Monday, May 12, 2008

The 2nd Best Sister In Law There Ever Was

A few weekends ago, I attended Chelsie's graduation from NAU. She is entering the honorable field of teaching. I've known Chelsie since she was 12 years old. She was a cute, naive little girl who always wanted to tag along with her older brothers, much to their dismay. I've watched her grow into a very beautiful young lady. But it's still hard for me to remember that she's not the cute, naive little girl anymore. She's a grown woman who actually holds a college degree, has lived on her own, and has dated more boys than I have appendages. I still tease her mercilessly, which I'll need to put a kibosh on, since she'll soon be making more of a positive difference in the world than I currently do, and that deserves respect. Teasing, regrettably, is my way of saying I like you.


Last Thanksgiving, Chelsie phoned all of her siblings and their spouses and asked them each to write a letter to whomever they had picked for Christmas (we each pick names instead of buying presents for all 9 adults). The letter was to be about why we are thankful for that individual. We all laughed with each other about how Chelsie was trying to shake things up. Chelsie had the best of intentions, but we still took this as an opportunity to tease her. Being the youngest, non-married Draney, she really has to fight to be heard and taken seriously. So, her plan backfired; we all ended up writing a letter to Chelsie. Chelsie got 8 letters read to her on Thanksgiving about why we are thankful to her. Here's the poem I wrote to her:

I’m thankful for Chelsie for so many reasons
To write them all would take 7 ½ seasons
From her radiant smile to her fantastic hair
From her helpfulness to the clothes that she wears
I value her opinion; she always tells the truth
I hope she has a daughter, but doesn’t name her Ruth
I’m thankful for Chelsie and all that she does
She is the 2nd best sister in law there ever was (can you guess whose the 1st?)
She has a flair about her; a great disposition
Engaged like 17 times and almost served a mission
Youngest of five, first one to finish school
Too bad in Flagstaff you can’t use your pool
We love you, We love you, We love dear Chels
Please next time let’s do something else

Sorry Chels, maybe next year we'll try it again.


FYI - I'm currently accepting dating applications for her. If you or anyone you know loves to laugh, have fun, and has a strong testimony, please submit your photo and cover letter, along with a list your most redeeming qualities, 3 references, and the name of your last girlfriend. You must be taller than her, moderately attractive, and have nice teeth. Remember, she's the baby of the family, so you'll be dealing with 4 older siblings, 3 of whom are very protective brothers. Shy applicants need not apply.


Sunday, May 11, 2008


Growing up, I thought I had the hippest, prettiest mother.

Cheryl Before

I didn't know her then.
She did eventually blossom into this beautiful person -

Cheryl After 1

We were anything but a conventional family, and I both hated and relished this fact, depending on what the situation was. Somehow she managed to raise me, put herself through school, work, and eventually gain a masters degree in Art History. She is anything but boring.

I could list millions of anecdotes about her. Just last night she added to my ever growing list. My grandmother wanted to take a picture of us at the dinner table. My mother would not get into the frame until her lipstick was freshened. Then, for a good 10 minutes, my mother talked about how she wants to get a cow and churn her own butter. I told her the idea of unpasteurized milk made me gag, so she said she would buy all the pasteurization equipment. As if it were that simple. After the cow conversation, my mother struck up a discussion with the hot waiter about desert tortoises.

Thank you mother for being one of the most interesting women that I know. I love you!

Cheryl  After 1

Tagged by super-neat Rachel

Ten years ago I was....
1. Working at Chase Bank
2. Spending all of my free time with Clint, who had just gotten home from his mission.
3. Kissing
4. Making out
5. Lip Locking

Five things on my to-do list...
1. Organize FHE packets to hand out.
2. Get oil changed.
3. Carefully plan out the summer so Emma has somewhere fun to be everyday.
4. Lose 10 pounds.
5. Look for new mascara brand I like since the one I currently use is too expensive (any suggestions?).

Five snacks I enjoy...

1. Tomato, mozzarella, and vinaigrette
2. Chips and salsa
3. Tuna fish, mayo, and sweet relish on a Ritz cracker
4. Everything bagel with butter, cream cheese, tomato, and salt
5. Oreos and milk

Five foods I love...
1. Salt
2. Avocado
3. Toast
4. Cold Pizza
5. Hummus

What I would do if I became a billionaire...

1. Hire someone besides my husband to fix up my house
2. Buy 1 of every breed of horse
3. Buy myself a board membership on UNICEF
4. Go back to school
5. Read books all day

Favorite family recipe...

