closing out the week…

so it’s the end of work week 2, and san fran week 3 and im happy to report that the cold is nearly gone – and all else is as it should be.

work is taking shape and i feel a “lightbulb” moment coming. (translation: things are starting to connect, the full picture is filling in, the moment when i feel like i “get it” will be my lightbulb moment)

we are working on securing all the appts needed to set up our new home – the movers delivering our stuff from storage, do we go with cable or direct tv, and getting pg&e started.  all of this takes $$$ and this relocation process has been a learning experience.

although apple is taking care of almost everything (and i am so appreciative of that!) – there are quite a few things we’ve had to cover ourselves, with the promise of reimbursement for some of the expenses.  being reimbursed is great, but it still means there need to be thousands of dollars readily on hand to just live and get things done.  for my friends and family if you ever find yourself in this ‘lucky’ yet challenging place, take that as a tip!

while i am living in the moment and trying to just enjoy each and everyday as it comes – i am looking forward to being in our new home, with all the things that are familiar and beloved surrounding me.  i am looking forward to a sharing san francisco with the kids for the first time in a few weeks, and i am most looking forward to making the trip to capetown, sa to visit with my amazing auntie!  42 days – the countdown has begun!

sniff, cough, blow – sign here…

we’ve done it!  a new home in san francisco has been secured!! a spring or post winter cold has also landed squarely in my face. sinus colds are the worst, but our new zen like apartment is the best!  we’ve lost about 500 sq ft, but gained access to one of the best cities in world, and we’re excited to be living in her heartbeat.

at the base of nob hill and pacific heights we will find ourselves in an eclectic land between two of  the most expensive neighborhoods filled with amazing mansions and beautiful views.  oh yes, the view from our rooftop is INSANE!  we were so lucky to find the owners looking for “real” people (i guess we’re real) who were down to earth and they actually contacted us after we viewed it and left unsure.  they felt like we were perfect for their place and wanted to make sure we had the option to take it before their open house.  too cool, huh.

so through my stuffy face, and purelling my hands to protect the innocent – we’ve signed a one year lease and are set to move in early february.

amenities – bike room, bosch dishwasher, in unit w/d, california closets, fischer and paykel refrig (not sure how cool that is but it’s listed), ceasarstone surfaces, hardwood floors, gas fireplace, 2 bedrooms/2 full bathrooms, a block from WHOLE FOODS (woooohoooo!), and a block from my Apple bus stop – so sweet!

hoping all of this makes sense as i type through a nyquil haze….yeah baby! lol

today was such a good day!!


day 3 of work, and day 2 on the bus. not the public transit city bus, but the private apple coaches that supply us with leather seats, a bathroom, tv’s and free wireless. the drive up and down highway 280 is beautiful. rolling hills, green pastures, it’s really like out of a movie. for my friends up north – it’s a bit like driving through the Skagit farmland on your way to Vancouver, but hilly and curvy. What you’ll see around the next turn is always a surprise. the way the clouds/fog hangs in the hillside pockets in the mornings and the sunsets in the evenings are outstanding. let’s just say that so far the commute is not so bad.


it’s official. i am an apple employee.  confidentiality is number 1, so i won’t be blogging about my work, but the experience of being an apple employee will show up in my posts.

today was the absolute best first day experience i’ve ever had. orientation was short and to the point, welcoming by every apple employee i met was warm, genuine and felt like family.  its hard to put into words what the culture is like – its unlike anywhere i’ve ever worked. i am so honored to have be chosen to join the ranks of apple, inc. and i think today it hit me how big of a deal it is. how exclusive this group of people are, and how much fun i’m about to have. the ability to be creative, to be supported, to collaborate with the best and the brightest in the world, and the opportunity to travel – (london, tokyo, china, etc are on coming).  to be a part of a company that creates innovation that changes the way the world works is beyond my comprehension on day one, but so exciting to think about.

my team is amazing, my work space is amazing, my equipment is amazing, now to just find a house….

