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!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hillcrest Invitational...

...sounds mighty fancy, doesn't it? Trust me... it's not! :-) It is, however, what led us this weekend to Giles County to the great city of Pulaski!

If you'll recall, a couple of weeks ago we were in Lawrenceburg - about 15 minutes from here - and I blogged about what a small, small town it was? Turns out I was grossly mistaken!

If Lawrenceburg was "small" then Pulaski is "tiny." :-) We drove down yesterday and I joined Chris, Patrick, and Ben on the golf course for their practice round. Hillcrest Country Club is a scrapy looking place with only 9 holes... the "back 9" being the front 9 from a different tee box! :-) So far the boys are playing decent and holding their own, and I am getting a chance to explore the great city of Pulaski! I found some cute shops and visited the Walmart! The most exciting this so far was the opportunity to finish my audio book:

It's a short, easy summer read. Something different from James Patterson with less suspense and mystery and more sentiment. It is the study of the relationship of a grandmother (Sam) and her granddaughter (Jennifer) and a lifetime of stories and secrets shared through letters.
It's a wonderfully relaxed and laid back weekend and we are enjoying ever moment! I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend too!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Midnight Mockingbird...

Just a little tidbit tonight... I have a mockingbird and lives at my house. He sings many songs, as most mocking birds do, I suppose. Problem is, he starts singing about this time (11:45) at night. I only notice him in the summer. This is his second year of residence in my yard. Nice.

On a lighter note, today was "girls day" lunch! Me and Lily got all dressed up and joined Lauren and Megan for our girls lunch at Maple Street Grill! We love Maple Street (pictured above) with it's low lights and charming elegance! It was the perfect girls lunch date! Followed by a stroll on the square! We then met Chris and Web for a quick expedition looking for a dryer and then headed to Chris' to enjoy movies and popcorn in air conditioned comfort for the rest of the afternoon/evening - capped off with a good bottle of Chianti. Man, it's hot out there!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Weekend!

I have had quite an interesting and busy weekend - but a good one!
I spent the entire day Friday at my friend Debbie's house in her pool! Beth, Debbie, and I floated the day away! It was SO HOT outside that you couldn't even sit beside the pool, you had to be in it! Trust me, I tried lounging by the pool reading a magazine and it lasted less than 5 minutes and the concrete scorched my feet! :-)

I had cheer Friday night, so I had to haul myself out of the pool eventually to clean up and make myself presentable and then head to the gym! After cheer it was too late to go ahead with my invitation to join Megan and La at the farm and too dark to join Gina on her patio, so I met Beth and Debbie at Marina's - one of my locally owned favorites - for a very late dinner, wine, and chocolate cheesecake! It was a great ending to a wonderful day!

Saturday morning Chris surprised me with breakfast and we had a nice morning talking catching up on each other's activities from the previous day - there was a lot to catch up on! And then he took me to see Karate Kid! It was a great movie and we had both been wanting to see it!!

After the movie, we headed to Willowbrook for an old tradition! We have spent many a hot summer day playing golf here from sun up to sun down! We had such a peaceful day golfing - until we just couldn't see! Chris' golfed like his old self, which made it even more fun, throwing up at 72 on the scorecard on his first 18 - yay! And after it got too dark, we had some drinks and dinner on the patio of the restaurant that occupies the clubhouse and overlooks the golf course complete with twinkle lights and live music! :-) What a wonderful day!

And today? Father's day!
It was my turn to bring breakfast in bed to Chris! He is truly a wonderful Father! There are no words to describe what a dedicated, loving, firm parent he is! He is raising Lily to be such an independent, strong, responsible young lady, but he has the soft, playful heart to make the process fun! He is full and overflowing with love for that little girl! Happy Father's day love!
In addition to breakfast he got a tailgate toss (corn hole) game with a tic-tac-toe game on the back! I actually got the plans and materials to build these things and we built one for my Dad and Brother and he built one for his sister and brother-in-law, but we have never built one for ourselves! Lily is getting him a shaver and a card - we're going to go pick it out tomorrow... it was her original idea and she is insistent! lol. Unfortunately we didn't get to the store before today and she's been enjoying a few days with her mom, so we'll be extending Father's day weekend through Monday.

