February 28, 2011

Mike's Surprise 24th Birthday Dinner

For Mike's birthday this year I decided that I wanted to surprise him with a(nother) dinner at Wild Wings. [An old time favorite from Clemson] *I did this for him freshman year of college & remembered how much he loved it. And, since we're leaving 3 days after his real birthday for our trip I decided to do it a little early -- I figured this way he'd for sure have no idea.

Let me back up & say that two days after I facebooked / texted everyone about this shindig, he casually mentioned to me that he'd like to see all of his friends for dinner at Wild Wings before we leave. Whomp whomp! Good thing I love a challenge [of pulling this off in this case]. So, I devised a plan with our Bible study folks for everyone but BD & Megan to "cancel" due to whatever. I told Mike [it's not lying if it's for a surprise birthday party, btw (: ] that Megan suggested a double date & we could just decide where we were going when we got to their house. Of course Mike was suggesting Wild Wings "even though it may not be a fun date for the girls...it's 2-for-1." I assured him that we'd love to get wings. Meanwhile, sweet Kayla was at Wild Wings "vulturing" for tables in the upstairs section for us! [Thanks Kayla for grabbing tables for us (: ] Well, when we arrived at Wild Wings, they were slammed [typical for their 2-for-1 night] but, I'd secretly been texting Haley & she'd gone down to the hostess & told her to seat "Martin party of 4" upstairs. When we walked in I quickly stepped up to the hostess station & put in our name -- which led to questioning looks and secret head nods. Mike, being oblivious at this point commented to Bryan about how awesome it was that we were getting to be seated in front of the huge line of people who were waiting.

After we finally made it upstairs, Mike slowly started noticing people that he knew...first Wodie, then Mel & Carson. He said he was trying to reason why those three would be there together! After seeing a table full of our friends he said that he still wasn't sure what was going on! YIPPEE!! We did it! Mike especially had a blast & we both loved seeing everyone one one last time before our big trip!

Megan, BD, Ben, Kayla & Mike

mike & mc
the Birthday Boy & Me (:

bible study
Our sweet Bible study group

Carson & his wings

the WHOLE gang! (: Thanks everyone for making Mike's birthday special!

February 24, 2011

t-minus 16 days


Dear goodness! Sixteen days! I have so much to post about, but too little time! -- Don't worry, I will get a post in about our trip to Charleston to visit Mere & DP last weekend and one for Mike's surprise birthday dinner at Wild Wings last night!

I cannot believe we only have 16 days until we're on the trail! Stuff is slowly coming together...we've still got a little bit of stuff to get, loose ends to tie off, & work to get done, but we're movin' that way! We have been blessed beyond belief with work to do for Mike [and me] in this interim phase between Mike's job and the trail. We've gotten to paint my uncle's doctors office, stain a couple decks [Mike did this mostly], yard work [again, this was all Mike], de-wallpaper and repaint a friends mom's house, and other misc. work. Needless to say, we've been super busy! But, we are also super thankful! This work has very much been an enabling factor for our trip. So thanks to all who've helped us by giving us work.

I'm about to order Mike's boots - really the last big thing to get. They're going to be his birthday present from me and few family members since they're kind of expensive! And, I'm working on getting the addresses for our mail drops. Please let me know if you're interested in having this list (: We'd love random / surprise treats along the way, but we need to know where you'll be sending them!

We'll be laying out our gear and posting pictures of all that good stuff soon. I know you're just thrilled! Haha

February 18, 2011

Mc's Homemade Honey Bars

*If you found this recipe on my wordpress blog [which no longer exists] you'll notice I've changed the name (: These are definitely honey bars - not granola bars! If you're brave enough to try them, you'll know why!

Since I didn’t do any baking on Valentine’s day [Mimi just made chocolate cupcakes with homemade butter cream icing on Friday - so I thought I'd do us all a favor & not make another treat to tempt us] I tried a new *healthy* recipe today. I made homemade granola – a recipe that I found just this morning. I’ll be honest, I’ve been a little intimated by homemade granola for a while – so I was shocked when it was so simple! We actually had most of the ingredients in the cabinet & what we didn’t have, I found something to substitute! So now it’s my very own granola recipe (: AND, if it’s good I’m totally going to make a couple batches, freeze them & have them sent to us while on the trail!

1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups mixed nuts
1 splash vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 handfuls craisins
*4 oz white chocolate [Optional]

1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter an 8 inch square baking pan. Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. [I didn't have parchment paper, so I just greased the pan really well & it worked fine]

2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the honey and sugar and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until an amber caramel forms ~ 3-5 minutes.

3. Stir in the oats, mixed nuts, vanilla, and salt and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the craisins. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.

*If you are using white chocolate chips, stir them in now too. They will melt.

4. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until bubbling and brown on the edges.

Let them cool completely or they will crumble!! I would even recommend putting them in the fridge for an hour or two before trying to remove them from the pan!

granola baking
the bars baking

granola finished
the finished product

the bars!

February 17, 2011

all things southern

This weekend we got to do one of my absolute favorite things. A group of us got together for lunch at the Clock in “fo-fo” [Ft. Inn for all you who don't speak gangster], then headed out to my parents house to shoot skeet! This is something that only a few of us usually do – usually the same few every time. It’s kind of nice.



Carson workin' on his gun
Carson workin' on his gun

mikey shootin
Mikey shootin'

cp & whit
CP & Whit

carson & carolyn
Carson & Carolyn

mikey & me
my Mikey & me (:

the girls
the girls
Whit, Me, Carolyn

ll bean
L.L.Bean ad? I think yes! Haha

Spring is in the air! If there is a flower in sight, I must get a picture! Always.

