Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blogger’s Block…

Blah. I really hate to miss another day without blogging. I was waiting on getting my cord so that I could upload my photos…now they are uploaded and the words aren’t coming.  I have had an extremely stressful couple of weeks at work and it is all catching up with me…so the words are MIA.  I guess that would be blogger’s block.
I once read on P-Dub’s blog a tip that said “If you have writer’s block, push through and blog anyway.”  That is how she started her Black Heels to Tractor Wheels…a personal favorite of mine (and probably every other country female that has ever read it!). I’m not promising anything though. :)
So it just occurred to me…what is always guaranteed to make a day absolutely wonderful?  When I open my eyes to see the blessings around me and soak them in with a grateful heart.  So here goes…
Do you ever have those days when you are just indescribably happy?  Days where there just aren’t words strong enough to depict the happiness you feel inside?  I’ve been having a ton of those lately. 
I am blessed with a great family…one who introduced me at the beginning of my life to a God, Father, Savior, Friend that loves me unconditionally and showers me with blessings. (Blessings like my family.)  They have also showed me God through their love, kindness, support, friendship and the closeness that we share.  For the family God blessed me with and the relationships we share, I am SO VERY THANKFUL.  They are amazing.
35th anniversary

I am also blessed with a wonderful boyfriend.  This has not always been the case in my life, so I know how precious what we have is.  This makes me cherish and appreciate the fact that Michael is my best friend…the one I laugh with…the one I can be completely myself around…the one who ‘gets me’…the one who never gets tired of my endless stories (hard to believe, but he says it is true! haha)…the one who listens when I blow off steam…the one that helps me stand when I feel like crumbling…the one whose smile can always make me smile…the one I love to share my life with daily.  I am SO VERY THANKFUL for what we have together and the relationship we share.
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I am so incredibly blessed…and focusing on all the reasons I can say that…it always makes a day absolutely wonderful.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Oh Water, how I heart thee

I have always been drawn to water.  I can remember wanting the window seat on my dad's school bus just so I could watch the creeks as we drove by.  I can also remember sitting on the edge of the pool deck in the late spring and just looking at the water on the cover...waiting for the day that mom and dad would finally open the pool and let me in it.  This love affair with water is still in tack through my adult years. 

When we got to the bottom of the Chimney Tops trail, I couldn't resist sticking my hot, achy feet in the refreshing water...

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This water was COLD, and I loved ever minute of it!  I didn't even mind the fact that my calves were going numb. haha :)

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When Michael couldn't get me out of the water, he decided to join me on the rocks and the following photo shoot was the result. :)

This one reminds me of a senior picture. haha

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Love this one <3

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Notice my feet in the rushing water...pure bliss!

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This is just a true Michael and Sara moment...that's a smile I wear a lot these days :)

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Goofin'....imagine that!

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The next day we walked through Gatlinburg and peeked in at the shops, laughed at all craziness you can see by just walking down the streets and went up to the top on the chair lift.  Can you guess what I kept drawing my attention? 

The Little Pigeon Forge River...we went over it on the chair lift...

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And of course, I had to get in it…and was happy as a lark

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Until…

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I saw something that MIGHT have been a snake and came SCRAMBLING across the wet, slippery rocks to safety!

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I heart a good adventure :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chimney Tops - Wonder, Awe & Perfect Moments

I'm in a very quiet...peaceful...retrospective/introspective kind of mood...which means I am happily lost in my own world of thoughts. :) So this won't be too long.



THIS is seriously one of my favorite spots in the entire world. Even a picture of it can bring a sense of peace over me. There just aren't words to describe the wonder and awe I feel when I am there.

Add in one of my favorite people in the world...



And it becomes one of those perfect moments in life that you freeze in your mind and cherish always.



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Random Thoughts and Facts

My sister does this over at Goodeness Gracious and my brother-in-law just did one over at Goode Ole Boy....so I guess I will follow suit and mix things up with a little randomness.  Cris always says she needs a road map to follow my conversations because I'm all over the place so this type of post is perfect for me. :)

I love taking pictures...I take them all the time and yet I rarely print them.  The pictures on my wall are all well over 8 months old and most are closer to a year old or older.  A lot has happened in that period of time...Addie has grown by leaps and bounds, I have lost a lot of weight, Michael has entered my life, I went to Guatemala and so much more.  I believe it is time to update the picture frames to better reflect my life.

One of my favorite titles in the whole world is Aunt Lou.  Add stole my heart over 3 years ago and my life has never been the same.  I have never experienced a love or feeling for a child as intense as the ones I have for Add...even if I have children of my own someday, she and I will always have a special bond that I cherish. I will always be her Aunt Lou.

Speaking of Add...funny story.  As a child, I was never called Sara.  It was always Lou. EXCEPT for when I was in trouble or someone was frustrated with me.  Earlier this week I had been playing with Addie, and I needed to leave.  She proceeded to tell me "Aunt Lou you can't leave.  You have to play with me.  You have to stay with me," over and over again (breaking my heart over and over...I love that child).  Then she became frustrated because I kept telling her I had to go and couldn't stay.  She tilts her head to the side and pins me with this look (SO much like her mommy does when she is frustrated with me! haha) and says, "Sara, you can't leave."  So matter of fact and stern.  So cute.  Even at three she knows that, in our family, using my real first name means she means business. haha I love that beautiful child. :)

I hate to think about working out, but love to do it.  When I think "I need to run" or "I need to do pilates" or "I should hop on the elliptical"....I moan, I groan, I procrastinate.  BUT when I finally start running, stretching, bending & holding positions for pilates or the fluid motion on the elliptical, something happens...the hate goes away, and I remember why I love to exercise.

