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!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Little things...

After a few days of being more sick than I remember being in a very, very, very long time, I find myself thankful for the little things!

Thankful that fingers don't hurt when I bend them.

Thankful for a fever-free-me!

Thankful for clean, crisp sheets on my bed.

Thankful for my new magazines arriving - Food & Wine, Better Homes & Gardens, and National Geographic.

Thankful for friends who checked on me every single day to make sure I didn't need anything.

And thankful for you bloggers for giving me plenty of reading material when I was bored, bored, and bored! :-)

I'm glad to be back!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Prayers needed...

I am sick myself (strep) so I will keep this brief - I have NO energy. I am writing because I need lots and lots and lots of prayers going out to a friend and his family! My little blog is private and only has a few of you reading, and I would really appreciate it if you would share with your bloggers or friends, family, and church groups. I would love to cover this in prayer:

Most of you remember my friend's dad having a cancerous brain tumor removed about a year ago. You also may remember a recent scare that turned out to be nothing.

The news is, he has another brain tumor about the size of pecan in his frontal lobe. Surgery to remove it will be Tuesday, a week from tomorrow. This time there is a higher risk (because of where it is) for damage that could result in motor skill issues, speech issues, and even partial paralysis from what I understand. Because this is the 3rd scare and the 2nd time around I also fear that this will be an ongoing battle and there is a larger change of it reoccurring.

Please pray for God's healing hands, and for a peace and strength that can only come from Him for Mr. Harris Hooper and his family.

Thank you for your support. I have seen many cases where the blogging prayer warriors came together and made a difference! I'm hoping this is just such a case! :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dinner with the gang...

Tonight I cooked dinner and had the gang over! Megan, Web, Vance, Lauren, David, Dawson, Donnie, Chris, and I enjoyed a from-scratch, home-cooked meal of barbecue chicken, potato salad (thanks for the recipe, Kim!), broccoli salad, and "magic muffins" along with some blueberry tea! (Can you tell that I LOVE to cook?)

It was such a nice evening! I had all the windows up and we ate and enjoyed lazy conversations here and there.
Dawson and Vance had a big time playing. This is the first time they actually REALLY played together and were both into it! So fun to watch them grow!

Of course I had to take a shot of me and my girls!

After dinner we cleaned up a bit and all headed out in the back yard to let the boys run around. Uncle Chris had the brilliant idea of getting bubbles out of his car (that's right... Daddy of the year had bubbles IN THE CAR! lol)...
And boy was that a hit! he blew bubbles and the boys just had a blast! I took a ton of pictures! Here is a sneak peak...

If you want to see more you will have to hop on over to "My Lens On Life" (my photo blog) and check them out! I also posted Easter pictures over there, I hope you'll check those out too!


Okay... this first one is just for fun. It looks like Dawson and Vance are about to shake hands! lol

This next one? Pure.Bubble.Bliss.

And this one to me is precious. Again, I can't decide if I like the color or up close black and white. What do you think?

I don't like the lighting in this next one. It was a tough time of day (evening) to get good shots because it was dim enough that I felt like I needed the flash, but then they looked a little too bright and overexposed. I still like this picture though.

Dawson tried hard to get in on the action and he had a blast too. Vance was a little too quick for him in the bubble popping department, but Dawson didn't mind, he was sill all smiles!

And watching for bubbles...

More bubble fun...

Waiting for bubbles.... TO.CUTE.


Just thought I would share a *few* of my favorite shots from Easter. It will be a sneak peak for my sister-in-law (Sarah, I will bring you copies of the pictures next time I am down).

This shot turned out to be my favorite. Bentlee is taking it all in from the front door and everyone else is out on the front lawn!

How could you ever say no to this face???

I just think this one is funny... are we missing a red carpet? Bentlee was the only little one this year as Ian and Elizabeth stayed home for Easter this year. She got the royal treatment with an Easter egg hunt all to herself!

I love the two pictures above. I can't decide if I like the color or the black and white. I think the black and white looks almost like a painting, but does she get lost in the picture? I don't know. I just think this is a very interesting photograph to look at!
...and in case she did get lost int the picture, one a little closer up!

