Welcome to The Awesome Factory blog.

Helping families bond through unforgettable adventures.

 
It should feel impossible. Dec 05, 2022

We want to help you figure out how to get/do the thing you want that feels impossible. 

90 seconds from our recent Couple's Getaway.

P.S. Emily thinks I need a haircut. Yes/No?

 

 

 

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How Jason Saves His Family - let me read you a story Nov 29, 2022

I want to share a story with you. It’s about how a dad saves his family, but not in the way you think. 

This is an excerpt from one of my favorite books (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years), and it’s at the heart of why Emily and I do what we do. It’s what we hope for you, your marriage and your children.

 

 

 

 

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What Fear Feels Like to Me and 2 Ways I Deal With It. Nov 21, 2022

I’ve had some financial worries this week. Some stuff we have in motion has taken a left turn and it’s unnerving me. Nothing life shattering, but enough that it’s on my mind. I’m generally emotionally chill. I’m not freaking out and we’re steadily working things out. But I’m realizing my body doesn’t lie.

When I wake up in the morning, I feel the twinge of fear. Normally, I’m not so self-aware, but this week I’ve tried to be very conscious about what I’m feeling emotionally and...

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Touchstone Nov 16, 2022

by Emily Orton

 

It took me almost 17 years of parenting to learn this. 

When our family lived on a sailboat. It was a new rhythm. Every household chore took exponentially more time—grocery shopping, storing food, meals from scratch, and laundry washed by hand.

Refilling our water tanks took five hours every four days. It was the same for home schooling without the internet or a printer. 

Despite the overwhelm, I was hesitant when Erik suggested reassigning meal preparation to our three oldest kids, ages 12-16.

This shift...

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This Coffin Reminded Me to Live Better Oct 28, 2022

by Emily Orton

 

Have you ever heard of a death cafe? I read about them a few years ago in a free airplane magazine. Death cafes are like regular cafes except they feature an open coffin and an invitation to try it out.

 

The premise behind a death cafe is that pondering the inevitability of death over a cup of hot chocolate will stimulate deeper thoughts and conversations about how we spend our lives. 

 

Personally, I’ve found this to be true. I jumped at the chance to try out a coffin in Phoenix last weekend. 

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Half Dome - Half Done Oct 07, 2022

Do you know The North Face logo? That’s Half Dome. The “north face” is the sheer cliff side of Half Dome. That’s what the company is named after.

Our trip to Yosemite was scheduled for late September. We would be there for two weeks. A messaged popped on one of the rock climbing Facebook pages I’m on. “Anyone want to climb RNWF in late September?” RNWF stands for Regular Northwest Face. It’s the first rock climbing routes ever established up the cliff face of Half Dome. I raised my hand. After...

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Parable of Refueling Sep 27, 2022

Already Delayed 

The captain said, “My powers of salesmanship were not successful.” Our flight had already been delayed forty minutes. On a commercial flight, a simple mechanical concern can often be resolved quickly but then there is paperwork. The paperwork can take the most time. 

 

Trying to make up for the delay the Captain appealed to carry less “contingency fuel.” He argued that we had more than enough to make it to our destination. He said, “We have plenty of fuel.” He knew adding 100...

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Summer of Love - a quick recap Sep 02, 2022

I’m sitting in the room I wrote about last time. Einstein said, “Imagination is greater than knowledge.” This room used to be covered in layers of grungy, old carpet. The walls were covered in dark, rough wood panels, surrounded by built in shelves and the window covered with light blocking red velvet curtains. Imagination is a kind of faith to create in our mind before something exists in reality. We let our imagination go to work on this room.

It’s now got a Scandinavian blond wood floor, the walls are painted a clean...

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Imagination is More Important Than Knowledge - Albert Einstein May 02, 2022

I’m learning to re-love the word faith. The word faith is fraught in modern society. It often connotes a denial of facts, skepticism of science, a woohoo approach to life. I’m experiencing it differently right now. I’m experiencing faith as the ability to discover the unseen, the finer things hidden from undiscerning eyes. Albert Einstein famously said, “Imagination is greater than knowledge.” I used to think he was talking about imagination in the childish sense: imaginary friends, being playful, willing to be...

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The Need for Rest - dispatches from Bolivia Mar 30, 2022

 

After a week in Bolivia, I needed some rest. Several months ago, I was asked to produce a series of mini documentaries about a non-profit, Charity Vision, healing blindness around the world. They help patients, whether they can pay or not. Our first trip was last week. I’m almost recovered.

With a producing partner and two cinematographers, we boarded flights. Two back-to-back redeyes took us to Lima, Peru and then on to La Paz, Bolivia. A lost passport on our team led to another (third) late night for me. The altitude...

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From Berlin to Kiev with Love - thoughts on the invasion and Cold War 2.0 Mar 09, 2022

1983

We rode in a sleeper train from West Germany to West Berlin, passing through the Soviet controlled portion of East Germany. It was 1983. I was nine. The train stopped in a switchyard. My father woke me up and pulled back the curtain slightly so I could look out the window. Before departure, they’d told us to keep the windows and curtains shut, but my dad told me, “I want you to see this.” He wanted me to see communism in person. He wanted it to make an impression. As my bleary eyes looked out the window, I saw a guard...

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What Can We Learn from People Who Make Things Look Easy? Feb 23, 2022

Effortless

In his book Effortless, Greg McKeown explains our cultural aversion to easy. It feels like cheating. It’s less noble. It yields a cheap result. But is that actually true? Or is it something we impose on ease?

In my previous post, I wrote about how easy it was to go paragliding. I'd been making it hard in my head, unnecessarily hard.

“I can do hard things” is the pep-talk of our day. Yes, I can do hard things. So can you. But do we make things unnecessarily hard when they can be easy? So much of this has to do with our...

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The Awesome Factory used to be Fezywig.

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