Friday, December 30, 2011


Robbie's older brother, Bryan, lost his battle with cancer on Tuesday morning at 10:06am.

He was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma in February of this year and fought it for 10 months. It was a very rare very aggressive form of cancer and it held true to it's description. Bryan fought a brave fight the entire time and never gave up.

It has been a long and tough year for the Raybon family, especially Rick and Vicki who have been Bryan's primary care givers. They showed love and unwavering support every step of the way until the last breath.

Bryan was cremated and there was a service held yesterday in a beautiful Methodist church in Atlanta.

Please keep the Raybons in your prayers as we all morn the death of Bryan and remember all the things that we love about him.

Friday, December 23, 2011

What a fun week!

Fresh haircut heading to Honey's house!

Gotta clean up!

Christmas present swap with my girlfriend, Miller Anne

Playing at her house

Hanging out with my friends Mickey and Santa

Hawkins and I have been on Christmas vacation at Honey and Big Daddy's house all week. What fun we have here! Hawkins loves the Christmas tree and playing with select "soft" ornaments. He can flip the switch to turn the tree on himself and he gasps in delight each time the lights come on - such sweet moments. He really loves his plush Mickey Mouse - an early Christmas present.

He plays hard and sleeps well :) We have played and had lunch dates with his friend Miller Anne. They are 3 months apart and have had a blast playing with each other. It is so much fun to see them interact.

Big Daddy loves to take him outside to play and even keeps the baby monitor at night. That means Mommy gets 30 extra minutes of sleep in the morning - glorious! I even got to get my hair cut while Honey babysat yesterday. I could get used to this.

We are heavily anticipating Christmas morning because Hawkins is appreciating every second of this Christmas season. He makes everything so much more fun!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011


December is always a crazy month with gift buying, baking, cheese straws, cheese straws and more cheese straws...traveling and celebrating Jesus' birth.

December 2011 has been even more stressful because of some health issues on Robbie's side of the family. His brother Bryan continues to go down hill, so Robbie has made several trips back and forth to Atlanta to be with him.
On Wednesday we got the news that Robbie's paternal grandfather passed away. He was 94 years old, so it was not a huge shock, but he was not sick and died suddenly. Robbie was in Miami for work, so he took a direct flight to Atlanta rather than coming home first. Hawkins and I packed up our entire house and got on the road on Friday. My parents kept him and I headed to Atlanta.

We were able to spend time with Bryan in addition to driving to South Carolina on Saturday for the funeral. (7.5 hours round trip in one day). It is so hard to see Bryan in the condition he is in, but he continues to amaze everyone.

We believe this is all in God's plan and he has a purpose for these events. That does not make each minute easier. I want to say a special prayer for Robbie's parents as they are Bryan's primary care givers and are with him every single second - day and night. It takes strength only God can provide to see what they have seen and to watch your first born son go through such agony.

We pray Bryan can get some sense of peace and be pain free. Thank you for each of your prayers during this difficult time.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas decorations

This has been a crazy month for our family, but I have still taken time to enjoy the Christmas decorations in our home. I LOVE decorating for Christmas!

I love a REAL Christmas tree, our little gum drop tree, the tumbling snowmen my Mom passed down to me, stockings over the mantle, and the real holly to use for an extra touch.

We got home the Sunday after Thanksgiving (exhausted) and I immediately started unpacking our boxes of decor.

I am away from home right now, so I can't take any pictures but I wanted to share my favorite new decoration this year. Honey gave this felt nativity set to Hawkins over Thanksgiving and I could not wait to set it up.

It is perfect for little ones b/c he can pick up the figures and can't break them! He is too young to know about the nativity, but I have told him about Mary, Joseph, the wisemen, shepard and Baby Jesus. Next year he will be able to know them apart!

Pottery Barn has the cutest decorations this year! You can find this nativity here.

I will post more pics later of our home....

