2011 was a beautiful year.

We got snowed in.


Took fake engagements


Met Carmen Electra in Columbus, Ohio


Welcomed Jessica home from Jerusalem with open arms.


Celebrated Julie and Dj's wedding.


Partied in Lake Powell with this girl.
Celebrated 1 year of marriage.


Welcomed Harrison to the world.


Visited Portland


Visited Nashville

Said a sad goodbye to Jessica again.


Had the best Christmas ever.


As great of a year as it has been, for the past few months I have been living for the future. So much is ahead for the two of us, and as nervous, terrified as I am, I can't wait for the challenges ahead of us. I am ready to move on with my life. I am ready to forage into the unknown with a brave heart and a hand to hold. I am ready for you, 2012.


new year

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we make new goals that we don't always keep
but the point is to make them, because if we don't
we stop.
and i don't want to stop. i mean, i don't want to go forward
but i don't want to stop, either.
you know?


"if I was in charge of making snow globes..."

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Once, I was in New York,
in Central Park, and I saw
an old man in a black overcoat walking
a black dog. This was springtime
and the trees were still
bare and the sky was
gray and low and it began, suddenly,
to snow:
big fat flakes
that twirled and landed on the
black of the man's overcoat and
the black dog's fur. The dog
lifted his face and stared
up at the sky. The man looked
up, too. "Snow, Aldo," he said to the dog,
"snow." And he laughed.
The dog looked
at him and wagged his tail.
If I was in charge of making
snow globes, this is what I would put inside:
the old man in the black overcoat,
the black dog,
two friends with their faces turned up to the sky
as if they were receiving a blessing,
as if they were being blessed together
by something
as simple as snow
in March.
 - Kate DiCamillo
image via


The Glow


I may behind on this bandwagon, but The Glow is definitely my new favorite site. With interviews from some of the most fashionable mom's and children in existence (I am convinced) I check it at least once a day - hoping there is a new feature. Proof that you can have a career, style, and happy children.

Please visit. You could get lost in that site all day.

all images via 


Christmas Book Giveaway

Someone emailed me and asked me what my favorite Christmas book is. The answer was so obvious and easy that it made me think of some Christmas cheer I want to share.

The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman is a masterpiece. I read it every Christmas because it doesn't really feel like Christmas without it. For all of you hopeless romantics, awkward girls, or bookies (pretty much anyone who reads my blog besides my husband) it is the best Christmas read. You don't have to think so hard, you fall in love with Kate -(mostly because you can relate to her so well) and it makes you feel so happy to be alive at Christmas. I'm not promising Morrison brilliance here, but I am promising your new favorite Christmas book. (Face it, we can all only read The Little Matchgirl so many times before we realize that we have no idea what that book is about, only that it leaves us feeling depressed.)

Because I love you all so much, I am funding this giveaway. I will order it from Amazon and send it to you - and hopefully you get it before Christmas, because this book is a gem. I will probably order a paperback, and the cheapest shipping possible - just as a disclaimer. I will also choose a winner on Monday morning.

To enter, leave a comment and tweet or whatever for extra entries.

(p.s. the author Louise Plummer used to teach Creative Writing at BYU. Anyone lucky enough to take a class from her? I am so upset I graduated from that school without taking her class.)



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This morning Kevin woke me up with a rendition of "Today is your day" set to the tune of, "This Land is Your Land." It went like this:

"This day's not his day, this day's not her day. This day's not my day - this day is your day! This day was made for only you."

He is just one reason waking up on my 23rd birthday is the funnest thing I have ever done. I don't feel wiser, or older or cooler today - I just feel happy to still be here on this earth, having birthdays and such.

(p.s. as an adult it is socially unacceptable to publicize your birthday, which is why I shamelessly do it here on my blog every year. it's the little things.)

photos via 1, 2



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Today I am at Reachel's lovely blog Cardigan Empire talking about Beauty. I love what she and her blog stands for, and am honored to participate in her real, beauty-full Tuesday column.

I also wrote an article for the debut of the Off Switch Magazine - edited and created by the talented Katie Michels. It is an article about why I write, and one that I put a lot of thought into. It launches tomorrow and I am thrilled to be involved in such a fantastic project. Katie is very detailed, and I think it will be an awesome addition to the on-line mag world.

