The one thing I HATE the most.

I'm okay with going through rough times; give me a goal, and I can hunker down through anything. But throw some trouble my way, don't give me a clue as to when, where or how it will end, and don't include any instructions for the meantime, and you'll have a Missy-mess on your hands.

Several major troubles have hit at once, and a smaller one happened last night. Jeremy called me at three in the morning to tell me that his truck had broken down! He slept in it until 7AM when I came to rescue him. Today, I am laughing at it all. I even counted out how many things have happened in the last five days. Seven problems, and I'm not talking about little things, have jumped on us in the last five days. It really is amusing if you stop to think about it.

On Monday, I thought back to my contentment post and wondered if God was preparing me then for all of this. I know absolutely for sure that He is still in control, that He is not surprised, that He is doing what is THE BEST for me and my family. So I'm not really all that worried about anything.

I'm just resentful that I have to go through it.

Yesterday afternoon, Liberty was hungry. As I stood at the kitchen counter in a small beam of sunlight and mixed her rice cereal, she sat behind me and loudly let me know that she was unhappy with the timing of her meal. I heard myself saying over my shoulder to her, "Hold on a minute, Baby Girl, I'm making something wonderful for you, but it's going to take a little time. You don't really want me to rush it and give you lumpy cereal, now do you?"

And it hit me.

That is what I'm doing with God. I am trusting Him to give me something good, but I'm not trusting Him to do it in His time. I am begging for lumpy cereal, just so I can have it NOW, rather than letting Him take the time to make something wonderful for me.

Psalm 5:3 In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.

Psalm 38:15 LORD, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, take heart and wait for the LORD.

So here I am...
I stole my new picture from Hindto's site. She has BEAUTIFUL Hawaii pictures up.
My fingers hesitate on the letters. My brain searches for inspiration.

So many things I want to type. So many things I am not ready to share.

Thankfully, God is ALWAYS in control. Even more so when I take my hands off the wheel and let Him drive.
I took this personality test by choosing pictures that answered the questions they asked, and the results seem to be pretty accurate as far as I can tell.

Personality: Moods
Dreamer: Always drifting off, their imagination takes control. They have big ideas, and a cool calm manner.
You can be both calm and peaceful, and you like to feel free to explore your environment. You can be a little nostalgic and you love revisiting familiar places and memories. As for music, it’s the soundtrack to your world. An open road, your favorite tracks – clich├ęs are there to be enjoyed! Your choice of treat reveals that simple pleasures make your day. You love relaxing, unwinding, and pampering.

Personality: Fun
Thriller: They can make the best of any situation – always a lot of fun to be around. They love to laugh, and they have a bit of a naughty side.
You like simple pleasures, and take time to appreciate all corners of your life. This makes you content and balanced, someone people love to hang out with. For kicks nothing beats an adrenalin rush. You like to take risks and push limits, you’re confident and brave – live is for the living. When it comes to holidays, you’ll take experience over comfort every time. You love to be in charge of where you are heading – the freedom of choosing your own direction. What grosses you out? You favor the natural look and can’t stand a pumped and plumped, plastic appearance.

Personality: Habits
High Time Roller: They are only seen in the best, and the finest, they love top quality, high-end glamour. Always adding a touch of sophistication to the proceedings.
You never have enough rest – either you’re too busy, exhausted or perhaps just a little lazy? Either way your snooze button is your best friend, and at times your worst enemy! Mooo! You’re choice of drink shows someone that has a taste for the country, and boy is it good for you. As for the home, your bold personality is reflected in your style. You like to be in surroundings that life your mood and that wild side to you.

Personality: Love
Love Bug: They are the type to fall in love a thousand times a day. Their feelings snowball quickly, and they are full of passion.
For you, love is about long-term commitment; it means devotion and tenderness. When you think of freedom – you think of being in charge of your direction. The open road and a full tank can take you pretty much anywhere.

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Monday is Craig's birthday, and I'm decorating the office! I can't wait to see his face! First off, streamers everywhere, topped off by a gigandomundus Happy Birthday sign. Hee-hee!

I've contacted a few clients who are planning to barrage him with birthday greetings all day long on the phone, and one said she'd stop by with a cake! He's going to be so surprised! This is awesome!

