The Romagnolo Family

The Romagnolo Family

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Who Is Your Hero?

We will have someone that we idolize and look up to.  Who is your "hero?"  I'll tell you who mine are.  They are these two...

Yep, that's right.  My heroes are my children.  Don't let this picture fool you.  Like all children, they aren't perfect.  There many days where I am either putting myself in timeout to calm down, thinking that God has a sense of humor or just crying in frustration.  If you are a parent, I'm pretty sure that you've felt those emotions too.  😂

This past week, I had to advocate for one of my daughters at school.  This sweet child has ADHD.  Even though I've been a teacher for 21 years, until one of my own children was diagnosed with it, I didn't really understand just what those with ADHD go through.  I found this article that describes what ADHD is like.  She struggles with impulsivity.  She struggles with feeling defeated because she makes bad choices.  As God has been teaching me about parenting with grace, I'm learning that she needs me to speak more words of love and encouragement into her life.  Not only does my sweet girl deal with ADHD every day, but she has overcome so much in her short life.  Both her and her sister have.  They have overcome so much more than many of us ever will in our lives and they are only 7 and 8 years old.  If you ever read this post, you know that I did not give birth to my sweet daughters. They were 6 months and 16 months when we first met.  If you are a parent, you know that the first 2 years are critical in forming emotions in a child's life.  I won't share my girls history, because it's their story.  I will say that while we all have dysfunction in our families, many of us are blessed to have the childhoods that we had.  It is a complete miracle that my girls are the way that they are.  These precious girls are overcomers.  They are sweet and strong.  They are my heroes!

I know that we still have many interesting years ahead of us (hello, teen years! 😂 ).  I am praying that I can help my girls navigate through any obstacles that may come their way.  I was also reminded this week as I gave some insight of just all that my daughter has overcome, that you have to advocate for your children and make sure that people see the whole picture.  This morning, my devotion reminded me about labeling ourselves and others.  God is chiseling us into His masterpiece.  Instead of labeling our children, let's point them to the one that loves them more than we ever will.  He is going to finish the good work that He has started (Phil. 1:6). 

So, now you know why my children are my heroes.  Who are you heroes? 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

2018 WDW Marathon Weekend Half Marathon

Saturday morning, January 6th was a very cool 39 degrees.  It was warmer than the days before, but it was still cold.  I mentioned in my previous race recaps that this runDisney race weekend experience was very different from previous runDisney races.  The weather was one factor, but I also did not run these races like I normally do.  I had a few friends that needed to walk for various reasons, so I walked with them so that we would have each other.  I didn't realize until this race just how different running and walking races are.  Not that I ever have, but I will for sure never mock power walkers!  I trained to run these races.  When I run, I do a run/walk/run interval of 90 seconds/30 seconds.  At the Disney races I also have time to rest while I wait in line for character photos.  When you are walking these races and you are only 2 corals ahead of the Balloon Ladies (sweepers), there is no resting or even stopping for character pictures.  We were trying to maintain a 14 -16 minute mile pace for 13.1 miles.  I've had friends say, "A 16 minute mile pace?  That's nothing!"  Yes, but when you have to maintain that speed for 13.1 miles?  That's hard on your body.  Or, maybe I'm just a wimp.  😂

This morning was just like the other two mornings with a 2:30 am wake up call and on the bus by 3:30am.  I met the rest of my friends at the race like before.  For the half marathon a group of us from our running group decided to dress as the Kakamoras from Moana.  See the resemblance?  😄

We got a few pre-race pictures with characters before we headed to the corals.  There is a further walk to the corals for the half and we wanted to be in the first or second wave of our coral (E).  I loved being able to spend this time with my friends Jamie and Cori.  Getting through these races with friends by your side has become a must.  It's so much better with friends.  We didn't stop for characters along the course, but we got every mile marker and other pictures along the course.  I stole pictures from my friends Angie, Cori and Becky though for my recaps.   😄

I loved the half marathon course for this race because it took us through Magic Kingdom.  I love running through Magic Kingdom.  I made sure to get a jump shot in front of  the castle.

We didn't stop for much else though.  It wasn't until we were on the overpass to Epcot that we realized that we were way ahead of the Balloon Ladies.  I'm not gonna lie.  I was ready to slow it way down at that point, but Jamie and Cori wanted to just be done.  I kind of don't blame them.  I did make them stop in Epcot so that I could use a real potty.  😂  This was a hard race, but I wouldn't have missed the opportunity to do it with my sweet friends.

After the race, Jamie and I met up with her husband John.  Jamie had a nice surprise for the three of us.  Normally when we run three races at Disney, we walk away with 4 medals because we get a challenge medal.  The 10K and Half Marathon are usually a challenge race.  The only challenges for this weekend were the Goofy (the half and full marathon) and the Dopey (all 4 races).  Since we were only getting 3 medals for our 3 races, we would joke around that we were doing the "Grumpy Challenge".  Well, Jamie designed and made us our very own "Grumpy Challenge" medal!  I love it!  It's probably my favorite medal from the whole weekend!

We all parted ways soon after that.  I went back to my resort to shower and take a much needed nap.  While my girls watched tv (I know...great mom moment), I took a little nap.  I was wiped.  After my nap, we headed to do laundry and then we were able to walk up and get a table at Olivia's Cafe.  If you have never tried Olivia's, I highly recommend it!  We've had breakfast, lunch and dinner there.  We've always had great service there too.  When we were through with lunch, we headed over to the Community Hall at our resort where I made a sign to cheer for our friends that were running the marathon the next morning and my girls painted piggy banks.  I love Old Key West.  The Cast Members are awesome!  Before we left the Community Hall we checked out a movie and then stopped in the general store to grab frozen meals for our dinner.  We spent the rest of the night relaxing with dinner and a movie in our room.

