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!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer Fun

We are rapidly running out of summer!  The older I get the more time flies... all time.  Summer, however, seems to go by even faster than the fastest of days and weeks during the rest of the year!
We have been trying our best to use each day to the fullest!  It doesn't seem like we can possibly fit it all in, but we sure do try!
We recently enjoyed getting together with our friend's Kelly and Nate and their little girl Ella!  It was so much fun hanging out in their backyard and grilling out!
Nate built Ella a playhouse and she and Ava Grace had a big time playing in it with water and sand!
Patrick brought Emerson over to play as well!  All the kids had a great time!

We have been logging as many pool hours as we can fit into the schedule as well!  Taking a toddler to the pool adds a whole new dimension to my favorite pastime!
Both of the girls are just as addicted drawn to the water as I am and we are rapidly converting Chris!

I love these sweet girls...
...and they sure do love each other!
I can say that one thing we have done this summer for sure is make family time a priority!  Chris and I have really tried to come up with things to do together to be active this summer!  It is turning out great and we are all enjoying the fun!
Lily celebrated her birthday with Chris' family late.  Mimi and Pap hosted and made it a party with cupcakes, ice cream sundays, and gifts, of course!
We all enjoyed Lily's party, but mostly just enjoyed the time spent together with family!
Lily got a lot of her American Girl wish list!  She got many things to go with her new doll, Saige.  Lily also got a family membership to the Zoo!
The zoo is one of our most favorite places to go, so we were all four very excited about this gift!  We wasted no time in heading there for some fun!
Chris' favorite parts are Alligator Cove and the reptile house.  I love the monkeys.  Ava Grace loves the flamingos.  Lily loves the red panda and... well... all of it!  Both girls, of course, really really like the petting area with goats and camels!
We are really looking forward to the opening of the  new kangaroo exhibit and also ice day coming up in a week, when they give all the animals Popsicles!
The #1 best part of the zoo, however, is...... drum-roll please...... the $8 icee with unlimited refills!!!!!  That's Lily's most favorite part of the zoo.... for. real.

We can't wait to get in a few more weeks of summer fun and many many more zoo visits!  I highly recommend a zoo membership to anyone in or around Nashville!  $100 gets you a year long family membership.  They give an educator discount and often do a $20 off discount code - so you can really get it for less than $100 and they have so many fun things to do and see!  From movies and trick-or-treating at the zoo to brews at the zoo, it really is fun for the whole family!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Action Packed Weekend...

We picked Lily up on Thursday and immediately started our action packed weekend!  Our first stop was a new ice cream parlor on our way home.  Once home, we loaded up the car with blankets, chairs, and everything needed to make our next stop perfect...

...the drive in!!!!

Despicable Me 2 was showing and Lauren had told me how good it was, so we just couldn't wait!  I have actually never been to a drive in before... it was so. much. fun.

The picture above is Chris' favorite because it is so us!  Lily making a random weird face and awkward pose, Ava Grace trying to escape probably shouting "Noooo," and me trying to keep it all together for one more picture!  lol!

We have decided the drive-in is the only way to go!  $15 for all three of us, we can bring our own concessions, and the kids can move around all they want without disturbing anyone!  It was perfect!

It was a great way to spend an evening together as a family and a wonderful kick-start to our weekend!

(Lily and Ava Grace holding their blackberries in my their berry-picking necklaces - lol)

Friday we had plans to go to the park and to go fishing after we did some work around the yard and house.  Unfortunately, first thing in the morning the spigot on the front of the house broke and caused a water leak!  We turned the water off immediately, so there was no damage or anything, but it took all day to fix.

We had to be home while the repairs were being made, and it worked out just right!  We had the best day.  I got So. Much. Done in the house and Chris got So. Much. Done in the yard!  In the late afternoon we played in the back yard with bubbles, picked black berries, and then grilled out for dinner!

Saturday we had a relaxing morning.  Chris got up and made a breakfast of from-scratch biscuits, sausage, gravy, and eggs!  We had a leisurely morning and then headed out to run errands and Chris headed to a golf tournament.  The girls and I had a great afternoon of cooking after our errands!  We made our own pizzas for dinner and also whipped up some home-made blackberry cobbler (recipe here) and home-made vanilla ice cream!  It was great fun!


