Fall Trip to Utah: Royal Simulation 2019



I’m still basking in the glow of memories from the Royal Simulation that I attended in Utah two weeks ago. We made a quick trip (as in four days) from AZ back to Utah, then back to AZ, so that my 14 year old son could attend (pictured above) with his 18 year old brother (pictured below).




This is something my three older kids did every year when we lived in Utah. As so often is the case, my middle child, the 18 year old, got left out. We moved to AZ the year he turned 14 so he didn’t go that year or the next three years while living in AZ. This event was the first and last time he could go. He’s been living in Utah since he graduated from homeschooling last spring, so it was easy for him to attend this year. Here are some pics from previous years that I have shared, 2012 is here and 2011 is here.



A big shout-out to the wonderful Amy and Von Hansen of the Royal Academy of Zion who host this event every year in Utah County. This was the 11th year and it was the best one yet, as far as I can tell.




It was a trip down memory lane for me for sure. I got to see some dear family, like my mom and dad, my 21 year old son, my mother-in-law, and dear friends. I also attended the Mount Timp Temple, which I remember touring during the open house season, prior to its dedication, with my two oldest children as babies. The temple session was especially amazing because my 21-year-old attended with me.




My 21 year old also attended the Royal Ball that culminated the event. At the ball, each of my sons asked me to dance without any prompting from me. That’s enough for any mama’s heart to melt! I’m so grateful I got to go. I drove up with a friend and her daughter, and then another friend’s daughter. A bonus surprise was a quick visit with my brother, his wife, and daughter. My brother and his wife live in Virginia and had come for a visit to see their daughter who is at BYU. That was facilitated by my friend’s car’s battery dying, which caused a three hour delay, before we headed back on Sunday. That allowed me to visit with them. I think God orchestrated that.




I love that the event was in the grand ballroom on the third floor of the Provo City Library in the historical Brigham Young Academy building. I have spent many delightful hours in that building, hunting down books full of wonder and also conducting meetings for breastfeeding moms.  It’s so elegant! The young women each got a tiara and the young men each got a manly-looking ring, chunky, like the Superbowl Ring.




I wish every youth could attend a ball like this, instead of prom. The youth get instructions on manners, etiquette, how to converse, how to ask to go on a date, how to behave on a date, and how to behave in concert settings and at a formal dinner. They also got instructions in ballroom dancing before the Ball.




The ballroom is just down the hall from Room #308, where I used to facilitate La Leche League meetings as a La Leche League Leader. That happened for many years, when I lived in Provo, right after this glorious edifice was renovated. Oh the memories of the meetings! Just imagine all the breastfeeding joys and woes the walls of this room have heard in 15+ years: from the prosaic sore breasts, to the intoxicating breastfeeding high to the exotic supernumerary nipples. I wonder if any LLL meetings have ever been held in such an elegant, historic room?  After all, this room is in the historic building that used to be Brigham Young Academy. While living in Provo as a young mom and grad of BYU, I was happy to see the Provo community rally round to rescue this building from its dilapidated state, restoring it to what I suppose is beyond its former beauty. When I was a BYU student, the building looked like a haunted house, with crumbling bricks, spider webs, and broken windows. Now it looks like this. The ballroom and Room #308 are on the top floor.




Here are pics of that room. Just imagine all the breastfeeding joys and woes the walls of this room have heard in 15+ years: from the prosaic sore breasts, to the intoxicating breastfeeding high, to the exotic supernumerary nipples. My long-time girlfriend Becky, who used to be an LLL Leader as well, says that LLL meetings are still held there.




I had such a wonderful time! My son and the girls we traveled with are already talking about going next year! My self-declared redneck son went reluctantly, but after it was over he said he had the time of his life! It was totally worth the 14 hour drive, which involved missing a good night’s sleep so we could drive during the night and get there on time,  by Friday afternoon, after I let my son go to his Thursday night football game. At first it seemed like such a fantastical, impossible dream to make it there. I pushed through the obstacles , with encouragement from my two older sons. I am so thrilled that I did!




It did my heart soooo much good to be in touch with a huge dose of the good, the beautiful, the refined and the elegant. All of this showed up in the forms of classic music (classical, like waltzes, a polka, but also “classic” pop),  young ladies graced by pretty hair and ball gowns, and handsome young men in suits or tuxedos. These young men were eager to please, and so chivalrous.


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One of the trees in my parents’ yard.

Ahh, it was so refreshing. My eyes feasted on beautiful sights of the ball, as well as the vivid images of fall, as in yellow and orange leaves. We don’t get that until like December down here, and even then, the leaves are more brown than yellow.



Pic taken through a car window as we drove through southern Utah two years ago. It was the same time of year as this trip so the leaves were the same.


Dreams do come true, this trip affirmed it for me! God is in the details of your life, so don’t give up on God. He will never give up on you, and He will help you get your righteous dreams.






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