S: Colleen's 30th Birthday Book. You are Loved!
FC: 30 Years of Colleen
2: I hope as a woman someday you will see that you are entitled to “have it all”: marriage, motherhood, career. Whatever you choose will be important and wonderful if it makes you happy. I always want you to know that your potential and your choices are limitless. May you always reach for the sky! Colleen's Journal July 26, 1984
3: My Darling Colleen, It's funny, years before we ever had children, Daddy and I had decided on a name for a girl, if we were ever blessed with a daughter. So when we talked about having children, we always referred to our someday-to-be baby as “Colleen”. We never realized at the time that our speculating about Colleen and who she would be would never come close to the unbelievable little girl who has graced our lives. How could we have envisioned such a perfect little girl? You were gifted with beauty, intelligence and a loving spirit. From the moment we laid eyes on you in the delivery room, we knew you were a very special gift from God. Total strangers are always walking up to us and commenting on your extraordinary beauty. But even more heartwarming to us are the comments we hear from people who aren't strangers, about your very loving, giving nature Thank you, my darling Colleen, for all the joy you continually bring into our lives. May your life always be blessed with the same richness you have brought to ours! Love Mom
4: Dear Colleen, Those words are even truer today than when I wrote them 28 years ago. Today with the gift and privilege of being your mother for three decades, this much I know: That the place you hold in my heart grows bigger every year, as the wonderful memories and countless blessings of having you for a daughter continue to multiply. That you are loved by an ever-widening circle of family and friends who cherish you, admire you and hold you close. We recognize how much richer our lives are because you are a part of them. That the life of limitless possibilities you have created didn't happen by accident, but by conscious choice. And you have chosen well because faith, family, hard work, kindness and care for others, and a belief in yourself are ever-present in your life’s journey. Just as I could never have imagined the dimensions and fullness of your life over 30 years, I can't wait to see where the next 30 years take you! I’ll be here for you every step of the way. With much love and admiration Mom
6: Dear Colleen: On the occasion of your 30th birthday, we remember your words of wisdom about family: “Our family is just like other families - only bigger and louder than most!” With love from all of us!! Your Family
7: “Oh, Ann, you got your girl!” Aunt Kathleen June 13, 1982
8: Dear Colleen, Since the first moment I held you in my arms, you have always been my “Princess”. but as you have grown older, you have evolved into a truly accomplished and interesting adult. As I look back on your early years, I can't help but recognize the dedication and passion that you brought to so many of your childhood “endeavors“ and how they have helped to shape you into the remarkable person you are today. From your first dance class with Miss Olga..to the years playing soccer with the girls of Our Lady of “Fateema”to rehearsing and performing night after night with the Middle and High School Theater and Chorus programs, you always brought the same intensity and focus to everything you did. Together they all contributed to make you the person you have become and today, I love you all the more. Happy Birthday, Princess. Love Dad..dy
10: Dear Auntie Colleen, Happy Birthday! Thank you for setting the bar so high for how a daughter can keep her father wrapped around her little finger. I hope to follow in your footsteps. You're pretty old now, but when you were younger I heard you used mommy's ID to get into a bar. What’s a Bar? Do they serve milk there? Also thank you for contributing early on to my college fund, one quarter at a time into the April/Lindsay jar! Love, Elizabeth (and my parents too) PS Sorry about your dress, I will never wear a size 1 diaper again!
12: Dearest Sister, In honor of your special day, you’ve been re-promoted to the bestest sister ever (but only for the day, don’t get greedy). Love The Best Damn Girl Boy Ever
16: Once upon a time a horde of disgusting, rude, and nasty bugs (all boys) descended on Birch Street in Port Washington. They terrified all the young maidens (especially Princess Colleen). The damsels couldn't enjoy the outdoors. Along came the White Knight to the rescue. He introduced some very polite and charming Garden City bugs (all girls). The boy bugs learned good manners and everyone lived happily ever after. In Colleen's resume she modestly omits one of the highlights of her Show Business career. In her early days, she was the stellar assistant to Brian The Magnificent who was a Legendary Magician (in his own mind). Who can ever forget the famous Disappearing Lady routine? Brian the Magnificent would have Colleen step behind his Magic Curtain. He would say some Magic Words lift the curtain and PRESTO Colleen would be GONE!!! Brian would lower the curtain say PRESTO and Colleen magically reappeared. If School work and Medical studies hadn't interfered--this act would have made Houdini look like an amateur. They were quite the team. Love Grandma and Papa.
