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The logistics of planning a wedding like this would totally overwhelm me, but the photos are really amazing!

It doesn’t take much to bring people together, and good things can happen.

An interesting look behind the scenes at Saturday night Live – who knew that costuming was so much work?

Why it matters that we not pass along those “human traffickers followed me around the store” stories. How false narratives hurt real trafficking victims

I’ve seen for myself the damage done by this kind of destructive behavior. It’s sad.

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Science is cool. Science is fascinating. And Science is Beautiful, too!

I love the ocean. I love photography. And so it’s only natural that I loved seeing these Underwater Images of the Year

I love Google Maps, and this is a really cool use of it. Definitely one I don’t have the patience and time to do myself.

A sample of things from the National Parks and Monuments in my state. I enjoy exploring, and have been to nearly all of these sites!

When our kiddoes were small, we used to camp and play in the mud flats at the south end of this lake (right side of the photo)

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:


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!


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.

The next month, Callie graduated from Jordan High School! She went off to Utah State in the fall as well.

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…)


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.


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!

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!

2016 Favorites

2016 was a year of big change and busyness for me, I did not get out to shoot for fun anywhere near as often as I would have liked. But I did get in some shooting! Here are my 12 favorites from 2016 – one for every month of the year!













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I think I liked Piper, the short Pixar film that was shown with Finding Dory, better than I liked the main attraction. It’s wonderful storytelling without a word, and beautiful!

I have been pretty skeptical of all the SUPERMOON hype, but I like how this photographer put it into perspective so you can really see what the difference is.

I want to go see this! University of Utah Roots of Knowledge Mural. It’s stained glass and looks lovely!

And finally, I knew I loved the Oregon Coast, and there is plenty of that here, but this amazing aerial video makes me want to explore the forests and waterfalls there as well!

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This is such a fun street art project!

These finalists in the Comedy Wildlife Photography Contest are pretty funny, and some are pretty amazing as well!

This photo series is clever and made me laugh. I’m the mom who worries about her adult kids now!

It’s so fascinating to me to see how prehistoric geology might still be influencing politics today.

Some video footage of animals that are now extinct. Your only chance to see them now.

It’s a bit eerie to have empty space suits but no humans in it (except for a hand reaching into the frame!) but this HD fisheye tour of the International Space Station is pretty cool. There’s no narration, but if you read the scrolling info on the top left it will explain stuff. For some reason, I loved that there were so many fingerprints on the windows. I think that would be me. Glued to the windows! (And they have some awesome camera gear up there!)

It’s a Garage Sale!

When we moved this summer, I realized I have so many things that I don’t ever use. Time to clear out some space and get these things into the hands of those who will use them! All items are available for shipping to US addresses only. If you’re local to me (in Sandy UT) I will refund your shipping if the items are picked up within 24 hours of payment. Otherwise I keep the shipping and put it in the mail.

Think Tank Lily Deanne Tutto

I bought this bag, took the tissue paper off, loved it, but it’s been months and I keep finding reasons to not move into it, which tells me I’m just too attached to my old bag. Still has tags, original box, and is in perfect condition. Retails for $299, willing to sell it for $230 including shipping.

Tenba Shootout Small Backpack Olive/Black

• Water-repellent, dobby/diamond ripstop nylon shell – an optimum combination of light weight and durability.
• Special, YKK weather-sealed zippers keep the elements out.
• Compression straps prevent the load from shifting, and help keep the center of gravity as close to the body as possible.
• Jumbo, padded side pods can be used as separate accessory pockets or pass-through hatches for instant interior access.
• Exclusive, fully-adjustable, MSTC System securely accommodates all popular outdoor tripod types and sizes.

I used this for a few hikes and it’s very sturdy and the hip belt does a good job of helping support the load and keeping it from hurting the shoulders. I’ve since moved to a belt system and haven’t used this in years. It’s in great shape! Includes a CF wallet, phone pouch and has all the tripod accessories. This is an older model that I paid $180 for, selling this one for $115 including shipping.

