click here to open post Nov 16, 2011 | posted in Personal | 26 comments

We grabbed this in a total of 5 minutes, at dusk (which is basically code for DARK in this case). I love it times a million.

Reason number 900,376 that I love Gina Zeidler:

Us | The Nortons from Gina Zeidler on Vimeo.

click here to open post Nov 15, 2011 | posted in Uncategorized | 7 comments

Above: My boys and I. . . snuggling, sleeping and loving each other right on up.

Auntie G is in town, so that means lots of amazing photography of us doing what we do best. . . being us.

It’s that time of year, the time of year when everyone else gussies up to have their family portraits taken; not us. All I want to do is snuggle my babies and eat bon bons (not really, in actuality I don’t even know what a “bon bon” is). I’m so happy that G is here to capture us. . ., including all the snuggling and imaginary bon bons we can stand.

Love you, G. So much.

I first met sweet Courtney at The Breathe Intensive in Las Vegas last February. The first thing I noticed was her overwhelming smile and her bright, bright eyes. . . so full of kindness and love. She is a beautiful woman, a brilliant designer and a completely exceptional mother. I feel honored to know her. Truly.

It was AMAZING to get to know her LOVELY little family during our session together in California. They are crazy about each other, and it shows. I’ve enjoyed working on these images! I can just FEEL their love jumping off the screen. Ahh! Love these images. Love this family. LOVE. Enjoy! xo! N

QUICK wrap up and then back to our regularly scheduled programming, scout’s honor.

Above: Instax: Crew + me: @ the airport. As per every other second of our lives.

I know.

I’m sorry that this blog was completely hijacked by my sudden genealogical mid life crisis (of sorts). We’ve all been completely and totally saturated by The Generation’s Project, but I’m happy (and very sad) to report that the journey has officially come to a close. . . though truth be told, in my actual life and heart, it’s only just begun.

To say, AGAIN, that my involvement in this project has changed my life sounds ridiculously trite in contrast to the true feelings of my soul.

I will never be the same.

Above: Instax: The last scene of the episode was filmed here in Phoenix.
It was SO refreshing to have my family involved.
Missed them like crazy.

What I learned, in CliffNotes form:

1. We are closer to those who have gone before us than we might think. They care about us and are very much invested in the types of lives we lead. (I KNOW how absurd that must sound, but this experience has shown me that it is, in fact, truth.)

2. We should live each day in grateful tribute to those who have gone before. . . family yes, but also, leaders, innovators, heroes of all shapes and sizes, even the lost, lonely and forgotten. . .  and on and on and on. We have been given MUCH; we have MUCH to be grateful for.

3.  A grateful heart, is a happy heart. A grateful heart is NEVER a victim of circumstance and can withstand even the cruelest occurrences in life with courage and even joy.

4.  Being anxiously engaged in the service of others, carries with it a deep sense of satisfaction (and hope) that cannot be found in any other way.

5.  It is important that we keep a history, that our children, and their children, and on and on and on, might learn from our challenges and mistakes and rejoice in our successes. We must write, that they might know that the same courage and will to prevail that lives within us, is inherent also to them. We must record that they might know that they are LOVED, and even before they are consciously known, they matter.

Above: Instagram (NatalieNorton)
En route to the airport: final flight.
Officially bidding this journey a very fond aloooooha!

My commitment moving forward. Again, very much abridged:

1.  I will thank God for my blessings every, single day.

2.  I will LOVE and CHERISH my living children. . . in honor of Almira. . . who could not do so for her own.

3. I will continue the legacy of service left by brave and beautiful Lucy. I will not wallow in grief or hide behind self pity and doubt; I will step forward and lose myself in doing good, every day, and always.

4. I will continue to write, that my children (and theirs) might know me, completely–that they might know my deep, abiding love for them and for that God who gives us life. I will write the TRUTH, as I see it, from the bottom of my soul.

5. I will seek God more completely. I will strive to know him more intimately, through sincere prayer, openly expressed gratitude, and daily study of his inspired word.

My sincere gratitude (and so much love you can taste it) to those who made this episode possible: Racquel, Kohl, Marcia, Jack, Katiene, my soul sister, Chantelle, and allllll the folks at Mirror Lake!

Aloooooha, N

Now, as promised. . . and you’re welcome, in advance: