Tag Archives: adventures

Football Games

We went to our first football game of the season on the day after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately it was also the last regular season game and therefore our last game of the season. I enjoy football SO much more when I’m actually in the stadium. There’s so much more to the game – the fans, the cheers, being able to see the whole field at once. I can actually follow the football when I’m at the game. I never can on TV, so I get bored easily and, if I care about the game, have Nate call me for the last two minutes if it’s exciting.


The Band at Halftime – arguably my favorite part of football games

We had to venture out on Black Friday (something I NEVER DO) to buy our t-shirts. Ten years in Ohio and I never owned a piece of Ohio State gear, but 6 months in Arizona and I already have a UA t-shirt. We went in the evening, long after all of the serious shoppers had exhausted themselves on deal-hunting. The selection suffered for it, but we weren’t looking for anything fancy.

At the game

We sat way at the top, with a view of the whole field. There were some ASU fans in front of us, and there was plenty of good natured ribbing to go around. They won in the end, so it could have gone better, but we’re not too invested in the team yet.

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Happy Friday!

I had two great ideas for a post today. Which is very unusual – I’m usually scrambling to think of something exciting enough to write, which is why I don’t always write consistently. But two ideas! Both fun and not my usual random-story-about-my-life-with-pictures posts. Yay!

And then life got in the way. As it often does. Turns out that our shower has been dumping water into our neighbors kitchen. They’ve known there is a leak, but four bathrooms and kitchens meet up in that corner, so no one knew from where exactly the water was coming. This morning their ceiling caved in and the search for the missing leak got intense really quickly. Maintenance was in and out of our apartment all day (which is totally fine because they’re great and nice and clean up after themselves) but in the end, they couldn’t fix the leak and they need to have a plumber come out. Which will happen on Monday. Until then, we are barred from using our shower/bath tub and have been provided with the key for the apartment model so we can shower there. OoOoOo FUN! HAPPY WEEKEND!

I really don’t think it will be that much of a problem, except for Monday when Nate is getting ready for work. I tend not to shower that much anyway……  .    .      .

So! #1: I’m using this as an incentive to clean off the steps. They have been a handy holding space for all the things we don’t know what to do with. Things currently on our steps: Nate’s guitar and stand, both ironing boards (yes, we own two), two pairs of shoes, my large art portfolio, backpacks, other miscellaneous items. #2: It will be like dorm living all over again! Which could be fun for a weekend, right?! having your shower not be *your* shower (although much cleaner, we were assured the bathroom was clean) and be far away from your sleeping space. I was originally thinking camping, but I think we have too many amenities for that. #3: It’s only a few days and, lets be honest, we’re no stranger to odd living situations and upheaval. The management at our apartment complex as so far been great, as has the maintenance staff. Hopefully this whole thing gets fixed on Monday, for us and our neighbors.

In the mean time, I hope you’re doing something awesome this weekend! We’ll be traipsing across the complex to use the shower. At least our toilet still works.

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Finding Fall: a Corn Maze and a Pumpkin Patch

The weekend before last (the same weekend we had a Friday night picnic) we went in search of some fall activities. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Tucson has pumpkin patches and corn mazes too! I don’t know why I thought it wouldn’t be “a thing” here; I guess I thought maybe pumpkins wouldn’t be ripe at the correct time or something. There are also some apple orchards, but they are farther away so we didn’t go to them. Instead, we picked a farm about an hour outside of Tucson that had a pumpkin patch and a corn maze and started our first journey outside of Tucson by car.

I was amazed to realize that we’ve been in Tucson for 4 months and we have never driven out of Tucson (well, the Tucson Metropolitan Area, if you can call it that). We have not ventured into the desert, to the mountains, or even to Phoenix! Every time we leave, it is by plane. So we filled some extra water bottles (isn’t that what you’re supposed to do when you drive in the desert?) and began our journey.

Into The Desert

The drive was really pretty. The Sonoran Desert is actually quite green. I spent the whole drive looking around and saying “This is so cool! Look! There are trees, and cactus, and you can see mountains everywhere!” I’m sure that was great for Nate, who was trying to, you know, drive.

