Dan, Dan the Birthday Man!

Well it’s January 15th again and if you are a long time reader, then you know that it is Dan’s birthday!  I have already sent my birthday love (see this post to know what that means.) However, I am not sharing them like I did last year.  This year I’m doing something a little bit different for the public arena.  I decided to use my skills, or lack thereof, and express my love in Multi-Media Slideshow Delight.  So here you go Dan.  I love you so much, that I spent all day in my Jammy Jams creating this just for you.

Now that is love.

The music is My Best Friend, by Weezer (best band ever fyi)                                                 No copyright infringement intended, just some birthday love.

Side note: This really is Dan and I’s song.  We sing it to each other aaaalllllllllllllllll the time.  Especially if one of us is grumpy ;-)


Yes, it was worth it.

Every now and then I have days where I wonder if it was worth it to give up my business to stay at home. I wonder if I am living below my potential or wasting time and talent. It never fails, when I feel like that, usually something like the following happens to help me know that I totally made the right decision.

Carnation | The SmithocracyI found this bedraggled flower in Austin’s backpack. He grabbed it from me and instantly started to run water on it. He was visibly upset. I asked “whats that?”

“I bought this for you with my own dollar mom, I snuck my dollar out and was saving it for mothers day.”

He used his own allowance to buy me a flower. He hid it in his backpack, and was going to keep it there till Sunday.  He couldn’t understand why it didn’t look nice anymore.

To me, it’s perfect.

Worst Best Idea Ever


Well I have to apologize. I let a week go by without a single post. Something I had included in my New Years Goals. However, that is why it was a goal. Something to work towards, with the hope of achieving.That means I am not a failure for not doing it perfect the first time. I will pick myself back up and continue to strive towards that goal.

I think after this post you will see why I missed the last week.

Dan and I, for the most part, are fairly in shape people. We strive to maintain our weight, eat healthy and get plenty of exercise, we don’t smoke, drink or partake of any harmful substances. Our Doctors generally tend to be satisfied with what we do and believe us to be fairly close to the ideal patient. That being said, we still find ourselves slipping down the weight gain ladder. Especially as we keep doing that annoying thing called aging each year. Once again we found ourselves in that “time to clean up, shape up and get back on track” mode. We took a good look at where we are at, and where we are at is not satisfactory.

One of us was more unsatisfied than the other. One of us needed a little more “tuning up” than the other. One of us is named Dan.

Dan decided it was time to do something major. To really get a hold of himself and be who he wants to be Today. Not Tomorrow, not Next Year or Someday. But Now. So he asked if I would do P90X with him. Dan has supported me in a lot of my fitness goals, so it was time to give back. I agreed and we ordered the program. While we were waiting for it to arrive I started to think about how I was soon going to be back to eating clean. How it was time to clean out the fridge/pantry, say no to Ice Cream and yes to Carrots.

Small problem.

For the first time in a while, I didn’t want to say no to Ice Cream. I wanted to say YES!  Chocolate and Cookies and Crackers, OH MY!

Oh Cookie Monster. You know how I feel.

It was no longer going to be time for cookie. :-(

I started to feel grumpy about it. Then a little resentful. Then A LOT of Grumpy and Resentful. I was Grumpsentful.

So I said to myself, “Self, you are backwards. Somewhere you got confused and want junk, not goodness and health. Time to take control.”

And that is when I had the Worst Best Idea Ever.

I recently saw this little pin on Pinterest. It links to What The Sparkle.

InstructionsI like what she said about it, I thought to myself, “people like Dr. Oz, I like people, so this must be good.” I floated over to the Dr. Oz site to find out more. This is where I read things like, “This was great!” “Worked for me!” “I was never hungry” “I lost 500 pounds in three days!” Ok, I exaggerate, but you get my point. I thought, “this is what I need to get back on track.” So I emailed the link to Dan and he said he was in.

So first day of P90X was also the first day of the Dr. Oz Three Day Cleanse. Here is the rundown for the cleanse.

Photo on 3-4-13 at 9.04 AM #3 1st day – This is not so bad. People are wimps if they call this hard. What are they complaining about. I Feel great. Lunch and dinner are not that good, but you can power through it, no prob.

Day 2First Half of 2nd Day – Wow, everyone is super annoying. I have a headache, I miss food. This is hard, but manageable. I can do this. Remember chewing? That was nice.

