Yooper Stewart & the Mrs.

Look at these babies? We were still nine years away from meeting when these pictures were taken (ten years before I would see Yooper Stewart clean shaven).

I remember how exciting it was to celebrate that first wedding anniversary—we planned a special dinner and evening together. Fourteen years later, we sat in bed talking and laughing until we fell asleep at 10 p.m.

I’ve always enjoyed Thanksgiving weekend, but now that it’s my anniversary weekend I love it all the more. I wanted to include him in today’s post, so I asked him for a quote to share with you today.*

Me: Honey, do you want to say anything on YooperStewart.com for our fifteenth wedding anniversary?

YS: I think you say things pretty well.

Me: But don’t you want to say anything?

YS: Uh … um … my life was just a shadow until I met you. Now it’s sunshine and rainbows. I love you more than I love basements. I’d sell all my Lego to marry you again. If I had a pole barn, I’d store my stuff in there and let you park in the garage.

Happy Anniversary, Yooper Stewart—you’re my favorite!

*Some creative editing was used to convey the appropriate meaning.

Yooper Stewart: A Celebration

Is there anything more attractive than the man you love holding a baby?* I don’t think so, and for 30 seconds this summer, Yooper Stewart was the most attractive thing around!

Yooper Stewart’s always ridiculously adorable, of course. That’s part of his charm, and it’s that time of the year again when I like to honor and celebrate his charm.

I’ve obviously neglected this site this year — I’m sorry. Because of that, I have MONTHS worth of stories to share, and, like any good writer, now that I’m at my computer I can’t remember a single one. Instead, I’ll regale you with all the wonderful things about Yooper Stewart, then end with a quick re-enactment of last night’s celebration.

My Favorite Things About Yooper Stewart

1. Old ladies love him. Seriously, women 70+ can’t resist him, probably because he’s super patient and will not only help with anything but also listen attentively to all their stories.
2. Kids love him. Pretty much for the same reason as #1. He’s also a hit with toddlers because he’ll play the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over again.
3. His feet are bigger than mine. Those of you with tiny feet won’t understand this because you can slip into ANYONE’S shoes, but when you have water skis for feet (like me), nothing fits. Yooper Stewart doesn’t have huge feet, but they’re bigger than mine — that means I can quickly slip into his Crocs to run out to the mailbox without worrying about getting my feet dirty!
4. He pays attention (sort of). We’ve had our fair of miscommunications (i.e. “I told you yesterday,” “No, you didn’t!”), but that doesn’t mean he’s not paying attention to other things. Here’s my favorite recent example:
I don’t have a laundry room, so I don’t have a utility sink. When YS brings home really dirty clothes, I have to soak them in the kitchen sink. Not convenient. I mentioned, “I should get a bucket or something so I can soak clothes on the washing machine,” then went out of town for several days. When I came back, there was a bucket on my washing machine. 🙂
5. He keeps moving forward. Yooper Stewart and I have a good life, but there’s always room to grow and change. He’s never said, “I’m good enough. I don’t need to learn anymore.” He keeps challenging himself and pushing himself, and he’s a better man for it.
6. The littlest things make him happy. Literally! The man loves Lego — have you seen the size of a 1×1 plate? But also, I wish you had heard his voice when I told him we upgraded our cell phone plan to unlimited data. I’m pretty sure he used more gigs of data in the first week than he did all of 2019.

I hope it’s pretty obvious that I love this guy, and I love celebrating him. And, because it’s been a while since I’ve shared one, here’s the latest exchange with Yooper Stewart (happy birthday, honey!):

Me: (turning on the TV) What do you want to watch?
YS: Highway Thru Hell!
Me: (groaning as I turn the channel)
YS: Why do you do that? You ask me what I want to watch, then make that sound.
Me: It’s your birthday weekend. I want you to watch whatever shows you want … I just wish you had better taste in TV shows. 😉

*Meet Little Z! Our newest nephew and my favorite baby in the whole world!

Yooper Stewart Learns to Relax

Life with Yooper Stewart is many things. Boring is not one of them. I need to have a recording device surgically implanted in my hand so I’m always ready to record the conversations and comebacks that happen at my house — you poor folks only get a fraction of my reality.

These fun conversations are more than just entertaining, though; they’re proof that people can change. You see, Yooper Stewart was raised without the ability to tease. He’s always had a sense of humor (he still laughs at fart noises), but everything in life was serious. When we visited my parents and I entered the house saying, “You’re favorite child’s home!” he nearly panicked. No one in his family would say anything like that — wouldn’t that imply that the other children were therefore inferior?


That doesn’t mean anyone believes it though (except for me and my parents — we know that I’m the favorite, we just don’t tell my sisters).

After more than a decade of marriage, however, and plenty of exposure to my family, the Yoop is relaxing. He understands that we don’t have to take every spoken word at face value. He’s turning into a decently funny human being. Don’t believe me? Check it out.

Me: I have this spot on my skin that randomly heats up, like someone put something hot on it, but it’s not actually hot to the touch, and the feeling goes away after a few seconds.
YS: Are you having hot flashes? I don’t know anything about hot flashes, but maybe it’s hot flashes.
Me: I don’t think that’s how flashes work.
YS: Maybe it’s spot flashes.

