Tyson Hugh Hooper

Tyson Hugh Hooper
Our son, Tyson Hugh Hooper, was born with coarctation of the aorta, hypoplastic arch, and a transitional avsd. His first open heart surgery reconstructed his aorta and was on day 9 of life. His second open heart repair was not anticipated to be needed until two or three years of age. Ty had other plans. We spent the vast majority of his first 3 months of life at Vanderbilt as he went into heart failure and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. As a result, the medical team concluded that he needed the repair much sooner than usually recommended, and at just shy of 3 months old Ty underwent his second life saving open heart surgery. God has already worked so many miracles in Ty's life and the life of our family and we know he is using our story. Because of this, we are grateful for Ty's special heart and feel beyond blessed that God chose us to travel this road. We ask for prayers as Ty continues to heal. We are praying for a full recovery and life without restrictions for Ty. We are praying for God to use our family and Ty for His glory.

Thank you to each and every person who supports us through prayer, giving, or just by loving on our family! We are humbled and blessed by all of the ways the Lord is providing for us and know that he is using Ty and his story to do great things!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thank God for Grapes!

I don't know why, but I was struck with the idea of doing a post (or posts) on something near and dear to my heart... (don't laugh!)... wine! My friends affectionately refer to me as a "wine snob" on occasion (joking of course) and as such, I thought I would share a tiny bit of my knowledge and great love of wine.

This love started years ago at my Aunt Jenni's house with a glass of White Zinfandel (gasp!) that I didn't like at all! But I didn't give up, I wanted to like wine so bad! I finally landed on a sweet white I could handle and before long I was reading everything I could get my hands on and trying new wines! After studying and trying many different wines and learning a lot, I went to Washington with my Mom, Dad, and Aunt and we visited several wineries and vineyards and I continued to learn and to develop my tastes. My love of wine has only continued to grow. (Don't get the wrong impression... there are about a ba-ja-zillion people who know SO much more about wine that I do and would scoff at my self proclaimed "knowledge" and pallet... but I can tell you I know more about wine than the average Joe and have developed my tasting skills to be able to identify the type or grape of many wines without checking the label! This was a personal goal of mine - yay me!)

If you are a non-alcoholic beverage person I completely understand and I hope this post is not totally boring or offensive or change your impression of me. Maybe you'll find a good gift idea for someone you know who does enjoy alcoholic beverages. For those of you who do, but haven't discovered the enjoyment of wine or the enjoyment of the variety that wine offers I encourage you to try new wines and stretch yourself! I never thought I would be a dry, red wine drinker and now they are my favorite! You'll be amazed at how your pallet develops!

Wine has become so popular that you see all kinds of gadgets and gizmos every time you turn around. I thought I would share what I consider "must have" wine accessories that are personal favorites of mine!

Exhibit A: The Drip Collar! Who ever came up with this was pretty smart! No more drips! Yes you can twist the bottle as you pour to avoid dripping, but let's face it... that takes coordination and forethought... and after a couple of glasses it becomes more difficult (ha!). So I highly recommend the drip collar - it's my favorite and saves my white counter tops from many a red wine stain!

Exhibit B: Counter top wine cellar! Nothing like always having the perfect bottle of wine at the perfect temperature (and yes, it DOES make a difference)!! I just got a cellar for Christmas last year and I love it! The only problem is keeping it filled up!

And Finally... cork screws! I have three types to share...

A bar cork screw! I have one of these (so cool)! I don't have anywhere to mount it yet, but I received one as a gift last Christmas and one day, in a future home, I will mount it on a home bar and use it often!

These are the best cork screws for anyone who doesn't feel like putting some muscle into it! These are a breeze and take out the cork with VERY little effort... no muss, no fuss!

But, my personal favorite is still the traditional cork screw! I used to have a hard time managing them, but now I feel it's the only way to go! Small enough to go anywhere with you, it's the essential.... no bells, no whistles, and certainly the most reliable and durable!

So there you go. A very random post on my wine background and favorite wine tools and accessories! I think I have every little gadget ever made to go with wine or wine glasses, but these basics are my favorites!


Megan L Hutchings said...

I am so glad you did this post b/c it is one of my favorite things about you ;)! I am still trying to develop my wine pallet and I thank you for being patient with me!

Leigh Ann said...

I'm quite impressed. I had no idea you had this talent! I have a friend that is an experienced wine enthusiast as well. I try to get her a bottle for her birthday/Christmas, but I always worry I didn't get the right thing. I'm sure you could help me out a lot with this. Plus, those gadgets are VERY cool and would also make a great gift. Maybe that's what I'll get her next. Thanks for the tips, Meag! :)

Betsy said...

Who knew there was that much to know about wine?? You are going to be the wine guru from now on if I ever have a question! :)

ariel said...

You forgot the coasters! :) Those things rock haha! So I have decided we need to get together asap so we can spend a night catching up over a bottle of wine! well maybe a few... :) White is my color of choice.. I'm still working on my taste for the dryer wines but I'm sure we can work something out! love the post!

Lindsay said...

Oh - I love me a good glass of Cabernet! For a cheap decent kind, Twin Oaks is pretty good. Man it's been FOREVER....no wait - our date night! How quickly I forget... :-)

And I LOVE the bar cork-screw or whatever. Mine is called Houdini...and it really is!

Lauren said...

This is one of my favorite things about you!

Can't wait for Meag's Sangria on our girlz trip!

Cindy J. said...

This corkscrew is very similar to the one I use. My favorite feature on it is the awesome double hinge! If you are weak in the arms (I am!) it gives you great leverage. Also mine differs from that one in that mine has a serrated, slightly curved blade, which makes it easier to get foil cut neatly.

I got it when I was working at an italian restaurant where serving wine was a huge part of my job, and I only had to embarrass myself by being physically unable to remove the cork from a bottle once before I realized that this $20 upgrade was necessary.

Will, lacking somewhat in dexterity and coordination, prefers the virus looking wine tools, like this one.

Wine is the only alcohol Will likes to drink so far, reds particularly. I can tolerate a well balanced (not too sweet!) chardonnay (R Collection is good.) every once in a while but truthfully I don't have much of a taste for wine yet.