Mari's Notebook

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

A photo from the first-ever Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1924. They used animals from the Bronx Zoo! Check out more iconic photos here

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I have so much to be thankful for this year, and ever since November and this great season started I've just been overwhelmed with gratitude and all the great things that are happening. Each Thursday I've taken a few extra moments to ponder all that I'm grateful for--check out those posts here, here and here.

Here are just a few more of the things that are making me smile extra wide today:

My family and my grandparents.
Harry, my very first dog and his very long life.
Doc and Mack, who made their way to us all the way from the Mexican border.
The past year at Yale, which becomes more and more magical the longer I stay.
My foot doctor, who is probably the most honest and caring doctor I've ever met.
Our lovely home, a fine place to be spending the holiday.
Stretchy leggings and comfy sweats.
Late night essay writing sessions.
Watching Scandal with my mom.
Godiva hot chocolate.
Al Roker.
The long weekend ahead.
The fact that I only have final papers this semester (no exams!).
Living in New York.
Holiday commercials.
Buying Christmas decorations for my dorm.
Picking out the puppies' holiday gifts.
Cranberry sauce.
My crazy, fabulous friends.

I hope you are all celebrating, feasting and giving thanks today. I certainly am.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fall Traditions

table set by Clarence, glassesmeasuring spoons by Helena Peixotofall invitation by Shutterfly, figs by Jillian Lieboffpumpkins by Richard Bowen

I would like to spend this Thankful Thursday by raising my glass of eggnog and making one grand toast to the season. 

I don't think it is any surprise on this blog that I absolutely love fall and winter. And I think part of this is because I am a sucker for family time and traditions and moments of nostalgia, and well, fall and the holiday season are just full of those moments. 

Being away on a college campus is interesting--my life and work are centered in this one location, and I don't need to walk more than half a mile in any certain direction to take care of something. It's when I leave that I feel I get to see everything else that is going on in the world and suddenly those papers that count for 40% of your grade mean absolutely nothing in the scheme of things. 

A big thank you to Shutterfly for sending me their fall inspiration board, above. It's really helped me get into the spirit of things even though I'm away at college and the closest we get to holiday spirt are the fake pumpkins in the dining halls. 

I can't wait to go home tomorrow (after The Game!) and jump into the fall celebration. Over the years, we seem to have accumulated some small traditions that now I can't imagine living without. 

Some "traditions" I look forward to this season:

bagels and lox on Thanksgiving morning
watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
staying in on Black Friday and decorating the house for Christmas
almost all-nighters spent wrapping Christmas presents for the whole family 
mailing holiday cards. 
taking the train to the city and seeing the Rockefeller and Bryant Park trees
browsing the Bryant Park holiday shops with hot chocolate 
picking out a new ornament for the tree 
blasting holiday music during our one last rush of house cleaning before family come over
The Annual Dahl Family Holiday Party 
last-minute shopping with my dad
baking cookies with my mom
Christmas movies with my brother
reading The Night Before Christmas 
sushi on New Year's Eve

What traditions are you thankful to have?

p.s. Check out my post on the Shutterfly blog. While I certainly love holiday greeting cards now, my three-year-old self had a little something else in mind! 

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013


currently I'm...

smiling at all of my brother's texts. Every day he texts to remind me of when I'm coming home.
reading lots and lots of research papers on the effects of classroom spatial arrangement on student learning.
listening to Christmas music. 'tis the season.
doing laundry. and all the other stuff that gets put on the back burner when you have tests, papers and projects.
hoping that I will actually be productive this Thanksgiving break. Essays need to be written.
smelling all my candles. "Winter" is fantastic (pine cone-y but still sweet at the same time).
anticipating the start of break, when I get to go home and see my family and the puppies again.
preparing for the two weeks after Thanksgiving that are more or less going to be pretty intense with work and final exams and papers.
wearing a big thick scarf.
baking egg nog cookies, cake and peppermint hot chocolate. Tomorrow I have the student kitchen reserved and I think I'm going to go a little crazy.
thinking about summer plans and how I need to start getting my act together as far as applications and preparation go.
watching Scandal on Netflix. I'm on the fourth episode of season 1. I love it so far.
wanting an ugly Christmas sweater.
inspired by all my classmates. We are sharing final paper research topics and they all sound so amazing.

Well, it's Wednesday and and the week is pretty much over as far as major classes and assignments go. It's been about four weeks since I've been home, and of course I've been away for much longer than that, but because Thanksgiving is so late this year these four weeks have kind of felt like a million years.

