The Romagnolo Family

The Romagnolo Family

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Reflections on 2017 and the Bling

Hello Friends!

It has been awhile.  It was a very busy fall.  I can't believe that today is the last day of 2017!  This year has flown by.  Today I am sitting down and thinking of all the races (& bling) from 2017.  This was my 2nd year of running.  I ended 2017 with 559.7 miles ran. My goal (& several of my friends goal) was to run 500.  Whew!  That was cutting it close. 

I began January by continuing my training for my upcoming races at the Princess Half Marathon that were coming up at the end of February.  I had lots of training runs as well as a practice run with my local running club.  I absolutely LOVED everything about the Princess Half Marathon.  You can see my recaps here.  I think my favorite medal from those races was the Glass Slipper Challenge medal.  You gotta love those spinner medals!

 In March, I ran the Humana Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon with my friend Wanda.  That was a rough race.  In April I ran the Run For Cover 10k.  This was my 2nd year to run it.  I was trying to bring down my 10k time, but unfortunately I didn't.  The school year ended with two races in May.  One of them is my favorite...the Run Like A Mother 5k.  This race is on the Saturday before Mother's Day.  This year was even more special because my youngest daughter did the 1 mile run right before it.  Next year, we'll be doing the 5k together!  The second race was the Rock the Block 10k.  Lyla did the 1 mile.  My friend Vanessa and I did the 10k.  It was brutally hot (the last Saturday in May, in Texas) and it did not start until 9:00 am.  Super hot!!  I think that we'll just be doing the 5k next year (same exact medal). 

Over the summer my running was hit or miss because we were on the road for about 6 weeks.  I did the best that I could while we were on the road.  To help keep me accountable, I signed up for runDisney's Virtual Shorts Series.  This year's theme for the medals was Pluto.  Those medals were so cute and HUGE!  I ran a 5k in June, July and August and earned a 4th, Challenge medal. 

I continued my training because I had the Plano Balloon Festival Races coming up at the end of September.  This year the Balloon Festival offered a Challenge Medal if you ran the 5k and the Half Marathon.  I did that last year, but this was the first year that they were offering the Sky High Challenge.  Since I love my bling, I made sure to sign up for the Sky High Challenge!  Next year they are offering a different challenge.  This one involves a 5k and 10k.  I am very interested in this one!  This year, Lyla ran her 2nd ever 5k with me.  She was a rock star!  The Half Marathon was much harder this year.  There was 90% humidity that morning.  I almost passed out twice at the end of the race.  I pushed too hard.

In November, Lyla and I ran two 5k's.  We ran the Pumpkin Spice 5k and then we did our first ever Turkey Trot!  I'm so proud of my sweet girl!  She loves the bling just like her mommy!  😀  In December about a week before the Dallas Marathon, my friend Kelly reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in being a part of a relay team for the race.  Since I had a long run to do that weekend, I ran the longest part of the relay, 7 miles.  I just love that race so much.  It's so much fun!

December finished with my last race today.  This was probably my hardest race to date and it was only a 5k.  The temperature was 31 with a real feel of 18 degrees.  There was a mist too.  It was SO cold.  My feet, hands, legs, and face were frozen.  Lyla-Boo did this race with me too.  That girl was such a trooper!  She was cold, but she pushed through.  Tomorrow is the 2nd 5k in the challenge, but it's supposed to be even colder so I told her that she didn't have to join me.  

It's been a great year of running and races!  Here is the run down of all of my races for 2017:

5k's - 9
10k's - 3
7 miler - Dallas Marathon Relay
Half Marathons - 3

Lyla's collection of medals from 2017.

I almost left out my Humana Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon medal!

Making room for more medals in 2018!

I'm excited to start 2018 with a 5k on January 1st and then we head back to Disney for Marathon Weekend.  I will be participating in the 5k, 10k, and half marathon.  My girls will be running in the Kids Races.  Until next year...happy running!  

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Confessions From A Mama Part 2

