I’m kicking Christmas’ ass this year

Totally boring, brag-y posts. But it’s mah blog and I’ll brag if I want to…

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Decorations? Amy’s dad rented a pair of bolt cutters and broke into the storage unit that had a key break off in the lock. They’ve been freed and put up.

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Tree? Found it, chopped it down, brought it home, decorated it. Done.

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Parties? Went to one, made these chocolate dreidels that have been tweeted about my Pee-Wee Herman. And I made it a point to take a picture with my best friends Erik and Oliver.

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Presents? Fucking taken care of. All of ‘em. Done. And they’re thoughtful as hell. (Btw, if you haven’t found the right gifts yet, check out my gift guides on Offbeat Home.)

Travel? Just booked the rental car that will take us from LA to Texas, and it’s cheaper by MORE THAN HALF then two roundtrip tickets, boarding the dogs, and the gas it’d take to get there.

Now I can’t wait to get to get to get to Texas, drink wine with family members in front of roaring fires, and play with my dogs in the snow.

Let’s do this, Christmas!

Aaron’s 37th NYE birthday blowout

Aaron's 37th NYE birthday party

Once again, Aaron’s birthday rockin’ eve was an amazing time. There was a lot less people at this party then at years past, but it was just as much fun as they’ve always been. For those of you who don’t know, Aaron is that guy I married and his birthday is 12/31. We both used to hate that birthday date because, well, making reservations for dinner is a nightmare and most of your friends can’t hang out because they’re trying to give their partners a nice evening. So we started throwing an annual New Years Eve birthday party for people who don’t feel like celebrating New Years Eve with the masses. And it’s been our favorite day of the year ever since.

Here’s how this birthday blowout went down:

Animal masks were donned:

Megan (koala) & Aaron (giraffe), Daren (monkey) and KayLee (tiger)

Aaron's 37th NYE birthday party

Ari as the creepy horse.

The Finleyquists were together, as always:

Aaron's 37th NYE birthday party

There was much dancing:

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Our Merry Finleyquistmas

Here’s a quicky about the my first Christmas without ANY family. The Finleys spent it with our best friend Coco Rosenquist — hence the “Finleyquistmas” name.

We spent Christmas eve with Oliver and Marianne:

Ollie and Marianne

me and the Zoo

Reindeer slippers
Coco rocked her reindeer slippers.

The next morning, aka Christmas, I got up before everyone else, turned on our fireplace, and spent the morning with my fur babies…
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Why this atheist loves her some freaking Christmas…

This year is the year that I came out as an atheist. I don’t know why it took me so long to admit and and share it with others. But, I feel a HUGE sense of relief being really out and proud about it.

This post is one that I’ve been kicking around for a while, but I never published last year when I started writing it. And now, a year later, I’m ready to hit publish and put this out there.

This is how and why this atheist not only celebrates, but loves her some Christmas. It’s long, and rambles at time, it talks about my views and awkward experiences with religion, but if you feel like getting inside of my brain, you can take a stroll through this Christmas-themed coming out party…
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Have yourself a geeky little Christmas

Since it’s Cyber Monday, I thought I’d get all superficial on your asses over these awesome geeky holiday finds. This departure from “serious blogging blogger” is brought to you by this Yoda Christmas tree star and a lot of other adorakable products:

Star Wars Yoda Tree Topper
Y’all know that I really want this, right? Like, BEST TREE STAR EVAR!

From the best tree star to the best holiday wreath…
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The Funk holiday gift guide 2010: The $20 and under edition

A few years ago Aaron and I were going through an extremely bad year, financially, so I had to cut back on my Christmas gift spending. I managed to pull off ALL the family gifts for under $20 and it was one of my favorite gift-giving years! This year we are in that very same boat. So I’m working my butt off trying to find awesome gifts for everyone under $20.

I got a lot of gifts for people from Fiji where everything was super affordable, but I also am managing to find a few other things on the internets here and there. So, here, if you are interested, is my 2010 holiday gift round-up.

[Spoiler alert: If you are family member, you may not want to read if you want to be surprised at Christmas time!]

Dude! Lego pens! They’re 100% functional and made from Lego so they’re totally customizable and they’re $13.95 from Etsy seller derekseiple. Nerdy and convenient. Love.