In other news, our friends (different ones from last week) are coming to our house for a cookout and GAMES! My friend Beth invited me to a play next month, Jane Eyre, which is also one of my favorite books. (That's a long list!) We're meeting with the pastor on Sunday to talk about joining the church that we've been attending for four months now. (The one with the awesome adult Sunday school class. Right now we're studying Philippians...and I've lost my book. It's been missing for two weeks, now, and I'm about to give in and ask for another one. But I know as soon as I do, I'll find my old one.)

Hmm, that's about it. But guess what? IT'S FRIDAY!!!! :-)

PS> when I hit spell check before posting this, it wanted to change my made up "gigandomundus" word to "condiments."
I'm going to ask Craig to hire Kimmie part-time.

She's amazing. I wish you could have seen The Stack of Filing (yes, that should be capitalized, it had a life of it's own!) And with Kimmie's help, it was gone in three hours! Amazing!

I am loving having her here at work...especially since Craig's on vacation. He took his family to Disney World, so I would have been the only one in the office for a week. But Kimmie rescued me.

Right now, she's at tennis practice. She left here around 11:30 so that she would have enough time to walk to the tennis court and re-organize herself before practice started at noon. She's amusing that way. Where I slide into my seat just in the nick of time and whip out my supplies while the teacher monologues, Kimmie likes to be ready and in her seat ten to twenty minutes ahead of time...just so that she is cool, calm and collected when it's time to start.

I laugh, but she and I could probably both use a little adjusting so that we're more in balance instead of being at opposite extremes. At least I'm very rarely late. I'm usually right on time or a minute ahead. The credit for this virtue belongs solely to my dad. When I was growing up, he worked HARD to instill a sense of responsibility and punctuality into me. (Poor guy!)

Jeremy, as those of you who know him can testify, has no regard for time. I fondly (and sometimes exasperatedly) call him my southern boy because he moseys along. When I try to speed him up in order to reach our destination on time, he drawls, "Calm down; they won't mind waiting." He kindly assumes that everyone else is as laid-back as he is. If someone were late for an appointment with him, he wouldn't mind. He'd be occupied with something else anyway.

What funny people we are! I really enjoy seeing differing personalities and different quirks in the people around me, and since being married to Jeremy, I have learned not to take life so seriously.
My girls are different ways.

Liberty is growing physically. Her tummy is now mature enough to hold solid food, which she very eloquently pointed out to me yesterday. Actually, it took me four days to catch on because I'm a little slow, but I finally got her point. The poor baby has been crying off and on since Saturday, and none of us could figure out what was wrong with her until yesterday evening. On Monday, she drank 11 ounces of milk(!) and still cried for more. On Tuesday, she finished off nine ounces in five minutes and screamed to let me know that she was still hungry. It finally dawned on me that she may be ready for solid food. This realization should be credited in part to my friend Brandy who informed me several months ago what kinds of signs to look for. Of course, she also told me, "You'll just know." (Which I didn't, but that was not her fault.) One of the reasons that her advice came to my mind yesterday, was because she had a few minutes to spare and she called long enough to say, "Hi," that afternoon. God used her phone call to freshen my memory about Liberty's unusual hunger. Yay for God!

Kimmie is growing in maturity. She's at work with me today since she's on spring break (what a way to spend it!) Several of the comments that she's made today, and something that she typed up on the computer and allowed me to read have really brought into focus how much God is working in her heart. He and she together are amazing to me! She's also helping out with some filing that has stacked up (again), and that has made me think of her in a new light. A light that shows her working at a real job and being a responsible adult. I guess I'm happy and sad to think of that. Happy, because she's maturing the way she ought, and sad because she's going to be leaving me very shortly.

Growth is good, but I think I want to keep my kids young for a while longer.

Here they are...
We explored our new Walmart last night. Every aisle. Every item.

In a previous post, I had mentioned how much drive time we used to employ getting to and from the grocery store. The nearest one was thirty minutes from our house. But now that the new Walmart has been built (it opened last week) we can easily stop by to pick up groceries on our way home from work! This is going to save gas money, but I'm afraid the convenience of stopping by whenever it strikes our fancy may help us to spend that freshly saved money.