18: Dear Colleen, Here’s a birthday you won’t remember: your first. Your b-day party that day has burned in my memories lo these 29 years. The scene: your mom and dad had invited a houseful of guests to celebrate out on their large wooden deck, a spacious structure with multiple levels and steps -- all set high above Hempstead Harbor. While the guests feasted and sipped cool drinks, you decided to do some exploring of the setting solo. In your beautiful pink-and-white dress and frilly underpants, you climbed up and down the steps and then down and around the rough terrain of the vegetable garden and uncultivated growth -- all by yourself. You seemed not to notice the guests but kept walking and walking for one or two hours. Up, down, and around the scene, never stopping for the party food. One person chose to follow your every step; that was dear Gommy. When you stumbled and tumbled a few times (not many), Gommy set you upright and off you trotted without a cry or whimper, still bent on your exploration. Several times Gommy winked over at me; she was amused and proud. What impressed me as I watched the whole time was your focused attention on your goal -- the party guests were irrelevant -- and your determination to continue without any fear of falling. At the time I said to myself, “What a plucky niece I’ve got here” -- and my spirit puffed with pride. Those traits, remarkable for a one-year-old, have since helped you develop into the successful young woman whose 30th we celebrate today. Much love Aunt Del
20: 30 gifted years of life CELEBRATE the day you were born, and all the days since then that have made you the SPECIAL person you are today. CELEBRATE the dreams that re in your heart, and the ways you've already made the world a better place. CELEBRATE your 30th birthday... this is your day to SHINE!!! Best wishes for all your future endeavors, All my love Margie
21: Admittedly being somewhat less than brilliant, I sometimes concerned myself with the thought that Chris might not fine someone, like I did, that would excite, thrill, educate, gently push, and help in defining him as a terrific adult. I learned that I needed not worry! With his recent devastating bout with cancer, I honestly was worried. He powered through like a champion! Then at just the right time a "Queen" appeared. Please know Colleen that you change Christopher’s life in the best more important ways possible! Your talents, smarts, looks, caring, and love for Christopher shine through in everything you do. You are his blond.......wait for it-----Bombshell! You lift Christopher up so much that you both are constantly beaming. You are wonderful person and wonderful to everyone you know. God bless you everyday! As a departing side note, I still chuckle thinking of the day Christopher brought you to the Greer Camp-out. What a dump and a bunch of hicks you could have thought you were getting involved with. Then you discover that one of your friends from school (Sarah Polaski) is a relative. I knew right then that Colleen would accept a bunch of hillbillies into her family. I thank her open-mindedness! Happy 30th Birthday! Love Steve
22: You are an incredible women determined to live life with flair and laughter. As my daughter-in-law we have a unique bond by marriage, and for that I feel so blessed. I never dreamed when God lovingly gave us Christopher to raise as our son, that one day he would find you. You are the most amazing person and we are all so blessed that he gets to spend the rest of his life with you. As you celebrate your 30th, think of it as being the lowest big 0 birthday and not of being ‘old’. Though you are slightly less youthful, you are still radiant, intelligent, and “bold.” My wish for you is that you know how much you are loved and cherished this special day and always. Love Cindy
23: Happy 30th Birthday Colleen. You are entering a wonderful decade in your life. You have your loving marriage to nurture and enjoy. With the prospect of children this is a time of joy and happiness which you cannot even imagine. I that God each day for you and that you are married to my beloved Christopher. You are a remarkable couple and your meeting was an act of God. You compliment each other beautifully through love, faith, humor, and dreaming your future together. You are truly an amazing woman. May God bless you each day with love and laughter. I love you. Nannie
24: Although we aren't connected by blood you are still my sister and have become a huge part of my and the rest of our family's lives. You have made my brother happier over the past five years than he had been in his previous 26 years, and that means more to me than words can express. You may be a city girl, but you have fit perfectly into our family never questioning the idea of having to sleep in a tent. I remember one of the first times we met you was when Christopher took you to the Cordes family reunion in Greer. It was your first time truly camping, and you did it without question or complaint. At that point Christopher along with the rest of our family knew you were a keeper. You are now turning 30, WOW that’s old!!!! Hahaha just kidding, it should instead be a new exciting chapter in you life individually, and with Christopher as a family. Colleen I love you very much, and couldn’t wish for a better sister-in-law, thank you for all you do, and the kind of person you are. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Love, Cameron (Little Cordes, 3CBoy #2)
