All Things Graduate.

It was an incredible day. At last, Kata was going to be a Kindergarten graduate.

Everyone was well rehearsed and the audience was hushed waiting for the show to start. Most of you know the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Well, the Kindergartners presented a puppet show based on that story.

There were even Special Guest Stars - like daddies who showed up just to see that one performance.

But the true stars were the little graduates, except now they didn't look so very little.

And a wonderful teacher, named Mrs. Kirch, whose praises I could sing pretty much all day. She is everything a Kindergarten teacher should be - colorful, happy, giddy with excitement, firm when she has to be and most of all, she's magical. Shhh, don't tell her we've noted that last ability.

The time came for the graduates to receive their confirmation that yes, indeed they were moving on to First Grade. Okay, they were Report Cards not diplomas but work with me for a second, please.

And then, Mrs. Kirch made that announcement. I had forgotten it from Alex's Graduation. She said, "Welcome to the Class of 2021". Yeah. That one got me. Misty eyed. Wow. Once again, time took on its own trajectory and it was a little too dizzying and rapid for me to digest at that moment. But, I could see her as a High School Graduate. Ready to face the world at large. And it moved me incredibly.

Fortunately for our lucky Mrs. Kirch , we're happy to remind her that she's not done with the Riggsbys. Here is her Past, Present and Future Student reminder.

And the obligatory "round 'em all up photo". Notice the painfully posed expressions.

One more photo, just for me. To remind me just how far my first daughter and I have come in these six and a half years. The little baby born on New Year's Eve 2002 was now a Kindergarten Graduate.

Wishing you a graduation moment. Go ahead remember those milestones and the feelings they brought forth in you. See? I know what you're thinking - wow.


All Things Happy Daddy's Day.

What can I say about a Daddy, a Dad, a Father who -

  • takes the time to teach you how to ride a scooter and a skateboard.

  • watches you blow bubbles for hours.

  • pitches a tent in the backyard just to practice for the real campout coming up in a week and then spends the night with you in it .

  • makes you your favorite lunch - hot dogs, chips and lemonade.

  • reads your favorite book to you in the shelter of the tent.

  • ties you up to a rock and tells you to be a "good boy".

  • And to think, he did all that in one day - today, as a matter of fact. He did all that so I could have a Day of Peace and Quiet. And he did it, for the most part, without a word of complaining. Only when he couldn't hear the Giant's game did things get a little grumbly but who could blame him by then??

    To my husband and the daddy to our kids - Baby, I've never loved you more. Like we always say but never really fully grasp - it IS the little things that keep us going. And you're my Biggest Little Thing.

    I need to mention one other Very Important Father in our lives - my dad, our beloved Djedo. He is the rock that we anchor ourselves to and in the stormy sea of life, he is the one that holds our collective family together. He would tell you, very humbly, that he cherishes this role in our lives. But as a grandfather and a father, he does oh, so much more for us and for that and all the big, little things we thank him today and always.

    Go hug or call your fathers, uncles, men in your lives who have made an impact on the person you are today. Happy Fathers Day!

    (PS - Ken and Djedo, this is your Fathers Day card, with love !)


    All Things Aceball.

    In our Biggest Little City in the world, one of the biggest little pieces of news is our new Triple-A baseball team, The Reno Aces. They have a wonderful new ballpark right in the middle of downtown Reno and for Father's Day, someone pretty darn wonderful (hint: it was none other than me, gentle reader) purchased two tickets for Ken and Alex to go and see a game.

    Apparently, there's not a bad seat in the place but their seats were right next to the Ace's dugout.

    The Ace's manager is none other than Brett Butler. I will pause because this means something to some of you. I, on the other hand, was born in a foreign country where football means soccer. The Great American Past Time sails right above my head. But, I do appreciate the fact that a person who played 17 years in the Major Leagues and earned a number of key accolades will take the time to pose with a 10 year old fan.

    Look at how close their seats were?

    Alex managed to get four autographs and then the best prize of all - a ball! Ken captured his feelings in a text to me: tickets to Aces-$23, nachos and a hot dog-$10, four autographs and a ball-priceless.

    After the game, the kids in the audience got a chance to run the bases. All in all, a very, very cool experience for father and son on a warm summer afternoon.

