Chick Chat: We are Thankful

Last year we shared Thanksgiving traditions. This year, we chose to go a different route and share what we are thankful for (hopefully without being too cliché!). So sit back, relax, and read on. In the comments, we’d love to hear something you are thankful for.


I think that Thanksgiving is a time to focus on what we are grateful for and honestly, it’s hard for me to pinpoint one or two particular things. I suppose that right now, I’m quite thankful for my health. Over the past year I’ve had aches and pains but right now, all things considered, I’m feeling good!


I’m thankful to have a table to sit at, a bed to sleep in, and to have never wanted for anything that I couldn’t live without. I live in a world filled with love and compassion and I happily share that.

I am surrounded by good people, close both in proximity and in my heart. I’m very lucky.


I’m thankful for good friends, family, my supportive husband and Meri’s supportive husband, who made me waffles for breakfast.

I also love how social media has brought so many amazing, inspiring people into my life.

And after my weekend marathon- I am beyond thankful for PRO compression socks.


I love reflecting on what I’m thankful for and practicing gratitude is something I try to do on a regular basis – my family, my health (well, aside from da boot situation), my people. This year, among a great many other things, I’m thankful for this grilled cheese. Well, mostly I’m thankful for everything that goes with this grilled cheese: friends, fellowship, good conversation, running… the list is exhaustive. I’m grateful for all of it. But really, the grilled cheese, too.



This year, I’m grateful for many things. They are intangible things that all people are grateful for like health and happiness of family, friends and beloved pets. I’m grateful for my job, my home, and my freedom. I’m grateful for the good fortune, security, and progress of my life. And I’m very grateful for being a part of Scoot a Doot!

I’m thankful for the wisdom that comes with age; for being able to recognize how fortunate I am and to appreciate what I have while it lasts. In particular, this year I’m grateful for my marriage and my husband. Like every couple, we’ve faced our challenges over our twenty year history. There were times that I wasn’t sure if we’d make it. Luckily, both of us wanted to do the often-difficult work to make it through the tough times. Although I cannot point to any specific event or moment this year that noticeably changed things, our marriage is stronger than it has ever been. I haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly what it is, but the fact that I’m learning that love can evolve and depend and mature is amazing.

So this year, I’m thankful for the chance to learn more about love with my best friend and high school sweetheart.


My life is so full of great things, it’s hard sometimes to narrow my focus and pick out individual pieces. I’m thankful to have such problems.

I’m thankful for good health. Even though I’ve been sick for weeks, overall, I am well and my family is well. I have a warm house and full pantry. I know how lucky I am for these things.

But mostly, I’m thankful for people. I have so many wonderful people in my life. Some are next to me on the couch, some are right up the road, and some are too far to see as often as I would like, but they all reside close to my heart. Family, family, framily; I’ve been gifted with an abundance of all three.

I’m truly blessed.



It’s not particularly surprising, but as ever, I am thankful for my family, particularly the two main men in my life. Every day I laugh because of them. They are truly the meaning in my life (and, yes, the in-spir-aaaaation).

But I am surrounded by amazing people: family, friends, co-workers. I’ve won the people lottery, and who wouldn’t be thankful for that?

This year, I’m extremely thankful for my very patient friends.  This year has be a roller coaster and I wouldn’t have been able to weather the emotional ebb and flow without my friends, who aren’t really bound by any obligation to love me yet do so anyway.  I can’t even express how much these beautiful people mean to me.
this year
And we’re so very thankful for all of you. Wishing a happy holiday to you and yours from us and ours!
Love, The Chicks

A Day of Thanks



Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Yes, I love food. That’s a given. But really, what I love so much about the holiday is that it’s all about family.

As a child, we always went to my aunt and uncle’s house for the day, along with my grandparents and others in my extended family. After J and I married, we alternated spending Thanksgiving between J’s family and mine. We all contributed to the meal, and ate together – brothers, sisters, parents and cousins. And after the meal, we’d all go for a long walk.


Walking by the barn one snowy Thanksgiving weekend

(And may I say, my in-laws are incredible cooks, so each holiday meal tops the last. That goes for table settings and decorations as well.)

