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 about the time Jordan and I got to visit Walt Disney World Resort this past May? It was a chance for the two of us to spend time in one of our favorite places, stay in one of my favorite resorts (Disney’s Beach Club Resort) and watch Jordan win a very special Dream Big, Princess Innovation Award.

Rey at Star Wars Launch BayThe trip was also a reason for Jordan to try on her very special Star Wars Rey costume for the first time. Her Uncle Jon gave it to her for her birthday and we were so excited to show it off at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Jordan wears Rey well and she feeds on the strength the character has in the movie.

We had one major goal after Jordan had a chance to say hi to Mickey and meet some of the folks attending the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration: Meet Chewbacca. We hopped on board a water taxi, entered the park and walked straight to Star Wars Launch Bay. The line wasn’t too long to meet Chewie and wow, he was so happy to see his friend Rey.

Jordan and Chewbacca

Chewie and Jordan

Maybe it’s because I was so excited to watch this meeting. Maybe it’s because Chewie was so so sweet. But seeing Jordan’s pure happiness with the furry guy made me tear up a little. My little Rey was suddenly in the thick of the Star Wars experience and talking to Chewbacca about going out to fly the ship. Jordan told me she knew exactly what he was trying to tell her: Wanna fly? It was so sweet and just another reason why we love Disney experiences. Everyone deserves a solid hug from Chewbacca at least once in his or her life.

Chewie hugs

By the way, these photos were taken by Disney’s PhotoPass Photographers. They did such an awesome job. None of my photos compared to the joy they captured.

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nemomusicalselfie

We have always dreamed of a moment like this. And then I turned it into an epic selfie!

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 pre-school four-year-old room, we used Nemo and his lucky fin as a way to explain Jordan’s limb difference. Thanks to the Lucky Fin Project, it’s become a term used around the world for a child or adult with a limb difference. So, visiting a show based on our favorite clownfish is always a must.

At the end of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration where Jordan won a special Dream Big, Princess Innovation award, we had a half day to spend in Animal Kingdom. So, of course, we used one of our FastPass+ reservations to see the Finding Nemo The Musical show. Jordan was wearing her new Nemo-inspired dress in honor of the show. I wore a matching orange dress because I’m silly. Each time we’ve visited the Nemo show, I’ve asked one question before going inside. This time, it led to a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

nemo cast smilesBefore we went inside the theater, I walked up to the manager of the show near the entrance and introduced myself and Jordan. I mentioned how Jordan was born with a lucky fin just like Nemo. I asked if there was any chance Jordan could meet the cast after the show. We’ve been told no in the past, but it was during a much busier season in the parks. This time, Jordan sat in a VIP seat to watch the show. Nemo ran by and said hi to her at the end of the show. Afterward, a Disney Cast Member led us back to the theater manager who took us backstage. That’s when we didn’t just meet the main characters of the show; we met the WHOLE cast! They were amazing.

nemo hugs

amazedpostnemoJordan walked into the crowd of Nemo cast members, and they asked her amazing questions. They admired her dress. I took pictures, and Cast Members took pictures for me. And I told the group how Jordan had just won a special award, and she got to talk about all the cool design work she’s doing. Everyone was full of smiles. As we left, Jordan got to hug Nemo and Dory (who was amazing) and even the actor who plays Marlin needed to hug Jordan. It was so so special. As we left, the theater manager even gave us a special extra Fastpass to enjoy an extra ride.

Jordan and I were GLOWING after that experience. She couldn’t stop spinning and dancing as we walked back to Expedition Everest to experience a different awesome. I have tried but never expected to meet the Nemo cast. Attending the show is always so special. I tear up each and every time at the end. I say that even though I’ve seen it at least five or six times. We are so thankful to the many Cast Members who made our special time at Disney World more amazing than we could have ever imagined.

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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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I’ve got your back. I know you’ve got mine.

September 1, 2016

Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote a post about how I am careful about the photos I share of kids on this site and Born Just Right’s social media pages. Specifically, limb different kids. I focus on the stories we learn as Jordan grows and share a lot of the photos I take along […]

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Claws from Carter – A Camp No Limits idea comes to life

August 29, 2016

One of the coolest things we do each year is attend Camp No Limits. It’s a huge foundation to Jordan’s confidence and abilities. I love it so much, I joined the board. During camp, there are always kids who are learning to ride a bike for the first time. An upper limb difference can make […]

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That Time We Rode Expedition Everest 11 Times

August 26, 2016

I have so many stories to share from this year… Life has been non-stop, especially since May. I thought I’d share awesome moments and learnings. Why not start with one of my favorite memories when Jordan and I visited Walt Disney World Resort this past May. That’s when Jordan and I had an opportunity of […]

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A Meet Up with Maker Fun in Chicago

August 25, 2016

I have mentioned this a couple of times but I’m making it official! Jordan and I are headed to Chicago for a two-day visit. We were able to work out a day in her schedule to meet with her prosthetist, David Rotter. Jordan has grown out of all of her traditional prosthetics. After this year […]

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Girls Who CAD and Awesome Without Borders

July 27, 2016

Since January, Jordan has gone through an amazing transition. She loved to create things, but she was a rule follower. She would follow directions and never go outside the lines. But after working with KIDmob and Autodesk on designing a 3D printed superhero sparkle-shooting prosthetic/body modification, she sees things differently. Computer Assisted Design (CAD) is […]

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The Longterm Impact of Summer Camp

July 26, 2016

This sponsored post is brought to you by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. All opinions and experiences are my own! Summer camps are full of traditions. There are activities and crafts that are core to the experience. Friendship bracelets are one of those traditions. I had forgotten all about them until I watched camp counselor, Kennedi, […]

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Creating a New Concept for TOM:DC Makeathon

July 22, 2016

After Jordan’s awesome opportunity to present at a Maker Health event with the Health and Human Services Department’s Idea Lab, MedStar Health and the National Institutes of Health, we had a chance to meet some fabulous people in the maker world. They’re making sure Jordan’s work isn’t done! Her ideas have more opportunity to expand with the […]

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Seeing #LiveUnlimited in person at MDA Summer Camp

July 21, 2016

This sponsored post is brought to you by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. All opinions and experiences are my own! I know the life-long impact a summer camp can bring to a child’s life. Ever since Jordan started attending Camp No Limits when she was three, I’ve watched her develop into a confident and VERY strong […]

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Project Unicorn Spreads Glitter Across DC

July 14, 2016

Sorry for the time gap, but I felt the need to take a little break from posting last week… and I have so many stories to catch up on telling. The kids had a chance to take a huge one-week adventure in Washington, DC and New York City with me. Jordan, Cameron and I made […]

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We always try to #LiveUnlimited

July 12, 2016

Today is a special day. I was invited to spend a day at one of the nearly 75 week-long Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) summer camps in the United States. I will get to meet some of the campers and learn about how camp makes a positive impact on their lives. I know the importance of summer […]

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Some people cannot learn. Others are ready.

July 11, 2016

After this past week, I feel the need to write from my heart. I moved a lot as a kid and lived in many similar communities in the Midwest and East Coast. Each time I moved, I would review the life lessons I learned. Was I kind? Did I do anything wrong that I can […]

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