Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lone Star Love

Hello sweets,

Well we've made it to the middle of the week, and I'm not sure about you guys, but I am officially exhausted! My health hasn't been very good the last week, so I'm usually drained by mid afternoon :(, which also means I have not been cooking very much.  So I thought I would blog about the only other thing that is more important to me then being in the kitchen......the love of my life and my biggest supporter, Nathan :)

Four and a half years ago, my uncle Michael decided to come up to Canada for a visit (my family is 75% American and living in the USA).  My cousin Steve was home from serving in Iraq with the 10th Mountain division, and my uncle wanted to take us to see him since it had been a LONG time, and it was Steve's birthday (June 2008).   Now my cousin Steve and I had been chatting online since he got back stateside, and kept talking up his roommate, Nathan, to me and telling me that we would get along very well as we had very similar personalities.  The funny thing was that both Nathan and I had some less than desirable experiences with our latest partners, so both of us we very hesitant, but were opening to meeting each other.  Of course, my sister and I said yes, so we piled into my uncle's truck and made the six hour trip to Fort Drum, NY.
Uncle Michael, love him so much!

When we finally arrived, we met Steve at the hotel we were staying at, caught up a little, then went and got supplies for the birthday party!
My uncle Michael, sister Asha, me, and cousin Steve. Reunited!

After getting back to the hotel, we waited for Steve's friends to arrive and celebrate both Steve's birthday, and that all the boys came home safe.  Of course the entire time, Steve is telling me how much I am going to like his roommate, Nathan, and that we will hit it off right away.  Meanwhile,  inside I am getting more and more nervous to met this amazing man lol.  Well everything Steve said was true.  Nathan was smart, funny, handsome, and extremely polite (he is from Texas after all).  Needless to say we hit it off as soon as we met, and  it was like meeting an old friend.  We chatted for hours, and were often called out for segregating ourselves from the group lol!
Taken on the first night we met, and already looking like a couple!

For the next four months Nathan and I sent numerous texts back and forth, and spent hours chatting online, sometimes until the wee hours in the morning.  Then in October, I decided I wanted to see him again, and I decided to drive to Fort Drum, since when I went to visit my grandparents in Oklahoma in August (5 hours from where he lives in Texas), we missed each other by 1 day. :(  So I made the 6 hour drive to spend 24 hours with Nathan, the man whom I could not stop thinking about all day and night!  Needless to say we had a wonderful time; a nice dinner with great conversation, and a wonderful gentlemen.  I left with a smile on my face, and knew that I had met the man I would spend the rest of my life with.  

Now I know what you're thinking; how could I be so sure when we had only known each other for six months?  Well you know all the cliche things in romantic movies; butterflies, day dreaming, all the things that make you scoff and say that's not real!  Well that is exactly what I was feeling (and what he was trying to deny lol), and I knew there was no way I was going to let him get away easily.  Now for the next three years, we only saw each other every August for a couple of days at most.  They were always romantic and unforgettable, but we didn't try to start a relationship.  Nathan told me from the get go that long distance relationships were hard to maintain (he knew from being in Iraq, and I had never been in one), but there was something nagging inside me that we would be able to make it work.  I respected his decision, and we both tried to move on with our lives, but remained close and talked every now and then.  Little did I know, some of his best friends and mother were telling him that he was crazy, and that clearly this girl really cared for him, and seemed wonderful (their words not mine!).  One of his oldest friends even told him that he couldn't be mad that I was dating someone at one point, because he told me to do so lol.  
Well in August 2011, I went to spend a week with my grandparents in Oklahoma, and of course I let him know I would be there.  He asked if I would come and visit him for a day or so (he had to travel to back to Washington to deal with some work stuff), and I said as long as it was okay with my grandparents, I would be there.  Now everyone, and I mean everyone in my family knows how happy I am when I'm around Nathan, so they of course said yes!  So I made the five hour drive back to Dallas to spend a little over a day with him, and then drove back to my grandparents with an ear to ear grin. :D   Now little did I know, everything Nathan's friends and family had been telling him, and his feelings for me, had finally manifested into undeniable feelings.  So with two days left in my vacation, Nathan called me to see if I would come back, only this time to meet his parents.  I spoke with my grandma Oburni, and her, my grandfather, and I all agreed that things were changing.  You don't meet someones parents for the heck of it.  Five hours later, I was back in the arms of the man I had been chasing for four years and meeting his parents for the first time (they're awesome!).  The rest, is clearly history, since it's now 14 months later!
I am not super close with all of my family, but what Nathan has with his, is what I've always wanted :)  They are all very close, always there for each other, and would do anything at the drop of the hat!  A perfect example of how much they care for each other, would be what happened last night.  Nathan got a call from his uncle that his mother was being rushed to the hospital, which is 45 minutes away for us, with a possible heart attack :(  On our way rushing to the hospital, we got a follow up text saying they confirmed it was NOT a heart attack, but they didn't know what was causing her pain and shallow breathing.  So from 9:30pm to 5am this morning, Nathan, his uncle Michael, his aunt Cindy and I all stayed by his mother Darra's side. 
Nathan being silly. lol  We waited a LONG time for test results

They finally figured out what was wrong, and it was nothing that couldn't be helped with medication, and it's not life threatening, but it's moments like these that make you thankful for the people closest to you, and not take a single moment in life for granted.  Needless to say, his entire family loves me (they tell him and I this all the time), they have already given me the "honorary Texan" title, and say I am family already!  I never thought that love like you see in the movies was real, but I am living in my very own romantic fairy tale, and yes, I know to some it's gross but I love it!

The very first "southern" recipe that was handed down to me, from my grandma Oburni, was for Southern Sweet Tea (ironically taught to me days before meeting Nathan's parents lol).  Now I have always loved iced tea (sweet tea in Canada), but once I tried sweet tea I can't drink the pre-made stuff anymore lol!

Southern Sweet Tea
1 Tazo Black Tea iced tea bags
3Tbs of honey
3/4C sugar
1 lemon, sliced
2C Ice
All the fixin's

1)  Boil 1 quart of water, with the tea bag in the water before it starts to boil.
pre boil

2)  While the water is boiling,  slice the lemons in at least 5 slices.
love the smell of freshly sliced lemons

3)  When the water starts to rapidly boil, remove from heat as to not cause the tea bag to open.
Mmm fresh tea

4)  Add the sugar and honey into a large pitcher.  You can add more or less depending on your preference of sweetness.

5)  Remove the tea bag and pour into the pitcher.  Stir thoroughly and then add 2C of ice.
Almost there

6)  As the finishing touch, place the lemons on top and put in the refrigerator to cool.

Once cool, pour into a tall glass over ice and enjoy!

How do you guys like your iced tea?  Do you have any twists or family recipes you enjoy?  Let me know what you guys think, and until next.....

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo

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