Tag Archives: being married

Musings on Mid-November


A gorgeous Tucson sunset

To read my blog you would think I’ve spent the whole month cooking and drinking coffee! Which is partially true. Cooking takes a ridiculous amount of time, and just when I’ve finished cleaning up from lunch, it’s time to start on dinner. Now I remember why we went out all the time in Cincinnati, and why I like leftovers so much.

But there have been other things. We’re still unpacking. We did such a terrible and quick job of it when we moved into our house, we decided that we’d do it right this time. Which is kind of funny, considering we are most likely moving again in a few months. I’ve been going through boxes that we’ve carried around for years, Nate since leaving for college, me since, well, forever. It’s taking a long time.


Flowers blooming on the bush in front of our apartment.

For a while we were going on weekly adventures. Sunday afternoons were dedicated to exploring our new city. Then we tried to go to the zoo for about three weeks in a row. When it never happened, I think we gave up on our Sunday adventures. Now we lounge around the house. I often think that’s more fun than adventuring.


We had a nice thanksgiving, despite being so far from our families. I’ve always thought of Thanksgiving as my families “best” holiday. We have a strict schedule that we adhere to, starting with the Turkey Trot in the morning (I do not partake in that part) to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, to the dog show, to the movie, to the evening spent in front of the fire place. The food is always the same, and if ONE THING is forgotten, someone will notice. I don’t think I have ever missed Thanksgiving with my family. I think it’s the only holiday that was left that I hadn’t missed. And then we couldn’t get the parade on the TV (we don’t get NBC at our apartment, WHAT?) and then I had a meltdown, and then I was fine. We went to Cracker Barrel with some friends for dinner, then back to their house for pie and board games. I professed my hatred of board games, and then played them happily. It was fun.

Turning Leaves

I found some turning leaves while walking to church. Unfortunately I haven’t found any more.

I’m still unemployed. It’s a weird space, being unemployed on purpose. I’m not a housewife, this is not what I want to be doing, but I did choose to leave my job knowing that there wasn’t one waiting for me here. So I stick with “not working.” I send out the occasional resume, have the occasional interview, don’t get the occasional job. I’m glad for the people who have said “Contact So-and-So, you can use my name.” It makes it so much easier. But what I hear most often is how firms are closing or struggling or still laying people off.


I’m excited for the holidays. I love this time of year – there’s something magic that happens from Thanksgiving until New Year’s. We’ve been listening to Christmas music in the car, even though it still hits 80. There are no spruce trees here, no bare branches, no dark skies. It certainly doesn’t feel like the holidays. We’re not getting a Christmas tree this year, we didn’t get one last year, and I asked Nate the other day if he thought we would get one while we lived here. He said no, and I’m inclined to believe him. Somehow it feels like a lie, to truck in a tree from somewhere else, decorate it with “snow” and pretend nothing ever changes. We’ll come up with our own new traditions, it will just take some time.

Fire Truck

Found a car show with a fire truck while on our run

We sold our house. Which is wonderful and kind of amazing, but I was sad to see it go. I’m glad we won’t be taking care of it over the winter. We owned it for almost exactly 11 months. Now we start the process all over again. This time will be much different; no super-easy only-went-to-see-one-house hunt for us this time! We’ve already been to 10 or so (I’ve lost count) and by the time we start looking again, it will probably be a whole new crop of houses. We have a pretty good idea of what we want, but I’m not so sure that house exists.


Pretty flowers – the purple leaves are dying the water purple

Well this has turned into approximately a novel. See, there are things going on! Just not super-exciting photo-worthy things. But I have some stored up – maybe next week.

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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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Wine + Tomatoes + Mozzarella + Balsamic = Love

Wine + Tomatoes + Mozzarella + Balsamic = Love

Nate: What kind of wine are you?

I’m a pinot noir – kind of new, kind of trendy, and a little sweet.

You’re more like a chardonnay – classy, classic

Me: and a little bitter?

Nate: (smirks) yeah, and a little bitter.

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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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On Sunday, Nate and I celebrated our first anniversary.  It was a day I looked forward to from the moment we got engaged.  When we would just be “married.”  No special attachment, no event looming (except “when are the babies coming” – but that post can wait for another day).  We’re no longer technically newly-weds.  And I love that.

There is something in our society that makes it socially acceptable – even expected – that a person asks prying questions when someone is only wearing an engagement ring.  And when people know you are newly married, they ask “So, how’s married life?”  That’s not an easy question to answer.

Married life is great.  I love sharing my life with my husband, building a home in our little apartment, setting the boundaries of our new family, and developing our own habits and traditions.  But those things are mine, and no one asking that question really wants to know in depth.

On the other hand, being married is hard.  Not just hard because we have to navigate the ups and downs of living together, but because it is an all-encompasing shift.  I spent most of my college years defining who I was – being independent, separating myself from the family I grew up in, discovering what I truly valued.

When we got married, I often had to remind myself that I was no longer the only one in my circle.  I would have to let someone else in.  And sometimes I would forget that I should call Nate and tell him that I was going to work late, because he might have dinner ready when I was supposed to get home, or I would forget to express in words, not sighs, that I find dirty socks on the bed to be unacceptable.

But mostly I have to remember that Nate, while now part of my circle and the family we are creating together, can’t know my hopes and dreams unless I tell him.  We won’t always agree on what is important, but we need to communicate to even begin the process of deciding what our family values will be.

We’re getting better at navigating marriage, which is what happens when we work at something for over a year (because we started working on our marriage long before we were married).  But I’m glad that friends, family and acquaintances – those who knew we were “just married” and those who found out in the course of our conversation – will no longer look at us with that glint in their eye, that little look that says “Oh! You’re so cute, you newlyweds, young and in love.  But you don’t know anything yet…you’ll see!”