Monday Musings | What’s Going On

For starters…is it just me, or has there been a whole lot of awful going on lately? And is it just me, or does it always seem to go down on a Monday?? Like…I want to tell you about all the great going on in our lives…all the good things that we’ve been doing now that we don’t feel trapped inside by an otherworldly winter. But from Boston…to John’s passing…and now the tragedy across the southern plains…I feel as if there is a cloud hanging over each Monday Musings that I’ve posted since March. I’m caught between wanting to be joyous yet still respectful to those affected. It’s been a hard line to walk. Collectively as a nation it seems like as soon as we start healing from one tragedy another one knocks us right back down again.

I’ll Just keep praying…holding on tight to the ones I love…I feel so helpless, but what else can we do?

Onto the musings…

• • •

Admit it: you started humming the refrain from Marvin Gaye’s hit Motown classic once you saw the title of this post!

I’m not gonna lie (at least not to you, loyal blog reader) but I’m a tad bit daunted as I begin to collect my thoughts and attempt to get back into the groove of writing and recount all the Hardinge happenings over these past few weeks. After all, it’s been almost an entire month since my last Monday Musings; there is just so much that has happened since then that I just need to catch you up on and, well…muse about. Wild weather, Mother’s Day, homestead beautifying…not to mention four (!!!) very special birthdays…

bday girls 1

bday girls 2

…you know, the sort of thing you’ve come to expect here on Monday nights. So let’s get right to it!

More on their birthday celebrations in a follow up post to come shortly!

Wild Weather

I feel like I always talk about weather here on MM, but whatevs…it’s the one thing that everyone can relate to. The great equalizer. Or something like that. Anyway, in just the past three weeks we’ve experiences some of the wackiest May weather I’ve ever experienced. From a Snow Day in May…

snow day in may 1

snow day in may 2

…a summer-esqe heatwave…

heat wave in may2

heat wave in may1

…to more seasonable spring weather, and even our first taste of spring storms…

spring storms1

spring storms2

…I suppose it’s that time of year again in the Midwest. Thankfully, I think the winter that would not end has finally ended, so at least we’ve got that going for us.

(Side note: While our weather may be crazy at time, it pales in comparison to what has happened across the plains already this week. Most of this was written before Monday afternoon’s devastation in Oklahoma. Our hearts absolutely ache for those families affect by this catastrophic tragedy. We are praying…hard…and hugging our babies extra tight tonight.)

My DIY Life

When the weather has been favorable, we’ve made sure to take advantage of it by checking off (or at least starting) a few of our many outdoor projects. First up: the east yard. You remember this scene, right?

One Year Home03

One Year Home12

Yuck. Well, a few weeks back on a whim (ok, a strategically well-planned whim) I went out and bought retaining wall blocks to help with our first project of the summer: building egress window wells.  May I present to you…the new look!

Nowhere near finished yet, but in just a few hours I was able to greatly improving the look (both inside and out)…

Window Well 2

Window Well 1

…and achieve a sense of accomplishment that only comes from working with your hands outdoors on a beautiful spring day in Iowa. (Yes, the wells are different. The larger blocks were repurposed from a retaining wall at the old house!)

Puffy Clouds in Iowa

G-pa Steve of Steve’s Concrete Removal, Inc. was also busy tearing out more leftover shed foundation concrete…

Concrete Removal2

…exposing a stockpile of walnuts in the process.

Concrete Removal1

Dang them varmints!

Mother’s Day

Although officially Mother’s Day was on May 12th, the holiday has been somewhat extended in the Hardinge Homestead due to both seen and unforeseen extenuating circumstances.

Lola’s birthday party (she turned one on May 1st!) was originally scheduled on May 5th, but thanks to the snow, a case of strep, and a last-minute trip to Georgia, we pushed it back to May 12…Mother’s Day…even though we knew that for Mama Missy it would mean a day spent prepping and cleaning rather than indulging and relaxing as it should have been. However, I don’t think she minded 😉

bdayparty 12

bdayparty 13

bdayparty 11

Yet the party turned out to be tons of fun, with even a few friends on hand to make their own May Day baskets with the assortment of goodies we had on hand.

beach batch12

Don’t worry…as for Mother’s Day itself: although I’m sure she really enjoyed the breakfast the girls “helped” me prepare for her last Sunday, Missy was able to spend hours of much needed alone time getting coffee and shopping yesterday afternoon without feeling tense or rushed. I know for sure she appreciated it!

The Beach Batch

My last round of brew was a huge hit (and not just by my own accord)…so much so that I’ve decided to make a second batch…specifically to take with us to Hannah’s Wedding/the beach later this summer.

beach batch09

It’s the Beach Batch!

beach batch06

beach batch05

beach batch07

beach batch10

Beach Batch for the Beach Bash! Hope the east coast fam is ready for some Honey Ale 😉


  • Had our first bonfire of the year a few weeks ago…success!



  • Gray’s Lake Park is one of our favorite spots in Des Moines, but neither of us realized there was a Bald Eagle’s nest within throwing distance from the loop trail until we visited with the girls earlier in April!


It was so cool to see them out and about while we played on the jungle gym under the clear blue sky.




  • Our summer strolls just got a whole lot more interesting now that…get this…our little Lola-bean is a walker!

lola on a walk 2

lola on a walk


That’s all from me tonight. Again, I’m sorry if you feel I’ve been at all insensitive to what’s been happening in the news today. I promise you that I wasn’t trying to be…but if you’d like to e-mail to chat about it, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Monday, and have a great week!

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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!

2 thoughts on “Monday Musings | What’s Going On

  1. I do look forward to this every week! I think you have become a wonderful husband and dad. Life goes on, and I think that we must celebrate life’s small joys as well as be mindful of other’s pain. Who knows how many people you give hope to just by sharing your life through your blog?

  2. Pingback: Monday Musings | living in pursuit

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