25: WOW Congrats on the Big 30! I am so happy that you are part of our family. You bring knowledge, know how, and a fun loving spirit to our family. You are a great addition and we look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you in the future. Here are a few sayings to live by for another successful 30 years. Smile while you still have teeth! Life is too short to be small. You are brilliant so show it off. Don’t wait to long to live life to the fullest as it passes by in a blink of an eye. The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. Love Christopher with all of your heart. He is the greatest big brother a girl could ask for and you are lucky to have him. He is one in a million. May each and every passing year bring you wisdom, peace and cheer! May this day bring to you all things that make you smile. I hope that your day is blessed with happiness and joy. Wish we could be there to celebrate but we will be thinking of you and all of the great times we had in Haverhill, MA. Love Ya Crystal & Derek
26: Marc and Lisa Cox Happy 30th Birthday Sweet Colleen On this your special Birthday (30) we wish you the very best! Don't think of it as getting older you're just an 18 year old with 12 years of experience!! Here are a few words we thought of to describe you: C is for Captivating O is for Omniscient L is for Lighthearted L is for Lovable E is for Enlightening E is for Eloquent N is for Notable We think you are a very special person! You're smile and personality brightens any room that you are in. You are funny and goofy at times. We enjoy the time that we get to spend with you. You are intelligent and a very hard and efficient worker. You have become quite the world traveler and we love when you share your travel experiences. You are a super doggy mama. Maggie clearly adores you. You are a wonderful wife and companion for our nephew. Christopher has never been happier! We love you very much and treasure your friendship! Have a Wonderful 30th Birthday!! Hugs and Love Marc and Lisa
27: When I think of you it makes me smile! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Who's 30, Who's 30, It's Y-O-Uu! YOU are a perfect 30! I love you :) Your flower girl forever, Heather :)
28: We remember this darling little blonde standing next to the stream right in the middle of Greer, trying to learn how to cast using a fly rod with you giving her instructions. It was such a sweet moment. Christopher said you had never been fishing or camping but were so willing to try and experience new things. We knew right then she was the "catch" Christopher had been hoping to find. You were very gracious when meeting some of the Cordes clan and the Warrens. God bless you on your birthday and always. Carole and Rod Cordes | My story of Colleen was she was born on the very day I moved to Virginia 30 years ago. Happy Birthday Joe Clemency | "To my oldest friend, Do you remember us teasing each other about our slight age difference, and me saying, "Oh, yeah? Well, you are going to turn 30 before me!" After all these years, it's finally paying off! Best wishes to you on your 30th birthday. So much love, Mo"
30: Dear, Colleen, Col, Co, Colleen's 30th Birthday - There Was One? It's hard to believe you are turning 30 this year! What a joy it has been to watch your life unfold. When you were born, I was living in "Newhio" (as Brian used to say) and I was missing you growing up. So I moved back to NY the next year. I had the pleasure of taking care of you and Brian for a few months in 1983-1984 and that was a laugh and a half. I used to pack you up in your pink snowsuit and take you in the car to pick up Brian from school. What a close psychic bond we have as middle children! I watched your long suffering years as sidekick to Brian's various ventures; the most famous of which was the Disappearing Lady as well as having to tolerate the younger (and sometimes embarrassing) younger brother. You're lucky you missed the "Sabba Simba" display! You suffered along with me as my own brothers tormented Harriet and you were shocked and appalled at the prospect of her being buried in a shoebox. I watched as you developed your talents in music, theatre and sports, all the while excelling in school. One of your crowning achievements was the "I'm smarter than Brian" moment. Great memories were made at family dinners - Charlie McCarthy and Grandma's pocketbook suspended from the second floor; trips to Shohola; dinners at the club, and ND football games. Who gets the brat? Who gets the Polish Sausage? Who gets the white hot? And then there was the trip to Ireland. Since family will be reading this, we won't bother with the details, but there was a certain pub in Dublin that served their own version of buttery nipples. "Sup?" Things only got better as you got your doctorate and married the love of your life. I was honored to be there to share in both of these life changing events. I remember my 30th birthday - you were only a wee one then - and I had no inkling of the surprise and I hope you don't, either. I hope when everyone yells "surprise!" you'll say, "there was one?" Wishing you at least 2 more 30th birthdays in your life. As you would say, "love always" Annie
31: Youth Sometimes Brian, Colleen & Kevin would stay overnight at my apartment in New Hyde Park. The first couple of times Colleen had to be the surrogate mother and translate Kevin's behavior for me. Once when Kevin was about 3 or 4, he was really getting out of the pocket, so I spoke sternly to him and he went and stood in the corner of my kitchen. Colleen had to explain that. Another time when we were having dinner, I ordered Kevin a piece of plain fried chicken - white meat. While Brian, Colleen & I were eating, Kevin, just sat there staring at the chicken. Colleen had to explain that before he would eat the chicken, I had to take the skin off it! Sports When she was young, Colleen was not very serious about her sports. At swim meets, she spent more time sizing up her opponents' bathing suits than their race times. And then there was the famous CYO girls soccer team, about half of which were Jewish girls who affectionately referred to the parish team as "Our Lady of Fa-team-a, instead of Fatima." Colleen became much more serious in high school when she played varsity soccer and was coached by "Manimal." I hope I didn't embarrass her too much by yelling "Big leg, Col!" at the games I attended. Plays Ever the thespian, Colleen appeared in many school plays, most of which I attended. She never seemed to understand why my favorite play was "Spoon River Anthology" which was about a bunch of dead people! Love Annie
