The Romagnolo Family

The Romagnolo Family

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Parenting With Grace

If you've been reading my blogs, I hope that you've realized that with me what you see is what you get.  I believe in being transparent.  I've learned that if I try to hide my faults and mistakes, it just ways heavy on me.  I also tend to feel shame when I try to hide my sins.  There is something freeing about being real.  So in the spirit of being transparent, I am going to share something that spoke to my heart and punched me in the stomach last night.

Not too long ago while I was listening to my friend Jennifer's podcast (you have to check it out if you haven't yet!), she mentioned a book by the author, Angela Thomas called "52 Things Kids Need From a Mom."  I added it to my wish list and got it with my next paycheck.  😄  I feel like every chapter speaks to me!  Last night the chapter entitled "Kids Need Their Mom...To Give Grace-Filled Consequences" truly spoke to me.  Let me say also, that Angela Thomas was a single mom for 8 years.  She gets me.  😄  I'm a single mom by choice, but she has been where I currently am.

This is where I felt the punch in the stomach.  Angela says, "To give grace-filled consequences means that you and I will have to be filled with a grace that guides our decisions and our words.  If we are empty of grace, operating with frayed emotions and selfishness, then guess what our kids will get?  Angry consequences.  If you are an empty woman, you will discipline from your emptiness."  Wow!  At first I was like, I'm not empty.  We have everything that we need. I have friends and family that love me.  I have a job that I love.  But then God spoke to my heart and opened my eyes.  You can have everything that this world has to offer and still be empty inside.  There is only ONE thing that will fill that void.  It's Jesus.  It's not just inviting Him to live in your heart though.  It's passionately pursuing a relationship with Him daily.

I'm going to be honest with you.  My quiet times have been hit or miss over the past year.  I've been filling my time and the void with other things like work, tv, running, friends, this blog or my Youtube Channel, my children, etc.  Just like in any relationship, if you don't actively pursue it, make time for it and prioritize it, the relationship will fall apart.  I've noticed that my heart is less filled with grace then it should be.  I also get angry at my kids easier.

Angela also mentioned that are kids are little sinners.  So am I.  Do I want God to react in anger or with love to my sins?  If He is merciful to me, shouldn't I be merciful to my own children?  My job as their mama is to teach them grace.  They aren't learning it if I am not truly experiencing it myself.  I want my girls to grow up being passionate about Christ and to be world changers.  This won't happen if I am not modeling that for them.  The next chapter in the book talks about passionately pursuing Christ.  If I don't pursue Him with all my heart, I won't ever change.  I don't want to be empty.  I want His love to flow through me and onto my children.

This morning I started thinking more.  Not only do I want to parent with grace, I want to teach with grace.  Do my students see something different in me?  Do I extend grace-filled consequences to them?

Last night I was determined to get up early to have a good quiet time this morning.  My plans were almost thwarted when I woke up at 2:40 am and couldn't fall back asleep until 4:00 am and my alarm went off 45 minutes later.  I did hit snooze, but I got up and sat down to finish reading the book of Ruth (so many great nuggets in this book!) and to pray.  I have to make it a priority to spend this time "re-fueling" everyday.  If I want to change, I have to fill myself with His Word.  I don't want my girls memories to be that their mommy was a yeller.  I need to change.  His mercies are new every morning.  We were and are forgiven for so much.  How can we not allow that grace to pour out of us and onto others?

This is just me being real.  I hope that this encourages some of you.  There may be some of you that don't struggle in this area.  That's awesome!  I'd love your tips (for real).  If you are like me, know that we are in the trenches together.  Just pick yourself back up and keep pushing forward.

Hugs Mamas!!!

2018 WDW Marathon Weekend 10K

Friday, January 5th started out just as cold as the 5K.  This time, I was a little more prepared for the cold.  I was in MANY layers!  A huge thank you to my friend Angie for bringing me some hot hands!  They saved my fingers and even feet.  For this race a group of us decided to dress as the characters from the movie, Inside Out.

The 10K course was a little different from the 5K course.  I like the 10K course because we get to run on the boardwalk early in the morning.  

The first 3-4 miles aren't in a park, but Disney makes up for it by having characters along the road.  We made sure to stop for the Wicked Queen.  This was a different race experience for me because I walked all 3 races this time around so that I could hang with my friends that weren't running.  While they don't time you for the 5K, they do time you for the 10K.  

We didn't stop for many characters on the course because we didn't want to get swept off the course by the Balloon Ladies.  We made great memories though and we got great pictures from the PhotoPass Photographers.

I've learned after my first two runDisney races that doing these races (actually any races) with friends makes it so much more fun!  It doesn't matter if you are running or have to walk.  I had so much fun with these ladies.  I loved that we all crossed the finish line together.  The course takes us into World Showcase by Mexico and then back out by the International Gateway.  We passed by Rapunzel and Flynn Rider in italy.  Well, we waited in line for them, but the line was too long and not moving that fast.  While we were in line we heard that the Balloon Ladies and just crossed the 5K, so we had to keep moving.  This princess was very sad, but it's all good.  When we left Epcot, we got to run on the Boardwalk.  We re-entered World Showcase by UK.  The course then took us through the rest of World Showcase up to Spaceship Earth and then to the finish line.  I love running through the parks.  It's so fun to see the Cast Members out there cheering for us.  It was super cold too, but they were out there.