I get a lot of emails asking for me to write in various places. Let me just say - I love to be included in these opportunities, even if I don't take every opportunity that comes my way. It pushes me and motivates me and allows me to "meet" such wonderful people. I am pretty grateful for this blogosphere and the kind people who motivate me to do what I really love to do.

photo via


Savior of the World


On Saturday night we went to Temple Square (where Kevin and I were married!) to see the Savior of the World production. It is easy at Christmas time to think about parties and presents and agenda's. Sitting there, I realized that Christmas at its very heart is so simple.

Christmas began with a family in a stable. Just Mary, Joseph and Jesus. Cold, poor, perhaps afraid of the future, but willing to do it together and with God. Kevin and I feel poor and cold in this Utah December and afraid of the future too. A new family, we are just figuring things out and hoping that with faith in God we will be delivered. I know there was so much love in that stable in Bethlehem, just like there is so much love in our home, and this Christmas I am most grateful for that. For love and the knowledge of Our Savior who was born among animals and hay and two parents who believed in God's promises.

Such a simple beginning, with such eternal consequences and the most beautiful message of Christmas. To find out more about my beliefs, visit here or email me. There is no better time to learn more about Christ than at Christmas.


silent prayers

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I asked him why he loved me
on our drive home.
The reason I asked, is because sometimes that answer changes.
You'd think that all this love would go away in time
but that is not the truth.
I craned my neck to see the stars explode in the sky above me,
and put my two right fingers to my neck
just to feel the simple beat beat - beat beat
that lets me live another day on this earth,
a place I have come to love a little more every day I'm here.
then I said a silent prayer on that drive while I waited for his answer
and the only words spoken, or unspoken were
thank you.
thank you.
thank you.

image via


Christmas at the Voisin's

After this weekend, it is starting to look a lot like Christmas at our place. This season is the happiest one, and I love it more and more every year.







Birthday/Christmas Wishlist

Every year Kevin asks me for a combined Birthday/Christmas wishlist. It's so weird - I look forward to making this list all year, mentally collecting everything I want and then when the season comes I feel so grateful for everything I have, and can't remember wanting anything.

This is what I came up with this year, and although it looks pretty black and white and drab - I would feel lucky to get anything off of this list. Classic, beautiful pieces that I will never get tired of, as well as a book I can't wait to read.





Yesterday I was thinking about kindness and talking with a friend about it over lunch. He told me when his dad died in a different state a generous couple let his family stay with them so they could be comfortable and together as they grieved. He said he would never forget that. And then Kevin called me and told me he saw a motorcycle accident on his way home, and cars started going around this guy who was pinned under his motorcycle. So disgusted that no one would help, Kevin stopped traffic, lifted the bike off, and got his first aid kit out of his trunk to help this poor guy out. It took him five minutes - five minutes.

I think that it takes time to be kind, but not so much time that it matters. There are good people everywhere, and I want to be one of them. I want to leave tracks everywhere I go, even if none of them lead back to me.




Kevin and I spent Thanksgiving day flying home from Nashville. We celebrated the day before with my sisters, and post-flight with my extended family, making sure to get our fill at both meals.

It's funny. We have now spent three Thanksgiving's together, each in a different state. Hawaii first, Ohio second, and Tennessee third now. We have no semblance of a Thanksgiving tradition - we have no traditional foods, and we are used to giving cheers with plastic cups of Ginger Ale on the plane.

I guess I could be sad about it, but instead I feel humble and grateful. As long as we are together, no matter where we are - we will always be okay. I love that I realize that.

I started to write in my journal on the plane, listing everything I am grateful for but the only thing I could think of was family - that word reverberating across the many places we are. Spread out across so many places, states, soon to be countries and they are still my greatest blessing. I have two families to be grateful for now, a heart full of gratitude for each one of them, and letters and words that connect us to each other no matter how far apart we get sometimes.

photo of our Thanksgiving dinner in the Chicago airport




I am currently in Nashville Tennessee visiting my two older sisters and their sweet kids. They are the perfect remedy to cheer me up after Jessica (younger sister) left last week and I never want to come back to reality.

