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!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Photos...

It has taken me a week to get to last weekends pictures!

Here was last weekend in a nut shell...

 Shopping in Franklin, TN with lunch at our FAVORITE lunch spot...
The best pimento cheese on the planet with tomato basil bisque, fruit tea, and home made nutmeg cheese cake.  Really. 

Shopping at an ADORABLE fabric store I knew nothing about in Smyrna with Anne and Mom.  Quite possibly the birth of a new hobby for me and wonderful source of joy for the seamstress deep inside my Mama! 

 Of course the biggest event of the weekend was finding out that Baby Girl (as we now call her) was indeed a baby girl!!  ;-)  This was shortly after we found out!

And some golfing with my sweet husband.  I love being on the golf course at twilight!  :-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gender Reveal...

I know I have already revealed the gender of our little girl, but I wanted to share some pictures too!

Megan suggested I do a dramatic reveal party for a few friends, and I thought that sounded rather fun!  Sunday was the day, so the Hutchings, Fletchers, and Sarah Basham came over to find out if we needed to plan for pink or blue!  I wish our house was bigger because I wanted to invite everyone we knew, but we just didn't have the room... we were cramped as it was, lol.

Everyone was instructed to wear whichever color they thought would best match our baby!
Chris and I just wore black and white as to not reveal anything too early.

The blue folks outnumbered the pinks by a few, lol... 

 ...but it was all in good fun!
 The big reveal came in the form of a home made cake...
 ..and when it was cut...
 ...everyone cheered for our baby girl!  :-)
And then we ate cake and enjoyed company of good friends and talks of pregnancy and baby names and nursery decorating and all that fun stuff!

It was a wonderful afternoon and I thank Megan for the wonderful idea!  :-)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Menu Monday...

Grilled Chicken with stuffing and corn on the cob

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes (found this idea on Pinterest) and Salad... this is a good one because Tuesdays are game days and we won't get home until late.  We'll have warm potatoes to load up when we get home that are ready for us!!

Beef Sirloin Tips with Smoky Pepper Sauce and Smashed Potatoes

Chicken Pot Pie... Chris doesn't like this, but I love it!  :-)

Dinner out!

Fantasy Football Draft = everyone bringing tailgate food, YUM!  This is my favorite kind of snacky meal!  I am going to make cream cheese sausage bites!

Another Pinterest recipe...
Pepperoni Sausage Puffs

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pregnancy Highlights: 19 Weeks

How Far Along: 19 Weeks

Size of Baby: About 9 oz... 6 inches from crown to booty!

Total Weight Gain: I lost a pound, lol, I have no idea why or how.  Anyway, total weight gain for my entire pregnancy is 3 pounds... this blows my mind because in less than a week I'll be "officially" 5 months along!  WOW!

Maternity Clothes: bottoms, some tops

Gender: Sweet baby girl!

Movement: She is a WILD GIRL!  We know this from watching the monitor with our jaws on the floor as we watcher her flip and twist and make it VERY hard for the ultrasound tech to get what she needed, lol.  Also, interesting fact, my placenta is on top!  Basically this means that it attached on the side closest to my belly!  The ultrasound tech explained that basically my placenta is acting like a big mattress/buffer between me and the baby so I won't feel her as much as I most likely would from a baby in a future pregnancy.

Sleep: Sometimes like a rock, sometimes really difficult.  Not sleeping flat on my back is a challenge.

Symptoms: Not much, I pretty much feel like myself... except for my tiny baby bump, occasional heart burn, and a flutter every now and then! lol

What I Miss: wine.... boy do I miss my wine!

Cravings: Water, Caffeine Free Tea, Lemonade... I'm just thirsty all the time!

Best Moment This Week: Our ultrasound!!  It was amazing and wonderful!

What I'm Looking Forward To: Holding our sweet baby girl!

Now, some of you know this already, but for those of you who don't.... we were more prepared for boy than girl and we are at a total loss for names!  We want something unique, but not weird.  We like last names for first names and are now open for suggestions!  ;-)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Introducing Baby Hooper...

We are keeping the sex a secret for a few days because (1) we are doing a fun baby sex reveal with a few special folks tomorrow and (2) we want Lily to be a big part of breaking the news and she is not with us this weekend... after all, she is the very important big sister and should not miss all the fun!  So, I made sure not to include any pictures that would reveal the sex of our little one, but here is a sneak peek at our VERY BUSY baby!

We get to have another ultrasound next month because this wild child would not hold still for even a second!  We were in there for more than an hour and our ultrasound tech couldn't get everything on the list measured and photographed because of the twisting, turning, kicking, and flipping... literally... 

