Jordan is VERY excited to get the chance to tell her story of becoming an inventor during a Kid Inventors Day event on Tuesday in New York City! She and two other awesome kid inventors are gathering at NYU’s new maker space to tell their stories. By the way, Kid Inventors Day is on January 17th in honor of Ben Franklin who was an amazing kid inventor. (And he never stopped inventing!)

This has been an amazing year of learning and growing for Jordan. Getting the chance to come up with a creative idea, build it AND learn how to fail along the way to improve her creative ideas was a HUGE part of her life last year. The last year, I’ve seen her become more confident and enjoy watching how that creativity has led to her ability to take more responsibility for herself.

I know, can I really attribute Jordan’s chance to be a maker as the reason she’s matured so much in a year? I think yes. Giving Jordan control to turn a vision into reality helped her understand that she could control even more parts of her life. She’s trained to become a certified babysitter! That was something she wanted to do as a way to save money toward a new computer. (And of course, she doesn’t want to buy a cheap one!)  She’s become our resident chef in the house. (She’s baking brownies right now.) She has had the chance to speak in public and even has a chance to lead an all-school assembly at a St. Louis elementary school later this month.

I honestly think learning how to be a maker helped an already confident kid grow ten times more confident.

We’re excited to work with Autodesk next week and continue to share Jordan’s excitement about inventing and her ideas to help advance how anyone can take ownership of his or her design needs.

(Thanks to Amy Enderle for taking so many wonderful photos of Jordan that I keep finding opportunities to share them!)

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Two of our awesome VIP tour guides.

One of the amazing opportunities that fell into our lap emerged after Jordan’s special Dream Big, Princess Innovator Award during the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration: We were gifted two free tickets to a VIP experience at Walt Disney World Resort. We also had a chance to get a small discount to add additional people to our experience. After Jordan and I had our own personal VIP day during our May visit, I knew our whole family deserved the experience.

The Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP Tour is a chance to ride almost every fast-paced and thrilling attraction at Walt Disney World. We started out at Magic Kingdom Park where we got to meet our Tour Guides and the rest of the families in our group. There were about 20 total people and everyone was really excited to have a fast-paced day of fun.

I usually dislike Splash Mountain, but I’m willing to make a splash with the family.

While we were in Magic Kingdom Park, we got to ride Big Thunder Mountain RailroadSplash MountainSpace MountainHaunted Mansion  and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. (Not in that order.) We also took a quick snack break while the Haunted Mansion was having a couple of ghostly delays.

Then we had a chance to hop backstage into a van and travel to Epcot. That’s where we got to eat a meal that was a part of the VIP tour. The Quick Service restaurant, Sunshine Seasons, had a lot of options and really yummy desserts. It also gave us a chance to rest our feet after walking quickly all over Magic Kingdom! I was SUPER excited to see Soarin’ with the family. I had chances to see the new and improved version earlier in the year but I wanted to wait and see it with the full family. Soarin’ Around the World is another really exciting experience and I think it’s even better compared to the old version. (But I miss the orange grove!)

After that meal and attraction combination, we hopped back into our vans and headed to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We got to enjoy our favorite experiences at the park: Toy Story Mania!Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring AerosmithThe Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.

After all that fun and excitement, we had to say goodbye to our super fun Tour Guides and continue our day without the awesome VIP service that allowed us to just walk into the FastPass lines. I think the VIP experience gave us the chance to relax for the rest of our time in the parks. We’d done most of our favorites in a day and that meant we could take our time, experience the other smaller things across Disney World that didn’t require waiting in long lines… like swimming in the pool at our hotel (something we usually don’t take the time to enjoy) and playing Sorcerors of the Magic Kingdom (which is a lot of fun).

As with everything with Disney, our VIP experience included awesome service from our Tour Guides. We learned cool details about some of the attractions. (Have you ever noticed how there are chess pieces adorning the rooftop of the Haunted Mansion?) We got to know some of the Tour Guides and all of the amazing adventures they’ve had through the years. And our family got to see what VIP life is like at Walt Disney World Resort. It’s magical. And I think it may be worth saving up a little extra for the experience during a Disney vacation.

