Nathan and Marieke

Our adventures living in the Bay Area

Christmas!! December 15, 2007

Filed under: Family,Friends,Info,Life — nathanandmarieke @ 4:01 pm

Finals are coming up, people are out shopping…it’s that time of year!

As much as I am loving school, I am ready for our nice long visit to Southern California! Since so many friends and family read this, I thought I’d let you know our working itinerary in case you want to get together with us while we’re in Santa Barbara and San Diego.

Here is our tentative schedule at the moment. I think most of our time is going to be pretty flexible, depending on my family’s plans, so feel free to call us or email us πŸ™‚

Christmas Vacation

Fri 12/21 – Drive down late afternoon/evening (I’ll know more exactly once I finalize my Friday Schedule at school on Monday).
Sat 12/22 – 6pm Visit Aqueous and go out to eat with Aqueous peeps after (at this point our only chance to make it for sure)
Sun 12/23 – Go to Bethany Congregational
Mon 12/24 – Christmas Eve with Nathan’s grandparents in Ventura
Tue 12/25 – Christmas with Marieke’s Family
Wed 12/26 – 6-9pm-ish – Marieke to visit SB Knitters
Fri 12/28-30ish – go down to San Diego to visit Nathan’s Family (exact dates are tentative).
Wed 1/2 – Drive back up to Berkeley

Can’t wait to see everyone!

~Nathan & Marieke


Overdue Update November 10, 2007

Filed under: Berkeley,Ex'pression,Family,Friends,Life,School,SF State — nathanandmarieke @ 1:23 pm

Hey Everyone!!

It’s been quite some time since we’ve sent out an update. Life is extremely busy, but it’s been awesome, so here are some highlights from what’s been going on in the past few months…


Nathan is loving his school program and doing VERY well. It’s keeping him really busy, but he’s already well into his second session (He aced his first session classes of Sociology and Psychology). He’s currently working on a project with other students from the school where they create a student film. The script is written and they completed casting yesterday. Nathan is going to be composing and creating the soundtrack. Of course!

SF State:

The music department at State is awesome. It’s the perfect size in that it is both diverse and intimate. I’ve made a lot of friends and I’m really looking forward to what I’ll be doing in the future (school opera perhaps?). I’m currently in the SFSU Chamber Singers and Women’s Chorus. I got a solo part in one of the Women’s Chorus pieces that’s been really fun to sing.

(Note: Next Spring the Chamber Singers will be touring for a week in Southern California – LA and OC areas – I’ll be putting up a page on this site with performance dates for the tour and SF area performances once I get a chance.)


Nathan is currently working at a copy shop in North Berkeley. He’s looking into getting a TA position (or something along those lines) at his school which would be SO much better for him.

I’m currently working at K2TOG Knitting and Crochet in Albany (just North of Berkeley). My main job is Crystal Palace special order pickup and processing, but I also am doing work on getting the web-store up as well as working retail in the store when needed. It’s a great job and my boss is really flexible so it’s perfect for me. I also recently picked up a private customer (referred to me by my boss) that I’ll be knitting a couple pairs of gloves for, so I’ll be getting some extra income. Other people have been asking me to knit hats and scarves that they can buy, so once I get a few holiday projects out of the way, I’m thinking that I may start knitting things to sell.


While things are obviously busy, life is going very well. Nathan and I celebrated our first anniversary by going to the Golden Gate Bridge and then spending some time in Sausalito (which reminded me of Montecito a bit). We had dinner at the Spinnaker, which is a restaurant right on the water (literally – it’s built on a pier) with views of the entire Bay. The food was delicious and it was a great day.

We’ve found a church that we’ve been going to regularly called New Church Berkeley. We’ve really started connecting with some people, even though it’s challenging since we aren’t able to be as involved in the Church Community as we’d like to be.

Family & Holidays:

This past Monday Nathan’s Grandma and Aunt Eileen came up to visit and we had dinner at a neat little French Restaurant in the City called “Jeunne d’Arc” (I hope I spelled that right). It was delicious, but more than that, we had a great time catching up with Grandma and Eileen. (It was actually the first time we’ve been out to dinner in the City since we moved up here.)