     Hello Everyone!  As promised, here is part 2 of "Confessions From a Mama".  😃  If you missed part 1, you can find it here.  I started my fitness journey in January of 2015.  At that time I weighed 177 pounds.  Over the next year and a half I lost 24 pounds.  Well, this past spring I started to change my workouts.  I was focused more on running and less on strength training.  By June of this year, I was back up to 163.  We were on the road so much this summer.  Even though I ran while I was at my friends and families homes, I still ate like food was going out of style.  We spent about 3 weeks at Disney on the dining plan.  That was a LOT of food.  There was also NO working out while we were at Disney.  No, all the walking did not off set my eating.  😂  I am ashamed to say that when I weighed myself last week, I was back up to 177.  Agh!  How did that happen?  Why is this so hard?
     I'm so upset with myself.  It's so easy to let our guard down and slowly lose momentum or control.  I have two choices now.  I can sit here and feel sorry for myself and say "screw it", or I can get it back under control.  I've chosen to be open, share where I've dropped the ball and ask for accountability so that I can get it back under control.  I have 3 friends specifically that I've opened up to and we check in with each other every day.  On Sundays I'm making a workout plan for the week and sending it to them.  I am also tracking everything in MyFitnessPal and letting my friends know how I do each day.  I NEED this accountability.  I've learned that I fall apart if I don't have it.  So far this week, I've stuck to my workout plan (well I still have to do todays 😂 ).  Since I first weighed in last week, I am down about 4 pounds.  I know that this weight gain is part of the reason that my running time has gotten slower.  I also have been lazy in my strength training.  It is so important for runners to have strength, especially in their legs and core.
     I used to post workout videos all of the time on social media.  I've stopped doing that too.  Well, not only did so many people tell me that it motivated them, but I think that it helped hold me accountable.  So, I'll be back to posting these too.  Woo-hoo!  😃   I've had to start making smart choices again.  If you know me, you know that one of my favorite parts about this time of year is...Pumpkin JoeJoes from Trader Joes.  A few weeks ago, we bought several boxes of them.  I have put the last two boxes in our freezer.  There have been many times this week that I have been craving them.  The thing that saved me was that they were in my freezer.  I didn't want to eat them frozen or wait for them to thaw out.
     This is a journey.  Life is a journey.  We all have our hills and valleys.  I'm going to keep pressing forward and take one day at a time.  I hope that you will continue on this journey with me.  If you are struggling too, know that you are NOT alone.  Here are some tips for you:

  1. Admit and acknowledge where you've messed up.  
  2. Find accountability.  
  3. Make a plan.  
  4. Put the plan into action.  
   I'd love to hear your thoughts!  Be sure to follow my journey on social media:

Be sure to follow along.  I have a part 3 of "Confessions From A Mama" that will be coming up in the future.  I know, I'm a hot mess.  😄  Aren't we all though?

Until Then,


Update:  Here was today's workout. 😄

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Great Destroyer - Comparison

     Hello Friends!  Today I want to share something else that I've struggled with probably my whole life.  It's comparison.  God has been teaching me so much about myself over the past year.  I really struggled in this area last year.
     I started my fitness journey in January of 2015.  In January of 2016, I started my running journey.  I have been pretty open about both journeys from the beginning.  I started these journeys because other women were brave enough to put themselves out there on social media and share their journeys.  If they could do it, then so could I.  I didn't care if people mocked me for posting my workout videos.  If my journey could reach and inspire just ONE person, than it was worth it.  One of my now closest friends started following my journey.  She decided that if I could do it as a single mom, then she could too.  She began running not long after me.  Here is the friend is WAY faster then me!  For a full year I constantly compared myself to her and even other runners.  It wasn't fair.  She started running because of me and she was faster than me.  What!?!  I had to continually give myself pep talks and bring myself back to reality.  This was all my crazy head playing with me too.  My friend is one of the most awesome people ever!  She cheers on every victory no matter how big or small.  She loves me the way that I am.  She takes the good AND bad.
     I knew that if I didn't get this comparing myself to her or other runners under control, it could lead my heart down the dark path of jealousy and bitterness.  Slowly, God has changed my heart and helped me see that I am who I am.  How fast I run doesn't define me or my character.  I felt even more insecure every time that I compared myself to others.  I've had to remind myself that we don't always see the big picture.  We just see a tiny spec of their life.  Remember my post from the other day about not having it all together? We only see the "highlights" on social media.
     I'm finding that I'm having to teach my girls this concept now.  My youngest was talking about one of her good friends at school and what a great voice that her friend has.  She wants to prove to her friend that she is a good singer too.  She was feeling bad because her friend sings better than her.  I'm trying to teach her that we all have different talents.  While her friend may have a pretty voice, I know that there is something else that Lyla is good at that her friend isn't.  My oldest is struggling with the fact that some of her friends at school seem to have more than we do.  I have to teach her that we all choose to spend our money on what is important to us.  I am working to pay some bills and save so that we can make memories at Disney.  Even though we don't have a ton of money, we are rich beyond reason.
     How do you conquer comparison?  Be grateful.  We may not have tons of materialistic things, but we have so much.  We are never in need.  What is important to you and what do you value in your life?  Everyone has different values.  For our family, technology is something that will be introduced and taught in stages.  This means that there are going to be a lot of times when my girls friends have phones, tablets, etc and they won't right away.  Family vacations are so important to us.  I would rather be super thrifty at home, never eat out, shop at the thrift store, etc. so that we can save for our road trips and trips to Disney.  Those will be memories that we will have forever.  Even this morning I was looking at pictures from our summer road trip and I couldn't help smiling.
     Another way to conquer comparison is to take the focus off of yourself.  Focus on others.  How can you encourage or even serve someone else?  When you turn your focus on others, your heart tends to soften and what was bothering you before seems to shrink a little.
     Last Christmas I went into a little bit of depression.  All of my friends were posting on social media in my Facebook group of all of the presents that they had gotten from their spouses and family for Christmas.  I didn't really open any big gifts for Christmas last year (although I am very grateful for the Disney Gift cards from my family).  Instead of my girls getting me a big gift, I put the money to our Christmas trip to Disney.  I still let comparison of "they got this" and "they have a husband" get to me.  That only sent me into a funk and made me bitter.  I was having a MAJOR pity party for one.  Well, it's not happening this year.  I'm still not planning on having the girls get me a gift because I'd rather pay down some bills, but I won't set myself up for failure.  What does that mean?  I'll probably stay off social media for the most part.  I'll focus on the time with my girls and doing fun activities.  I'll look for ways to encourage others.  Having a trip to Disney right after Christmas and getting to see some of my favorite people will also be a HUGE encouragement to me.  😃
     I love this quote from Chrystal Hurst Evans book, "She's Still There":  "Run YOUR race (emphasis mine).  Choose freedom by celebrating your journey, your pace, your finish line.  Don't compare.  Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, but never give up."
     Everyone's journey is different.  You do YOU!!!  Don't let comparison be the great destroyer of your dreams, or of you.  You are so valuable and loved.  Buckle down and focus on what you need to do for your life, dreams, etc.  Make a plan, get accountability and put it into action.  Find teammates that will cheer you on through the journey.  My friend that I spoke of earlier is one of my BIGGEST cheerleaders.  Oh and she's about to run a marathon which is something that I have absolutely NO desire to do!  I just love her so much!  Find your tribe.  Finish strong!

