Category Archives: games

A Christmas wish

Dear Santa,
This is Finnegan Murphy here. You may not have our new address because my family moved to a place where there is no snow in the wintertime.

christmas in florida, holidays, florida, IMG_8625

If anyone will understand my situation it’s you. I’m a Swiss MOUNTAIN dog for goodness sake. I live for snow. I like to pounce in the snow, eat snow, freeze my paws in the snow (not the salty sidewalk just the snow) stick my nose in the snow and eat the snow. All of it.

greater swiss mountain dog, puppy, finn, swissy, gsmd, dog,

finn, dog park, skinner park, chicago, west loop, greater swiss mountain dog puppy, swissy

There’s no snow here. None. I’ve tried to eat that grainy stuff by the water but it’s not the same. Trust me. So you’ll forgive me if I’m having a hard time finding my holiday spirit this year.

finn, greater swiss mountain dog, swissy, puppy, dog, brohard dog peach, paw park, florida, gulf coast, dog beach

I’ve been waiting patiently for winter to come since we made that super long car ride, but it’s still warm here. Sure there are weird inflatable creatures that I’m not allowed to play with in everyone’s yard but did I mention there’s no snow? What’s a guy to do without the one thing he loves more than his mom and dad? And peanut butter. And car rides. And naps.

greater swiss mountain dog, puppy, finn, swissy, gsmd, dog,

On January 9th I turn two and a half. My mom and dad seem to think I’m much older than that because they keep leaving me for long (and short) periods of time without supervision. Crazy, right? I still need them. Like must be touching them at all times to keep them from touching each other need them.

greater swiss mountain dog, puppy, finn, swissy, gsmd, dog,

So I’ve been trying my best to show them how much I miss them by displacing items they love from their permanent locations while they are gone. What kind of things you might ask? Well anything that they will notice obviously. So there’s a couple holes in mom’s favorite t-shirt. Dad has plenty of koozies in the drawer so he won’t miss it if I just eat one of them. LL Bean sends a catalog at least once a week anyways. Come to think of it mom did seem particularly upset when I learned how to open drawers and moved her DSLR camera from the island to the kitchen floor so you may want to bring her something nice this year to make up for that. My bad.


I know they love me. I can tell because they leave food out for me while they’re at work, Santa! They hang the bananas up so high on the counter I really have to stretch to get to them and end up knocking other stuff over in the process, but it’s totally worth it. I love bananas, peel and all. Just like I love snow. And naps. And peanut butter…

family photographs, children, photography, springfield, illinois, old state capital, christmas cards, holiday, boys

Anyways. I guess if I had one wish this Christmas it would be for my mom and dad to lose their jobs so they could stay home with me all day long.

Too harsh?

Ok what if you help them win the Lotto?

Too much?

Fine. If I can’t have any of that I will just ask for a few toys that will wear my brain out so I can take more naps. Stuff like this.


Or this.


And just one more thing as you evaluate your lists this year, Santa. I’m sure you’ve noticed that mom and dad brought a giant tree into our house and I’m not even allowed to pee on it? What’s up with that?

greater swiss mountain dog, puppy, finn, swissy, gsmd, dog, christmas tree, christmas, holiday

Barks and kisses,

Finnegan Murphy



The Girlfriend Games of 2014

Let me tell ya ’bout my best friends.

best friends, simply social blog

Even though my phone is probably going to start blowing up immediately once this is published due to the photos included, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you a little context before I tell you about my best friends.

They are pretty awesome. I know everyone thinks their best friends are awesome, hence the whole ‘best’ modifier on the word, but mine have the stats to prove it.

1) Time spent as friends. Our friendship dates back to first grade. I came into the mix just after 5th grade at a point which they obviously needed one more to round out the group. Every good pop group needs a 5th, right? Besides without me they would have no documentation of the history of our friendship in a public sphere such as this. It’s a blessing really (says the author.)

2) Shared interests. Sure we all liked the same sports, clothes and N’Sync songs over the years but only best friends can trade middle school boyfriends and still come out on top. Now that’s a strong friendship.

3) Frequency of cat fights and silent treatments. Getting these out of the way by junior year is best, leaving your college and adult years for smaller spats that end quickly. Everyone knows that isolation tactics and bullying strategies peak at age 15, especially with girls. Having survived these war zones together will make friendships throughout adulthood seem like a walk in the park.

4) Effort and Balance. Now that we’re all living in different cities, our frequency of seeing one another has scaled back considerably. Fortunately, we don’t let it inhibit the strength of our friendship. It may take more effort to maintain communication when new responsibilities come into play, but it’s just a matter of effort and balance. I’m very grateful for friends who are strong in both categories.

And I’m excited to see what the next generation has in store. If they’re anything like us they are in for a lot of laughs and love in the years to come.

babies, girls weekend, girlfriend games 2014, simply social blog

This weekend, we got together for a girl’s weekend to celebrate just that, friendship. We spent Saturday relaxing at a local spa and Saturday night in friendly competition, per usual. I’m a little obsessed with the Olympics so I thought it might be fun to keep with the spirit with a competition of our own. And so the first annual Girlfriend Games came about.

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What do the Girlfriend Games consist of? Trivia mostly. Interspersed with a few rounds of acting out the names of coaches and teachers and do-do-doing popular songs from the 90’s.

We separated into two teams of two. Each team had to come up with their team name and was given questions about members of the other team for points. At the end of each round was a bonus question worth two points, usually related to something we all experienced together.

The song round was perhaps the most challenging, requiring one team member to sing a song without using any lyrics. The other team member had to hold up the song title on their forehead until it was correctly guessed. The team who guessed their songs in the shortest amount of time won.

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But in the end, aren’t we all winners? We looked back on years of friendship. We laughed. Some of us complained that the other’s team questions were easier. We argued over points and we had a blast.

I recommend incorporating an Olympic event into your next party, but I insist that you take a minute out of your day and tell you’re best friends how much you love and appreciate them.

Have a great week!