Tonight, while looking at my new friend Yani’s beautiful profile picture on FB, I spotted a familiar face in the ad column. Hello me.

I don’t know what to say. I hate it. I hate that an ad exists where I’m talking about my son dying of a brutal, horrifying disease like Pertussis. I hate that those words knew how to come out of my mouth. I hate that they’re true. I hate that we are a horrible tragedy. I hate that we are a tragic statistic. I hate that I watched him suffer the way that I did. I hate that I watched him, helpless, lying there, and that there was not a thing I could do to help. I hate that one of the last memories I have of him with his eyes open, was right as they sedated him for the first time. . . he locked eyes with me as he drifted off to sleep. I hate that I could see the horrible pain in those beautiful brown eyes. I hate that he died. I hate it. I hate it all. I hate every ounce of it, and I wish I could change it.

I see things like this ad and I think “That poor girl,” as if I’m completely disconnected from her. I hate to admit that sometimes, like tonight, I feel completely disconnected from what happened to us. I hate feeling that way, because really what I’m feeling, is the absence of feeling, and I’m convinced that there’s no feeling in the world more frustrating, more maddening, than the lack thereof.

Numbness frightens me. I don’t like feeling detached. I want to feel connected. I want to feel my pain. Not in a masochistic kind of way, rather I want to feel connected to my sorrow, because that’s where he lives. And I never want to forget him. But more than that, I want to feel my sorrow, because I know it’s there. I want to let it out, because when it stays inside, I’m suffocated. And I hate it. Hate, hate, hate.

But, do you want to know what I love?

I love that tomorrow morning, the sun is sure to rise, and I love that if I’m lucky, I’ll find a moment to go outside and stand in it. I love that at 7 am sharp, I’ll hear little feet pitter patting their way to the potty and then in to make sure I haven’t sleep a solitary MOMENT longer than necessary. I love that I’ll get to make breakfast, wash dishes, hold hands, make lunches and kiss boo boos. I love that at one point or another, I’m guaranteed to want to hide in the bathroom to find one tiny moment of solitude and peace.  I love that there will be chaos, all kinds of glorious madness, and that I’ll have to walk a 4 year old to the naughty chair approximately seven hundred and forty-six times. I love that I get to go read to a classroom full of snotty nosed kindergartners, and I love that I’m the kind of mom who will do all the voices. I love that the day will stretch, pull, trample and prod at every recess of my heart and that it is likely to test my will to the breaking point. . . because all these things are evidence that life is good and that God always giveth FAR more than he taketh away.


click here to open post Mar 30, 2011 | posted in Inspire | 7 comments

A letter from Japan. Beautiful lessons on kindness, endurance and rediscovering what matters most.  Enjoy.

Hello My Lovely Family and Friends. . . .

Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. . . . I am now staying at a friend’s home. We share supplies like water, food and a kerosene heater. We sleep lined up in one room, eat by candlelight, share stories. It is warm, friendly, and beautiful.

During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People sit in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line up to get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water running in their home, they put out sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets.

Amazingly where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, “Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another.”

Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens are constant and helicopters pass overhead often.

We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for half a day. Electricity came on this afternoon. Gas has not yet come on. But all of this is by area. Some people have these things, others do not. No one has washed for several days. We feel grubby, but there are so much more important concerns than that for us now. I love this peeling away of non-essentials. Living fully on the level of instinct, of intuition, of caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the entire group.

There are strange parallel universes happening. Houses a mess in some places, yet then a house with futons or laundry out drying in the sun. People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their dogs. All happening at the same time.

Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night. No cars. No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered with stars. I usually can see about two, but now the whole sky is filled. The mountains are Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them silhouetted against the sky magnificently.

And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no.

They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls, shaking, rumbling. I am blessed in that I live in a part of Sendai that is a bit elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is better off than others. Last night my friend’s husband came in from the country, bringing food and water. Blessed again.

Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I felt so small because of all that is happening. I don’t. Rather, I feel as part of something happening that much larger than myself. This wave of birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.

Thank you again for your care and Love of me,

With Love in return, to you all,

Check it out! Richie and I will be speaking at the LDS Business Conference (April 7-8, 2011) in Park City, UT!

We are completely honored (and somewhat dumbfounded) to be speaking along with business greats, Stephen R. Covey, Stephen M.R. Covey, Sheri Dew, Kevin Rollins, Bob Gay, Mark Willes and more.  Richie and I speak back to back on Friday the 8th and would love to see you there! In fact. . .

Exclusive Discount!

As an exclusive discount for Natalie Norton Blog readers, the LDSBC is offering a special day rate for those who would like to attend the conference on APRIL THE 8TH ONLY. Speakers that day include: Stephen R. Covey, Stephen M.R. Covey, Kevin Rollins, Richie Norton, Natalie Norton, and more.

Couple Day Pass (attendee + spouse): $650
Single Day Pass (attendee only): $400
Student Day Pass (with valid student ID): $100

Day passes are valid for the entire event on Friday, April 8th, including lunch. Please note: day passes do not include the closing dinner.

Don’t miss this unparalleled opportunity to learn and network with a peer group of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders!

To take advantage of this exclusive (and REMARKABLY GENEROUS) discount, contact Trisha at trishazemp{at}ldsbusinessconference{dot}com or call 801-576-2636 (ask to be connected to Trisha).

We would LOVE to see you there!!! And no, you do not have to be a member of the LDS church to attend (because I know at least 4 million of you are wondering that;)).

Happy weekending!



Remember this cute booty from yesterday? Well, here’s the beautiful family it belongs to. We had such a wonderful afternoon together! After spending time in their wonderfully eclectic living space, I’m pretty near certain that Ashley and I have identical taste in art and home decor. Wish I could move in. . . Thank you for the fun Lukens family!


Be sure to check out Ashley’s wonderful store/website, Baby Awearness. One of the only drawbacks to living in Hawaii is that occasionally there is a lack of the types of resources you’d find in other communities. What Ashley has done with Baby Awearness here on Oahu is really quite remarkable. The business focuses on providing echo friendly and organic options for families who want to learn to live greener, healthier, happier lives. The shop is the largest retailer of cloth diapers on the island, they offer a library of parenting books that you can literally borrow and return, and host all kinds of parenting classes/workshops: organic gardening, cooking, baby sign language, mommy/baby yoga, and more. Told you she’s cool.

I can’t wait to show you the rest of her!

I’ve committed to at least 7 hours of sleep a night for the next 11 days. Seems like no big deal, but it surprising how quickly the night can get away from you if you’re not careful! Off to bed. More of this lovely lady coming soon!