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!

Monday, June 29, 2009

My D-Word...

Thursday of last week Lauren asked if I could keep Dawson for a couple of hours. My reply: OF COURSE!?!?!!! :-)

It just so happened that Megan and Web showed up to pick up a key at the same time that La showed up to drop off D-word so I, of course, got a summer pic of me and my favorite two ladies!

While we stood around to visit Dawson got in a quick visit with baby Jack... who was totally oblivious and sound asleep, but D-Word didn't seem to mind!

After everyone cleared out, Me and D-word got down to the important stuff...

...like playing outside of course! He was so much fun! We ran around the back yard, explored, and even played a little bocce ball...

I love this picture of him exploring... he looks like such a big boy!!!

We had a grand time! We played inside, played outside, played inside some more, and even found time to bake cookies and cook dinner! :-) He was SO very well behaved... I was so proud!
La, thank you for allowing me some one-on-one time with one of my favorite nephews! He is one special little guy and he can come to Aunt Meag's any time he wants!!! :-)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another Sandwich...

I am not a huge fan of egg salad, but I have now met one that I like... strike that... LOVE!

Boil three eggs and chop
Stir in some Gorgonzola cheese
Add just enough mayonnaise to moisten the salad
Salt and Pepper to taste

Crisp up some pancetta (or bacon will do)

Put the egg salad on a slice of bread
Top with crumbled pancetta or bacon
top with another piece of bread and you have...

ANOTHER perfect summer sandwich! :-) Thank you Giada and the Food Network!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day...

Let me start by saying...


I have such wonderful parents. My dad is a hero to me, a champion, and an example for me and everyone with whom he comes in contact. He is an amazing man. My sister did a wonderful post on him that says it all... you can click here to read it and I hope you will!

So today I headed to Chattanooga for a little Father's day fun! I met Mom, Dad, Ken, Sarah Marie, and Bentlee at Ankar's (where they eat almost every Sunday) for a yummy lunch and then headed to Mom and Dad's for a *perfect* Sunday afternoon!

I arrived first because everyone else had to make stops along the way. We all planned to spend the day in the pool and when I got there this is what I saw...

Take a closer look....

LOL! My parents have a pond that these two call home, but since the pool has been uncovered they have found it a refreshing place to be each afternoon for a little swim! :-) They weren't too happy that we crashed their party!
These were my views all afternoon....

Jealous yet???

We had so much fun just playing, talking, and soaking up the sun!!!! Here is my adorable mom! Doesn't she just look like she belongs in some little town by the beach!?!?
And here I am swimming with Bentlee, she is SO much fun! She swam the entire length of the pool with no swimmies by herself! I was so proud!

And, of course, my brother had to do some diving board tricks! This was MY ENTIRE childhood! Between the two of us we could do every trick in the book of the diving board! Every dive, every flip, ever cartwheel into the water... we had it going on! He pulled out the old backwards, twist-in-the-air dive and I caught it with my camera!

Take a closer look... Superman?

Here are Ken, Sarah, and Bentlee just chillin'...

And last, but not least, the man of the day! My Daddy. The one who provided all of this for us to enjoy!

I love you Daddy!!! Every girl should be as lucky as I am to have a father like you!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sandwich, baby!

Take some fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil, and french bread. Brush the french bread with some good olive oil. Assemble...

Smush... in a Panini Press that is....
And the result is THE PERFECT summer sandwich.
And the baby part... (unrelated)

Megan and Jack came over tonight for dinner and a visit!
I made salad, garlic Parmesan bread, and Cajun chicken pasta.
We ate, we visited, and we cuddled on sweet baby Jack!

It was a perfect summer evening visiting with the dearest of friends and her new, more than preciously, bundle of pure joy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A quote and a ticket...

I was reading lovely Leigh Ann's blog and saw her post entitled, "Perspective." I thought it was a beautiful post when I read it and viewed the video that accompanied it. You can click here to read it yourself, which I strongly recommend!