February 11, 2011


Well, the days are dwindling. I added a super cool countdown to the blog to help all you folks better keep up with our imminent d day. Mike & I went to the Mast General Store on Wednesday to work on that list of gear that we still need. We were partially successful...I came home with my down layer and Mike got [another] next-to-skin layer. We also got a couple more dry bags & new mouth pieces for our Platy bottles. These are the neatest bottles - they weigh 1.3 ounces [I know, this means nothing to you] and can hold up to 2L...which is a lot of [heavy] water! A little over 4 pounds to be exact. While we did walk away with these treasures, we still have a few things that we need: camp shoes for me [I'm going with Wal Mart brand crocs], blister skin, some sort of hiking pants for me, and hiking shoes for Mike. Anyway - I just realized I'm already plaguing you with "gearhead" info - stuff that I'm sure means nothing to you nor do you care about. Forgive me in advance for the next 6 months!

The closer we get to d day, the more I feel...the more I feel--I dunno. I still think this is something that I can't fully prepare for. Sure, I can tell myself that I'll be cold. But I don't really know how cold - or how to prepare my mind for being cold day after day. Yes, I can tell myself that I'll be sick to death of pasta, oatmeal and bars. But, I can't fathom that right now...not until I'm out on the trail with nothing to eat but pasta, oatmeal and bars. We know that this trip is going to be more mental than anything. While the physical aspect is certainly something to keep in mind - you are literally just walking. As long as we can continue to:
  • get up day after day, stinking beyond any stinkiness we've ever known
  • put on dirty-clumpy-crusty clothes
  • know that we'll be sleeping yet again in a sleeping bag, inside a dirty tent with a pillow that isn't big enough for a baby's head
  • walk in the rain - soaking wet to the bone [i mean come on...water is going to find every little crevice and creep down into smallest of holes to soak our poor skin]
  • eat the same food [for the 100th day in a row]
we'll be fine (: We've also promised to have good attitudes. Easier said than done with you've been endlessly walking for days. But, we realize the opportunity so share Christ while we're on the trail and we want to capitalize on that. Our prayer is that we wouldn't waste a single opportunity while we're away. And that we would use every minute of this trip to dig deeper into the Word, to walk silently with God, and to spend a lot of time praying over our friends, families, and what's next for us.

Y'all [this is totally random] I have found some amazing cupcake recipes! MMmmmmm! I am dying for a chance to make them! It just so happens that Valentines Day is Monday [I know, who doesn't want to bake on Valentines Day?!]. I've already requested that Mike spend the day baking with me. Since we're on a really limited budget these days I'm thinking that we'll just bake the day away instead of spending money on going out [or on flowers]. These Red Velvet & Strawberry Ricotta are going to be first on my list.

Don't worry, I'll let you know how they are once they're in my belly! (:

February 7, 2011

here lately

We are under the 5 week mark. 34 days actually. We're finishing up the details [insurance mainly], gathering the last of our gear, and tying up loose ends in preparation for D day. Feelings? At this point I'm tired of waiting, but I'm nervous about making the "wild" my home. I am ready for the weather to warm up a bit. I am still looking forward to the simplicity of the trail. And the time that we're going to have to pray and be quiet in God's presence. We're excited about what He's doing and gettin' us ready for.

We've also gotten some donations for the trip! Bumblebee & Nissin have graciously given us coupons. These will be great because they weigh nothing and we'll be able to go into town with these little guys and buy stuff at a discounted price without having to constantly carry the weight! Just an FYI: Bumblebee products include - tuna, chicken, salmon, sardines, shrimp, etc. [canned and pouched] & Nissin products include - Chow Mein meals, Souper meals, Top Ramen, etc. We are so grateful for these companies and their support for our trip!

Switching gears - we went to see United Pursuit on Sunday at The Channel downtown. They were amazing - not to their glory, but to the glory of God! The worship was something I haven't experienced in a long, long time. I honestly can't even describe it to you. God is good (:

Set a fire down in my Soul
That I can't contain, that I can't control
I want more of you, God. I want more of you, God.

No place I'd rather be
Here in your Love, Here in your love

February 3, 2011

the GoodOnYa bar

Over the past couple of weeks we've gotten a couple more sponsors on board for our trip. I will post about each sponsor individually - to give you a taste of the companies that we will be toting across 14 states.

First up:

A brief background about the GoodOnYa bar company. Kris Fillat played hockey for the US National Team for 11 years. When he retired, he opened up the GoodOnYa deli out in California and eventually created the GoodOnYa bar. The rest is history!

This bar is every nutritionists [me] / dietitians [soon-to-be Kayla] dream in a bar. "It is a protein bar, a fiber bar, a snack bar, an energy bar, a nutrition bar. It's food!" [Kris Fillat, Founder of the GoodOnYa bar]. Mike and I are so excited to have some healthy and tasty food to take with us on the trail. We know that we'll be eating lots and lots of food that is easily packable and requires little to no preparation [ie: noodles, rice, oatmeal, bars...]. Knowing this in adavnce, I can't describe how pumped I am to have a tasty bar like this that is totally organic and flavorful to eat along the way! [Mike could eat the same food every day for weeks...tasty or not. Me on the other hand, I want a culinary experience every time I sit down to eat -- I think the food part of the trip is going to absolutely be one of, if not THE hardest thing for me on this trip.] 

Back to the bars! They come in 3 delicious flavors: Breakfast bar, Peanut Butter Honey, and Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate. YUMMMY! AANNNDDDD these guys are so awesome that they are making us a fresh batch just for our trip! How amazing! We are so appreciative! Thank you GoodOnYa bar!

[pictures will come when we have the bars & when we're on the trail devouring eating them!]