Family is really the best, you know? When you live with them growing up you don't appreciate your time together but when they are all over the country you miss them everyday. Funny how that works. Have a Happy Thanksgiving every one.

p.s. If you want to keep up with me while I'm gone follow me here on twitter, or @mvoisin on instagram.




I think about being brave - about courage a lot. Probably a lot more than most people, and definitely a lot more than I should. People associate bravery with war-heroes and risk takers but I think to be alive on this earth and not fall apart sometimes is bravery too. Most of the time it is so, so good to us but sometimes it's not and I think it's okay to admit that. To move on, to wake up and have jobs and get married and have children and brush our teeth and floss is brave. It means we believe in a future, and it means that we are preparing ourselves to be happy in that future. It means we know that bad things might happen to us and the people we love and facing it anyway.

I think brave people are war heroes and such, but I also think that women who have miscarriages and men who lost their jobs and have a family to feed and missionaries who leave their homes for 18 months are really brave. I think people who go to school for a long time because they believe in their future and young moms and comedians and grocery store clerks are brave. I think kids who ride a bike for the first time, and single parents and waitresses are brave too and I think we need to give each other more credit for courage.

Look at us. We're brave people.


18 months


My sister left today. For weeks I have been sad, and not just because she was leaving but because I had this big goodbye I felt like we needed to say. I thought about it all the time when I was alone, wondering what my last words to her would be, how much I would cry, what would be unspoken. I have been carrying this lump around in my throat for days, and keep tissues in every pocket.

Our actual goodbye was a little rushed. We hugged, and I meant to get a picture but I forgot. When I pulled away from our tight hug, we both had tears that weren't there before. She forced a smile, and it was a sad smile and I told her I loved her and she left.

Somehow my drive back brought me peace. I thought about what she is doing for the first time really. I realized that God loves her as much as I do and somehow that made me feel better than anything else. I realize it may seem dramatic to react this way, and that's fine with me.

Now that she is officially gone, I feel so lucky to love her enough to miss her this much. Missing someone is sort of beautiful if you can get past the painful part. The reality is that she misses me just as much and I think that the mutual missing is poetic and sad and lovely all at once.

p.s. if you want to keep up with Jessica you can follow her mission blog here, which I will be managing.

photo taken last night on instagram


ending the day

Sometimes life wears down on you so much,

and all you look forward to all day is coming home to curl up in bed with wet hair and sweats.
Somehow ending bad days like that make all of our bad days okay though.
Maybe not good,
But better than they were before -
Which is all you can really expect.

It's nice to have someone to end my bad days with.


The Catcher in the Rye

“Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.”

There are classics I have always been curious about. You see them on t-shirts, referenced in popular culture and discussed in literature classes but no one really says, "You should read this, you'll love it." So at Powell's in Oregon, I purchased my first copy of The Catcher in the Rye, having really no expectations for it.

It surprised me. I started out so confused by it - who was this rambling, depressed teenager? It is written in stream-of-consciousness which I have read before, but not like this. Because Holden Caulfield holds nothing back, you really do feel like you are in the mind of a teenage boy at first - which is equally entertaining as it is frightening. All I can say is, give it a chance because the first few pages are rough and you wonder where it is going.

The more I read though, the more I began to see what a beautiful person Holden is. He notices things - small things about human nature and records them. He kept saying, "That depressed the hell out of me." I began to notice that things depressed me, too. Seeing a grown man holding a sign in the Arizona heat for a furniture liquidation, a mother slap her three year old in Walmart and people who are waiters their whole lives. All of these things depress me too, but I didn't let myself feel them, or think about them because they depress me. Holden is not afraid to feel things, in fact, he feels too much. Sometimes I wonder what is worse, but I definitely know that I try to block things out so I don't have to feel them. Sometimes feeling things is way too much for me, but like Holden, I would rather feel something instead of nothing.

It was full of bad language, didn't have much of a story line, and you don't fall in love with any of the characters, but I still liked it. I decided after reading it that I did like it because it made me think above all else, and made me more aware of the things that made me happy and sad. The reason it is called "The Catcher in the Rye" is really beautiful too, but not something I feel I can just share because it was the best hidden gem of the book.

