Our Anni-Father-Versary-Day Weekend

You think I’d know by now.  You’d think that after five years of marriage, plus four more years of dating prior to that, I’d know that Missy usually isn’t one for flash and flair.  Sure, she likes receiving nice things and occasionally getting all gussied up for a fancy dinner, but as a general rule, she values the experience of the journey a lot more than the possessions acquired along the way.

Yet for some reason, I had this backwards.  This was the five-year; the first major milestone year.  This year needed to blow all the other anniversaries out of the water.  This year needed to be big.  This year needed to be fireworks and unicorns.  This year needed to be WOW.

But it wasn’t working out that way…and by Friday morning I was frustrated.  Maybe it was due to the fact that my homemade gift had (literally) fallen apart in my hands the night before.  Maybe it was because the girls (usually somewhat subdued in the morning) were at DEFCON 1: clingy, whining, and crying from the moment they woke up.  My gifts were a dud and I didn’t have a plan, so I sulked off to work nearly 45 minutes late in a fit… not the way I had envisioned our anniversary starting off.

Sure, there were things to do this weekend:  dinner date Friday night or maybe go to a local brewery that I had been wanting to try out on Saturday.  But in my mind, none of those ideas were flashy enough for Missy; in my mind she deserved better.  I thought she was just “being nice” by giving heed to these suggestions, when in reality, all she wanted was my time.  My uninterrupted time: time without tiny hands pawing and (not so) tiny voices demanding our constant attention.

A baby {or three} changes everything.

By mid-afternoon I had cooled off and apologized. Almost simultaneously we stumbled upon an event happening in downtown Des Moines:  The Clips of Faith Film Tour which, despite its spiritual sounding name, was simply an outdoor movie and beer festival.  We quickly hatched our plan:  dinner downtown then a night outside watching short films and sampling small-batch beers.

Our dinner destination was Fong’s Pizza:  Des Moines’ eclectic, Asian-inspired pizzeria that’s garnering rave reviews from across the region.  We’ve tried once before to eat at Fong’s but the wait for a table was over two hours.  This time, we went early and called ahead; were seated in less than 10 minutes.

Fong's Marquee

We ordered two 10” pies:  Crab Rangoon & “Fongolian” Beef.  Both amazing, but OMG you guys, the Crab Rangoon was out of this world…we could easily see why it was their most popular selection.

No wait equals a Happy Missy.

Crab Rangoon Pizza (L) & Fongolian Beef Pizza (R)

After dinner we walked over to Western Gateway Park, where the festival was just kicking off.  We spread out our blanket in front of the giant inflate-a-screen and sprawled out to enjoy the evening.

Perfect evening in Downtown DeMo.

Missy displaying our drink tokens.

Goofiness, games, beautiful weather, tasty (if not interesting) beer, a chance encounter with a few friends, and (mostly) excellent short films…yeah, our evening was made.  If New Belgium brings the tour through Des Moines again next year, you can bet we’ll be back!

Sampling and rating our selections!

Missy & her pal Carrie.

Beer Delivery Boy!

Start the show!


As for our night cap: a twist cone for her & a hot fudge sundae for him from Micky Dee’s was just what the doctor ordered…our evening could not have gone off any better.  And here I thought the night was going to be a bust

+  +  +  +  +

Saturday was low key day.  Other than a bridal shower that Missy attended, it was spent mostly in pajamas while recovering from the previous night’s charades.  Sunday, however, was anything but.  Here’s how our Fathers’ Day shook out:

  • I slept in…like, for real.  I didn’t move from the mattress until 10:00AM!
  • Devoured a homemade biscuits and gravy breakfast, with a fresh hot press of coffee to boot. Go ahead and add “fabulous cook” to the list of things Missy is awesome at.
  • Miss bought a 9 lb. Pork Butt for me to spend the day smoking…only before we realized that the Florer grill didn’t have the necessary side-fire box to be considered a true “smoker.”  So I improvised {using the indirect heat & water pan method, for those interested}.

Heating the grill/smoker.

  • Swimming in our pool while the meat smoked.  It was quite hot out, and the girls stayed in for almost an hour…a new record!
  • We dried off and came inside for gifts and a nap.  The girls (Missy) each got me a new bike accessory; I need to be safe as I find myself riding more often (and a lot later) these days.
  • After we put the girls down for their afternoon nap, Missy kicked me out of the house.  I chose hit a bucket of balls down the road at the driving range.

Channeling my inner Rory McIlroy.

  • I arrived home just in time to pull the roast off the grill.  Even though it didn’t have that “12-hours-on-the-smoker/falling -off-the-bone” quality, the meat was still succulent and delicious.  And just check out that smoke ring!

Looks done to me!

I wish you had Smell-O-Vision right now...

Rowan the Mooch.

  • Great Grandpa Harvey joined us for dinner…but even with six (plus a few moochers), we had a truckload of leftovers.  Did I mention it was nine pounds?
  • After dinner we played with the girls and finally put them down just after 7:30.  I quickly changed and took a 15-mile ride down around Gray’s Lake and back…you know I just had to put my new gear to use {bike pack, front & rear strobes, and trip navigator}!

Hitting the road for an evening ride. Too light out to see the strobe (left of center)...

My route for the evening.

So that was our Anni-Father-Versary-Day.  Needless to say, it was tough going back to work Monday morning after a weekend as spectacular as that!

It’s almost like someone had already planned everything out for us…but these things always find a way of working themselves out in the end 😉

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!

7 thoughts on “Our Anni-Father-Versary-Day Weekend

  1. It was a great weekend! Thanks for posting about it babe! It was one giant lesson for you not to worry about impressing me! 🙂

  2. Pingback: A Midsummer Night’s Update | living in pursuit

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