Birthdays can be both beautiful and hard on the heart

**I’m well aware that this won’t resonate with everyone but I wouldn’t be doing my heart, my children, or my story justice without sharing it. I’m nothing if not unapologetically authentic.**

Now that I’ve successfully celebrated my children’s birthdays for 2022 I’ve had a chance to sort my feelings, this isn’t to say these feelings are clean-cut, rainbow-colored visions of happiness that fit neatly into boxes because I’ll tell you that couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

We’ve done the birthday photos, I’ve made the posters, custom ordered cakes bought all the gifts, and every other detail that goes into celebrating another year with 2 incredible humans 3 months apart. 

I dive in head first going above and beyond even topping my best because they deserve it, they’ll always deserve it but as I’ve said many times before it’s extremely hard to watch your children grow and thrive every day, never missing a day and still feel like while the days are long the years are so incredibly short. Conceptually I know I only get 18 birthdays, 18 of each holiday, And 18 summers if I’m lucky before they’re no longer children and I’m aware that so many parents and families get even less time. 

While I’m grateful for every moment I won’t say those moments are easy. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t parent through the Lens of loss and trauma from it. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with that though.

Things are different when you’re the one who keeps memories alive so dates and days that should have been often get the better of me. 

I do my best not to let my pain shadow the celebration of the life we have with Raiden & S.p.  But it is a constant in our lives. It’s a part of my motherhood story and the parental origin story of my husband. If anything the fact that we carry such big feelings constantly drives us to do and be better by the day, especially on big ones like birthdays and holidays.

While I grieve for love lost I also see how blessed we are with every second. 

I study my children’s faces, their speech, and each step because I know tomorrow they’ll be just ever so slightly older. 

I’ll always long for the babies they were but I’m so blessed to watch them grow and thrive by the day. As cliché as it may sound I love getting to meet them and know more about them EVERY SINGLE DAY yes I’ve known them every second of their lives but each day they become a little bit more of who they are supposed to be and I’m just glad that I get to play a part in that it’s one that I don’t take lightly my kids are my everything and I know every parent everywhere with half a heart can relate.

My kids are my driving force for everything I do. They are my greatest adventures and my best contributions to the world by far. 

My children are heaven-sent gifts for my husband and me and we couldn’t ask for anything better. 

The hope I have for these children is immeasurable. The pride I feel grows by the day though I always believe it’s impossible. 

I’ll never be able to put the caliber of my love for them into words though I’ll never stop trying. I simply hope they know it. 

I know they’re still little, they’ve only turned 3 & 2 but each year hits my heart with a wave of sadness, confusion, and joy. 

Sadnesses that yet another chapter has ended and we’ll never be back there again, confused as to how it all happened so soon, and absolute joy because while one chapter ended another- the next year has begun. 

Meaning, that each day, week, and month in this chapter is an opportunity to do more, be more, and spend even more time making memories. That’s a blessing!

Every parent wants their children to have the best in life possible and that looks different for everyone. All my kids’ needs are met, they’re growing and succeeding in life, and they have nice things but that’s not everything. I want my children to have experiences, an abundance of love, and unwavering felt safety. The most important of which money could never buy. 

I’m completely aware that this is a long sappy post, but sometimes the things no one talks about are the ones we should be talking about!

Grief, gratitude, and happiness can and often do go hand & in hand. It doesn’t make you ungrateful or any less blessed to put a name to your feelings and allow yourself to feel them in your own time and space. 

That’s the point of this post, honoring all the emotions that come up around birthdays and empowering those like my family who have to feel it all. You are not alone. 

Should my children ever read this I hope they’d take away my love and admiration for them from all that I’ve said. 

I’m beyond grateful for the last half-decade of my life because it brought me my wildest dreams come true! My website, two healthy pregnancies, my children, my marriage, countless precious memories, and the book I’m writing to honor it all simply because my children deserve to have their stories told. 

Life is truly beautiful sometimes we just have to go through some of the most unimaginable pain and situations to truly see how precious and genuinely perfect even the most minuscule obscure things are. 

So with that, I wish my beautiful, healthy, kind, caring, intelligent, incredible children a happy 2nd and 3rd birthdays. 2022 is only halfway through and it’s been a beautiful adventure so far 

Celebrating a milestone!

Tatorthoughts turns four!

•208 weeks

•1,460 days

•Countless posts

•1 server meltdown (that we survived!)

•More than 200 partnerships 

And thousands of loyal readers and supporters that none of this would be possible without!

Four years of what started as a simple idealistic dream of mine that QUICKLY turned into something I could’ve never imagined with over 20k people reading regularly, people and companies reaching out to me, friends made, partnerships built & so opportunities available to me that I would have never dreamed of. 

To say that I am shocked and thrilled is an understatement, I am so unbelievably blessed to be writing this to an incredible, extremely supportive audience four years to the day from when this all started… all because my husband believed in me and honestly believed the world would enjoy my thoughts on things, thus Tatorthoughts was born!

I am so incredibly thankful for all the wonderful partnerships and friends that I’ve made through this journey I’ve been able to do some amazing things that wouldn’t have been otherwise possible with my family and for myself in the process. I’m grateful that people read and take away good things from what I have to say and that I have a voice that’s bigger than myself. 

In today’s world, it’s really easy to get lost in what you think you should be or rather what others think you should be But if I’ve learned anything in the last four years it’s that embracing Tator (my real-life nickname) and becoming unapologetically her was one of the best things I had ever done because it didn’t matter what I looked like or what I didn’t look like, it didn’t matter that I have CP because I had something to say I had thoughts on a subject and people wanted to know what I thought. I was seen for more than a physical representation. In the process, I was able to break so many stereotypes that people willingly admitted to me that they carried because I don’t judge. everyone has a stereotype at some point that they believe or maybe even Portray and that’s OK because you only know what you know. 

