Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I can't be a mommy blogger without having pictures of kids in their Halloween costumes...pretty sure it's a rule somewhere, so here you are.  My amazing children that are totally cuter than yours and can do no wrong.  Well, here are my cuter than your kids anyway.
Tatiana Ballerina - apparently she also needed a sword to complete the outfit.  Fine.

Aren was Link from Zelda.  I made this stupid costume because online stores wanted like $70!  Um, no.

Fruits of their labors.  I appreciate all their hard work :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Ok, I'm a sap.  Tears are pouring down my cheeks as I write this post.  This week my mom and Bill are signing papers and officially selling the house on Shaw Avenue.  This is no ordinary house.  This is the house my family lived in for almost 35 years.  This is the house where we rode mattresses down the stairs, jumped on the trampoline, played "adventure" in the backyard.  This is the house where wedding open houses took place, grandchildren came to live, where cars literally blew up in the driveway.  This is the house where friends snuck into the basement while parents slept upstairs, where when Emma was a little kid and told everyone that mom said she was pretty after putting on lipstick and Don told her she was still ugly and she collapsed on the ground in tears.  This is the house that has been toilet papered so many times neighbors could only imagine the type of family that lived there.
Deer on Shaw Avenue
Fall on Shaw Avenue

Christmas on Shaw Avenue

New Year's Puzzles on Shaw Avenue

Spring on Shaw Avenue

Winter on Shaw Avenue
I love Maryland.  I love everything about it, and having mom and Bill leave to move out west is so exciting and painful at the same time.  I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to live there, to grow there.  I will miss it and even though my bedroom belongs to someone else, I will always call 218 Shaw Avenue home.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Conversation With Tatiana

Me: Sweetie, I am so tired of you not obeying!  You need to obey.
Tatiana: I don't like to obey.
Me: Do you even know what obey means?
Tatiana: No.
Me: It means you need to listen to mommy and do what she tells you to do.
Tatiana: Hmmm.  I think I need some lessons in that.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Crafts All Around!

So, I found out that our RS hadn't planned any home decor projects for Super Saturday and that was completely unacceptable so I made it my mission to find simple, easy to do activities.  Thanks to google and THIS awesome blog, I made this last night.  I'm soooooo excited about it!  I have a few other projects that aren't quite finished yet but as soon as they're done, I'll post!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thoughts on Conference

So this weekend, like every other first weekend in October was General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Usually I try and watch all four sessions, but this time it didn't quite work out that way because of prior commitments, i.e. football games ;)  However, I was not disappointed with the things I was taught, not by the leaders themselves, but by the promptings of a loving Heavenly Father who knows my needs and my desires.

Experiences over the past few weeks have led me to not necessarily question my testimony, but wonder if it was "good" enough - if I had somehow missed something over the years and I was getting it wrong.  As I watched each apostle get up and speak, I was reminded how different each one was - different in their experiences, their political views, their opinions - and yet they still have a testimony of the Savior and His church. It doesn't matter if my experiences have led me to vote differently, believe differently, to interpret differently. My testimony is mine and just because it's not the same as another, it does not make it any less valid nor does it mean that I need to look inwardly and figure out how to make it match. It is mine and it is sacred.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to School!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the kids are back in school.  Aren is in sixth grade - whoever thought he would make it this far! -  and Tatiana has started pre-school and she loves it.  But more importantly, I decided to go back to school this year.  Am I nuts?  Probably.

I've been thinking for a long time about doing this but I always came up with an excuse.  I even decided to have Tatiana, among other reasons, to put off having to go to school.  I know, right?  But after talking with Rick we decided it was a good time to start and away I went filling out papers for financial aid and picking my classes.  I was nervous, but nothing prepared me for Sunday, the day before classes started.  Now, I've never had a mental breakdown before, but I'm sure I came pretty close.  I cried, bawled really, all day long.  I had somehow gotten into my mind that school is not for 36 year old women with children at home and that professors who teach want nothing more than to fail you.  I drank Monster drinks all day long instead of water and my poor kids barely talked to me for fear of death.  I fell asleep scared and uncertain of what the next day would bring and woke up worse than before, if that was even possible.

But guess what.  I LOVE school!  Oh sure, I'm the oldest by far in my two classes, but after reading a syllabus that stressed the importance of knowing the difference between to/too/two, there/their/they're, and your/you're when sending e-mails and writing out y-o-u instead of "u" I figured I'd be ok.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rag Quilts

So, I have a very bad habit of learning about something, listening to a song, reading a book, whatever it may be, and if I REALLY like it, it's all I'll focus on for a while.  I listened to nothing but Neon Trees for like two weeks before Frank Sinatra came in and stole the show.  This week it's been rag quilts.  My sister showed me how to do them when I was in Utah and now I can't stop.  I've had a few requests for a tutorial of sort, so here goes.  Please remember I'm not a sewer, I just do what I've been told.  So take a stiff drink and let's get started.