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


My day on Tuesday:

Bake cheese straws from 6:30am - 10:30 am
Get myself showered and dressed
Pick up the boo boo from school
Feed him, play and put down for a nap
Begin prep for dinner while he naps
Run errands in town - deliver cheese straws
YMCA - run on treadmill then stay for first half of zumba class
Get the boo boo home - feed him supper
Play, bath and put him to bed
(Daddy had a late meeting)
Cook TWO pots of spaghetti for us and 2 friends who just had babies
Bake chocolate chip cookies
Make chocolate covered ritz and pretzels for Hawkins' teachers
Literally was in the kitchen until almost 10pm.

Am I crazy? Yes, but I love it!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Recent pictures

December fun with my Honey!

Wearing my Big Daddy's shoes

All dressed up for church

Doesn't seem too thrilled...

So excited about my early Christmas present from Honey and Big Daddy. A new table and chairs just for me!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hustle and Bustle

I am trying to enjoy every minute of this Christmas season - even if most of those minutes are being spent behind my cheese straw maker in the kitchen.

I have been baking and selling CS for 3 years now and my busiest time of year is December. I try to prepare for it each year, but this year I had a LARGE wedding order in October and then sold out for Thanksgiving too. I started over in December, but I can't keep up with the orders! I do truly love carrying on this family tradition even if it means my house smells like cheese all the time :)

As a stay at home Mom I don't have the intellectual stimulation of a job in the corporate world anymore. My CS business gives me s sense of accomplishment and it is nice to bring in some small income!

Speaking of being prepared...I have almost finished my Christmas shopping! I have been known to start shopping in July, but this year I think I bought my first gift in October. I LOVE to get started early to get things checked off my list. (I also like to get a deal, which is must easier to do the earlier you start.)

My guest room turns into my wrapping room and it is a MESS. I will halfway wrap a few things at a time. There is paper, ribbon, tissue, etc etc everywhere. I dread but also get some sort of satisfaction from hand wrapping all my gifts. It is time intensive, but there just as much love put into the wrapping as the gift itself.

I need to go wrap a few more gifts now...

About me

Here are a few things that you may not know about me :)

-I love naps. I take a nap every day while Hawkins takes one - even if it's a short one.

-I hate when people put Xmas instead of Christmas. Pure laziness.

-My favorite time with Hawkins is right after he wakes up in the morning or from a good nap. I give my complete attention to him and we giggle and play together. He is in the best mood!

-I like white wine better than red wine.

-I love to bake - cookies, cakes, anything :)

-I especially love to bake when I am stressed. I don't know why...

-I dislike artificial trees. Why would you put up an artificial tree when you can get a real amazing fresh Christmas tree??

-And it is not a "holiday" tree. It is a Christmas tree.

-I do not like ketchup or mustard.

-I don't know what my natural hair color is. The last time I saw it was in 11th grade.

-I like my fingernails and toenails VERY short.

-I wake up thinking about drinking a cup coffee, and I go to sleep thinking about the coffee I will drink the next morning - I love it.

-I really cherish alone time more than I ever have. Remember when you were single in college and you had all the time in the world to watch mindless TV all day or veg out with your friends? Well, in marriage and motherhood those days are over. I am constantly entertaining a toddler, feeding a toddler, feeding my husband, doing laundry or having some sort of an adult conversation with my husband. If I happen to have a few minutes in silence by myself it is wonderful and much appreciated.

-I don't know where I would be without my family. I love them so much.

Ok, that's all for now. Maybe more later.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh Christmas tree!

We have started a tradition where we pick out our Christmas tree the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I would love to do it the Friday after, but we are always out of town for the holiday.

We drove straight to the lot when we got back into town on Sunday. Last year Hawkins was just a baby, so this was a fun experience to do with him. Beau and Lady joined us too :)

Waving at cars going polite

The chain saw they used was loud!

Annual family picture with the Christmas tree!

Too bad it was 80 degrees that day. I only wore that scarf for the picture!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving this year! Hawkins and I started in Americus for Fleming's Sip N See and got to spend a couple of days there. I made cheese straws and Hawkins got spoiled by Honey and Big Daddy.

Robbie came after work on Wednesday, and we all went to Newnan on Thursday for Thanksgiving lunch.