After the race, I had to go straight to the buses to head back to my resort.  I had to go get me and my girls ready for the Kids Races.  Overall, I really enjoyed the 10K.  I loved our costumes too.  Watch for my next blog with a recap on the Kids Races.  You can also see a video recap of the 10K here.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Hoop Dee Doo Revue

One of my favorite memories of Disney growing up was going to see the Hoop Dee Doo Revue.  This is a country western musical revue that is held at Pioneer Hall at the Fort Wilderness Campground.  It is SO much fun!  My girls and I have been 3 times since 2012.

This last time was during Marathon Weekend.  It wasn't just the girls and I though.  We had a group of 40 from our Disney running group in our reservation.  It was amazing!

What makes Hoop Dee Doo so amazing?  Well, the all-you-can-eat fried chicken, ribs, and sides are a plus.  The food is delicious.  They also offer all you can drink beer and Sangrias.  I took advantage of the free refills of iced tea.  That's my jam.  😄  We had an awesome waiter this time around too!  Genero was sassy and on top of things.  Our food and drinks were replenished super fast.

The entertainment is great at Hoop Dee Doo.  They put on a great show.  This is one of my girls favorite places to eat.  They love the show too.  The performers are great about including the audience.  I think that we had smile on our faces the entire meal.  Nothing beats an entertaining show, a great dinner and great friends.

If you haven't tried out Hoop Dee Doo Revue yet, it is a must!  You prepay for this meal when you make your reservations.  Gratuity is included in the price.  If you are on the dining plan, this meal will take two dining credits.  Many people get hung up with how to get to Pioneer Hall.  There are several ways to get there:

  1. You can take Disney Transportation from your resort to Magic Kingdom and then take the ferry to Ft. Wilderness.  The ferry dock is right next to Pioneer Hall.  
  2. If you have your own car, you can drive to Ft. Wilderness and then take Ft. Wilderness' internal bus to Pioneer Hall.  
  3. If you are staying at Wilderness Lodge, you can take the ferry from the resort to Ft. Wilderness.  
  4. My new favorite way to get there is to use the "Minnie Van" service that Disney is offering now.  Disney has paired with Lyft for their technology to have their own "Uber/Lyft" service.  The drivers are Cast Members.  It was so much fun getting to talk to the Cast Members.  The plus side about using the "Minnie Van" service is that the car takes you directly to Pioneer Hall.

Here are some great pictures that my friend Becky Ashley took during our dinner.

I can't recommend this place enough!  I hope that you are able to give it a try the next time that you are at Disney.  Have you been to Hoop Dee Doo Revue?  What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

2018 WDW Marathon Weekend 5K

This runDisney race weekend was very different from the other two runDisney race weekends that I had experienced.  The weather changed the whole experience for all of us.  The morning of the 5K started out at a VERY cold 34 degrees.  I had prepped for the weather, or so I thought.   I was on the 2nd bus to leave my resort, OKW, at around 3:30 am.  Once I got to the race site, I met my friends in the character lines to take pre-race pictures with Disney characters.

The race didn't start until 5:30 am, so standing around for about in an hour and a half before the race started in 34 degree weather was hard!  The plus side of having to stand in the cold was that I was reunited with so many of my Disney running friends.  As you can see from the pictures above, we all decided to dress as the Aliens from Toy Story.  Our friend, Rob from Joyful Miles dressed as Buzz Lightyear and our friend Chris dressed as "The Claw" ("oooh!").  We had so much fun with these costumes!!

Many of our friends were walking this 5K, because they were doing the Dopey Challenge.  This meant that they were running all 4 races.  Since there isn't a worry of being swept on this course, it was more laid back and we just took it all in.  This 5K course took us through Epcot.

There were many great characters along the course.  I loved that so many of the Aliens stuck together.

We also stopped for some great selfies.

After the races, everyone usually hangs out taking pictures and talking about that race.  Not this day though.  It was SO cold.  Everyone made a beeline for the buses.  Disney did a great job having them ready to go.  When one left for its resort, another one pulled right up.  A group of us had reservations at Kona Cafe that morning, so I headed back to my resort to get ready and grab my girls.  After some delicious Tonga Toast we headed into Magic Kingdom for a little bit.  The cold wears you out though, so we didn't last too long.  We left after a few hours to go to Epcot.  Since I am a DVC member, the girls, my friends and I went to hang out in the DVC lounge that is located above the Figment ride.  When it was time, we headed over to Japan to meet up with Jamie and Angie's husbands for our dinner reservations at Teppon Edo.  My girls love that place.  All last summer they kept asking if we could go eat at the chopstick place.  😄  Once dinner was over, we called it a night and headed back to our resort to get ready for Friday's race.

Overall, I enjoyed the 5K.  Disney did a great job with it.  The only thing that I would change, would be the weather.   I have more pictures up on my video recap.  Check it out here.  My recaps of the rest of the races will be coming soon.  Until then...