Welcome to The Awesome Factory blog.

Helping families bond through unforgettable adventures.

The 3 Rules for Scouting it Out - Adventures in Indian Creek May 09, 2023

People come from around the world to climb in Indian Creek. Most people just drive through it on their way to Canyonlands National Park. But it features world class crack climbing for rock climbers. 

Like many big things I want to do, it takes me a while to pull the trigger. Indian Creek is in the remote southeast corner of Utah. It’s not on the way to anything else. So it’d taken me a while to get there.

When I put off doing something I care about, a scouting trip is the best way to break the ice. Scouting trips are a key part of...

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Being a Seer: Why We All Need to Be Seen Feb 16, 2023

She’s been on island for 2 years going to school. Despite house sitting there twice neither Emily nor I have been on-island since Alison started school.

I’m still processing my recent 10 days in Hawaii.

I went to speak to the BYU-Hawaii Entrepreneurship program.

I stayed to visit our daughter, Alison.



Alison kindly picked me up from the airport. I was starving from the long flight so we headed straight to Costco for hot dogs and then grocery shopping. After Alison’s car with stocked with my luggage...

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3 Simple Tips to Make Big Ideas Happen Feb 08, 2023

by Emily Orton

Happy Fezywig Day!!


Never heard of it?!


Who can keep track of all the random holidays?


Fezywig day is a celebration we made up to mark the day our family of seven moved aboard a little sailboat we named, Fezywig. 



“I wanted to pursue a dream so big there was room for my whole family. I wanted us to deliberately disrupt our family, not just to do more or see more, but to become more.” 

––Emily, Seven at Sea, p. 26


We learned SO much from that...

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The Awesome Factory
What kind of glasses are you wearing?
What kind of glasses are you wearing? Jan 02, 2023

How do you see the world?

Through what lens are you looking at it?

Are you an NPC?

Are you a hero?

And if you want to see yourself and the world in a new way, that's what we have so much fun sharing.


I sat in our backyard on a cold snowy day and recorded these thoughts. Please forgive the terrible audio quality and Lily singing in the background. I'm super passionate about this concept of seeing ourselves in a new way. Seeing yourself in a new way is the first step into a new world just waiting for you.


  • 0:00 How do...
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How Many More Christmases Do You Have Before They're Gone? Dec 12, 2022


Your child is born. 

Fast forward 18 years, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll move out.

They’ll be back, but probably not for long.

If you have more than one child, the dominoes fall pretty fast.

They leave one after the other and then they’re all gone.


How many more Christmases do you have left with all your kids home?


Most of the Orton kids no longer live at home most of the time.

It’s a delightful new chapter. They come home for short visits.

We’re so happy they’re out...

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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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The Awesome Factory used to be Fezywig.