Anyway, the day after I read her blog I started my new book, The Noticer! Ironically, the quote on the front of the book says, "Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective." And that, is just what the book is about... perspective.

I am only on chapter four of the book and I am enjoying it so much. It's a great story with some great perspective changing and thought provoking moments! So far a couple of good quotes include:

"What would you think if I told you that, yes, your bad choices and decisions have had a part in your ending up (where you are), but beyond that, (where you are) is exactly where you should be in order for a future to occur that you can't even imagine at this point?"


"...everybody wants to be on the mountaintop, but if you'll remember, mountaintops are rocky and cold. There is no growth on the top of a mountain... It is in the valley that we slog through the lush grass and rich soil, learning and becoming what enables us to summit life's next peak."

And now for a total change of subject...

I got a ticket yesterday!!!!! I haven't had a ticket since I was 18, lol. I was going down Medical Center (if you are from Murfreesboro, you know there is ALWAYS a speed trap there!!!!) and not paying attention. He got me going 53 in a 40... it is only the straightest, wide open, 4 lane highway in town!! Anyway, he cut me some slack and lowered it to 49 in a 40 and let me off with a warning... BUT... here is the kicker, or at least the part I KICK and KICK and KICK myself over... I got a ticket for not having proof of valid insurance! Are you kidding me?!?!? Do I have insurance, you might ask? Why, yes I do! The same policy that I have had since I was 16, I believe. That has NEVER lapsed and is ALWAYS paid on time and has been lowered because of my spotless record! Why, you might ask, then, did you get a ticket? Because MY proof of valid insurance was recently mailed to me and was neatly sitting in plain sight next to my calendar on my kitchen counter SO I WON'T FORGET TO PUT IT IN THE CAR!!!! :-) Nice, right? Oh well. I go to court in August and he said it would be dismissed when I showed my proof of insurance. What a pain! Lesson learned!!! My proof of insurance is now secure in my CAR where is belongs, lol! :-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chattanooga Weeekend...

I headed down to C-town on Saturday morning to spend some time with the family! We had a great time. I met mom at the restaurant (Couch's), of course, for lunch and had a BBQ! Then mom and headed to pick up some wine, to get a Father's day gift - that fell through, and then to Wal-Mart. After that we headed "home" to enjoy a glass of iced tea and some relaxation. We then decided we needed some pampering and went to get our toes done! By the time that was over it was back to Couch's for dinner and then off to Riverbend!

The Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga is a tradition for me and my family and friends! We go every year. This year I was sad to only make it down for the last day, but the last day is always the best anyway! :-)

Riverbend is always the second week in June. It is a 10 day long music festival on the bank of the Tennessee river in downtown Chattanooga! The festival has 5 stages with multiple performances every night along with all kinds of vendors and even some rides! It draws over 600,000 people to Chattanooga each year and if you ever want a good road trip you should go! You get a pin to wear that gets you admission for the WHOLE festival for only 28 dollars!!! That's right, all those shows and all that fun for 10 days straight for 28 bucks - you can't beat it!! This year some of the many, many artists included: The B52s, The Commodores, Little Richard, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Train, Montgomery Gentry, Three Dog Night, and Willy Nelson! As you can see from just those few, the festival covers all kinds of music from rap to bluegrass and everything in between each and every year! (Can you tell that I am a fan? I sound like a walking, talking ad for Riverbend, lol!!)

Anyway, it is really unique and such a fun family event! (Kids under 10 get in free!! What a deal!!)

Here is the "main" stage... it's where the last act is each night, where the bigger names perform....

You can't really tell from this picture, but beyond the white fence it slopes down to the river - people can sit down there, and the stage is actually floating on the river on a barge. On the back side of the stage they have screens too for all of the people that come in their boats to see the show!

Here is a shot of about half of the area of the festival... it goes all the way up to the blue bridge you see and then about that same distance the other direction down to another bridge (not in the photo).

