Monday Musings | Catching Up

I was only half-joking when I brought up the idea of “Monthly Musings” back in September, yet it seems that almost another month has passed since my last posting. I blame the end of daylight savings. By the time we get the girls tucked in at night all I want to do is sleep, since it feels like midnight even though it’s barely 8:30 most nights.

Excuses, excuses…amiright?

Anyway, here’s what you’ve missed since we last talked:

At the end of October Miss & I were invited to our first costume party as a couple (at least we thinkhow does that happen?!); after careful consideration we chose to go as Bob Ross and a “Happy Little Tree.”

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We call that winning Halloween. The affair eventually turned into a dance party (complete with glow sticks!), and we could hear the apartment blasting Katy Perry into the night as we left. GREAT times!

Continuing another Hardinge family fall tradition, we took the girls to the pumpkin patch late last month as well, only this time we chose to check out the Pumpkin Ranch in Winterset…

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…rather than our ol’ standby (which the girls had already visited with their preschool class this year). Everyone was a big fan of the burlap sack slides…

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…but the tennis ball air cannons were the highlight of my morning!

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While we all appreciated the change of Agritourism pace, I think we still prefer Howell’s as our go-to fall destination. However, I will say that I think we would have enjoyed the Pumpkin Ranch much more if there wasn’t a 25 mph gale impeding on our fun. Oh, and we still have yet to try Center Grove Orchard…so it appears that the jury is still out!

We did the whole Trick-or-Treat thang…with this herd of cats and dogs in tow:

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We definitely lucked out this year with an evening of mild temps for “Beggars Night” (here in DSM we don’t Trick-or-Treat actually on Halloween; we do it the night before because apparently it’s safer that way…).

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As for the destination: since we don’t actually live in a neighborhood, we drove into West Des Moines to visit Missy’s Aunt/Uncle/Grandma for the evening. It’s a low key, well-lit ‘hood that Missy & co. frequented on Halloween when she was young. The tradition continues!

I have to mention that the highlight of the night was this thing:

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…a happy ghost which slowly moved up and down in his Jack-O-Lantern. He had the crew mesmerized for 20 minutes straight.

My quest to maintain my engineering license took me to Chicago a few weeks ago for some continuing education credits. While the class itself probably wouldn’t make for too much of an interesting segment, it did give me an excuse to catch up with some really cool kids from DeMo living in the big city now…Monthly Musings 13

…and a chance to make the requisite stop at Ikea on my way back home.

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(Rule of homeownership #109: When visiting a city with an Ikea, thoust shall stop and shop at Ikea. Although it’s a lot harder to do when you’re spouse isn’t there with you and you have to iMessage back and forth which light you think would go best in your living room…)

In other news, Lola turned 18 months old on November first!

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Who is this person that now resides in my house, and what have you done with my baby? She has had a legitimate word explosion over the past 6-8 weeks, and she enjoys saying all the animal noises and identifying body parts on command…

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I die.


  • Exciting news from the Exciting News Department: Got the immediate fam (Ma and the sibs, with Dad and Peg to visit later in January) all organized for a trip to IA right after Christmas through the new year! We’re all P-U-M-P pumped!!
  • Because this picture turned out so epic, I’m posting it here again:

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I’d like to say we staged this pic specifically in support of Movember, but alas…it just happened to work out that way. Go girls!

  • Missy has been working non-stop these past few months photo-editing some old classics…

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 …and new favorites…

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…while converting them all into black & white images for our new gallery wall. She’s also been snapping up all the black-border frames she can get her hands on at the local Goodwill locations, and finally last night her grand vision was made into a reality.

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We still have work to do, and more pictures to order, but oh man…this hallway looks so awesome already!

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  • Despite our first taste of winter last week…

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…warm weather returned on Saturday, allowing me to hang Christmas lights outside in short sleeves! Gotta make hay while the sun shines, right? I don’t foresee it being close to 70 degrees again between now and the holidays.

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  • Speaking of Christmas…

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…yeah, our tree is officially up and fully decorated. Hate on it if you want, but it truly warms up our home and brings out the biggest smiles on our four little girls faces. And while it may still seem early, we know all too well how fast December will fly by, especially this year with Thanksgiving so late. Why not enjoy this happy time of year for as long as possible?

Don’t worry Thanksgiving, we haven’t forgotten about you! Our Thankful Tree is still going strong, and plans for this year’s Campfire Turkey are already well in the works. I am counting down the days until the feast!

That’s all the news that is news in the Hardinge Homestead…happy Monday, and have a great week!


5 thoughts on “Monday Musings | Catching Up

  1. I love reading you posts so much and of course seeing your beautiful family. I only have one and can’t imagine what it is like with three more. Amazing. Of course I would like to borrow Missy for some home decorating ideas as every picture of your house is wonderful and beautiful. Keep up the great work with those girls. They seem precious.

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