Second Half of 2nd Day – Can Everyone Please Stop Making That Annoying Sound Called Talking! This Smoothie Is Disgusting But I Can Power Through. Where Is Food!!!! I Want Pizza!!! Who’s Stupid Idea Was This!


Do you see why I was NOT in the mood to write anything last week?

So yeah, not so easy.  Dan and I did it, but have since made a Pinky Swear to NEVER do it again. We did lose weight, (Dan 4, me 7) but it was only water weight. It came right back on in two days. One positive thing did come from it though. This is the part that makes it the Best Idea. I was so happy to start eating food again, that I didn’t care that it was such a clean diet. Bring it on carrots! Say yes to celery! Apple, you are the best. As long as I can crunch you, I love you! I no longer hunt for any chocolate crumbs in the house. I don’t need it. I am just so happy to eat any food that I don’t even want the junk.

So do I recommend this?

NO WAY! It was awful and horrible and the worst and longest three days of my life. However if you really want to kick your Naughty Cravings to the curb. This WILL do it. It really did get me back on track to eating healthy again and I am not Grumpsentful anymore. So The Smithocracy stance, Do It At Your Own Risk. Also hide all weaponry first.

How is P90X you ask?

I really like it! Great workouts so far and we feel good doing them. 100% Smithocracy approval. Although I did receive this text from Dan while I was typing this.

Ouch. I feel like somebody is pogo sticking my body, but the pogo stick is made of knives with acid on the blades. Feel the Burn. Luv the Burn. Be the Burn.

So yeah. It hurts. But it is a good hurt that puts everything back where it goes.

Have you done any crazy things in the name of fitness and health? Please share so we know we are not the only crazy’s in crazy town!

Calm and Assertive

I know what you have been thinking.

“Hey Tannie, why did you tell us about your New Years Goals and then never explain them like you promised?”

I am sorry, I did make you wait. However the first one, Post At Least Once a Week, was self explanatory. The second one needed a little background and my last post provided that background. Do you need a reminder what my second New Years Goal is?

2. Learn how to remain calm, even in stressful situations.

Why did this goal come about? Why did I need to post about getting a dog before I addressed this goal? Is two plus two four?

Yes, my sweet little Kona, that I love, required me to learn a little something about myself. I am in fact, not so calm as I thought I was. Part of the deal of getting a dog, beside the top two rules I mentioned (and threw out) in the last post, was said dog must be well trained. Lucky for us, Kona came that way. I wanted to make sure she stayed that way. I noticed that while she started out very easy going and a good listener, she was slowly starting to get a little naughty. I asked my vet if he could recommend a good trainer and he surprisingly said no. He recommended that I just watch this guy.


Photo from here

Yep, that’s right, the Dog Whisperer himself, Cesar Millan. I am an Obedient sort of person, so naturally I ordered every DVD on Netflix and got to work.  If you have watched even one episode then you know that Cesar Millan puts strong emphasis on the type of energy you give off. When owning a dog you should be Calm and Assertive. There is also a lot of other great stuff on there that I don’t want to go in to, but we are implementing them.

I started noticing a difference right away in the way Kona acted…with Dan.

She became more obedient…with Dan.

She did well on the leash…with Dan.

She was submissive…to Dan.

See the pattern here? I was doing everything the same as he was, but for some reason I was not getting the same results. Don’t get me wrong, Kona wasn’t behaving badly, she just was starting some bad habits of not listening, that I wanted to nip in the bud. I noticed this energy thing that Cesar talks about over and over and I asked Dan if he does that. Does he imagine himself as the king of all that is around? Does he focus on being calm and assertive. I asked him who he imagined he was to help him feel that way. I wanted to get into Dan’s brain. (Good luck with that one.) Here is his response in typical Dan fashion.

“I don’t imagine anything. I am me. I already am that way. So why would I possibly imagine someone else?”


That is when I realized I needed to Tune in to Tannie a little more.

I was doing everything that Dan was, except for the whole confident, calm assertive energy thing. I THOUGHT I was a calm sort of person. It turns out…not so much.

I took some time to truly look at myself and analyze the way I was feeling. The majority of the time I am pretty hyper. Or frustrated. Or exhausted. Or stressed. Or Stressed. OR STRESSED. I discovered that I spend A LOT of time feeling stressed. When did I get to be that way? It seemed like it was just a habit at this point. Like a secret favorite feeling that I started wrapping myself in. So it was time to let go.