And... saving the best for last...
My Daddy.
He is the most amazing and wonderful man!
No one will ever compare to the wise, good-ness he brings to this world!
He is so amazingly smart, wise, and he can fix/build anything!
He is kind-hearted to his very core.
He is the kind of person I want to be.
He's my wonderful Dad!
As simple as it is, he is getting something he wants for Father's day!
Banana Split Dishes! :-)
...and all the stuff for Banana Splits of course!
I have the dishes already and I am getting ready to head out the door to head toward Chattanooga! Once there I will buy all the fixins and head to Mom and Dad's!
I have so many wonderful people in my life, and many of them are Dad's. So, to each of you, I wish you a wonderful Father's day! It takes a strong, kind-hearted, loving man to be a good Father! God bless you with wisdom, courage, and strength to do the job of being a Dad. I dare say there is not a more challenging or rewarding job out there than being a parent.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Making summer fun...

...with a summer injury! As some of you already know, Lily fell off the monkey bars at Barfield Park and broke her wrist! She was such a trooper and never cried! On the way to the hospital she just begged Chris not to make her go to the doctor! That was 2 weeks ago and now she proudly sporting her hot pink sparkly cast and aside from that you'd never know she had an injury! She jumps, runs, tumbles, and twirls without a care in the world! With the serious HEAT outside this week and the fact that we don't yet have her waterproof sleeve so she can have water fun, we decided to make some summer fun inside!!

Like some play dough cooking and sponge painting!!!

A surprise visit from Amy! She is the magic elf that has been assigned to Lily and she usually just spends December with us, but upon hearing about the arm and all, she decided to pay a special visit! :-)

And lost of icy treats to keep us cool!
Yogurt (yay for a healthy snack), frozen on a stick!
A new favorite for sure!

Lily also received in the mail this week this nifty little American Girl kit from my mom and sister! It came with crutches, an ice pack, band aids, a leg cast, an arm cast, and bandages. Now all the American Girls (Kit, Molly, and Lily) are having an injured summer!

And these cool pajama's too! Real life Lily and American Girl Lily can now match! Complete with pink slippers!
Summer is all about outside fun, but with heat like this, who says you can't have some serious fun inside too! We have had the best time playing! Nothing like a little person to bring your imagination back to life and help you feel young at heart!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Parmesan Chicken Recipe

OMG! I tried a new recipe last night and it turned out SO easy and SO good that I just have to share it! I had dinner on the table in less than thirty minutes and it got a very enthusiastic response, so give it a try!

4-6 thin cut, boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 Cup all purpose flour

1 Tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs

1 Tbs water

1 1/4 seasoned dry bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


olive oil

Combine flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the egg with 1 Tbs of water. On a third plate, combine bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Coat the chicken on both sides with flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture, and then dredge both sides in the bread crumb mixture pressing lightly. Heat 1 Tbs of butter and 1 Tbs of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 to 3 breasts on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked through. Add more olive oil and butter to cook the rest of the chicken.

I served this with sauteed squash and boiled potatoes! It was a great supper!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

You asked for it...

Several people have asked for this recipe lately so I thought I would post it again!

The Recipe for Vegetable Salsa
(This is THE perfect summer snack and a crowd pleaser for sure!)

Mix the following in a large bowl and serve with tortilla chips

2 tomatoes chopped
1 bunch of green onions chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
1 can of shoepeg corn, drained
2 cans chopped green chilies, drained
2 cans chopped black olives (people that don't like olives - like Chris - still LOVE this salsa! They just don't know there are olives in it, lol!)
8 oz grated Hot Pepper Jack Cheese
1/4 large bottle of Italian Dressing


A weekend getaway...

