My Other Blog

What's a Wreck?

A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate - you name it. A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it's simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons. Anyone who has ever smeared frosting on a baked good has made a Wreck at one time or another, so I'm not here to vilify decorators: Cake Wrecks is just about finding the funny in unexpected, sugar-filled places.

Now, don't you have a photo you want to send me? ;)

- Jen

In Memory

I've said before that the purpose of this blog is to make you laugh. That's still the case, but today I'd like to do something a little different. You see, yesterday I lost someone very near and dear to my heart. His name was James, and he was the son of two incredible individuals: John and Abby Gjertsen. (In a way, Abby is actually responsible for the creation of this blog: she is the one who first e-mailed me the "Under Neat That" cake, which in turn inspired me to start Cake Wrecks. So if you enjoy this site, you owe Abby a small debt of gratitude.)

James was born with a host of medical problems, and he overcame huge obstacles while spreading joy and inspiration to all who knew him his 482 days here on Earth. Through their blog John and Abby provided encouragement to other special needs families around the world, and James was able to touch countless lives. His legacy is assured, and will be one of unceasing joy, strength, and courage. (Click here for a beautiful video celebrating his first year of life.)

Not only are John and Abby close friends, they have been hugely supportive of Wrecks. So today, in honor of John, Abby, and sweet baby James, I'd like to dedicate this post.

And because I still believe in the healing power of laughter, here's a great video for cake lovers everywhere:

Thanks to reader Rachel for the video link.

« A Magical Bakery Tour | Main | Why Are the Children Screaming? »

Reader Comments (115)

:-( :-( My condolences to your friends for their loss :-( :-(

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

What an amazing and beautiful family. I am humbled by their strength, faith and devotion.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTheCourteousChihuahua

Thoughts and prayers to the family and friends. I am sure there will be blessings that come from this sadness.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Lord Bless them and James. I will keep them in my prayers. You are right. More than once I have come to see your blog downtrodden, and been uplifted. I enjoy each and every post! Hugs,

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKraftyKerilou

Thanks for the love and the laughs, Jen. We love you guys. We were just looking at the pictures of the cake you made for James's first birthday. It turned out to be his only birthday cake, but it was unbeatable anyway.

John & Abby

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn and Abby

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I did enjoy the tribute though to 'cake'. That had me in tears and brought a smile to my face. Thanks for sharing. Love your blog, by the way. Pretty funny stuff. Lori

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertkdquintmom

Jen, thanks for the link. I've never heard of sweet baby James till today but I was touched, inspired, and deeply saddened. Left a comment there.
Hee, Jim Gaffigan :) Thanks for the video. As a cake lover, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterManggy

Thank you for this. It brought tears but also joy in seeing the video. Those parents are wonderful people. I can only hope they find peace and comfort in the happiness he obviously had in his short life from their love and care. Thank you for sharing.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichaelTenery

I am so sorry for your loss. Being the parent of two, I cannot fathom the grief your friends are experiencing right now. I hope they are able to find strength and peace in the days, months, and years ahead.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

How sad! :(

It was a very nice tribute from you.

Thanks for making me laugh myself silly every day!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPamperingBeki


John, Abby, and Sweet Baby James, and you and all surrounding the Gjertsens in this time of mourning remain in my prayers.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternathancontramundi

My thoughts are with John and Abby.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I am sorry for your loss. Sending love to you and your friends.

Thank you for the video--so funny! Loved it.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered

I'd like to offer my condolences to both you and baby James' family.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGus3284

Oh, I'm so sorry for the loss of your friends' beautiful child. I can't imagine their heartache. I will keep them in my prayers.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeatherPride

I follow your blog because, as an amateur cake decorator, it makes me laugh and smile. Today you made me cry. I will be thinking of and praying for you, John, and Abby today and in the days to come. Thank you for sharing their story.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterhennhouse

Praying for this whole family. I am so sorry for their loss.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPrincess Bride

My condolences to you and to your friends, Jim and Abby. He was a beautiful little guy with unbelievable eyelashes. What a sweet boy.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

blessing on them, and you. i watched my best friend's daughter go thru much of the same with their son noah a few years ago and attended his funeral.