We really weren’t sure what to expect when we got there. We had never been to a corn maze in the desert. Would it be like the ones in Ohio? Would it all feel off? At first we thought it was going to be weird because almost everyone else there had kids. But we were quickly so lost in the corn maze that it didn’t matter.


Corn! Just like in the Midwest!

WHAT HAPPENED was that we entered the corn maze and almost immediately got on what we can only assume was the emergency access path that went around the perimeter of the corn maze. We knew we were in trouble pretty quickly because the path was straight and there were no other paths branching off of it. So we walked all the way around the corn maze, in the heat, with the sun beating down on us, and THEN got into the maze and started from the other end. Don’t worry, we brought our water bottles so we didn’t die of dehydration.


We didn’t buy a map for a dollar at the ticket booth because we figured “how hard can this be?!?!” See how well that worked out for us? But once we were actually inside the maze, we did find all of the numbers to punch on our little punch cards fairly easily. Except for the last two, which were supposed to be the first two, and by that time we were hot and tired and hungry and thirsty and maybe a little bit cranky.

Pathways in the Corn

Pathways in the Corn

But it was fun! It was fun getting lost in the corn and giggling when we figured out what had happened. It was fun taking separate paths that always came together again. It was fun trying to be the first one to spot the next marker.


It was fun spotting the little flowers that grew in the corn.


We did eventually make it out of the corn maze. We had an incentive – there was kettle corn! There were some food and beverage stands, a petting zoo, a bull you could ride and get your picture taken with, and a few craft stalls.

Kettle Corn

Kettle Corn!

We didn’t get a pumpkin. One of the side effects of autumn heat is that it makes your pumpkins rot really quickly. Our neighbors carved some and they wilted within about 2 days. So we just watched as families took the tractor ride out to the pumpkin patch and came back with their big orange loot.

Pumpkin Patch

They grow them big in Arizona

And of course you can see the mountains.

Mountain Pumpkin Patch

Right next to the pumpkin patch? Cotton! Now that’s something you don’t see in Ohio!



Tucson in the Distance

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Back in the Swing of Things

After two whirlwind weeks and one week of recovery, I’m back to feeling like I have a little control again!

On Tuesday the movers came. Unfortunately there was no directing from the couch for me. I wasn’t incredibly surprised, especially since I figured the furniture would be last. I had to check off each box that came in, so I couldn’t get anything unpacked while they were moving stuff in. On Wednesday, I spent the majority of the day cleaning our last apartment. On Thursday I unpacked like a crazy, but made a surprisingly small dent in the disaster. On Friday, bright and early, we hopped on a plane for Ohio! We spent the weekend there for a friends wedding, and returned late Monday night. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I unpacked, cleaned, worked on finding a job, etc. Friday Nate had off from work, so I was super excited about getting a large chunk of unpacking done over our three day weekend! Until I got sick. Boo hiss. So I was knocked out until about Tuesday. My two whirlwind weeks. The next few days I took off. It was nice.


When we moved into our (first) temporary apartment, they left us a little goody basket, complete with a welcome package of microwave popcorn. Unfortunately they didn’t also provide a microwave, so this popcorn has been waiting patiently for us to get one. Thankfully, this apartment has a microwave, so I popped it just a soon as I could and enjoyed the popcorn AND the convenience of a microwave.


This little guy was hiding behind the hamper in our bedroom. I about fell over when he started moving, but I caught him and placed him outside where he belongs. Our apartment was completely open almost all of moving day, so I’m surprised I’ve only found one intruder! (Umm, so far, I guess.)

Toe Nails Polished

Painted like Easter eggs in the fall. I was just excited to get my nail polishes back.

Hub Lamps

We took our first Ohio visitor (a friend who was in Tucson for work) to Hub, a trendy restaurant downtown. They have these awesome upside-down lamps as part of their decor.


Danger! I do stuff like this all the time (liquids on electronics – what can go wrong?) and it drives Nate NUTS! Understandably, of course. But I’ve fried exactly 0 electronics this way. I looked up while unpacking, saw what I had done, chuckled, took a picture, and then moved my mug. (Right? Right. We’ll go with that.)