thank you apple for greatest, most organized, fastest to be up and running, and most exciting first day ever – i look forward to many years to come!

first days…

there’s really nothing like the first day of anything…school, job, new board seat, sports team, living situation, etc.

tomorrow is my first day at apple and I am excited, intimidated, confident and anxious. will I sleep tonight? not sure…more to come with the results of the official launch of this new experience!

planting new roots…

so the day was spent seriously looking at neighborhoods. a friend took half the day off to show us around san fran, and boy did we get lucky with an amazing tour guide. she’s lived here for over 25 years, and took us through some great neighborhoods by showing us the “main business areas” of each neighborhood and then we’d drive a few blocks off the main street to see the homes.  san francisco has so many cute areas, that have so many cute communities, with their own personalities, great shops, restuaruants and things to do.  this isn’t going to be easy but there are a few things we’re using as guide posts through out this part of our journey.

1. distance to the ‘cupertino fruit company’ busline (my free commuter bus)

2. distance to the freeways

3. walkability (is it safe at night)

4. cuteness factor of the main business area (grocery stores -whole paycheck or the real food company preferably, indie shops, bars, restaurants, bakeries)

5. number of parks nearby (dog preferably)

it needs to be a 2-3 bedroom, 2-2+ bath (will do a 1 if we have too), with an amazing kitchen, and accepts 2 of the best dogs ever.  preference would be a traditional san francisco flat (top floor would be great) in cow hollow, pacific heights, russian hill, castro or the haight, but we are also keeping options open for the cute single family homes in bernal heights, or the modern new hotness in south beach near the at & t stadium.

have you lived in the bay? vote for your favorite neighborhood!!

goodbye, hello

how do you say goodbye to the only place you’ve ever known?

i’ve begun to appreciate the natural history I have about the city of Seattle and it’s surrounding area. things like remembering the man while he was in office for whom the best dog park in Seattle is named after – Warren G Magnuson. Knowing how important the Benoroya family has been to Seattle, enough to have the symphony hall named for them. the fact that there was a real International Worlds Fair held in Vancouver BC, and it was an “Expo” with countries from all over the world represented.

More memories – I saw Jerry Seinfeld at Giggles, was a regular at 2 hottest under age clubs back in the day- Club Broadway and Skoochies (sp?), and shopped with my parents almost every weekend at Sears & Roebuck on 1st/Lander before it was Starbucks. Who remembers the very first Nordstrom Rack in the basement of the original main store before they took over the old Fredrick & Nelson’s building?

Seattle I will miss you, with your beautiful views, your amazing way to make you want to pull your car over on a clear day headed south on I-5 when Mt Rainier smacks you in the face. who else gets cascades, and olympics, fjords, bays, and oceans, a dad who brought home salmon, trout and fresh crab from his pots? I am so grateful to my parents for choosing this remote corner of the world to raise me, to ground me in all things natural. I am only hopeful that my children will grow to appreciate the surroundings they’ve been blessed with.  Seattle you are my home – now and forever.

hello San Francisco – I look forward to learning all that you have to offer!

the party…

you all may never know how much i appreciate everyone who came out to wish me well and send me off in elysian fashion!

so many old friends from nordies, and the best of the best from beans! sad to not have any of my direct team present, i did invite them all via facebook and only heard from one with a conflict. it’s all good though – i still felt tons of love!

my bpn family – one thing to say to you…segregation ended in the 60’s! smh

i think the quote of the night that will stay with me for a long time… “yeah she’s going to san francisco, good for her! when the honeymoon is over, we’ll see her FB updates saying ‘f*ck this fog; f*ck this traffic; and i think the last one was f*ck these hills”  hilarious TD – miss you and can’t wait to hang with your in your second home where i’m the 2nd class citizen (with so much class)!!


careful what you wish for…

make a wish….. did it come true?

tell a friend about something you’ve been sleeping on – did they open a door, make an introduction, or just mention your wish to the right person?