Thanksgiving is coming up soon and Steve & Suzie (Nathan’s parents) are coming up to visit and we’re so excited to see them. We’ll be having dinner at Adam and Josie’s (Nathan’s step-brother and his girlfriend) with Dave as well (Nathan’s other step-brother). It’s going to be a great time! Then Saturday night Steve & Suzie will be coming over to Berkeley to visit us and see our new place. πŸ™‚

For Christmas we’ll be making the trip down to Santa Barbara. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re gonna make it to Aqueous since Nathan works the Saturdays before and after Christmas. We’re not sure exactly how long we’ll be in town at this point. Most likely we’ll be coming down Saturday night/Sunday morning, then heading back up sometime between Wednesday and Friday. Hopefully we’ll be able to connect with most of you down there. We miss you!!

Well, I think that’s a pretty good update. If you want to know more details, please feel free to call, email, orΒ  comment on the blog. We’d love to hear from you!


Berkeley! August 11, 2007

Filed under: Berkeley,Family,Friends,Life,Move — nathanandmarieke @ 11:10 pm

Yes, we are here. We made it safe and sound, although it’s been a little different than expected.

This is just a quick post before I head to bed (we’re getting up early tomorrow AM to head to Tahoe to visit Nathan’s parents on vacation there), but it’s been too long since I’ve updated and I wanted to give everyone a little taste of things at the moment.

We’re still getting settled in, but Ryan and his neighbor Chris really helped us get everything out of the truck in record time (it only took 1.5 hours to unload it! Granted, there weren’t stairs involved in the unloading like there were in the loading…). We had SO much help from family and friends in Santa Barbara as well and I am SOOOOO thankful to everyone, especially since I couldn’t do as much as I wanted to since I got mildly injured the week before the move.

Our apartment is GREAT and I love it. It’s roomier, even with a few yet-to-be-unpacked boxes lying around. It’s in a great location and we’ve got some really cool neighbors. Last Tuesday was “National Night Out” day, where people throw block parties and get to know their neighbors. Wouldn’t you know it, one block down our neighborhood threw one! We were kinda curious as to what was going on, so we walked over and ended up meeting a bunch of cool people. Apparently there’s a pretty active neighborhood group in this area and it’s a good area because of that. It was really neat to get a sense of what the people in our neighborhood are really like and meet so many of them at once!

We’ve met a lot of cool people as we’ve been getting settled into Berkeley, too. I’m going to a couple knit groups, plus I am getting to know my boss Ellen, who is awesome! I also am looking into joining an ambient/trip-hop group (Jacob’s Ladder) as a vocalist and song-writer/contributor. I found out about it while looking for jobs on craigslist. Nathan and I met with Matt, who is the main person in the group, earlier this week and we both got along with him really well (in fact, Nathan and I both agreed that he was like an older version of one of Nathan’s good friends!). I’m looking forward to seeing where that goes.

On the work side of things, I found a job at a new local yarn store and Nathan is currently looking for one. Turns out that his company wasn’t able to give him a position in the area, so AFTER we got here, we found out that he didn’t have a job. I don’t know why, but the job market here doesn’t seem to be that great, and it’s been tough on him. I’m sure something will come up and it will be the right job for him. He does have a few possibilities…the best of which is an assistant manager position at EB Games. If he could get that, I know he’d do well and it goes along really well with what he’s studying. And I know he’d love it!

I’m in heaven working at the yarn shop here. It’s got a great atmosphere, I love my boss, and I’m surrounded by yarn! What could be better? I think Nathan would feel that same way about working in a video game store πŸ™‚

Surprisingly, I haven’t really had any strong bouts of homesickness yet. I’m guessing it will hit more when things come along like my sisters’ birthdays, and I can’t be there in person. Plus, things have been so up in the air with not really having a set schedule, that I don’t feel emotionally settled in much. Nathan had it a bit more right after we moved up here, and I think that was partly due to the whole work situation too.

Anyway, we know that God will work everything out in His perfect plan. I really have no idea how that’s going to happen, but we shall see!

In the meantime, please feel free to call or email us! We do miss all of you in Santa Barbara, Encinitas, etc. and would love to hear from you!


PS: Only two weeks till our first anniversary! I can’t believe it’s so soon!! And then school starts two days after that for me.


We found a place! (and other updates) July 19, 2007

Filed under: apartment,Ex'pression,Marieke,Move,Nathan,scholarship,SF State — nathanandmarieke @ 10:46 pm

Disclaimer: I started this post over a week ago, but haven’t gotten to finishing it and posting it, so sorry if it’s a little disjointed at all.

