Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Jar of Awesomeness 2013

2013. Another year.

I remember the first time I posted about the new year I was bereft that we were leaving the year Anabelle had been born. I wasn't ready for it to be 'last year' that my daughter died. Now we're going into the fourth year since my daughter died. In June it will be four years. It still amazes me we live, we love and we survive this world after Anabelle.

2013 has been a year of huge ups and downs. Last January I wanted the years goal to be healthier in my grief. Did it happen? Maybe partly. Mostly no.  This year I overcame some enormous milestones since Anabelle; I held other peoples babies, I became Godmother to a beautiful girl, but I also completely crumbled for a while. Utterly broken and hurting beyond what I could bear. Raw grief resurfaced as if we had lost her yesterday. Despite talking about counselling in January, it took an emotional breakdown to really push me there in the summer. So I've been back in counselling and will be back in again during 2014 in the approach to June. I've realised there will be times throughout my life where I will need extra emotional support to pull me through. It will always be like this.

But there has been plenty to celebrate in 2013. Namely, of course, our beautiful little Zachary becoming the latest addition to our family. 

Last January I started 'The Morgan's Jar of Awesomeness', every time some beautiful moment happened, or a special day, or a must not forget memory occurred, I've written it down on a scrap piece of paper and added it to the jar of awesomeness. 

These were our special moments this year.


  • 1st - My family playing peekaboo with Xander. He kept shouting 'boo' back and shrieking with laughter. My beautiful happy baby. 
  • 15th - Xander waving at his sister's photo and trying to copy me saying 'Belle' *heart* 
  • 28th - Xander having a sudden burst of confidence 'standing up' - If I asked him to 'up up' he climbed to his feet, let go and looked at me as if to say 'Look Mummy, no hands'. Very proud of himself shouting 'yay' before sitting down again to give himself a clap! 
  • 8th - Xander walking from car to house holding my hand! 
  • 10th - Xander screaming in the right place for the crocodile while we were singing 'Row Row Row Your Boat' 
  • 13th - Xander looking towards Belle's photo when asked where she is. 
  • 14th - Valentine's Day at Parc Playcentre.
  • 15th - Xander walking from car into the services at Reading - all around holding hands and didn't want to be carried! 
  • 18th - Xander's first independent step. Mini egg incentive! One step, then a wobble and fall.  16 months old. 
  • 27th - Belle's story in the newspapers following welsh assembly's report into stillbirth. Interview by the Western Mail, The Argus and on Real Radio. 
  • 27th - Xander taking his first 3-4 steps on his own. Aged 16 and a half months. 
  • 27th - New baby words - Nana, Bampi and Byebye. 
  • 5th - BFP for baby #3! What a surprise! 
  • 14th - Chris and Pui roadshow in Porthcawl. Show Me Show Me on Xander's half birthday. 
  • 24th - First time seeing baby blob #3 (and we've been together for 7 years today!) 
  • 27th - A sneaky extra scan. Baby blob measuring 6+2 weeks. So happy to be dated and a Christmas due date baby! (Approx 19th Dec) 
  • 28th - Lots of sloppy wet, very very lovely, opened mouthed kisses from Xander on demand. Heart melt moments! 
  • 15th - Another scan with Mini M #3. Measuring 9+0 weeks. 
  • 20th - Icecream and play at Roath Park. 
  • 30th - Xander noticing bump already and patting it and laying his head on it! 11+1 weeks pregnant. 
  • 4th - Sunny evening picnic at Tredegar House, playing bubbles in the park and Xander saying 'bubble'.
  • 10th - Xander pointing out all the little mice when asked where they were in his 'That's not my elephant' book.
  • 10th - Xander looking after his baby doll like we look after him. Patting bottom, stroking head and trying to share his dummy to help her sleep. Lots of 'Awww' cuddles too. *heart* 
  • 13th - Finished outdoor play patch!
  • 14th - Xander trying to keep up with the actions for Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. 
  • 14th - Xander enjoying his play patch and sandpit! 
  • 14th  - Xander playing 'boo' with himself in the mirror.
  • 14th - Another scan. Beautiful clear picture of one happy wriggly baby. Even waved at us! Official due date 15th December 2013. 13+5 weeks pregnant. 
  • 15th - Sands memorial service, meeting another Mummy with an angel called Anabelle. 
  • 15th - Watching Lilo and Stitch. "This is my family, little and broken, but still good." 
  • 22nd - Xander singing along to Twinkle Twinkle! 
  • 26th - One very clear 'Mummy' from Xander! Aged 20 months. 
  • 2nd - A lovely day with Xander and hearing baby blob's heartbeat at 16 week midwife appointment. 
  • 5th - Holding someone else's baby for the first time in three years. 
  • 6th - Xander being so besotted with baby Katie. Lots of kisses for her. 
  • 7th - Katie's Christening and being Godmother. 
  • 8th - Xander jumping up and being shocked by the pop up page in his Ten Friendly Fish book! Wish I'd caught it on camera!
  • 18th - Graduating again, with Merit, for my Diploma of Professional Development in SEN. 
  • 25th - Another scan. Mini M #3 is a boy! Zachary Stephen. 
  • 29th - Xander dancing! 
  • 26th July - 4th August - Awesome family holiday in Plymouth. Xander's favourite things were: a peacock at Dartmoor Zoo, swimming, jellyfish at the aquarium, the slide at softplay, hens and goats and little Flitwick owl at Totnes Farm, the train, Kwazzi the Octonaut and playing on the beach. Perfect time! 

