30 August, 2010

out with the old!!!!!!!!!!!

yo party people!

turn on this song and then meet me on the new blog!



PS. Melissa won the consult!
(don't worry, I made sure not do count the duplicate entries)


Email me at natalienorton [at] gmail [dot] com
and we'll schedule your consult!

Be sure to let me know who referred you so they can win too!


Peace out homies!


23 August, 2010

Giveaway: Free photo consultation (or two)!

I want to give something away. . .

perhaaaaaaps. . .
to blind you from the fact that I'm taking my pretty little time
building content for the new blog. :)


I'm giving away a free 1 hour photo consultation!

a $120 value!

We can discuss anything you wish!

photo critique.
technical help.
building your portfolio.
post processing.
natural light.
the purpose of life.

whatever makes you happy.

If you ARE, awesome. But it's not a deal killer if you aren't.
I'd LOVE to help you "just get better pictures of the kids"!

To Enter:
  1. comment with your name (if there's no link back to your name, I need an email so I can contact you in the event that you win the consultation).
  2. tell your friends via twitter, facebook, blog post and all the etcs because guess what!? I just decided (yes, just this second) that if the winner was referred here by a friend, I'll give that person a free consultation as well! woot woot woot!
  3. winner will be chosen at random (thank you random.org), Friday at 4pm Hawaii time.
Now, I am saying "see you later alligator" to this old blog
and won't be back until content is built and the new blog is ready to launch!

Good luck!

I hope YOU win! ;)



Natalie Norton: guest judge www.iheartfaces.com!

I'm a guest judge this week over at i heart faces!

The theme for the photo contest is
"beach fun."

Enter by Tuesday night (8.24) at 9pm CST
to be considered in the contest!

Can't wait to see all your awesomeness!





off today dealing with this.

you don't know what a beautiful thing it is to be able to breathe. . .

until you can't.

I've been dealing with a ridiculous "shortness of breath"
issue for nearly 3 weeks now.

makes life miserable and my new training program torturous.

we've treated it like asthma.
no change.
like anxiety.
I've approached it with meditation, prayer, magnesium.

so today, my doctor is insisting on a PFT
(pulmonary function test).
I'm going along with it, but I'm sure it's going to be a dead end.

I'm still hung up on the anxiety diagnosis.
I think that's the problem.

but one way or another.

take a big deep breath for me today and I'll see you tomorrow.

prayerfully, on a new blog.



20 August, 2010

EIGHT years ago today.

I married this guy 8 years ago today.

(I know, he looks like he's 14)

He had just turned 22, I had just turned 21,
and we had known each other for a whopping 2 months.

true story.

Yesterday we were sitting on the back porch,
chatting about how crazy we were and Richie said:

"You know, had I known then what I know now,
I would have married you even faster than that."

and all I could say to that is a resounding "ME TOO, ABSOLUTELY!"

These 8 years have been blissful. . .
annnnnd, they've been like the refiner's fire in so many ways.

Not in regards to our marriage, AT ALL.
but in regards to the craziest life circumstances you could possibly imagine,
in your very wildest dreams, ever.
all crammed into this short little window of life.

and yet today,
looking back,
I can honestly say now that I'm grateful for all of it.

and I am so thankful to have held YOUR hand along the way and no one else's.

I love you Richie.

yours forever,

Nat Nat

PS. I'm off for the day celebrating us.
Tomorrow I've got an exciting wedding in Kailua,
soooo I'll see you next week. . .
hopefully with the launch of the new blog!


18 August, 2010

running shoes.


I found one of my running shoes lying alone in the driveway.
it's partner was nowhere to be found.

Lincoln tells me that he threw them outside
(for reasons currently unknown).


Lincoln, mommy really needs to find my other shoe
or I'm not going to be able to practice and I'm going to lose my race.

(really concerned face then, BAM! light bulb!)

You can just hop really really fast!


Thank you Lincoln.

I'll do that.


thank you all so much for your encouragement and running tips.

I'm happy to report that I actually did it.

Monday, I ran 3 consecutive miles!
well, I did walk 2 small hills for less than 1 min each.

I was bewildered by my ability to do this.

truly stunned.

not to say it was at all pleasant.


I'm quite certain there were 3 or 4 times when I actually
HOPED a car would take me out and save me from my misery.

Tuesday was a resting day.

Today, I miraculously did it again!




To be totally transparent:
I'm freaking out of my mind.

Allllllll that said,
honestly thank you.

Your tips and encouragement truly gave me courage.