Tamron 28-75 2.8

Full frame, constant aperture, mid range zoom for Nikon. Autofocus motor. This was my first full frame lens, and I used it until I got the Nikon 24-70. Kept it because it is much lighter for hiking, but haven’t used it much in years. In great shape, with the original box, front and rear lens caps, etc. Photos below include some sample images taken with the lens at both ends of the zoom range. Retails new for $500, selling this one for $400 including shipping.

Ray Ring Flash

Ring Flash for Nikon D900/910 with D1/D2/D3 or D/700 cameras. Light, portable, and does not require extra power. I primarily used it for creating soft, even light for macro work, and you can see examples of it below. Retails for $199, selling for $110 including shipping.

Zeikos Battery Pack

for Nikon D700, D300s, or D300

Bought this right before I upgraded from the D300s to a full frame, and never once used it. New in box, don’t know if I ever even opened it. Allows you to add another battery and also adds a button for shooting in portrait mode without reaching around your camera. I paid $50, will sell for $30 including shipping.


Lowepro Slim Lens Pouch 75AW

Sturdy lens pouch that fits most telephoto zoom lenses (up to 70-200mm f/2.8 – wither without the hood or with hood reversed) Collapses to be smaller on your body when working with lens; flattens for easy packing when traveling (it’s mostly flattened in the photo) Reinforced padding at top and bottom provides extra protection from impact at critical mount and glass points Hook/loop closure on front flap offers fast access to lens. Comes with a shoulder strap but also has SlipLock attachment tab on back so you can use it with compatible LowePro belts. I was able to use the velcro tabs to go around my Think Tank belt system. Used this a few times, then replaced it with a Lens Changer model. This Slim Pouch retails for $40, selling for $20 including shipping.


Phat Strap

Soft, colorful PhatStrap camera strap, Approximately 36 inches from clip to clip. Camera attachment parts add a few more inches. I used this a few times as both a shoulder strap and a crossbody strap. Realized I like the crossbody strap method a lot better, and this is just a tad too short for a crossbody strap for a tall woman like me, I loved the soft minky lining! Can’t remember what I paid, thinking about $40. Will sell for $15 including shipping.


Visible Dust BriteView Sensor Loupe 7X

This is a lit, magnifier to check out your sensor and see if there is any dust on it. Has 6 small LEDs that provide even light for close examination of your sensor. I bought it with the sensor cleaning kit below, but it turns out I’m too lazy to do it myself and have just been paying the local camera shop to do it for me… Retails for $85, will sell for $40 including shipping. I forgot to turn it on when I was taking pictures, but it does work. Uses 2 small easily replaceable watch batteries.

Visible Dust Artic Butterfly Sensor Cleaning Kit

These reusable brushes are for dry cleaning your sensor. Specially coated with nanoparticles to attract dust, and the largest brush can be spun to discharge particles and avoid static issues. (Note: it says all over the instructions not to spin it in your camera, so please make sure you don’t do that!) Again, I bought this kit to clean my own sensors, but every time they need cleaning I get lazy and drop it off to be cleaned. Might as well let someone else save the money! Retails for $130 will sell for $100 including shipping.


Hoodman Hood EYE Eye Cup for Nikon *Square* Eyepieces

I have a camera with a round eyepiece, and my husband bought me this one for square eyepieces. I love, love, love the one on my camera. So very helpful when you shoot with glasses! Works for either the right eye or the left eye (you can rotate it either way) so no matter how you shoot this can help. Retails for $20, selling for $12 including shipping.


Lensbaby: Bending Your Perspective

by Corey Hilz

2010 edition, lots of great info on using the old school Lensbaby optics (double glass, etc.) Out of print. Selling for $10 including shipping.


Light it! Shoot it! Retouch it!

by Scott Kelby

Great book where Scott Kelby walks you through several photo shoots, demonstrating exactly how to set up lighting, how to shoot, and how to edit. Retails for $33, will sell for $15 including shipping.