(Yeah, we know we don't fit into the "more blessed" category, but we're still hoping for the blessings that come from action even if it materializes only after much compelling.)
Life is good. We will let the following pictures tell most of our life histories for the past three months.
Throughout the month of September, we made good use of my boss's offer to use their beach house on the Delaware Coast. Matt and I consider ourselves to be more mountain-folk than of the beach variety, but we sure do like vacation get-aways to the beach every once in a while!
We were even successful at cajoling good friends Dave and Margaret Hedengren to join us one weekend for crab fishing, grilling on the patio, beach walks, and an occasional dip into the Atlantic. We are happy to report that indeed, good times were had by all--even the crabs (we let them go after studying their behavior in the buckets for a while).
Missing the academic rigor of university life, Matt and I broke down and formed a discussion group with four other couples in the ward. Every three weeks we get together and have an invigorating discussion about a topic of interest, inspired from a "required" reading all of the participants have supposedly studied thoroughly before the evening. So far we have touched on Climate Change, effective strategies for reducing crime, and the Republican Primaries (we're not biased to the Republican race; it just so happened that the CNN YouTube debate was happening when our normal discussion group was scheduled to take place, so we accepted the opportunity and ran with it). It's a good incentive for us to read scholarly articles and stay informed about pertinent topics--so far it seems to be working pretty successfully.
Matt and I enjoyed a wonderful 6-day visit with the Christensen clan back in Topeka, KS for the Thanksgiving holiday. Our family keeps expanding, and unfortunately the room at the dinner table hasn't increased proportionally, but we'll happily sit at the "reject" table in order to welcome Karen's fiance Adam (they are getting married in January) and other friends and significant others to join in the festivities with us.
We were able to spend quality one-on-one time with most family members, celebrate Jen's birthday with a luau, take Matt on a tour of Lisa's old stomping grounds ("T"-high!), and see friends. We just loved every minute of it...even when there weren't enough beds for everyone. We look forward to seeing the Christensen Clan again in early January as we participate in Karen and Adam's wedding celebrations.
Other news: after vacillating between taking the GRE and the LSAT for about a year, I signed up for a Kaplan LSAT course, studied for six weeks, and took the LSAT a little over a week ago. My score will come right around Christmas--consider it a lump of coal (or an ear of corn, for those of you who have gone completely green) from LSAC in my stocking. I'm already planning on taking the test again in February, as I don't ever like being limited in my future options by a number that reflects that, yes, I am not a standardized test taker. The tentative plan is to start law school in the fall and transfer if Matt ends up starting an advanced degree the following year. We shall see!
(Me entering the gates of Hogwarts, aka Georgetown,
to take the LSAT...perhaps the wizarding exams would
have been the better route to take)
have been the better route to take)
Matt and I made our debut performance with the Mount Vernon Stake Bell Choir a week ago, performing at a musical fireside for the stake prior to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. Bells were ringing, people singing, candles beaming, tempers steaming (you don't ever want to be an obstacle for a stake music fireside, let us tell you). We'll admit, it's totally a nerdy thing to do, but we love it (and hopefully are parents can feel that all of those music lessons growing up weren't a waste). We get to play at Washington DC Temple Visitor's Center on December 21, as part of the holiday concerts they have happening every evening throughout the Christmas season. It will be lovely to see all of the lights--apparently its pretty spectacular--and we hope to make some merry music as well.
Along the lines of Christmas, Matt and I decorated our first Christmas tree together (yes, this is our fourth Christmas as a married couple). As students we never got around to decorating for Christmas, since we had finals up until the last minute and then were off for the remainder of the holidays, but this year we decided we needed a little Christmas, right this very minute, so we went out and got a tree!
Since we probably won't get around to sending Christmas cards or letters (we're just being honest with ourselves), we want to take the opportunity to wish all of our friends and family a holiday season filled with carols, home-made goodies, service, moments of reflection, comfort among loved ones, and the peace that comes into our lives from the goodness we have, the goodness we create, the goodness we share, and the hope that keeps us going. We love you!
Lisa and Matt Gee