TODAY host Willie Geist and his wife, Christina, have been together since middle school, yet the couple still make time for romance by going on dates several times a week.
“Life gets so chaotic. I could be on my BlackBerry around the clock,” Willie told USA Weekend in an article celebrating Valentine’s Day.
One special date night coming up will be Christina’s Feb. 18 birthday. Both agreed it’s a mixed blessing to have it so close to Valentine’s Day.
“We don’t ignore it,” Christina said of the holiday, “but we really try to make each other happy every day.”
Willie said they usually will go to dinner, but he acknowledged he often gets away with “going extra-big on her birthday.”
“The other thing is, all the Valentine’s Day roses are on deep discount on her birthday, so I can get her, like, a hundred roses,” he said.
The Geists have been inseparable since middle school, when Willie spotted the 11-year-old former Christina Sharkey in Mr. Kaplan’s sixth-grade homeroom.
“She was noteworthy for a sixth-grade boy. I kept an eye on her,” he told USA Weekend.
But they didn’t date until ninth grade. The two eventually went to college together at Vanderbilt and got married in 2003. The couple now have two children, Lucie, 5, and George, 3.
Their admiration for each other remains strong. Christina noted that her husband's growing celebrity was never something he sought.
"People are drawn to him, and it has always been that way," she said. "Of course, I'm very proud of him, but it's no surprise to me that he's in the job he's in."
Willie said the two are each other's biggest supporters.
"It's fun to know the person in the sixth-grade homeroom and see her now being such a great mom to our two kids. It's a journey that not a lot of people have together, and it's very special," he said.
Both feel blessed to live in New York, not far from where they grow up, and close to both sets of parents. They feel fortunate that their children have strong ties to their grandparents.
The family also remain close to friends from their childhood. Christina points out to the magazine that each of her three siblings married a high school classmate.
“I don’t know what was in the water,” she joked.
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