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Every camping trip included Sunday clothes – dresses, shirts, ties, dress shoes, nylons, black socks, makeup, and hairspray. This is what my family did. I never thought to question it. If we were camping over the weekend and were gone over a Sunday, we went to church. It didn’t matter where on earth we were either. We always planned ahead by looking up ward houses or simply looking for steeples as we drove to our campsite. By Sunday we knew where we were going.

Sunday mornings started out early with a spit bath in the campground restroom. We washed our hair in the sinks until we finally bought one of those camping showers. It’s not easy to navigate dust and dirt while trying to stay clean for church. I always hated putting on real clothes over my sunburns. This is what we did though. Church was never optional.

Just last Sunday a youth speaker talked about her Sunday experience during a soccer conference in Las Vegas. She said she was trying to figure out how to use the hotel room iron while her friends were running around trying to find their lucky scrunchies. She asked a great question.

“Why do we stick out like this? Because of our faith. We have faith that there is a purpose for doing so.”

It wasn’t until I was married that I started hearing friends say that vacations over Sunday meant a vacation from church. That idea was so foreign to me. Especially since getting ready for church in a hotel room is infinitely easier and convenient than getting ready at a campsite. Although it’s worth noting that the Legoland Hotel does not have irons. True story. I’m so glad Heath brought some wrinkle guard spray he found at the store. It wasn’t perfect but it helped.

Our Legoland and Disneyland trip included a Sunday. We chose that day for our transition day. That would be the day we moved from Legoland to Disneyland because we knew we didn’t want to go into the park on the Sabbath. Normally we try to avoid travelling on Sunday but sometimes it happens.

We got up extra early on Sunday. Since it was Mother’s Day the wait staff at the Bricks Family Restaurant gave each mother a yellow carnation. The waitress that showed us to our table snuck a flower from a bucket near the entrance. She gave it to Gwen to give to me when we got to the table. I thought that was sweet. She also told us that the other Mother’s Day perk was a free mimosa. I thanked her for the offer and told her I don’t drink.

After breakfast we rushed back to our room to get dressed for church. Heath had found a nearby ward building that had a 9:00 am Sacrament Meeting. We wanted to stay all three hours of church but given our check out schedule at the Legoland Hotel we could only stay for Sacrament Meeting.

It was a wonderful meeting. We sat behind a very friendly family that welcomed us. She even invited the kids to sing with the rest of the Primary kids. Gwen thought about it but they all were happy to be uninvolved visitors.

All the speakers gave very inspiring messages. The second speaker was my favorite. The stories he told about his mother and wife made me want to cry. I wanted to know these amazing women whose faith was so inspirational. He told some very personal stories about the struggle he and his wife endured with bringing children to this earth. The first two boys came quickly and easily. Then they had years of infertility and miscarriages.

At one point a pregnancy finally took and they were overjoyed to be expecting another little boy. Unfortunately it was discovered late in pregnancy that that child was ill and probably wouldn’t live long. He lived for three hours. The stories were heartbreaking. His wife suffered so much emotionally yet still served others around her. The way she clung to hope and faith was the point of his message. I was so grateful to have been able to hear it.

Like all Mormon wards, the women aged 18 years and older were asked to stand at the end of the meeting to receive their Mother’s Day gift. We decided to take that opportunity to slip out. Heath was leading us ducklings as quickly and efficiently as he could. Suddenly I remembered my purse was still sitting on the floor in the chapel where I had left it. I had Gwen’s hand so I drug her with me to retrieve my purse.

The man sitting in front of us asked if I wanted a Mother’s Day gift. I asked what it was thinking if it was flowers I was out of there. He said he thought it was a chocolate bar. I wasn’t going to go out of my way to get this gift. I was mad at myself for botching our great escape. As we stepped away from the pew a young man asked if I wanted a gift. I think he was one of the sons of the family we sat behind. I accepted a dark chocolate and almond candy bar that came with a quote from President Faust about women. It was a very nicely put together gift.

