The Romagnolo Family

The Romagnolo Family

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


     When I was a little girl, birthdays were a BIG deal in our house.  We got to choose anyone in the house to make our bed (sorry big brother and sister...that's what you get for tormenting me).  We also got to choose to have either our favorite meal made or go out to our favorite restaurant.  As I got into my teens, I somehow convinced my mom to make two meals for me!  I loved her Cottage Cheese Pancakes for breakfast (sounds gross, but they were delish!) and her Spaghetti Casserole for dinner.  I'll have to share the recipe for the Cottage Cheese Pancakes another day.
     Well now that I am a mom, I have started traditions with my girls.  I am SO glad that all 3 of us have summer birthdays.  My favorite way to celebrate our birthdays are by going to Disney!

Mia's 5th Birthday - 2014
Lyla's 5th Birthday - 2015
If we can't get away to Disney, our day starts out like this:
There were balloons tied to her chair too.

The Birthday Girl comes out to find balloons tied to her chair and the table is set with our Celebrate  plate and our birthday glass.  For breakfast the Birthday Girl is served Birthday Cake Pancakes.  I found this recipe on Pinterest a few years ago.  They are SO good!  No, I'm serious!  They are like crack (okay I don't know what that is like, but they are GOOD!!)!!

My favorite way to celebrate is with a pool party.  They are super easy for mommy and super fun for the kids.  I think that I tried for one of the birthdays to have snacks to go along with the theme (so far they've all been Disney Princesses).  I gave up on that real quick.  Don't get me wrong...I think parties that are all decorated and well themed out are great.  I have several friends that are so gifted in that area.  I am not one of those people.  I just don't have the energy to put it all together.  In the past, I have also ordered our birthday cakes from one of my favorite bakeries in Wylie.  They are SO yummy & beautiful!

     This year I decided to save some money (those cakes above weren't cheap!) and bake their cakes.  When I asked Lyla what kind of cake she wanted, she said "Belle!"  Yeah, that wasn't happening.  Mommy is NOT that creative.  So, I began perusing Pinterest.  I came across this recipe for a Rainbow Birthday Cake.  It looked easy enough.  I also decided to add in a few cupcakes too.  While I was getting the ingredients for the Rainbow Birthday Cake, I saw that Pillsbury had colored cake mixes all ready.  I bought a few of those to make for the cupcakes.  On Tuesday night I started looking through Pinterest again (this is becoming a bad habit).  How was I going to decorate the cupcakes?  Then I came upon this and then this.  Lyla had said that she had wanted a Belle cake.  I could totally make this happen.  Here are the end results for both.

     I have also started another tradition for my girls birthdays.  I am probably about to become hugely unpopular for this one too.  A few years ago I came across this blog (probably found it on Pinterest - Ha!) on teaching your children gratitude and about serving and blessing others.  Instead of people bringing birthday presents for the birthday child, they would bring items to donate to the birthday child's charity of their choice.  I loved this idea so much!  So, we have been doing this since 2011.  We collect items for the Rainbow Room at the Children's Advocacy Center.  When my girls were brought to me, they came with the clothes on their back and a few clothes, diapers, winter coats, and formula from the Rainbow Room.  I want my girls to grow up giving back.  I still allow family & friends that are pretty much family to get them gifts, so they are not completely "deprived" of getting gifts.  I want birthdays to be about tradition and memories, not about getting things.
     There you have it.  This is what birthdays look like in our home.  What kind of traditions does your family have?

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Year of Running...

     This year has become "the year of running" for me.  My slogan used to be, "I only run if someone is chasing me!"  Not anymore.  Back at the beginning of February I posted about my first race.  I started running by a fluke.  Now, I have the running bug.  Since January I have run 4 5k's, an 8k and 2 10k's.  I am also registered for 3 1/2 marathons (What?).  The races that I am most excited about are my runDisney races coming up in November.  I will be running the 5k, 10k and 1/2 marathon at runDisney's Wine and Dine 1/2 marathon.  Mia will be running the 400 M Dash (she is not a fan of running) and Lyla will be running the 1 mile run.  I am super excited, because Lyla-Boo just ran her first 1 mile run all by herself a week and a half ago.  She was very excited to earn her first medal.