In accordance with the new location, our grocery day is moving from the weekend to Monday...which means that I'm going to need to adjust my weekly menus to accommodate the new schedule. It also means that shopping will go much faster and end up being a LOT cheaper, since I will be doing it alone with no one (read Jeremy) to beg for extra stuff or sneak extra stuff into the cart.

Shopping on Mondays will also help me pass the hour or so between the time I get off of work and the time Kimmie finishes tennis practice after school, and it frees up our weekends for pure, unadulterated FUN! No grocery shopping stopping. Pretty nifty.

My only complaint stems from the cement floor of the new Walmart. It is slippery enough that my shoes don't grip on it, and my feet constantly slide as I walk. I have to employ the duck-walk in order to stay put. While we were exploring yesterday, we spent three and a half hours in the store. By the time we left, I had gotten used to walking like a duck, and it felt a little odd to walk normally once we were out in the parking lot.

I'm going to look awfully funny walking stiff-legged through life if I accidentally get stuck like that!
What a great weekend!

Plan one (see previous post) went brilliantly; I met Emily's mom, and she WAS fun. She reminded me of my mom which is a good thing, because my mom is my best friend. The girls had lots of fun...and LOTS of high-pitched giggles at three in the morning, but that of course is how you measure the success of a sleep-over.

Plan two (see previous post) ended up being a great surprise for me. Not only did Jeremy pick me up at work to take me out, but he had also taken the entire day off! (He had earned two extra vacation days for perfect attendance so he used one of them on me.) We also got to have an adventure and lots of laughs while on our quest to eat together. We planned to eat at restaurant number one, which is a little ice cream and sandwich shop that we have never tried before. Several people in town have recommended this place to us, and the weather was just sunshiny enough that we would be able to comfortably cuddle at one of the outside tables and share a sandwich. We walked over there from my office, but the sign at the ice cream window informed us that they did not accept debit cards. Oh well, we shrugged and skipped down the road in the opposite direction to try restaurant number two. We had also heard about their legendary sandwiches. As Jeremy opened the squeaky screen door at the meat market, the wonderful smells of freshly cured ham and made-on-the-spot bologna overtook our senses. We inhaled appreciatively and picked up a menu. The man behind the counter then informed us that the meat market does not serve sandwiches after 2pm. Jeremy and I looked at each other in puzzlement. What kind of restaurant does not serve food after 2pm? Do the people in this town quit eating at two o'clock?

We wandered back out into the sunshine, and questioned each other. "Where do you want to go?" We decided to try restaurant number three, the cafe a few blocks away, so off we scampered across the square. We stopped at the water fountain in remembrance of the fun snowman who had stood there, and I pointed out the bench where I had posed with his buddy "The Sitter." Upon arriving at the cafe, our light-hearted mood evaporated suddenly when we read the "Closed" sign on the front door. "CLOSED!" We shouted in unison, then we began laughing. "This is crazy! It's not even a holiday." Now what?

Restaurant number four was a steak and pizza parlor, a block and a half away. As we strolled that direction, we joked back and forth about the likelihood of it being closed also. Ironically, when we arrived on the scene, the sign in the door told us that it would not open until 5pm!

We ended up at restaurant number five, good ole Smokey Row, our standby. Of course, we've got the menu memorized by now, but they have great atmosphere, wonderful smells, live entertainment sometimes, and just plain good food. Jeremy ate a half-order of biscuits covered in sausage gravy, and I had a Turkey Croissant, mmmm-mmmm! Then we left to pick up Kimmie and Liberty and begin our action-packed weekend.

And here's where the prize comes in. Plan three (see previous post) actually produced a prize! (Notice the exclamation point.) We won a three day, two night "vacation." What this really means is, if we mail in $15.00, they will send us a brochure that tells us about a hotel room that we won (if we pay the room taxes the rest of the room bill is free). There were several destinations to choose from, but Jeremy noticed Branson, Missouri on the list, and that is within driving distance. So who knows? We may save up enough money to take a short road trip this summer! I LOVE ROAD TRIPS! We've already talked about inviting my family, because my mom has been wanting to visit Branson for several years now.