Finally with all our belongings, we headed back to the hotel to check out. Heath and the boys changed into more comfortable clothes while Gwen and I stayed in our dresses. My dress is pretty casual and Gwen loves skirts. I felt so overdressed in the hotel next to all the families ready to spend Mother’s Day in the Legoland park.

I felt less conspicuous when we went to Café Rio for lunch. Nearly every woman in that restaurant was dressed in their Sunday best. Even some of the men were dressed up too. I imagined they were religious families who celebrate the Sabbath Day, particularly holidays, by going out for lunch after church.

Earlier that day we had asked the kids why we made such a big deal out of going to church. They answered that going to church was a commandment. Gavin suggested we did it to ask for forgiveness for breaking the Sabbath the rest of the day! He knew the rest of the day included going out to eat and paying to watch a movie. Both things we don’t do on Sundays.

We explained that normally we would stay all three hours. Given the time restraints we could only make it to Sacrament Meeting which is the most important meeting. That’s where we renew our baptismal covenants by taking the Sacrament.

I did enjoy my Café Rio for lunch. Café Rio and I go way back. A college roommate introduced me when the restaurant was only in St. George, Utah. Now it’s spread. The story is they open a restaurant in heavily populated Mormon areas. So glad we could support them by getting lunch on Sunday!

Our afternoon plans were to watch Cinderella at the Downtown Disney theater. It would give us something to do while we waited for our hotel room to be ready. Traffic was heavy in several places and I was worried this plan wouldn’t work out. By sheer luck or maybe Disney magic, we parked the car and speed walked to the theater. We were five minutes late but hadn’t even missed all the previews yet.

The movie was spectacular. I think the Cinderella fairy tale is my favorite. I have enjoyed many variations of this story. This one was my absolute favorite. I loved all of it. It followed closely the Disney cartoon version. The new Cinderella was all live action. She talked to animals but they didn’t talk back. It was very realistic.

I loved how the prince’s character was developed. Normally he’s just this hunk of a guy that disappoints every girl by marrying Cinderella. This time he was a real person with his own worries. The stepmother’s character was developed as well. You could see why she made the choices she did, mean spirited as they were. My favorite part was that Cinderella thought for herself. She wasn’t this insipid yes-girl. She also had moments where her circumstances nearly overwhelmed her. But after giving herself a timeout she would come back ready to be kind and have hope again. I loved this movie! It is by far my favorite telling of this classic story that I have always had a place in my heart for.

I still can’t believe the timing for the movie worked out. It shouldn’t have worked out. The clock was not in our favor. It was nothing short of magic to have been able to watch that movie exactly as we planned. It seems strange that Disneyland has its own movie theater. Who takes time to watch a movie when they’re at Disneyland? I’m glad we had the option for our situation.

After the movie our room was ready. It was so peaceful compared to the overstimulating Legoland room. We rested for a bit and then walked back to Downtown Disney for our dinner reservations at Tortilla Joe’s. Dinner was good but it was loud and crowded. I was happy to be back in our serene room.

It was a wonderful Mother’s Day. Heath surprised me with yet another gift when we got home from our trip. He paid for a Pandora subscription. Now I don’t have to hear any ads when I listen to my music. I can skip or thumbs down as many songs as I like. Heath spoils me.

The kids made cute art projects at school. The Primary Presidency took pictures of all the families of Primary kids for their mothers. They had the kids hold signs about moms. The first counselor said the picture of my kids didn’t turn out so well. She didn’t like the lighting. So she retook the picture. I love it. I had curled Gwen’s hair that morning. Something that turned out so well but she didn’t have the patience for it so never again! Parker was all cheesy with his pose which just made the picture that much better. Those are my babies and I love them! I was able to get my framed picture early since we were gone for Mother’s Day. It was a very memorable Mother’s Day this year.

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