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Wet, curly hair. Big cup of caffeinated black tea. Thirty minutes later than I usually get to work. (Thank goodness for flex time.)

We were out late last night. Every so often we head over to out friends’ house — a couple from college who now have two adorable children under the age of three. I love going over there. Amidst the chaos, the toys, the shrieks and the dirty diapers, there’s a sense of family and happiness. There’s chubby baby cheeks to kiss and baby smell to sniff from the top of his head. There’s a little monkey full of life, so excited to show me his new truck and equally happy to play with a balloon. There’s also the snacking, because when he sits on your lap and offers “this one for you,” while placing a piece of apple in your mouth, you can’t help but smile and open up.

As much as I adore the children (see yesterday’s post), it’s after they go to bed that I most enjoy. The four of us retreated to our separate domains–the men outside to start the fire, the women to look at the proofs for my invitations and talk about life, laundry and why the dishes never get done.

And when we joined the boys, fleeces zipped up to our noses, glasses of wine in hand, it just felt right. I stared into the orange glow of the flame and watched the ash fireflies dance in the air, listening to the musings of college memories and where we are today. With  my fiance to my right and my friends to my left I felt like I could stay there all night. But as the clock crept towards midnight and the fire became a pile of radiating ambers, our carriage turned back into a pumpkin and it was time to go home.

I slept like a log. The combination of fresh air, fire and wine knocking me into a solid dreamless sleep. I woke to the reality of another day. A day of work, of responsibility. A day where the oil bill and the mortgage have to be paid and editors need to be contacted and money needs to be earned.

I climbed in the shower and let the water run over my head.

The smell of cedar smoke mixed with the steam and I smiled.

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