I love when books take the time to describe the font used. It’s the design nerd in me. This one is from The Cloud Atlas, which I just finished reading.

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Coffee #15: A new approach

Of the many things I believed I could go without for these months without our stuff, I believed that I could go without my coffee maker.  For a while, I was quite successful.  There is coffee in the community room of our apartment complex (if you get there early enough) and I often used getting coffee as an excuse to leave the house.  The final straw, however, is that I have been becoming less and less able to consume massive amounts of caffeine like I used to!  I don’t know how this happened!  In college I could drink gallons of coffee and never have a problem.  Now, I have one cup too close to bed time (like, noon) and I’m up until 3 am.  It might have to do with how much more well rested I am now than I was while pulling all-nighters in college.  Perhaps.

So the apartment coffee was out – they brew only full strength, which I don’t blame them for.  But an inability to handle caffeine has not squelched my need for coffee.  At. All.  And since we’re trying this new thing called “living on a budget,” I was getting tired of how much money I was spending on fancy-coffee-drinks-without-caffeine at fancy-coffee-places.  Harumph.  Plus, they don’t have free refills, and I refuse to get anything besides “tall” or “small” (which, somehow, are the same size…) and sometimes I still need a gallon of decaf.  Necessary.

I have been talking about trying a French Press coffee maker for some time.  They look fun!  And classy!  And, since I already own a perfectly good coffee maker, I didn’t want to buy another just like it.  So I decided to try out the French Press.  Which, of course, also included buying a coffee grinder (it requires course ground coffee, as if I know what that looks like, but you can’t just buy it off the shelf), and coffee beans.

Supplies Purchased: Success

Grinding my coffee beans – mmmm they smell good!

Does that look “course ground” to you?



Sludge at the bottom of the pot

The Final Product

Verdict: the coffee was super weak.  I’ve since upped the amount of coffee beans I grind, and I’ve gotten better at grinding them.  If you look at the sludge picture, you can see that many of the coffee beans are still whole, thus not contributing to great coffee.  But I like the French Press as much as I hoped I would! (How often does that happen?!)  It makes good coffee, it’s super easy to use, and I can forget about it without worrying about catching my house on fire.  Because, let’s be honest, we all worry about that when we leave the coffee pot/curling iron/straightener on.

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One Year.

It has been a whole year since I posted for the first time and embarked on this sometimes-spotty journey of blogging.  While I haven’t been as diligent as I had originally hoped, I lasted a lot longer that I expected!

Nate and I celebrated our second anniversary yesterday in typical Saretta-and-Nate fashion.  Meaning, we ate our dinner on the dining room floor and said “Happy Anniversary” and talked about how crazy it was that we are married.  No cards, no flowers, no gifts, it’s just not our style.

Mmmmm, gelato

We did go out for gelato after dinner, though, and halfway through it started raining.  The temperature had calmed down from the 106 that it had been so we were sitting outside.  We were under an overhang so we watched the storm as we finished our dessert.  As we giggled in the car after getting soaking wet when it was time to leave, we joked that we would have to call Brandon to rescue us again because it was raining so hard.  It’s official, three years in a row it has downpoured on us on August 14.

An anniversary rainbow to go along with our thunderstorm.

And what a year it has been!  We bought a house, Nate graduated from college, we moved to Arizona and put our house back on the market.  I’ve started taking my architecture tests, drank a lot of coffee, and started running again.  I chopped off all my hair; I finally got an iPhone.  I went from crazy-over-my-head with stuff to do, to very unscheduled and free-form.  I basically have the control I wanted over my life, except I don’t have a job – which is a huge part of my identity.  I’ve read a TON of books.

I expect this next year will be almost as crazy.  I hope to get a job, sell our house, buy another.  To take my architecture tests, to keep running, to get rid of my car.  Maybe one day it will slow down.  But until then, I’ll enjoy the adventures!

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We Finally Got Out of the House

It took all the way until Sunday night, but we finally did it.

Both this past weekend and the one before it, Nate and I have made plans to go on an adventure on the weekend.  True to form, we went through all the Tucson tourism magazines we have accumulated in the past month and made a list of all the things we want to do and see.  Then we picked one out each weekend and promptly did NEITHER OF THOSE THINGS.  Bah.  One day.