32: Colleen Elizabeth Clemency Cordes, where do I begin? It’s hard for me to believe that you are 30 years old. It seems like only yesterday when I first met you 26 years ago, you were only four. You have grown into such a remarkable woman. Even as a young girl, you amazed me by your humor, kindness and generosity. As you have matured, you have become even more amazing. I truly am in awe of all that you have accomplished at such a young age. I feel privileged and honored to call you my niece and my friend. You are a wonderful role model for my girls and little Miss Elizabeth. Your passion, sincerity, and dedication to your work and your family are to be admired. You have a wonderful way of making others feel at ease and comfortable. I can’t help but tear up just thinking about you. I hope you know how truly blessed I feel to have you in my life. I love you so much and wish you countless years of happiness and health. I am so happy that you found your soul mate in Christopher. He is a real treasure, a keeper for sure. The two of you complement each other perfectly. Your love is a rare and precious gift so guard and nurture it. As you journey through the next 30 years and beyond, may life bring you more mountains to conquer, more sunsets to marvel at, more rainbows to chase and more dreams to dream. Happy 30th Birthday Colleen! Love Caroline
33: Here’s some thoughts on your special day: Colleen, Colleen a fine Irish lady Read on if you dare If you’re not too a-fraidy I remember you young Putting up with the boys Playing Russians and Germans With all the stuffed toys You’ll always be the girl The disappearing lady The one with the magic Playing Jim’s gym with Katie She had a pet turtle- a hard-shelled guy One day he took sick and decided to die No one had the courage or stamina to tell her They brought in an impostor and said he’s the same fella She don’t eat no meat- a piss ant little vegan No pork chop, no sausage, no chicken or ham But just like the “Greek” movie I’m going to make Lamb | She studied so hard, studied so long Just to tell people their feelings aren’t wrong And now she’s another of the Clemency Docs With patients at the VA that think this chick rocks! Her teeth, her teeth It’s a wonder she could chew After implants and surgeries They’re just like brand new She went looking for love in all the wrong places The chat rooms, the bars, the Facebooks and Myspaces Then low and behold on Match.com She found her sansa-belt wearing young Don Juan So now we come to the special day A celebration of sorts- she’s 30 today So raise a glass, make a toast You make us so proud we love to boast No matter how old No matter how far We hope you realize How loved you really are Bob | An Ode to Colleen
35: Colleen is a fine person. Happy Birthday. Today on your birthday, it’s your time to shine! Have a Happy, Happy Birthday !! Love Ryan | LOVE THAT COLLEEN Love that Godmother Like a boy loves football I said love that Godmother Like a boy loves football I love to call her in the morning hey there Col Love, Shannon | Happy 30th birthday! I can’t explain how much I appreciate and respect you! Although we live so far away and don’t see each other often, you’ve always been so excited to see us. You’re always asking about what we’re up to and are genuinely interested in all that we say and do. I could not have asked for a better cousin. I’m so glad that you found Chris, a person who is perfect for you and is an all-around great guy. I hope that you enjoy this milestone birthday and understand how much you’re loved and appreciated. I wish you many; many more! Love Always Meg
36: Happy 30th Birthday! I wish you all the happiness on this special day. You have always been a role model, inspiration, and true example of what success looks like. When I was younger I always viewed you as someone that was accomplished and that I looked up to. And now, despite the 2,000+ miles that separate us, you are still someone that I admire very much. Everything that you’ve accomplished is remarkable and you have worked hard to get there, which is why you deserve nothing but the best. One day I hope to be as successful as you have become in my own industry of choice. Growing up, you were always the “cool older cousin.” And that hasn’t changed too much. Even now, stalking you on Facebook, looking at your albums and hearing everything you’re doing is outstanding and I am often in awe of how much you’ve done and seen in just 30 short years! The interest you’ve taken in my life and what I’ve been doing really has also made an impact on me. Checking in, asking questions, and in general the interest you’ve shown when we’re together has meant a lot. From asking how my elementary school love life was, to talking about big moments in my life, like choosing a college, you’ve always been someone who showed an interest and was there with ears wide open, and plenty of questions to ask. Thank you for everything. You are a truly remarkable woman who I am blessed to be able to call my cousin. Happy birthday, I hope it is wonderful! Here’s to many more years of success, happiness and love. Love always Caitlyn
