Alisa. 37. New Hampshire. Married for almost three years to this wonderful, funny, smart guy. Previously married. Went through in-vitro fertilization to have my five year old magical son Keegan. Stepmother to the charming Isabelle (6). Gushingly in love with our baby boy Harper(1). Policy Wonk and dreaded bureaucrat. Lover of fine cuisine, honeybees, truly romantic moments and the underdog.
Curried Beef Short Ribs

Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.

Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds ...continue reading

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Dream A Little Dream

I have been thinking a lot lately about love. I have lots of thinking time when I drive around to meetings. And Erika and Jay's anniversary today really highlights what I've been contemplating. Talk about two people who fit each other perfectly. Complimentary strengths and the dedication to work through anything. Even before they were married I thought of them as my marriage/relationship mentors.
The human heart is amazingly resilient. I constantly wonder at what people survive. I seek out real life stories of people who beat the hardest trials in life through supporting and loving each other. I need to believe. I do believe. Some people meet the right person at the right time and do it the right way and they have wonderful relationships that grow and stand the test of time and struggles. I can't tell you how they do it. I thought I had done everything right before I got married and I thought the plan made sense and we were forever. That clearly wasn't the case. But I'm not here to dissect that again. You face the facts, accept your role and move on. Don't think the statistics don't scare the bejeebers out of me. First marriage failure rates are bad enough don't get me started on second and third.

Dating in my 30s is actually a really good thing. I know who I am. I know what I do and don't want. I am financially stable. I know I can have a great life on my own. And I know that I am not playing any games or wasting time on less than the best. Let's face it, I'm a monogamy girl. I want to be in an exclusive committed relationship. This time I am letting my heart lead instead of my head. But how on earth do you fall in love after being so completely devastated?
In walks Jeff. Well more like phone calls and emails but there he was. And what was supposed to be a supportive friendship became the very thing my heart needed. The right person at the right time and we're doing it the right way. At almost nine months we are beyond the questions of whether it made sense at the time. My head said no, but my heart said yes. My heart proved right. After the first date we knew we were in trouble, after the second date we knew it was real, and after the third date we knew we were in love. That simple. Never before had I been a lightning bolt, ephiphany, the stars aligned kind of girl. Oh I had known some and I had wished for it but that wasn't the way I worked. Now I realize that you don't get to choose, it chooses you. So I don't know how the heart loves again or how you get it to open up and trust and risk the ultimate pain after losing before. But my heart jumped in with both feet and I had no choice but to follow. It's not like love gets renewed because it's a completely different experience. It's like being in on a wonderful secret that you had no inkling even existed before. I don't know why I get to be this lucky but there is no way I am taking it for granted or not being grateful every day that he is in my life.

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