Moving on to plan four (see previous post). We had a lovely dinner at our friends' house: ham, mashed potatoes, sweet peas, croissants, and ice cream (can you tell I'm a little hungry right now?) Kim and Rachel played outside, and then up in Rachel's room with Liberty, while Jeremy and I spent the evening chatting with the parents. We really enjoyed our time there becoming better friends, relaxing, discussing. Towards the end of the evening, the girls came downstairs, and we played GAMES!!!! I quickly pulled out ahead of the pack in Phase 10; for a short time, Jeremy and I were neck and neck, then at the last second, he slid into the winner's spot. I had already laid my phase down, but he went out while I still had two cards left. Our hosts laughed at our competitive banter throughout, and a great time was had by all.

And here comes the best part...Jeremy has taken his second "Perfect Attendance" vacation day today! So our whole family gets to hang out together tonight. We're planning to play some tennis in the park then come home, grill hamburgers and play GAMES until late since Kimmie is on Spring Break.

PS> Liberty is this excited about it all...

We have a big weekend ahead!

The girl's dance/drill team performs tonight at the high school, and Liberty, Kimmie and I will be there without bells on. Three of Kim's friends are spending the night at our house afterwards (Callie, Ashley and Emily), and I'm meeting up with Emily's mom at the drill team performance. After the show, the girls and I will go out for pizza and then rent a movie to take back to our house.

I have a feeling Emily's mom and I are going to be friends! I always try to meet or at least chat over the phone with the parents of Kim's friends before the girls start hanging out at each other's homes, and two nights ago, I called Emily's mom just to get to know her a little better. It turns out, their family moved to this area in July just like we did, and Mrs. Emily is feeling the lack of friends also.

So...dun-da-da-dun! Missy to the rescue! :-)

She sounded so nice and normal on the phone. I really hope she turns out to be great in real life.

So that is plan number one. Plan number two started out this morning with a little undercover cuddling. When I had to get up for work, Jeremy asked me out on a date!!!! He's coming to pick me up at work this afternoon, and we're going to go somewhere before I go get Liberty and before he heads over to work. I'm so excited! I love surprises, and I love Jeremy, so this is going to be great!!!

Plan number three revolves around a possible prize. We received a flier in the mail from a car dealership in another town about twenty minutes from our house. Kimmie peeled off the match and win sticker...and our number matched. (Notice the lack of exclamation point after that sentence?) I am distinctly skeptical, but slightly hopeful. The fine print says no purchase necessary, and that we have won one of the following three possibilities: a Ford F150, $20,000 cash, or a three day two night trip somewhere. Again, I'm very skeptical, but hoping for the cash. So, Saturday morning, we're going to the dealership to find out what we've really gotten ourselves in for.

Plan number four includes dinner at a friends' house. They have a boy who is a senior in high school and a girl who is a sophomore in high school, so Kim's going to hang with them while Jeremy, Liberty and I hang with the parents. We're bringing GAMES!!!!
Liberty has her first tooth...and I'll give you one guess how I found out about it. Yep, she BIT me!!! And after all that I've done for her, too.

I still haven't seen it; every time I try to go exploring in her mouth, she zips her lips, and then she crinkles her little eyes up at me...smiling without moving her mouth. Her future dentist is going to have his work cut out for him because she must have the most powerful baby jaw in the world...and the cutest baby eyes!

Oh well, if I never can find it, then I guess the tooth fairy won't need to pay up six years from now either. Thrifty Missy strikes again!
Welcome with me the newest member of our office!

Sabrina, a beautiful, sleek-looking machine, replaced Oscar (click this link to read about him). Where Oscar was short and squat, Sabrina is tall and elegant. She reminds me (slightly) of Audrey Hepburn.

The day Sabrina arrived, Oscar chose to seamlessly perform his duties so we left Sabbie in the box, and continued using Oscar. The next day, we unwrapped our new friend and exclaimed in wonder over her beauty and presumed intelligence. We set her on the desk next to Oscar. Oscar became moody and SHUT HIMSELF DOWN! Really! Since Sabrina was not yet plugged in or networked, we coaxed Oscar to begin working again. We begged him, massaged him, unplugged and replugged him. Nothing worked. He refused to budge. He wouldn't even allow a slight blink of his indicator lights.

In amazement, Kathy and I stared at each other. "I can't believe he is this jealous!" she exclaimed. "This is crazy."

So Sabbie began working earlier than intended. She did not have a chance for acclimation or training. She just jumped right into her work, and she has done a great job so far. One characteristic that we noticed right away was the fact that she purrs, and it's a very lady-like sound. Oscar's growls are now a thing of the past.