The first question you'll what to know the answer to is, "How much material do I need?"  Answer?  I have no clue.  I just buy material and make squares and when I'm out, the quilt is done.  I'm sure there's a science to it somewhere, but I have no idea.  Start small and buy flannel.  You can use other cotton materials, but flannel works the best, so start there.  Let's say for this pattern buy about one yard of a patterned flannel and two yards of a solid flannel.  You'll need twice as many solid squares as patterned squares.  Also, here are some materials you'll need - the blue thing is to measure your squares and to cut the squares so you don't ruin your table.  The yellow thing is a rotary cutter, I think, and the circle part is a mother load blade that cuts through material like butter, and the clear thing helps to keep the material in place while you're cutting.  You can get all these things at Walmart...or if you don't want to invest until you're sure you can do this, borrow them from a friend like I did.

Measure the material to make 6x6 inch squares.  Remember, you'll need twice as many solid as patterned squares.

You should have a hella lotta squares.

Before you begin sewing, it's important to lay out your pattern.  This becomes more important if you're adding more than one pattern and want it to be random, but it's a good habit to get into.  For this blanket I did seven squares by seven squares and just alternated the pattern.
 Next, gather each square, starting at the left hand side and place each square ON TOP of the next one until you've gone down the line, then starting at the top, add each group ON TOP of the one below it.  This will form the top of the blanket.  For this blanket, the back is all the same color, but if you wanted to do a pattern on the back you would do the same thing and then make sure you remember, or mark, which squares are the front, and which ones are the back.

Ok, it's time to get going.  When putting the blanket together you will put a front square facing down, followed by two back side squares and finally a front square facing up...does that make sense?  The gist, as seen in the picture, is to have the front of your blanket facing upwards and pinned together so there will be about a quarter of an inch of material sticking up.  I told you I'm not a sewer.  Pin the material on either side and then sew with a straight stitch, leaving, like I said, about a quarter inch.  When you're done, it should look like this...
Flip this piece over and add a back square and then a front square, front side up, pin it, and sew it again the exact same way.  Continue doing it until you have all seven squares sewn together like this...
Now you're going to start all over again with the next row.  Remember, if you're pattern for line one was solid, pattern, solid, then the next line should be pattern, solid, pattern.  I know you probably know this, but I'm not that smart ;)

Now it's time to sew these two rows together.  This picture is kind of blurry, but you need to pin the seams together, making sure the back sides of the rows are touching each other.  Push the seems together and then get your push pins and pin each 1/4 inch strip down - two on the left and two on the right, like this...
Does that make sense?  Do the same thing along the entire row...it should look like this when you're done pinning...
Now you want to sew leaving again, about 1/4 inch of material on the side.  When you're done it should look like this...
Continue doing this with the next five rows...sew each square into a row of seven, then attach that row of seven to the blanket.  When it's all done this is what it should look like...
Next you need to sew around the edges, again 1/4 inch around the ENTIRE blanket.  The corners should cross like this...

Finally all the sewing is done!  Now comes the REALLY annoying part.  You need to cut all those damned edges and it's annoying...and takes forever.  Make sure you have good scissors.  Yours may or may not be able to cut through four layers of flannel.  If it can't, just cut through two, and then two again.  You'll want to go almost to the stitching, like this...

...and the cuts should be about this close together...
Do this to every edge of the blanket and I mean every edge of the blanket until it's all cut and looks like this...

Now you need to throw it in the washing machine, by itself because flannel sheds like no other, and throw it in the dryer.  When it comes out it will look like you totally know how to sew!
You totally just made a rag quilt and now everyone will think you're totally amazing!  It's pretty easy, huh?  I know my instructions may not be very clear, so call me, if you're lucky enough to have my number, or post your questions and I'll answer and if I can't, well, then I'll ignore you until you go away.  Happy rag quilting!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Mother's Daughter

You know what sentence I hate more than, "Are the dishes in the dishwasher clean?"  It's, "Mom, there's nothing to eat!"  I now know why my mom would have to put her hands in her pocket every time one of the seven of us said this.  She probably wanted to smack to us to kingdom come.  But amazingly she always found something for us to eat.  Sometimes what she found was magical and I was in awe that she was able to make something so yummy with the "nothing" she found in the cupboards.  Other times, well, let's just say that sweet and sour chicken made with apple cider vinegar is NOT magical and ends with a cussing mother and McDonald's thirty minutes later.