    So go on, get tickets to a MLB game or better yet support your minor league or college teams by going to one of their games. Grab a hot dog, a cold beverage and then just sit back and enjoy the game. Play ball!


    All Things B, As In Ballet Recital.

    Oh, after weeks, no months of rehearsal finally the day of Recital was upon us all. Backstage was it's usual "multi-colored dream coat spectacular" of frenzied mothers and carefully coralled performers. Fortunately, the Grand Sierra Hotel's Grand Theater has a gigantic backstage area. Think hangar sized. It's a beautiful thing.

    And then it was performance time. Apparently, I had absorbed all of Bella's separation anxiety because as I sat nursing a margarita, she hit the stage. And in spite of what we will label "The Pinching Incident" where some girl in line accidentally pinched her shoulder right as they took the stage, she hit the boards with no tears and all smiles.

    She and the other "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" dancers blew kisses -

    ...and danced their little hearts out for everyone on a simply enormous stage -

    We all sat back to watch the other performances which were truly well choreographed thanks to the creative staff at the Nevada Dance Academy. Before we knew it, our very own professional took the stage.

    It's her fifth recital and she's only six years old.

    She had a complicated tambourine dance to the "Tarantella". We held our breath as she came through the arch to hit the tambourine on a 6/8 count. But she did it, yes, right on beat.

    Backstage, our little Diva - Miss Kata, turned around and said in a voice that could shake loose plaster, "Where is Alex with my flowers?" Demanding, yes. Loved, certainly.

    When she turned around, he was there, proudly holding them out. Well, maybe not proudly, but willingly. He even chose the flower color to match their costumes.

    Never to be forgotten or outdone, Bella declared, "Well, where are MY flowers?"

    I know you can see the exhaustion in my eyes as I changed them into their Nevada Dance Academy t-shirts. It was over. And we didn't break a leg. Life was, once again, good.

    Wishing you a Break A Leg moment. Go on hit that mark underneath the spotlight.


    All Things Four.

    Oh, a fourth birthday was upon us on June 6th. And as our new tradition dictated, the celebrant woke up to special Birthday pancakes. Yes, those are number 4s and letter Bs. Just for a certain you-know-who.

    The morning also started off with a really wet soccer game. It was the last of the season. And the wettest by far. Alex has improved this season by leaps and bounds. Both coaches commented on how far he'd come in his playing style. In this game, he made an assist and helped a team mate score a goal. Awesome work, dude!

    But the day, was about the newly crowned Four Year Old in our lives. And while brother was off making perfect passes, she was in ballet practicing her routine for the recital. That's her with her hands clapping in the air.

    And when practice was over, in the long standing tradition of the Nevada Dance Academy, Ms. Diane hoisted the celebrant who donned on that Special Hey, I Have A Cake On My Head hat and everyone circled around them to sing "Happy Birthday."

    Never far from the center of the action, the patient Big Sister, Kata was ready to help with an assist of her own, in this case, a smile and a hug.

    We asked Bella where she wanted to go for her Birthday Lunch. She chose Buffalo Wild Wings. I was suprised that she chose a family friendly, sports bar atmosphere so I clarified, "Are you sure?" Ever determined to get her wish, she replied, "It's Daddy's favorite restaurant." Can we all mouth the words "Daddy's Girl"? Well at least, they have crowns there.

    They also have really funny napkins. This one said, "I'll listen if you talk about me."

    After lunch, we went to see "Up." But Kata desperately wanted a picture in front of the HP6 poster. Wonder why? Glance up at my Countdown there on the side bar. Yeah. Almost here. And she adores Hermione. Kata has good taste like her Mama.
    When we came home, it was time for presents. And she got a scooter of her own. Pink, of course. And now she can happily keep up with Bubby and Sissy on their sleek Razors.

    Then the cake...just keep focused on Bella's expression.

    Her excitement was pure and delightful. It was a day All About Her.

    Many thanks to all the well wishers. She was thrilled by the many, many greetings on twitter and facebook as well as all the happy phone calls.

    Another milestone is past us. As I look at her expression on the stairs, I can completely see the fourteen year old who will no doubt be talking on her cell phone in ten years.

    Sometimes that rapid passage of time scares me. So before it trickles away, be sure to schedule in a day that's All About You. Go ahead and indulge. And yes, by all means, let there be frosting on that day.