So I did. I started focusing on being calm around Kona and it is working (work in progress). She responds to me so much better now. Enough so that Dan fears that I am taking over his dog. (Kona is really starting to worship me ;-))

At first I did it just so I could become the pack leader to my dog. However, my focusing on being calm with the dog soon became my noticing all the other areas I needed to practice being calm. I had never noticed how much I needed it in the rest of my life. You can’t try to improve in one area, without it effecting other areas.

So it was time to make it a Goal.

Now I not only practice being Calm and Assertive around Kona. But now my kids, Dan, situations, people, cooking, cleaning, and anything else you can think of that perhaps I did not previously act in the most calm and genteel way. But it is more than an act I have to practice. I am sure I will have people tell me, “Oh Tannie, you are always calm and level headed.”

Well it is true. I am pretty good at being that way on the OUTSIDE. The inside is another story. And only a Dog was able to point that out. You can’t fool a dog as to what is going on on the inside. Kona knew I was stressed and less confident inside. So she was not having any of it. No matter how confidently I walked, or spoke to her, she knew the truth.

And now I do too.

So here is to a 2013 Tannie that is Calm, Cool and Collected on the outside AND the inside.

Thanks Cesar Millan, turns out you might be a people whisperer too.

A Boy Without a Dog Is No Boy At All

Hello. Notice anything different around here? Look up!

That’s right we have a new addition to The Smithocracy! Austin, introduce us to Kona.

meet Konasitting prettyMeet our new dog, Kona. Kona is a Husky/Shepard mix and a perfect fit to our family.

Now those who know me best are sitting there in stunned silence thinking, “Tannie got a dog! Do pigs fly? Are hot places frozen over?”

Yes yes, it is amazing, Tannie has a dog. I the “we will never have pets” proclaimer. The “dogs are gross and belong outside” enthusiast. Yes, that person has a dog. And as you can see in the photo above, said dog lives in the house. And has quite comfortably for a few weeks now.

So how did this all come about you ask?

It all began shortly before Christmas when a very little annoying dog (Chihuahua) got lost at our house. Now I may not love dogs, but I also don’t believe in animal cruelty. So while we tried to find the owners we cared for said little lost rat. Unfortunately this was the cutest little lost rat we have ever laid eyes on and every male in my house was smitten. Austin gave me his best eyes, similar to this…

puppy eyes…and said the following.

“Mom, he just needs a family to love him. We could love him, and I would name him Stryker.”

FYI it turns out the Chihuahua’s name was Woody. I told him that this dog already belonged to a family and he already had more than enough love. Logan was a little more wary. He is unsure about dogs, but he did give me eyes as well and proclaim that he needed a pet to help him cuddle.

A valid point, I had to admit.

Soon Dan was also giving me the sad “I never had a dog” face. And I knew I was in trouble. Not soon enough we found the owner and Woody was returned to his rightful home.

But the Damage had been Done.

Pretty soon Every Boy in the house was moping around looking like they lost their puppy. Which in this case, they had. I was determined to stay strong. I was not letting a hairy beast into my perfect home. I was not going to deal with one more responsibility. I was NOT going to get a dog. However I did not want to be the total bad guy. I have mentioned before that we are a Smithocracy not a Smithtatorship. So what was I to do?

Call my mom of course!

If anyone would take my side it would be her. She is also a firm believer of no animals in the house. But she does love dogs and has owned many. So I knew I could get her to side with me.

Sidenote: Dan’s prerequisite was dog in-house. Also our yard is not fenced. That is why it was a foregone conclusion that the dog was going to be inside.

So I told my mom my problem and I thought for sure she would say “Hold your ground Tannie, no animals inside.” But is that what I got? No. Here is what she actually said.

“Stop blocking your children’s love! They have love to give and you are stopping it! You have the rest of your life to keep a clean house, but boys needs a dog.”

It turns out that a boy without a dog, is no boy at all. And also I am a “murderer of love,” not just succulents.

Well what can a girl say when faced with that?

About an hour later Dan and I were on our way to the Humane Society of Williamson County.

On the way I gave Dan my long list of all the things I did or did not want. The two nonnegotiables were.

  1. Must be small. I don’t want to have some giant dog running around my house. (also I thought I could ignore a small dog easier, as in my mind I wanted nothing to do with it ever.)
  2. Must not shed a lot. I don’t want to spend my life cleaning up fur.

