celebrate quote


2013 has been a year of CHANGE.


butterfly and change


Some good. Some not so good.

All of it unsettling in some way.


the art of chasing normal


Like publishing. 

And my daughter graduating from high school and moving from home.  



times square NYC


See the bright lights in the big city? This is where my daughter now makes her home.

Big changes.

Big time unsettling.

But thankfully, finding yourself unsettled is not always a negative thing.


dim sum chinatown


For example, while eating dim sum in Chinatown last week, I was COMPLETELY unsettled when I noticed Golden Globe winner, Jake Gyllenhaal sitting two tables away from me.

There he was in all his movie star glory, eating dim sum and essentially breathing the same air as me and all that.

(Note: Thank you to Phil for recommending I go to Nom Wah Tea Parlor in NYC.)

I was definitely unsettled. But in a fun and exciting way.  

Plus, that moment gave new meaning to the Celebrity Diet, because I couldn’t eat another bite of food after noticing Jake. 

And by the way, I can totally call him by his first name now. Because I’m sure he was just as unsettled by the woman two tables away with the bug eyes, furiously texting her sister:

 OMG I’m like ten feet from Jake Gyllenhaal!!!!

We shared a moment. I’m sure.

So yeah, there’s been some shake ups.

Which, naturally for my over thinking brain,  has led to a lot of reflecting. 

And reminding myself to celebrate what I’d like to see more of…


reflecting at sunrise


Like the sunrise–this one was in Virginia Beach yesterday.


keeping family close and change


Family time


building gingerbread houses

smiley face in the sand




seagulls taking flight virginia beach

And soaking up every uplifting moment

And if I’m being honest, I wouldn’t mind another Jake Gyllenhaal moment. Just saying.


Wishing you a happy, peaceful, and awesome new year!


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45 thoughts on “Change and Celebrating the Good Stuff

  1. Clay

    Coleen, 2013 has certainly had its moments and I am looking for the new opportunities it brings. It also means that I get one year older and so do those around me… I keep telling myself that while my kids get older I stay the same, but I am fooling myself. I have one who is two tears of moving on to college and another who’ll be in middle school, and a dog who keeps me honest. I love reading your blog and the fresh perspective you bring to the world. Happy New Year may it bring all you need. Oh, and I can be as foolish as you any day – depends on the celebrity, though. 🙂

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      One year older, yes. We sometimes laughingly say, well, right now is the youngest we’ll ever be. I find myself thinking about years as a big chunk–and there are a few years that I can’t recall one significant thing about. Feels strange. So here’s to happiness, peace, and health, Clay. Happy to travel in this blogging journey with you! Thanks, Clay!

  2. Susanna Leonard Hill

    OMG! Now I can say I know someone who breathed the same air as Jake! 🙂 Change is tough and unsettling – I’ve got one away at college in a big city now too and it’s hard when they leave home and move away and you have to worry about them from a distance – but also good for them, growing, learning, coming into their own. I’m loving every second of having them home, and dreading the moment they all go back to school and the house gets quiet. Hope 2014 brings you everything wonderful – sunrises, family time, smiles, and many, many uplifting moments! Happy New Year 🙂

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Yes, Susanna, it’s just me that separates you from Jake now. 🙂
      I find the hardest part is when my daughter says goodbye. I find the day to day stuff okay. I think sometimes I think she’s still hanging out in her room. But then she comes home and I remember what I miss, but have to say goodbye all over again. *Sigh* But the silver lining is she’s happy and of course that makes me happy. I hope 2014 is awesomely wonderful for you and yours. 🙂

  3. Catherine Johnson

    So cool! Phil was once in the same café as Jason Statham, wish I’d have been there. I hope both you and your daughter settle into your new environments. Best wishes with your books too. I loved The Art of Chasing Normal. Happy New Year!

  4. 4amWriter

    Wow, a Jake sighting. That would be awesome. I bet you’ll never look at dim sum the same way again. The end of the year always gets me reflecting, too. I feel recharged for a new year, but then the doldrums hit mid-winter and it’s like I never set a goal at all. Remembering the highlights of our lives as well as the simplest moments of happiness help to keep us steady. Happy 2014 to you, Coleen!