We had lunch at my Aunt and Uncle's home with my Mom's side of the family in attendance. My Grandmother, her sister, my first cousins and my whole immediate family - what a fun day!
Linda had the house and tables decorated SO cute.

She got out baby silver just for Hawkins!

Best part of the meal for Hawkins - oreos!


Hawkins giving Fleming a kiss!

So sweet!

Honey and Dee

Four generations

The whole family

The day just went by too fast! Before we knew it it was time to pack up and head to Atlanta...more in my next post!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sip N See for Fleming

My Mom had a Sip N See for Fleming at her house the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. She loves to show off her precious grandchildren to her friends!

We packed up and headed to Americus! Hawkins was so excited to be at Honey and Big Daddy's house.

Leola loved holding Fleming

Here is a picture of Leola and Hawkins last year at his Sip N See

Katie and Fleming

Honey did a great job with the flowers - peonies are my favorite!

The food!

Aunt Say-Say was able to make it!

It was such a fun party and both babies were really good!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


This time of year always goes by too fast. I love the months of October, November and December. Temperatures start slowly dropping and air gets a little crisp. I love the colors of the trees and the decorations. I have really loved my pumpkins and have kept them all out for the past 2 months - taking away my Halloween and adding my turkeys.

It is still 85 degrees in Thomasville, so it's been hard to adjust to fall. I did my "closet switch" and got all my fall clothes out, but I haven't been able to wear most of them b/c it's not cold!

I wanted to share some things in this post that I am so thankful for this year:

1 - My sweet baby boy - he is the joy of my life. I am so blessed to be a Mother and for the health of my family.

2 - My husband - he is my best friend and my partner. That sounds really cheesy, but it's true. He helps me with everything and supports me in every way.

3- My parents - they are my best friends. I seriously talk to my Mom 5+ times a day. They are so involved in my life and still give me guidance. You are never too old to be reprimanded by your parents :)

4 - My health - this is something we really take for granted. Having a germy toddler means frequent colds and viruses and I am thankful every time we are all "well" in our household. I am also very thankful to be skin cancer free. I still get checked every 3 months and there have been many moles taken off, but none have been melanoma. I praise God for this.

5 - Being a stay at home Mom - I complain often about the long hours and a whiny baby, but really I wouldn't trade it for the world. We can stay in our PJs as long as we want in the morning and I am always the first to get Hawkins' sweet kisses. Little boys truly love their Mommies. It is hard and there is no salary, but I love being a full time Mommy.

6 - Supportive friends and family - I have grown closer to my "Atlanta" friends after moving away and we talk daily. They know me better than anyone and are always supportive and motivating.

There are so many other things, but these are close to my heart. I am most thankful that I believe in a God that listening to me and cares about me personally. He answers prayers and takes care of me and my family. I encourage everyone to stop for a few minutes and think about your blessing and what you are thankful for this year.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

God will provide

I have not given an update in awhile about Robbie's brother's battle with lymphoma. This has been on going since January. They did the stem cell transplant in August, and it wasn't a few weeks before Bryan went back into the hospital for his "graft vs. host disease" symptoms. I am not a doctor and will not be good at describing this, but basically Robbie's cells and Bryan's body are at war with each other. This is a battle where no one comes out a winner.

The disease has attacked Bryan's GI tract, and he has not been able to eat or drink anything in 2 months. Can you imagine this? My life literally revolves around food, so I can only imagine this must be miserable. Now he is bleeding internally and they do not predict a positive outcome.

Please keep Bryan and the Raybon family in your prayers. They need strength, comfort and understanding. This is so hard for Bryan and for everyone around him who loves him.

This seems so petty when I have written the above paragraphs, but I was nervous when Robbie left for Atlanta leaving me with the rugrat by myself. Being a stay-at-home Mom is HARD and it is even harder solo. My heart goes out to single parents b/c it is a taxing job.

Lately, Hawkins has formed velcro to his body that attaches to my leg anytime I try to do anything that does not involve me playing with him. A child pulling at your leg makes it hard to cook, shower, brush your teeth or do just about anything. There have been some loooooong days in our house this week, so I was not ecstatic about doing it by myself. I realize how important this situation is though, so I told Robbie to go and stay as long we he needed. We would be fine.