Chris recently played in a golf tournament in the very very small town of Lawrenceburg, TN. Did I mention it was very small? His tee times for both days were bright and early and because of that he knew he would be done playing by lunch both days. Therefore, he thought it would be a wonderful idea to turn it into a weekend get-away for the two of us! :-)

Here is the little theater in town that is only open certain evenings! There are total of 3 movies showing there now! :-) Chris and I had planned to see a movie while we were there, but decided in favor of enjoying wine and relaxing! We ate a couple of the locally owned establishments (as there was little else to choose from).

While he golfed, I slept in, read my book, and explored the small town! I snapped a few shots around town, but the most interesting thing by far was the Amish community up the road!

I didn't take a lot of pictures... in fact only two and from a distance. The Amish object to being photographed (especially their faces) and as they are people and not a tourist attraction I drove the country roads and drank in the beautiful, earthy, and simplistic landscapes and farms for myself instead of behind the lens!

Overall it was a WONDERFUL trip! We go and do all the time, and although we didn't plan on Lawrenceburg being THAT small and uneventful, it turns out that it was exactly what we needed! In addition to a lot of rest and relaxation, golf, and reading... we enjoying our leisurely dining experiences, games of chess, and long naps! :-) Sometimes the simpler life is good for the soul! And that's a good thing, because we have another similar weekend scheduled here in just a couple short weeks!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ladies day at the lake!

Every year my friends Jerri and Doug take us out on the lake for a ladies day!

We have so much fun sunning and swimming and tubing and knee boarding...

...I could LIVE at the lake during the summer! There is nothing like fun on the water! The only thing better is being at the beach and we sure don't have one of those here in Tennessee!

Doug and Jerri!

Two of our very good friends!

They are SO. MUCH. FUN.

And boy, have we been through a lot together!!

Thanks for a great day Jerri and Doug!

I can't wait to do our evening cruise!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


So even if your a non-drinker, you have to admit that the following picture just says summer!

The day school got out was the day summer began for me! In my book, however, summer can't be declared official until you break out the slip-n-slide and sprinkler...

What? You expected the picture to be of a 6 year old little cutie? lol!

Her Daddy had to "show her how it's done." LOL!!!

It was a wet, muddy, and grassy mess - and we all three loved every minute!

And then, we broke out the sprinkler!

Megan and Web got Lily this for her birthday along with a game! This is THE best sprinkler you will ever have! It sprays from the top and all four sides and pretty much gets the entire yard wet! lol. Don't get this one unless you plan on getting wet too! lol! It was so much fun!

As the fun wound down and bath time approached we figured, what's the point of a bath tub when you're alreay wet? (There is a nice privacy fence.) So we stripped her down and brought out the body wash and shampoo and hosed her down! Now, THAT is some summer fun!
(FYI... a few days later, we were at the park and Lily fell off the monkey bars and broke her arm! Nice. In a cast for the next 6 to 8 week! We'll make summer fun without the water for a while, but we'll be back slip-n-slide... don't you worry!!)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend...

...in reverse!

Memorial Day weekend was great fun! I loaded my pictures backwards by accident, so here's the weekend wrap-up in reverse! lol. We spent Sunday and Monday in Chattanooga and had a great time! We ended Monday at the Chattanooga Aquarium steps to play in the water and a trip to get ice cream! Lily is such a little water bug... I hope her having a cast doesn't spoil her summer (she broke her arm this past weekend - more on that later). We are going to do everything we can to be creative and have lots of summer fun that keeps that cast dry! :-)

Chattanooga is such a family-friendly and fun city! They have all kinds of park-like areas on both sides of the river! This was our first time actually getting in the water features by the Aquarium... we usually play on the other side of the river when it comes to getting wet!