The apartment we found is one block from a BART station and bus stops, so I can walk to the BART to get to school. It’s in a cute neighborhood in South Berkeley, not too far from the downtown area. It’s one and half miles from Ex’pression so Nathan doesn’t have a long commute (very nice if he has a class late at night).

Here are some pictures of a similar unit. I’ll post pictures of our unit as soon as I remember (hopefully both empty and once we get settled in) .

The front of the building (kinda boring, especially compared to our neighbors, but it’s got a gate and off-street parking which is important and very nice) :

Harper front

The side and “front doors” (we’re the bottom right apartment that’s just outside the picture):

The inside of a similar unit (they aren’t furnished – that’s someone else’s stuff):

The apartment is fairly spacious and has a dishwasher and garbage disposal on top of the regular stuff.

It’s nice to know that we have a place to move to and that we can visualize!


In other news, Nathan’s tests and the financial aid meeting went really well, so he is officially admitted! Jen, his admissions rep, kept trying to connect Nathan with Paul Lipson, the President of G.A.N.G. (the organization that partners with Ex’pression in offering the scholarship that Nathan is in the running for), but he’s a busy man, so that didn’t happen this trip. We’ll have a follow-up financial aid meeting after we move up, so they can hopefully connect at that point.

On the fun side, we spent a lot of time in Berkeley since we were driving around so much, and feel much more familiar with the area. We found some great restaurants and some cool stores (Nathan discovered an Amoeba Records store on Telegraph and was practically drooling…). We also spent a lot of down time with Nathan’s college roommate Ryan (who was in our wedding). I am so thankful to his family for letting us stay with them! We had a lot of fun and it was good to catch up with Ryan and hang out (and play with his new Wii!) πŸ™‚

We also got a chance to meet up with Nathan’s brother Adam and his girlfriend Josi in the City. It was great to hang out with them and meet Josi! They’re a great couple and I’m excited that we’re close enough to hang out with them often. We missed seeing his brother Dave, but we’re gonna be up there for a while

In terms of life in SB, it turns out that Marieke will be working part-time the two weeks before we move, so she’ll be able to spend more time packing and whatnot without stressing quite so much! Nathan is still working away at FedExKinko’s and he’s getting ready to transfer to the Emeryville location after we move.


So to finish this long arduous update, we’re currently in the throes of packing. boxes are piled everywhere and we can barely move around our little apartment, but it’s coming along! We’re stocked up on boxes and packing supplies and have even gotten some help packing from a dear friend.

Since getting back to SB from Berkeley, Marieke was in a close friend’s wedding, so that took up most of the week after our trip, then she went to Orientation at SF State, which took up a good chunk of this week (she flew out of LAX). It was definitely worth it, though since it was specific to my college and major and I got to pre-register for some classes.

This coming weekend we’ll be spending time with the Cahill family, saying goodbye to our church family at Aqueous, and having a farewell picnic at the park Sunday at 2pm (if you want to come but didn’t get an Evite, that means Marieke doesn’t have your email or myspace so contact her or Nathan for info).

PHEW! I think that covers it! It’s been a BUUUSSSSY month!

Oh yeah…our official move date is 7/28. If you don’t get an email with our address, leave a comment with your email and I’ll send it to you.


Good things and bad things… July 4, 2007

Filed under: Life,Move,scholarship — nathanandmarieke @ 11:39 am

We’re getting packed and preparing for our trip up to Berkeley! This week has been full of obstacles, but hopefully once we’re on the road, things will settle down.

So first, the bad news: On Monday, our car got hit while it was parked in front of Marieke’s office. The driver was pulling out of an alleyway onto the one-way street in front of the office, but cut it too short, taking out our passenger side tail light and bashing in the rear quarter panel. Our rear bumper was jacked in the process, and possibly the wheel too, but we haven’t gotten an estimate yet, so we don’t know the full extent of the damage. We were unsure of whether it was drivable, so we had it towed to the shop.

The driver did stop, and we got their information and everything, but it’s not exactly what you want to have happen right before a trip! We were able to get a rental car with no problem, so we’ll be heading up in “our” pewter ’06 Nissan Altima instead.