(Usually I would immediately call my Mother and make her come stay with me, but she was already out of town). I also had a feeling that we would in fact be fine.

Instead of counting down the minutes to bedtime or the next activity - I prayed. I prayed for patience, and I prayed for me and my baby boy to have fun. I stopped cleaning the house and had no one to prepare dinner for, so we played and chased each other and laughed. It was really fun. I asked for God's help and he provided.

I planned activities to keep us busy, and the time just flew by. He must have misplaced his velcro b/c he was not so clingy, he has eaten well (b/c meal times are war at our house), slept well and I did get a babysitter for 3 hours today so that I could make cheese straws and have a little break. It was worth it.

Watching such a tragic situation unfold always leads me back to God. I may not live my life for God everyday like I should, but I have an unwavering faith about these things. God does have a plan. He knew the moment we would be born and the moment we would die before we were in the womb. He listens to our prayers and gives us comfort when we need it.

I am so thankful I have such a loving God.

Monday, November 14, 2011

15 (ish) months

Hawkins, you are almost 16 months old, so I'd better get going with your 15 month post! (I am a little late)! The best word to describe this month is "outside". If you aren't eating or sleeping then you want to be playing outside!

-I have to start off with the most precious thing you did for the first time today. I have really tried to get you to blow me a kiss, but you have never show any interest. Well, today I asked you to give me a kiss and you promptly put your hands on my cheeks and pulled my face to yours - and planted a kiss right on my mouth! How did you know how to do that?? It was the cutest thing I have ever seen and I will always remember that moment.

-You sleep from 7:30pm until around 7am and take one nap at 12pm usually for 2 hours. The longest nap you have ever taken was almost 3 hours (of course when your Daddy was babysitting)

-You wear 18 month clothes and a size 4 diaper. We just started putting a size 5 on you at night.

-You are the pickiest eater EVER. You will not eat meat (except chicken nuggets). The only thing good for you that you love are bananas. I have started giving them to you at every meal and you love them - can you eat too many bananas? Your Daddy and I eat this cereal for breakfast - Quaker Oats Cinnamon Oatmeal Squares - and you beg for them every morning. Finally I just started giving you those for your breakfast too! You like them soggy out of my bowl with milk! Lunch is still a grilled cheese and supper is always tough. I try to sneak in veggies with baby food b/c you will not feed your self a veggie to save your life. You love all snacks, such as teddy grahams, crackers, cinnamon cookies, cheese-its, etc.

-You drink a sippy cup of whole milk in the morning, afternoon, and night and a 1/2 a cup at naptime. Wait...that's right. We dropped the bottle at night and Hawkins drinks all sippy cups! It really wasn't that hard actually.

-We have our bedtime routine down - bath, milk and naked time, brush teeth, story, bedtime. You love your naked time after bath :) We have just started saying prayers too. You are usually pretty good when we travel and get off schedule, but I have noticed that the bedtime routine makes a huge difference in calming you down for night time.

-You LOVE to be outside. Literally I think you would stay outside all day and night if we let you.

-I guess we sneeze a lot, because you started fake sneezing on your own - we did not teach you to do it! It is hilarious. You go "ahhhh choo" and lean your head back and then throw it forward. It's your new trick and you do it all the time.

-You dressed up like a cowboy for Halloween and wore real cowboy boots and your Uncle Crisp's old vest.

-You saw Santa for the first time in Atlanta and were the best boy!

-You can tell me what a cow, sheep and horse says!

-You LOVE your Big Daddy!

-You love to drive anything!

-Words you can say:

cracker = "dar-dar"
Beau and ALL dogs = "bo bo"
Lady = "ga ge"
Honey = "Nu-Ne"
Moon - "Ma"
What the cow says = "Ma"
What the sheep says = "Ba"
What the horse says = "Neigh"
Please = "me"
Thank you = "Da du"

Hawkins, you are the busiest little boy and you keep me moving! You would rather be moving or be outside rather than sleep. You are the light of my life and I can't wait to see how you grow up and change with each new day.