I have an amazing opportunity to speak at a TEDx event at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida today. I’s a huge honor but it also means I’m missing the kids’ first day of school. I know there are a lot of parents who are never able to send their kids off on the first day, but with Cameron going into seventh and Jordan going into third, this is a first for me.

To make up for it, I took “first day of school” pictures during back-to-school night just so I can have pictures to compare and contrast the kids at the end of the school year. I also was able to put a small Hallmark gift to work as a little surprise for the kids.

During our super cool visit to Hallmark, I was given a gift of two small Sound Charms that let you record a short message. I knew it would be a perfect way to sort of “be” with the kids on their first day. I recorded a message for Cam and hid it with his keys in his backpack.

For Jordan, I left the decoration hanging from her backpack and figured out a way she wouldn’t notice it until I was out of town.


It’s super dooper sweet. Jordan noticed the charm pretty quickly after I left town. She listened to it a lot… So much, Cameron was worried I didn’t get him one. Luckily, I snagged charm for him and recorded a different message. (I was worried he’d think he was too old for a message from me. I was wrong!) Cam’s charm was hidden deep inside his backpack with his keys. He had a chance to get a little reason to smile.

Thanks again, Hallmark, for giving us so many wonderful memories and a special gift to help the kids start the school year with smiles.

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Jordan heads back to elementary school this week. She’s kicking off third grade with a lot of excitement. She tells me she is looking forward to everything… Even the homework! Earlier this summer, she told me she felt like third grade was a good time to stop creating yearly class books that tell her story. But when we attended back-to-school night last week, our teacher told us there are a lot of new kids who are new to the school in the class.

So… the official Jordan’s Third Grade Book was born:

Jordan’s Third Grade Book by Jen Lee Reeves

The cool thing about the little about me book is seeing so many other families kicking the school year off with one. Elementary school is such a wonderful age to teach how we are all born just right.

We’re ready for another great year! One of Jordan’s favorite friends is in her class again this year. She’s also looking forward to meeting the new kids. After such an adventurous summer, I’m hoping we can get into the groove pretty quickly. Along with school, Jordan plans to join our local youth cross county team and she’s taking two dance classes on different days. Sprinkle in a weekly piano lesson and we will have a very busy kid!

I hope everyone has a fantastic start to their school year.

If you are looking for additional posts we’ve written about the school year:
Sharing support for the new school year (Jordan’s pep talk)
Preparing for a 504 plan
Talking to Kindergarten parents

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An Under Armour thank you

August 15, 2014

Zippers are not impossible with an upper limb difference, but it can be something that takes a little extra time. Jordan learned how to zip at Camp No Limits many years ago. But when Under Armour announced last year it was producing MagZip clothing for the 2014 fall season, I couldn’t wait. When I noticed [...]

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The gift of friendship near and far

August 15, 2014

It’s pretty amazing how many connections we have made from the limb difference world thanks to Born Just Right. This summer, our travel gave us opportunities to meet many new adults and children in the limb difference world. A combination of Camp No Limits, Nubability Camp and a trip to California where we held two [...]

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VIDEO: Trying Under Armour’s MagZip for the first time

August 12, 2014

It finally arrived, an Under Armour MagZip jacket that I wrote about last fall. Almost the moment Jordan got out of bed this morning, I had her try it for the first time. I didn’t explain how it worked, I just challenged her to give it a try. I think she likes it. The base [...]

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Making a sparkle friend at Hallmark

August 11, 2014

When my friends see an adult with a limb difference, many tend to almost immediately speak to that person and mention Born Just Right. If they see an article or story about an adult with a limb difference, they make sure I see it. These little moments and stories often give me an opportunity to [...]

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Learning to play from limb different coaches

August 8, 2014

This summer was jam-packed with a combination of family and work trips. It’s a bit overwhelming to think all of the adventures we’ve enjoyed in between the times I’ve focused on my teleworking job. Since we are so busy every summer, I wasn’t able to schedule¬†Nubability Athletics‘ summer camp. Until this year! Jordan has focused [...]

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The conversations we didn’t have at BlogHer’s Special Needs Mini-Con

August 6, 2014

I am honored to be a part of the special needs world. This blog’s focus has given me opportunities to help moderate and foster conversations for a number of different BlogHer special needs events through the years. I have met remarkable people. I learned so many things. I’m honored the BlogHer staff has consistently trusted [...]

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Exploring San Francisco while dancing

August 4, 2014

I am a Life360 ambassador which means I help contribute to the site’s blog and sometimes I share updates about the app. I was not paid to write this post, but Life360 shared a hotel room, two meals and transportation around San Francisco during our stay. I’m lucky to a part of a small community [...]

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Learning to ride a bike with one hand

August 1, 2014

This summer has included so many special moments. But one of our biggest highlights focuses in on a bike. I couldn’t stop taking pictures and shooting video. After months and months of attempts and periodic moments where I was sure it could happen, Jordan finally started riding her bike. How did it happen? Well, it’s [...]

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What I learned when I took my kids to BlogHer

July 31, 2014

I did something a little crazy. I took both of my kids to the BlogHer conference in San Jose. I attended the conference to reach out to bloggers as a part of my job at AARP and I attended as a leader of the Special Needs Birds of a Feather Mini-Conference. Both of those reasons [...]

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Getting to Know You

July 25, 2014

Nine years. This blog has lived and grown for nine years. It’s given me a chance to talk to many of you… But I haven’t had the chance to meet everyone in person. But the in-person part is super special. The last two weeks have given me a chance to meet even more Born Just [...]

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The dog ate my fingers

July 21, 2014

It’s true. Our seven-month-old puppy, Bailey, ate Jordan’s “bouncy hand.” It was best used for some tumbling, volleyball and playing with some of the games on the Xbox Kinect. But now the rubbery hand is missing fingers. Ugh. So now Jordan can tell people the dog ate her fingers. And he really did. Now we [...]

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Learning about the new Derek arm

June 25, 2014

As I’ve written many times before, the 3D printing movement is amazing. The community of engineers, volunteers and visionaries are making really amazing things happen. I’ve watched the evolution of the e-NABLE group as it has raised awareness for open source prosthetic hand designs that anyone can build with specs and a 3D printer. So [...]

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VIDEO: Using a kayak hand

June 21, 2014

Last summer, our family bought our very first kayak. It’s a used ocean kayak that we knew we’d love but waited many years until we finally purchased one. We bought some kayak paddles and Jordan got a canoe paddle. She was great at it. But she wanted to do more. She wanted to be able [...]

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