Sunday brought more fun for all of us.  Lily and I worked on a sewing project!  We made these really cute hair clips.  This was Lily's first sewing project and she did a great job!  The fabric piece between the two felt pieces had to be hand stitched and cinched.  Then, the monogram on the button had to be stitched.  Finally, all of the pieces has to be stitched together and then secured to the hair clip.  It was quite a project to take on and Lily saw it through to the end and loved the result.  The clip on the right is for Saige, her new American Girl, and the one on the right is for Lily!

Lily and I also worked on "The Great Clean Out of 2013."  We pulled everything out of her closet and out of every container to clean out and clean up!

The goal is to pack up things she doesn't play with any more, donate some less important things, and get her room nice and organized with her most loved and used toys and all of her new birthday finds!  The clean out will also include some furniture rearranging!  The desk that we used as a changing table for Ava Grace will go to Lily's room for her to use for playing school and doing homework and the play kitchen in Lily's room will be handed down to Ava Grace.  To help our efforts, Lily and I used duct tape to repurpose some sturdy diaper boxes into storage bins for her closet!

(We pretended we were on our favorite show, Chopped, and made french toast with blackberries on Sunday morning!)

Sunday afternoon we headed to the pool and Chris swam with the girls while I enjoyed some mommy-time soaking up the sun!  It was a great day and a great weekend!  This week will be fun too with Lily in acting camp and lots of quality time with Chris' side of the family!  Chris and I even have a date night planned to see a movie!  I am really looking forward to another great week of summer with my precious family!  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The 3rd of July

*****DO NOT click links in the post.  I didn't put links in and they go to advertisements.  I'm not sure why - I just got the computer back from being worked on.  I'm working on the problem.*******

This year we celebrated the 4th of July on the 3rd of July.  Our plans shifted to the 3rd so that Lily could be there.  This year our "exchange" day (when Lily goes to her mom's) fell on the 4th at 6:00, so we moved our celebration to the 3rd!  I couldn't not have been planned better if we had tried!  Thanks to our scheduling needs, we avoided the wash out on the 4th and had a BEAUTIFUL, COMFORTABLE, COOL, AND BREEZY celebration!  We felt very blessed!

To add to our blessings, Jessica had an urgent dental need that had to be cared for and that brought her to Murfreesboro just in time for a pre-4th visit as well!

John had to stay at home in Johnson City, but John Harris got to come visit with Jessica and we were all pleased as punch to see him!  Especially Ava Grace!  She loves her "John Baby."  She nearly smothered him with hugs and kisses for the first two hours we were there!  The only thing she can't figure out is why he doesn't answer when she talks to him! 

Aunt Jan was there for the festivities and enjoyed spending time with everyone, but I'm pretty sure she was most excited to spend so much time with the smallest members of the family, from Lily on down to John Baby.

Chris' sister and sister-in-law planned the events for the day and set up all kinds of back yard games!  There was boccie ball, croquet, badminton, ladder golf, and volley ball. 

Of course, that wasn't enough for Chris.... 

...he and Pap had to add some golf to the agenda!

There is no way to know for sure, but Ava Grace seems pretty coordinated at this point and loves anything that deals with a ball!

We used Lily's old clubs that are a little too big for Ava Grace and a  little too small for Lily, but they worked just fine for some backyard fun!

Lily has never truly taken an interest in golf.  She hits on the range every now and then and in the backyard with Chris.  After our vacation, though, she has decided she might like to play.  She's been spending some time with her Daddy at the golf course and some time hitting in the yard, so we are looking into some new clubs and a new hobby for our big girl.

The little one is just happy to be outside!  Poking bugs, picking "flowers," throwing balls, or running... it doesn't matter to her, as long as she is outside!

She and her cousin, Silas, enjoyed chasing the balls and "helping" everyone else in the yard play their respective games. 

Overall it was a very successful celebration and we thoroughly enjoyed spending time with family!

On evening of the third it started raining.

It rained...

...and rained...

...and rained.

For 3 days we were stuck inside watching it rain.  We totally made the best of it!  We did some home projects that were fun - we hung a new wine rack, a shelf in the laundry room, and a photo wall.  We also got some deep cleaning done.  Ava Grace enjoyed some rainy day activities too.... like fort building...

...for demolition...

...and play dough!

and on day four, the sky cleared!

The week and weekend of the 4th couldn't have been better... even with all the rain!