Thankful for the Memories Made

Hi Everybody!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a couple of restful days off.  Our holiday was full of memorable experiences, loads of laughter, and hearts full with thankfulness.

 Michael’s sister Tricia drove up from Florida Wednesday night and stayed through Sunday.  Her thankfulness began Wednesday night when she found out-long story short here- that when she had her tires rotated the day before, someone forgot to tighten the lug nuts on her wheels.  She heard noises as she was driving and stopped to have someone take a look at the car.  The problem was fixed and just in time.  There were fifty miles of nothing lying ahead of her after that exit.

Our dogs were thankful that Aunt Tricia brought some new friends with which they played ALL weekend.  It was a little hairy at the beginning.  Arthur was growling and acting all “Alpha” dog with Emma and Pepe (yes, you guessed it, a chihuahua).  Then Pepe, decided to attach all two pounds of himself to Arthur’s jowl, proceeded to hang there….and not let go.  (I fell in love with Pepe at that very moment. :)) Tricia did a little “dog whispering” and they got along the rest of the time.

The kids were grateful for fun times with their Aunt and a visit by the Chagnon family.  Pete, Becky and their two girls joined us for Thanksgiving Day and we had a great time together.  Nothing like good conversation and delicious food!  That’s my definition of a great time.

My husband and I were thankful for the companionable company of family and friends.  Michael was grateful for a couple of days off before an intense work schedule that begins today.  I was thankful for a “mommy time out” compliments of Aunt Tricia.  I entered the Black Friday frenzy and came out in one piece along with all the deals I hoped to snag.  Then I came home and watched “The Family Man” in front of a fire, completely uninterrupted!  How great is that?!  (I know you moms really get this.)

Our whole family was grateful for a memorable experience at the St. Regis Hotel ice skating rink on Saturday thanks to Megan Gray, the Director of Food and Beverage at the St. Regis hotel in Atlanta, who treated our family to an hour of ice skating at the hotel.   IT WAS SO NEAT!  We had the opportunity to go last year too and both times found ourselves breathless with the amount of fun we all had.  Let me tell you about it.

In the middle of the hotel is an outdoor pool pavilion.  Next to the pool are curving stairs that lead up to another outdoor area where they set up an ice rink.  A white tent (kind of like a wedding tent) was set up.  There was a tulle like fabric inside the roof of the tent along with strings of Christmas lights.  Cushioned chairs were set up along the sides and a plexiglass wall surrounded the rink for safety- and as a handrail for those of us who didn’t exactly have our skating legs on! 

A gentleman asked us our shoe size, retrieved ice skates, and helped us put them on as we sat in chairs.  He let us in the rink and we were off!  Abby spent a lot of time hanging from the hands of adults and didn’t complain once.  Those of you who know Abby personally will not be surprised to hear that Abby wore a skirt and cupcake stockings.  Style over warmth people!  Noah was adorable in his red reindeer sweater and jeans, spending quite a bit of time sprawled out on the ground because he went at ice skating with all cylinders firing.  No wall flowers in this family!

Aunt Tricia lovingly offered to take the kids out of the rink a couple of times so Michael and I could skate on our own.  There was a little food station off to the side where you could order hot chocolate, smores(there’s an outdoor fireplace!!), coffee, etc.  Can I just say that the hot chocolate must have had half of a Hershey bar melted in it?  Divine!  And then it was topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.  Abby was literally screaming with delight.  Can anyone say “sugar high”?

The whole experience- the lights, the Christmas decorations, the top-notch service, the beautiful yet cozy location- was fantastic.  And because you have to make an appointment there are a limited number of people on the rink.  You actually get to skate!

To top it all off, when you enter the lobby you are greeted by an enormous flocked Christmas tree flanked by two winding staircases and off to the side is (drum roll please) a life-size gingerbread house!  Absolutely adorable!  Real gingerbread and hundreds of pieces of candy decorate this house in which you and the kids can walk.   There is a real fireplace, a chair, candy portraits, and little bags of bear cookies to take home.  The house is surrounded by a white picket fence, a “snow-covered yard, and a dog house with a candy dog!  (My kids loved that!)  And I won’t tell you how we know this, (somebody licked it) but the candy is definitely real(somebody licked it)…..that is all I’m going to say(somebody licked it)…’s very real:)

I can’t say enough about a memory two years in the making…..and hopefully many more to come.  Ice skating at the St. Regis is a tradition to be made.

Okay, so one more funny story.  On Saturday night we decided to decorate the Christmas tree.  Another Clarke family tradition is to make a rice krispie Christmas tree that same day.  Again, I won’t mention any names here, but someone mistook the Gravy Master for the vanilla bottle in the spice cabinet.  Thankfully we had an extra bag of marshmallows to start over after this person realized the melted marshmallows looked a little…umm…..brown. 

Well, we decorated the rice krispie “tree” with sprinkles and topped it off with sugar cubes soaked in a flammable lemon extract (peppermint works too).  In celebration of the tree decorating experience we lighted the sugar cubes on our rice krispie tree and it was aglow for a full minute.  All the pyro maniacs in our family love this tradition!

Afterward, we dressed Pepe in a Mrs. Claus outfit and laughed at his little legs peeking out from underneath a red crinoline.  Must have been the sugar.

On Sunday after Aunt Tricia left, we watched movies and sat on the couch most of the day.  In all it was a delightful Thanksgiving and we are so thankful for the memories.  Thanks for remembering along with me.  Hope it stirs up the memories your families made as well….and fills your heart with thankfulness.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tricia Clarke on November 29, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    I had such a great relaxing weekend with everyone. It was so nice to be in a house for four days with the sound of children laughing (for the most part 😀 ) Pepe’ will forever be “MeMe” Emma will forever be “Ruby” to me in the back of my head (thanks to Abby). Children and so innocent and sweet and the things they say are priceless. The joy in Abby’s face as she ate that Tiramisu at the most amazing pizza place ever….is a vision that will be enbedded in my heart forever!! The glow on Noah’s face as I told him he could pick out any toy he wanted at Target will carry me through this next month of crazy work times for me to remember the important things in life. The look in Arthur’s eyes as he gazed “starker-like” at Emma “Ruby” for four days straight will continue to make me laugh for weeks to come. And the look on your face when I told you I just put “Gravy Master” in the melted marshmallows was “PRICELESS”. I also can’t forget the look of “victory” in Michael’s eyes when he realized I pronouced another word wrong (one of many over my years) that he got to add to the fridge. OH the joys of Family….it was truly a Thanksgiving memory I will remember and treasure for years to come…I love and miss you all very much!!! xoxo


  2. Posted by Pop Pop on November 30, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Very nice recount of the Thanksgiving weekend. It’s all about the making of family memories. It sounds like the entire family had a fantastic time and will remember this one and talk about it for generations to come. The best kind of memories!!! The ones that get passed on.


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