Me: Are you drying dishes with a wash cloth?
YS: It’s a micro towel.
Me: It’s a wash cloth.
YS: Or a micro towel.

YS: You married me for all the growth opportunities I provide.

BONUS: Yooper Stewart’s cure for an upset stomach—coffee and cream with ibuprofen. (Seriously, I don’t know how he kept himself alive when he was single.)

Peas or Plumbing?

Earlier this year I made a commitment to eat healthier. Part of that commitment: vegetables with every meal. That sounds simple enough, but let’s be honest—sometimes you can’t figure out how to pair broccoli with pancakes and other times you’re too tired (or lazy) to cook more than macaroni and cheese with hot dogs.

I haven’t figure out how to make broccoli and pancakes work yet, but I’ve mastered the mac and cheese and dogs conundrum—peas. Grab yourself a bag of frozen peas, pour them in, and viola! Veggies with dinner. Last month I made such a dinner; one digestive cycle later, however, and I had a predicament.

After the necessary rigamarole of eating, digesting, and eliminating dinner, I went about my business. Because I work from home, I tend to drink a lot of coffee, then drink a lot of water to counteract the acidity of the coffee. You see where this is going? Back to the bathroom. No big deal. I’m used to it. What I’m not used to, however, are peas floating in my toilet.

That’s right. I don’t know if I consumed too many peas, failed to properly digest them, or my plumbing failed, but a stubborn cluster of peas floated through the toilet. It didn’t concern me though. Surely they’d drown in my excess of coffee and water.

But they didn’t.

Huddled together, clinging to the surface, those peas tormented me through my coffee break, lunch, afternoon snack, and the next dinner! I had no choice but to warn my husband and ask for his assistance. Oddly elated to be asked to help in such a situation, my truck driver husband swelled with pride at the knowledge that nothing could survive an encounter with his digestive output.


Those stupid tiny veggies-I-had-to-have-at-dinner mocked me as they swam laps around my commode. But what if they weren’t mocking me? What if the peas were suffering (what I can only imagine must have been a torturous existence) because of our bad plumbing? We know our house has some issues that we’ve been saving up to fix, but it never occurred to me that our decision to be fiscally responsible would lead to the unnecessary anguish of innocent pisum sativum.

There was no time to test the theory, though. After dozens of flushes, the peas remained, and the cleaning lady was coming! I had a choice to make: my pride or my strainer? Being the frugal woman that I am, my strainer won, so when the cleaning lady arrived I had to explain the Pea vs. Plumbing debacle. I don’t know what she did or how she did it, but that afternoon I enjoyed a pea-less toilet.

The moral to this story? Sometimes we have issues in our lives that we can’t figure out. It doesn’t matter who’s to blame—the mutant peas or the failing plumbing. What matters is how you respond to the situation. Are you willing to risk your pride to ask for help? I’m glad I did (though I’m hesitant to eat peas anytime soon).

Hangry Stewart

Hangry: When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both. (Urban Dictionary)

For the first thirty years of my life, I had no concept of the word hangry. It never made sense to me. If you get hungry, eat! There’s no reason to get upset. Just grab an apple, and get back to work.

And then I met Yooper Stewart. Hard working, handsome, sweetest-guy-you’ll-ever-meet.

I won’t lie: the first several years of our marriage were hard. We didn’t live together before we got married, so it wasn’t just being married that we had to figure out. We had to learn all about each other’s habits and living styles (and let me tell you—as one of three daughters—living with a man for the first time opened my eyes to whole new levels of clutter and body odors).

One thing I never would have anticipated: an adult man who’s incapable of identifying his body’s hunger cues. Someone who could wake up a confident, capable man, then regress to toddler-like logic and confusion by lunch time.

For years, we argued. I tried to reason with my overly sensitive husband, but he always found something else to whine about. His whining annoyed me. My annoyance frustrated him. His frustration made me anger. Eventually there would be yelling and tears.

More than a decade later, I’m starting to figure him out. This past weekend*, for example, went something like this…

YS: (holding an empty plastic storage container) I don’t know what to do with this.

Me: We don’t use it for anything. We could get rid of it.

YS: (sigh) I guess I could use it for my Lego store.

Me: I thought you were closing that, and you already have stacks of containers.

YS: Fine! (throws container into recycle bin)

Me: We don’t have to throw it away. We could donate it.

YS: (cue toddler voice) But then we’d have to wash it!

Me: What the heck? So we wash it! What are— (realization)

Me: (pours a bowl of cereal, pushes it toward Yooper Stewart, slowly backs away)


YS: I’m going to run to the store, then get started in the yard and work out in the garage. Do you need anything?

Crisis averted.

And that, my friends, is why I carry snacks with me everywhere.

*Yooper Stewart would like to go on the record as saying that he’s pretty sure I was hangry this past weekend, and that I may have been overreacting a bit too. (Doubtful, but I promised I’d let you know.)

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:


– 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?


– 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



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.