Monday, September 15, 2014
Paris' Birthday & The First Day of School

I have to play a bit of catch up! I've been terrible about blogging lately.  I'll blame it on getting back into the swing of things as school has started and our evenings are busier.  Also, getting used to Marvin being out of town for work, so flying solo at the home front has made life very interesting. :)

We celebrated Paris' birthday a couple of weeks ago.  Of course it was filled with my favorite two S-words: surprises & sweets!  We kicked off the morning with purple pancakes for my purple-loving 2 year old  12-year-old!  Later we celebrated with a make-your-own pizza bar with some of our favorite toppings and ended the night with gifts and a 4-layer purple swirl cake that I made.  The newly 12 year old beauty was allowed to stay up past her bedtime to watch the MTV VMAs!  It was kind of a big deal since the first day of school was the following day!

I always have the girls give each other a small gift for birthdays and Christmas.  Sophia gave Paris a jar of Nutella and it may have been one of Paris' favorite gifts! :)

The school year is off to a great start and I'm excited to see the girls' achievements this year!  Here are a couple of pictures from the first day of school:

Hope y'all have a great week!

Friday, August 15, 2014
My Campers Are Back!

Marvin & Paris are both home from camp!  Marvin was obviously at Panthers Training Camp and Paris went to Student Takeover Camp hosted by our church.  Sophia and I had some nice one-on-one girls time, but we both were so happy when Paris & Marvin came back home!

Paris had so many stories to share from camp.  I'm so happy that she had such a positive and inspiring experience.  Our church is awesome, so I wasn't surprised that their youth camp was just as amazing.  It was her first overnight camp though and I was a little nervous having her away from home.  I was able to follow the camp using their hashtag, so I stalked checked in from time to time.  There has been a noticeable change in Paris since attending camp and I'm excited to see how God works through her this upcoming school year!

Speaking of school, I can hardly believe that summer is winding down.  We have been slowly crossing off items from our McNutt Summer Live List, but still have a ways to go to finish it up.  Our goal is to have it complete before the first day of fall.

While Paris & Marvin were at camp, Sophia and I had breakfast on the patio, hung out at the pool & park, attended the first Panthers preseason game, and had an ice cream date.

We welcomed Marvin home earlier this week & jumped for joy in rain puddles that he was home.  And this mama has finally caught up on some much needed sleep!

Friday, August 1, 2014
Love Week & Other Happenings

This week has been life changing for me.  Our church kicked off their 5th annual Love Week this week.  Love Week is a great opportunity to serve in our community for those in need.  Last year there were 11,000 volunteers and 58,720 volunteer hours logged.  This year Love Week is on track to be even bigger, so I can't wait to hear the numbers in the coming weeks!  Originally, I had signed up for one event and before the event had ended, I knew I would be serving all week long and that's what I did.  Many of the volunteer opportunities were family friendly, so Paris and Sophia were able to serve alongside me.  It has been such an incredible feeling serving with my daughters.  Marvin also had a break from Panthers Camp and was able to join me for an event and Paris signed up solo for an event with her youth group.  Tonight we are celebrating our week by attending our church's live album recording at Time Warner Cable arena!  It will be the girls first concert, so we are very pumped!  Love week has allowed our children to understand that there are people around us that need our help and not to be selfish.  Love Week has given me so much life and I will be forever grateful for my first Love Week!  I encourage you to find volunteer opportunities in your community to give back.  It changes the lives of others along with changing yours.

In other news... Marvin is in Spartanburg, SC for Panthers Training Camp!  Which means I can practically feel the rumblings of Bank of America stadium when kickoff begins!  I can't wait for the first preseason game on August 8th!  The girls and I drove to Spartanburg to watch one of Marvin's practices this week. It was great to watch him in his element and the girls had fun at the Play 60 event that was happening.  The girls did some football drills and we indulged in huge snow cones!  They also knocked out another activity from our McNutt Summer Live List: Find a big hill and roll down it.  They giggled all the way down and then itched for the entire hour and half ride home.  They both broke out in hives immediately after they were done rolling. A couple days later Paris said, "Mom, that rolling down the hill wasn't really one of my favorites on our list..."
Memories, sweetheart, memories. :)

We also celebrated Christmas in July!  The girls had so much fun with this!  I made frozen hot chocolate, we watched Christmas movies, and changed into our Christmas jams.  I even cranked up the AC for a bit, so the girls could snuggle in blankets like we normally would during Christmas time.

Frozen Hot Chocolate Recipe:
2 cups of milk
5-6 packets of Hot Chocolate mix
4 cups of ice

Blend all ingredients.  Swirl glass with chocolate syrup and top with whipped cream and marshmallows.  I also added powdered mini donuts to the straw.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The next couple of days on our trip to Orlando were spent at EPCOT and Animal Kingdom.  We spent a half of a day at EPCOT and about a day and a half at Animal Kingdom.  EPCOT is a nice park to go to if you're looking for more of a laid back day after long days at the other parks.  Many of EPCOT's rides are interactive and in air conditioning which is golden when you're in Florida at the end of June!