So many of you expressed the reality that it's all a mental game.
I can now attest to that as well,
because when I said earlier that there was no way I could EVER,
EVER run 3 miles,
I wasn't being modest.

It was quite literally, physically impossible. . .
and yet. . .


I'm amazed and can't help but mention the parallel to life in general.

I'm consistently CONVINCED that I just CAN'T do this or that,
and yet. . .


lots of love and happy Wednesday!


If you get a sec, there was an article written about baby gavin
in the honolulu advertiser. check it out here.
we'd love your comments.

17 August, 2010

pretty patty.

ok guys, guess what?

that sexy blond?

is Richie's grandma.


she's still gorgeous and glamorous as ever!

15 August, 2010

because I'm crazy.

(alternate title, "because I'm on crack")

I did it.
I signed up for the Gunstock Ranch 1/2 marathon.
again, because I'm crazy.
(or perhaps just high as a kite)

I'm a week behind in the standard 12 week training program,
and tomorrow I start with a 3 mile run.

(I ask you, how is this a beginning training program
if it starts with a freaking 3 mile run?
. . . but I digress)

I'm 100% certain, that I cannot run 3 miles.

100% certain.

(read: there is no way in h.e.double-hockey-sticks
that I can run 3 consecutive miles tomorrow)

and the only reason I'm telling you all this is
because I know once the whole world knows,
I'll be too prideful to quit.

the end.

want to run the race October 30th?
register here.

oh and PS.
I'm open to ANY and ALL tips you have for me.


13 August, 2010

and then we called 911.

This morning.

was beautiful.

5am smelled like rain and freshly cut grass
and not like "urgh, hit snooze."

and then, Lincoln woke up.

and swallowed a penny.

and life went all crazy pants.

and suddenly I was on my knees in front of him,
praying with all of my soul. . .

PLEASE! not again. PLEASE!

but my face was calm as Heaven itself.
(That gift of calm in crisis is inherent and comes from my mom. . .).

and then he started talking and breathing (and whimpering).


and after a short fiasco with the paramedics and then the ER,
all is well.

and my heart is FILLED with gratitude.
because, I cannot do another gavin ever again.


oh and ps. I'm told that that bubble around the demon penny,
is a fart.

life, hope and love.

I was so moved by this video.
To my very core.

Tears flowed freely
as I listened and learned
about life, hope and the enduring love of God.

12 August, 2010

10 + 10 = school sucks (in alphabetical order).

Post edited to include: Please don't wrongly assume that this post is directed at my children's school, Laie Elementary. I LOVE Laie Elementary and the wonderful teachers there. This post was triggered by a general observation of the state of the public education system as a whole, watching too much news while on the mainland and many fascinating discussions with friends (who are MUCH smarter than I. . . than me. . . than I. . . see what I mean?).

If you don't want to read through my whole train-of-thought rant,
I'd still love your opinion on THIS:

How do you make sure your kids
get the best they can from public education?


I just want my kids to feel smart

I just want my kids to develop their own unique creativity

I just want my kids to think independently

I just want my kids to be confident in who they are inhernetly

Is that too much to ask??

apparently so.
. . . .
A lot of my problems with public school
are chalked up as being "just a normal part of growing up."


since when is a 2nd grader's ability to write a word (neatly)
20 times more indicative of his ability to spell it
than just repeating it correctly a few times orally?

How does that activity nurture a true and lasting love of learning?
(particularly when the kid is clearly maxed out and miserable . . .)

how does forcing a kindergartner to color PERFECTLY within the lines
say anything about his intellect?

Particularly if the kindergartner HATES coloring.

and don't you dare go on and on about learning fine motor skills.

there are clearly other ways to encourage proper fine motor development
that won't SQUASH the child's eventual love of writing.

How does holding a kid back from recess
because she didn't finish her math as quickly as her peers . . .
do ANYTHING constructive for ANYONE?!

I could go on.
and on.
and on.
and on.

. . . .

just because WE grew up in a broken system,
that doesn't make it normal.

what I see
(now that I'm looking with my own two eyes
and not through the bottle thick glasses I wore through my public education k-12)

is NOT anywhere in sight of "normal."

and at the very least. . . it sure doesn't have to be.

I'm not here to bag on government.
or teachers.
or administrators.
or parents.

except that I am in fact going to bag on everyone,
just a little

because for crying out loud,

and it's all our fault (collectively).

government, I don't know what to say to you.
though if I did, it might sound something like "lay off!" . . . ???

you act like because you give us money,
you get to control us. . .

wasn't it our own money to begin with?!

teachers, where has your passion gone?!
(because I know you didn't get into this for the money)

and don't blame it on government restrictions,
or lack of funding.