Last year, we headed off to Maine for the week, where we hiked all over Mt. Desert Island and dined like royalty. We had a blast, and plan to return for another holiday week in Bar Harbor another year.


Hiking with my family in Acadia National Park last Thanksgiving. Photo credit: (Uncle) Kreg Ulery

Thanksgiving to me is about spending time with loved ones. No matter the location, no matter the meal, no matter the activity, it’s about being thankful for what we have and one another.


It’s the most wonderful tiiiiime of the year!

I adore Thanksgiving. I grew up celebrating it (and every other holiday) with my raucous extended family and I’ve carried that feeling with me through the years even though we’re all spread out now. Wah. The great news is that Mister Jess’s family is local, so we often spend the day with them. We’ll be doing that again this year, and I fully anticipate enjoying everything I love about this holiday: good food, great company, lots of thanks and lots of laughter. What’s not to love?!

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving. Gathering around a table to share food and conversation with my family fills me with warm fuzzies. It’s the perfect place and time to feel connected to my most important people.On Thanksgiving morning, my mom would make pumpkin pancakes and then we’d watch the parade on tv- something I do with my own kids now.
Getting ready to watch the Macy's parade on my middle baby's first Thanksgiving.

Getting ready to watch the Macy’s parade on my middle baby’s first Thanksgiving.

As a child, it was my job to make and set out place cards at our dinner table. My grandma would hand me a stack of cards and a fancy pen and send me to work. Now that my girls are old enough, I’m continuing the tradition. Last year, the girls and I made turkey place cards out of wine corks.

Last Thanksgiving, less than two weeks before Little Dude arrived!

Last Thanksgiving, less than two weeks before Little Dude arrived!

In the past we’ve hosted Thanksgiving, but last year, I was close to giving birth, and this year, our dining room has become a playroom for the kids. We’ll go to my in-laws to eat, but we’ll bring our Thanksgiving tablecloth- a tradition we began three years ago. We started with a white tablecloth, and each year, using fabric markers, we add a drawing, or turkey handprints for the kids (to see how they’ve grown) and a sentence about something for which we’re grateful.

My husband soothing our oldest girl on her first Thanksgiving- she was a little peanut at one month old! (She slept 7 hours straight that night. The longest stretch she would sleep until after she turned one. Yawn.)

My husband soothing our oldest girl on her first Thanksgiving- she was a little peanut at one month old!

I always make dessert. I’ve been planning my pie menu for weeks- can’t have just one, we need options!


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays although when I was younger it was difficult for me to pinpoint exactly why. I don’t really like turkey (I’m more of a sides type of girl). We never had a set house we went to – usually my cousins hosted it or my family did, depending on the year and the circumstances.

When I married Jay and started a family of my own, my in-laws began to host the holiday with great regularity and invite my parents each year to join in the festivities, too.


Thanksgivings of days gone by.

Since I’ve grown up and gained perspective, I’ve realized why it’s my favorite; Thanksgiving is about being grateful for what we have and furthermore, for helping those in need. Being that we don’t host Thanksgiving, our free holiday turkey from the grocery store is donated, along with other canned goods and non-perishable items. A holiday with the sole intention of being with family and helping other families? That is my kind of holiday!

Additionally, we celebrate Hanukkah so we’ll be partying it up Thanksgivukkah style!


My Thanksgiving traditions are pretty typical.  My large, Italian family gathers, we each bring a dish…I usually bring cookies, and we eat too much food and drink too much wine and laugh way too loudly..  And trust me when I say, in my family, food is no joke.


I mean, we have lasagna as a side dish.  For the last couple years, I’ve began the day of gluttony with the Claremont Turkey Trot.  Running the 5k first thing in the morning makes me feel less guilty about the large quantities of calories I’m about to ingest.

Sensing a theme here?

Sensing a theme here?

This year, however, I will not be running.  I will be participating is a special Thanksgiving R.I.P.P.E.D. class at T3 Fitness. Because I really, really love food and wine!


