Friday, April 25, 2008

Our Quarterly Report

Well, friends, if you are still visiting our blog at this point, you've probably come to the conclusion that we are not regular posters. We're not procrastinators--our taxes were in at least three weeks before the deadline--we just generally feel there's not that much to report on a regular basis. Matt and I both aren't that comfortable blogging the inner thoughts and the inner workings of our minds...we don't even get around to putting that into our personal journals let alone cyberspace, so for the time being our blog posts are going to be sporadic reports.

Carly, this one in particular is for you. Sorry it's been so long in coming.

Here's what we've been up to the last four months:

Taking advantage of all of the great museums here in Washington, D.C. Matt and are I trying to get out to a unique cultural place or event every week. Matt's "eReeR" or the T-Rex...which one scares me the most...

I took the LSAT in February for the second time, and felt surprisingly confident afterwards. Luckily, my feelings were confirmed when I received my scores three weeks later--98% percentile, baby!

Matt hosted an fabulous "Super Tuesday" party. Our apartment was full of food, folks, and bi-partisan fun with all of the great activities Matt prepared. Highlights included "Pin the Candidate on the State," "Nomination" (imagine the card game "Pit" but with states and delegates as the commodities), and the Primary Bracket competing for the Carl Rove Political Genius Award. Yes, we get more excited about politics than the Final Four in this family.

As Matt and I go through our continuing quarter-life crises, we've even considered joining the Marines! Just kidding, but I can lift the 120 lb pack at the Marine Corp Museum (which is by far the best museum in the've got to see it!).

Speaking of culture, Matt and I both had never been to the National Portrait Gallery before Stephen Colbert's portrait was hanging there between the bathrooms and above the water fountain. It attracted so much attention, the Smithsonian Director has allowed it to be apart of the "National Treasures" exhibit for the next little while (which mean another museum visit for us). Gouchners, Cowans, and Grovers, this reminds us of good times!
We enjoyed a beautiful Easter feast with our good friends the Spackmans. It was the first true spring day we had in the area, and couldn't have been more idyllic. We loved passing all of the churches the way to ours in the morning, seeing all of the crosses covered in fresh flowers. We performed a stirring arrangement of "Death Shall Not Destroy My Comfort" (Mack Wilberg is amazing) in sacrament meeting. We reminisced on our engagement that took place four years ago that Easter morn. We talked to loved ones, and reflected on the hope springs alive in us from our faith. It was a beautiful day.

We have also been fortunate to have visits from both sets of parents this Winter/Spring season. The Gees were in town in early March, along with their foreign exchange student, Christof from Austria. We had a jolly good time going around the city and enjoying each other's company. The Christensens came out the end of March beginning of April right in time for peak Cherry Blossoms! This was our first experience with the DC cherry blossoms as well, and I would say it was definitely worth dealing with all of the crowds to check out.

In case you are getting the wrong idea about our lives, I wanted to let you know that there is some hard involved. Take this picture, for example. Fishing on the Potomac is hard work (I strained a muscle in my wrist trying to reel in something...I think it was a log or a tire). Trying to stay away from the fish, even harder.

I have been doing some things on and off with a local dance company. These past three weeks I had a residency at a local elementary school, teaching their transportation unit through creative dance. Matt was kind to come to our "concert" and catch it all on tape. Enjoy!

(Logan, by the way Matt loves the guitar. He's now channeling Stevie Ray Vaughn)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Food, Folks, and Fun

For those of you who have been associated with Matt and I within the last three and a half years, it should come as no surprise to you that the issue of living in Texas at some point in our future is one that lacks unanimity in our family (consisting of Matt and I). Matt, who claims Texas as his home, even though he spent many good years, including his formative ones, in locations other than Texas (including New York, Oregon, Utah, and my favorite, Missouri), is a huge fan of moving and spending the rest of his life in the greatest nation in the United States. Austin, he claims, is "in Texas, but not of Texas," and boasts of many "The Best Cities to Live in" titles, the greatest live music outside of Nashville, bats under bridges, a thriving cultural and academic atmosphere, and the perfect weather all year long.

