Thursday, March 31, 2011


These appeared in the middle of the living room today.  Seriously, where are they coming from??!?!?!?!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Me Like Cookies

(That was a Cookie Monster reference, not bad grammar)

Yes, me does. Discovery of the day? 

I can make monster bars/cookies gluten free! (As long as I get my hands on some oats that are "safe".)

Can I get a woo-to-the-hoo? 

Monster Cookies
1/2 c butter
1 3/4 C peanut butter
1 1/3 C brown sugar
1 C sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
1/2 C chocolate chips
4 1/2 C rolled oats
4 oz. M & M’s
Mix all together and then bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes  Be careful not to over bake.  As the cookies come out of oven, press M & M’s into cookies.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Timeline of Dirty Dishes

The battle of the dirty dishes is evolving.  If meal preparation and the cleaning of the aftermath is nothin' but a thang at your house, then you probably won't relate to this post.  Those two chores seem to be monumental at the casa de Schmeeblitz, thus, they warrant a timeline. 

Summer 2008:  "You cook, I clean" is established.  It's logical and fair.  Most of the time "You cook" consists of eating out and carrying out.  Consequentially "I clean" consists of throwing away leftovers or wrappers where appropriate.   See also: You fly, I buy.  
I love Azteca!!!
Summer 2009: Jay and Kelsey move to Cedar Falls.  The era of eating out ends. Buh-bye delicious Quad Cities cuisine. 
Why would leave a place with such great food?
Winter 2009: Grilling season is over, so Kelsey does most of the cooking.  Jay slowly changes definition of "I clean" to mean loading the dishwasher, and leaves the big pots and pans for Kelsey to handwash. Kelsey also unloads dishwasher.  She thinks this is bunk and tells him so.
I spilled this jello all over my mom's brand new kitchen.  And myself. 
Fall 2010: "We cook together, we clean together" is established.  It's fun and cute for about two weeks until we keep bumping into each other in the kitchen.  "Get outta my kitchen!" she yells. Oh crap, Kelsey just called it her kitchen.  What did she do now???
Ahh, together :)
 Winter 2010: Queen Kelsey de Dishes Dirty reigns happily as ruler of the kitchen.  Jay pitches in plenty, but no real roles clearly defined.   Grocery shopping is done together.  Impending conflict looms.  
Oh phew, Texas Roadhouse
January 2011: Jay starts class, Queen Kelsey de Dishes Dirty loses enthusiasm to be ruler of the kitchen.  She chants "Dining for no fun!" and pouts about her chores.  Then one night, she irrationally displaces her missing of Jay into venting her frustrations about kitchentorial duties.  Poor Jay gets yelled at, Kelsey realizes her folly, apologizes, and a new law is established. 
Jay misses hamburgers
March 2011: It's the longest law so far. "I will cook, and I will clean the dishes. You will unload the dishwasher that same night.  And if you forget, I don't make dinner the next night!" (Actually, word to my motha' on that one, she helped me think of that idea)
King of the Kitchen
Whaddya think? Good compromise? Will this one last? Or will the era of eating out Cedar Falls style begin?   :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Where have we been? We've been right here.

Dear Friends of the Blogosphere:

I write to thee with a formal apology. You probably noticed the lack of Fruitful Friday blog this past Friday. You might have even noticed the lack of a Wet and Wild Weekend blog last weekend. We’re sorry. We haven’t forgotten about you.

When Kelsey and I started this blog (or restarted?), we didn’t quite realize just how much of my time grad school would consume. Evidently earning a degree and working full-time takes a lot of time. Who knew? Because grad school is occupying so much of my time, the stuff I normally do around the house falls on Kelsey…thus her time is now all booked too.

