One year at The Campground

I have a whole list of drafts in various states of completion. But they all seem just a little bit too hard right now.  The owners of The Campground are away at the moment, which means we’re working every day.  I’ve lost my voice, which makes both working and parenting more difficult. I’m sooooo tiiiiiiiired.

But this week marks ONE YEAR in The Campground, so I can’t let it go by without a blog. And that can only mean one thing…. It’s time for a lazy photo blog.

And so, I present: A year in The Campground (in photos)

October 2016: The Campground Kid “mowing the lawns” and enjoying our new home.

November 2016: Abseiling 100m into the Lost World with Waitomo Adventures.

December 2016: The road between Kawhia and Waitomo on a beautiful summer day.

January 2017: The view from the Waitomo lookout while out on an evening walk.

February 2017: A walk in the Ruakuri reserve. A snack on top of the rocks.

March 2017: Watching the sheep shearing at the Waitomo Caves Sports Day.

April 2017: Stomping in the mud during a very rainy autumn.

May 2017: A holiday in Taupō. Beautiful sun over the lake.

June 2017: A walk in the Waitomo hills. A view to Mt Pirongia.

July 2017: Another holiday. Toddler’s first snow.

August: A sunset. The end of our first winter in five years.

September 2017: A walk to Opapaka Pā. A view over Waitomo.

It’s been a BIG YEAR. In and around these photos there have been ups and downs. Some things have been surprisingly easy. Other things have been very very hard. But one year in, we’ve made it through together, and we don’t regret the decision to come here for a second.

Working through.

On Christmas morning, we woke up early. But it wasn’t because of an overexcited kid. Nope, The Campground Kid didn’t really know about Santa, and actually had a sleep in. It was because we had to start work at 7:45am. Yep, this year, we worked on Christmas Eve, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years, and quite a few days in between. Welcome to the campground business!

But actually, we didn’t mind, and for the most part, it was totally fine. I love the holidays. I love big celebrations with my family. I love Christmas music. But for various reasons (divorced parents, mother who’s a minister, living far away from family) I’ve never been too wedded to a particular day or a particularly traditional celebration. 

Christmas Day swim

We managed to have Campground Papa’s parents here for Christmas Eve/morning. And on our working Christmas, we enjoyed spreading a little cheer around the park, a swim, some presents, and my first ever glazed ham for dinner. We had a Christmas Shrub (TM) set up, a lot of Christmas music in the office, and for the first time The Campground Kid was actually interested in opening presents. There was plenty of Christmas cheer to go around. Then we had a couple of days off where we saw a bunch of my family and celebrated Christmas (Observed) at a glorious bach. We ate, drank, played backyard cricket, and watched the kids be loons. We had a little Secret Santa. We had strawberry cheesecake chimichangas and gingerbread coffee as the kids tore into their gifts. We did a post-Christmas tramp on the most amazing day in Tongariro National Park. It was, quite simply, great. 

Christmas (Observed) matching socks.


But it was also hard. We had to get everything way in advance to make it happen. We rushed from work to bach with very little packing time. We rushed from Christmas (Observed) to tramping. And then we went from a hot morning tramping to a windy drive home straight back into work and followed it up with the busiest day of the year. We were go go go go go. 

Post-Christmas tramp with our Campground Kid

It wasn’t working Christmas that made it hard. It was not having a summer holiday when all of our family and most of NZ were having a summer holiday that made it hard. It was trying to fit a week of celebrations and travelling and activities and fun into a weekend. It was having to be so much more organised than ever before.

So when we finally had a breather on January 3rd? First we sighed a big ol’ sigh of relief. And then I decided that I need a planner. Planners have often failed me in the past. And now that my week is non-traditional, I felt like a premade planner would be even less successful. So I’m diving into the (amazing, but rather more intense than expected) world of the “Bullet Journal”.

 

It’s not the prettiest, and it’s not entirely “bullet”, but I’m guessing no one really cares about that. In fact, probably no one cares about my journal at all. But I’m hoping that posting about it publicly means I stick to it more than I have in the past. And I’m hoping that it, along with the extra year experience, means I’m a little more prepared for working through the holidays next year. Maybe it will help me work through some other stuff too? I can only hope!