While I think his characterization of the weather is a bit hyperbolic--Austin humidity, though not as suffocating as Houston, still ranks rather low on my comfortability scale for most of the summer--it almost proved to be the key to my undoing this winter break.

Since Thanksgiving is the best time for all of my family to get together, Christmas has been traditionally spent with the Gees in none other place than Austin, TX. This year was no different. In packing our bags, we looked forward canoeing on Town Lake or going golfing on New Year's Day, and packed accordingly. Though slightly chillier than expected (I occasionally had to put on a light jacket), the weather was almost as enjoyable as the food, laughs, and family. Here are pictures of a few highlights:

The nephews (Jackson, Addison, and Preston Lewis) waking up to a totally awesome train table and set from Santa Claus (that took three hours to set up!).

The arrival of Matt's "third wife," (the MacBook is number two) aka Gibson Les Paul Studio electric guitar.

The second annual Gee New Year's Iron Chef Totally-Out-Of-Control Competition (would you expect anything less? Honestly...).

Family (and soon to be family!) enjoying the great Austin outdoors.

Good times with the Gees!
(This family photo taken on our last day in Austin is quite deceptive. Not only is it not a complete family photo--where are the spouses?--it's also pretty darn cold. See, Matt? Even Austin has it's moments.)

Though family pictures in Texas were made slightly unpleasant due to a cold front on New Year's day, this was nothing compared to what we were going to face in the next four hours........

My sister Karen got married on January 4th in Nauvoo (great location!). Due to this factor, instead of flying back to DC from Austin, we took a slight detour through Missiouri, Kansas, back to Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois.

And I had the chance to remember how cold blows the wind in the old Midwest. (It's really, really cold).

The bride, wanting her pictures to somehow change the fact that she really got married in January instead of June, insisted that pictures be taken without coats, or jackets, or gloves, or hats, or any protective item that might shield the wearer from the bitter bite of winter. I protested. Matt got bronchitis. We took the pictures without coats anyway. And in a moment of weakness, or rather, in several moments of weakness (try the entire time we were in the Midwest), Matt almost persuadest me to be a Texan.

In any case, the wedding was beautiful, the roads safe, and the reception a ball. What more could we have asked for?

Some highlights from the wedding: Matt's performance of a wedding song for Karen and Adam and the bride and groom's first dance. We've tried posting them unsuccessfully, but will make another attempt in the near future. To see Karen and Adam's first dance visit youtube and type in "Karen and Adam's first dance."

After basking in the sunshine and then battling the cold, we were happy to return to the temperate temperatures of Washington, DC, where we were able to thaw out and even enjoy spring like weather the last few days. There is no place like home--the homes we grew up in and return to for holidays and the home we make wherever we are. For the present, I'm glad that's DC. As for the future, we'll see.

(I think the operative word in both Agrippa and my statements is "almost.")


Monday, December 10, 2007

3 months later...

"Blessed are they who post because they have been compelled to post..."

(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)

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

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


In the beginning was the template and the template was with Html coding. And the template was Html coding. And unfortunately, neither the man nor the woman knew Html coding, so they were forced to dwell in the wilderness of the Blogspot template options and be of the Blogspot template options until they can find a way to transcend the Blogspot template options.

(Hey, if the Children of Israel had 40 years to wander and God had six rather lengthy periods of creation, it should be understandable for us to take a few weeks to get our virtual world formed and up to filling the measure of its creation, right?)

Welcome to our Blog! It is with great ebullience that we enter the Blogging world and culture. We hope to do our best to keep our friends and family abreast on our comings and goings and our thoughts and fancies. We look forward to many meaningful exchanges. We've got a feeling that this is the start of a beautiful friendship.


Lisa and Matt