One of the things that I have shukr for is my marriage because although you do choose your spouse, in a way it is always a bit tricky and you never know what you'll get. It's also the same with families. One of my first blessings is my family and that's one you definitely don't have any say in the matter. I thank Allah every single prayer, every day for the amazing, wonderful, loving, and supportive family He has given me.

So going back to marriage, although I have only been married for 5 years, alhumduillah, I can say that we have put in a fair share and a half of our time and energy to cultivate what we have. And it feels good to step back from time to time and look at what we have achieved together. It's like standing back and looking at your garden and seeing what has bloomed with that huge sensation of joy, satisfaction, and amazement after a long time of hard work and nurturing care. You only started out with a few seeds not knowing if you are going to be a good gardener, not knowing if you have the right tools, not knowing if the seeds will sprout, and not knowing what Nature will send your way. But you're determined and you go for it and you have passion and the right intentions. And for me, marriage has been a lot like that.

So this week apart from being totally backlogged with work, I get sick. Alhumduillah, since I've been taking better care of myself, I haven't had a cold in the last 2 years or so. But the one day I decide to break from my vegetarian-raw-vegan lifestyle for one meal to eat some fish, we both got really sick-my husband first, then me. Perhaps a reminder to me that I shouldn't eat food with faces?

After my husband re-cooperates slightly, I get it next. I'm telling you, in times of difficulty is when the true beauty of your spouse's character shines through. It's that gentle attentive TLC that my husband gave me this week that got me thinking about this idea of "shukr". He made me freshly prepared juices, herbal teas, checked my rising fever, kept me company, and made sure I was toasty warm. It was lovely even though I was completely nauseous and bed-ridden. The little things are what are so much more important to cherish than the big surprise gestures every once and awhile. I mean if you hold out to see if your spouse will finally plan that spectacular wedding anniversary trip, then you'll miss out on cherishing all the other little things he does do for you every day. So as they say here in Spain when you want to say that your partner is your other half,  you say, "mi media naranja", or "my half an orange". And that's exactly what my husband is to me.

Tabassum, Head Designer