And a candid of Grandmommy and Bentlee! We tried and tried to get her to pose, but she was being silly. I thought this one of Grandmommy with her turned out the best and they weren't even posing yet! :-)

And last, but not least, a little family portrait!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I get chills every single time I listen to this song. It's on my ipod, so I have heard it hundreds of times and it still moves me. I am SUCH a season change person and so it really speaks to me. I always feel my spirit move and feel renewed and energized when the seasons change. Have you ever heard this song? Does it move you as much as it does me?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The bun in her oven...

...was celebrated today!

Today Me and La helped Megan celebrate her pregnancy. John Webster Hutchings... "Baby Jack..." will be joining us live and in person some time early in June, but today we were happy to celebrate him while he comfortably resides in his mama's cute prego-mama belly! It was such a fun time with family and friends. Megan was absolutely glowing!

Here are La, Megan, and myself at the shower.

Everyone visiting while Megan opens her gifts. She got so many cute little tiny baby things! It's hard to imagine another little one so tiny because they grow up so fast!

Kim, Megan, and Rachael at the shower! These girls are TOO MUCH FUN! :-)

The beautiful "table-scape" that Lauren put together. Rachael brought the cute stands and birds nest for the AMAZING cup cakes she made (chocolate with peanut butter filling)! Rachael, you are so talented! If anyone ever needs a cake, cupcakes, or catering, you just have to call Rachael Wheat!
Overall it was just such an enjoyable afternoon. Megan, you look absolutely beautiful. It was an honor to help throw a shower for you! Lauren, your home, as always, was incredible. You are an amazing hostess and you put so much work and thought into the shower... thank you so much for letting me help you!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A good book, a good laugh, a busy week.

Tonight was book group. OH, how I love my book group. A unique group of women ages 26 to 46, from soft spoken to outgoing, witty, fun, brilliant women. Each book group brings colorful conversations that begin with the book and spread out over our days, our careers, and our lives. We share, we laugh, we eat... I just love my book group... did I say that already?
Tonight Megan hosted book group. Her beautiful, comfortable, inviting home was the perfect setting for the "secret-recipe" Italian feast she prepared for us. Over dinner, dessert, wine, and then just over the empty table ,we discussed angles of our book (which is a worthy read and very thought provoking - if you have a book group, this one will get you talking for sure!). Megan - it was a wonderful evening, the meal was wonderful, the book was an excellent choice, and you are a fabulous hostess!
(from here on out this post will be very random...)
I had tears come to my eyes when I got to Megan's and I went to put my bag on her bed and saw the bassinet set up next to her bed, ready for tiny baby Jack. I am so excited! Her shower is Sunday and I can't wait!
Saturday is our photo-shoot... more info on this to come, but I am so excited!
Bunko was scheduled for Friday, but is cancelled due to the tornado. It was upgraded to an EF-4... over 800 homes damaged and over 100 totally demolished. Her neighborhood (along with SO SO many others) is closed and guarded 24-7 by State Troopers... word is they will be there for the next 2 weeks, so no Bunko even though her house is actually okay. Daily I drive past the devastation and damage... so disturbing when it's in your town... so different than seeing it on tv. Sad.
This week has been TCAP testing! Any teachers know this means stress and EXTREME boredom! lol. I would SOOOOO rather be teaching. 4 days of staring at my kids while they test is about all I can take! Some people get all worked up about it... I don't so much... I figure if I have done my job, that's all I can do. This might sound bad, but at this point they either know it or they don't... I'm not a big believer in cramming! lol. Anyway, this week has been super S-L-O-W because of the testing.
Well, this was going to be a short post, but it's getting longer and more random by the second (that's what exhaustion does for you! ha!). So, I'll go now and hope that each of you are having a wonderful week and looking forward to kicking off the weekend!!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Twister, part II


I (along with so many others) survived this yesterday! It's the closest I have ever been to a tornado. I was at Newks eating lunch with Moo, Web, Chris, Lily, and Donnie. I had not even seen the news and it really looked like a nice day. It started to sprinkle when I got to Newks and placed my order and by the time we all sat down it started getting pretty stormy. The manager started to get his employees in the back of the kitchen and the customers in the bathroom at the back of the restaurant and there we stood in the bathroom and waited.

