Jun 13, 2012 | posted in moms best, parenting, Personal | 9 comments

Summer Bucket List Challenge!

Sincerely, what greater memories do you have from your childhood than those of summer fun?? Sure, Christmas is great, birthdays are a blast, but SUMMER?? It can’t be beat. Otter pops, starry nights, the smell of campfire, sleeping in, staying up late. . . oh. I could go on for days.

This is why it’s so vitally important to me to make summer GREAT for my family. I’m completely committed to making this summer a time of family togetherness, bonding, love, healing and rejuvenation. This is MY time. The rest of the year, my boys spend 6 hours, every.single.day, away at school. They go to an excellent school, mind you, with exceptional teachers and friends, but they are outside of my  . . . um . . . bubble of motherly adoration, love and protection?? for SIX hours a day! I see summer as my time to love on them like ca-razy, to remind them just how special, amazing and downright AWESOME SAUCE they really are. (Not that this kind of loving-on-ing is reserved exclusively for summertime, obviously not, but this is my chance to make the love and praise and sense of absolute belonging totally INCESSANT. And I plan to!)

The Norton family has joined The Happy Family Movement’s Summer Bucket List Challenge and this is our list!

I’ll be posting an Instagram image every time we complete one of the items on our list (NatalieNorton on Instagram or follow on the web here). If at the end of the summer, July 31st for us (I know, right?!), you notice that we’ve missed something on our list, email me at aloha@natalienortonblog.com, and the first 5 people to call us out will get a $25 iTunes gift card from yours truly. How’s that for committed?!

Want to participate in The Summer Bucket List Challenge with the Norton’s, the Solar’s and other awesome families across the globe? It’s easy, enter here (the Solars are giving away all kinds of exciting prizes all summer long)!

Once you’ve entered, join me in posting all your shenanigans on Instagram, be sure to tag your instagram photos #summerbucketlist and at the end of the summer, I may just decide to feature my favorite image(s) here on the blog. . . I may even decide to give one lucky family an exciting little gift. :) Lots of ambiguity here, no? I guess it’s all dependent on just how exciting all y’all decide to be! Prizes, should there be any, will be awarded for fun and creativity. . . it’s not about crazy pants activities, expense or being elaborate. I’m all about simplicity, real life and HAPPINESS!

Enough talk! It’s time to fight against TV, video games, the internet and even friends (we all know we compete with our kid’s friends for their attention ALL.SUMMER.LONG). I hope you feel as empowered as I do to  get out there and make this summer your best yet!

Jun 13, 2012 | posted in Family Portraits, Personal, vacation oahu | 22 comments

Visiting the rock at Waimea is an Oahu vacation must!

Don’t be fooled by his bravery. A) It’s higher than it looks. B) My kids are always the youngest jumpers (generally by at least a decade). I’ve seen many a grown man humbly climb back down the way he came.

JUMP AT YOUR OWN RISK. I am not endorsing this activity for any individual (except for myself, because I love it) or for any family (except my own, because it’s awesome).


PS. Woke up at 3:30 this morning and figured out my silly computer mess. Bam. Take THAT technology!

Per request: PHOTOGRAPHER INFORMATION: Canon 5d MK II, 24 mm 1.4 lens, set at f 5.6 and 1/500th of a second, AI Focus.

Jun 13, 2012 | posted in Personal | 5 comments


Doesn’t summer look delicious??!

Oh, by the waaaaaayyyyyyyy…

My lap top crashed today. Insert huuuuuge, ginormous, teary eyed, snotty nosed, hairy-as-heck frowny face: here. So bummed. So.

Hoping beyond hope that when I take it in to the apple doctor tomorrow, they’ll be able to repair it. I’m not worried about data. I’m totally backed up. I just reeeeeealllllllly don’t want to have to buy a new computer.

At all.

Meh. What will be, will be, right? No use worrying over something you can’t do a lollywaggle about.

Enjoy these beautiful clouds over Waimea Bay, and every one of my fingers are crossed that I’ll be back again with real posts in the next day or two!

PS. Cardon’s new thing is making an INCESSANT farting sound by blowing air out of his floppy lips (does that explanation make a lick of sense??). “Frrrrrrrrrrrr frrrrrrrrrrrrrrr frrrrrrrrrrrrr,” all.day.long. All I can figure, is that from a sensory stand point (SPD, remember) it must be calming. Anyone out there have any input for me?? I’m about ready to crack. Going bat-freaking-crazy listening to this all day long!!! Snort.


And PPS all images were taken with the self same phone from which I’m posting this very post. Technology is so amazing…when it WORKS. ;)

Jun 11, 2012 | posted in Personal | 28 comments

This is my mom.

Her name is Annie.

But we call her “Grammie” (and my kid’s friends call her “Auntie Grammie”. . . because it’s awesome. . . and because I make them).

She’s brave. She’s generous. She’s kind. She’s FULLLLLL of joy and light and perfect empathy and unconditional love. In complete sincerity, she’s unlike anyone you’ve ever known. These aren’t simply sweet birthday words from a loving daughter. Truly, ask anyone who knows her. She’s exceptional. Completely and totally so.

We love you, Grammie!


Alllllllll of us

PS. Lincoln: “I love Grammie, because she’s really nice, and she lets us visit her, and she lets us be her grandkids.”  Cardon: “I love Grammie, because she’s nice, and ’cause she loves me.” Raleigh: “I love Grammie because she’s AMAZINGLY nice and she helps us with EVERYTHING.”

Jun 08, 2012 | posted in Personal, vacation oahu | 8 comments

The end.

(Oh Hawaii. Oh. Oh. Oh.)

**Bottom image in this post: Hukilau Beach. Laie, HI. Soooooo great for the kiddies.

**I get emails ALL.THE.TIME requesting vacation information for Hawaii travel. It’s impossible for me to answer all of these requests (particularly because I don’t know your personal groove). That said, I’m going to add a blog category: “Vacation Oahu,” and as I chronicle the next 6 weeks for our family, I’ll do my best to include pertinent vacation information for those who may be interested. I sure do love y’all! xx! N