Lizzie's wedding

My bff Lizzie got married last weekend in the Salt Lake Temple. It was such a beautiful, perfect day. She glowed all day long, beaming from happiness. 

It is fun to see such a good friend get married, especially when you grew up together like we did. When we were in fifth grade, we built a fort in the forest behind my house and when we were in junior high we followed our friends to the movies and threw popcorn at them because they were sitting with boys. We went to endless concerts in high school, and witnessed each other's terrible (okay mine were terrible) boyfriends and crushes and broken hearts. We lived together our freshman year of college, and shared clothes and towels and secrets. Together we have camped under the stars, swam in the beaches of Rhode Island, road-tripped, eaten pizza in Boston, and spent countless evenings chatting with popcorn and jelly bellies in hand.

When I first met Brock, I knew they would be together for a long time. They really seem to have been made for each other. Really, it's not just two people who decided to be together and make it work - they are so similar, and so good at taking care of one another.

I was emotional most of the day out of happiness. I know the feeling of love and support and encouragement that can only come from being with someone who loves you enough. Marriage isn't perfect, and sometimes it is frustrating and difficult, but it is also complete and kind and safe in the very best way.

We're so glad Liz and Brock found each other - and so happy that we will all be together in Arizona. (We move in three weeks!?)

Congratulations you little love birds. p.s. forgive the lack of pictures. Instagram is where it's at these days - (my username is @mvoisin if you want to follow along.)

p.p.s - how beautiful are my friends? We have all been through a lot together and I love them so much. 


The Night Circus

“I made a wish on this tree years ago," Marco says.
"What did you wish for?" Bailey asks.
Marco leans forward and whispers in Bailey's ear. "I wished for her."

The Night Circus was my Lake Powell read. Kevin complained when we got home that all I did was read all week, which was true. I couldn't put this book down.

My sisters recommended it to me, and I can see why. It was the most original piece of fiction I have read in a really long time. From beginning to end, it was absolutely magical. Truly, it transports you to a new world with believable characters, and magic that doesn't seem contrived.

The thing I loved the most about it though, was the sensory descriptions. I could taste the cinnamon flavored scones, the perfectly melted caramel apples that were neither hard or soft. The swirling cups of rich, hot chocolate. The wardrobe was described perfectly without getting annoying, and the circus itself sounded like the very best kind of dream. My sisters and I gushed about how badly we wanted to attend the circus after I finished. I don't know how Erin Morgenstern covered every detail so well without going overboard, but she totally did.

The story line itself was complicated and twisting, with complex characters and multiple story lines. At times I wondered where it was going, but it always came around in an unexpected and charming way. The main story line had a Romeo and Juliet feel but we all agreed that it wasn't overdone. Instead, the love story was diluted with other pieces of the story, making it feel less mushy and more romantic.

I do wish that there was a little more closure at the end, and that more explanation of how the magic works was given. But - at the same time, I think that is part of what made it so magical. The secret of it, and the mystery even to those who performed it.

Please read it. It is a great summer time read and the magic is almost tangible. Well done from beginning to end. 

Have you read The Night Circus? What did you think?

But you built me dreams instead.” 


starry night

This week in Lake Powell I slept under the stars until the sun came up, all alone with my thoughts an entire night. I tried sleeping, but it never came so I finally surrendered to the night and let my mind roam.

Shooting stars were always a novelty before that night. I watched shooting stars with friends, and felt like I had to share my wishes with whoever spotted the star first. But that night I had so many to myself that I ran out of wishes and began wishing for the same things again, because the wishes were so big that I felt like they may take multiple wishes. Before my wishes have always been more like desperate hopes, so I turned the hope into a form of prayer and blended the two, making wish/prayers that I know were heard.

If you stare at the stars long enough, you see that they are layered. I think I have only really ever brushed the surface but they stretch so much deeper and behind each star is another one, and another one and their infinity was overwhelming. I lay there and made wishes until the sun came up and the stars disappeared, and then I finally fell asleep.

I don’t know why I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that night under the stars since. No profound thoughts were had, no brilliant ideas. But I did feel closer to God than I have in a long time, and I did feel like it was important for me to keep watching them, so I did.

I guess I forget sometimes how close we can feel to heaven.


Book Club Recap

“I would not have traded the delights of my suffering for anything in the world.”

We met for book club Saturday at Ingrid's lovely apartment where she made us endless ebelskivers. Basically, if you are not already coming to book club, you should. It is the best group of talented and funny girls and, as Brittany put it so well, "kindred spirits." If you know what kindred spirits means and where it is from, you belong there with us. And if you haven't come yet because you are shy, please just come. We will make sure you feel welcome.

We discussed Memories of My Melancholy Whores. I was skeptical about the book because of the title, but I kind of liked it. I didn't love it, but I did like it.

Here are things we discussed:

 - The Madonna/Whore complex. Why women are labeled as one or the other, and cannot be both. You are either pure as a woman or tainted. We talked about how men idealize virgins, and why they might do that.

- Falling in love at 90 years old. How beautiful that aspect of the story was. Just when you think that nothing will surprise you again, you fall in love for the first time. Such a lovely thing to think about.

- Living alone, and making up your own realities when you have been alone for long enough.

- The fact that he fell in love with the sleeping girl. About maybe why he would love her because she isn't awake to nag him, to tell him to pick up his socks, or to put his own dishes in the dishwasher. 

- Age gaps in relationships. We discussed this pretty thoroughly. I think we all agreed that relationships don't always happen the same for all of us. How a 90 year old can love a 14 year old and she can love him back.

I loved book club last week and am excited for our next meeting.

We are reading The Great Gatsby. All of us discussed it in Junior High, before we actually knew how to discuss books. Also, most of us wanted to re-read it before the movie comes out. (If you haven't seen the trailer yet, watch it here. I can't wait to see it.)

Have you read the book? What did you think? What books should we discuss next? Any favorites out there?


Do Everything

There are too many things to say. And there are far too many things to do.

I've decided that my new life mantra is Andy Warhol's simple epithet: Do Everything.

I told Kevin that I want to live by that mantra my entire life. I want to go to Cairo and Jerusalem. To spend a year in the French countryside. A year in Italy. To raft in Peru (which we are actually going to do over Thanksgiving!)

I want to go to culinary school, and interior design school. I want to get my PHD in Creative Writing and teach at a university. I want to learn to sew and paint and fly fish.

"I want to have a dozen kids," I told Kevin and received two adorable, raised eyebrows in response. Because, well, a dozen is a lot but I want a house full of noisy, sassy, perfect children. I want to be a mom to all of them.

I want to work for a major company. I went to QVC this week and was enthralled by the business model. I want to create that. I want to be an editor. I want to write so many books.  I want to open a restaurant. I want to learn to take photographs. I want to learn how to play the cello, and the harp.

I have heard parents limit my piano students. "He didn't practice because..." "This song was too hard for her..." "She can't do it." It makes me so angry the way some of them do it so casually. I often wondered why these parents would limit their kids, instead of pushing them to be better. Instead of expecting excellence.

When I think about it though, I am so quick to limit myself. "I can't do this and have kids..." "I can't go there because of money..." "I'm not talented enough."

But this morning on my carpool to work with Kev, we dreamt up all of the things we could and will do. It's not a matter of if, but when with a husband like him. That might sound blindly optimistic but if I have the choice between limiting or aspiring the answer is so simple. I feel like it has taken my entire life up to this point to realize this basic, essential truth:

We can have exactly what we want. 

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