It’s Official – Yooper Stewart’s Truckin’

As you may remember, Yooper Stewart decided to go to school to become a semi-truck driver. It’s a job he’s been prepping for his entire life: long hours on the road, not having to interact with people, and optional showering. 13395

After school, he interviewed with two companies and received two job offers. We spent several days praying about it before he made a decision, though it wasn’t easy. His new employer provides a variety of delivery routes and locations, which appeals to YS. It also, however, delivers to New York City – a location YS was in no hurry to visit. Still, we had peace about the decision, and YS decided he’d face NYC when he had to.14076

YS accepted the job and took his first four trips to NYC: twice to the Citibank building and twice to Nassau Colosseum. He didn’t always have time to play tourist, but he did manage to dine out a couple of times.

To make sure YS was completely comfortable in a truck, his trainer took him to NYC for the grand tour: from Delaware to Manhattan to Long Island to Queens to the Bronx to Manhattan to New Jersey. After this training, I think YS is going to be ready to drive anywhere. 14211

It’s been an interesting transition. We both thought I’d have the harder time with it (not seeing him for two weeks at a time), but it surprised us both that YS struggled the most (primarily because he’s a hardcore introvert, and he had to spend a month in a 6′ x 6′ box with a complete stranger). Though the training surprised us, what didn’t surprise me was that YS mastered training faster than average. Shortening his training by 25%, he’s ready for his last run before he graduates to his own truck. 14208

 

I won’t lie – we can’t wait for him to be in his own truck. Not only will he have some much-needed alone time, he’ll be able to set his own schedule (which includes home time!). And then – in April – if everything goes well, I’ll get to pack up my bag and hit the road with him. (Neither one of us wants to speculate as to how well we’ll do together in that truck cab, but we take comfort in knowing that if it doesn’t go well, it’ll only be 3-4 days.)14214

We’re both looking forward to settling into our new lifestyle. Everything has been inconsistent and constantly-changing since December, but getting his own truck with put YS back in the driver seat (literally and metaphorically). We still don’t know what life will look like in three months, six months, or a year, but we’re excited to find out.

Eleven Years with Yooper Stewart

478Yesterday Yooper Stewart and I celebrated our eleventh anniversary. That’s right – eleven years with my redneck. Some days we’re amazed that we’ve made it this far. Pretty much every day we’re thankful that we stuck with it and pressed through.

We were married on November 26, 2005, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I recognize November 26 as our anniversary; Yooper Stewart recognizes the Saturday after Thanksgiving as our anniversary. Either way, we don’t celebrate the way most people celebrate.

For starters, sometimes our anniversary (Nov. 26) is on Thanksgiving, so the whole family is invited. Regardless of when Nov. 26 falls, the Saturday after Thanksgiving is always the U-M/OSU game, so there’s a football game involved (for me, not YS – he couldn’t care less). And some years we’re up at 4 a.m. for Black Friday savings.479

Our gifts are pretty unconventional too. We generally don’t exchange gifts – a dinner out (when neither of us has to cook or clean) is usually enough, but recently Yooper Stewart has requested – and received – Legos. I prefer practical gifts, so it’s not uncommon for me to get a mop or some type of cleaning supply. This year he surprised me by finally fixing the top two items on the to-be-fixed list.

The past eleven years haven’t always been what I’d expected, but it sure has been a fun ride. I can’t wait for the next eleven.

 

Happy Birthday, YS

camo plaid

Thirty-six years ago today, Yooper Stewart entered the world. How prophetic that he was born on opening day of rifle season during the deer hunting season. I doubt his parents imagined that camo would become an every-day pattern in their son’s life (at our house we now consider camo a neutral – we pretend like it matches everything because he’s going to wear it with everything anyway).

I’ve know YS for nine years now, and I love the man more and more each day. Here are some of the reasons why I love him:

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– He remembers the names of my favorite authors, then picks up books with endorsements by those authors because, “I figured if your favorite author liked it, you’ll like it too.”

– When everything goes wrong and I want to throw things out the window, he taps into his calm-reserves and talks me down (unless the problem is fudgie traffic – then I have to talk him down).

– Have you seen him smile?

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– Every night in the winter he gives me a foot rub before bed. EVERY night (even if I’m already asleep, he’ll rub my feet until he knows for sure that I’m unconscious).

– He’s taller than me. That means I can wear heels!

– Old ladies love him.

– Little kids adore him.

– He makes me a better person (whether I want to be or not).

Happy birthday, honey. I love you!

With Matt

Missing: Yooper Stewart

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Last seen May 7, 2014, approximately 4 p.m. near the bathroom. After 30 minutes of  buzzing and rushing water, he has not been seen.

