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!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Baby Bump

How Far Along: 16 weeks... the 4 month mark!

Size of Baby: About the size of an large pear

Total Weight Gain: This I have just been guessing on this whole time and my doctor hasn't said anything about!!!  Finally, when we went back to see her this week I asked about my "total" weight gain and held my breath and bit my lip.  She replied, with a smile, "only 4 pounds - that's perfect!"  I was VERY relieved! lol  :-)  Chris keeps telling me I didn't need to worry about it and he couldn't tell that I had gained ANY weight, but my mid section has been thickening and I was worried, lol.  Turns out (at this point) it's all baby! lol

Maternity Clothes: Yep!  Mostly borrowed at this point... and some loose fitting tops I had that are not maternity.  The biggest issue is bottoms, not tops.  I tried the belly band to help me keep wearing pre-prego pants and stuff... it works, but I am SO uncomfortable... I only do that if I have to! lol.  That thing bunches up and rolls down and gets on my nerves all day... I'd rather wear too big maternity pants. LOL!

Gender: We will be finding out on August 19th. Chris is still convinced it's a boy.  I'm still undecided, lol.

Movement: YES!  Finally.  And only once! lol.  Oddly enough, we were on the golf course.  I was sitting in the cart and felt an unmistakable flutter!!!  It made my day and Chris' too!  You couldn't wipe the smile off his face! lol

Sleep: A little better!  I guess I am just becoming used to stumbling to the bathroom 2 times a night and falling right back into bed asleep!

Symptoms: Just a little, barely-there baby bump!

What I Miss: Wardrobe variety!

Cravings: Nothing really... well, maybe water!  I seem to be thirsty all the time!

Best Moment This Week: Our doctor's appointment!  We heard the heartbeat for the first time!  166!

What I'm Looking Forward To: Finding out if this little one is a boy or a girl and holding him/her in my arms!!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sharing Recipes

Ashley requested a couple of recipes from my meal plan, so I thought I would share them with all of you!  I absolutely LOVE getting recipes from my blog friends because I know that they must be good and "reasonable" (as far as ingredient lists and cooking skills, lol) if friends have tried them and like them!  So, here you go!

Chicken Casserole (This recipe is originally from Chris' mom)
2-4 Cups cooked Chicken - chopped
1 Cup cooked rice
1 Cup diced celery
2 Tbs grated onion
1 Can sliced water chestnuts with juice (do not drain)
1 small package sliced almonds
1 Can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 Cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste

(Topping: 1 Cup grated sharp cheddar and 1 Cup crushed potato chips)

Mix all ingredients (except for topping) in a large bowl. Pour into a buttered casserole dish.

Sprinkle with cheese and top with crushed potato chips.

Bake at 350 degrees until brown and bubbly (15-20 minutes)

***This recipe is a fav because I keep the ingredients in my pantry and I can always whip it up quick.  PLUS... if you have a Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker it becomes a one dish wonder... as in, only ONE dish to clean.  I put the chicken in the baker with salt and pepper and microwave (yes, that's the magic of the baker) for 10-12 minutes until the chicken is 165 degrees inside (and so jucy and tender that you'll call the Deep Covered Baker - MAGIC!!), chop the chicken with my Pampered Chef Salad Choppers, so I never have to touch the meat!  Then I dump the rest of the ingredients in, mix, top it, and toss it in the oven!  When dinner is over, all I have to do is throw the salad choppers and one spoon in the dishwasher and rinse out and brush clean the baker!  LOVE IT!

Chicken Roll Ups (this recipe is originally from my mom)

1 can Crescent Rolls (I usually end up using 1 and 1/2 cans)
1  can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar
3 chicken breasts cooked and cubed or shredded

There are a couple of ways to do this!  One way is to separate the rolls, put the chicken on the dough and then roll them up (hence, chicken "roll ups").  OR you can use 2 rolls put the chicken between them and press the sides together to make a chicken "bundle."  OR if you are REALLY in a hurry (I do this A LOT), you can just line a square casserole with one layer of crescent dough, sprinkle with chicken, and top with another layer of crescent dough. LOL! 

Either way you make the "roll up" part, it'll be good.  THEN... heat the soup, milk, and cheese in a saucepan.  After you place the chicken in a greased casserole dish and the sauce is fully combined, pour it over the chicken roll ups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until brown.

***This is probably Chris and Lily's #1 favorite recipe, which I LOVE because it is SOOOOO easy and quick to make and I almost always have all the ingredients even when the pantry is looking bare!  It is also a really really budget friendly meal!  I usually pair it with broccoli or green beans and call it a night!  :-)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


You absolutely MUST pop over to my Mama's blog and check out the snake my dad caught in their barn!  OMG!  You can't say much... I just said, "WOW!"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Menu Monday...

I am really going to apply myself in couponing and meal planning!  I am determined that this is a great way to save money and eat better!!!!  SO, I am going to start sharing my menu plans weekly and some recipes too!  I'd like to give a shout out to Ashley over at The Rest is Still Unwritten for sharing her menus and ideas which inspired me to copy cat do the same.  :-)

This week breakfasts will consist of:  Cinnamon Raisin bagels (they were on sale AND I have a coupon), cereal, and cheese toast!  :-)

Lunches will be:  homemade pasta salad, chicken salad sandwiches, and cucumber sandwiches


Monday:  Eating out with Chris' family for his Aunt's birthday at Mimi's

Tuesday:  Grilled pork chops, grilled corn on the cob, and garden salad

Wednesday:  Chicken Casserole

Thursday:  Leftover chicken casserole

Friday:  Eat out

Saturday:  Grilled chicken, squash casserole, and peas

Sunday:  Chicken roll-ups

And, yes, I know that we weat a lot of chicken.  It's our favorite, lol!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Lily loves soft ball!