we don’t always know where our next blessing will come from, or who will be the connector in our lives to make it happen. we might think we have a plan, know what we think we want, but we have no idea! life happens, be open, be ready, and be confident in your own abilities to succeed.

in October I spent 4 days being entranced by this city. I learned the streetcar routes and rode like a local. the bart was my friend, the hills, the views, the restaurants and neighborhoods were all drawing me in.

my return to Seattle started with a conversation with the mister, to see what his thoughts were on returning to the place he called home. the place where all of his friends live, and where his professional network rages. his reaction was complete and total exuberance. no real thinking about it for him, he was in!

next came my research mode…which consisted of the build out of a detailed spreadsheet of all companies in the Bay that fit my work history, skillet, personal development interests, and would be a great next entry on my resume. this was a project, a research project only. no contacting companies, no applying for open positions – just reading, researching, and really trying to narrow what would be the best next move.

dinner with friends right before halloween changed all of that. the love affair with San Fran and the excitement that I was finally open to moving (sometime in 2011) was a big topic at dinner. my spreadsheet and it’s details were discussed, and by the end of the night I was in agreement to just send our dear dear hostess my resume. she knew people, and would just pass it along and we’d see what would happen. sounds innocent and easy enough. nothing to fear here, just a casual dinner time request fulfilled.

we’d see what happens, right? well by November 4th, this was the email I received:

Hi Natalie –
I work in recruiting at Apple and wanted to connect on an opening within our internal creative/ad agency. Job spec below. [global customer database manager]
Is there a time you can connect today by phone?
Pls note the position is located in Cupertino, CA.

how does one answer an email like this (from out of the blue) from a company like this (number one on the “spreadsheet”) for a job that I couldn’t have written to be more perfect if I had tried??? ver carefully, very cool, calm and collected!

here’s the timeline from that initial email. talked to the recruiter on 11/5, hiring manager on 11/8, hiring mgr’s mgr on 11/15 and had a plane ticket for a full day of interviews onsite by 11/17 for December 1st. On 12/2 I received a phone call that their search was over if I was interested, and of course I said I needed to think about it – knowing in my heart this opportunity was too good to pass up!

so in just a little over 30 days, what I wished for was presented in a way so much bigger than I had imagined.

careful what you wish for….it could be granted to you right before your eyes!

beans to apples


tuesday january 4th was cold, cloudy and gray. it was my
last day at beans, and it started with a commute into work that
felt different from any other. the dogs came in for their final
‘day in the office’ at “books”, and bronx must have sensed
something different because he cried all the way to my drop off at
beans. as we passed lake sammish, crossed the I-90 bridge on
what most days was the most beautiful drive someone can take on a
daily basis – today was different. not to be morbid, but
think for a moment what it must feel like to knowingly be taking
your last journey somewhere. to know that i’d never travel
this way again with the intention of “going to work”, “preparing
mentally for my day” left weird feeling in me. a ‘dead man walking’ kind of feeling.

once i made it to the place i had called home for 3 1/2 years – all was good
again…until i reached my desk which no longer looked like my
desk, but more like a robbery in action. i was more than half
way moved out, given-away and recycled. i had work to do,
affinity network leaders to rally and organizing to get done – but
i had all day to do it, and get it done i did. talk, toss,
save, give away, hug, call, walk, toss, save, give away, hug,
talk, eat, hug, toss, save, give away, talk, snap photos,
friendly smooch and the day was done.

it ended like any other day – 5:15 pm. everyone walking out to their
families and lives outside of the center of the coffee universe,
only for me – it was the last time. relief, excitement,
finish line, and surreality. i did it!

i’ll miss my work, my team, my twitter followers who i was just getting to know,
my friends, my network leaders, and i will miss what’s coming next for
beans. i know it will be amazing, and i am actually really excited to
experience it again from the vantage point of a customer. now that i 
know what it takes to make the magic everyone else see’s…i
will be appreciated so much more.

hs – thanks for everything, it was the best!