And as soon as we got there that list went out the window. We walked into the shelter and I instantly saw Kona. She was the only one not barking, she didn’t jump at the cage. But she did look excited to see us. I walked up to her and read her card. Husky/Shepard. Oh no. Large-check, Sheds-triple check. Moving on.

But we couldn’t move on. We had to walk her. Then we had to pet her. Then we had to adopt her. We had no choice. Look at that sweet mug.

nobleKonaSo now I am stuck with a largish, extreme shedding Husky in my house…and I love it! Having a dog is the best! I never would have thought I would think that, but who knew?

Tannie’s can love a dog too.

Now Austin can put all his love on something.

aboyandhisdogLogan can practice his cuddles, which he does. It has also helped him not be so timid with other dogs. Dan can have a running buddy as well as his first dog. And I get the best behaved, cleanest dog that adores me and keeps me company all day. :-)

So welcome Kona. You are an official Smithocrat!

playful Kona

Lets Hear it for the Boy…

Dan the ManWell today is the day. My Main Man’s Birthday! Dan has turned the sweet Three Five and it’s times to show him the love. For those that are new, you can read about the tradition of Birthday Love here.

1. I love Dan because he is a man with integrity. Dan always does the Right thing. ALWAYS. Even if it is inconvenient, hard or threatening. He does not back down from what is right. You can count on Dan to be the Man every time!

love forever.2. I love Dan because he uses his weaknesses and makes them strengths. A good example is his running. He hated running and vowed never to run. Now he not only runs, but just finished a double, yes DOUBLE, marathon. How did he do this? Well Dan is stubborn. VERY stubborn. He could teach some Donkeys a lesson or two on being stubborn. He used this to help him overcome his hatred of running. Now he loves it. He used the Power of Being Stubborn to make himself an amazing athlete once more. (For those who don’t know, Dan is a former soccer player, thus the “once more.”)

Soccer Dan3.  I love Dan because he loves me!

“Whoa Tannie, that is a pretty selfish reason.”

Hold on Reader, let me explain. Dan loves me and he shows it.

He shows his love everyday when he lays his pillow next to me when he leaves early for work. That way I feel like he is still there.

He shows his love by greeting me first before anyone else in the room.

He shows his love by being an amazing father.

He shows his love by putting up with my crazys.

He loves me by using the most obnoxious pet names ever. No Babe, or Honey from him. It must be Gorgeous or Senorita Sexy Pants, or Love Bunny. He also must proclaim those silly pet names for all to hear. I tolerate it and love it. I Tolerove it.

He shows his love each day by working long hours, putting his family first and setting aside his own dreams to help others achieve theirs.

So yes, I do love him for loving me, because his love means so many things!

Thanks for being my Best Friend Forever! I love you and Happy Birthday Dan!


Want to join in? Leave a comment saying why you love Dan too!

Good Days.

My original intention was to sit down and write a fun post on some Christmas crafts I recently did. I find that I am not able. My heart is just not in it. I can’t seem to think of something frivolous and silly like that when we are still rocking from the tragic events on Friday.

Today I had to fight tears taking my kids to school. Walking home was the same thing. Nevertheless I sent them. Dan reminded me that we cannot avoid all the Good Things in life, just because of the possibility of Bad Things.

An important thing to remember.

My gut reaction is Home School. My gut reaction is Lock My Family Up Safely. However, if we hide and protect all the people who can influence the world for the positive, where does that leave the rest of us?

So today I prayed with my kids. I asked that they be protected. Asked that we could each see the good in each other. Asked that we can influence our community for good and kindness. I walked them to class. Gave them hugs and kisses and hoped for a Good Day. Because the truth is, there are more good days than bad. So I will live each good day to the fullest rather than fearing for the possible bad. And if a bad day comes, I will have memories full of Good Days.

May we each live for Good Days._MG_9129 _MG_9189 _MG_9498 _MG_9506 _MG_9572 _MG_9602

Color me “SUPER” Rad!

Last week it got a little quiet here on The Smithocracy. No worries, things have been loud at the Real Life Smithocracy. I’ve got projects coming out my ears and I can’t wait to share them! Also I have a fun giveaway coming at the end of the week so stay tuned for that. You will not want to miss it! ;-)  But before we get into all that, I want to share a fun little thing I did this weekend called Color Me Rad.