38: Here is a story well known to the New York Clemencys and Kohlers. We vacationed for many years at the shore with them (and looking forward to doing it this year). At the end of each trip Colleen would be crying over the thought of leaving Beth. One year to distract her I gave her a granola bar to eat in the car on the way home. When it was time to leave Colleen was missing. Pat, Bill and I ran all over calling her name. We searched everywhere for her. We met back at my house and tried to think where she could have gone when suddenly the car door opened and out popped Colleen. She said she went into the car to eat the granola bar! After all I told her it was for in the car! Ann Kohler
39: To this day, there is still no one who has made me feel more loved than Colleen -- whether it was longingly calling my name, “Bef! Bef!”, hanging – literally, physically hanging – off my leg wherever I walked, or waking me up with a Broadway-worthy rendition of “Tomorrow!” from Annie. Although now a 6 year difference in age seems minimal (to me at least), when you are four, your ten-year-old cousin seems just cool enough to want to copy (I should note this is probably the first and last time in my life I was cool enough for someone to want to copy). In our trips to the beach, or family holidays, we were two girls united against the three boys with larger than life personalities. My favorite memory – which has become family legend – is the time, after a week-long beach trip – just before the Clemency’s headed back to NY, when Colleen was given a snack and told she had to wait until she was in the car to eat it. Moments later, Aunt Pat frantically appeared looking for Colleen – she had gone missing! Both families mobilized to look for Colleen – around the block, at a nearby toddler playground, across the street into the corn fields. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. And so out of character for Colleen (although no one would have been surprised if it had been Kevin!). After an agonizing search, Colleen was finally located – sitting in her parents’ car, eating her snack – JUST LIKE SHE HAD BEEN TOLD TO DO. How could anyone be mad at such a good rule follower?!? I have fond memories of our childhood together, and I feel fortunate that life led us to a place where we both landed in Arizona. Col, can’t believe you are 30 already! In your own immortal words, that makes even me feel old :). Happy birthday!!! Beth
40: Let me count the ways Your peaceful, centered, thoughtful, and intelligent approach to life leaves me struggling to find words that will accurately convey my love and admiration for you. But here goes my best shot: I love that you have a brain that is so naturally strong and consistently nourished – but I love even more that you never use that intelligence to create distance between yourself and others. I love that you stay open to all of life’s experiences and lessons. I love that you have found that tricky balance between planning a life and living a life. You stay grounded and present in each moment while still keeping an eye on the path ahead. I love that your courage is ever-present. When things don’t go just exactly right (too many dental surgeries to count come to mind) you arm yourself with good information and a good attitude and keep your feet moving forward. I love that you have a sense of humor about yourself. And I love that you have created a life that matters to you and to so many other people. And most especially, I love that I get to be your aunt. Happy 30th!Hugs Carol and John
41: As you begin your 30th year; we thought we would look back on all the wonderful and sometimes ridiculous Clemency memories. Perhaps our fondest memory is of that weekend in Florida for Jim and Cindy's wedding and our trip to Disneyworld. We had you and Kevin standing firm with us in our conviction that that first hotel room just wasn't cutting it! Over the years, you have stood firm beside us in fun family events and probably more importantly in your steadfast leadership. You have taught us so much about grace, faith, humility, determination, and strength. It has been so wonderful having you in Arizona, and we hope to institute more cousin dinners! Happy Happy Birthday! We can't wait to see what the next 30 years have in store for you, we know it will be fabulous! And, we are so grateful to share in all of it with you. Much Love Chrissie and Allie
43: Mentor | Thoughts about Colleen: I have a collection of memories of Colleen that I hold near and dear to my heart I will arrange below in the typical Dr. Linda Mona bullet point fashion that she knows and loves. As a supervisor of psychology interns, I was amazed at the rapid turnaround time that Colleen had for completing progress notes. What was even more surprising was her apparent discomfort when I did not turn around with my co-signature as quickly as she would like. I then made it part of or learning “growing edge” to increase her patience with that turnaround time by purposely extending the time that I completed my portion of this process. She rose to the occasion with increased tolerance as I would have expected. AND, I’m sure that it pissed her off! On the first week of her rotation working with me, I invited Colleen to attend a sex education lecture and sexuality and disability. She graciously created time in her schedule to attend and of course with great enthusiasm. Little did I know that she would raise her hand to participate in a demonstration and find herself “tied up” in a bit of an uncomfortable situation. Hmmm.As we spoke on the phone that evening---given that I was afraid that she had been traumatized in some way---- we had a great laugh and it was seriously at that point that I knew that Colleen had one of the most open minds and tolerant spirits that I would ever come across. I am privileged to have had the opportunity to participate in part of Colleen’s training as a psychologist. She is bar far one of the hardest strongest working psychologists that I have had the pleasure to work with in my career. Her kind heart and passion to fight for justice impresses me deeply. AND her interpersonal warm, generosity, and authenticity are simply the icing on the cake! Happy Happy Birthday Colleen. I’m happy that our paths met, have stayed connected, and will continue to grow for many years to come. Extending much love and happiness to you my dear on this very special day. Linda Mona