She's got the sassy walk goin' on! :-)

Before we went to play in the water, we took a boat ride!
Lily plays "boat" all the time! She likes to pretend she is on a ship with her American Girls! So, we decided to have lunch Monday and head down town to ride the Chattanooga Ducks! Mom and I have always talked about doing it just to get a little history and because we rode the Ducks in Seattle when we went! So, mom, dad, me, Chris, and Lily had a big lunch at Cracker Barrel and then surprised Lily with a Duck ride! It drives along the riverfront downtown and then drives right into the river (it's a former WWII land/water craft) and takes a tour of the TN river complete with nature sitings and history!

It was such a beautiful day and I got a ton of really neat pictures!
Lily (and the tour guide) surprised us all when she took the wheel...

He let her come up to the front and drive the boat down the Tennessee River!
How cool is that? We were all pretty excited!

Her we are with Lily and her quacker!
Sunday was the day we headed to Chattanooga to get together with family and to have an American Girl birthday party! :-)

Here are Lily and Bentlee! My mom does it up big time! They had the whole dining room table set will all of the Bitty Babies and American girls sharing dining room chairs! The girls announced that the boys had to stand up, lol! So all the dolls/girls had assigned seats and the men stood!

We actually did the gifting before we did the cupcakes! :-)
Lily got an American Girl Doll that looks just like her!
She named her Lily!

This is Lily helping Grandmommy decorate cupcakes for the party!

These two are inseparable - Lily's like my mom's little shadow! It's really fun for both of them! Chris was fishing at one point this weekend at the pond and Lily was out there with him. Lily came back in and I asked her where she was headed and she said, "Wherever Grandmommy is." LOL!!! Too. Cute. I have to admit myself, my mom is a pretty awesome gal and she knows how to make every ordinary day a fun celebration of life! :-)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!!

Lily will turn 6 on June 8th, but her dad and I had plans for an early surprise! She is all about surprises! She likes to hide and jump out and yell "surprise" on a daily basis! She loves surprising us with cards and games and all kinds of fun stuff, so as her Dad started to think about a birthday party the theme that came to mind right away was a surprise party!!

We have a lovely park less than 2 minutes away that has nice covered pavilions and this great playground...

...along with greenway trails along the river! So the Saturday after school got out we could think of no better way to kick off summer than a surprise birthday party! I went early to hold the pavilion and decorate everything birthday style! Family and friends pitched in by bringing gifts along with balloons, pizza, drinks, and cupcakes and before we knew it we had all the makings of a great birthday surprise! Chris brought Lily with her eyes covered tight and when she uncovered them she was speechless - literally! That wore off in a hurry and the playing, eating, and gift opening began!

We practically had the playground to ourselves, with only 2 or 3 others there playing!

Lily said she had so much fun at the surprise party, she wants another surprise birthday next year!!

I love this picture of Vance, Lily, and Kate eating their pizza!

Vance getting in the party spirit!
LOVE the sunglasses!!

Lily and her Pap!
What a great little girl and a great man!

Mimi brought cupcakes complete with a cupcake tower!
Lily got a REAL digital camera from Mimi and Pap!
She has wanted one for so long. She has received the made-for-kids digital cameras before, but they are always kind of unfocused and both broke within a couple of weeks! Lily has been taking all kinds of pictures! I think she is going to be a great photographer!!!

Lily and Mimi!

Lauren, David, and Dawson -
Beautiful little family!!

Aunt Moo and Baby Jack!
Gifts included Wii Littlest Pet Shop from Chris and I! She has been playing it a lot and we all three have our own pet shop! We also got her a real tent so that they can camp out in the back yard! She got dolls and nick-knacks! A HUGE beach ball sprinkler and a new slip-n-slide which we have already enjoyed! She got 88 pieces of play food which we have already played and played with - the latest game is using the kitchen table and her play-kitchen to do "restaurant." We take turns being the chef/server and customer! Overall it was a WONDERFUL birthday! Capped off with the three of us going to see the latest Shrek movie complete with popcorn, candy and sprite!