In addition to this, Marieke’s cell phone screen had broken and she needed to get a replacement. Thankfully, the Verizon rep who took care of us when Marieke switched over to Verizon was working and he was extremely helpful. He just took the phone, went in the back and transferred all the contacts to a replacement, had Marieke sign the paperwork and that was that! If you live in Santa Barbara, Dante at the Verizon store next to El Pollo Loco is awesome and you should talk to him if you ever need anything.

Scholarship Update

So now, the good news!! We got the scholarship check from the Santa Barbara Treble Clefs yesterday, as well as **drumroll please** a scholarship check for $1500 from the Santa Barbara Foundation! YAY!! So we have a total of $2000 in scholarships towards school now! Some other things have come together as well and it’s taking the pressure off financially – God is definitely providing for us, even through the difficult stuff.

We’re still waiting to hear about whether Nathan got the Audio GANG scholarship, but perhaps they’ll be able to tell us later this week. We’ll keep you all updated as much as we can. Feel free to call us or drop us an email to see how things are going πŸ™‚

Well, we’re off! Have a happy and safe Independence Day!!


Father’s Day June 20, 2007

Filed under: Family,Life,Move,Nathan,scholarship — nathanandmarieke @ 3:29 pm

This past weekend we drove down to San Diego to surprise Nathan’s dad with a visit for Father’s Day. He was totally surprised and was happy as a clam the entire weekend. It was so great to be able to visit with Steve and Suzie, and with Aunt Suzie, Aunt Eileen, and Brian Sunday evening.

Nathan had a great time with his dad and spent some time catching up with a couple old friends also.

We mostly bummed around, got some time in the sun, and ate a lot of yummy food. It was just what we needed!

Scholarship update:

No major news yet on the latest scholarships. We’re waiting to hear about the announcement for the GANG/Ex’pression scholarship – should be soon. The date they’ll be announcing the SB Foundation scholarship is July 2nd, so we should know about both before we head up to Berkeley to find an apartment.

* Two weeks from today we’ll head up to the East Bay to look for a place!

* 1 month, 12 days (or less!) till we move!

* 2 months, 6 days till our first anniversary β™₯


Connections May 31, 2007

Filed under: Ex'pression,Family,Friends,Marieke,Move,Nathan,scholarship — nathanandmarieke @ 10:03 am

I’m continually amazed at how many connections we have in the Bay Area already and we’re still two months away from moving!

~ Nathan’s step-brothers Adam and Dave live in SF and have both gone to SF State (Adam soon to be joined by his girlfriend Josi that I can’t wait to meet)

~ Nathan’s good friend Ryan lives just south of Berkeley/Emeryville

~ A longtime friend of mine lives just north of the area

~ One of my Mom’s best friends lives in SF

~ We both have friends and acquaintances that are attending both of our respective schools

~ My aunt and uncle live in Palo Alto and my cousin (their daughter) just moved to SF

~ An old friend of mine pastors a church in Emeryville of all places! (found this out recently)

And I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone despite that list. Plus, SF is such a fun place that we’ll no doubt have opportunities to meet up with friends and family who come to visit the area (and us of course!).

I just discovered today that a friend of mine and her family will be in SF the weekend after we plan to move. Yay!


Scholarship Update:

I got the Santa Barbara Treble Clefs scholarship! I don’t know the exact amount, but it will be at least $500.

I’m getting really nervous about the SB Foundation scholarship audition though. I had bad dreams the other night about it (think Murphy’s Law hell) which is rare for me. Maybe it’s because this one is a little more “prestigious” and is a larger scholarship. For example, an email I received about the audition noted this:

This is an audition for a committee of approximately ten music professionals and community members from Santa Barbara County, covering all specialty areas: voice, piano, brass, woodwinds, composition.

I always get more nervous when I *know* that professional musicians – people who know their stuff – are going to be assessing my performance. I shouldn’t be so stressed about it…The pieces I’m performing are the pieces that got me into SF State, and I know them well. Plus I’ve got 5 days to prepare them and practice even more.


Also, Nathan is up again for the Fall Audio G.A.N.G Scholarship (he applied earlier this year and is up for the second of two $10,000 scholarships). Nathan’s admissions rep at Ex’pression is rooting for Nathan to get it and of course we are too! I believe that’s going to be announced sometime in June.

Prayers and good thoughts are appreciated!