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!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weekend Recap...

This weekend was full of Fall Magic!

(Ava Grace... always up to something, lol)

The air this weekend had just the right touch of cool and crisp to put a little extra pep in everyone's step!
I picked Lily up from WKU day at school in her bright red school shirt and we headed home!  She was a chatter box and we talked about our day and, as has become our Friday routine, we talked about what the weekend would hold!

Friday night Chris surprised me by calling to tell me not to worry about dinner, he had it covered!  He brought home yummy Chinese take out and when dinner was over he and the girls went out to pick our volunteer pumpkin!  We watched the vine all summer wondering what it would be and it turned out to be a perfect little pumpkin!  I think we picked it a little early, but Lily just couldn't wait any longer!

We couldn't have planned a better weekend if we had tried... and we didn't!  Nothing was planned except for Lily's cheering at the Upward game Saturday morning.  The rest of the weekend was wide open and we spent almost the entire weekend at home having fun!  We had a game marathon Saturday with Pretty Pretty Princess (you see the winner above), our own version of win-lose-or-draw, Life (two rounds), and our favorite... CLUE!  Just so you know, Miss Scarlet did it, in the Library, with the knife!

We also spent lots of time outside!  Lily and Chris brushed up on her softball skills out in the yard while I wore Ava Grace (yep... put her in the sling I swore I would never own, lol) and enjoyed walking around the yard enjoying the weather.

We also picked up our search for a home church here in our "new" town.  After a couple, we'll call them "interesting," experiences, we had delayed the search.  We really felt convicted to get back to it this week and we may have found just the place!

The highlight of the weekend, however, was undoubtedly our camp fire!  Lily has been asking to have one since we moved in, lol.  We have a really neat back yard.  It's a rather small grassy area beneath and around our deck and then a pretty steep slope down in to the mostly wooded 5 acres in the back.  The cool thing is there are two paths that Chris has kept mowed and a large clearing with a fire pit in the woods!

We packed up all the makings for hot dogs and s'mores and headed for the back yard woods for our great camp fire adventure!  We started the fire at 4:00 and didn't go in until close to 8:00!  We had so much fun!

Lily played tour guide for a while, walking around the paths and yard.  Then I made a nature scavenger hunt for her and timed her as she gathered sicks, acorns, leaves, and such.  We walked over and visited with the neighbors who we could hear in their back yard as well.

And then, as the sun begin to slip behind the trees, we got down to the roasting!  Hot dogs (which Lily has decided she likes again - yay) and s'mores!  By the time the weekend was over, I think we were all full, happy, and...
...ready for a good night's sleep!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

It feels like fall...

Fall = Football

 We have been watching Daddy's football games with our friends Ella (above) and Finley (below).

We have been spending time at the lake...
 ...enjoying being outside in the beautiful weather!

Ava Grace has been exploring...

...and playing...

...and growing like a weed!

Fall means lots of eating outside on patios at restaurants and the deck at home!
(This is Daddy's favorite - Ava Grace as an evil minion, lol.)

Fall also means days at school...
...learning for some and exploring for others.
(See the broccoli in Ava Grace's hand?) 

(See the broccoli again?  It goes everywhere with us now, lol)

Fall makes me think of the holidays and the holidays make me want to craft!  Lily collected items needed for our craft project for a fall mantle decoration.

We have also been going to the park to enjoy the weather!

And my favorite?  The mix of long sleeves and short sleeves and sleeveless.... that's how you know a Tennessee fall is underway!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Do you ever just need a little time to yourself?

I have always been pretty independent.  Half way through college I moved from my apartment with Lauren into a house.  By myself.  (She moved to a house as well.)  I don't remember even thinking it was unusual or feeling alone.  I guess those first few nights were sketchy... hearing strange noises and learning the shadows of a new place.  I have always enjoyed a little bit of solitude though.  Don't get my wrong... I am a people person.  A social butterfly.  I love doing things with friends and family.  I love going out to watch a ball game at a loud sports bar with cheering fans and cold beverages, going to the park with giggly squealing kiddos and mommies and daddies watching from the shade talking and laughing and responding to "Hey, Mom! Watch this!" and kissing boo boos... I like having a house full of kids playing, or grown ups watching a game or playing games on game night, or just sitting around chattering about work and kids and life.  I love holiday get togethers when the host's home is nearly bursting at the seams!