44: What a wonderful niece, Happy Happy 30th Birthday. I don’t know how the time could have flown by so fast. My very first introduction to the Clemency Family was at Steve and Sandra’s wedding sometime in the late 1980’s and it was quite overwhelming, especially as I don’t think anyone expected Paul to show up, let alone show up with a wife!! You of course were just a baby in those days and probably remember about as much as I do from their wedding celebrations! Not a lot! A lot of alcohol was required to soothe the nerves of a Welsh woman in the clutches of the enormous Clemency Clan. I am sure I was interrogated by your mother, but at least by this time I had already met Grandma Kate and she had given me the “all clear” to join the family!! The next time we really connected was when you were a young lady going for an interview at UCSB. It was such a pleasure to have you here briefly in Santa Barbara for the day. I am sorry I had my friend’s two young children in tow. I wasn’t really able to give you the official Welsh welcome to Santa Barbara. However, you and Chris are welcome anytime and I now have the Santa Barbara tour and surrounding wine tours of the Santa Ynez Valley down pat – so all you need is a free weekend to come and visit our beautiful neighborhood. So glad that you did not pick UCSB for your studies as you may never have made it to ASU and our love affair with Phoenix may not have happened. Thank you for meeting Catie and myself when Catie was doing her own tour of ASU in Phoenix in 2008. I am sure she chose ASU because you were there to support her and we all thank you for looking out for your younger cousin. However, by far the best memory I have of you is your wedding day. You were THE BRIDE that all girls dream of, with the whole Princess Wedding and your very own Prince Charming. You, Chris and your families put on a beautiful event and a wedding that none of us will ever forget, or be able to repeat. The location was amazing and we thank you so much for including us in such a special memory. What more is there to say? You are a very beautiful and talented you woman. We wish you the best of everything that life has to offer. We loved seeing you carry the flag at Catie’s graduation ceremony and are so proud of all your accomplishments. We are so glad to have you close by in Phoenix and hope to see more of you now that Catie has chosen Phoenix as her own home town. Lots of Love on your birthday and enjoy every moment life has to offer with your love Chris. Happy birthday and Happy travels! Margaret, Glenn, and Catie xxx
47: My dearest Colleen , I'm going to go for a slightly sappy birthday wish rather than lean towards the witty (which as you know, is my natural inclination). I can't even begin to describe the hole that would be in my life if I had never met you. You bring me such joy, compassion, inspiration, and the incredible gift of having someone to lean on, through thick and thin, through good decisions and bad, and through all that life throws at me. I would have never guessed that all these years after meeting you freshman year, that we would be life-long friends. I know that with all the good that has already blessed you, that the best is still to come, and I can't wait to be there for all of those triumphs you are sure to have. I hope this year is filled with wine, late night phone calls, young adult novels, cheating on diets (and not regretting it), success, happiness and of course, all the love in the world. Friends forever Lena
48: "Colleen - Thanks for being one of my best friends for so many years. I'm so happy you're in my life (and that you were in my sorority!) Happy 30th birthday! Lots of love, Amy." | The memory I want to share though, is of when we had our Shep reunion at Colleen's aunt's house in Arizona. We went out dancing, pretended it was Kimmie's birthday to get her free martini's, swam in their gorgeous pool, made guacamole and margaritas but best of all we went hiking (i think it was Camelback) and it was super gorgeous and fun and even though it was hard we all helped each other up the mountain. and then the going down part was also pretty challenging so we kept sliding down on our butts. We had this joke that the sign of safety and success was how dirty your booty was. At the end we took a picture of all of our filthy behinds lined up together. It was super awesome and incredibly generous and kind of Colleen and her aunt to host us. Amanda
50: I have adored the countless dinners, BBQs, poolside drinks and general fabulousness of Colleen and her family and will cherish those memories with her forever! Happy 30th Birthday Colleen!! I love you!!! Xoxo Chrissy | My favorite memories of being with Colleen are the awesome afternoons we spent post NU graduation hanging out by the pool at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club. I know she, just as I do, surely thinks of me when she reflects upon ALL her memories of her times at the MBYC. It's those days with me that certainly meant the most to her; not her childhood swimming and boating experiences, not her time life guarding, and certainly not that small, small party held there in October of 2010, but rather the long, sunburned afternoons with me, as we did our best to put as many cosmopolitans as possible on her parents account. *Sigh* those were the days. But in all seriousness, what I love the most about Colleen is that she has welcomed me with open arms into her family.