  • 6th - Xander wibbling side to side when he points to the jellyfish in his Ten Friendly Fish book. 
  • 8th - Zac wriggling around enough and kicking hard enough for us to see and Daddy to feel for the first time. 21+4 weeks pregnant. 
  • 9th - An invite to 10 Downing Street. Totally amazed and wowed to be invited to a Sands reception in London at 10 Downing Street. So excited and in awe at the the reach of Belle's little life. Will be going in November when very very pregnant! Such a proud Mummy! 
  • 10th - Mr Blooms Big Day out at Margam Park. Xander loved everything. Totally mesmerised by Mr Bloom in person and loved dancing by the cBeebies stage. 
  • 14th - Day trip to Bristol Zoo with Xander, Mum and Dad. Xander's favourite things were the bubbles in the fish tanks and some animatronic dinosaurs! 
  • 14th - Buying my boys matching rainbow cardigans! 
  • 21st - Another scan and seeing Zac again. Measuring spot on and a very good reassuring appointments. Agreed a 37/38 week section.
  • 26th - Jon coming swimming with us and Xander loving 'teddy float surf boarding' with Daddy. Big beaming smiles!
  • 26th - Visit to Cardiff miniature railway. Xander and Daddy mesmerised by the model trains!
  • 27th - Amazing surprise present from Jon. My own new Apple Macbook Air! So spoilt! 
  • 30th - Xander knowing which animal is which on his farm.
  • 1st - and which zoo animal is which in his duplo!
  • 7th - Xander feeling Zac move for the first time. Jumping up and looking at my tummy! 
  • 7th - Xander joining in the wheels on the bus song with 'beep beep beep' 
  • 14th - Finally calling me Mummy properly and consistently! 23 months old. *heart*
  • 16th - Legoland! 
  • 21st - Dad's 60th birthday. Steam train day out and Gruffalo trail! 
  • 23rd - Ace swimming lesson with Xander. Jumping off the side stood up for the first time.
  • 24th - Xander's word count - 62 words!
  • 26th - Watching Xander play with Nana and Bampi 
  • 26th - Doing farm puzzles with Xander and him knowing all the sounds the animals make!
  • 28th - 4D Scan day with Zac. A little mini-image of Xander. 
  • 5th - Watching Enchanted with Xander and ball dancing around the living room with him!
  • 6th - Retweeted by Ola Jordan (Strictly Come Dancing) 
  • 10th - Watching Xander play 'blow' the lights out game. 
  • 13th - Xander's colourful soft play birthday party! 
  • 14th - Xander's 2nd birthday. His favourite birthday things; 'wow' at his rocket , driving the car at the Safari park, loving the elephants, pretend play in his new kitchen, birthday tea and amazing cake! 
  • 14th - Xander's birthday card getting on to cBeebies! 
  • 20th - Xander's first three word sentence. 'Cow say moo' while doing his farm puzzles. 
  • 20th - Reading 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' three times in a row. Xander saying 'again' when we got to the end and trying to join in his new favourite story! 
  • 23rd - Setting csection birthday date for Zac for the 29th November. 
  • 23rd - Exploring Autumn with Xander at the boating lake. 


  • 1st - Afternoon tea with Sorreya at the Hilton
  • 1st - Xander playing 'changing bottoms' with his bunny and putting a nappy on it!
  • 2nd - Making a toy cupboard!
  • 2nd - Xander naming shapes as he plays with his shape sorter independently. (Triangle, Square, Circle) 
  • 5th - Xander's first fireworks and sparklers!
  • 7th - Painting with Xander 
  • 9th - Xander doing his Noah puzzles nearly all by himself (18 pieces) 
  • 14th - Xander gardening with Bampi
  • 15th - Baking with Xander! 
  • 16th - Xander running around my parents house for 10 minutes playing circuits of 'boo' 
  • 19th - Sands reception at 10 Downing Street! Wow Belle! 
  • 23rd - Cheeky Monkey's soft play with Xander
  • 24th - Reading 'Guess How Much I Love You to Xander, all cuddled up in bed. 
  • 24th - Decorating the tree with Xander
  • 26th - Our beautiful son, Zachary Stephen, born screaming and safely! 
  • 29th - Taking Zac home.
  • 30th - My boys together. Xander being a beautifully loving big brother! *heart* 
  • 1st - Zac breastfeeding well. A much better start than with Xander and feeling very different this time around. 
  • 2nd - Xander saying 'love you Mummy' back to me! 
  • 8th - Zac getting better and coming home from hospital again! 
  • 9th - Zac definitely better! Amazing weight gain in just a few days from 7'2 to 7'11! 
  • 9th - Watching Xander scooter to the park and pushing Zac in the pram for the first time! 
  • 10th - First Rainbow babies meet with both boys.
  • 10th - Registering Zac officially! 
  • 10th - Reuben John Villars is born. A little nephew! 
  • 10th - Mum finally meeting Zac! 
  • 12th - Xander knowing the colours red, green and blue. 
  • 15th - Celebrating Zac's due date! 
  • 16th - Meeting Reuben! 
  • 17th - Zac's first visit to Belle and decorating for Christmas. 
  • 21st - Father Christmas train trip with boy, super special! 
  • 22nd - Zac and Xander playing playmat together. *heart* 
  • 25th - Christmas 2013. One very excited Xander! 
  • 28th  - Christmas jumper party at Sorreya's
  • 31st - All the Villars' together for the New Year. 

One hundred and twenty one awesome moments recorded this year. With plenty more besides that wouldn't have been noted down. Reading back on all of these just highlights how our children are our world. For all the pain threaded throughout our lives without Belle, Xander and Zac are our focus, our pleasure, our joy in it all. Thank goodness for our rainbows and their total awesomeness. Here's to many more beautiful moments in 2014. Wishing everyone a happy and blessed new year. 

"This is my family, little and broken, but still good."


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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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