Our Friday blogs were supposed to be reflections on the struggles of babymaking. But here’s the problem: by the time Friday rolls its beautiful self around, neither Kelsey nor I are in much of a blogging mood. (We’re actually in a babymaking mood, but you probably don’t want to read about such things. I’ll let you use your imagination.) This has literally everything to do with the fact that the end of my week looks like this: Wednesday night is homework/laundry night. Thursday I leave home at 6:00am and return home at 10:30pm. And the end of Kelsey’s week looks like this: Wednesday she gets the entire house in order. Thursday she longingly looks out the window awaiting her husband’s valiant return.

By the time I’m done with work on Friday, I don’t really want to write poignant reflections on the womb. I want to take my wife out to dinner and talk to her for the first time in three days. When dinner and a movie (or, more accurately—Thursday night DVR’d TV) are over, we’re usually soundly asleep on the couch. As Dottie wakes us up and tells us to go to bed, the time for blogging has passed.

That’s not to say we still don’t have thoughts on child-rearing, adoption, and schtuppin’. We just want to spend some time talking to each other instead of the interweb sometimes.

Anyways, please accept this formal apology for the occasional missed blog. We’ll try not to have it happen very often…but I can’t promise it won’t happen sometimes. Just know when it does, it’s happening for the right reasons, and not because we are lazy sloth like creatures.

Thank you, and good night.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hello my name is Kelsey, and I'm a decoraholic.

Seriously, I can't help myself.  Our kitchen wall has been 3 colors and we've only lived here 2 years.  I move things, swap things, and rearrange until I like it for a while - then I like to do it all over again when I get sick of something.  Our house will never be finished. 
Yah, I subscribe to Better Homes and Gardens - why don't you?
Lucky for Jay, I'm addicted to decorating on a major budget.  I pride myself in finding cute things at reasonable prices.  I'm no Martha Stewart, but I enjoy it, and it's my house, so I guess that's all that matters - right?
My copy-cat look - complete with unkillable flowers. I prefer my plants to be death-proof. 
 Here are some things I'm loving right now....

This picture in my living room was originally purchased from Walmart (that's right, Walmart) for $10.  It's been a nice print, but kind of blah.
It's okay, it served it's purpose
And it's been replaced by my find of the day at Old Time Pottery!  The price? $30!!  You want to see it up close?
I  knew you did. Obviously, I'm still an offensively horrible photographer, but I love this artwork!!!  It brings out the whites, the tans, the chocolate browns and blues in the living room and kitchen. LOVE IT. 
Much improved
And I can't resist little things like this $5 polka dotted fish that was just screaming to be placed in our hall bath. 
 Because he already had a "matching" buddy on the wall.
Everyboooody! - yahhh - Rock your potty!!! - yahhhh!
Or this $6 silver starfish that I have no place for yet....
But I'd like to do something like this with someday:
Yes, that's Young House Love. Part of the reason for my addiction.
Lastly, I bought this framed photograph at the Orange Beach art fair.  It matches NOTHING in my house, but I had this strong feeling that it belonged to me.

I sense a room repainting coming on....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gluten Free Disasters

Not all of the gluten free foods we've made have been successful. Take last Sunday. Kelsey had recently arrived back from vacation. We thought we'd celebrate by making some brownies. Ugh.

It was difficult to use the mixer because the brownie mix had solidified into what could have been cement.

Dude...Brownies. Spreading out the cement mix into this pan was my biggest accomplishment last week.
I'm not sure what this has to do with gluten, but the brownie mix somehow tried to attack my foot.
After I cleaned my foot, Kelsey and I watched TV for a half an hour. While we waited, the house filled with the delicious smell of brownies. We got excited. After the baking and obligatory post-baking cooldown were complete we each tried to eat one, um, brownie?

Silly gluten-free folks...brownies aren't for you.
On top of their lovely appearance, the brownies also tasted and had the texture of dirt. Real life, genuine dirt.

Kelsey's mom has had more luck with her gluten free experiments than I have. In fact, she made an excellent chocolate cake tonight for Kelsey's birthday. But every now and then the lack of gluten will just destroy a product. Buns for instance. It's hard to have good, fluffy, flavorful buns. I'll leave you with the crushing image below: bread, failing at being bread.