 

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A New Year After an Epic Adventure

January 9, 2017

2016 was one big adventure for Jordan. And she wrapped it up on a two-week epic level after I put together a two-week land and sea Disney trip that I will never be able to match again. First, our family had a chance to travel to Walt Disney World Resort and enjoy six nights at […]

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Sharing a KIDmob story

December 8, 2016

This year was full of amazing twists and turns for Jordan and it has a lot to do because of her experience with the Superhero Cyborg camp through an organization called KIDmob. Jordan got her first taste of designing with KIDmob at the beginning of this year. KIDmob Co-Founder, Kate Ganim, pushed hard for us […]

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Wrapping up my Disney Parks Moms Panel gig

December 2, 2016

Imagine you have an opportunity of a lifetime that not only gives you a chance to work closely with one of your favorite brands but it comes with a pile of new wonderful friends. That’s what happened when I was offered the chance to be a Disney Parks Moms Panelist this year. I’m just wrapping […]

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A New Way to Build Prosthetics

December 1, 2016

Even though Jordan and I had huge adventures in our first 24 hours in Chicago, the real reason we visited the city was to kick off the building process for a new prosthetic arm after she grew out of her newest one less than a year after we built one the summer of 2015. It’s […]

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Renegade Visit to American Girl Store

November 29, 2016

A couple of months ago, Jordan and I had a super quick visit to Chicago to hold a design meet-up and spend a day building Jordan’s next round of prosthetics. Before we got down to the business, Jordan and I had a goal: To take her newly upgraded limb different American Girl doll to a store […]

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Birthday Fundraising for Camp No Limits

November 28, 2016

For so many kids, summer camp is the best part of the year. There’s a chance to see friends and families, enjoy swimming, join in on activities… For Jordan, her camp experience also includes occupational and physical therapies, life skills, mentoring and emotional support. That’s just some of the special things that happen at Camp […]

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Expanded reasons for thanks

November 24, 2016

It’s Thanksgiving Day in the United States and it gives me an awesome excuse to be thankful for so many things this year. The World of Inclusive Design This year, we got to know some remarkable people involved in the world of inclusive design. From Kate Ganim at KIDmob who convinced me to bring Jordan […]

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Regrouping and Regaining a Voice

November 23, 2016

Born Just Right is a constant in our lives. I started writing this site in May of 2005. But for the first time in a long time, I’ve felt quiet. I’m full of thoughts and things to write, but I’ve had so many things in my brain, I kind of shut down. This year has […]

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Celebrating differences in a political sea of anger

November 9, 2016

For the majority of my life, I worked as a journalist or when I was younger, I planned to become a journalist. I never talked politics in public and I never talked about who I supported in an election. This was the first time I’ve ever talked about it openly. As with a lot of my […]

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Project Unicorn meets mHUB Chicago

October 13, 2016

Jordan and I found a way to pack in 46 hours of travel and adventure to visit Chicago and launch a new round of prosthetics. For the first time, Jordan grew out of her arms in less than a year. She’s so much bigger than a year ago. Thanks to that new growth, we had […]

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Chewbacca knows how to give great hugs

September 23, 2016

I have serious things to write about the school year, about the maker work and inclusive design. But a combination of travel, kid activities, my job and my work on the Disney Parks Moms Panel has prevented me from taking some serious time to sit down and write serious stuff. So why not another amazing story […]

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A very special Finding Nemo The Musical experience

September 9, 2016

For years, our visits to Animal Kingdom Theme Park at Walt Disney World Resort must include two things: Riding Expedition Everest and seeing a showing of Finding Nemo The Musical. Finding Nemo became a big part of our lives ever since Jordan was born. Back when she was a newborn and Cameron was in the […]

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You can make an impact in limb difference research

September 6, 2016

This week, I am full of stories of dads who are contributing to the limb difference community. Today I wanted to give you the heads up about a research project that you may be able to help. There is an online survey that ends at the end of the week and I hope we can […]

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