February 16, 2017
Every couple and family that we work with has
a story many, many stories. There are happy ones and sad ones, long ones and short ones, stories that make us double over in laughter, and stories that let us see depths of despair. We love learning the story of each of our couples and families — it’s one of our favorite parts about our work. But we are not storytellers. We are story-documenters.
When we realized this, we knew that we should document ours as well. The Radian Story is the story of us, Radhika and Ian. From the day we were born to where we stand now, this is our story from babies to bride & groom.
Part 4: The Fall of 2009 (Or Radian’s Birthday)
So when did we finally get to know each other? While our careers in college independently, once we found each other, our worlds were filled with brinners and adventures and a ton of love. Keep reading to learn about the Fall of 2009, why our nickname is Radian, and our recipe for the perfect scrambled eggs and grits!
From Radhika’s perspective
I noticed that Ian and I were going to work together at Student U’s middle school summer program when, in the spring of 2009, I saw that Ian’s name was on an email sent to the full staff.
So, I took the natural next step. I sent him a Facebook message.
To be fair, I was excited about returning to spend another summer teaching at Student U, and I was just trying to be friendly since I knew Ian from Greensboro. The message said something like,
“Hey! I noticed that you were going to be teaching at Student U this summer! That’s so exciting! It’s a really fun program!”
Okay, so I was a dork. And clearly had not heard of calls to action at that point.
When the summer did start, Ian fell in love with Student U, just as I had the year before. It was strange to spend so much time with someone who had, till then, been a peripheral member of my life: present, but not exactly mattering. Outside of the classroom, we spent a lot of time with each other and a core group of friends, exploring the Durham area and adventuring. We even jumped off that branch way up there into the cool waters of the Haw River below, though Ian’s jump was a little more graceful than mine (another story for another day).
As the summer transitioned to fall, we found ourselves spending more and more time together, sometimes by ourselves. We cooked together, making amazing brinners (at the bottom of this post, we added our recipe for my scrambled eggs and Ian’s grits!) and homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — literally, with homemade peanut butter, homemade bread, and homemade jelly. We talked for hours about ourselves, our beliefs, and our lives on the front porch outside my apartment, truly getting to know each other.
Finally becoming “a couple” was a thing that happened suddenly, and yet, seemed so natural at the same time…
From Ian’s perspective
Looking back, it was obvious that we were in love and meant to be together. Once, in the middle of a day of fun in Greensboro with Ian and his little brother, Grover, we were all walking on our way to lunch. Ian, with his long legs, had managed to get about a block ahead of us. Grover, with the air of wise mentor, looked up at me and said, “You know he likes you, right?” I did know. And I knew I felt the same way, too.
About three days after we decided that we were “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” Radhika looked at me and said one of those super scary things that girls say. I’m fairly sure I heard it as something like this:
“Ian, I don’t want to scare you, but I think you’re absolutely definitely my soulmate and we’re going to get married and we’re going to spend forever and ever and ever together.”
I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what she said. And you know what? It did scare me, but not too much.
I would say that those first couple of months together were special, but in reality we felt like we belonged together from the first time we hung out. Making it official was really just a technicality, but it did mean we could go on all kinds of dates without worrying about the pretext.
We exhausted the dating playbook, like we were trying to be characters in a movie about our relationship. We made egg salad and went for a picnic on the quad. We went on adventures around UNC on my scooter. We took long walks on every nature trail we could find. If I had a letterman jacket, I would have given it to her to wear. It was gushy and cliched and so much fun.
Because we became a couple at the same time as all of the celebrity couples had fun names (e.g. Brangelina), our friends started calling us — you guessed it — Radian. The rest is history.
Not really. We’ll be back next week with part 5!
Want to make a killer brinner like Radian? Follow the recipes below!
Radhika’s scrambled eggs (for two)
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup of milk (Ian said “a splash” but go ahead and get some more)
- 1 handful of cheddar cheese
- An extra pinch of cheese for good measure
- A pat of butter
- Mm, a little extra butter! (if you can’t tell, I’m a really scientific cook)
- Start a pan on low heat and melt the butter in the pan
- Break eggs directly into the pan and let cook on low heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly
- Add milk directly onto eggs, stirring until eggs are cooked to desired amount
- Just before taking eggs out of the pan, add in that cheese and give your eggs a quick stir until it melts!
- Enjoy. Maybe with some ketchup. 🙂
Ian’s southern grits
- Grits (any kind, I’m not picky)
- Half and half (I like that better than cream because you can add more without it being too much and better than milk because milk is boring in grits)
- Start with more grits than you think. Grits are cheap. You don’t want to run out.
- Use whatever amount of water the bag tells you, but reduce it by about a quarter to a half of the total.
- Follow the bag here. Boil water, add grits, salt, reduce heat and cover, all that jazz. Also add pepper. The bag won’t tell you to do this but its good. Not a ton, but the slight hint of flavor and the sparse, black speckles makes the grits look and taste better.
- Here’s the secret trick. Check back on them frequently, when the water is absorbed and you look like you’re getting something too think, add some of the cream/half and half/milk, enough to loosen them up.
- Now stir. I think there’s science here that makes them creamier. The creaminess isn’t just literal cream, it’s the starch and stirring brings that into play.
- Repeat the previous two steps, adding cream and stirring each time they start getting too think. After doing this 2 or 3 times, you’ll have beautiful creamy grits. If you started with quick grits, no one will be able to tell. Don’t tell them.
- Serve with a pat of butter on top and act like creating these magnificent grits was no big deal.