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Keep the Flame Lit

Earlier this week, I came home ready for dinner after a long day of meetings, soccer practice, finishing up school assignments and what seemed like a never ending list of everything I needed to do becoming urgent on that day.

I'm exhausted, kids finally fed, bathed and in bed. I usually cook dinner because even if I have a crazy day, cooking relaxes me and relays a message to my mind that I'm home.

This particular day's events had me coming home a bit too late to start dinner and get the kids to bed at a decent hour. So I opted to pick up something simple that was already cooked for me. Chicken from a local restaurant and salad.

After getting the kids settled, my husband and I usually sit down for some 101 time. We use this time to talk about our day, laugh or just whatever we feel until one of us starts sawing logs.

Because it was so late, we opted to eat and watch one of our favorite sitcoms on Netflix. Before we begin our euphoria of QT over chicken and laughs there are some habits I guess we have developed as a couple. So, I have a few of what I call our simple, loving rituals mentioned that work for us. I thought I'd share them with you.

1. We ALWAYS wait on the other one to eat.

I don't care where we are. I could be at home with dinner ready while my hubs is on the other side of town. We do not eat until both are present. I don't know why or when we started this but it is something that we both take highly serious. There are times my food will be ice cold because I'm sitting and waiting. I figure, no biggie, we own a microwave. If one of us does come into the room and the other has eaten already, prepare for the guilt trip that usually starts with a blank stare followed with statements of unbelief.

2. We constantly check with the other to make sure they have everything they need (i.e. salt and pepper).

This is something I noticed and I think one of the main qualities that made me fall for my guy from day one. The first time he made dinner for me, I did not have to move or lift a finger. He literally waited on me hand and foot. And imagine, this was well before he got the goods (if you know what I mean)! TMI, I know and I digress. Anyway, even after 8 years, we still do this. Let me give a very recent example. We sat down to eat breakfast one morning and my hubby got up to get something from the kitchen. On his way, he asked me if there was anything I needed. I said no, I am ok. Then he came back. As soon as he sat down, he grunted and after I asked in concern, he explained he forgot the jelly. So I offered to go get it for him although I was literally ready to dive into my plate but I figured I could put it off for a sec. He declined but he knew I would do it. Now that I think about it, I should have gotten it for him anyway.

At your service for life

3. If requested, we will cook it.

For some reason, we have specialties in my house. My hubby is known for his BBQ, ribs, steaks, burgers, sauteed shrimp, crab legs, chili, and lately his waffles. I usually make other items such as grits, fried chicken, pork chops, fish, peach cobbler, baked ziti, collards, broccoli beef, and most breakfast items. Lord knows, I love some breakfast. There are some foods we share responsibility for but depending on what it is or how it's cooked, we automatically know who will make it because they make it the best. So with saying that, if he wanted fried pork chops with mac n' cheese and yams, I would drive to the store to buy the ingredients to cook it tonight. Just the same, if I wanted grilled steak, I would get it.

4. When one of us is in the kitchen, the other is usually there keeping company.

Yes, we are that bad. Don't judge. We like to be around one another. Simple as that. If it's in the morning, we drink cappuccino and talk about whatever comes to mind. Even if we are not feeling too chatty, we may listen to music. Sometimes if one of us goes into the kitchen to cook and the other one does not follow right away, it will not be long before you hear "what are you doing?" which really means, "come in the kitchen with me while I cook".

I offered a glimpse into our world of breaking bread to point out what works for us as a couple. We like doing things for one another, especially if we know it makes the other happy. We serve each other often.

It's the consistent, simple things that you do for one another to stay connected in the relationship that work.

Andre and I did these things from day one. Over time, they grew and maybe even changed a little but the basic acts are pretty much the same as well as the intention behind them.

But ultimately, because of these, our little rituals, and we do have more that maybe I'll share later, coming home is the best part of my day no matter how crazy it is. Isn't this how coming home should always feel? How intentional are you with your partner? What are your rituals?

Peace of Mind and Blessings,

Mel K

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