Tag Archives: christmas tree

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



on holiday lulls

I must admit I’m feeling a bit melancholy now that Christmas is over. Perhaps it was the mid-week occurrence or the late Thanksgiving this year, but it just doesn’t seem like it should be over yet.

I am very grateful for some time off work to celebrate with friends and family, but I can’t help but feel that familiar let down now that the season and year are coming to an end. It all just flew by so fast! One minute Mariah is telling me I’m all she wants for Christmas for the 75th time, the next I’m surrounded by piles of boxes ready for the recycling bin.

Wah. Wah. Wah.

It could be that we typically plan a ski trip between Christmas and New Years, but this year our schedule just didn’t work out. Note to self: plan a vacation after Christmas next year to avoid the post-Christmas lull.

So instead of living in the lack of Christmas present, let’s reflect on the recent Christmas past, shall we?

In the last week, we cheered on the Illini to a win over Mizzou in the annual Braggin’ Rights game:

Illinois Mizzou Braggin Rights game, st. louis, broadway oyster bar, basketball, arch

Best friends were made, vans were tested for capacity limits and cousins were reunited on a cold and rainy Saturday in St. Louis.

On Monday, we shopped:

I had the pleasure of hanging with one of my nephews earlier this week where we were tasked with completing other family member’s last minute shopping. Since running errands doesn’t exactly thrill most 7 (or 29) year-olds I decided to turn the day into a scavenger hunt.

We started at Target, an oh-so familiar location for my nephew, where I picked up a few items and got a lesson on the difference between regular and SWAP Force Skylanders. Once we were ready to check out, the clue for our next location was given.

Within a few hours, we had 5 stops under our belt and were ready for lunch. We hit up local favorite McCormicks, where Owen drew in some a la carte clues to signify our trip to back to Target and the chocolate chip cookie we were having for dessert.

scavenger hunt, nephew, frozen movie date, disney's frozen

Our final clue took us to the movies to see Frozen. To fit with the theme, we bought an ICEE that cost us as much as our ticket and giggled our way through the afternoon. Frozen was a super cute movie. Funny jokes for kids and adults alike and minimal scary parts. I say that because I only had to remind O once that I wouldn’t dare let a Disney princess die on my watch. We agreed that Olaf was our favorite, followed closely by Sven the reindeer who reminded us of another big goofy animal we both know well.

sven frozen swiss mountain dog puppy

The rest of the time,  we baked:

thumbprint christmas sugar cookies, holiday sugar cookies with sprinkles, red and green christmas cookies

My mom and I share the habit of continuous baking. It’s a blessing really. As the holiday drew near, we alternated use of the oven to bake batch after batch of holiday treats, well-knowing we had more than enough to go around. Scones, muffins, cookies, quiche, cookies and more cookies. Even the boys got in on the fun by icing a few of my leftover sugar cookies. My favorite was the green present on the right that J layered with surprise sprinkles.

kids royal icing christmas sugar cookies, present cookies, snowman cookies, holiday iced sugar cookies by kids

When Christmas Eve finally rolled around, we headed to mass and then home for dinner and presents.

christmas tree christmas presents simply social blog

We traditionally change into pajamas for this portion of the evening, but Jake introduced a new wear your Halloween costume element to this year’s festivities. Who doesn’t love to watch Captain America open Christmas presents?

christmas presents captain america, christmas tree, simply social blog

As usual, we all ate too many sweets, got too many gifts and had a wonderful holiday.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday as well. I’m off to try and sweat out some more sprinkles and reminisce about one heck of a year.