We had to make sure that we got to bed at a decent hour because Lyla and I had an early morning on Sunday.  We were getting up to go with our friends Jamie and John to cheer for our other friends that were running the marathon.  That recap is coming soon!  In the meantime, be sure to check out some of my video recap from Marathon Weekend here.

Until next time,


Monday, February 5, 2018

Parenting and Being Silly

In my blog last week, I referenced Angela Thomas' book, "52 Things Kids Need From A Mom."  I am really learning so much as I read this book.  God has really been giving me opportunities this past week to practice my parenting with grace.  😄

Another chapter in this book talks about how "Kids Need Their Mom To Be Silly".  Angela talks about how being silly does not come naturally to her.  I read this and thought, "Yes!  This woman GETS me!!!"  I grew up with both types of parents.  One was silly and one was not.  For some reason it is easier for me to be sillier with teenagers and my friends, then it is with my kids.  I don't know why it is so hard.  It is very uncomfortable for me to be silly with my kids on a regular basis.  I feel like I am more serious then I am silly with my girls.

I don't want my girls growing up and remembering that their mother was all business and no fun.  One of Angela's suggestions was to have a crazy hat night at dinner.  Everyone is required to come to the dinner table with a crazy hat on.  I thought, "I can try that."

Spring semester is so crazy for us.  I am at my school 6 out of 7 days for a lot of the semester.  My girls love being at my school, but it is very busy and not a lot of down time.  Mommy is usually very tired too.  I am trying to do little things to spend time with my girls and give them fun memories.

This past Friday we started crazy hat/hair night at the table.  One child embraced it.  The other thought it was ridiculous.  That could have also been because she was losing out in participating in a family activity later that night for having made poor choices during school.  😢  Since the rule was that you had to wear one if you wanted dinner, she quickly embraced it.  😂

After dinner, my youngest and I went to my room and played a couple rounds of Uno on my bed.  My girls love family game night.  I've realized that I haven't taken advantage of that like I should.  That is going to change though.

I am also trying to squeeze in a family movie night where we cuddle under the covers in my bed and watch a movie together.  This past weekend we watched Cars 3.  I learned this past summer when we were in close quarters and constantly together for 5 weeks, that my girls LOVE it.  I let the busy-ness of the school year get in the way.  That is changing this semester!

What do you do to be silly in your family?  What traditions do you have?  I am still a work in progress, but I am trying.  😄

Saturday, February 3, 2018

2018 WDW Marathon Weekend Kids Races

The kids races at the 2018 runDisney Marathon Weekend were special for us in several ways this year.  The first reason is that this was Mia's last runDisney race. She is not a runner. My sweet girl has been running these races to humor her mommy.  To her delight, runDisney changed the races that they offered this time.  The last two runDisney races she has run the 400 meter dash.  This time around they only offered the diaper dash, 100 and 200 meter dashes.  A cast member told me at the races that they are only offering those races from now on.  Mia was excited to only have to run the 200 meter dash.

The second special thing about these races was that my family was in Orlando.  It was so fun and special for the girls to have my sister and her family and my dad at the Kids Races.

The only days that they offered the Kids Races were Friday and Saturday.  I signed the girls up for the Friday races since I was running the half on Saturday and knew that I would be even more pressed for time then on Friday after the 10K.  After the 10K I ran back to our resort to get us ready.  Mia's race started at 11:15 and Lyla's one mile race started at 1:00 pm.  I went ahead and grabbed us lunch at our resort while we waited for our family to meet us.  It took a little bit for our bus to show up.  We thought that we were going to miss Mia's race (which she was very happy about 😂).

When we got to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex we discovered that they were still finishing up with the 100 meter dash.  Mia and I went ahead and got in line for the 200 meter dash.  There were a lot of kids there and we had gotten there late, so we were in the back of the pack.  When they finally started the race, they let the kids go in waves.  We had awhile to go since we were in the way back.  I love doing these races with Mia.  I run them with her and we run side by side.  She did a great job.

In between kids races I ran to over the Expo Hall to look at the runDisney merchandise since I didn't have time to do it on Wednesday night.  The girls took this time to color at the GoGo Squeeze tent with my friend Meredith.

A little bit before 1:00 pm, Lyla and I headed over to the start for the one mile race.  Lyla has been doing these races herself, so I stayed with her until the race started and then headed over to the finish line to cheer her on.  Once your child finishes the race, you show a cast member a ticket that you ripped off of your child's race bib before the race starts in order to get them back.

I'm so proud of my girls.  They both did a great job at the races.  Mia was able to high five Mickey, but there were too many kids crowding Minnie, so Lyla couldn't high five her.  The kids races were so much fun.  We loved having family there to cheer too.

After the races, we all headed back to my resort to part ways.  The girls and I had a meet up at Ample Hills Creamery off of the Boardwalk with our friends from Joyful Miles, Rez Runs, Heather Jergensen (from Running with Grace) & Kimberly Estabrook.  If you haven't met these guys, they are awesome people!  We also took our first ride in the Minnie Van service provided by Disney.

The girls and I couldn't stay long because we had a reservation with another group of friends at Via Napoli in Italy in World Showcase.  The service was slow but the food was delish.  As we were walking into the park Lyla asked, "why aren't we riding any rides?"  😂  Race weekends are super hard when you have so many days of 2:00 am wake up calls.  We did get a nice surprise as we entered the park though!

Once the meal was over, we headed back to our resort because I had one more race to get ready for the next day.  Saturday I would be running the Half Marathon and my last race for the weekend.  Stay tuned for my recap on that coming soon.  In the meantime, you can watch my video recap of the kids races here.