there really are no words.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSherry

as a mom, it is heartbreaking to read james' story. however it is clear he touched and blessed many lives. thank you to his family for sharing his life and spreading his love. may he be free and healthy in heaven, and may god be with his family.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermommy skonovd

What a thoughtful memorial for your friends' little angel. A little prayer has been said for you all to take comfort.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaire

How sad for a family to lose such a young child. He's such a beautiful baby and I hope they can find comfort.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJanell

I am really sorry for your loss.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend's son. I just read their blog and fell in love with little James. My heart is breaking for their family.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNeen

I'm so sorry for you and your friends' loss of James. I looked through his website, and he was blessed with such strong parents. I hope they can find the strength to make it through this phase of things, too.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristin

I read this blog every day and never comment, but my heart goes out to the family and friends of your little buddy James. Even though it comes from readers who don't know this family, maybe the offering of good wishes and sympathy will give them some additional comfort.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Prayers to Sweet Baby James and his family. I'm sorry for your loss.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaryO

I am very sorry to learn of the loss of baby James. How lucky he was to have parents that loved him so much. I will pray for his family and friends. Thank you for sharing his life with us.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

My sympathy to your friends. I can't imagine anything worse than the loss of a child.

Thank-you for still bringing on the funny.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEmBee

Very sweet post. (No pun intended.)

Our hearts go out to them.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBethany

Sorry for your loss. I send my condolences.

The cake video's funny, though. Thanks for sharing. :D

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwilver-and-ecru

I think this is a wonderful post. Kudos to them for being the kinds of parents who cared for their child no matter what and who inspired others to do the same. Lesser people would give up and it's wonderful that they didn't. I'm sure James will be remembered for a long time thanks to them and now thanks to you as well!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCassykins

God Bless Baby James and his family. May his family find peace and comfort at this sad time.

Tabitha G.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTabitha

I'm really sorry about John's,Abby's,and your loss.
That video of James' first year is very touching.
I wish you all the best.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

All my best to John and Abby. I hope they're able to pull through this difficult time as easily as possible, with help from good friends like yourself.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

And then there's the immortal Eddie Izzard: "Cake, or Death?!"

He's relatively tame compared to some modern comics, but not entirely clean and inoffensive, so click at your own risk.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Thank you for this post. It's easy to see your heartfelt sorrow for your friends. Prayers for all of you!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCheri-Beri

I'm a big fan of your site.
Thank you for sharing the video of baby James' life. What a sweet little angel. Your friends are in my prayers.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlli

My deepest sympathy to John and Abby and to you.


August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I am so sorry for the loss of James. May God bless and comfort you and James' parents, John and Abby. Ann J

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend's son. Thoughts and prayers to you all.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

I am so sorry for your loss. Many thoughts, virtual hugs, and strength wishes to John and Abby. What a beautiful tribute in their site. I wish you all the best, and again - I am so sorry for the loss of a sweet angel boy.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDea

Thank you for some tears and some laughs.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertrash talk

Very powerful blog...condolences to you and all who knew that sweet little boy.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

My condolences to John and Abby on the loss of their son. I know I don't know them, but I cannot imagine anything harder to bear than the loss of a child.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennyF

My deepest sympathies to James' family.

Thanks for the Jim Gaffigan clip. It made me laugh a lot.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTwistie

Wow. Thanks for sharing that. I am sure that every day he was there was one more special day for all who knew him.

My friend had twins earlier this year (after having a stillbirth and miscarriage last year) but delivered very early so they stayed at Winnie Palmer for a few months. She lived in Winter Springs too, though recently moved to Winter Park. I myself used to live in Maitland, only we moved to Canada about 10 months ago. My mom still lives in Altamonte.

My thoughts go to you, Baby James' parents and family, and all who knew him.

Oh, and thanks for adding the cake video. I think it was a good way to end the post.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterheddo

Rest in peace, James. My condolences to his loved ones.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

I was so sorry to read about the loss of Baby James.

We will pray for Baby Jame's parents that they find the strength they need to continue, and that they find some small comfort to help ease their pain and loss.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThimbelle

Jennifer, I know you are feeling the same grief I am today. I saw all of these cake wreck references on James's blog and had to check it out. Thank you for pulling me out of a pretty dark place today and giving me a laugh. This is a great site.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

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