I hope this isn't a family secret -

Apple Pie in a bag

6-8 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into large pieces
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp flour

Mix all ingredients together. Place into a pastry shell. In the same bowl, mix together for the topping ½ cup sugar, ½ cup flour, and 1 stick butter. Dot the apple pie mixture with topping. Place in a brown paper bag and pin shut. Bake at 425 for 1 hour.

Five places I have lived...

1. Greece
2. Paris
3. New York
4. Hawaii
5. Disneyland

I’m sorry; did it say where I have lived, or where I would rather live? In that case:

1. Phoenix
2. Tempe
3. Boring
4. Boring
5. Boring

Favorite quote of the day...

"‘Tis better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

Can someone cross-stitch that onto a pillow for me?

Di, consider yourself tagged.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Why I'm a weido

Sadly, no captured moments of fowl, foliage, toilet holes, or transgendered one year olds to display and converse about today. My disabling fear of boring my cyberspace pals has recently prevented me from writing about the mundane activities in my life. I've been mulling over different ideas to discuss. Should I post a how-to on curling your eyelashes without a mirror while operating a moving car? A product review? How my son is as destructive as a Labrador retriever's tail?
Of course!
Farts are my topic of the day. The act itself is not the main event. It's the word, that dreadful word, that causes my family to squirm and writhe with despair. No member of my family (on my mother's side) uses the F word, nor some other choice words, for which you will be gifted a lengthy explanation. So please, if you are ever bestowed the dubious honor of attending a Killingsworth/Paresi bbq, keep in mind the following words are off limit and have been since the days of yesteryear:
#1 FART - It's funny how capitalization notches up it's funny factor. In my family, the word fart is simply not in our vocabulary. It's neither a word, subject, or action. Farting is something that takes place in other families, so essentially, it's a non-issue in ours. Occasionally, there is an errant fart that occurs, but it is undeniably traced back to the misbehaving non-family individual in attendance. Not to worry; each of us has been trained since birth as to how to handle such an occasion. We expect that you, as the farter, are to act as if nothing took place, and should make no sudden movement that acknowledges in the slightest that you are aware of the sinful deed you committed. I, as a Killingsworth/Paresi decedent, will simply ignore the act and breezily announce a purpose for me to escape to another room where I will collect my bearings and pray for your forgiveness. But, again, farting is a non-issue because we simply don't do it, nor do we associate with or invite potential farters to our soirées. We may die of colon cancer due to lack of intestinal clearing, but our dignity will remain intact. Clint's totally convinced I've done it, but sadly, it was probably him again.

#2 Boobs, Mamba Jambas, Tittlywinks, etc - I'm a progeny of an all female family, which consists of a matriarchal grandmother whose offspring consists of 4 daughters and in turn, their offspring consists of 3 more daughters (myself included). We are exceptionally feminist women who take offense to disparaging remarks about women and womanly body parts. This being said, while stepping off my soapbox, I sometimes say boobs 'cause it's funny. But, when speaking of women's appendages or otherwise, the proper name should always be used.

#3 Pop (for soda) - My family hails from CT, or Back East as we like to say because it sounds fancier. After uprooting and moving to Arizona, they found that pop is surprisingly accepted as a means of saying the word soda. Oh nay nay said the Killingsworth/Paresi clan. I guess in CT, only fancy words are used to communicate. Like, and I swear my mother used this word today in a very casual conversation we had on the phone: acquiesce. Acqui-what? In the context of our conversation, I knew what she meant, but had she just blurted out the word on it's own, I would have asked her to dumb down her vocabulary for me. Those Back Eastern'ers show'nuf do use some'ins fancy word'is'is.

#4 Butt - Bum or bottom is acceptable. Butt is a four letter word. Amazingly all the other four letter words are tolerable...... except for fart or course. 

#5 Mom - Do you know how ridiculous I sounded as a 10 year old calling my mom Mother? Please narrate in an English accent, "Mother, please pass the Top Ramen" or "Mother, may I please have some money for a Debbie Gibson tape for my cassette player?" I was expected to call all of my Mother's sisters by Aunt (insert name). Never was their first name to be used alone or, jeepers me, Ant. We are not mainstream and we don't conform to standard labels. My grandmother is not Grandma, she is Nona (Italian for Grandmother), and my own mother suggested my children call her Grand Marnier (look it up) because the loathsome idea of being called Grandma sent her running towards a mid life crisis. Her name is Cheryl, so Cher Cher is her official, more suitable, title. It is an old nickname she went by growing up. And yes, I still call her mother, except when she tells me she can't babysit. Then I tell her she's a crappy farter mom with big boobs who likes to sit on her butt all day and drink pop while spending time with her chickens instead of watching my sexually confused boy who thinks he's a dog.
In closing, I adore my family. They each had an important role in raising me to be the weirdo I am today.