Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guess Who Rang In The New Year With A New Ring?

That would be me!
Bill Conley put a ring on it!!
On December 31 at approximately 11PM, William got down on bended knee and asked me to marry him. I said YES! I started screaming, he presented me with a spectacularly beautiful ring, and after I stopped screaming and heart pounding, I texted friends and, there you have it, we are officially engaged! Wedding is some time in October, somewhere outside with the beautiful weather and fall foliage and a great photographer. I am so happy and excited and our future is bright.
Liz Lizette Smith Nielsen's photo.Liz Lizette Smith Nielsen's photo.Liz Lizette Smith Nielsen's photo.Liz Lizette Smith Nielsen's photo.
So many things to write about over the past week. Like skiing with the kids, Morgan pitching skiing in favor of snowboarding, spending Christmas with the most awesome people in my life, having friends that are amazing and fabulous and I love beyond measure, and simply having my priorities straight. For seeing zoo lights, weathering snow, staying snuggled up inside and eating pasta and chocolate, and simply living.
Liz Lizette Smith Nielsen's photo.

I look back at my life three years ago. That was the anniversary where my life completely unraveled. I was diagnosed with cancer, left my alcoholic husband, moved with nearly no possessions but I had my children and cat and, really, that was all that mattered. I found refuge in the loving, supporting and welcoming embrace of my parents' home. My cocoon of peace and healing. I started chemo, I got so sick and weak, and I fought back. I regained my health (mostly; are we ever totally healed after cancer? the answer is no, we are never the same, and most of the time that's a good thing). I found love. I got all new clothes mostly, new hair, a new look, and a new outlook on life. I found a man with whom I almost never argue, who is my best friend (in addition to Julie!), who treats me like a queen (and I treat him like a king right back), someone who I respect. He has brought out the best in me.

Zoo lights in the snow!! MagicalTo celebrate, we are heading to Argentina in March! It was uncanny how that all happened. We were getting ready to book a week in Cabo. Like we had it all set up, we were going to pay the next day. No second guessing, decision is made. And then I got an email from a former colleague, Stephanie, who I worked with in Washington, DC. Her work is moving her to Buenos Aires for a few years and she said, "Hey, you love to travel, come visit." I haven't seen Stephanie in 20 years. It was an epiphany. Why the heck are we going to Mexico (again) when we can go somewhere grand and exotic, somewhere we haven't been. A new continent! So the next day, I talked to William, we looked at air, and Cabo vanished in favor or Buenos Aires. Oh stop my pounding heart. I don't think I've stopped screaming since the whole trip-engagement thing. And then we are home for a few weeks, then we gather up four girls and go on a cruise to Belize, Mexico and Honduras for a week. I think we are done with the Big Trips for the year after that, save a very long road trip through Northern and Central California, then potentially Oregon and Washington, and up through Canada. But this will be done by car and spending most every night with friends. I realize that I have friends all over the place, significant friends, who are really amazing people. I am so lucky.

Tomorrow I have my weekly infusion appointment. My mom and dad always go with me. It's our special bonding time, driving up, eating breakfast, waiting (and waiting) for the appointment to be over, driving back, and perhaps having time to stop at my favorite ever coffee shop, the Salt Lake Roasting Company. Even though I am TIRED of my Friday infusions, it's ok. It's not so bad.

So I'm feeling pretty smug and excited these days so forgive the gloat. After feeling obliterated by life a few years ago to clawing back to life, I think I'll unabashedly celebrate! So Happy 2015. May it bring lots of exploring, new experiences, health, cures, and love!

Cheers! Lizzy