The Week(end) That Was

Lion 1

Tennyson at Night Eyes.

It seems that whenever Jake, Melissa, and Tennyson come to town, my schedule gets so jam-packed with family time that it becomes almost impossible to sit down and catch my breath. Since we only see the Nova crew every so often, it’s a given that we try to cram as much fun into their time here as possible. Well, as you can imagine, this past weekend was no exception. And with Missy’s birthday Saturday on top of everything else, we were practically going all day and all night for four days straight.

The fun really kicked off when Jake finally arrived in town last Thursday. We spent some time giving hugs and saying our hellos, but since it was still early in the evening the decision was made to head out for a drink and catch up. One of the best kept secrets of downtown Des Moines is the Jimmy Carter Happy Hour, hosted by el Bait Shop. Local, and sometimes even not-so-local, home-brewers share their suds on Thursday nights (for free) from 6:00 pm until, well, until they run out. Jake has always wanted to check it out, so that is where we headed. Luckily, Jake, Melissa, and I (Missy called it a night early to catch up on her Z’s) reached el Bait Shop just in time to sample some fine home brewed IPA. We then spent the rest of the evening catching up over two more six-beer-samplers (which is becoming somewhat of a tradition with us) and rooting against the Yankees.

Shannon came home from school Friday to hang with us the rest of the weekend, and that night the crew headed out to Night Eyes, an event that lets children trick-or-treat at the Zoo in Des Moines. That is where the first picture comes from; Tennyson dressed up this year as a lion. Holy crap…how cute. Unfortunately I missed out on most of the evening; that’s the last time I put off birthday gift shopping until the last minute ;-).

Saturday was Missy’s birthday! As I’ve mentioned, the weather could NOT have been any better for our trip to the pumpkin patch. We were up and out the door early so that we could avoid the Saturday rush and be at Howell’s soon after it opened (and get the best selection of pumpkins of course). Now, if you have not been to Howell’s, I highly recommend a visit, especially if you have small children in your family. It was a blast!

There are so many things to enjoy, from the wildlife…


Tennyson pointing at the rabbits.


Tennyson and Missy playing with the bunnys!

…to the corn maze…

Maze 1

Tennyson truckin' through the corn maze.

…to the pumpkin patch.

Pumpkin Patch

Tennyson with a Tennyson-sized pumpkin.

Apparently, there was also an appearance by Amelia Earhart…who knew?

So once we had our Agritourism fill for the day, the party moved back to the Florer’s for lunch and the pumpkin carving contest. This turned out to be quite interesting, as the birthday girl chose a pumpkin with all kinds of warts and deformities. When she went to carve said pumpkin, the the skin turned out to be 1/2″ thick and tough as nails…she even had to break out the power tools before she finally gave up and went with white out and sharpies. Her second attempt went much smoother.


The Jack-o-Lantern line-up.

The final rundown went something like this: Jake carved Cinderella’s Pumpkin Carriage, Missy carved “Puking Pumpkin”, as well as carved/power sawed/colored “Silly Wart Face”, Melissa re-created “The Scream” with a skin carving, I went all traditional, and Shannon capped it off with an ode to the family, with stick carvings of the entire brood. As I mentioned before, my vote went to Missy!

The party then moved to our place for the Iowa Hawkeye game. We had quite the spread: Aunt Barb Dip, BBQ Meatballs, Calico Bean Dip, Rueben Dip, crackers, veggies, and chips. Tennyson was in quite the mood, so she fussed and turned in before halftime. We did presents, enjoyed the food, and enjoyed the game…and what a game it was! The Hawks ended up pulling out a miracle win in the waning seconds. When the score went final I jumped and let out a barbaric yawp of relief and joy…completely forgetting about the sleeping babe upstairs. Sorry, T!

Sunday morning brought brunch and church, after which I came home and napped. Meanwhile, Missy went with Melissa to get Tennyson’s H1N1 vaccine at the fairgrounds. I hear that the three hour line was anything but enjoyable. They did end up getting her the shot, but could you imagine if they waited all that time only to find out that there was no more? Believe me, it happened to a lot of people. Sunday night G-pa came over for dinner, and I was later challenged to another round of Ticket to Ride. Un-phased by the Sunday Night Football action, I managed to pull out another win…of course. Hey, Missy’s birthday was Saturday! Next time, right Jake? All is fair in Love and Ticket to Ride :-).

Monday night after work we all enjoyed some BBQ and said our goodbyes a few hours later, as the Flo-Bix clan had a plane to catch at 7:00 the next morning.

So, did you get all that? Ooooh man, what a weekend…good times! No wonder I overslept an entire hour Tuesday morning! Oh, and if you’re keeping track, Tennyson and I made progress on our thus-far precarious relationship. She sat on my lap and let me read her “Wheels on the Bus” one night, and if I let her play with my car keys, we became best friends! On the last night as she was being taken upstairs to bed, she even reached out to me! BUT…I think that was only because she did…not…want to go upstairs to bed. Once she realized that I would not save her, she pushed away. But hey, I’ll take what I can get. Baby steps, right T?

There should be more pictures up on facebook soon, so be sure to check those out. Have a great week and a Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween!! (L to R: Missy's, Melissa's, Tommy's)

This entry was posted in All by Tom Hardinge. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tom Hardinge

Loving husband to my wife Missy, loving father to my four daughters Sienna, Rowan, Jovie, and Lola. I'm a chronic over-packer who loves good coffee, good music, running, waffle tee's, fleece pants, and Jesus Christ!

One thought on “The Week(end) That Was

  1. Pingback: Autumn Excursion | living in pursuit

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