Genius! I’m super stoked about the Page Keeper. I bought a few of them (one for mahself) because I’m pretty sure that these are perfect for almost everyone who likes to read and they’re freaking $8 each, but the more you buy the more you save!
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Highlights from Thanksgiving 2010

This Thanksgiving I chose my outfit according to maximum eating potential — jeggings (elastic waist band ftw!) with an empire waisted flowy top that was ALREADY stained, so I didn’t have to worry about spilling anything. I am a total winner.

After reading Facebook updates from so many family members and friends about how they’re spending the entire day in the kitchen, cooking various and yummy things. I realized that I am REALLY thankful that I won’t ever be expected to make some sort of Thanksgiving meal for anyone. And that I, forever, get to show up and eat delicious foods that other, more capable people, have prepared.

So mahalo to those other family members and friends who have and will continue to feed me Thanksgiving meals. And a special mahalo goes out today to my second mother, Meg Wolf, and her family full of chefs who were in charge of feeding me yesterday.

This is a crappy cell phone photo of (from L – R) Ari, Aaron, Amy and Stephanie, actually using the room that NEVER gets used at the Wolf’s. Crazy times.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from yesterday:

“I think I just took a picture of myself when I answered the phone!” -Meg

Me: So you think you’re going to be work on Christmas day!?
Ari: We’re a bunch of Jews opening up a Vietnamese restaurant… why wouldn’t we be open on Christmas?

And here is just a super cute photo of my boys on Thanksgiving morning.

Hope you all had happy Thanksgivings… I’m going to go eat leftovers now.

Dried leaves and pooping chickens on Valentine’s Day!

While Aaron’s friend shopped for a legit Valentine’s Day present for his lady friend, Aaron decided to pick up some silly gifts for me. At first I got mad when he told me that got me “presents” but when he started pulling them out and presenting them to me I changed my tune…


First he shows me these rose petals and was like, NO! Not cheesy as Valentine’s day shit! But then he turned it over and showed me that the label says “Dried Leaves.” He thought that was too funny to pass up.
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We’ll be home for Christmas.

So Aaron and I were supposed to leave for Texas on the 21st, have an easy time of driving there with the two dogs and make it easily before Christmas. Well, work got in the way and suddenly Aaron was working until the 23rd. He was ready to cancel Christmas. But I offered to drive all night while he slept if he drove all day the next day and now we’re heading to Texas tonight! With a stop for some proper rest (and present opening) in some Motel 6 on Christmas Eve, we should make it to the in-laws in time for Christmas!

I feel like we’ll be starring in our own “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” movie, JTT style.

Though we’ve made this road trip several times together over the years, this one is going to be a little different.

  • We’re bringing BOTH the dogs this time. Usually we only take Jackson who is a wonderful little traveler. Not sure how Peezu’s gonna fair, but we’ll soon find out.
  • It’s the first time we’re taking a car other than Aaron’s Camry. Aaron’s car is a stick-shift. I don’t drive stick. I’ve tried and I just end up having major anxiety attacks. This has made for many a fight on our road trips. I keep promising every year to get over the fear that I’m going to cause his car to explode and help drive, but then I always freak out and end up a sobbing mess on the side of the road. Poor Aaron.Well this year my dad offered us his Civic Hybrid and it’s an automatic! Which means we both get to pitch in. I’m happy about this.
  • This is the first year (for me) that we are actually going to go to his folk’s house ON Christmas. Which means, this is the first year that I will be away from my family on Christmas. No opening presents in their living room in front of a fire. No stockings that my mother needlepointed. No Nat King Cole Christmas music blaring on speakers all over the house. No Boston Terrier dog drowning in ribbons. No trading gifts with my sister. No coffee and hot chocolate on a tray in Christmas mugs while we open presents. For the first time ever. Weird.Luckily my family has all decided to head to San Francisco to watch the USC bowl game this year, so I won’t feel like they’re doing all that without me. AND I love my in-laws so much that I know I’m going to be just as happy and comfy and Christmas-y.
  • And this is the first year we’re leaving in the cover of darkness, which worries me. But I’m sure we’ll be fine.
  • Well, on that note, I should really finish getting everything ready to go.

    Happy Holidays my lovely readers… all 5 of you.

    Merry Christmas, love the Finleys