Storm Watch 2007

This post is a bit overdue, but we thought you might like to know about our encounter with a summer storm. About two weeks ago, we experienced our first severe weather storm in the Mid West. We may have experienced a rain storm on the way through Nebraska, but it doesn't even come close to the tornado like weather conditions that came through Illinois two weeks ago. The day started out mildly enough - we went to lunch together and enjoyed the beautiful 90 degree weather. But around 3 o'clock the sky drastically changed. This is what Brian saw coming his way.

The storm was furious, and packed a hard punch. The power was out in downtown Wheaton for four whole days. We were without power on Thursday night, but thankfully it was restored by 10:30 that evening. Friday the power was out at Crossway and I was able to go home early - yay! All that to say - weather really affects things around here. Wheaton has seen the light end of the damage, several other counties have experienced a lot of flood damage. Despire the weather, we are in good spirits and Brian can't get over how cool real thunder and lightning is.

Finally, we would like to say that Californians need to get out of California every once and awhile to be reminded of what a real storm is like. So for those of you who want to experience "storm watch 2007" - come visit us any time!


Sweet Home - Chicago

Today, we made our first day trip to Chicago. We met our train at College Avenue station, which is right down the street from our basement apartment. After a noisy train ride full of Cubs fan and Air Show attendees, we arrived at Ogilvie station in the heart of Chicago.

After a short trip on the "L" we found ourselves on Michigan Avenue, also known as the Magnificent Mile. The street starts off with one of the few surviving buildings from the Chicago fire in 1871 - the water tower.

We made our way down the street and were awed by the magnificent buildings that line the street. The weather couldn't be more perfect - around 80 degrees, blue skies and a slight breeze. There were a few highlights along the street: the gardens next the NBC building, the Chicago River, and a random metallic moose!

We took a Water Taxi to Navy Pier and enjoyed the deafening sounds of fighter jets performing in the Air Show along the coast.

We lunched on the pier at Charlie's Ale House and walked back to Michigan Avenue and down the street to Millenium Park. For those of you who haven't been, there are many fun structures decorating the park, which we will model for you here.

Finally, we caught the train back to Wheaton and collapsed on our beautiful new couches.

In other news - the Cubs won again today! We are in proces of becoming avid Cubs fans and will attend our first game in a few weeks! By the way, the game is Dodgers vs. Cubs, which will put our new allegiance to the test - GO CUBS!!


A Day in the Life of a Gee

We have given you plenty of updates on the status of our home - but we thought you might like to know some of the other exciting things happening in Wheaton, IL. There are two very exciting things that have occurred over the last few days. First, last Sunday we visited a church that might become our home church. Grace Church of DuPage (DuPage is our county) is a church that loves the Lord, has solid doctrine and has abundant fellowship. We really enjoyed the service as well as the conversations we had with the leadership at the church. We felt right at home, as the church was very similar to Placerita Baptist Church in Santa Clarita. Pastor Scott Ardavanis used to pastor out here at Grace Church of DuPage and we could see his influence on much of the service. He also left quite an impression on the people! All that to say, we will be attending there again this upcoming weekend and hope to get involved in a Bible study soon.

Secondly, Monica was offered a job today at Crossway Bible Publishing. The interview process has been going on for the past two weeks so it was really exciting to have some resolution. Even better - Monica really wanted this job! The position is: Administrative Assistant of Bible Publishing. Crossway is an awesome company and we are so excited to be a part of their work in spreading the Gospel. We now are both officially employed again! Brian is working part-time for Monica's dad at Elmco Insurance and now Monica is a part of Crossway! We want to give all the glory to God for these happenings - it is amazing to see how He has orchestrated all of these events. God has provided everything that we need and we are so thankful for His goodness to us!


In the "News"

Moving to a new place, it seems that everyday holds something new for us. We thought we would share some of the latest "news" with you:

On August 1, we became Aunt and Uncle to our new nephew Bram Hayden Richardson. Here is a pic of the handsome baby boy with his mom (Monica's sister Jamie).

We also bought a few new household items: an IKEA bookshelf, shoe rack, bedstands, TV cabinet, printer/scanner/fax machine and a lot of other little things that make our life more comfortable. Our basement apartment is feeling more and more like home - our new couch arrives tomorrow which will finish off our living room. Monica has been busy on the sewing machine and has made some fun additions to the dining room table, too!