Wanted for questioning: handsome man with deep dimples.

DSC02754Originally suspected to be Yooper Stewart in disguise, that theory was immediately dismissed when strange man was seen loading the dishwasher, a skill as yet unmastered by Yooper Stewart.

DSC02751If you’ve seen Yooper Stewart, please feed him, then send him home.

 

 

“All Men Are Babies,” but Are All Women Jerks?

I had great plans for my next Yooper Stewart post, but a week with the flu has thrown off

This picture has nothing to do with the post, I just like to show pictures of Yooper Stewart.

This picture has nothing to do with the post, I just like to show pictures of Yooper Stewart.

my schedule. It’s also opened my eyes to yet another difference between my husband and me – how we deal with sickness.

Yooper Stewart is your stereotypical whiny-guy. He’s pretty sure his bout of the stomach flu is a life-ender and we should get the prayer chain started. Every ache is the worst, fever is the highest, and nose is the most congested of all time.

On top of his difficulty coping, he doesn’t know the difference between decongestants, anti-inflamatories, or cough suppressants. If I can convince him to take meds, I have to harass him to keep taking them (two Tylenol on Monday morning should be enough to battle his fever for the week, right?). It’s not that he doesn’t want to get better, it’s just that illnesses have an immaturing effect on him. It makes me crazy.

I wish I could say I handled my flu like a champ, but the truth is I was a b!%$#.

I’ve spent my time researching supplements, herbs, and medicines, so as soon as I felt the flu coming I started a daily routine of elderberry, vitamin C, oregano, raw honey, and acetaminophen. It made my three days on the couch bearable for me, but not so much for Yooper Stewart.

As a work-from-home wife, I am in charge of the day-to-day operations of our house, so when I’m down, house hold functions cease. YS tries to help out, but it’s hard during the winter. He spends eight hours at work moving tons of salt (literally) and removing snow. That leaves him pretty exhausted when he comes home, and now he has to do all of the snow removal at our house, plus the cooking and cleaning.

Normally I’m relatively understanding, but not when I’m sick. When there’s a virus roaming through my blood stream, nothing’s good enough – the floor is too dirty, presents aren’t wrapped nicely enough, and you can be sure none of it gets done fast enough. When I should be resting and drinking orange juice, I turn into Attila the Hun, storming around the house destroying those who oppose me. It’s not a pretty sight. When I start to mend, it’s a celebration for everyone.

I may give Yooper Stewart a hard time for his inability to care for himself, but I really should be more gracious. At least he’s never made anyone cry when he was sick.

Life with YS: Learning a New Language

With MattMarriage – a wonderful, holy union between a man and a woman. Just turn on the television and you don’t have to flip for long before finding a show dedicated to brides, weddings, or wedding planners. I’ll tell you what I haven’t seen, though – a show about a woman who grew up with sisters, then marries a wild, hairy mountain man.

As if living with a man wasn’t a big enough surprise – the eating-in-bed, peeing-in-the-backyard, lounging-in-underwear – no one ever mentioned that I’d have to learn to speak Yooper Stewart-ese. I knew when we met that we had different styles of communication, but I wasn’t prepared for a lifetime of learning.

My first clue should have been when we announced our engagement. We picked a date, venue, and attendants. I bought a dress and all the accessories, which I showed to YS’s sister. You would have thought I was showing her a Yeti pelt. Why?

Me to my family: YS and I are getting married.

YS to his family: We’re thinking about getting married.

There you have it, the fundamental difference between YS and me – absolutes and possibilities. Seven years ago we left one rental for another. Our first landlord was pretty shocked when I told him I’d leave the keys in the house at the end of the month (two weeks away). Why? Because YS gave our notice: We’re thinking about moving closer to my job …

Those events happened in our first year of togetherness, so I should know better by now, right? Yeah, right.

YS is a LEGO man. He creates, plays, researches – if it’s LEGO, he loves it. Most recently, he’s been buying and selling them. To be more accurate, he’s been buying them – lots and lots of them. It finally reached the point that I had to put my foot down, no more buying until he starts selling.

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Last week YS gave me some money to deposit into our checking account. Why? Because he’d been buying again. And what about the selling? Well, he did sell … one lot … for about 1% of the value of what he’s bought. Technically yes, he sold some LEGOs, and our agreement was that he would sell before buying again, so, technically, he met the standards of our arrangement. Sneaky, sneaky.

It looks like I’ve still got some learning to do, but I’m planning on being with Yooper Stewart for a good long time. Maybe I’ll figure out Yooper-speak in the next few decades.