On October 24th, Russell asked me to marry him.

It was the 10th morning we woke up in our beautiful new home and he said that everything in our lives was finally perfect…except that I wasn’t his wife. Apparently, he decided over a year ago that he wanted to ask me and went through a series of elaborate proposal schemes (Eiffel tower, Taj Mahal etc.) which the pandemic continually squashed. He held off asking as long as he could – until he couldn’t wait anymore.

I was in shock for quite a while. It took me about 48 hours to definitively give him a ‘yes’ because I honestly hadn’t given it a second thought in years. I figured we were 6-7 years in and fairly settled and it wasn’t something we really needed.

But, after some reflection, I really can’t imagine exploring this world with anyone else and no one has ever felt more like family to me.

As for why it’s taken me four months to announce this to the world….at first I didn’t want to overshadow the excitement for our new home. And then, we wanted to surprise some of our close friends in person. I also wanted to have my ring first (he wanted me to pick it) which didn’t arrive until Thanksgiving and I didn’t get around to photographing until Christmas morning. And then on Dec. 26th, we found out about Hazen’s aggressive cancer. During the subsequent emotional rollercoaster, it has never felt like the right moment.

Morganite & diamonds rose gold ring

I also felt odd about what level of excitement might be appropriate since we’ve been together so long and I’m a far cry from the traditional mid-20-something bride. It took my best friend Preetha yelling, “You deserve to celebrate!” before I realized just how meaningful this is and how much I want it to be a wonderful milestone for us.

We are planning an intimate elopement in Kauai, Hawaii in September followed by a cruise we booked before our engagement that will now serve as our honeymoon. We will sail to Tahiti, Bora Bora, Australia and New Zealand (where we will spend 1 additional week exploring on land) before flying back home.

If I’ve learned anything over the last year it’s how important it is to revel in the good days and embrace all the joy that’s available to you. So I’ll end this post with a picture taken just 1 year after we met where you can clearly see his long-suffering face juxtaposed with what a joyful pain in his ass I always am.

Houston, Texas – May 2014

3 comments on “#Mussell2021

  • I just wrote you a lovely email, but it disappeared when I had to answer the phone!Maybe I’ll have the energy to type it again soon, but not today!

  • Congratulations! No one in this world desrves this as much as you! I pray you and Russell are blessed eith a long amd happy life! I also want to say how encouraging your words are in your stories and how much fun readers have in “going” along in your journey. You are an EXTREMELY talented photographer and have a remarkable command of words making your journalistic talents enviable! We had our ups and downs but I hope I can ne counted as a friend and continue to travel the world with you and Russell!!!GOD BLESS!

  • Congratulations! Can’t wait to see pictures. I get to enjoy the world thru your eye and camera lens.

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