Last night, as I worked on putting the baby to bed, Mark built us a nice little fire in our Chiminea out on the deck. Lily refused to go down (undoubtedly not wanting to miss the first outdoor fire in our new home) and so, I bundled her up and we three sat together in front of our happy little fire. Mark brewed a little tea and we sat in silence with occasional outburst from our curious little girl. The dog chuffed at shadows and the creatures that surround our home. The sky, clouded over and misty, caped the night with diffused light... our trees coming gently out of the dark to rustle softly at us. Maya kept testing her boundaries; first growling, then chuffing, then a light bark, followed by something more substantial... to which one of us would remind "Maya, no barking" and she'd dial it down a notch. Our property is full of life, creepy crawlers, skunks, coyote, dogs that run free, cats, gofers, birds that twitter throughout the night, things I have yet to see!

After a while, Lily started to wind down in her daddy's arms and he took her back downstairs to the cave. She settled to sleep easily and he returned to me, our fire, the chuffing dog and our warm mugs of tea. We sat and chatted, something that we forget to do with the constant chatter of the television in the evening. I forget what silence sounds like. Must turn that thing off more often and sit outside with my family.

Lily is growing so quickly, so ready to take those first steps or speak that first word. I feel like she may get away from us if we don't remember to slow down and just sit in front of a fire sometime. There are times when I want to just freeze her for a moment... just watch her in these perfect moments. Then I find myself so eager to hear what she has to say about the world, what she thinks about, what she feels. I can't wait to see her running across the yard, down the hillside and into the dry ravine. Is it possible to want her to never grow up and yet, be excited about her growing up all at the same time?

I don't know that I have ever felt so much in all my life. It's so wonderful and so intense and not like anything I could have expected.