My first Christ­mas since… get­ting en­gaged

Matilda Rice SO­CIAL ME­DIA PER­SON­AL­ITY

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All our friends and fam­ily want to cel­e­brate with us

This will be my first Christ­mas since Art [Green] and I got en­gaged, which in some ways changes noth­ing and in other ways seems to change ev­ery­thing. I thought get­ting en­gaged was just an ex­cit­ing event that comes and goes, and your re­la­tion­ship would re­main the same, but it has had quite an ef­fect on us as a cou­ple. I al­ways knew Art was the one I’d marry, and now we’re of­fi­cially ‘locked in’ for life, it’s brought a whole new level of con­tent­ment.

I guess as part­ners, you hope you’re on the same page in terms of be­ing in it for the long haul, but you’re not re­ally bas­ing it off anything – it’s more just a mu­tual feel­ing. But when Art pro­posed to me, it was that 100% con­fir­ma­tion that we’re on the same page and want to be with each other for­ever. I look at him now with new eyes, know­ing that I’ll get to see his face ev­ery morn­ing for the rest of our lives. It’s a lovely feel­ing.

Christ­mas is one of my favourite times of the year be­cause I get to catch up with all my fam­ily, but it’s also the most hec­tic, and this year will be no dif­fer­ent. My par­ents aren’t to­gether, so try­ing to give each par­ent equal time can be a chal­lenge.

Now Art and I have Christ­mas to­gether, I didn’t re­alise how easy I had it all these years! Art has a HUGE fam­ily, and they’re scat­tered all over the coun­try. To suc­cess­fully di­vide our time, we spend it with my fam­ily one year, and his fam­ily the next. This year it’s his fam­ily’s turn. His mum and step­dad have a lovely place near Ro­torua, so we’ll most likely spend the day there. It’s such a spe­cial place, and I al­ways feel truly re­laxed when I go there, though those mo­ments are few and far be­tween these days.

My favourite thing about Christ­mas is its power to bring ev­ery­one to­gether, and that’s one thing our en­gage­ment hasn’t changed. Ev­ery­one’s re­laxed and in sum­mer mode. This year I’m mostly ex­cited to get some sun. Is it just me, or has win­ter seemed to drag on for an eter­nity? You can’t beat a Kiwi sum­mer, and Art and I al­ways try to get out of Auck­land as much as pos­si­ble over that pe­riod, so I’m gear­ing up for some se­ri­ous road­ies. As well as go­ing to the bach in Ro­torua, we love head­ing over to the Coro­man­del. We have friends with a place in Matarangi, so we’re re­ally look­ing for­ward to spend­ing a bit of time there too – you’ve got to love a friend with a bach!

This has been my best year yet. The past cou­ple of months since get­ting en­gaged have been an ab­so­lute whirl­wind. All our friends and fam­ily want to cel­e­brate with us, which is amaz­ing, but it means there’s not much time to re­lax. I also re­ally un­der­es­ti­mated how much in­cred­i­ble feed­back we’d get. It blew me away read­ing all the com­ments and mes­sages from our fol­low­ers on so­cial me­dia. I guess ev­ery­one loves a happy end­ing, don’t they? A lot of peo­ple have been fol­low­ing us since we first met, so they feel like they’re on this jour­ney with us, which is pretty in­cred­i­ble when you think about it.

I’m not one for New Year’s res­o­lu­tions – who re­ally sticks to them past Jan­uary? But I do see it as a time to re­flect on the pre­vi­ous year. It’s easy to get caught up in the swift pass­ing of time and for­get to look back, and I think it’s im­por­tant to re­flect on mo­ments, achieve­ments, places you’ve been, peo­ple you’ve met.

I’ve cov­ered a lot of ground this year. We did a bunch of travel to the States, the Cook Islands and around New Zealand; we got bloody en­gaged; I wrote a book; oh, and we adopted two cats, Brian and Chris­tine. If this year is anything to go by, 2018 is set­ting it­self up to be a pearler.

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