You are loved!


Monday, October 16, 2017

Confessions From A Mama Part 1

     Social Media can be a wonderful thing.  It's wonderful because you can catch up on all of your friends and families lives.  You can share in their joys and sometimes in their sorrows.  It can also not be very realistic.  Many times we see only the happy and it looks like we have it all together and have everything.
     Lest you think that the Romagnolo Family (especially me) has it all together, I am here today to assure you that we do not.  I am a hot mess and I'm going to prove it to you.  This is why today's post is called "Confessions From A Mama" (don't miss the part 1 of the title).  😃
     Yesterday was going to be a fantastic day.  It was "Generation Day" at our new church.  This meant that the kids choir, student choir and the adult choir were all going to be singing together during the morning service.  I was so excited to be singing with my girls right by my side.  This was something new and so special to us.

     I loved having them up there with me.  It was very special to me.  The girls loved it too.  The rest of the day was going to be amazing, right?  Wrong!  Right before we headed to the choir loft, one daughter told me that the other daughter had called me fat.  I know that I've gained some weight back (more on that coming soon), but to call me fat?  It actually didn't offend me too much, but I don't want her to think that it is ever okay to say things like that to others.
     We stopped by the grocery store on the way home from church to grab a few things.  One of my daughters got in trouble for her behavior in the store.  She got mad at me because she got in trouble and blamed it on her sister.  "She told me to do it!"  Yes my dear, but you CHOSE to do it.  It was Your CHOICE to do what you knew was wrong.  You can't blame others for your choices.
     We got home and I had to go to the bathroom.  I headed to my bathroom to find the door locked.  What?  My 7 year old had used my bathroom that morning because her sister was using theirs.  For whatever reason, she locked the door before she shut it.  AGH!!!!!!  I tried using tools to unlock it, but it wasn't working.  So I wouldn't pee in my pants (sorry), I ran to use their bathroom.  That's fine, except that someone had just used all the toilet paper and there was no more left.  Of course, we keep the extra toilet paper in my bathroom.  😂
     I am ashamed to say that I turned into psycho mom.  There was yelling.  Oh yeah, there was yelling.  I mean y'all, I went into full on freak out mode!  It was like I had been possessed.  Don't worry, no child was physically harmed.   I ended up having to take the entire knob off the door to get in my bathroom.  I'm so not a handy woman.  It's pitiful.
     I then had to lock myself in my room and put myself in timeout so that I could get a grip on life.  I immediately texted two of my good friends and spilled my guts.  I had just been telling myself the day before that I need to work on how I react to things that they do or tell me.  I was so ashamed of myself.  I blew that one right there.  Once I was calm, I went out and calmly spoke with them each individually.  I of course made sure that I apologized to them for how I had handled the situation. I am a firm believer that we need to model for our children the behavior that we want them to take on.  I used to think that my youngest would never apologize or own up to her mistakes.  Today, she will be the first one to apologize and acknowledge that she was wrong.  This is a HUGE answer to prayer!       I am blessed with two very sweet girls.  We are are so blessed and they make my heart so happy.  We DO NOT however have it all together.  I am a hot mess of a mama who is trying to work through her hot mess.  I am praying that God will fill in the gaps of my screw ups.  I am praying that my girls will remember more of the happy then the crazy.  Please stay tuned for more "Confessions From a Mama" as I share my heart with you and continue to grow on this crazy journey.  In a few days, I will be able to look back on this day and laugh.  I hope!