Color Me Rad is the most inspired and fun 5k I have ever done. Basically you run whilst being bombed with color. Which happens to be…Da Bomb. Sorry, I had to.


We woke up early Saturday morning to head to the race.

timeto goIt is important to wear white to this race and also amazing 80’s sunglasses, provided with registration. I will admit, those are the best of that type of sunglasses I have ever owned. Even better than my originals from 1988! So thanks Race People for really doing it right!

I was bringing my Cheering Crew (Dan and the boys) and my Official Photographer (Dan) so the plan was to meet the rest of my team at the race. Our team was organized by my lovely friend Lindsey Costello. We got there a little early so had some time to kill.

I photo bombed my kids.

waitingwithmyboysThen we took the kids over to where they were throwing out free prizes to the all the peeps. This is where Dan and I learned that Logan is one tough little dude. He got right in there and held is ground in the midst of some serious competition.

fierceI mean look at that Rainbow Haired Kids face. He was going to sacrifice all for the blow up beach ball. Logan didn’t let that phase him though. He got right back on that horse…

hanginwiththebigdogs…and snagged a beach ball for himself. Way to go little guy!

Finally my Lady Crew showed up and we took a pic in our Pearly Whites.

homegirlsarriveDon’t worry, it didn’t take long to get some color going.

littlecolorThere was still some waiting to be had before the official start. So the DJ got us all pumped up, just like a good DJ should. I know this, because as you may have deducted from the last wedding post I secretly moonlight as one.

pumpedup pinkThere was even a little push up contest. The prize was a sweet hoody, so I was all over that.

pushupsAre you impressed with my Perfect Push Up Form? Are you impressed that I quit at 15? Are you impressed that I am still sore from my 15 push ups? Are you wondering if I feel like a wimp? Yes, yes I do. I injured my should a while ago so push ups have been on the no-no list this past year. It is all healed up now, but apparently it is time to begin again. 15…wow…*hangs head in shame*. The winner went to 76! I wish I saw who this amazing armed lady was. I would give her an Honor Nod.

It was finally time to start the race. We got into the first wave and were rarin’ to go!

readytostartAnd we are off!

You can see none of us as we were instantly consumed by the Color Cloud of Doom.

colorcloudYum, yum, colored corn starch, just like Mom used to make.

We got jammed up in the pack, so I soon said Adios to my Home Girls. No worries for them, they were well aware of the First Rule of Racing With Tannie. She will ditch you at about 1.2 minutes into the race. Nothing personal, I just get hyper and have to go-go-go!

This race was so so fun!

jumpforjoyAlthough if you look at the picture, maybe I was the only one who thought so?  Where are the smiles people? Such serious runners. Oh well. It was a fun run on Asphalt, Trails and Fields. A good varied mix. Along the way you randomly got bombed with color. Sometimes cornstarch, sometimes dyed water. It made for a very fast feeling race.

I practically laughed the whole run.

IMG_8147Once I saw the end, it was time to bring it home. I like to sprint out the end, so here’s a funny story. I went into a sprint and started passing some people. Right when I got to the end, I slowed down, feeling good about myself. Well apparently one racer was not going to have it. She blew past me with fierce revenge. And my friend Rob got it on camera.

sprintfinishYou see her on the right, all sprinter looking. I’m the one that looks like I am plodding like a donkey. I promise I was going so fast about a second before this shot. Thanks Rob, for letting her rub it in that much more.

I was done and much more colorful than when I started.

whoseradbacksideI finished a little ahead of my gals, so with nothing else to do but wait, it was time to color bomb some of my Cheering Crew.


loganaustinWith the last girl, we all jumped back in and crossed the finish line as a team.

finishtogetherOur organizer Lindsey is the gal up front in the blue shades.

We did it!

wediditgoodtimesWhat a fun race, time to celebrate!

craigosAnd there is no better way to celebrate then eating your weight in Pizza at CraigOs. 

Sorry Trent, we may have scared off some Patrons. But it was all in the name of Color and Rad.

So good times were had by all, and if this race ever comes to your area…DO IT!!!  I am not sure if you picked up on my hints, but it is fun!

Also I want to give a shout out to WordPress. They updated the photo loader and my life is happier now. Adding multi pics saves time. Thanks WordPress!!

More projects coming soon, and don’t forget that a giveaway is on its way to The Smithocracy. So stick around.

Have you done a fun race lately? Are your teeth also filled with colorful grit? Share share!

Have a colorful week!