I'm at that point in the typical college-kid cycle where I "come up for air" and start attending to those things that were ignored while I was rushing nonstop to get papers and projects done. These things include laundry, picking up mail and actually eating a proper meal in a dining hall. It's been nice spending the evening with academics far from my mind.

Just a couple more days and I'll be home for Thanksgiving week. I'm ready to celebrate.


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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday

"We should just be thankful for being together. I think that's what they mean by 'Thanksgiving,' Charlie Brown." - Marcie, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

I would like to give thanks for...

forecasts of snow
friends who don't judge your pre-period eating habits
warm Ugg boots
Credit/D/Fail classes
being a 21st century woman
the Elf references the second-floor girls keep making
Christmas playlists
being able to use my meal swipe on sushi
busy schedules
helpful student employment workers
cars that stop for pedestrians at cross-walks (bless them)
my sorority and our sisterhood
strawberry cream cheese
dead flowers that still make the room pretty (sorry flowers)
instant nail-polish remover
dill pickle pringles (it's national pickle day!)
funny notes from the "passive aggressive fairy"
post-brunch workouts
fairy lights
all the on-campus effort to respond to Typhoon Yolanda
the fact that right here, right now, I'm safe and sound

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday

"Gratitude bestows reverence...changing forever how we experience life and the world." - John Milton

I'm grateful for:

new opportunities to improve myself.
walks in the rain with my roommate.
waking up early in the morning.
Yale in the fall time.
embracing my neurotic side.
listening to audiobooks while working out.
picture texts from my parents.
visits from friends.
late-night food delivery.
piano players.
remembering that life is more than just a to-do list.
holiday candles.
smiles from strangers.
school spirit.
gold nail polish.
red evening skies on sundays.
the constant love from my family.
an ever-growing "to-read" list.
changes in scenery.
love stories like this one. 

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Doc and Mack

As I mentioned in a previous post, we very recently adopted two puppies from a local shelter. Doc and Mack were welcomed home just over a week ago, and I am so thankful we have them in our lives.

We originally wanted two boy puppies, ideally from the same litter. We adopted from Dapper Dog, Hopeful Tails rescue in Nyack, NY. We loved the shelter--it's run by caring people who are honestly just trying to find a home for all these dogs. They recently received about a dozen puppies who were rescued from the Mexican border. They had lots of options, but we were drawn to Mack and Doc right away. They were the ones.

Mack, on the right above, is a heeler mix. When we adopted her, she* was only just 8 weeks old. Doc is a lab mix, and he was about 11 weeks at the time of adoption.

*So, there were a few days where we thought Mack was a boy. That happened. I hope she isn't confused now.

This picture is actually so indicative of each of their personalities. So far, Doc is the cuddly one while Mack is a bit more independent. Doc always wants to be where the people are, and if those people happen to be in the kitchen, even better. The second you sit down he climbs into your lap and settles in--it's so cute!

Mack is a bit more okay without constant human attention. She isn't one to jump or climb into your lap, but she does like physical proximity. I found that whenever we were all in the kitchen talking, Mack would get up from her little spot on the rug and plant herself right at my feet. If she was ever scared or unsure of herself, she immediately runs to the closest human. While Doc sees it his rightful place to be on your lap, Mack is much more contented to curl up next to you and know you're there. You can definitely tell these puppies were taken from their mothers way too young.


Choosing names was, of course, incredibly important. We named Harry after the dog in Harry the Dirty Dog, a favorite children's book of ours. We wanted to honor Harry by naming our new puppies after literary characters. Seeing as John Steinbeck has been a family favorite, as well as a favorite author of my late grandmother, we knew we had to consider his characters. 

Both Doc and Mack are characters featured in Cannery Row. Doc is the highly-esteemed marine biologist, the nicest and smartest man in Cannery Row. Mack is the intelligent leader of the local group of bums ("Mack and the boys"). We think these are perfect names (even if Mack the puppy is a girl!). 

The morning after we brought our new puppies home we spread Harry's ashes in the backyard, his favorite place. I like that we've sort of come full circle-- just as we welcome Mack and Doc into our home, we say a final goodbye to Harry. We still miss him lots, though.

On another note, today marks one year since my grandma's passing. I've been thinking about family a lot today, and in this season of gratitude, with everything going on, I can't tell you how happy and thankful I am to have what I have and to be in this moment right now.

Happy Monday.


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Sunday, November 3, 2013

November Goals

In November, I'd like to...

keep on top of my blog post schedule
listen to lots of Christmas music (I take the holiday season very seriously)
help my mom make a sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving dinner
do something fun and relaxing before going to bed each night
get two papers done over Thanksgiving break (that would be a miracle)
take long walks with friends.
count my blessings more often.

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