The end of 2013

Well, as has become my end of year tradition it is time to write this year’s review.

This year has, without a doubt, been bittersweet, but let’s start right at the beginning…

NYE2January dawned with a brand new little baby to look after and get used to. After all the waiting it really was the most amazing, if exhausting experience but it was truly wonderful. We were still living at Mum and Dad’s then and it was lovely to have their support and I think they enjoyed it too. We even had a visit from The Mister’s parents to meet their new grandson.

In February we moved into our lovely little bungalow which had been lovingly decorated by The Mister, my parents and as many other people we could rope in as possible. This house is wonderful! It is small but perfectly formed (a bit like me?!) but it has been such a nice place to live, and to escape to. We appreciate so much all the help that we have had to get it in order.

In March we had loads of snow – enough to make the island grind to a halt. Justifiably for a change as we had several inches of the white stuff on a small island which is just not equipped to deal with it! It was brilliant, we went out walking and generally enjoyed being able to play about in the snow. The kids loved it!

NYE4April saw a houseful of people as my best friends and The Mister’s best friends all descended for about a week over Easter to help us celebrate The Little Mister’s Thanksgiving. Having so many people in the house was marginally stressful at times but it was also brilliant! The worst thing about living in Guernsey is that is is hard to keep up with people at times (thank goodness for Facebook and other such tools!) but when we do get together it is like nothing has changed!

NYE9In June we made the most of glorious weather and spent time on the beach before I went back to work and then we had another visit from the in-laws and this time they brought Uncle David with them to meet his new nephew.

In July I went back to work which was generally disappointing and we also had my cousin’s daughter’s wedding which was great fun. It was a beautifully hot day which was fortunate as it was in a field.

In August we had a brilliant camping holiday in Wales with our friends followed by a trip to Greenbelt. This time we wimped out of camping and stayed in the Premier Inn. We had a great time, but it was very different doing it with a small baby in tow!

In September our world came crashing down and life changed forever. Mum and Dad went on holiday to Greece and on 25 September my wonderful Mum died, very suddenly and unexpectedly, of a heart attack. To say we are devastated is an understatement and I almost feel that I should finish the blog post here, but I shan’t.

Mum's funeralOctober saw us go through Mum’s burial and Celebration service to which over 400 people came. This picture on the left was taken of the three grandchildren at Mum’s Celebration Service.

We also took a family trip to Jersey zoo and we tried desperately to try and work out what life looks like without Mum in it. November kind of all blurs in together and I am still trying to work out how we managed to get through those very immediate, painful days.

I guess we did it by sticking together, crying a lot and eating a lot of cake. In a crisis our family seem to do cake quite a lot!

NYE11December was The Little Mister’s birthday. A day I had been looking forward to so much, but a day that was so painful at times without Mum there. He had a wonderful day and we had a little family party with my cousin’s daughter Clara who was one year old a few days after Edward. Christmas came and went in a haze of food and family. My sister and her family and we all went to stay down at Dad’s house. It was brilliant to be together, but once again that gaping hole was so profound.

So, we have reached the end of the year. A year of two halves you could say. The first two thirds were amazing and the last third was awful.

NYE7We miss Mum so much. She was the glue that held us all together and now we are having to try to re-piece our lives and work out how things work a bit differently. Dad is doing well, but everything seems so wrong, and we wish life was different. I would have given every present under that tree this year to have Mum back. Sadly life doesn’t work like that. The one thing I can say for sure is that family has become even more important than ever. In particular I have rediscovered what an amazing woman my sister is and I think she and I are a pretty rock hard team.

Dad is amazing and yet we recognise that this is hardest of all for him. We would love to make it OK but we can’t even come close. However our relationships are stronger and better than ever. Without The Mister I would have really struggled. He has been my rock and I am grateful every day for him. The Little Mister has given me something to smile about every day. He has kept me going when it has felt especially sad.

We truly appreciate all the love and support that we have had from friends and family over the last few months. We definitely could not have managed without you all!!

So, we enter 2014, hoping and praying that things will be better. That this year we will find a new rhythm and hope and somehow, our lives will once again find some joy.



Written by Anna Williams in: Family,Mum,Uncategorized | Tags: ,

2013 Project365 (Day 365)

So, we stagger to the end of the this year and the completion of my second year of the 365Project. I uhmed and ahed for about 30 seconds before deciding to do it again for a third year.

Choosing my final photo of the year was pretty easy, even though it wasn’t taken today. It has become, what is probably the most important photo of our year. Taken in June, a few months before Mum died it is a snapshot of our family as it was this year. This photo means such a lot to me and I am delighted that I badgered my cousin Tim who was the official photographer at the wedding to take it for us.

The 365project has meant that I have taken loads of photos and uploaded some of them. We have so many photos of Mum partly because of this project and I think it is important to continue and carry on the record of what will hopefully be another exciting and more joyful and happy year. As my brother-in-law said a while ago “I will punch anyone in the face who says this family takes too many photos”.