Look at the flat, unrisen bread at the top of the picture compared to the mega bun in the packaging.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Who Wouldn't Want to be Me?

I woke up grumpy this morning.  You know the "ughh, do I have to go back to work?" feeling?  Yah, that one.  The grumpzilla stuck around until I hit my car, and good ole Keith Urban snapped me out of it.  I was going to choose to be in a good mood today.  I get to go to my job. I love my job. 

I could tell when the morning bell rang the bubbling line of third graders were anxious to share their spring break stories.  The third student in the door came carrying a stack of construction paper and tin foil wrapped packages. 

"It's your birthday tomorrow, Mrs. Schmitz!! But I brought your presents TODAY and you have to open them RIGHT NOW!!"
Those are bedazzled you see the scotch tape across the center?
This was one of those moments I needed to stop, take a deep breath and ask myself, "Is it really important for me to have complete order of 22 students right now? Or can I stop and open these handmade gifts a student has poured her little heart over?" 
Yes, I taught her that cursive
I really really really (100 times really) wanted to say, "Can we do this in a minute?"  But they were wrapped in tin foil.  Tin. Foil.  Who can resist? 
Um, hello sweet diary :)
Pretty close
 Her face lit up as I opened each package and she went into excruciating detail of how she made, personalized, and wrapped each item. 
It says "Schmitz" but she ran out of letters
 I wore the necklace all day.  It never untangled, and the scotch tape gave me a rash on my neck.  But I was told many times it was beautiful. 
A second card
And the "you have to open the best present last, Mrs. Schmitz!" That's a purse.  She sewed it herself.  I think the handles are made of ripped t-shirt.  So freaking cute. 
Watch out, Coach - here she comes
I am so glad I took 2 minutes to give a student an opportunity to make my day.  Would I remember that my class was in perfect order the day after spring break - absolutely not? But would I remember that little stack of handmade gifts. You bet I will. 

Maybe Mondays aren't so bad after all. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Kelsey Should Come Home Now

I realized this week that if I didn't have a wife, I'd probably be dead. I'd become a sleep deprived, emaciated shell of a human. It's probably best if Kelsey comes home now. I have some strange quirks/habits that Kelsey helps me keep in check by reminding me to be human.

For instance, sometimes I don't eat. It's nothing serious, but if I don't have dinner plans I'll forget to eat. I get distracted, especially if I have something productive I need to do--homework, a project, anything. I'll just keep on working sans food. This annoys my lovely wife a great deal. We can be running errand after errand, and she'll finally, very calmly with tons of patience, ask, "When the hell are we going to eat?" I usually respond with, "Oh yeah. Food."

This week on Tuesday (retirement party), on Wednesday (study group in Cedar Rapids), and on Thursday (marathon take home mid-term work) I realized I was hungry around 10:15 at night. On Tuesday and Wednesday I didn't eat. On Thursday, I ordered Jimmy Johns...which leads to another problem I have:

I don't have any concept or respect for time. I'll start something like laundry or organizing a random closet at 10:00 at night. I'll get a burst of productivity and ride it until the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes I'll get a burst of unproductivity and unride it until the wee hours of the morning. This is a typical conversation Kelsey and I have the day after a day she goes to bed earlier than me:

"What time did you come to bed last night?" Kelsey asks.

"Actually, it was probably around 1:30am." Jay says.


"Well I was going to come to bed, but then the Godfather was on TV. I hadn't seen it in a while, so I watched it. That made me want to watch the second one, so I put it in the dvd player. You understand."

"No. No I don't. Who could possibly understand that?"

This week I made a pot of coffee at 8:30pm on Monday. I organized most of my iTunes files at 10:15pm on Thursday. Why did I do these things? Because I didn't have a lovely wife to, very calmly with tons of patience, ask, "What are you doing?"