We spent our final day at Magic Kingdom going back through rides we loved and making sure we crossed off every "to do" on our list.  The biggest highlight of the day was dining with Cinderella in her castle!  It was even more magical than I expected and completely worth the money spent.  When you enter the castle you are greeted like royalty.  Cinderella took photos with the girls and then we headed upstairs for dinner.  The service was spectacular and the food was delicious!  Throughout the courses princesses would be introduced and come by each table to introduce themselves and take photos.  We met Jasmine, Ariel, Snow White, and Aurora.

Disney goes above and beyond with everything they put their name on.  When Ariel came over to our table she told the girls that she wore her human legs and asked Paris how long she's had her human legs.  Paris replied, "11 years" and Ariel looked so surprised and said, "Wow! That's a long time!".  The girls loved it!  We forgot to charge our camera battery, so unfortunately we had to use the camera on our phone for the photos with the other princesses.

We also watched the fireworks from inside the castle.  It was so beautiful and such a fun experience!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

After Paris made her grand entrance in Orlando, (you can read about that here) we had to change up our game plan.  I was so nervous that all four of us were going to end up with the flu.  Thankfully, we did not.  We decided to spend the morning at the pool and see how Paris felt in the afternoon.  Because our room was so close to the pool and Paris' health was improving - I was able to spend my time between the room and the pool.  Sophia didn't mind one bit.  Sophia could go swimming everyday and never get tired of it.  After a few hours at the pool, we were greeted by this beauty:

Minnie ears and all! Disney, the McNutt's are back in business! We headed over to Disney's Hollywood Studios and spent the afternoon there soaking in Disney magic, Orlando sun, rides, and then watching the spectacular show: Fantasmic!

Fantasmic was so fun and highly recommended.  There are pyrotechnics, dancing water, lasers, and of course, lots of Disney characters.  We had no idea the show was going to be so great.  Originally, we thought it was just Mickey's firework show, but it was so much more!  There were 7 Disney movies featured along with their villains. Mix that with water, fireworks, music, and synchronized flashing light-up Mickey ears and you can't help to smile the whole way through.  We used our FastPass here which allows you to bypass the lines.  We each had three FastPass choices to use each day.  With the use of our FastPass we ended up with GREAT seats - second row!

And just like we hadn't been awake the majority of the night before, we decided to head over to Magic Kingdom to hit up some rides and find funnel cakes for Mr. McNutt.  :) 


Pure bliss right there - warm funnel cake topped with ice cream, fresh strawberries, loaded with whipped cream, and finished off with a dusting of powdered sugar.  And Cinderella's castle in the background.  No big deal. :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
DISNEY // Part I

We've crossed off another "to do" on our McNutt Summer Live List: Take a family vacation.  Our trip to Disney World was magical, happy, and full of new memories - just as Disney promises.

We stayed at Disney's Pop Century Resort.  The resort features popular crazes during the 1950s through the 1990s.  It was fun to reminisce, but not so fun to have your kids tease us about our excitement over things we remembered from our childhood aka "the olden days" per Sophia.

The resort offered the Magical Express for pick up from the airport to the resort and also, to pick up our baggage from baggage claim and deliver it to us. Score! I hate waiting at baggage claim. We were so excited to get to Magic Kingdom that we opted to hop on the shuttle without waiting for baggage.  In the future, we will definitely bring a change of clothes as a carry on or wear lighter clothes on the airplane.  Marvin and I both wore all-black on the airplane.  Not our brightest decision ever as we were MELTING at the park. But it was our first day, so our excitement kinda took our minds off the fact we were mere moments away from passing out from heat exhaustion.

We spent the afternoon and into the wee hours of the night frolicking around Magic Kingdom.  It was amazing!  We met Cinderella and Rapunzel, rode as many rides as possible, watched two parades, ate delicious food, and saw the fireworks!  The fireworks were even more magical than I remembered.  Cue my waterworks now.  Marvin and I looked over at the girls at one point during the fireworks - their eyes as big as saucers and Sophia was singing "Let It Go" from Frozen - melted me right into a ginormous puddle.

I would need to remember that magical moment when I awoke at 4am the next morning to Paris throwing up all over the bed she and Sophia were sharing.  I felt so horrible for her.  Room Service isn't so fast in the wee hours of the morning, so I wrapped up the soiled sheets, set them outside, and the 4 of us squeezed into me and Marvin's bed...queen-sized bed. :) Somehow, by the grace of God, we all finally fell back asleep around 7am until 7:15am when the cleaning staff pounded on our door with clean sheets.

Disney-1, McNutt Family-0.

Part 2 coming soon...