And you know what? I miss him.

Kimberly's cat, BooBoo, died yesterday.

The small oreo colored cat padded its way into our hearts seven years ago and never left. She lived a productive life, bringing much love and joy to a lonely, young girl and to an entire family.

You are missed, little one.
At Liberty's baby shower a few months ago, we received everything we could possibly need for a new baby...except a healthometer.

A healthometer is a computer program that allows the parents to type in the symptoms their child has. It can be updated each day or each hour as needed, and when the diagnose button is clicked, it spits out a diagnosis and a treatment.

For example:
On Monday at 8:00 PM, I could type fussy, fever 101.2, congested.
At 10:30 PM, I could type very fussy, fever 99.8, rubbing ears.
On Tuesday at 7:30 AM, I could type happy, smiling, giggling, chewing on toes, no fever.
Later, at 8:30 PM, I could type fussy, fever 102.4, choking on mucus.
At 10:00 PM, I could type screaming, fever 102.7, bath does not bring fever down, Tylenol does not bring fever down.
On Wednesday morning at 6:00 AM, I could type very happy, no fever, laughing, trying to sit up.
On Wednesday evening at 5:30 PM, I could type fussy, eyes red, fever 100.3.
Then on Thursday morning, I could click the diagnose button and it would print out instructions like this
Liberty only has a cold. Wait two more days, and she will be completely well. She can be treated with cold medicine and Tylenol as needed.

This would prevent me from wasting $30.00 at the doctor's office to hear him tell me, "Everyone's got this cold. Just wait a few more days, and it will go away."

Of course, this program only exists in my imagination.
It seems that I am too competitive for my own good!

My husband Jeremy does not check my blog. Instead, he lazily requests that I email him my entries as I post them. Therefore, in an effort to prevent Jeremy from being prodded to victory, I deliberately chose not to email him any of my blog entries regarding The Great Dieting Challenge. (I am emailing him this entry, though. Maybe it will tempt him to check out my blog for real! He's missing out on quite a bit.)

At home, Kimmie and I freely discussed our contest, but when Jeremy was around, I kept those conversations to a minimum. Jeremy is very competitive, too, and I didn't want to lose to him because my constant reminders kept him sharp. This is called strategy.

Unfortunately, my strategy resulted in a questioning look from my darling husband on March 1st when I said, "Well, the challenge is over. Step right up to the scale, Mr. Skinny Man, and let's see what you brought."

"The challenge is over?" he repeated, "I thought we never started it. We talked about it, but I thought we just dropped it."

"We did drop it...or rather, I dropped it...from conversation, but my goodness, that challenge was alive and well all month. I worked HARD for my weight-loss, and you're not going to claim ignorance and get out of this one!" I informed him as I pushed him towards the scale.

"But I had a party at work last night!" he protested.

"Good! The more the merrier!" I patted his tummy and attempted to lift his foot onto the scale.

He sighed and stepped up, then exclaimed, "Wow!" as he looked at the numbers. I tried to interpret his vocal expression. Was that excitement or anxiety?

It was excitement.

That stinker did not diet, did not work out, DID pig out the night before, and he still lost three pounds! Why is life not fair to me?

I still proclaimed myself the winner because I know for a fact that I lost 3.4 pounds, and Jeremy can't remember what his decimals were. That means that he lost approximately 3 pounds. Kimmie only lost 2 pounds. (We won't mention the fact that she started the challenge later than either of us, and at the rate she was going, probably would have beaten Jeremy and me if she had started at the same time.)

I WON!!!! Yay for me! (Kind of.)
Well, February is over. I weighed myself this morning, and I have lost 3.4 pounds.

The details go like this:

Start diet
Lose two pounds
Lose one more pound
Gain six pounds
Lose two pounds
Gain one pound
Gain one pound
Lose one pound
Lose one pound
Lose two pounds
Lose one pound
Gain two pounds
Lose one pound
Lose one pound
Lose one pound

If you add all of the losses together, I really lost 13 pounds! Now, I think that should count for something! We won't add the gains.

So, now I get to find out if I won the contest. I'll feed Jeremy and Kimmie a BIG supper tonight, and then make them weigh themselves.

I'll let you know what we find out!