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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Throwing Matchsticks At The Sun

This entry is dedicated to a friend of mine who is privately struggling against people who would have her sacrifice her child for the good of the group.

Let me tell you something that I am still learning in my three and half decades. Trust yourself. And if you falter seek the counsel of someone you trust. She is doing so password protected on her blog and I am doing so with my therapist. I have been twice now and will go again this week after she returns from vacation. There is nothing like talking to someone who is objective and not emotionally involved to help you cut through all the noise and clutter. I needed to make sure I could walk in, tell the story and have someone just tell it like it is. And that happened at my last therapy session. If you know anything about me you know I don't take the easy way out. I take the right way even if I am scarred and bloody from the struggle. My parents taught me that. You are accountable for your actions. If you wrong someone you admit to it and make amends. You learn from your mistakes, you have a responsibility to your community, you protect the ones you love, you work hard, you may get beaten down by the negativity, the injustice, the sheer weight of the world. But you wake up every day and stay true to who you are.
So no wonder that with Tom's death and all of the fallout that came with it that I took the good and bad with equal willingness. I thought that being a good mommy meant taking the hard stuff no matter what it was doing to me inside. It took therapy to give me the conviction I need to say no to bearing any more than I can. Through her counsel I have decided the best thing for now is to not facilitate a relationship with Tom's parents. I love his sister dearly and she and I have talked about this extensively. We will continue our relationship but I will not be placing any expectations on her to mediate mine with the rest of his family. They are welcome to call Keegan and come to see him and have contact with him but I will not initiate it. I thought I had to because he is only three and a half. But I don't have to and I will not until the mental health issues are dealt with. I can no longer pretend that treating me in this way is okay. I can no longer accept being lumped in with all the other excuses for why Tom died. It is hard enough to mourn him without defending myself too. Of course I hope things will get better but I do not cling to the idea that they will suddenly wake up one day with clarity as I did before. Keegan loves them, I love them. But what would I be teaching him if I showed him that love means you get to hurt people just because they are family? It has been hard accepting that I can't fix something. Because feeling powerless is the worst. But I am beyond the immediate impact and looking toward the future.

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