternoon–of course, I (mostly Riley) said yes. He was very well behaved, but really wanted to play with Bailey. Bailey just wanted to hiss, growl and smack Bruschi on the nose. You’d think Bailey would find a nice, quiet spot during Bruschi’s three-hour visit, but no one has ever accused Bailey of being the smartest of cats. He’d stroll right by the dog and the whole “let’s play/no, let’s hiss and smack” scene would start up all over again…

Look deep into my puppy-dog eyes…you know you can’t resist…

Last weekend we made the short drive to Emerald Isle–it’s one of the nearby beaches we had not yet visited. I think it’s now our new favorite beach…very quiet, great sand, good shells and not very crowded!

Where is everybody? Wait, who cares!?!!!

Unobstructed  view of the ocean!

Riley digging holes.

Oh, and kids, don’t trust that your SPF 30 lotion and sitting in the shade will prevent a sunburn. It won’t–especially for those of us so incredibly pale that we actually glow in the dark. Here’s the proof…

One word: Ouch!

We stopped at a few shops on our way home from Emerald Isle and while at one very cheesy surf shop I spied this:

I want this so badly–I can’t even put it into words.

If you didn’t know, I have this thing for VW buses. This was obviously made with me in mind. Hello! UT colors!
Tonight we went to an open house at Riley’s new school. We located her classroom and brought in all her supplies to place in her desk. We met her teacher, Mrs. Cook, and got a chance to scope out the room before the big day tomorrow. She’s sooooo excited, but I’m a tad nervous. She’s going from a Montessori school with a total of 80 students to a public elementary school with nearly 500 students!

I think she’s found her favorite classroom feature…

Riley checking out her new desk.

She’s already picked out her outfit for the first day of school–a Yoda t-shirt, shorts and her new tennis shoes. That’s my “girl!”

Earlier this week Riley enlightened us with deep thoughts: 1) “Dad, I don’t dream, I just see my thoughts.” and 2) “Why can’t you feel air?”

Okay, I end with recent random items:



I swear these are true and quoted word-for-word…

Once, while we were on the phone with my mom, she asked Riley about reading books before bedtime and if the cats read books with her. Riley responded, “No, Gami, cats can’t read!” (February 2007)

While grocery shopping at Kroger, Riley was riding quietly in the cart. Suddenly, as I pushed the cart down one of the main isles in the store, she started shouting, “Fire in the hole! Fire in the hole!” Boy, I got some strange looks from people with that one! (March 2007)

During a short drive to run errands, Charles and I were talking about our recent mood swings—we never seemed to be in a good mood at the same time. Charles said to me, “It seems like the minute you get happy, I go into a severe state of depression.” Riley’s small voice from the backseat suddenly piped in and said, “Daddy, can I go too?” (March 2007)

One day, I had to take Riley with me to the gynecologist for a routine appointment. When she asked where we were going, I told her we were going to see the doctor that delivered her. Riley said, “We’re going to see Miss Vivian?!?” (Vivian was our mail-lady at the time.) I said “no” and tried to explain things a little more clearly. Riley seemed to understand, but then asked, “Well, was I in a box?” (April 2007)

For a while, when she rough-housed with Charles, she’d exclaim, “I’m going to die you!” (April 2007)

When she dances, she says, “Mom, check out my cool moves!” (Summer 2007)

We had been trying for so long to get her to give up her paci during the day, but she really had a hard time with it. The best excuse for not wanting to give it up? “But Mommy, I can’t smell my blanket without my paci!” (Summer 2007)

Instead of drool, she usually says, “drill.” (August 2007)

One night before bed, Riley told me that her “brain talks something funny sometimes” and that her “brain falls asleep sometimes.” I said, “So, your brain falls asleep when you do?” She answered, “Yes” and then turned over to go to sleep. A few minutes later, she said, “Mommy, I think my brain is already asleep.” (September 2007)

While playing “train” with Charles, he started acting very silly and goofing off. Riley put her hands on her hips and said, “Daddy, your disturbing the other passengers.” (September 2007)

While eating Spiderman cheddar crackers, she found one that looked like some sort of medallion and asked me what it was. I said I wasn’t sure what it was and she said, “It must be for the ancient lost man in Spiderman.” What 3-year-old knows the word “ancient?” (September 2007)

On a trip to Calloway Gardens, we were all walking through the parking lot at the Discovery Center and Charles was looking at a map of the grounds trying to decide where we’d go next. He said, “I’m trying to figure out where we are,” meaning where we were on the map. Riley, in a matter-of-fact way, responded, “Daddy, we’re in the parking lot!” (October 2007)

On a trip to see Great-Grandma Collins, we were all riding in the van when a fire truck—sirens wailing—passed us in a big hurry. After it passed, Riley calmly said. “Well, that certainly was loud!” (December 2007)

She doesn’t call them “snowflakes,” she calls them “starflakes.” (December 2007)