I'm not sure if I'm recommending it right now or not. I guess the best way to say it, is that I'm really glad I read it and I don't feel like I wasted my time. Take it for what it's worth. In the words of Holden Caulfield, "I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it.”



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Love fails me sometimes. And not love maybe, but the word love. It is not enough to say, "I love you," because that doesn't describe this physical ache you feel. It is the same feeling as heartbreak really, and is suffocatingly delicious and terrible at the same time, and that is love.

I have a goodbye to make in a week, and it feels like the biggest goodbye I have ever made. My sister is leaving for 18 months, and although I should feel happy for her I am constantly weeping anytime I even think about it. In the grocery store, on every drive home - chopping vegetables for dinner.

I flew to Arizona for the weekend and seeing all of the reuniting and goodbyes at the airports made me cry even harder. For seeming so small at times, this world is a little too big for me. I wish I could be a mother hen, gathering everyone I love under my wings and keeping them there and that is what I would like to do because it would make this love containable and safe.

I am not good at doing hard things. I am not good at goodbyes. I am not good at saying I love you in the way it begs to be said. I am not.


winter snow

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Winter has come to Utah.

I suppose I could complain about the short days, and frigid nights - where the cold doesn't seem to leave you, but rests like smoke on your hair, your face, your paralyzed hands.

We trudge through the drifts, we catch snowflakes - unintentionally - bringing the cold to our homes, but leaving it outside on the front porch. Let the cold watch us through the window, hungrily wanting what it can't have, where the people we love are waiting for us, and the warmth finally sticks.

There is something beautiful about this season that makes us need each other a little more. Our hugs are longer, our kisses not so brief, our laughter takes up more space.

Winter may not need me, but I need winter. It is the best season, and I hope I always live somewhere with lots of snow.

p.s. I guest blogged here today, answering questions about my wedding. So much fun to reminisce about. Thanks for having me Joelle.


love languages

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I have had friends and co-workers ask me what my love language is, and to be candid - I hate that question. Just because someone decided that there are five love languages, people seem to believe that there is this one way you feel loved in order to be fulfilled. If you have ever been in love, you know that there is no such thing as a love language - but there are thousands of languages, and some are learned and some are innate and some are as foreign as the gaping universe surrounding each of us but there is no such thing as one.

The first time I ever cried with Kevin, was in a hammock in the park. The stars stretched out above us - as they did for every important moment in our love life, and we listened to Ryan Adams on my iPod, each of us sharing a bud. My mom left for Connecticut earlier that day, and I was leaving to Hawaii in a week. He didn't say anything as he felt the tears stream down my face, but his hold got a little tighter, and he kissed me on the forehead. I didn't want him to say anything - I already knew.

The first time he told me he loved me I heard it, but the first time I really knew he loved me was when he barraged back from security as he was leaving the airport in Hawaii to pick me up one more time and kiss me goodbye. He had said "I love you" hundreds of times prior but that was the first time I believed him.

Then on the day of our wedding when he showed up at my house and looked so real and full in my doorway and asked me how I slept with a kiss on the cheek, and his hands in his pockets. That said it all. "I love you, I'm not going to try to make you any more nervous than you already are by telling you how much I love you, but I want to do this still if you do."

So I guess my answer is, that I don't believe in love languages but I do believe in love. I believe that you need someone who really knows you, and how you want to be loved, otherwise you begin to wonder, "what is my love language, anyway?"


piece of foreign sky

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I'm not pregnant, and I'm not sure I am ready yet, but that doesn't mean I don't think about being a mom almost every day. It is easy for Kevin and I to think of the things we would miss if we had a baby - vacations, money, career advances, etc. but I read this Anne Campbell poem at a doctor's office a few years ago and think about it a lot.

“You are the trip I did not take; You are the pearls I cannot buy; You are my blue Italian lake; You are my piece of foreign sky.”