Over the last week or so we have made many new discoveries - Giordano's Pizza, Portillo's, The Room Place and Potbelly Sandwich Works. If there is one thing we love about the midwest is the amazing food and the discount furniture stores! We can't wait for all of you to try our new favorite restaurants.

We are also starting to make some new friends. The midwest is a very friendly place - we seem to make new friends everywhere we go. From the check out line in Trader Joe's to fellow shoppers in stores to the workers at the DMV (technically IL doesn't have a DMV, it is actually a Dept of the Secretary of State) we have found ourselves getting to know the locals and loving our home even more!

Lastly, we have new driver's licenses! We are officially Illinois residents and have registered to vote in IL too!

Who knew moving could be so much fun?



Lest you think being a home-maker is only a woman's job - you should see all of the work Brian has been putting into making our basement apartment into a home! The past three day have been filled with unpacking boxes, putting together furniture, making messes and then cleaning them up, organizing, decorating, etc. Our efforts are starting to pay off and we can see our place coming together. We will definitely update with pictures of our place once we finish everything. The weather out here has been hot, sticky and rainy. For all of the warnings we received about the horrid weather, we are doing just fine and our fans are keeping us in good spirits. Hope all of you are doing well back on the West Coast - love to you all!


We Are Here!

Just wanted to let you all know that we arrived in Wheaton today at around 1:00 pm Central Time. We couldn't be happier with the beautiful location and the fun basement apartment that the Lord has provided for us. We drove 2200 miles to get here - and we love it! We shipped our belongings separately and will pick them up tomorrow in a town called Elgin, not too far from here. Once we get settled you can expect lots of pictures!


Seven States Down...One to Go!

As we come to the end of our fourth day of travel, we cannot help but reflect on all of the fun we have had in such a short amount of time. So far, we have covered 1,800 miles of the great American Countryside - from the metropolis cities of Denver and Des Moines to the antiquated, down-home-can-I-cut-you-another-piece-of-pie main streets that make this country so unique. After spending Monday night in Grand Junction, CO, we began the grueling climb over the Rocky Mountains. And what a climb it was (11,500 ft atop Loveland Pass!). Yet we hardly noticed the ascension as the massive rock formations that the word "mountain" can just barely begin to describe riveted our eyes the whole way.

After climbling and falling those great heights in the same day, we came to Denver ready to eat (of course, it was lunch time too). It took just seconds to find a parking spot near Coors Field (the stadium that the Colorado Rockies call home) where we found the Breckinrigde Brewery for lunch. Picture BJ's...and you've got this place. We had Bison Burgers and Fish & Chips to fill us up - and it was really good!

After lunching in Denver, we set out for what would immediately become a flat, field-filled drive through the remaining third of Colorado and the Nebraska border. Brian drove, Monica slept. :) The skies were like everything that you'd picture in a Thomas Kinkade landscape...and Brian hates Thomas Kinkade. But it was still beautiful. It is amazing how vast and open the U.S. really is. Once we crossed the Nebraska border, we found a delightful camping spot in a little town named Ogallala (which just happens to be very fun to say as well!). We picked our own camping spot amidst rustling trees, 100 yards or so from the shore of Lake McConaughy. The lake had white sand beaches and we immediately felt at home. After a long day of driving and humid weather it felt really good to get wet!

We made a salami wrap dinner and spent the evening admiring the beautiful surroundings and playing games.

This morning we awoke to a vastly different view of Lake McConaughy. The fog was extremely thick and our tent was covered in a layer of dew. We packed up the campsite and decided to head out a bit earlier than we had originally planned. Shortly after we had left, we experienced our first Mid-West torrential down pour. To native Californians, this was quite an expierience! Once the rain stopped, we realized that our car had been purged of all the bugs that it had accumulated over the past few days.

Other than a quick lunch stop to McDonald's, we quickly made our way across the state of Nebraska and into Iowa. While we were enthralled with the Rocky Mountains, the state of Iowa has proven to have a surprisingly beautiful countryside.

Even better, now that we have reached Des Moines, we realized we only have 260 miles or so until we reach Wheaton! After checking into our hotel in Des Moines, we took off for a BBQ dinner at Famous Dave's (famous for BBQ, I guess!) and boy did it live up to its' name. Finally, after having gorged ourselves on ribs, chicken, pork and anything else that ends up on a barbeque, we are back in our hotel room getting ready for a relaxing dip in the Spa! So that's it for now - we'll update you again tomorrow once we reach our new home: Wheaton, IL!