Monday Musings

In what may or may not be a Living in Pursuit first, for five consecutive days last week (July 30 – August 2), there was a brand new post…all capped off by Missy’s fantastic retro diary of Lola’s birthday. I’m not sure where this spurt of creativity came from, but don’t expect it to be the new standard…rather just a pleasant exception to the norm 😉 Although there is rarely a dull moment at the Hardinge Homestead, giving us enough content to post seven days a week, having the time to do so just isn’t in the cards unless someone discovers how to add more hours to the day.

Yet even if they did that, I think I would just spend those hours asleep. But I digress…

Olympic Fever

Do you have it? If it wasn’t obvious already (opening ceremonies British themed watch party, anyone?), Missy and I most certainly do. Whether it’s watching Michael Phelps dominate the competition in the water or Gabby, the newest individual all-around champ showing us what it really means to do the Dougie, to everything else in between (Water polo? Synchro-Diving? Beach Volleyball? TRAMPOLINE?!)…we’re eating it all up and (spoilers be darned!) loving every minute.

(Photo credit: Reuters)

Special shout-out to Gabby Douglas, the Virginia native who moved away from her home to train for the past two years with Liang Chow in good ol’ West Des Moines, Iowa baby! First Shawn J. and now Gabby? That man will need to add an expansion wing to his gym for the flood of future hopefuls that will surely come knocking after he returns from London.

Some other quick takes:

  • Usain St. Leo Bolt. What are the odds that the fastest man in the world has a last name like that? Do you think it’s legit?
  • For all the smack talk and hype, Ryan Lochte sure got out worked after all was said and done. Oh, and 2005 called: its wants its rhinestone grill back, bro 😉 Guess I shouldn’t talk though…he could still lap me many times over in any kind of competitive swim!
  • Trampoline? TRAMPOLINE? Have you seen these people? How cool is that?! Who is the Trampoline pro for the United States, and then where do I go to sign up for lessons??
  • Badminton, Handball, Ping-Pong Table Tennis, Canoe racing…where is the love for Ultimate Frisbee?? Come’on, IOC!
  • What’s been the craziest event that you’ve seen so far? Team track cycling has to near the top of my list…riding with no gears and no breaks on a tiny banked track while going nearly 50 mph? Those guys and gals have some serious nerves of steel!

Hidden Gem

Des Moines parents: have you heard of/been to Ashby Park yet? If not, GO NOW.

Missy has been with the girls a number of times, and I finally made it out there for a Pre-Olympics picnic (I told you we had the fever!) with some friends. And while I heard it’s pretty chaotic during the day, by the time we showed up things had calmed down considerably.

The wadding/splash pool was perfect temp/depth for the girls to play in…

…and the swings and slides were a big hit once they turned the water off at seven.

I’m not sure who had more fun…us, or the girls!

We will most definitely be going back soon 😀

Fond Farewell

Wow…nine days really goes by so fast!

While certainly more of an extended stay than last time, we found ourselves once again waving goodbye as Hannah and Chris pulled out of our driveway. This time around our agenda was much more low-key, highlighted by multiple dinners on the deck

…game nights…

…and of course, another epic photo shoot:

And those two were just from my phone; can’t wait to share the real thing with you!

Don’t know when the next time we will get to see them will be…hopefully at some point before they’re married next June!


  • Cindy and Steve left late last week on another mission trip to Ghana!  We’ve only had a few updates so far, but it seems that the journey went smoothly and they are already hard at work on the farm. Wish we could be there too!

  • Speaking on Ghana, check out what Missy and I saw for sale on our latest outing to Whole Foods…

How cool is that?!

  • Every now and then, I find a picture, product, or video (time lapses ftw!) on the web that I desperately want to share with everyone…only due to the nature of this blog it usually just doesn’t fit in. So for my own amusement, I’ve created a tumblr page (like our Pinterest page, only less crafty and without all the workout plans) called Tom’s Outpost as a landing spot for all such oddities. Other than a link on the home page (eventually), I won’t promote it or let you know if and when I’ve added something new…but please feel free to check it out any time!

That does it for now…have a great week!


3 thoughts on “Monday Musings

  1. Hi Tom! Just wanted to say that I am really enjoying your blog. You have a beautiful family. Your title picture is just so…joyful! Take care! Debbie Catherman

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