Today, I am proud to say I have acquired "amazing mom status" as I was able to make a completely yummy dinner out of the nothing that was staring at me from the cupboards.  Two days away from payday is always tricky because obvious meals are sometimes sparse and there's no money for dining out, but tonight I found chicken in the freezer, and tucked away in the farthest reaches of the pantry were the ingredients for taco soup and corn bread.  Who cares that it's ninety freaking degrees outside and the family broke a sweat while eating.  The fact is, I, MaryBeth, Linda Dillingham Navarro's daughter, am amazing.

Just don't ask what's for dinner tomorrow night because I'm pretty sure there's nothing to eat in the cupboards.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Going Red

Our almost finished computer area.
So we've lived in this house for two years, and for just about that long I've had little paint spots all over my bedroom walls.  Not because that's how it was when I got here, no, I did it all by myself.  You see, I was trying to pick out the perfect bedroom color.  I kind of had my heart set on an orangey brown color, but over the years my desire switched to red.  So finally, after two years of searching, I found the perfect color.  So far, we've just painted one wall and now the decision to keep it at just one wall or go balls out.  I guess we'll see what the next two years bring.
What do you think?  Just the one wall or should we do them all?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ballet Recitals and Talent Shows

Sailor Tatiana
Tatiana had her first ballet/tap recital this past weekend.  $200 in lessons, $30 sign up fee, $40 recital fee, and $60 for a costume all resulted in a total of about six minutes of performance time and I must admit, she did amazing.  She was so stinking cute and loved showing every person her mad skillz.  Still not sure if this is her passion, she's three for crying out loud, but she sure can work it on the stage.

Proud daddy

Aren also preformed this week.  He got a bee in his bonnet this year and just HAD to perform in the school talent show.  I admit, I was a little worried about the whole thing, after all, he decided that the best song to sing was In the End by Linkin Park.  Yup.  Seriously.  Concern went out the door after the first performance by a kid who sang It's My Life by Bon Jovi.  The kid had a speech issue so the first line sound a little like, "Dis ain a saung for da bwoken harted".  I knew we were safe.  He did great...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Plan B

I guess if I could describe my life in two words it would just that...Plan B.  Very few events go according to my plans.  I guess most people could say that, but my life seems a little more so.  Like most little girls, I dreamed of getting married and seeing my daddy so happy for my choice in a rich and totally hot man.  My dad died when I was eleven and Rick hardly had any money.  I guess I went with Plan A- on that one because, damn he's hot.

Last September I began running because a sister asked me to run a 5k with her at Thanksgiving.  I thought she was a whack job, but I trained anyways and before I knew it I could run 3.1 miles without dry-heaving or vomiting!  I actually enjoyed running...alot.  I promptly downloaded the Bridge to 10k program and started on that and by February I wasn't quite at a 10k, but I could run five miles on a regular basis.  I set my eyes on a half-marathon the middle of June in Provo, UT and began my training.

After about week five I noticed a pain in my heel and within a week I couldn't walk without alot of pain.  I saw a podiatrist who gave me stretches and exercises and a magic boot to stretch out my heel and told me "this should help".  Help it did not so two weeks later came the shot of cortisone, the miracle I was looking for.  I was told to do nothing for three days and then take it easy.  After a two mile run, then a three mile run three days later, I was once again in tears with the pain.  Back to the doctor and another cortisone shot but this time I was told absolutely no running for two weeks. What does this mean?  By the time this next two weeks is up, IF I can still run, I will have exactly four weeks to complete my goal of running a half marathon.

Enter Plan B.  There is no way I can run the whole thing.  No. Way.  Am I crushed?  Definitely.  Am I devastated that I finally found something that I love that is good for me and now I can't even do it.  Absolutely.  Have I figured out a plan B?  Yup.  Here's hoping!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lunch Date

Aren was home from school today for Easter break and since the rest of the weekend consisted of cleaning up in the front and back yard, I decided to take the kids to McDonald's for cheap food and a date with daddy.  Somehow chicken nuggets always taste better when you're hanging out with dad and watching ants work super hard.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Meet cortisone...my new best friend.  Heel spurs SUCK!  This has been the worst three weeks, well, not of my life, but it's pretty much been awful.  I've run a total of three miles in the past three weeks and each run brought on pain in my foot that refused to go away without one week non-physical activity and copious amounts of Aleve.  I went to my podiatrist today and she did an ultrasound of my heel to make sure that cortisone shots were necessary.  She measured my inflammation, not sure what the measuring tool was, but she said a 2 was pretty normal, and she only did shots if the inflammation was at least a 4.  What was mine?

