While it’s true that I like to write, I thought it would be better to tell you about Jordan’s 13th birthday in pictures. I’ll only write five words without a photo: she had a great day! Thank you to all who worked so hard to make the big teen transition a big event and a fabulous tea party. So many people to thank, but I want to call out a few. First, thank you to Melody Griffith for making the most delicious tea sandwiches. Thank you also to Genevieve Ostrander, our friend of so many years, for her fantastic cakes and baked goods, fresh from her wonderful Delilah Bakery. Thanks to my sister Lisa for coming up with the tea party idea and making so fabulous. And thank you to everyone who dropped in and made my cancer slayer feel like a million bucks. All of our friends rock!

I also want to thank the amazing people at Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) and The Daily Grill. Jordan’s birthday fell on National Lemonade Day. The Daily Grill invited families associated with ALSF to their restaurant for a free lunch to celebrate the occasion. Of course, Jordan wasn’t able to leave the hospital so the very nice folks at The Daily Grill brought lunch to her! Before the big party, she enjoyed a delicious meal of cedar plank salmon and chocolate cake. She thought the meal was even more delicious when she learned that many of her friends and family had made donations in her honor to ALSF. Thank you!!!

She was very excited about her birthday

And she was very excited when it was time to start opening the presents. She loves presents.

First step, put that Mickey Mouse button on. Now, she’s a happy birthday girl.

Look at the beautiful face laughing. Is there anything else a Dad could wish for than big smiles from his daughter?

We had a very good turnout, with so many friends gathering around in the CHLA garden to celebrate big #13.

What did Jordan choose to wear for her big birthday? A cute little backless purple dress, of course. She didn’t pay the slightest mind to the fact that her freshest scar was on display. Who cares about a scar when you’ve got celebrating to do?

Jordan had plenty of stories to share with her guests. She was chatty from the moment the event began.

One of our dearest friends, the baker extraordinaire, Genevieve Ostrander, brought so many goodies for the party. If you haven’t visited Delilah Bakery in Silverlake, you haven’t really lived. No, really.

One scene-stealer: Aunt Lisa and Uncle Ricky gave Jordan a box filled with little Chanel introductions. Auntie Lisa explained that 13 was the proper age to have Chanel in a girl’s life.  Jordan was only too glad to follow the advice.

Jordan had plenty of time to chat with girlfriends. She loves this!

Whoa! What’s this? My friend Cathy Sincere Biermann at Disney put together a little gift box – and I’m being liberal with my use of the word ‘little.’

Jordan got up and decided to move over for this box of goodness. Weak legs be damned! She got up so fast Jeanette had to jump up and help. Nothing will keep this girl away from a big box of goodies.

This box was chalk full of exactly the stuff Jordan loves – novelties and fashions inspired by her idol, Selena Gomez.

And as the Selena Gomez loot begins to come out, look at the smile on her face!

Seriously, just a few weeks ago she was asking a sales woman to help her find outfits like Selena Gomez wears. Now she has some.

And who doesn’t want a Selena Gomez backpack? She was in heaven! Just in time for school, too. Thanks, Cathy and thanks, Disney.

Just as we were in birthday present heaven it was time for cake. Genevieve and the folks at Delilah outdid themselves on this beauty.

First, everyone sang “Happy Birthday”. I also shared the Tweet from Jordan’s friend Mal all the way down in Australia. She laughed when I said tha he wished her a “hippy happy Birthday.”

Then, it was time to blow out the candles. It’s hard to blow out 13 candles!

Look at that cake! It was delicious.

After the fabulous party, we went back up to Jordan’s room and sorted out all the gifts. Jordan was tired but so excited about the day.

We transferred all the decorations, flowers and birthday accoutrement up to her room. And, Jordan decided to keep going. She was delighted when she convinced her aunt and uncle to spend the night with her and extend the celebration.

Poor Ricky. He was stuck with these two. When Jordan and Lisa are together, it’s a total girl-fest.

But Jordan took a break to do what teenagers do best – talk on the phone! She connected with our friends Matthias and Lisa to tell them all about her big milestone.

Here’s a picture that made Jordan pretty happy. Mom and Dad told her that our present was to help her redecorate her room to make the “fashion design” room she’s been hoping for. First step: we hung the curtains that she made herself. They’ll be waiting for her when she comes home. She said, “oh, thank you, Daddy. That’s so nice!”

Written by Larry

Larry Vincent is Jordan Vincent's father. He is a writer, photographer and a branding executive who works at United Talent Agency in Los Angeles. He is the author of Brand Real and Legendary Brands and is currently at work on his first novel, Juliette, which is inspired by Jordan's Journey.

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