I’m so proud of where I’ve been and how far I’ve come as a writer I truly do believe that embracing who I am and giving 100% authenticity here made me the best mom that I could be for my kids, it’s given me some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for and it’s allowed me to do things for my husband and for my kids that would’ve only been possible in my wildest dreams before I branched out and took the leap of faith it took to start this journey. 

It’s honestly hard to believe that it’s been four years already but what a beautiful four years it has been I hope 2022 continues to bring happiness and health for everyone who reads this and I’m hopeful that I can continue to bring insightful, uplifting joyous content to my platform in the year ahead and for years to come. 

Tatorthoughts has been such a blessing to me and to my family. I’ve received some wonderful feedback as well and that keeps me pushing to do more and to do better for the people who place value in this the way skeeter, myself and our children do. 

My writing has grown in depth and improved over the last four years so much so that I’ve taken the plunge and written & Co-illustrated my book for our children.

It was a daunting undertaking for me but I am so happy to say that I did it! we are currently illustrating the book and will be publishing it with Amazon KDP when complete. 

I can’t tell you how influential all my followers and partners have been In my life since this first began, I can’t wait to see where the next chapter of this journey takes us but I do know that if the last four years have been any indication it will be incredible my goal has always been to bring interesting content to the forefront of my website with the hopes of promoting advocacy acceptance and inclusion in all that I do. 

Representation matters!

Thank you all for making this endeavor possible and worth it!! 

I’ll be forever grateful for the memories 

-Xx Tator

Farewell to a Childhood favorite…

Arthur will officially come to a close after a record-breaking 25-year consecutive runtime this February. Making Arthur the longest-running children’s animated series in history. 

The brainchild of author Marc Brown, 

Arthur is the main character of a book series turned animated show. 

Marc Brown is the author of over 100 books including but not limited to the Arthur adventure series, step into reading books, and Arthur chapter books. 

This Book-Turned-TV series dates back to the 1970s with the earliest original books but As of March 10, 2021, Arthur has aired a total of 249 episodes and 7 specials. The series began airing on October 7, 1996 and will air its final new release episodes in February of 2022. 

they plan to end the 25 year Series with a few all-new episodes one of which including the Ellwood city gang we know & love all grown up!

Over its 25 year run, Arthur and his friends have experienced some pretty heavy-hitting and relatable things The series often deals with important issues families face such as asthma, Allergies, natural disaster aftermath, poverty, sibling rivalry, dyslexia, cancer, diabetes, and autism spectrum disorder.

(Go here to access Arthur health resources for your family! powered by ABC Mouse)

They also showcase the normalcy of different family dynamics including single children households, large families, children raised by grandparents, and the natural connection to distant relatives. 

if your kids love Arthur and show an interest in discovering their family history for better understand this game on pbs kids also helps! (Can be notified for foster & adoptive families and saved to device of choice once finished!!

Yet another way of promoting advocacy, acceptance, and understanding!

Arthur was so successful that it even gained a spinoff series “ postcards from buster” which started as a small Arthur segment, Originally airing from October 11, 2004, to February 20, 2012, has 4 seasons and showcases Buster Baxter’s adventures with his dad and normalized co-parenting and single-parent households through buster’s storyline throughout both series runs. 

They even covered big events such as the Olympics, opera & music, and creative arts!

The Arthur Tv series includes 249 episodes (485 segments)

While no new episodes will be produced or released, All episodes will remain available to stream on the PBS Kids video app as well as games remaining available to play on the PBS Kids website. You can even shop exclusive Arthur and other PBS Kids licensed merchandise here:

You can also still purchase Arthur books and others from Marc Brown from Amazon and other retailers and you can still check out these beloved books for your children or yourself from your local public library 

One bright side to this farewell is not only that The series will still be able to stream on-demand through the PBS KIDS Video app but that beginning February 16 PBS Kids and the PBS KIDS Video app will be running an all-day Arthur marathon for 6 days, featuring over 200 episodes leading up to the release of our last brand new adventure with our Ellwood city friends that we and our children grew up with finally getting to see the gang all grown up!

Is it bittersweet? of course!

However, seeing my children love something that I have loved in my whole life is a feeling that I can’t even describe with words. some may argue that Marc Brown and his messages were ahead of their time but there is no dispute that he and the characters in the world he created for us left a profound effect. everything he wrote was in one way or the other relatable he made sure that most everyone was well represented and could see themself as part of the Ellwood city crew. 

I appreciate his work and art form so much and as a parent who was once an Arthur-loving child, I say thank you. 

It’s an honor to know that as a parent and children’s book author myself that I stand at all in the same category as someone such as him. 

As a man in his 70’s, father of 4 wildly successful Author and illustrator, and executive creators & producer of something so profoundly responsible for breaking so many barriers for children like I was and my own kids I would argue that he’s left an incredible living legacy of magic even if this chapter is sadly coming to an end.  

it speaks volumes that after 25 years people are still not ready for it to end a quarter of a century and somehow it still wasn’t long enough. THANK YOU. 

It’s an honor to know that while I never pictured myself being an author or illustrator as a kid, I stand here today one just the same and I can’t help but believe this man had an incredible impact on me becoming that.

I’ll never forget learning to draw the Arthur character’s straight from marc brown himself as a recorded endcap to episodes over the years, it’s now become a huge skill and great “party trick” among the kids in my life especially my own!