There were quite a few flips while we were there... in this particular shot I had a contraction (I had no idea and didn't feel a thing, but the big bump at the head is stopping the completion of the flip, so baby Hooper was stuck doing a head stand for a moment until my muscles relaxed, lol... at least the contraction allowed the ultrasound tech to get some measurements while everything was still for a quick moment.

This one is my favorite because it looks like little peanut is smiling... the mouth is open!

And knowing that my obsession with baby feet starts early, my tech got a picture of the left foot... the other was constantly kicking.  ;-)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Photos...

Girl's just want to have fun...
I could listen to and watch Lily play all day!
Here she is glamorous in my sunglasses, play jewelry, PJs, and she uses an Xbox remote as a steering wheel while she takes all her "kids" to school in the morning.

Daddy makes the best playmate...

 ...especially for dress up!  My Mr. sporting our favorite hair bow.

 Go Get 'em Coach...
My very sexy Mr. (the one on the right) at the first official game of the season.  We won (of course) and I was proud. 

And then there is Pinterest. 
Have I mentioned that I am addicted???
Check out these fun ideas for storage and organization...

Closet door / book shelf...
brilliant, really. 

 ...and this use of space?  Usually wasted space in most houses... I LOVE this idea!

 This was just too cute and would make a GREAT gift!!  Haha!

And last, but not least, since I can't keep wine in the wine rack anyway (the bottles just feel neglected there, so we drink them, lol), I finally have a good use for it!  Wine Rack + Cups = art supplies storage solution!  LOVE IT!  :-)

Hope you enjoyed this week's Friday Photos!  :-)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Menu Monday

End of the month (pay day speaking)!  :-)  So this week's menu plan is pretty simple and all stuff we have on hand.  Side note:  A whole chicken can feed us for 2-3 days and they were on super duper sale!  I got 2 for about $2.88 each!  WOW!  :-) 

Date Night!  YAY!

Baked Chicken with Veggies

Mac N Cheese

Burrito Bake

Out to eat and celebrate knowing if our little peanut is a girl or boy!  :-)


Working on this one still... let ya know!  ;-)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I'm ready for fall, y'all!

As soon as school starts, I'm pretty much DONE with summer!  I am ready for cooler weather, falling leaves, the MTSU homecoming parade, sweaters and scarves, soup, and pumpkins!  :-)

And you know what makes this craving for fall 10 times worse???


I am ADDICTED to pinterest and am so excited about all the fun ideas for storage and decorating and recipes and.... HOLIDAYS!

 For you non-pinterest users (you need to sign up ASAP!), I'll share some of my fun finds (all pictures in the post are from my pinterest boards and you can visit there to see the sources).

 I have found so many fun holiday ideas that I would have never thought of on my own!

Along with recipes and instructions for all kinds of DIY projects and confections! 

I can't wait to use some of these great ideas to get the house decorated for Fall!!!

I mean, seriously, how cute and easy are these ideas!

So the "moral" of this post is... if you aren't using Pinterest, you should be! LOL!

Let the count down to Fall begin!  :-)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Photos

One of my favorite blogs to read is Kelle Hampton's Enjoying the Small Things.  I never comment because she is one of those blogs that gets hundreds (literally) of comments, but I love her blog.  I like the way she writes and she is a gifted photographer and mom.  Anyway, she does a "Friday Phone Dump" every Friday of pictures she took on her cell phone during the week.  I often find that I have random pictures I'd like to share that don't really "fit" a post.  So, using her idea, I have decided to do a Friday Photos post... some from my phone and some from the camera... just a mix of pictures that I'd like to share - even when they aren't great quality!  So, here ya go... my Friday Photo Share:

 Back to school shopping with LOTS of new outfits...
 This outfit is Lily's favorite and she can't wait to wear it!
 I LOVE the little socks and shoes!

Movie Star glasses... love it! 

 Today after school... wiped out!