Last I checked, passion came from WITHIN
(the majority portion of which is choice based, trust me)
and is born from the love and respect you have
for the children who need you
(even if you secretly want to hit them upside the head,
and again, trust me, I know a lot of them could probably use it)

Administrators. . .
I've been told that you are the children's advocates.

act like it.

cut our teachers (and parents) some slack and let them
do the job (that I truly believe many of them were BORN to do)
the way it needs to be done.
(they way only THEY can do it, because they're amazing!)

get in there.

even if your kid's teacher looks at you like "one of those" parents.

stop caring about that and get.in.there.

parents think they have no control over the education system,

and let's prove it to them.

because this is so completely far from normal.
. . . .

I sincerely want to know what you think
and how you make it work for your family
(or plan to when you're an old lady like me with kids in big kid school).

talk to me.

please note: I scored AMAZING parents who encouraged and REQUIRED my brother and I to be self directed learners. . . they taught us to think for ourselves. PRAISE YOU MOM. I also scored some AMAZING teachers (Mrs Gega, Mrs Shire, Mrs Dominguez, that choir teacher in middle school who's name I can't remember, Mrs Woolsey and a million more) and so have my kids (all the pre k teachers, Mrs K, Ms Butterworth). THANK YOU HEAVEN ABOVE!

10 August, 2010

I don't want to blog today.

I don't want to blog today.

And I am the boss of myself.

So there.

09 August, 2010

to doo doo.

I'm going to be breathing this image into my soul all day long
to keep from having a full blown anxiety attack.

Just so you know.

What's on YOUR to doo doo list today?

Mine looks like crazy x lady gaga.


06 August, 2010

Happy Weekending.

photo from sister Chelsea's wedding by Jon

03 August, 2010

birthday balloons.

today you turn 4.



There was a distinct feeling present
at the birth of each of you boys. . .

each different.
each powerful beyond description.

and for you, sweet Lincoln,
the moment you were born,
that room was FILLED to the brim with JOY.

absolute joy in it's very purest sense.

Everyone felt it.

Complete happiness.

and it was thick. tangible. and indescribable.

No one (doctors and nurses included)
could stop smiling or outright laughing out loud with joy.

It was completely infectious.

YOU are completely infectious.

Every perfect little part of your perfect little spirit.

You still fill our lives with absolute joy.

Every minute.

of every single day.

We love you big boy!!!



02 August, 2010

huppy burfday big guy!


There's no one I'd rather "ride the river with."

Happy birthday baby!



30 July, 2010

on the road again.

look at this wonderful picture
my v. v. talented friend Ryan Muirhead took of my boys.

then tell me their abundant adorableness
didn't make you poop in your pants.



we're on the road again.

back to Utah for baby Chelsea's wedding
(don't worry, baby Chelsea is 24 as of yesterday).

On a side note,
she's marrying a prince.

but like, for real.
she is.

I'm feeling kinda bleh from all this travel.

You know how it's just common womanly knowledge
that you gain 5 lbs for every 1,000 miles you spend in
a car eating road trip food?

Well, folks,
I've been in a car for 6,000 miles. . .
with ZERO shortage of road trip goodies.

Watch out world!
and please, don't look at me from behind.

happy weekending!

28 July, 2010

This is an alien. Love, Cardon

Today Cardon was looking at Cousin Ashley's art
with Grandma.
He decided he wanted to draw something for her.

"To Ashley,
This is an alien.

27 July, 2010

read this. LOVED it.

"How you go'n stand it. . . . I mean goin' home every night and she ain't there."

"Do I got a choice, Will Tweedy? I got to stand it, ain't I? Livin' is like pourin' water out of a tumbler into a dang Coca-Cola bottle. If'n you're scared you can't do it, you can't. If'n you say to yourself, 'By dang, I can do it!' then by dang, you won't slosh a drop . . . . I wouldn't ask the Lord to steady my hand for a thing like pourin' water into a Coca-Cola bottle. But I'll be askin' Him for help on this."

-Cold Sassy Tree
Olive Ann Burns

PS. Hopefully I'll get my act together and get the final changes to the designer for the new blog soon! Holding off on "real" blogging until after my face lift. :) Hang in there friends! SOOOOOO close!

26 July, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me.

Today is my birthday.

I'm 29.



Got this awesome b-day surprise from my Costa Rician muchacho.
(he's singing softly so he doesn't wake up his hombres)

If the video doesn't load, go here to see all the awesome that is Richie.

richie b day from Natalie Norton on Vimeo.