The last night is always the best because after the last show the have a HUGE fireworks show! Seriously, in all my life and all the fireworks displays I have seen I have never found one to rival the one at Riverbend each year!
So that was my Saturday! Sunday we uncovered the pool at mom and dad's and then cooked out Hamburgers! Then I went downtown to see Night at the Museum II (it was just okay, not great like the first one), and then "home" for a little fishing, and then off to my brother's house for the NBA finals!
It was a weekend on the go and I enjoyed every single second! Thanks for letting me share it with you!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Team Mom...

This has been a very busy last three days. I spent much of my time at MTSU watching my middle school's basketball boys at team camp! (Okay, so it doesn't hurt that my best friend, Chris, is their head coach, lol) I have to brag for a moment... I think this group of guys is by far the coolest group of boys EVER and their coach is THE BEST EVER TOO! Chris has so much passion and his heart is in it for the kids and he works for them, it is so great! The bond he has already formed with these boys is mirrored in their eyes and in their actions! The boys have such great character, are always polite, and are DANG good on the court! I love them because they are from our somewhat "underprivileged" school and these boys can ball, let me tell you! We played a total of 8 games and 7 teams and we only lost two! We beat all the teams from our county that we will play in regular season with ease and beat Grace Baptsit's high school freshman team! In one game we even started our third string (the boys that don't get a lot of playing time - it was cool for coach to let them start), got 21 points down, and then came back for the win in double over time. I loved that game because it was cool for the third stringers to get a whole quarter to themselves as STARTERS and it also taught our boys how to keep heart and come back from behind (something they -proudly- don't get too much practice at, they are used to being ahead). The two teams we lost to were MBA and CPA... two private schools that recruit and we never play in regular season and have never played before. MBA beat us by 9 I think and CPA didn't beat us the first time they played us... the second time they played us they brought an entire starting lineup in from the high school team, lol, and only then did they win... and left their starters in ALL GAME!
Anyway, if you don't like basketball this is getting really boring, so I will wrap it up by explaining the title. I have said many times about "my kids" that "I would take him home and raise him as my own if I could!" (THAT is how cool these kids are!). At camp this week it was mostly coaches and some parents and several times I was asked, "which one is yours?" Finally, instead of replying, "well, none of them are actually mine..." I started saying, "they all are!" :-) I have a passion for these kids and they are going to do great things. Therefore, I have proclaimed myself, team mom... because in my heart they are all my babies and I intend to be there every step of the way this basketball season and this year! :-) My title was solidified for me when the boys came in the gym for the next game and as they came in several of them came straight to me and gave me a big hug beforehand... I'm tellin' you, this is SOME group of kids and I am one proud "team mom!"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A little about me...

I got this from my sister over email and figured I would post it since I am not in the mode of thinking up creative posts! :-) If you have time, copy, paste and join in the fun!

1. What is your occupation right now? teacher... and it's summer so I am LOVING life!

2. What color are your socks right now? you know I'm barefoot all summer long (of in flip flops if I have go to out!)

3. What are you listening to right now? the neighbor mowing grass and the hum of my air conditioner (thankful for that!)

4. What was the last thing that you ate? my weakness, pasta!

5. Can you drive a stick shift? nope

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone. Chris

7.Do you like the person who sent this to you? I love her! She's my sister!

8. How old are you today? 27

9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? football!

10. What is your favorite drink? wine... but if you mean without alcohol, then sweet tea

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? yeah... but always just my natural color, covering my gray, lol

12. Favorite food? snacky snacks and bar food... you know chicken fingers and cheese sticks, etc. I don't indulge very often though!

> 13. What is the last movie you watched? Something on the Hallmark Channel.. can't remember the name, but it was good!

> 14. Favorite day of the year? Christmas... or my birthday! Toss up!

> 15.How do you vent anger? WOW... just like my sister... fuming in silence, or crying... and soemtimes I just type out a fuming letter and then delete it or call one of my girlfriends! lol

> 16.What was your favorite toy as a child? Again, just like Sarah, the great outdoors! We played outside non-stop when we were kids!