There have been a few times I have had to do this (not in public). I love storms and they do not scare me unless they are extremely severe, but since moving to Middle Tennessee I have spent more than one storm hunkered in my bathroom because the weather was that bad and funnel clouds were around. As scary as these previous experiences with large hail and close calls have been, I have always emerged to minimal damage. I never would have imagined that this time would be different, but it was. As we emerged from the bathroom, cell phone calls and reception were impossible. Power was out. We turned on a radio and heard the first reports come in of flattened homes, overturned cars, and multiple tornadoes.

After the sky cleared we packed up and left. It took me 2 hours to travel the normally 5 minute trip home. It was like driving through a movie. More emergency vehicles than I have ever seen... people running to and from vehicles to help, concrete power poles snapped in half, huge trees splintered and pulled up roots and all. All of this just across the street from where we were having lunch... demolished.

Overturned cars and trucks on the interstate.

House on the street that is across the street from my subdivision.

More damage... so close to my house and so close to where we were all having lunch.

More damage.
I am so thankful that everyone I know is okay. My privacy fence blew down and my patio furniture was tossed around... that was it. Several people in my subdivision have similar damage and tress down, but nothing major. I know of at least one colleague that lost her home and another who has significant damage. Pray for those without homes this morning and for the rebuilding process. We have more severe storms coming tomorrow, but for today I am thankful for a dry day for the recovery process to begin.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

On the back porch...

My parent's have a simply beautiful home! At the base of a mountain with a big, wide front yard, surrounded by woods on three sides, with a barn, a garden, a pond, and a large backyard pool, Mom and Dad's offered a mere kid heaven that had everything we could have wanted as children! One of my favorite things? The back porch. So many memories took place back there! Running up all wet and drippy from the pool to eat a quick lunch. Hot summer nights eating watermelon. Putting on Mom's heels and playing that the porch was my classroom and clip-cloping around "teaching." Curled up on the porch swing reading a good book. Laying on the couch taking an outdoor nap. Sitting out there with the family listening to thunder rumble in the distance waiting for storms to blow in. I have so many memories on that back porch and today I had to stop and daydream about it while the cold, wet wind blew outside.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

If I were a gardener...

... I would have...

Pots full of brightly colored Gerber daisies going up my back steps and a bit pot of them on the table on my front porch too!

I would have flowerbeds full of Vinca in the front and around back by my garage...

... And in the backyard against the fence or against the house under my back windows a BIG stand of zinas all bright and beautiful and ready to be picked and brought inside!!

And I would have all sizes and shapes of pots on my patio full of all my favorite herbs: creeping thyme, parsley, chives, basil, rosemary, sage, oregano, and lots and lots of mint for fruit and mint tea!

And along the fence I would plant Peppers in green, yellow, and red!

And tomatoes.... big ones for sandwiches and burgers off the grill and fried green tomatoes and little grape or cherry tomatoes for salads and snacking...

And I would plant marigolds all around my peppers and tomatoes as a natural bug repellent too!!

Then I would plan a beautiful yellow squash plant for squash casseroles, grilled squash, and even cornmeal breaded and fried squash...

And some zucchini as well!!

Then I would plant some bush cucumbers for munching and marinading and pickling....

And a beautiful Mandivillia climbing a pretty piece of iron work on the patio under the bay window...

And some big, beautiful, bushy lantana all around the birdbath and by the end of summer it would be all bushed out and as tall as the birdbath...

And I would even find a corner out of sight for a watermelon vine...

...and maybe even a pumpkin too!

That's what I would do if I were a gardener!!

(Check out my sister's blog... I love the apron she made - I am an apron fanatic! Leave her a comment... sometimes I am the only one that comments on her blog, although I know some family members and friends read it, she doesn't get comments too often! Share the love!)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

What going on?

I'm the new head coach of CMS cheerleaders... no more "co" coaching for me... and I have no assistant... it's all me! Yikes!

I am in TCAP testing prep mode! Yikes!

And... I am SOOOOO ready for summer! Woo-hoo!

(This is... my shortest post ever... I think)