I am especially excited about this Saturday.  Lyla and I will be doing a 5k together.  We'll probably walk most of it, but I want to see how she holds up through it.  If we make it through, I'll sign her up to do the 5k with me at the Princess Half Marathon in February 2017.
     I've noticed that the 5k races are becoming easier for me.  I've gone from running them in 38 minutes to 34 minutes.  The key has been in consistent training.  I've become a big fan of Jeff Galloway's run/walk method.  Having accountability has also been key for me.  I have found a great group of runners that love Disney just as much as me.  We encourage and push each other.  If you are looking for some tips on running, check out my friends over at Joyful Miles.  They have some great tips.  Don't let fear stop you from trying something new.  I never thought that I'd be considered a runner.  Look at me today!  The mental and physical accomplishments that I have made has been amazing.  When I started this journey my brother had told me how great the running community was.  He wasn't kidding.  I have met so many wonderful people (in person and virtually).  Thank you Kelly Hall for pushing me to start this journey!  
Color Run with my "Skinny" friend, Allison
Color Run with my friend Joe

Color Run March 2016

My very first 10k.

Virtual 5k Race (I did it on one of my training days)

Plano Pacers 8k

Run Like A Mother May 2016

Rock the Block with my new Disney-loving friend, Kelly
Rock the Block 10k, May 2016
My friend, Vanessa
My beautiful Skinnies, Allison and Kelly

Being Kind

     A few posts ago I spoke about my "words" for this year, "Strong" and "Committed".  Not too long after I wrote that post God impressed another word on my heart that I needed to focus on this year.  That word is kind.  Over the past year I've noticed certain character flaws in myself.  It took becoming a parent to understand and see this.  My sister and I were talking a few weeks ago and we've come to realize that sometimes certain trait get passed on from parent to children.    I've noticed a lot of grumpy in my parenting.  I don't want to be like that.  I don't want to pass those traits onto my girls. God has been impressing the word kind on my heart.   I think that another reason that he has placed it on my heart is because my oldest daughter (well all of us) has needed to learn that.  I sometimes forget that kids aren't born knowing how to act, react, or handle different situations.  It is my job to teach my girls.  I noticed that my daughter was starting to treat me and her sister in an unkind way.  She had not had a great first semester at school.  In January, we were able to get her placed where she needed to be.  She had a wonderful, godly teacher who wanted to help my baby succeed.  At first, I thought that she was picking up bad behaviors from friends at school.  That could have been part of it, but over the course of this year, we discovered that Mia has ADHD tendencies.  Along with that comes impulsivity.  I also learned that my poor sweet girl was struggling with social skills.  She was becoming the "mean girl".  As a parent, how do you handle that?  I cried and I prayed.  After teaching 19 years, I've seen every kind of parent.  I didn't want to be blind to my daughter's behaviors or struggles.  I became proactive.  I met with a therapist and she will begin therapy this week.  I also ordered a few books to read (I'm way behind on that part) and I looked up some things on Pinterest to help teach kindness at home.  I'm going to be honest...I have not been wonderful at keeping on top of all of this.  It's a work in progress though.
     Here are some resources that we have tried and will be trying.  I ordered the book, Have You Filled A Bucket Today?  This was very popular in our house.  We talk often about being a Bucket Filler.  I've ordered these books, Give Them Grace and Safe House.  They are on my list of books to read this summer.  I bought this bible study for my girls a while back, but I plan on picking it back up this summer with my girls:  My Brother's Keeper Junior: Learning to love your siblings God's way.  Here are a few things that I found on Pinterest:
Teaching Kids Kindness (with a kindness jar) - we started this in our home tonight.
22 Kid Approved Acts of Kindness
The Secret To Raising Your Kids To Be Kind
12 Questions That Teach Kindness In Your Children
     These are just a few of the things that I found.  Pinterest has a TON of good info. Being kind just seems to come more natural to some than others (ME being the latter here).  If I am not being intentionally in His Word or on being kind and having a servant's heart, all bets are off.  I want my children to see His goodness and kindness in me.  While I'm doing these activities with my girls this summer, I plan on focusing on this very important character trait in myself.  What tips have you learned?  I'll keep you posted on my progress.  Ha!