We may have finally found her nitch...

She loves her games and want to practice in the back yard every day the sun is shining!

At her last game she had 2 big hits and batted in a run!!!
We were SO proud!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I love summer....

...time for bike riding...

 ...the smell of freshly mowed grass...
 ...and gardens (and farmers markets) full of goodness...

...like fresh blueberries...
I can't believe that summer break is already almost over!  It always seems to go by WAY too fast!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tennessee State Fruit

Do you know what the state fruit of Tennessee is?

We do!

Tomatoes... that's right folks.  It's a fruit, not a veggie!

And you know who eats more tomatoes around here than anyone?

Lily, of course!


Fresh grown in our back yard!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Go Braves!!!!!

I love going to ball games!
Baseball doesn't really hold my attention very long on TV, but take me to the ball park and get me a cold beer (or lately a frozen lemonade, lol) and peanuts and I could watch baseball all day! 

Chris and I love to go to Atlanta to see the Braves play and my brother Ken and him have been scheming a trip!  Since we were in Chattanooga already for the 4th, we decided to head to Atlanta for a night game on the 5th!  We had SO. MUCH. FUN.

My sister-in-law works at Suntrust (a big time sponsor of the Braves) and she got to hand pick our tickets, so we had great seats right beside first base!

It was baby's first ball game (lol).

We saw 2 home runs and the Braves won by 2 which made the trip even more fun!

This is a trip we will definitely make again!  Hopefully in the fall when the weather is cooler!


Monday, July 11, 2011

4th of July

Meet my Dad.  He is the kindest and most laid back person I know.  He is good to the core and so much fun!  Every year for the 4th of July my dad plans an event that is unlike any other throughout the year!  Mom and Dad open their home to friends and family to spend the afternoon playing games and having fun!  He does it up right with a HUGE grill for hamburgers and hot dots with all the sides and fixins you can stuff in!  In addition, there are tons of things to fill the hot summer afternoon hours in anticipation of the BIG fireworks show my dad puts on at the pond when dark falls!

 This year there was an egg toss for the kids and adults...

...badminton tournaments...

 ...LOTS of sunbathing and shade sitting...


 ...and ball playing...
 ...home run derby...
 ...and in short, just a LOT of fun!!!!
 Daddy's big 4th of July bash has turned the 4th into my second favorite holiday (behind Christmas of course)!  ;-)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Water Babies...

After years of working every summer, all summer, Chris decided at the beginning of this summer that we would take 2 weeks off!  No work, all play!  This afforded us to take a "vacation" like no other.  Chris had the idea to take several "mini" trips that we have talked about doing!!  One of those little mini vacay moments was to spend some quality time in Chattanooga with my family!  Lily has be dying to spend some time (and the night) with Bentlee and I have been dying for some time at the pool with my Mama!  That is exactly what we both got last week!

We set aside an entire day of "just us girls" at the pool!
Here I am swimming with Lily and Bentlee!

Mom "Grandmommy" with her three grand babies!
Lily, Kenslee, and Bentlee

I can't even tell you how much fun these girls have with their Grandmommy!

Kenslee is a busy busy girl!  She is ready to walk, but won't let go quite yet!  She had fun in the sun with the big girls too!

 Even in the 90 degree plus heat, "Bent" and "Lil, "as they call each other, insisted on a quick dip in the hot tub!  (I know, I know, kids aren't supposed to get into hot tubs.  We had the temp turned down to bath water though and only allowed them to stay for a quick 5 minute dip!)

There was lots of diving board jumping...

...and even a few "shows." 

The biggest accomplishment of the day... drum roll please... Lily finally ditched the floaty!  YAY!  She's a swimmer now!  Deep-end-to-diving-board, she can do it all!

Swimming sure does wear you out though!  :-)

Lily slept all the way home back to Murfreesboro and I understand Bentlee was quite the cranky pants at softball practice, but it was totally worth a day in the sun splashing away!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Prego my Ego....

How Far Along: 11.5 weeks

Size of Baby: About the size of a lime!

Total Weight Gain: Not sure.... around 4 or 5 lbs probably

Maternity Clothes: I wore my first maternity dress yesterday... more for the desire for comfort than necessity... my clothes still fit, but I am not loving the waste band of anything on my tummy.  :-)

Gender: I don't really have any inclination, but Chris is completely and totally convinced that it's a boy!

Movement: I read that my little lime is in constant motion and now has reflexes, so when we poke my belly he/she moves away, but of course I can't feel any of that yet! 

Sleep: Interrupted.  My sleep is still interrupted by trips to the potty, but it seems to be getting a little better!  Down to only once or twice a night instead of 3 or 4 times a night!  Whew!

Symptoms: Nausea has given way to major hunger!  I am "starving" hungry about every two hours!  The funny thing is, when I start eating, it takes very little to make me feel full!!

What I Miss: Wine.  :-)

Cravings: It seems like I don't crave one specific thing, but on any given day I will think of something that sounds good to eat and nothing else even compares!  I'm just glad I am hungry again!

Best Moment This Week: We went to the doctor!  It was just a check up, but I love going to the doctor and soaking up all the info about our baby!!  :-)

What I'm Looking Forward To: Everything!  I am especially looking forward to finding out if this is a boy or a girl!!!  I have to wait 7 more weeks!