> 17. What is your favorite season? I love when the season's change... but if I have to pick one I'd go with spring

18. Cherries or Blueberries? Cherries

(skipping a few questions that relate more to email...)

23. When was the last time you cried? When I watched that Hallmark movie! lol

> 24. What is on the floor of your closet? laundry

> 25. Who is the friend you have had the longest? Lauren

> 26. What did you do last night? Went to a county budget comittee meeting (they might cut teacher pay!) and then to Jerri's to relax on her back porch

> 27. What are you most afraid of? disappointment

> 28. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? cheese please!

> 29. Favorite dog breed? Um.... not sure... I like little terrirors, like Yorkies, but they are often too yappy.

> 30. Favorite day of the week? Sunday

> 31. How many states have you lived in? One... Good ole TN and I wouldn't trade it for the world!

> 32. Diamonds or pearls? I'll take diamonds, please! :-)

> 33. What is your favorite flower? Pink Tulips

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Summer's made for....


And grillin' is made for...


So today I will share THE BEST steak marinade recipe I have ever met! :-) It is so simple, but it makes the best steaks I have ever had! And for the record... I got the recipe from my mama! :-)

Steak Marinade:

1/2 Cup Each of...

Vegetable oil

Soy Sauce


Grill and enjoy people.... grill and enjoy! :-)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Baby Jack, part II

Last night my priority was updating Megan's blog for her, so I thought I would get on today and update my own blog with all the details necessary for the announcement of a new little family member! :-)

As La says, Megan had dinner at 6 and a baby at 9! lol. Literally! Baby Jack arrived with only four pushes from mom weighing in at 7 pounds and 1 ounce with a length of 20.5 inches! He came so quickly that he looked like a c-section baby... no cone head, perfect skin, the works! :-)

A very proud mommy, Aunt La, and Aunt Meag... and Jack, of course!

Uncle Chris holding Jack for the first time.

Aunt La and her new nephew!

Baby Jack and myself getting aquainted.

And, of course, the proud parents of two!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Baby Jack has arrived (a little early)! Click on his name to see the details over on Moo's blog! :-)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I have been in a bit of a funk and I have decided to snap out of it! So I am back... Here is an update (sort of, nothing too detailed) and some pictures sprinkled in for fun! I was going to do a super long post updating everyone on all the goings on and the reason for my somewhat sudden fade from the blogging world, but there is just too much to share. So today I am kind of starting fresh. (You missed a lot, but nothing life altering, lol... cheer, a friend in crisis, the hoopla of the end of school, and the classic "do nothing, not even talk or type" that always follows school finally being over, kind of a recovery period).

(Vance and Lily at the farm)

Now I am back in action! So far this week I have kept myself pretty busy...

I have been to the gym with my cheerleaders in the afternoons! About half of them have never cheered before so I am very pleased to see them learning to stunt already!! :-)

I have piddled around the house, watched movies, spent some QT with the Food Network, caught up on my magazines, and rested... A LOT! :-)

(Vance and Lily playing on the John Deer)

Last week I took my niece to the Chattanooga Aquarium and to Coolidge park to play in the fountains! If you've never been, it's a must! We had tons of fun and I enjoyed catching up with my family! I also went to a cook out at Moo and Web's last week (hence the pictures), trying to squeeze as much in as we can before Baby Jack comes!!! :-)

(Vance in his tool belt)

Overall, I have been busy, a little stressed, but mostly uninspired to be tied to anything (including my blog)... no worries... it's a classic "me" thing to do the first week or two of summer!

(Dawson and Lily in the wagon)

So I am back. I missed you all and thought about you all often, but when I sat to write I felt uninspired... writers block. I am going to catch up with all my favorite blogs and get back in full swing now! I hope you are all still out there and checking on me from time to time!!

My last request is for you to pray for these two (above). It would seem they are both now caught in the middle of a totally unexpected custody battle. Please, Please, Please pray for God's will to be done and that they will both get through this and that it will come to a swift, peaceful, and "right" end!