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!

The End of an Era

The year was 2009. Yooper Stewart and I purchased our first home together. We packed, painted the house, and moved the week of Thanksgiving. Then, the night before turkey day — when both sets of parents were coming to our house — we discovered a tragedy.

No. More. Coffee.

It was late. It was dark. And, because this is Michigan, I’m sure it was snowing. We not only needed coffee to help us unpack, we knew we’d need it for the weekend, and there wasn’t anywhere close to buy coffee on Thanksgiving day.

No problem. Our new house is only two blocks from the grocery store! We headed over only to discover that our small grocery store offers the same disappointing coffee selection as most grocery stores — limited decaf selection.

You see, Yooper Stewart and I are a rare breed. We drink coffee because we like the taste; we don’t actually like the caffeine. Unfortunately, we like the taste of good coffee. In a perfect world, we could pick up Swiss water processed French roast decaf at any corner market. In reality, we’re lucky if most places have anything better than breakfast blend Colombia beans (bleh).

Back in 2009, we bought club-sized organic bags of decaf from Sam’s Club, but we couldn’t wait 36 hours to buy coffee, so we did it. We bought Maxwell House.

I don’t know why we bought such a large container, but we did. And it was terrible. I think we may have dumped the grounds after we were able to make it to the Club for our regular brew. The club bag didn’t fit in the cupboard, however, so we made a decision — keep the Maxwell House tub and refill it with our favorite beans.

For the past decade, we’ve done exactly that. There are now so many more decaf options available that we’ve never run out, but our coffee always comes in a bag, and the plastic air-tight tub is much more convenient (and clean!). The Maxwell House tub has been good to us, but it’s time to move on. We got a new couch and new toilets — it was time for a new coffee container. It was an unexpectedly emotional goodbye for Yooper Stewart, so we captured the moment on film (he has pictures of his shirts from high school too — the guy is so sentimental).

There’s a happy end to this story, though. Our coffee finally has a new grown-up home, and the Maxwell House container shall live on in the garage as Yooper Stewart’s new nuts-and-bolts box. It’s a good ending for everyone.

Yooper Stewart Gets Older

This man.

He prefers “Maine Cabin Masters” to college football.

He wears socks with his Crocs (of which he owns five pairs).

He makes a living driving dirt from place to place.

He tries to convince me to let him grow out his beard each winter by telling me, “every inch equals an extra degree of warmth.”

He’s great with toddlers because he’s happy to do the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again with them.

He’s surprisingly sentimental.

He loves Christmas lights as much as I do.

He’s starting to absorb some of my snark (muwahahaha!).

He’s ridiculously finicky about clean windows.

I love this man. I love writing about him (and I need to get better about doing it!). He supports me, encourages me, tolerates me, and loves me. He never used to care much about his birthday, but I’ve cured him of that—the day that he came into the world is a day worth celebrating, so celebrate we will (probably with Legos).

Happy Birthday, Yooper Stewart!

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.)