 Sweet Cici's... OMG we love this place!
 And last, but not least....
 ...and evening dress up and fashion show!
So, there you have it!  Just some cute pictures

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dinner Deals

As you know, I have been really applying myself to menu planning and trying to stick to it!  As a family, if I am honest, the bulk of our budget (outside the usual household bills) goes to eating out.  A sad fact considering that I love to cook and my family loves a home cooked meal!  In the past, with both of us working, it's just been easier to eat out!  Now that I am staying home that is changing!  It's changing because we want it to, because I grew up eating a home cooked meal at the table with my family every night, and because our budget is undergoing a major overhaul!  :-)  It seems that with each Menu Monday that I learn a new lesson!  The value of dividing and freezing!  The need to make room for leftovers!  And this week... the lesson was that we CAN eat out and stay on a budget (once a week is my plan)!  I have started doing a little research on when/where to eat on a budget.  First of all, the coupon magazines that come in the mail and newspaper have lots of coupons for restaurants!  Just in the last two weeks I have collected coupons for Fridays, Red Lobster, Camino Real, La Siesta, Nobodys, O'Charley's... you get the idea!  In addition, I have been researching and compiling a list of "meal deals" around town!  If you aren't in Murfreesboro, some of these might not apply to you, but some of them will!  I just wanted to share!  Especially the kid's eat free (or really cheap) deals that can cut a meal price by $5 easy!

Steak N Shake - kids eat free for every $8 spent
Toots - $8.59 Half Rack Rib Platter, $9.99 Full Rib Platter (which we split!)/kids free

Zaxby's - $0.99 kids meals
Buffalo Wild Wings - $0.99 kids meals
Applebees - kids eat free
The Catfish House - kids eat free
Moe's - kids eat free after 5 with a $6 adult purchase
Toots - $0.35 wings until 3pm,  $3.99 buffalo chicken strip basket for adults/ kids free

Chick-fil-A - $1.50 kids meal
Applebees - kids eat free
The Catfish House - kids eat free
McAlister's Deli - kids eat free 4-9
Toots - $2.99 half pound burgers, $3.99 half pound burger and fries/kids free

Camino - $1.99 kids meal
Applebees - kids eat free
The Catfish House - kids eat free
Toots - $3.99 Chicken Finger Basket til 3, then $5.25/kids free

Captain D's - kids eat free
The Catfish House - kids eat free
McAlister's - kids eat free 4-9
Toot's - $3.99 Grilled Chicken Sandwich til 3pm/kids free

Toot's - $3.99 catfish, shrimp, or clam basket til 3, then $6 chicken skewer platter/kids free

SteakNshake - kids eat free for every $8 spent
Toots:  Rib deal (see Sunday)/kids free

Every Day Deals:
Puleos Grille - kids eat free
Applebees - 2 for $20 menu
Sal's Pizza - kids eat free with adult buffet from 11-2
Demos' - lunch specials changing daily for $4.25 11-3

I would absolutely love to hear any meal deals that you have found!  I know I haven't even scratched the surface, but I'll continue to add to my list!  :-)  My new goal is to never spend more that $15 to feed the 3 of us when we eat out (excluding tip).  :-)  I'd like for us to be able to eat out once a week!  Wish me luck! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Menu Monday... a little late

$0.99 Taco Night at our favorite Mexican restaurant!  Chris and I both ate and were stuffed for a total, including tax, of $12 bucks !  :-)  (4 Tacos, 1 order of cheese dip, and an adult beverage for my Mr. and we were good to go!)  The most exciting part... I am slowly learning that we CAN eat out occasionally and stay on our budget!  Just have to do a little research and plan ahead!  :-)

Grilled pork chops with green beans and boiled potatoes

Probably another chicken casserole (his favorite!) because I won't be home... I'll be out with the girls watching The Help!  YAY!  I'll put half in the freezer for a quick dinner another night down the road and eat the leftovers for lunch Thursday!  :-)

Breakfast for Dinner

Eat Out - Toots!
$3.99 adult dinner deal and Lily eats FREE!  :-)

Chicken Roll Ups (another Favorite) with Green Beans

Leftovers/hodge-podge lunch and
Chicken Fried Rice with Stir Fry Veggies for dinner!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ready Or Not...

...Here I Come Stay

Tuesday began my journey into the world of stay-at-home mommy-hood.  It wasn't how Chris and I would have planned it exactly, but sometimes God has things in store for us that we cannot imagine!  So here I am, at home. 
 When the possibility of me staying home first presented itself, I was filled with warm and sweet memories of my Mama staying home with us as kids!  I immediately decided that my little family will begin every day with a healthy and lovingly prepared breakfast!  Tuesday, I started with fresh strawberry, yogurt, and granola parfait.

It is still Lily's "last week of summer" even though Chris has returned to work!  In the spirit of last hoo-rahs I tried to line up some fun stuff for Lily this week!  We left the house a little early on our way to meet Chris on his lunch break so that we could pick up Lily's friend Elizabeth!  We took her to lunch with us at Sal's Pizza Buffet!  YUMMY!  I got to see so many of my teacher friends and catch up on how the first day of in-service went and Lily and "E," as she calls her, got to sit at their very own table!!

