Archive | January, 2013

NRI Summit

31 Jan

This past weekend the National Review Institute held a summit in Washington, DC addressing the future of conservatism.  When we moved to the DC area I vowed to get involved in the local political scene and also take advantage of exciting events, so I was thrilled to be able to attend this three day conference.  I am a HUGE fan of National Review–I read the online magazine daily and receive a few of their e-mail newsletters–so my expectations for the summit were pretty high.  Well, after a devastating election this was like a balm for my battered spirit, and I came away refreshed and energized for the future.

The summit began on Friday at 5 and ended Sunday at 2, with back-to-back panels on everything from changing demographics to the morality of markets.  There were also speakers, interviews, and receptions.  My highlight was meeting my very favorite writer, Jay Nordlinger.  Faithful readers will remember the letter I wrote to Jay back in October, which he published a good deal of on The Corner (NRO’s blog).  When I introduced myself to him on Friday evening he remembered me and was incredibly gracious and interesting to talk to.  He even suggested we take a picture together to send to my friend William, who is also a huge Jay fan and had written to him in response to my letter.  I think that this picture, while terribly unflattering of me, accurately portrays how thrilled I was to meet Jay:

photo 5

Another bright spot among many was meeting Jonah Goldberg, another of my favorite conservative thinkers.  I told him I felt like a pre-teen girl at a  Justin Bieber concert and he said that he described the summit to his wife as Comicon for political nerds.  Ha!  I think that’s about right.

photo 4

The last NRI summit was in 2007 and I am *really* hoping that they don’t wait six years to host another one!


31 Jan

Ruby wanted to help me make supper tonight, which basically consisted of her rearranging the pantry. Look at how long her hair is!




Paleo Veggie Beef Chili

31 Jan
I just made this tonight for the second time and had to share–it is SO GOOD!  I wish I could remember where exactly I got this recipe, but I don’t, so here it is, with my (very minor) modifications.
Paleo Veggie Beef Chili
2 tablespoons bacon grease, coconut oil, or olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves (small in size), finely diced
1 pound grass-fed beef
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 zucchini, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado, diced (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
Place a large pot over medium-high heat and add oil to heat.  Add diced onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes or until onion are translucent.  Add beef and break up into crumbles as it cooks.  Cook beef until no longer pink in color.  Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, oregano, sea salt, cayenne pepper, diced zucchini, diced carrots, diced sweet potato, can of crushed tomatoes, and chicken broth and stir to combine.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for  until vegetables are tender–at least 30 minutes, but I like to simmer mine for over an hour to marry the flavors..  Add cilantro and stir to incorporate.
Serve chili with diced avocado and a dollop of sour cream, if you eat dairy.
Makes about 6-8 servings

Behind the Curtain

30 Jan

One of Ruby’s favorite places to play.




March for Life

28 Jan

Last Friday was the 2013 March for Life in Washington, DC.  I had been looking forward to going for a long time, but after a week of illness in our house and a sudden, severe cold snap Ruby and I almost stayed home.  At the last minute I decided to head down to the Mall and am so glad we did.

It was bitter cold but the turnout was tremendous (500,00+).  There were throngs of young people in particular and the energy was palpable.  Ruby had a bit of a breakdown so we didn’t stay for the end of the rally or the march itself, but I am so glad to have been there at all.  Wandering among the crowd, I saw many disabled people and beautiful children with Down Syndrome, who are being aborted at a rate of approximately 90%.  I had to wipe tears from my eyes many times as I read simple, homemade signs giving thanks for the gift of life.  Next year I will take two precious babies with me to march for the millions who cannot.

Ruby was nice and snuggly warm bundled up in her stroller blanket:Image


I love GOProud:


These beautiful, happy people made me cry with their simple message of hope and redemption amidst despair:Image

Last Week

28 Jan

I just realized that my last post was over a week ago!  I do have a good excuse though–we were invaded by some sort of terrible stomach bug all week and then this past weekend was crazy (more on that later).

Being sick is SO miserable, but at least we had this sweet little girl to make us smile:ImageImage

Sick (but cute)

20 Jan

Poor Ruby woke up screaming at 6 this morning, but by the time I got to her room she had quieted down and gone back to sleep.  At 6:30 she started screaming again so Matty rushed to her room and discovered that she had thrown up.  She came into bed with us and snuggled and nursed for a bit before throwing up all over me.  She is so sad and confused when she vomits, and seems to be saying “Mommy why is this happening to me?!?”  We took a shower and came downstairs and by 10:30 she was ready for a nap.  She slept in my arms until 1, with about 15 minutes of awake time at 11:30, when she got sick again.  Poor thing.  Image

When she woke up at 1 all seemed right with the world, and she has been great the rest of the day.  Ruby even got dressed in her cute new jeans and jacket from Auntie Elizabeth and Uncle Danny, and posed for pictures.  She especially wanted to show off the hearts on her itty bitty butt.ImageImage

Fort Hunt

19 Jan

Matty, Ruby and I spent some time in the gorgeous, mild weather today exploring Fort Hunt. Ruby loved the playground more than the historical sites.







Passport Photos and a Preggo Pic

19 Jan

Sometimes I forget just how delightful Ruby truly is until I see her through other people’s eyes.  Yesterday I took her to the post office to apply for a passport for our upcoming trip to Australia and she was so very cute.  When it was time to take the picture I had to tell her to open her eyes because she was smiling so much.  Precious!ImageImageImageImageImage

Last night I finally had Matty take a picture of my very pregnant-looking belly.  I will be 19 weeks tomorrow and am looking a lot more pregnant than I did with Ruby at this point!  It’s a bit blurry, but here it is:Image

Nap time!

17 Jan

Matty got home earlier than normal today so he and Ruby decided to take a nap together.