I don’t want my babies to grow up!

“I wish my babies would stay little!”

“They’re growing up so fast it makes me cry!”

“My kids just need to STOP IT. I can’t take this whole growing up thing!”

“Before I know it they’re going to be the dreaded TEENAGERS”

It’s almost back to school time, and my FB feed is peppered with comments like this. And it breaks my heart. Because the message it sends to the kids is that they are not as valuable any more as they grow! Every time a child hears “I wish my babies would stay little” they wonder if growing up and doing new things makes them less loved. If growing up fast makes mommy cry, they must have done a bad thing. Truth is, they can’t just STOP IT. Growing up and moving into new phases of life is exactly what they are supposed to do!

When we mourn the normal growth and development of our children, what message does that send? How could it impact their opinions of themselves?

For some reason, our society has no trouble telling new parents to “enjoy every moment!” but somehow as they grow it changes into a communal complaining about kids?

I’m not going to tell you to enjoy every single moment (because it’s totally unrealistic) but I would like to recommend a shift from mourning their growth into living in the moment with our kids. Sure, babyhood is great, we miss the little voices and the small hands in ours, but the enthusiasm and learning and accomplishments of later childhood are definitely to be celebrated! This becomes so vitally important as they enter the teen years. You don’t want your kids to think that you hate teenagers on principle, because that means you hate them and their friends!

2016 On Stage

Started out with these in the “”Year in Review” post but there were SO MANY I made them their own post!

In the Spring, Callie was in Jordan High’s production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. She played the leader of the band of actors, and she did a great job:

Later in the year, she appeared in a student directed one act play called “Check Please!” as a kleptomaniac date, and she also directed selected scenes from the play “Almost, Maine”:

Brynn appeared in several numbers in Eastmont’s Musical Revue:

And in the collection of skits written and played by the Advanced Theater class:

Both appeared in several choir concerts at their respective schools:

Additionally, both Brynn and Callie were in our church production of “Press Forward: A Book of Mormon Musical” – a play written and directed by the mom of a long time friend of Callie’s:

Brynn kept busy with South Valley Creative Dance. After months of rehearsals, the dancers spent a long and cold day out at a field near the Great Salt Lake filming a video of their dance. I was able to go along and shoot some stills during the non-live runs:

They even used a drone for some scenes, and I simply couldn’t resist playing a little in Photoshop to make it look like Attack of the Drones:

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Her dance recitals (one for the whole studio, and one for the Creativity in Action company) were also really fun to watch and be able to capture the rehearsals:

This Fall and Winter, Brynn is the only one appearing on stage, and it feels a little weird! She has appeared in the Jordan High Musical “Once Upon a Mattress”

and has had a long and impressive solo in the Fall Choir concert!

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And that’s all, folks!

2016 in Review

What a crazy year! We never did get out a Christmas card in 2016, so you all get this year in review instead. 🙂

Some highlights:

In February, Kyra and I took a winter trip to Yellowstone National Park. I had won the trip and we were super excited to go! It was seriously cold, but we had a great time seeing the park in a new light. I was amazed at how different the colors were on some of the geothermal features, because the bacterial mats had different microbe balances.
One memorable part of the trip was when our snowcoach ran off the road and got stuck for an hour and a half!


You can see more of my winter Yellowstone photos here if you want.

Brynn had a busy spring – she won BOTH the spelling bee AND the geography bee at her middle school and went on to compete at the county and state level, respectively. She came in third place for the county spelling bee, and had a good showing in the first round of the state geobee, but not quite enough to move on.

In May, Kyra graduated from Utah State with a degree in art. We spent a while walking the campus and taking some photos before the ceremony.
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The next month, Callie graduated from Jordan High School! She went off to Utah State in the fall as well.
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Both Kyra and Callie spent the summer working in the gift shops at Old Faithful for the summer, and we took a very short family trip there to visit them (and take them a new car, but I am getting ahead of myself…)

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More from the summer Yellowstone trip here.

At the end of summer, Kyra and Callie settled in to a small studio apartment in Logan. Kyra is working up there, while Callie is in her first year of school.

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But the biggest highlight of the year was the new house we moved into in June! We had been casually looking for a home with bigger gathering spaces and more independence for adult children. We found one and in a quick whirlwind, it was a done deal! We have been here six months and have been adjusting well. It has been a big change since we had been at the old house for eighteen years!

Here are some of the real estate listing photos of the new house:

The new house does have an AMAZING view out the back, and I still am amazed and distracted by it daily.

Some lowlights:

The timing of our move was HARD. We moved on Saturday, and Kyra and Callie needed to leave for Yellowstone on Monday – just 2 days later! It was made even harder because on their way to Yellowstone, something went wrong with the car and the girls had a single car accident that totaled the car! The car rolled onto its side and slid around in a 180 before landing on the tires again. Thankfully they both were physically unhurt (though quite shaken), and only a phone charger was damaged, so that was a huge relief. But Darrin and I spent a few days up in Idaho dealing with the accident and getting the girls to their jobs right in the middle of getting the new house unpacked and the old house ready to sell!

We had to say goodbye to our old house, the one where we spent most of the years we were raising our kids. Leaving the friends in the neighborhood was hard, leaving the garden we had planted and all the improvements we had made to the home over the years was sad. The couple who bought it has pretty much gutted the inside and is doing so much work they STILL have not moved in, six months later.

Mixed bag:

This was a definite highlight for Brynn, not so much for Callie. Brynn surpassed Callie in height, and our youngest is now officially the tallest Lythgoe kid!
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There were also numerous plays and choir concerts mixed in there. At least 5 or 6 plays and even more choir performances. I may have to do another post just for those!

I am hoping 2017 is less dramatic!

I raised a college graduate!

My oldest daughter has graduated! She earned a BS in Art at Utah State University. I could not be prouder. Over the last 5 years, I’ve watched her grow in her skills, her ability to speak through her art, and her strength to move forward when things got tough.
On graduation day, we had some time to wander campus and take photos, thankfully the printmaking and painting studios were open and I was able to get portraits of her in her element. We also took some photos at her favorite study spot, under a large lilac bush with two colors of blossoms.
Congratulations, Kyra!