Lily, Elizabeth, and I returned home to lots of giggles and the fun commenced!  As any HOT good last week of summer break day should be, it was filled with fun.  Games of Twister, American Girl Dolls, karaoke, and a brief, too hot, game of soft ball in the back yard.

Chris got to come home only briefly before he had to head back out to Football practice, so Lily and I were on our own for dinner.  I learned TWO menu plan lessons today!!  Lesson #1: Always leave room for leftovers on the weekly plan!  (Mom, I know you are SHOCKED that I am voluntarily eating leftovers... it's amazing what living on a budget will do to a person, lol)  I had every intention of making those enchiladas tonight, but our fridge is overflowing with leftovers and we literally don't have room for any more!  LOL.  Lesson #2:  Start dividing and freezing large recipes (i.e. Chicken Casserole can feed us almost 3 meals if I would freeze a portion).  (Mom, I know you have been telling me this for years! LOL.  Now I'm ready to freeze, baby, bring it on!)  Very long story, not so short, I opted for leftovers and Lily for one of her recent favorites, "breakfast."  Breakfast means boiled eggs and a biscuit... which is funny because I NEVER fix boiled eggs for breakfast, but whatever makes my little princess happy and gets her eating some protein.

Overall it was a great last Tuesday of Summer for Lily and a somewhat interesting and bittersweet first Tuesday of staying home for me.  :-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Let them eat cake!

This past Saturday Chris got up early to go float the river and fish with Web.  They started around 7 in the morning, and it takes about 30 minutes to get to Megan and Web's from our house, so you can see how early Chris got up!  The morning was spent with just Lily and I.  In fact, Lily slept until 8:30!!  She NEVER sleeps late!  It was so peaceful.  Shortly after she woke up and curled up on the couch beside me, it started to thunder.  Lily looked at me and said, "I think this would be a good pajama day!"  And so it was.  All day at home in our PJs!

While we ate breakfast we watched a little food network and they were making Carrot Cake.  Lily said, "I've never had carrot cake before, is it good?"  Well, to me that was all she needed to say... the decision had already been made... the girl HAD to have to have some carrot cake and judge for herself... TODAY!

I hopped on my number one favorite website for recipes - allrecipes.com - and looked for a recipes for carrot cake that met the following requirements:  1. We had to have ALL the ingredients already in the pantry.  2.  It had to be a recipe with LOTS of reviews.  3.  The reviews had to be GOOD!  As always on this wonderful website, I found one right away!

 Ingredients: 4 eggs, 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil, 2 cups white sugar, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 3 cups grated carrots, 1 cup chopped pecans (I added 2 very large spoon fulls of apple sauce - I love a very moist cake!!)  Icing:  1/2 cup butter - softened, 8 oz cream cheese - softened, 4 cups confectioners' sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 cup chopped pecans.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, Grease and flour a 9x13 pan (I used 2 round pans and made it a layer cake.)

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar, and 2 tsp vanilla.  Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Stir in carrots.  Fold in pecans.  Pour into prepared pan(s).

Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes (25-30 if you do 2 rounds instead), or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 min, then turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

To make frosting:  In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Stir in chopped pecans.  Frost the cooled cake.

(Note:  Lily doesn't like nuts, so I left them out.)

('nother note:  This was the best carrot cake I have ever had)

You MUST make some!  :-)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Menu Monday

Well!  I tried very hard, and somewhat successfully, to stick to my menu plan this past week!  The only major hiccup was a package of chicken that apparently went bad long before the due date (August 3!!).  Has anyone had this happen before?  When I opened it I smelled a very "off" smell, but my nose is SUPER-SONIC these days, so I figured it was just something that was normal that I usually just didn't notice.  I cooked it anyway.  Did some google-ing, which freaked me out.  Called my Mama.  And then decided to throw the chicken away.  After that the mere thought of chicken made my stomach turn.  It was rather sad because Chicken Casserole is Chris' all time favorite and he was all worked up for it!  He had drifted off on the couch while I cooked and Lily played, so he was a little disappointed when he woke up to spaghetti and garlic bread instead of his favorite!  :-)  He was still thankful for a hot meal on the table though.  So, other than that "schedule change" we did alright.  That accounts for Chicken casserole re-appearing on the menu this week... today!  :-)

Chicken Casserole

Beef Enchiladas
(New recipe for me, from the Pioneer Woman)

BBQ chicken on buns with oven fries
(another new recipe I am trying)

Sausage and Cheddar Quiche

Dinner out

Leaving this day open because I think Chris has a football scrimmage, but I'm not sure!

Chicken Imperial