51: Lia Gracey 2 Pictures "Because no college experience is complete without a trip to Jerry Springer. Love you! -Lia" Have an unbelievable 30th Birthday | "It seems funny to recall a story about my 21st birthday as part of Colleen's 30th bday celebrations. But to me, the effort she put into making sure I had the most unforgettable evening sums up what Colleen means to me. She was and is a fiercely loyal, incredibly kind, and thoughtful friend. She planned the night, full of friends, cake, bars and limos, down to the last detail. It was a night I could never forget - and I have thought over the years how it would have been impossible to survive those years without her friendship. I feel so lucky to have met Colleen and have her in my life. Her academic, professional, and personal accomplishments are too many to name - and I fear that any attempts to describe my respect and love for her would fall short. So, on this milestone birthday, I will just say, I hope to be a part of many more celebrations to come. Happy Birthday Colleen! All my Love Evan
54: Happy 30th Birthday! It feels like yesterday we were cruising Plandome Road with BSB blasting (still can't believe they had a 2011 tour...and that we went....and that they were still AWESOME!). It's amazing how far we've come since North Shore Nursery School, Munsey Park, MHS, Port Yacht Club, etc. and that through all of life's changes (and your cross country moves) we have always been, and always will be, there for each other. I hope you have a fabulous celebration and use this milestone to celebrate all that you have accomplished. I'm very proud of you! Have a wonderful birthday and don't forget that even though you're 30, I'm still 29! Miss you lots. All my love Christina
55: There was the time we wore the same dress on nursery school picture day - with different colored ribbons. It was all downhill from there - that’s the best memory ever. Or how colleen skippered my boat for about 2 summers. She was a better skipper, me a better crew. We used to sing songs like rocky raccoon on the boats to pass the time. Any joke associated with the lion king (NALA!) and Madonna. I still think I won being in the most pictures on her wall. Then it was on to high school. The endless classes we had together, decorating lockers for birthdays, all the pre frosh/soph/prom pictures...all the plays col was in and I did makeup. The summer before junior year in HS was probably the best. We spent 12 hours a day together it was disgusting and awesome. From camp to lifeguarding classes to the summer play. Wow we have had the best time. Love Emily
56: I am very lucky to have met someone like you. You’re so fun to be with, smart funny, and a fantastic friend. Even though we go months between catch-ups we always pick up right where we left off. I was trying to think of my fondest memory but there are just too many to choose from. Rehearsing for the Shadow Box, working out in that oh-so-flattering black spandex early in the morning, your trips to LA, lunches with David, salsa-ing (is that a word?) with your old roommate, harassing you with TV questions (you are still my go-to expert), lying to William Shatner for your boyfriend (now husband), the trip to Teal’s house in Wisconsin, the subsequent speeding ticket from the trip (don’t I still owe you for that?), us NOT getting sexually harassed by Bud Beyer (seriously, what gives!?), dinners with your mom and dad, helping you move (ok, maybe that’s not like my all time favorite memory), your beautiful wedding, drinking wine on your couch, laying out by your pool in Long Beach, hikes, dinner at Pink’s hot dogs with Chrissee!? Too many great stories! My only complaint is that I wish you lived closer. Because when you are friends with someone as fabulous as yourself, you just want to hang out with them all the time. I hope you have the happiest of birthdays! XOXO Lauren (MacKenzie)
57: Colleen and I were in a statistics class, Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), in I believe our last year in the program. The class was on Thursday nights from like 4:30-7:30. Idealists that we were we started attending a yoga class on Thursday nights at LA Fitness after SEM got out. Self care is big with psychologists! This lasted all of two weeks at which point I pulled my hamstring and we decided to go out drinking every week after class instead. The sangria at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant was so much better than the yoga class. This is one of my favorite memories from my time at ASU. Regan | One of my favorite memories I have with you is of our mini bbq in summer of 2005. Grilling on Foreman's and roasting our booties in the 376 degree lounge chairs at your community pool while only being able to handle about 15 minutes of poolside boy chat. One of the best times of my life and we got to share it together. These are the memories our lives are made of and I am so honored and blessed to have you as a part of it. You are one of the most caring, intelligent, devoted and talented women I know. I thank the universe for choosing (even if a little last minute!) to introduce us that day in your very first and my very last ASU class :). Love you lots Ms. Colleen! HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY!!! Karen Bridges Lamb
58: I have to say that the year you, Colleen, did your post-doc at the Bedford VA Hospital was the most enjoyable year for me at the VA. I'd like to take the next few moments of your 30th birthday to share with you some of my most memorable moments I had with you during your post-doc. Let's start with that tiny, stuffy, monkey-cage "office" of ours that I think was meant to be a closet, but instead held 4 desks, 4 computers, 4 chairs, 2 filing cabinets, 2 bookcases, and of course 4 people (I wish I had a picture to include to spark your memory, just in case you forgot). However, by being stuffed in that office, we spent 4-5 days a week together sharing both the exciting and terrible times, which may or may not have included the experiences with our favorite supervisor. In addition to the usual day-to-day memories of eating lunch together and our shared-miseries at work, my other favorite memories include going out for lobster dinner with Chris and Eric, dinner at Beacon Grille, shopping for dresses at the Burlington mall, Panera lunch with you and Mer, scoping out the blue shoes at any store I was at and sending you pictures to wear on your wedding day, putting together the conference poster and attending the integrated care conference in Albany, NY, rigging the PCBH holiday Yankee swap to insure we got the coffee maker and accessories for our office, and of course, attending your gorgeous wedding. I truly enjoyed getting to know you (and Chris) for the year that you lived in Massachusetts. The post-docs have not been the same since you and Mer left Bedford. While we were simply co-workers for a year, I still found you and still find you to be such a great friend to me. I am so lucky to have met you and I look forward to keeping in touch and hopefully coming to visit you and Chris at some point. Always know, where ever Eric and I are living, you and Chris are always welcome and have a warm and cozy place to stay (maybe not as warm as AZ, though). I miss you, Colleen. Happy 30th Birthday. All my love Whitney
