ATTENTION: Now accepting giveaway sponsors! I will be having a one-year anniversary giveaway in early February, and I am looking for giveaway sponsors! If you would be willing to donate one small item (earrings, necklace, bracelet, ring, headband, clutch, Etsy shop gift card, a photograph, or any other girly item you care to donate) would be great! If you agree to sponsor, I will put your button up on my sidebar.
 Interested? Email me at: missmaddiegirl93[at]aim[dot]com :)

Thanks for reading! :)

Blog Award #2!

Katherine @ A Life Worth Living awarded my blog again! Thank you so much Katherine! :)

The rules in accepting this award are:
1.  Thank the person who gave it to you.
2. List 3 things you love most about yourself.
3. Post a picture you LOVE on your blog.
4. Pass this award on to 5 other bloggers( and remember to tell them).
1. I already thanked Katherine, but thank you again! :)
2. Ummm, this is sort of a weird thing. :P I like it that I play the piano, I like it that I can go without makeup and not feel too bad about it ;), and I like it that I read a lot! :)
3. I really like this picture. ^^^ It is so sweet and old-fashioned. Norman Rockwell has some wonderful paintings. :)
4. I think I'll have to pass on passing this award this time. If you follow my blog, feel free to consider yourself awarded. :)

Beads + Glue = Happiness

entering in Sierra's photo challenge

 Take two little girls.....

add beads
 and glue

 And you get...

 Two very happy little girls. :)


On Exercising

Exercise. It's something I have never really been very good at. I was never the kind of girl to be outside running around playing football or 'stuck in the mud'; you'd be more apt to find me inside the house with my nose in a book. Now don't get me wrong, I did used to play games outside with my siblings, but not the used to. Yeah, I used to. A long time ago. Now you'll be lucky to find me playing Ultimate Frisbee (which actually isn't too bad, but I think I've only played about three games in my life). 

When I got a little older and wasn't sent outside with the "little" kids anymore, my sister and I exercised together for a little while, with exercise videos. But I sure didn't last long. Pretty soon I was making excuses almost every time she would try to get me to go downstairs, and then I eventually gave up. Exercising was so annoying anyway!

Lately though, I have been so fed up with myself. It drives me crazy that I don't do anything to exercise, so I decided to change that. 

My sister made me a little exercise routine that I have done a couple times, and, believe it or not, I have exercised three times this week, and tomorrow I am hopefully going to be playing Ultimate Frisbee with some friends, making it my fourth time exercising this week. And no, I did not do all the same kinds of exercising, don't worry. ;) (Note: You should never exercise the same part of your body two days in a row, or you could strain yourself) 

I was so proud of myself because yesterday I went jogging on the treadmill and I went 2 miles! I only jogged for the first mile, and then off and on for the second mile, but I have asthma and small lungs to boot, so I usually have a hard time breathing when I run. Before I got on the treadmill I was just praying that God would let me be able to jog the first half-mile, and what do you know! He let me jog a total of a mile and a half. 

Exercising really isn't that bad. :)

Blog Award

Katherine over at A Life Worth Living awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award! (Thank you Katherine! And thank you for all your comments! :) )

Recipients of the award are asked to:
*Thank the person that nominated their blog for the award with a backlink to them.
*List 7 things about themselves.
*Award 15 newly discovered blogs with the award and tell them of the award.

Seven things about me:

1. I have been teaching myself piano for three or four years now, after taking lessons for two years. 
2. I have been to Jamaica and Mexico on mission trips
3. I am only 5'1"
4. I have nine siblings (Meghan, Hannah, (then me), Ian, Mary, Josiah, Samuel, Keara, Calvin, and Lydia)
5. I am allergic to peanuts
6. I have been blogging for almost a year now (more about that in February!)
7. I love elephants

I know that I can't find 15 newly discovered blogs to tag, so I'll just pick some that I like. :)

Lucia @ lucia, etc.
Hannah @ aspire
Janelle @ J. P. Photography

I'm not saying those are my top five favorite blogs, but they're just some blogs that I really enjoy reading. :)


A Cold Afternoon

I stopped short before stepping out onto the front porch this afternoon, as I glanced at the cement inches away from me. There was a fine powdering of snow that had crept up to the door. This will be my first picture, I thought. 