I love figuring things out that seem difficult.  Problems are like a puzzle for me to put together and when all the pieces click, I'm has giddy as can be.  It could be anything from an accounting issue at work that has me stumped on how to resolve it or a redoing the furniture at home when it seems like there isn't any other way to rearrange it...I just love figuring it out. 

I love being creative.  My mind is a whirlwind most the time anyway, so when I can actually put all those thoughts toward something creative, I get really excited.  For example, creating the name of this blog was so much fun for me.  Cris and I sat around brainstorming...we came up with some pretty good ones, but this one fit what I wanted this blog to be perfectly.  When the Benefiel girls get together and brainstorm, laughs are guaranteed.  There is just a great satisfaction in being creative and I love that I can share this love with my sis. :) 

And last but not least...

Dad has always said I talk so much that I could talk to a stump for a half hour before I noticed it was a stump.  Looking at the length of this random blog...he might be right. ;)

Chimney Tops - The Trail

One of my favorite places in the entire world is on top of the Chimney Tops in the Smoky Mountains.  The trail up to the Chimney Tops is probably my favorite trail ever.  It is 2 miles of zigzagging and curving around and up (WAY UP! 1,700 ft to be exact!) the mountain.



The view from the Chimney Tops themselves is completely worth the climb, but the trail itself is as beautiful as it is difficult. One of my favorite spots along the trail is the bridge that no one ever really stops at...yet, it is breathtaking.  We lucked out and a friendly couple coming down the trail asked if we would like our picture together...so because of their kindness, we have this memory captured forever. :)



We had to stop for water a few times...and it sure made for some good pictures :)
 


Then we had a water break straight from the mountain's stream :)  On the way down, we filled up our empty water bottles from the stream...such good water! :)





Beyond all of the beauty around the trail, the trail itself was amazing to take in. (Yes, I realize the pictures are turned the wrong way, but I have an email out to get this resolved and haven't heard back...SO, since I really want to get this post out...tilt your head to the right and they will look like it is the right way ;) haha) *I heart Windows Live Writer and my dear sister who introduced me to it!  I can edit and fix my pictures now!!!
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We had so much fun on the hike up even though it wasn't our goal.  The top was our goal, but we enjoyed the journey there.  It has me thinking about my life.  I tend to rush through the journey to get to my goal on just about everything I do.  The good news is that it is starting to sink in that the journey is a big part (and most times longest part) of the fulfillment of my goal...so I am making a purposeful effort in my life to enjoy each moment and love life in the moment I am in.

And I am loving my journey....


Thursday, September 2, 2010

YUUUMMMMM - Smokies Breakfast House

One thing people find out about me pretty quickly is that I am incredibly picky when it comes to food. There are just certain textures when it comes to food that can turn my gag reflexes on instantly. SO, if an establishment has made it past my picky tastes...you know they have good food (with good textures :) haha).

One such establishment is Smokies Breakfast House

It is between Light 3 & Light 4 in Pigeon Forge

My family has had breakfast at this place since it was 101 Types of Pancakes, not 45 Types of Breakfast. I HIGHLY recommend the Perisanne Pancakes...fluffy pancakes, strawberries and strawberry syrup, powdered sugar and whip cream...these pancakes are amazing! Actually, I have yet to eat something there that I didn't absolutely love.

Here is your warning though...the portions are huge and the taste is outstanding...so each and every person has the same look as Michael after the first time they have experienced breakfast at Smokies Breakfast House...
The after-effects can be painful, but it is SOOOOO worth it! Next time you are in Pigeon Forge, stop on in and see the lovely ladies there...I bet you won't be disappointed! :)

Knight Reunion

Every year when the hottest month of the year rolls around, we know it is time. It is time for the Knight Family Reunion. I'm not sure WHO decided that we should have an outdoor reunion the second weekend of August each year (they had to be crazy!), but someone made that call and all of us have stuck by it through the years. I guess we are all a little crazy. Regardless of the incredible heat each year, we have a good time.

Mom, Cris and I always have our cameras out capturing all kinds of wonderful memories. (Although this year mom and I...who have the same kind of camera....are both currently in fights with our cameras. These pesky cameras have decided they will only work when they want to...and that is not necessarily every time you press the 'on' button. SO frustrating!) So this year we relied heavily on Crissy's wonderful Nikon. :)

The reunion was pretty normal with the kids playing on the playground....





Dad and Add running around together....


Mikey and I goofing off together...


And Criss sticking a camera in my face and taking a million pictures in a row...




I love all the great photos that appear after the reunion. Like this one of Mom and Uncle Web...




And one of me, Cris and our cousins Carla and Missy....


There was a new addition to the reunion this year...it was Michael's first Knight reunion...he passed with flying colors! :)

That side of the family is quite large (my Great-Grandparents had 8 kids and Gramma and Grampa had 6...and most of my Aunts and Uncles have 2-5 kids, and so on...you do the math!) and really hard to keep track of. Michael was a trooper though and had a good time playing with the kids and taking it all in. Next year I think he might bring a cheat sheet! haha


Such a good time...I love my family. :)
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