59: Our best memory with Colleen was in the beginning of our friendship. The two of us, Chris, and Colleen all went to Lake Havasu for KA Convivium. We drove up there and had a day to relax spending the day at our hotel pool sitting around talking; which then developed over-share weekend. The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying the event and developing the great friendship that we all have today! We are so thankful to have Colleen as our over-share friend!!! Thank you for all of the great times! Jordan and Megan
60: I am SO thankful that my best friend didn’t marry a community college cheerleader after getting her pregnant. (Oh wait, he did). On a more serious note, I could not be happier to wish you, my best friend’s wife, and someone I consider a wonderful friend and support, a fantastic 30th birthday. I was trying to remember the first time we actually met. While I couldn’t recall that, I did remember several glasses of wine by the pool and a trip to the mattress store to get a new bed frame. What I am most thankful for, however, is your love and support of Chris and his friends, including me. You are a generous and kind person and an intelligent and independent woman. I’m proud to know you. Happy 30th birthday. May the next thirty be filled with endless blessings (and hopefully more wine). With love Jen
61: My first memory of Colleen was at Chad and Erin Piwinski's wedding. I came in late and saw Chris was there with a date! I got to meet this lovely lady after the ceremony and it was Colleen! At the reception, Chris, despite his stellar dance moves, was a bit shy, so I danced with his date before he did. Turns out, she's now his wife and such a blessing to his life and all of ours. We're so thankful and happy to have Colleen as part of our big family of friends! God bless Matt and Lindsay Snowden | I have a lot of fond memories growing up next door to you and the rest of the Clemency clan. Between our two houses, with the three boys, it was nice to have another girl to hang around with (especially since we were both on the receiving end of Brian's "henny penny" pigtail pulling). Now, in our adult years, we share the bond of being sorority sisters ("lo the star"). I hope that you have a wonderful 30th birthday! Pi Love Marci Kaplan PS. How random was it the time that we ran into each other on 435 E 92nd Street back in 2005 when Christina and I were living in the same small walk up building!
62: We have known you forever - and have seen you grown into a beautiful, talented, thoughtful, and smart young woman. We also have seen your independent and strong spirit develop at a young age growing up with Brian and Kevin. Ken and I wish you a VERY HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a wonderful day and year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With lots of love Janet & Kenny P.S. Only for you would I make all those cookies on your wedding day!!!...........
63: To my Best Cousin, Second Sister, and Dearest Friend, Happy 30th Birthday! Don't feel old- I'll always be a year and three days older than you. I've known you longer than most people have- I could probably write a book about all of our good times and adventures together. My favorite memories will probably always be the summers we spent together sailing on Beg for Clemency. I didn't realize back then how lucky I was to spend that time with you and your family. Singing songs on the boat (especally the "Friends" theme song), jumping off the Worry Wart, and hanging out at the pool were among the highlights. You have always been, and will always be, one of the most valued, loved, and important people in my life. I love you! Mercy Jean
66: You are my favorite person. The end. Though this declaration as my favorite encompasses the core of my affections for you, it cannot start to explain the tenants and gifts that make you Colleen. For clarity on why you are (not just the most loved by me) but by everyone who knows you, please refer to the last 65 Pages. Sharing stories and speaking with your friends and family about you is something that is not foreign to me. They all blew me away with their memories and jubilant celebration of all that comprises the original Littlebit. I was overwhelmed emotionally by the scope and heart shared in their sentiments as well as physically by the daunting task of compiling this memoir of your first 30 Years. My hope is that you are built up each year and anytime you feel the desire to reminisce with this and a glass of wine or skinny-cow or both! Enjoying the stories others have shared and building our own over the past 6 years and beyond brings me joy primarily because it involves ween. Though not all of my grand life experiences have happened with you, everything we have experienced together has been grand. From seemingly mundane trips to the movies or grocery store to thrills and adventure in Kauai, Spain, and Israel, I know the one constant is who I want share my life with. Recently we listed our top 5 trips/days. I have been pondering this list and though my perspective matters it is God's vision and list that carries real weight. God has always seeded in my soul and heart that the evening we met at Casey Moore's with you in that Blue/Green shirt is the best and most important day of my life. Your friends and family crave time with you and the glow on their faces is evident each time we are able to visit them across the country. If only there was more of you to go around, oh what a happy world this would be for everyone. I choose to be a bit selfish and take great pride in being the only person blessed as your husband. It is a unique and enviable relationship I am cherished to have with the one of a kind Liebchen Thank you for being an open ear for me to confide in, mind for me to discuss and develop our future with , and heart for me to live in. Just as you were "Chillin" in my heart I know I had been camping in yours for a while as well. After soaking in all of the love expressed in these pages you will continue to thrive, touching this world in a way only you can. In conclusion my adoration for you will never wain and I hope I help you feel that everyday. You are my Favorite Person. That is all. The End. Christopher | Liebchen