This picture says everything. My family is everything. End of.

Written by Anna Williams in: Family | Tags: ,

2013 Project365 (Day 364)

Mantle clock
The Little Mister went to the childminder today and I spent a large proportion of my day cleaning the house and ironing. It’s not a job I love but it is very satisfying to see the end result.

My Dad gave us a handcrafted mantlepiece for our Christmas present and I am very happy that I can now feature Gran Nora’s 1050’s (probably?!) mantle clock on it. Also my cousin Beccy gave me these lovely tea light holders for my birthday. They match beautifully.

Written by Anna Williams in: House | Tags: ,

2013 Project365 (Day 363)

My fairy princessI haven’t taken any photos at all today so this was one from last night.

This is The Little Mister wearing his second cousins fairy outfit. He makes a beautiful fairy I think!!

Not sure the relatives approved of me dressing him up but he seemed happy enough!

Written by Anna Williams in: Family | Tags:

2013 Project365 (Day 362)

This evening we had a family gathering for my Mum’s side of the family. It definitely felt like we needed to do this and was a little bit like regrouping I guess!

As always with this side of the family the food was excellent, in particular the dessert table was it’s usual triumph!

Written by Anna Williams in: Family,Food | Tags: ,

2013 Project365 (Day 361)

The Mister gave me a brilliant present for Christmas, it was this lovely Denby cast iron casserole dish. I really wanted something that I could put both on my induction hob and in the oven.

I am delighted with it even if it does weigh a tonne. It is such a lovely colour though!

Written by Anna Williams in: Christmas,Cooking | Tags: ,

2013 Project365 (Day 360)

26 December 2013
This morning we were all really tired. I suspect that yesterday we were all running on adrenaline and alcohol and this morning there was a definite sense of tiredness in the camp!

This morning we took our usual walk to the beach to watch the insane people who went for a swim for the annual Boxing Day Dip in aid of the Cheshire Homes. I reckon there was at least 500-600 people there and the atmosphere was lovely. Today’s picture is my husband, brother-in-law and cousin all preparing to sacrifice themselves to the sea for charity.

It had been absolutely pouring up until about 10am but by the time the swim took place at 10.30 it was bright sunshine. It almost looked like mid-summer but I have been reassured that it was colder than ever and the screams of the nutters as they ran into the sea testified to this!

Written by Anna Williams in: Beach,Christmas,Family,Guernsey | Tags: , ,

2013 Project365 (Day 359)

Christmas DayChristmas Day
Christmas Day – a day I have been quite dreading but actually it turned out to be a really nice day.

This morning my sister and I cooked and sorted stuff out whilst my Dad went to church and the husbands took the kids to the beach. We also popped to the cemetery to see Mum.

The thing is that Mum used to do pretty much everything for Christmas day, and she certainly did all the preparation and the cooking. So, this year Louise and I had to really pull out all the stops to do our best to produce something up to standard. I have to admit that we did a pretty good job.

we also had a giant present mountain to get through. As we are all together we had more presents than ever and it took about 2 hours to open them all. It was brilliant!

So, all in all, it has been a lovely day. We have looked at photos of Mum, thought about her and toasted her and we have laughed and joked and played games and had a lovely day together. She would have been so pleased and so proud of us all.

The picture I chose for today is of my lovely niece and nephew who were playing chicken with the waves this morning. It was a beautiful day and a lovely chance to blow some cobwebs away. I have also added a bonus photo of my two lovely boys!

Written by Anna Williams in: Christmas,Family,Nephew,Niece | Tags: , , , ,

2013 Project365 (Day 358)

Christmas EveThis Christmas is going to be strange – without a doubt it it isn’t going to have the same gloss and sheen that it usually does.

In order to try and make it as different as possible we have all travelled the mile and a half to stay with Dad. There are now six adults and three children squeezed into the house and poor Stefi has been relegated to sleeping in the lounge.

Tonight we had a really nice meal of pizza and salad, the kids opened their Christmas hamper which contained Pillow Pets from Grandma (the last present she bought them before she died), new pajamas and a Christmas movie.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring, I just know that it is good to be together.

Written by Anna Williams in: Christmas,Family | Tags: ,

2013 Project365 (Day 357)

Birthday cakeToday is my birthday and I have had a lovely day. The Mister was off work so he and I and the boy had a lazy day before going out for lunch with my Dad, sister and her kids and my cousin Stefi.

At 4ish we all went to my sister’s house for birthday cake and a variety of aunts and uncles popped in which was lovely.

The day has been really nice, and I only really got upset when I saw my birthday card signed by my Dad alone. It is at times like that that I really notice Mum’s absence. She was always so proactive in making sure that I had a nice birthday cake even though it is so close to Christmas. I miss her so much.

I am hugely grateful though to my lovely sister who really went above and beyond to make my birthday as special as possible. She is a superstar!

Written by Anna Williams in: Family,Food,Mum | Tags: , ,

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