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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Fifteen Years Of Friendship
I am back from Nashville.  It was for pleasure not business.  Why Nashville?  Well it is the closest to where our friend Leah lives.  We decided earlier in the year to do an extra college friends' reunion since Leah is due in Dec and three others are due in the Spring.  Since Leah is the furthest along we decided to go to her.  Her husband is Army Special Forces and is deployed right now.  Usually when he is on a mission he is only gone a few months at most.  But this time he is in Iraq until July.  So she will give birth to their first child without him and in fact he will not meet his daughter until she is 6 months old.  I can not imagine.  But what an amazing support system she has in the other wives and her family.  Some of whom will also give birth while their husbands are in Iraq.  It really brings the war even closer to home for me.  Those women are amazing.  Unfortunately the day we arrived Leah was declared high risk because of her blood pressure.  But we were able to do some things and take it easy and her blood pressure actually went down each day we were there.
We totaled four pregnant out of the seven there.  I flew in with Erica who is 24 weeks along.  Andra is 21 weeks.  And me bringing up the tail at 11 weeks.  And we had one breast feeder with pump.  So it actually wasn't that hard to play it relaxed.  Friday night we went out to dinner for Leah's birthday at one of her favorite places.  I couldn't resist the molten chocolate cake and true to form from my first pregnancy, a big steak.  Then we stayed up too late talking.  Oh and one the way to restaurant we were in two cars and the car with three pregnant women in it clipped a deer.  No one was hurt but Leah's seatbelt engaged so later she still felt sore and we made her call her doctor.  Holly drove her in to get checked out and the baby was fine. 
Saturday we had a spa day/baby shower.  When we booked it I had not even known I was pregnant but had not chosen anything I wasn't allowed to have anyway.  I had a very nice facial and a foot massage.  Then we had lunch there and gave Leah her presents.  I bought the Aveda exfoliant and two different masques that she had mixed together for my treatment.  I wasn't sure I would have time for a masque but when she said I could put them on, get in the shower for the steam and them wash them off I was sure I could fit it in my routine.  My skin always gets so dry in the winter and especially during pregnancy.  After the spa some of us vegged while others got a menu and shopping list together.  We also did chores around the house so Leah wouldn't have to.  I never cook at our get togethers which is weird considering how much I cook otherwise.  Dinner was a Southern theme of course with a spinach salad, cheese grits, cheese biscuits, spicy shrimp and bread pudding for dessert.  We helped Leah play a practical joke on a neighbor who had gotten her last and marveled at how we never completely grow up.  Then we played Cranium until it got late.  Today we pretty much spent the day getting home.  The Philly airport tried to screw us as usual but we made it just fine and only slightly late.  I always look so forward to these weekends and then they go so fast.  We have to figure out next year's to fit around the babies.
I am waiting for Jeff and Keegan to get home and I should probably make some dinner.  The kids baked a birthday cake together.  There is evidence of more craft projects here and also some warehouse club shopping.  Biggest bag of craisins I have ever seen.
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