But Nate was off on Friday, so after three days straight of sitting around and looking at each other, we decided we’d better do something.  We have an Entertainment Book, which is seriously the best thing ever (thanks Kelly!) so we flipped through, found a coupon for put-put golf, and off we went.

Once the sun went down, of course.  It’s hot.


Sunset behind the palms


The Game Castle and Bumper Boats! We will have to try that some other day.


Hot Date 🙂


Mountains in the background – always.


Apparently a Holland-themed course. This windmill is right next to a little old-fashion streetscape with Dutch-front houses.


The rest of the course.


Ready to go!


What stunning form


The elephant-shaped plant (that Nate is trying to hide behind)

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A Beautiful Fall Day in the Corn

Back when it was sunny and warmer, Nate and I went to a corn maze with my Mom, Dad, and brother.  It was a fun adventure – and a perfect day to spend outside!

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This Monday requires multiple happies.

Oh what a weekend it was. A bridal shower, a funeral, a 5k, 4 kids under 4, way too many Moms in the house, and tempers a little bit touchy.

Therefore, I am providing myself with many ways to get through the day (including the 5 gallon jug of coffee I plan to take to the office).

First, DYAC celebrated it’s 1st anniversary this weekend!  Which it celebrated by posting it’s top 50 autocorrects in a 2 part series.  Numbers 50-26 were funny enough, but 25-1 had me laughing my signature DYAC laugh, where Nate gets up from whatever he’s doing to make sure I’m breathing.  It’s not a normal laugh.

Also, Siri gave out the best advice ever.

I want a Siri, if only so she can tell me that.

OK, also because its really cool.

Finally, on our drive home, we passed this fancy little car:

If you can’t tell, its a Smart car with a wind-up hooked on the back – how cute is that!

That’s all for now – unless I find something else while I’m “hard at work.”

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Bike Rides and Rain Drops

It’s Sunday, our first anniversary.  We’re pretty excited that we actually got up and went to church, since we spent Saturday night out with our friends, individually.  We follow church with lunch at our favorite coffee shop, come home, and decide what to do for the rest of the day.

We settle on taking a bike ride to a nearby park, bringing some wine and cheese, and opening our anniversary cards.

It’s cloudy and looks like rain, but the weather’s supposed to be clear after 4 o’clock, so we decide to take a nap, then get up at 4 and start our adventure.  I set my alarm and we collapse into bed.  And we sleep.  For 3 hours.  I set my alarm for 4 AM instead of 4 PM.

So we wake up, drag our bikes downstairs (quite an ordeal as we keep them in the guest bedroom of our 3rd floor apartment – behind a pile of stuff) and order Chinese take-out.

The trip to the park is a little longer than expected, and down a lot of really fun hills, but we finally make it, spread out our blanket, and start our picnic.

Nate - Anniversary Picnic

And what a romantic picnic it is. We eat Chinese food, chat about our first year together, building our baby family.  We reminisce about our wedding, make plans for the next year, laugh when it starts to sprinkle, open our cards, talk about how hard the ride back will be.


It rained on our wedding day.  Poured, really, so much so that we have very few pictures of us together after the wedding, and the bubble-blowing occurred in the church atrium.  We talk about this too.

And just as Nate says, “Well, at least it’s not raining that hard,” the floodgates open and we are immediately drenched.

These are the times when you know you’ve picked the right partner.  We laugh. We laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh.  Because at this point what else can you do?  Our takeout containers fill with water and we put the cards in our bike bags as quickly as possible.  We watch the people driving by, laughing at us as we stand under a tree, pretending it will shield us from the rain.

Waiting for the rain to stop

Eventually the rain stops.  We watch the steam rise off the pavement and the sun peep out from behind the clouds.  It’s getting cooler, and we ponder how we will get home.

Sun peeping through the clouds

We call for back-up.  And wait.

Nate Waiting

Backup Arrives

Backup Arrives!

By the time we get home, our fingers are wrinkled, all our gear is soaked, and we’re cold.  But we open our cards and drink our wine, and laugh about how now we know that we can weather the storms together.

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