I have always loved Thanksgiving, both the day itself and the idea of a day to give thanks. My oldest memories are of going to my grandmother’s house. My Grampa, a truly wonderful man that I am thankful to have known, used to pay me if I could find lumps in the mashed potatoes. A nickle a lump, and he always made good on it.

As I got older, and our family grew, my mom started hosting Thanksgiving, I loved helping out with the prep. My specialty was mashed butternut squash with so much butter and brown sugar that my teeth, and my arteries, ache just thinking about it. We always wound up with extra people at our house, and it was always a special day.

My first Thanksgiving on my own was a hot mess. I had no idea how to coordinate it so everything was ready at the same time. My gravy was beyond gross. We lived in North Carolina at the time, where my husband was stationed, and anyone we knew that couldn’t go home for the holiday came to our place. So while the meal was not winning any prizes, we gave people a place to go, and that was something special. My years in the South gave me a love of Southern Cornbread Dressing and Sweet Potato Casserole.

I’ve hosted all but one Thanksgiving since we moved back to Massachusetts thirteen years ago. My cooking skills have improved, my menu has gotten bigger and more varied, and my guest list changes yearly, but the feeling of being surrounded by friends and family has been my constant. We’ve had years without Pumpkin Pie. We’ve had years where the pies outnumbered the guests (10 to 8). We’ve had years with snow, and rain, and sleet. But every year, I’ve had a day filled with good food and good people whom I love dearly.

For all the things I have in my life, on this day, and every day, I am truly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Happy Fatsgiving

Thanksgiving is far and away my favorite holiday. It includes some of my favorite things; food, time with family and friends, food, watching the parade in my jammies, food.

Did I mention food? I like food.

While I love to cook, Thanksgiving is the one day of the year that I go full out. Calories be damned. While I think it’s important to be conscious of what you eat, and to try and make healthy modifications, there’s no health in my Thankgiving dojo. None.

*flings sticks of butter around the kitchen*

My guest list this year stands at twelve. Every year, I worry that everyone else will have made other plans and it will just be the four of us. Which, while it’s lovely to spend time with my husband and kids, I prefer Thanksgiving to be a full house. This year was no exception, but four quickly turned into six, which turned into nine, which turned into twelve. My little house will be packed full of family and I couldn’t be happier. (I also couldn’t be more worried that we won’t have enough pie.)

So what to feed all these people? This is my menu.

Do you think it's enough???

Do you think it’s enough???

Want to come over? We can totally make room.

The meal is always a blend of scratch-made (almost everything) and no so scratch-made (the crescent rolls). I like a LOT of sides. This is not the most over-the-top year, I promise. I’m considering adding more (something squash-y). But the star?

My bird. Twenty-five pounds of turkey that I will love up on in ways that are almost obscene. I make a fresh herb and citrus compound butter and I give that baby a full body massage, including getting up under the skin. And that’s it. I don’t brine. I don’t baste. I don’t fuss. I don’t need to.

I’ve perfected the art of making sure everything is ready at the same time. The key? Don’t drink until your dinner is served. I kid you not, there was an incident with me, a glass of spiked eggnog, my hand and a burner coil. I care to not repeated this experience.

Once we’ve fully glutted ourselves on dinner, the women folk clean up and the men folk watch football. It’s all very 1952. But honestly, I don’t mind at all. As much as the kitchen is my domain on most days, on Thanksgiving, don’t even step in there without an invite. I’ve got this thing wired, baby.

And then dessert. And coffee. With booze in it. I have a semi-illicit affair with a slice of Butterscotch Pecan Pie and then start scooting people’s doots right out the door.

I kid. If you want to hang around, it’s cool by me, but I’m changing into my sweaterpants and snuggling up on the couch. You’re welcome to snuggle next to me.

All in all, I expect it to be a great day. It always is. Food and family and fabulous food. What more could I ask for? I have a lot to be thankful for, Thanksgiving day and every day.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Do you host, or go visiting? What’s your ‘it’s not Thanksgiving without it’ dish? Tell us all about how you give thanks!