“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.”
You may assume a couple that works from home together shares a great deal of time together – and, in fact, they do, at least in our case.
In our daily routine, Tim and I prepare joint breakfasts, raise questions to one another from across the room, and share work snacks of chopped apples, almond butter on celery, or warmed-up leftovers from the night before.
Most afternoons, if one of us receives a question about schedules or planning, there’s little of that lag time between the initial query and checking with the spouse, because answers come quick when the spouse is within arm’s reach.
And I’ll tell you, quite candidly, that once you’ve tasted this kind of immediacy, it’s a hard thing to let go of. We’re particularly prone to saying how much we hope we’ll never have to.
What is perhaps less obvious about the married home office life is that when you sit side by side, working at your individual laptops, focusing on your individual projects, it’s painfully easy to dwell physically together, but mentally apart.
On more evenings than I can remember, I’ve looked over at Tim well past sunset, and only then, paused long enough to realize it was the first time I’d done so all day. We are typical people in this way, you might say.
We are task-driven and laser-focused, but who isn’t? It’s true we savor the luxuries of a shared workspace and an eliminated commute each day, rushed as any one else must be at least on occasion in these hurried times. But it’s also true that quick questions and passed plates are not enough to sustain deep connections over the course of a lifetime.
And so, we tell ourselves to stop.
We take walks in the park with our camera and laugh about the February chill. We drive to Goodwill for a project and find ourselves sewing it together late on a Friday night.
We read aloud in bed. We grab hands in the hall. We sip homemade lattes at a cleared table on a Saturday afternoon.
We ask each other, “What have you been thinking today?” and “How do you feel about that?”or “Do you know I love you? I do.”
We don’t do this because we’re sappy or silly romantics – we try to remember that these things are important, precisely because we are not.
We do it to purposefully seek connection, even when what motivates us is the sudden realization that we’ve forgotten to seek it again.
We do it because in those moments of facing each other, seeing eye to eye, asking questions and listening to answers, endeavoring to both know and be known, we remind ourselves of the gift that is right before us, the one we often find too easy to take for granted if we do not stop and see.
The admission of homemade lattes into our daily routine is as new of a development as a new purchase I found on Amazon, inspired by Meg Gordon’s post at The Kitchn: the Aerolatte Milk Frother.
Since this little milk frother arrived, I’ve made tea lattes and frothy hot chocolate at least a dozen times, and the recipe I’ll share here is proof that this is a beverage we have got down. We last drank it alongside these buckwheat ginger cookies, sitting across from one another at our dining room table.
I’m loving the way the milk frother is so easy to use, and simple to clean.
Maple Ginger Tea Lattes
Makes two eight-ounce lattes
This is the tea latte we’ve been loving lately, easy to interchange with different types of tea, and with honey or another sweetener instead of maple syrup.
16 ounces water
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
2 tablespoons loose-leaf ginger tea (or whatever tea you like)
1/4 cup raw goat’s milk (or whatever milk you prefer)
Bring 16 ounces of water to a boil with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Combine maple water with the 2 tablespoons of ginger tea (we like doing this in a French press) and let it steep for five minutes.
While the tea is steeping, warm 1/4 cup of milk over the stove with one tablespoon of maple syrup. When it’s warm (not hot) to the touch, divide it among two cups. Use a milk frother to froth it up to your liking, and set aside.
Press out the tea (or remove tea bags) and pour it into the two froth-filled cups, dividing it evenly among the two. Enjoy!
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.