Contest follow up: Highlight Reel Winner!

close-up of fingers on laptop keys

In January we asked you guys to share with us your Highlights of 2012. We even made it into a contest, because we’re cool like that. :o) The photo you picked as the winner was of a beautiful engagement. Taaaah dahhh:

Chris Farrell

“This was such an emotional and amazing day! Marvin McNutt is a beautiful person and watching my granddaughters shear joy as he presented them with “daughter bracelets”, after he proposed and gave their mother a gorgeous engagement ring, was a moment I will never forget…captured in this picture.”

After chatting with the winner, we discovered that there is so much more to the story, guys.

As mentioned in the caption, the proposer pictured is Marvin McNutt. Does that name ring a bell? If you live in Iowa or are a college football fan, you’re probably familiar. He is the all-time leader in receiving touchdowns at the University of Iowa (Wiki’s sports lingo, not mine!). The young woman above is Brittney, the daughter of one of our fabulous members (and the winner) Chris. And, don’t worry, we made Chris SWEAR that should would use the gift card on herself! We know how you moms are – so selfless! ;o)

Since we are all about the warm fuzzies around here, so we asked the now bride-to-be to share with us all the details of that beautiful day. Because Britt writes a little blog of her own (cleverly named “Mixed McKnutts”, I thought it would be perfect to welcome her as a guest blogger on the one year anniversary of their engagement. And, head’s up, it is chock-full of pics! Enjoy!

I still remember the roll of my eyes and the belly laughter from my gut when my sister said she wanted to introduce me to an Iowa football player.  I immediately dismissed the idea citing every reason why I thought it was ridiculous – he’s younger than me, he’s an athlete (that screams trouble, right?), I have two children, and just NO, not gonna happen!

Well, it happened and I thank God every day that it did.

It wasn’t long after I met Marvin that we fell in love. How could I resist such an amazing man? The athlete stereotypes I was bombarded with went right out the window once I met him. He’s genuine, goal driven, patient, loving, hilarious, educated, and a man of God. He is the perfect dad to our daughters. Marvin’s energy is electric. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of having a conversation with him will tell you, he’s just a GOOD person. Period.

It’s only fitting that this vibrant and bright man was born on the day when fireworks light up the sky – the 4th of July!

Last 4th of July, Marvin, Paris, Sophia, and I all went to St. Louis (Marvin’s hometown) to celebrate his birthday, the holiday, and say ‘goodbye’ to his family. The following week we were moving out of state because Marvin was drafted to the NFL (yay!). My mom and siblings came to St. Louis as well, so that they could spend as much time with us as possible before our big move.

Marvin’s family all came over to his parents house for a big BBQ – I’m talking, like, 50 people! Which is completely normal for a McNutt gathering. We all squeezed into the living to watch Marvin open his presents (all 2 of them!). His mom asked him to tell everyone about our new house we were about to move into. Marvin stood up and starts telling his family about the house and when we were moving. He starts telling everyone about how fabulous I am and in my head I’m thinking, “Oh, that’s sweet, honey, but the dramatics are a bit much.” Marvin is always very vocal about the love he has for me, so I figured this was another declaration of his love for me (swoon!). Until I heard, “… But the present I want most for my birthday is…”

Ibritt2n the millisecond between him catching his breath and continuing, I thought, “THIS IS IT. This is the moment I’ve waited for since we fell in love!”


“…for Brittney to spend the rest of her life with me.”britt3

Marvin dropped to one knee and says in the most perfect way :) “Will you marry me?”

Ahhh!  At this point I’m crying, shaking, but somehow managed to say “YES!”

Marvin handed Paris and Sophia each small box with a bracelet that says “daughter” on it. I’ve never seen the girls so happy! Paris later said that she was fighting back tears of joy and did not want to cry in front of everyone.britt5


I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal – our daughters, parents, siblings, Marvin’s grandparents, and extended family were all there to witness this beautiful moment with us. There was one more special person that was there without my knowledge. Marvin had coordinated it so that my best friend, Alynsia, from Seattle flew in to witness and celebrate with us. She had been hiding out at a neighbor’s house!  It doesn’t get much better than that!

britt6Oh, but it does.

Marvin made reservations at a restaurant in St. Louis to celebrate. We ate on the rooftop with the Gateway Arch on one side and the St. Louis Cardinals playing a game on the other side of us. We were surrounded by our best friends and family. We ate, drank, danced, and watched fireworks from the rooftop.

I can’t tell you which team won the baseball game, but I can tell you that I felt like I had won the World Series that night!

I fall more and more in love with Marvin as each day passes. I absolutely cannot wait to say “I do” to my best friend when we return to good ol’ Cedar Rapids, IA to join in marriage in March 2014!