Along those lines, I don't have a reminder inside of me that says, "It's late. You're tired. You have to wake up in five hours. Go to bed." When Kelsey's here, I know I need to go to bed because she goes to bed. That's my reminder. When Kelsey's not here, I just find myself waking up on couches around the house. Thursday night, post iTunes organizing, I worked on homework and then...I don't know...I woke up at 1:00am on my basement couch. Substitute that situation with a similarly idiotic situation and replace basement couch with living room couch and you have my Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Clearly, I'd be be a mess without Kelsey. She's the normal to my weird. I think it's about time she gets home. I've been very calm and had tons of patience, but I want (need) my wife back.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Home Away from Home

I often refer to Orange Beach as my "home away from home".  We've traveled here for 11 years, and that's truly how it feels.  Each year, part of the excitement is arriving at the condo we've rented to see how neat it really is in person.  They're always clearly professionally decorated and just beachy and fun.
When deciding between condos this year, mom sent me three options.  Two of them were adorable, and had a weekly rate around what we were used to paying.  Then, there was the wild card - sparsely decorated and really cheap.  It didn't take me long to decide to take a chance on door #3.

"I'll take the chipper chicken Franc" I said, quoting Steve Martin in Father of the Bride (a phrase we use in the Kuebler family when going with the less expensive choice)

Well, a wild card it certainly is.

Before you take the virtual tour, here are a few alternate titles for this post:
4 Gentlemen, 2 Ladies and Some Monkeys
Is That an Urn in the Corner or are you just happy to see me?
Grandma Died and gave us all of her shit
My Eyes are Burning at the Sight of that Color!

We could go on and on...So without further adieu...

First impressions are everything.  So why not paint a mural of 4 waiters carrying wine in the entryway? I mean, why not? 
The hall bath color is not done justice in this picture.  But the mismatched crooked gold sconces on the wall add a nice balance. 
Holy hell, my bedroom is scary for so many reasons.  My eyes burn from the red.  The tree might bend over and swallow me in the middle of the night.  What happened to bend the headboard the way it is? What's with the large octagonal table?   
 And the monkeys.  The scary, scary monkeys.  This should never be on anyone's wall.  Ever.   
They're everywhere.
If burn your eyes red weren't bad enough, let's enter the brightest yellow bathroom you've ever seen. Go Cyclones?
They liked the color so much they decided to pain the bathroom door as well.  Look closely at the tea set in the corner.  That matches the theme of scary monkeys...
Oh, phew!  There are some more! On that chair cover.  Caps for Sale?
Headed down a stark white hallway, a single giraffe hanger is used as decoration above a pantry door.
This laundry room looks harmlessly lime green at first, until you realize the bird cage with the crimson candle and the backless time-out chair.
And a mirror hung too high to see into, with ya know, 3 large bells.
They ran out of ideas when it came to the kitchen, so they kept it completely white.  Sadly, despite the discolored fridge handle, this is the best looking room in the place.  
But fear not, we have a harp playing cherub in the wet bar, accompanied by an elephant carrying wine corks and a little water damage to boot. 
The living room boasts ugly draperies, a huge urn with sticks and grandma's rocking chair.  Not to mention the beheaded giraffe you saw on Monday's post. 
Heading into mom's room, the dangling "chandelier" smoke detector adds ambiance. 
Look closely at that rod on the left.  Apparently the word "level" was not in their vocabulary. 
Zebra rug, palm tree and pink bed skirt.  Another broken headboard.  A light that does not work.  Par for the course at this point. 
Another one of grandma's heirloom nightstand a bit more animal print. Raarr. 
GOLD!!!  (It's really shiny in real life)
Not too bad, all things considered.  'Cept the painting is literally on the edge of the wall, the sconce has another gaudy candle, and that big planter has nothing in it. 
Okay, so this is certainly NOT our home away from home.  Thank God it's got a kick ass view.