Upon walking out onto the porch, I became overwhelmed with the beauty of the white crystals that were covering our yard, and I wanted to snap away at everything I could see. I started with the old green benches on our front porch.

And then I progressed towards the railing.
 I love the bokeh in each of these photos. Is it still called bokeh when it's not circles? Or is bokeh just...blurriness? :P

Then I proceeded to the front yard where I tried to get a picture of the snowflakes as they raced to beat each other to the ground.

And then a self-portrait before I headed to the back yard.

I finally made it to the backyard, and look who's sitting there to greet me!

I can't believe she'll be five in June!

 No flash ^^
Manual with white balance set as either Daylight or Auto (I tried both, and they looked the same) ^^

Sledding down the steps? Sounds good. 

Then I went inside because my fingers were frozen into place holding the camera and clicking the shutter release. 

The End

Deep Ponderings

Sometimes I feel like my life is going nowhere.

I am almost nineteen years old and I don't know how to drive. I don't have a job, I don't make any money, and I don't have anything extremely important occupying my time.
So what do I do every day? I live the life of an older sister with nine siblings and an extra little girl we babysit. I read and go on the computer and play piano and take pictures. Really, that's pretty much it, besides helping to take care of the house and family. I'm not complaining it's just...boring.

I've been meaning to learn to drive...but I've just made excuses that people didn't offer to take me driving, or I didn't want to nag, which are true reasons, but the real deep reason is that I think I'm just scared. I need to call up the driving school near us and see if I can go out driving with an instructor.

And then I was also seriously thinking that I want to take a photography class in the fall, but, oh well, I really should get my license first, not to mention a car. And oh, that cool library job that I read about today? Well it really wouldn't work unless I had my license, but I could volunteer at our library and my family would be willing to drive me. I just always made excuses that I should get my license first.

Linking up to Lily's book challenge

My sisters and I went to a friend's house today, and she was asking about what we were up to. When I told her about how I felt, she told me that I pretty much need to forget about how scared I am, and go for it. She made me say "Yes!" *confidently* out loud, and honestly? It actually kinda helped. I've been wondering what God's will is for my life, and maybe he's using the people around me to encourage me toward what He wants for me!

Tonight I went to a leadership meeting for the youth group I help with, and we were studying part of the story of Gideon and were talking about how he asked God to confirm that he (Gideon) would be the one to lead Israel, with the dew and the fleece. We mentioned how God can confirm stuff that we aren't sure about, even if we don't ask him. And then at one point in our meeting, one of the leaders said "God puts people in our lives to give us direction." I was so blown away by that. First the visit with our friend where she was encouraging me to swallow my fears and step up to the "challenge" and then someone at the meeting (on the same day, mind you) talks about how God uses people around us to tell us what to do. A simple thing to say, but very powerful words for my heart at that moment. Wow. Thank you God.

So that's where I am at the moment. I am frozen in a place where I need to thaw, but I'm scared to thaw. I'm scared to step out of my comfort zone that is freezing me to death, even though I know it will be good for me to unfreeze and move ahead. I'm stuck in a moment that I need to get out of. And now I just need the courage and confidence from God to do that.


Wedding Part Three!

Ready for the final part of the wedding pictures? {Yes, they will finally be over. You can heave a sigh of relief. ;) }

These pictures are from the reception afterwards! :)
 Amy (the bride's sister) and Sam

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. S.!

Amy and Joy 

 Meg and Joy

Ian and me in the van on the way home 

And thus ends the wedding pictures! I hope you enjoyed viewing them as much as I did snapping and editing them. :) 

Wedding Part 2

After the wedding my friend Sam and I took a bunch of pictures! Even though it's January, the weather was surprisingly warm, and the lighting was beautiful!

The girls standing around chatting 

Aislinn and Zephy

Zephaniah...I tricked him into taking his picture. :)

Sam and Mary

 Me, Hannah, Sam, and Mary


Mary's gorgeous eyes

Mary, Lieren, and Hannah

{Which edit do you like better?}

My brother Ian :D

Some of the kids there 

My gorgeous friend Lieren 

Sam :)

The boys :)

 She would not look at my camera! (We were doing duo portraits with both cameras at the same time.)

There we go! :)

My mother :)

A gorgeous shot of the church that my sister took

I love this picture {photo credit: Mary} 

{photo credit: Mary} 

 Silly faces!


Let me know which pictures you like best, and stay tuned for part three!