Our young children are ours for but a second in life, and I intend to savor this time as much as possible. I celebrate them, I celebrate my oldest daughter. Katie brings so much effervescence to our lives daily, full of vitality, full of sweetness, full of her strong sense of self.

Today we were taking a little quiz about something, and one of the questions was about something she would really dislike. Among the choices were “going to my room,” “feeling left out,” and so on. Her choice was, “being apart from my family.” A girl after my ow heart: “There’s no place like home.”

As our friends on Facebook know, Katie and I are now deeply involved in Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Today we waited patiently, reading shorter books and playing other games, until Eric settled in for his morning nap. Then we made a big roaring fire in our fireplace, hunkered down with blankets and pillows on our couch, and, with the wind gushing outside, we snuggled in with our Laura book. Katie adores the character of Pa. She loves his fiddle songs (we always sing them ourselves as we read), and she is fascinated with his stories. Often, she asks me to go back and read Pa’s stories over again. She listens attentively when we are told about the ways in which the family makes things: butter, bullets, clothes, etc. Katie wants to make homemade butter next week, and getting cream is on our grocery list. Homemade butter is truly delicious, so I am happy to oblige.

To go out yesterday, Katie wanted to dress up (of course!!!) as Laura:

We pulled out Katie’s corduroy dress, and it was her idea to add the bright green satin sash (Laura’s dresses have sashes). My little half-pint.

Last night, we rejoiced in the robust, luminous moon, which periodically scintillated from out behind the clouds, throwing off sparkles of pure light as we danced and played with our shadows for almost twenty minutes. The cold air brushed our faces, and we could smell the cozy scent of hearth fires in the air. We imagined a world in which, at night, everything outside turns to candy and sweets and had fun figuring out what everything would be. Katie is so free and lively, and it was a special moment because we got to stay up past bedtime a bit and be just the two of us together.

My non-stellar photography notwithstanding, I think this picture captures the excitement of Katie as she danced on the driveway in the moonshine.

Last night also, we made our St. Patrick’s Day dinner finally, for our McGaugh Family Movie Night. Katie had three helpings of the roasted haricots verts with shallots, ate all of her filet mignon, and ended up skipping her broccoli cheddar soup (which she normally loves). For dessert, we made Funfetti cupcakes (we took a shortcut this time) to represent the rainbow, and then we made green frosting for the top.

A beautiful weekend!