I thought staying home I might get too much solitude.  Not enough adult conversation.  Too little contact.  I thought I might go stir crazy, be desperate to get out of the house... something like that.  Instead I find myself busier than ever and wishing for a moment to myself.  It turns out, being home with an 8 month old doesn't afford the solitude I had thought.  We go to Murfreesboro on most "game nights" with Chris - life of a coach's wife and I like love it.  We go to a Mom's group on Wednesdays so I can talk with other Mama's and Ava Grace can play with other kiddos in the nursery.  We keep the road hot taking Lily to and from school and activities.  When we are home, we are busy.  Ava Grace and I are cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry some and playing, reading, and laughing a lot.  It's a busy life.  One that can be overwhelmingly great and overwhelmingly busy!  If I let myself think about all that does not get done, or all the "wish I had time to's," or if I look around to a toy filled living room and crumb filled kitchen on a day I felt like I did lots of cleaning, I am often overwhelmed and puzzled at where all the time goes.

Sometimes in the midst of the busy... the kids and the family I love so much and the friends I wish I got to see more, I just find myself desperate for a moment to myself.  It almost sneaks up on me.  In the busy I forget that underlying need until it builds up to something necessary and vital to my ability to be a good mommy and wife!  It shows up at odd time and a sudden urge that prompts me to say to Chris, "I just really really need to go to Starbucks!!"  To which he always lovingly replies, "Go" with a smile and a hug.

It might sound crazy, but this is where I get my me-time.  My solitude.  It's not absent from noise or people, it's even sometimes crowded and loud, but my solitude happens here.  My solitude is found at a table in the corner at the Starbucks in Gallatin, TN, just a short 10 minute drive from our home.  Chris stays home with the girls to play games, watch shows, and snuggle on the couch.  I go recharge.  I bring this silly computer and spend a couple moments hours looking at my pictures, reading and writing blog posts, browsing through pinterest boards, and thinking about... everything and nothing.  I sip my favorite drink, the same one every time, while the music plays just a little too loud out of the speaker above my head, baristas bang, the machines swoosh, gurgle, and hiss, and people laugh and talk.  It is to all of this noise and commotion that I find quiet and peace while my thoughts and caramel macchiato warm me up from the inside out and wash my cares away!

Where is your favorite place for solitude?
Where do you get "me-time?"

Monday, September 10, 2012

What we have been up to, Part II

We have been busy doing lots of fun things!!!

Like going to the Wilson County Fair...

...it's one of the biggest and best (in the top 30) in the country! 

So we had to ride rides and go through funny houses and see the demolition derby!
We also ate fair food, saw lots of crazy sights, and had FUN!
Ava Grace discovered the joy of pulling out wipes (and Kleenex)

We learned how to make ribs when we visited Cant Jessica {Lily calls Jessica her Cant because although she is technically Lily's cousin, She and Chris grew up more like sister and brother than uncle and niece... so Lily and Jessica call either other Cant (cousin + aunt) and Nousin (neice + cousin), lol}

Jessica's husband, John, spent some QT with Ava Grace, polishing up on child care skills!  He will soon have a little one of his own!

{Jessica and Lily}
{Jessica and Ava Grace}

We had a grand time in East Tennessee - thanks Jess and John!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

What we have been up to: Part I

{AKA: playing bloggy catch up because I am so behind!}

We have been....

 ...pulling up on everything!

Getting first kisses from Beckett... 

Going to Daddy's football games and paying close attention to the great athletic ability and the coaching Daddy does playing with friends! 

 ...visiting Grandmommy and Papaw's....

...playing with cousins... 

...loving our family in C-town and wishing we could get there more often!

Going to the club with Daddy...

...and crawling EVERYWHERE!! 

Pulling up, pushing up, climbing... 

...and paying close attention to detail! 

Cutting teeth (ouch!)... three on bottom! 

Check out those sweet little eye lashes and puckered lips! 

 Taking car rides with our friend Ben!

Crafting and meeting new friends!  Ava Grace and Betsey matched in white! 

Snuggles with Aunt Moo and Aunt La! 

Courtney and Ben... we sure enjoyed car pooling to the 'boro! 

 Two wild ones up to no good at Aunt La's house!

Crafting, talking, eating, and enjoying time with the gals...

I am so happy to have other Mamas to hang out with and share stories with!

...and on craft day we always have something fun to remember the good times by! 

Being a Mama's girl... 

...and lookin' cuter than ever! 

Chasing sunshine...

Doing a little a whole lot of reading and loving knowing how to help turn the pages!

Eating veggies! 

Bouncing and being silly. 

Brewing coffee with a filter but not actual coffee... (Yeah, that's a "brewed" cup of water in my cup.  That's what tired looks like.)
 ...and catching the last few warm days for some fun in the sun and water!

We sure have been busy and this is only the half of it!!!