We spent the weekend in Newcastle with Pete’s side of the family.. his brothers, parents, sisters in law, our niece & 3 nephews…. to celebrate our niece Indriel turning 3. To begin with I just snapped a few special moments with my iphone. I left my big camera in the car because I try to balance out how often I use it, so that my children & nieces & nephews don’t look back & remember me as the mother/aunt who was hidden behind a giant black lens at every family gathering. However, after the lunch & the birthday cake & the afternoon tea had all happened, there was this moment where everyone was gathered in my sister & brother in laws back yard. No one was rushing off because we had all made the decision to stay over night. The children were all happy & shouting “hey Uncle Pete, Uncle Pete! throw me higher uncle Pete!” as they jumped on the trampoline. The kids swapped between jumping & swinging & playing catch with a lemon. One year old Casper was being pushed around the yard in a little car (and loving it). I was surrounded by our family in an afternoon of pure play and I realised that when Ava was a baby & she was the first in our family, we had dreamed that maybe one day there would be afternoons just like this. Afternoons with play & cousins & grandparents & fun. Afternoons where we hang out as the sun goes down, just enjoying these wonderful little people in our family. We have been blessed to have these kinds of afternoons on quite a few occasions over the years now, but every single one is precious. So the big camera came out of the car. I’m happy to be the crazy camera lady if it means capturing a little of an afternoon like this.