8.2.  That's right, more than double what her normal standard is.  Yikes!  Out came the needle and in it went and I yelled, "Mother Effer!"  Really, mother effer.  Seriously.  I don't drop f-bombs.  It hurt like a mofo.  See?  No f word.  So far it's done exactly what the doctor said it would.  A little tingling and burning and getting worse before it's getting better.  Eight hours later and I'm already walking better than I have in weeks.  I can't wait to see what the morning brings and she said I can be running by Monday.  Glory be.  This chubby girl will be running again.  Life is good.
 **Sorry to those of you who follow my "Chubby Gurl" blog.  I've posted this exact same thing over there.  I figured this deserved two posts ;)

Friday, April 8, 2011


This morning as Rick walked out the door to go to work he noticed a package on the carport with my name on it.  He brought it in and this lil' gem was inside.  I KNOW, RIGHT!  Who doesn't want a wiggly hula girl on the dashboard of their car.  Idiots, that's who.  My car looks amazing and I don't even know who to thank because there was no return address or card or anything.

To the unknown hula giver, I thank you.  My car thanks you.  Today is a great day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Lily!

Lily's birthday was yesterday and she would have been nine years old.  Sigh.  When she died we decided to have her buried in Utah seeing as we knew we would always have family there and we didn't know how long we would stay in AZ.  The crappy part of that is the fact on days like her birthday and the anniversary of her death, or any other day for that matter, we can't just pop by and be with her.

Luckily I have amazing family.  Lots of thanks to Emma and her family for remembering our Lily by placing some flowers and the perfect strawberry balloon on her grave.  Happy birthday sweet girl!

Friday, March 4, 2011


Why is it that I can find a two hour block to get this done...

...but not this done...

If I made you feel better about yourself...you're welcome ;)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"I Was Running"

Remember Forrest Gump?  Remember that scene where Jenny tells him to, "Run, Forrest.  Run!" and he takes off and his leg braces fall off and he was super speedy!  Yeah, that was me this morning.  Ok, well, not really, but I did get new running shoes on Saturday and I used them for the first time this morning and I felt fast.  I'm running a half-marathon in June up in Utah and you can follow my progress, along with others running with me, HERE.

Run, MB!  Run!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Mom and Dad - 1974
Today during Primary we had a member of the Stake Presidency come in and talk to the kids.  He stood up and immediately began talking about his daughter who was the Primary president and how much he loved her and you could tell.  His eyes lit up as he talked about his sweet Judy and how special she was to him.  Without realizing it the tears poured down my cheeks.  You see, this April will be 25 years since my dad died and normally it is what it is and I don't feel deprived not having had a father with me, but I found myself a little jealous of that relationship this morning.

I don't remember a lot about my father as I was only 11 when he died, but I do remember a few things.  I have very clear memories of sitting on his lap during church and playing with his tie and I remember coloring pictures of him and I always had an arrow pointing to the top of his head with the words "Bald" written so there wouldn't be any mistaken thoughts that he did not have a lot of hair up on top.  I remember walking into his room after he got home from delivering papers and crawling under the covers to just lay there while he read the newspaper, and I didn't dare move because he would kick me out - no wiggles.  I remember going downtown to work with him during the summer and sharpening pencils with his electric sharpener and I will always remember him driving us to the Smithsonian to sing with the children's choir I was in and giving me a few dollars to give to the homeless guy on the corner, followed by the words that I was no better than that man and whenever I saw someone who asked for money, it was my responsibility to give it to them, whether I thought they needed it or not. I remember how he loved my mom and each of us.  He had a talent and ability to make each of us feel like we were his favorite...I really was though ;)

I'm so thankful for the few years I had with this man and for the things he taught me.  I look forward to the day when I can see that twinkle in his eye once again, as he introduces me to someone as his daughter.  I miss him.  Love you, dad.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tatiana Ballerina

Isn't she adorable!  Tatiana started tap and ballet class today and she LOVED it.  Unfortunately parents aren't allowed in the classroom during instruction time so I don't have any pictures to show, but know that my daughter was amazing!  Ok, let's be honest.  She's a three year old bouncing around, but hey. 

So there you have it, Tatiana is reaping the benefits of potty training and I am reaping the benefits of a dang cute girl.  And for any of locals that are interested, she's taking classes from Dance Fusion and it's a great deal at $50 for two classes a week and the $35 registration fee gets you ballet slippers AND tap shoes!