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      I think dim sum will forever equal Jake Gyllenhaal. For sure. I’m the same way as you with recharging and then the doldrums. Here’s to keeping some momentum! 🙂

  5. Charissa

    Awesome for your daughter (scary too). I know it’s hard to let go. One of mine is married now and the other leaves for Seoul Korea in a couple weeks. Thinking of my small town Idaho girl in that huge city makes me shake. I wish you and your daughter all the best in the new year!

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Thank you, Charissa. Wow, Korea! My daughter studied for a semester in Israel. The thing that always made the distance easier for me is knowing she was happy. Happy travels to yours! 🙂

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      A couple of people I told didn’t know him either. I think his most famous film was Brokeback Mountain. He’s just very cute. 🙂 All the best, Patricia!

  6. Freeda Baker Nichols

    Interesting post. Lovely photos. Like Patricia, I don’t know Jake either! 🙁 But I do understand about your daughter moving away from home. I experienced that with two daughters and two sons. Only one lives close by. All of them, with grandchildren (except for two grandsons) returned to celebrate Christmas this year. What a marvelous time! Happy New Year, Coleen! Much success with your books!

  7. marydpierce

    OMG! Jake Gyllenhall!! Lucky you. I hardly ever see anyone famous in NYC. My son and I once stalked Frank McCourt while he was out walking his dog one evening. I understand the feeling of a child leaving home. My one and only left for college 5 years ago The first year he was away I moped terribly. Then I got used to the quiet. Now he’s working at a job he loves and lives only 90 minutes away. It’s all good.

    Wishing you peace and much joy for 2014!

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      I think my dad once saw Frank McCourt before too (btw I loved his memoir Tis). A few years back we saw Jennifer Garner in Central Park, when she was filming Thirteen Going on Thirty. Very cool.
      My son–and baby–graduates high school in 2014, so I’ve got to do the moving out part all over again. I’m seeing mopey in my future!!! But looking forward to the good. Thank you, Mary.

  8. Phil

    It has definitely been an eventful year hasn’t it? So glad you enjoyed my Nom Wah dim sum suggestion! Now you and Jake are kind of an item. Relish that memory forever!

    Happy New Year to you and your family. Here’s to a safe and healthy 2014!
    Phil recently posted..Happy New Year 2014 Everyone!!!My Profile

  9. Jennette Marie Powell

    Maybe I don’t get out enough, but I don’t even know who Jake Glyndenhall is LOL! (I also hardly ever watch TV). I can relate to the daughter thing though – although mine is goes to college in a small town, the same one I went to. Definitely a year of changes, some good, some bad, and as always, your photos are wonderful. Happy New Year!
    Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..Where is your Stress Coming From?My Profile

  10. Pat O'Dea Rosen

    Coleen, your post moved from the big city to sunrise on a beach, and from wistfulness to humor. You covered a lot of ground! (How fun that you shared dim sum with Jake Gyllenhaal.)

    This year is going to be good to you.

  11. Karen McFarland

    Oh wow Coleen, you had an amazing time in New York! And Jake, well wasn’t that the highlight of your entire trip? So the daughter is away now in school, in the big city. Change can be very difficult. We miss the routine. Our children grow up way too fast. Thank God for Skype and email and cell phones. You have a lot of wonderful things that happened last year to offset the flight of your daughter Coleen. Two books now out in publication. This next year will even be better! 🙂

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      You are so right, Karen. It’s the routine and being involved with my daughter on a daily basis. I miss that. But, I agree, it’s a whole new world out there for both my daughter and myself. 🙂 Thanks, friend!

  12. Sheila

    Love your photos and inspirational words. A friend of mine was once sitting on a bench in Chatham and Johnny Depp sat down next to her. She actually talked to him about shopping and other silly details. I don’t think I would have been able to maintain such control or even talk to him at all. Wishing you a new year filled with sunrises and smiles!