Until then,

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Our Epic Summer Road Trip, Part 2

     I am back with more on our "epic summer road trip".  Part 1 of our recap ended with us leaving Disney to head to our next destination.  Our first was in South Carolina to visit family.  

     After South Carolina, we headed to see one of my oldest friends, Stacey in Virginia.  I have known Stacey since I was 21. Stacey is another friend of mine that God has blessed me with that has children around my girls ages.  Have I ever mentioned that?  So many of my close friends were married and had kids before I started the foster to adopt process.  When God blessed me with my girls, it ended up that my girls were around the same ages as my friends' kids.  Pretty cool, huh?  Okay, back to my road trip...
     Since Stacey lives in Virginia Beach, we just had to go to the beach.  Our visit coincided with Chick Fil A Day, so of course we dressed as cows. 😄  Stacey and I went for our traditional seafood dinner (a must for every trip).  On our last day we had our bi-annual family photoshoot.  Stacey is an amazing photographer, check her out.  After our photoshoot, we headed out on a very hot day to go blueberry picking.  That was a first for us and so fun.  

This was a delicious seafood restaurant in an old church.

     We left Virginia and headed to NewYork.  Within the next week we would drive over SO many bridges.  😃  

I thought that Dallas traffic was crazy.  Nope!  Welcome to New York!!

We first headed to Staten Island to visit one of my sweet "interweb" friends, Jenny.  Jenny and I "met" on a Facebook group for women who love Disney and wanted encouragement in our weight loss journey.  We then officially became IRL (in real life) friends at the 2016 Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  I just love her and her family so much!  She had a real honest to goodness New York Pizza followed by true Italian Ices waiting for us!  Yum!  On Friday we took the Staten Island Ferry to the city.  Sometime during this past school year, Lyla's first grade teacher had talked about the Statue of Liberty with her class.  Lyla talked all year about wanting to see the Statue of Liberty.  We did it the free way.  😃  The girls loved it!  While in the city, we saw Battery Park, the 9/11 grounds, the Disney Store, the M&M Store and the girls had their first subway ride.  It was a very full and fun day.  We also got to meet up with another sweet friend from our Facebook group.  Once we got back to Staten Island, the girls and I headed toward Long Island to see my aunt and uncle that I haven't seen for YEARS!!!

This rainbow bagel was delicious!

     I was so excited to go visit my Uncle Tim and Aunt Donna in long Island.  My Uncle Tim was my mom's baby brother.  I loved hearing stories of our family and spending time with them.  This was the first time that they got to meet my girls too.  Going to Long Island was one of my favorite parts of our trip this summer.  They took us to the tip of Long Island, Mantauk.  We stopped for some yummy seafood, drove through the Hamptons, got to climb a light house and we went to the beach.  And some people say that all we ever do is go to Disney.  Ha!  😀

I even got to see another one of my sweet friends from my Facebook group.

     My Disney friends are everywhere!  😀  When we left New York, we made a quick stop in Delaware for some ice cream with my wonderful friend, Becky!!  After our sweet treat we headed to visit our friend Allison (yes, from my Facebook group) in Maryland.  We spent the night with Allison and her sweet family and had our last seafood meal with our beautiful friend Jes (3 Disney friends in one day, yay!).

Allison, Jes & I (with photobomber, Lyla)

     On Tuesday morning we got up and made a quick stop in North Carolina to see this sweet, beautiful friend, Shannon.  I loved being able to connect and visit my girlfriends so much this summer.  I love our friendships.  I love these women.  They are strong and amazing and so kind to open up their homes and hearts to me and my girls this summer.

     We had one more quick stop to make before we headed back to Disney (yes, we started and ended our road trip at Disney).  😊   Mia and my birthday were just around the corner, so we had a small celebration with family.

     On July 20th we made the drive back to Disney to celebrate my 45th and Mia's 8th birthday.  We had so much fun visiting friends and family in these two weeks.  My girls were troopers.  They never once complained.  They slept in cots that they had outgrown.  We were together and we were happy.  We are so blessed.

Stay tuned for more on the last part of our Epic Road Trip this summer.