Such a beautiful way to express the way I feel about becoming a mother someday.

photo via


The Wednesday Wars

“Think of the sound you make when you let go after holding your breath for a very, very long time. Think of the gladdest sound you know: the sound of dawn on the first day of spring break, the sound of a bottle of Coke opening, the sound of a crowd cheering in your ears because you're coming down to the last part of a race--and you're ahead. Think of the sound of water over stones in a cold stream, and the sound of wind through green trees on a late May afternoon in Central Park. Think of the sound of a bus coming into the station carrying someone you love. Then put all those together.”

After several recommendations to read The Wednesday Wars, her review set me over the edge and I bought a copy at Powell's books in Portland. (my favorite place I went while I was there)

This was a special kind of book, and maybe my favorite since Walk Two Moons. It is young adult fiction which is my favorite genre and not because you don't have to think so hard - which is a misconception about good young adult fiction. I love it because it is unpretentious and it moves fast, and the characters are lovable and believe in the reality of their dreams. Of course that description does not sum up all young adult fiction, but it does sum up the good kind.

This book was emotional for me. I loved Holling so much I wished I could sit down with him and talk about Shakespeare. The book is funny - and it doesn't try too hard, it just is. If you ever thought that Shakespeare was boring, Holling will change your mind. I opened up to my copy of The Tempest after reading this, and was immediately taken back to 6th grade when I was Miranda in my class play, truly believing I was on Broadway and that this performance would be my big break. That is the thing about Y.A.F - it reminds you of who you were. I really liked who I was then and although I like myself now, I think was more lovable as a 6th grader - probably most of us were.

The Wednesday Wars went deeper than most Y.A.F but the tone was still kept light and funny. Schmidt covers war, humiliation, friendship, love, growing up, relationships, etc. in this book that literally took me 5 hours to read - (waiting at the airport, plane, traveling in general). I laughed out loud while reading it, and Kevin would keep asking me to read those parts to him. I sobbed too, on the plane, using the napkin the stewardess gave me as a tissue and burying my face in Kevin's shirt. The best kinds of books will do that to you.

Creatively, The Wednesday Wars inspired me. So simple in its approach, but so meaningful and so beautifully written. As I turned each page, I got so excited to have a child someday who could read this book and experience what I did as I read. There is something so unique about a book that you don't have to analyze too much, but that makes you feel something anyway. I think that even if you are into Safran and Morrison you would love this book. It is beautiful and witty and thoughtful from front to back.

Have you read The Wednesday Wars? What did you think?


Portland II



The last of our Portland photos via Instagram. Do you have Instagram? My username is mvoisin. Follow me so I can follow you! It is my new favorite app.

And, happy weekend everybody.


The Historian

“As a historian, I have learned that, in fact, not everyone who reaches back into history can survive it. And it is not only reaching back that endangers us; sometimes history itself reaches inexorably forward for us with its shadowy claws.”

I haven't reviewed a book in awhile not because I forgot, but because I have been reading this one. The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova was a large literary journey for me not only because of its length (900+ pages) but because of the way it is written and its density. After all of my sisters and my mom finished it with raving reviews however, I knew I needed to read it for myself and I don't regret a page.

It is a book about Dracula - or rather, two young historians and their search for Dracula. It was dangerous and enticing at times, but also very philosophical and thoughtful in its approach. I knew vaguely that Dracula was based off of Vlad Tepes sometime in the 1400's, but there is so much more to that story. How he would impale his enemies and even followers violently. How he created an extensive following based off of The Order of the Dragon, and how he vowed to live forever (in history at least.) It definitely puts The Twilight series to shame, because to me, the Twilight series did a poor job of frightening the reader. In that series, vampires are protectors who suck the blood of animals and protect humans whereas in this more realistic novel, vampires are much more terrifying, and their existence much more believable.Of course mixed in with the historical research and escapades (which at times were a little dry to me,) was a love story that I found sweet and realistic.

One problem I had with the book though, was that it mixed fact with fiction. It was difficult for me to decipher what was real and what was fabricated, which was frustrating. I would have liked some kind of foreword or note from the author clearing up what was real or not. After I read it I googled Vlad Tepes trying to learn more about his real life, but I would have liked that to be more clear in the book.

Otherwise, it was a great read. Ambitious, but intriguing and by the end I really loved the characters. I would recommend reading it if you have a large stretch of time to read - say, a vacation or a long plane ride.

Have you read The Historian? What did you think?