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Johnny Depp? No way. I think I would’ve froze on the bench. I used to have a big crush on him. Willy Wonka cured it, but still I’d be a wreck if I saw him up close and personal!
      Wishing you all the best too, Sheila. 🙂

  13. Patricia

    Wow – You and Jake – who’d have thunk it1 Cool, cool thing to experience.

    I realized after I watched Zero Dark Thirty, that I actually performed in a community theater production a very long time ago in Sacramento with Jessica Chastain. Seriously, I’m pretty sure I even have some photos stuck very far away in my old theater memoirs filing cabinet. I told my husband that I knew her and he just laughed, until he saw an interview about her where her old high school drama teacher was talking about all of the theater she used to do locally and then he said “huh – well, maybe.”

    I sure she’d remember me, too. After explaining what show we did and what roles we both played and who directed, yadda, yadda, yadda. Anyway, that’s my brush with fame.

    I hope you have many happy experiences this new year and make the most of whatever life throws at you.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt
    Patricia recently posted..Happy UnChristmasMy Profile

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      That’s pretty cool, Patricia. Recently I heard one of the Breaking Bad characters graduated from the high school I went to for 9th grade. I dug up my yearbook but then found out he graduated a few years before I started. Close call, though. Ha ha! Wishing you an awesome 2014!

  14. tedstrutz

    What a fun post, Colleen! Exciting happenings, including the Jakester. I don’t think you should be using you daughter’s photo for your profile though. Oh, Susie sent me.

  15. Anonymous

    Wow! That is amazing@ I’ve seen many celebraties and it makes me feel the same way. One time we were in Mr. Chow and the place was crawling with celebs. The couple next to us called it “going to the zoo.” They mentally checked names off the list!
    So your daughter is in NYC??? Wow! So great that Phil was able to give you some tips! He’s the man when it comes to restaurants.
    Thanks for coming to the party and for hanging in there on my Wild Ride of 2013!

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Going to the zoo! I love that phrase. Glad to know we share the giggly girl thing when it comes to celeb spotting. And I love your parties, Susie. THanks!

  16. Kitt Crescendo

    You can always count on Phil to recommend a great place to eat in NYC. Congrats on getting up close and personal with Jake Gyllenhaal. I’m sure the connection was not a one way street. He felt it. So glad you chose to share this post at Susie’s place. Sounds like you’ve had a lot going on. I’ve subscribed to your blog. We share so many other bloggers in common it only seemed natural. Happy New Year. Best wishes.
    Kitt Crescendo recently posted..2013 in Review–Whew! Pretty Busy!My Profile

  17. Alarna Rose Gray

    Stunning photos, and just the right note to start off the year. I hope it’s full of good surprises for you, Coleen. BTW, it has taken me a while (hence my NY resolve to make more time for book reading!), but I am looking forward to settling down to read your book in the next few days. Am also taking a little time off the blog for a design overhaul! But I’ll see you here! 🙂

  18. Julia

    Jake G. might be the only movie star who can lose his limbs and still look hot (Source Code). Nice butterfly! Museum of Natural History conservatory? Best wishes to your adventurous daughter.

  19. Beth Teliho

    eeeeeeck JAKE G.!!!! How exciting! I’ve never had that close of a celebrity encounter. Well, I did meet Patrick Swayze when I was about 12. That was very exciting. But brief. And all I remember is that he and I were the same height (5’6″).

    Yes, definitely a year of changes. And wow your photos are stunning!
    Beth Teliho recently posted..Bucket List And The Butt DanceMy Profile

  20. Lauri meyers

    The sad part is that your 8-year-old self was really hoping to meet Godzilla. in NYC ! Istrangely enough when we moved to New Jersey I was adamant that our diaaster plan include a Godzilla scenario. My husband still thinks I’m crazy, but there’s no harm in being Godzilla ready!

  21. Jess

    2013 was a year of change for me too. I started a business and struck out on my own. Scary, but rewarding. I’m hoping things settle down a bit for 2014…but then again, what fun would that be?! I’ll just think about Jake if it get’s to be too much 🙂 Thanks for the post!

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