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)

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's amazing how many people's lives are touched by the amazing spirit of special children. I had no idea what a blessing they could be, whether with us a short time or a long time, until I had a special one of my own. Thank you for posting about James. Again, many condolences to you and his family.


August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of James. I will keep Abby and John in my prayers. May God bless them and keep them. Thanks for your post, and for your wonderful blog. Tammy

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterfour little blessings

I'm so sorry to hear of their (and your) loss.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCrazy Raven Productions

My condolences to John and Abby. Peace to James.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

My thoughts and prayers are with these loving parents upon the loss of their son, James.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJacque Benson

I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my father a few years ago, so I know it can be hard. Hang in there!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I checked out their site (at work - big mistake) and was in tears by the second posting.

These two are much stronger people than I am. To cope with James' disabilities for more than a year and then to lose two children in two months' time is a burden I cannot even begin to imagine.

My thoughts are with them.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My love and prayers go out to you and John & Abbey.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLadyShay

My condolences

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

So sorry for your loss. John and Abby must be pretty special people. I lost a niece about 5 years ago. She only lived for 1 hour after her birth, but her life touched mine in such a way that I still feel the effects today. I believe these kids are "old souls" and come to teach much in their brief time on earth. Please give my most heartfelt sympathy to John and Abby...

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Being a mom, this really touches me. Thanks for sharing James with us.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLizC

Just stumbled upon your site today. So sorry for your friends and their loss. Amazing family! We lost my dear niece Megan when she was 15 months old and know how much a little one can touch and change your life. I love your site I cried over Sweet baby James and then laughed till I cried some more over these cakes. Thanks for touching both my heart and my funny bone.


August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

I'm very sorry to hear of your friends loss!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

God Bless James.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I'm so, so sorry to hear about James. My heart goes out to all of you, and especially to his family. But thank you for sharing his incredible story.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter3 to get ready

John and Abby will be in my prayers as well as anyone else affected. What a terrible tragedy to have to go through, but his young life was obviously celebrated, and very loved. Thanks for all the laughs you have given me as well as countless others, I hope you have someone close who can put a smile on your face! Love Jim Gaffigan, by the way.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter*Shannon

Thank you for posting this. I'm not a member of youtube so couldn't leave a comment there.

This just breaks my heart, the struggle, the love and the loss.
My most heartfelt condolences to John and Abby. And my love to James who touched my heart with his smile.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVicki

I am so sorry for your loss and theirs. I think it's so brave to have a child and then to lose one would be unthinkable. My heart goes out to all of you.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany S.

May God Bless James & his mommy & daddy.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTrudi

Thank you for sharing Sweet Baby James' site. I smiled and cried and was reminded just how precious life is.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

Many times you've made me laugh til I cried. Today I cried for a different reason.. reading James's story and watching his video. Thanks for sharing such a moving story and a testimony of God's sovereignty.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine W.

So sorry for the loss your friends and you are experiencing.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I am so sorry. I never knew Sweet Baby James until today but he has my heart. I am in love with him and his *beautiful* eyelashes. You are in my prayers - all of you.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDebbi

John and Abby ~ To lose two babies two months apart ... my heart is yours. I will say extra prayers for you tonight. Now you have 2 little angels to watch over you!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDebbi

No one should have to live with the death of a child. Especially when said child barely had a chance to live. I'm glad that while he was here he was able to touch so many lives. My heart goes out to John and Abby.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSunshine

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of James. My prayers for comfort and strength are with James's family and friends. Thank you for sharing the tribute to his life...what a beautiful and blessed family.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteramyd

My deepest sympathies to John and Abby on their loss. I lost my niece to SIDS just over a year ago, and so I know that there really is no kind of pain that can compare to that of a child's death. My heart goes out to them, as does that of my whole family.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Seavey

Oh, how unutterably sad!!!! I read through most of the blog, and this is an absolutely incredible family. Thank you so much for helping share their story.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMary

My heart goes out to them and to anyone touched by the loss of their son.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

To quote a song that's near to my heart right now.
I stood and watched an eagle fly
Spread his wings and soared across the sky
So gracefully he flew

James is flying now, with his baby sister. All of you are in my prayers.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

God bless them all.

(and thank you for this site!)

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjason

I read this post earlier today and thought all day about it. My thoughts are with you and James' family. What an amazing family. You have me counting my blessings today, and I thank you for sharing.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShay

What an amazing family. My heart and prayers are with all of James friends and family.

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

I'm really sorry. I hope you can bring some light into their lives.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJorge PatiƱo

May his memory be a comfort and a blessing.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwoolywoman

I'm without sufficient words to express my sadness after reading John and Abby's blog. I pray that they will find comfort as they grieve. The world would be a better place if there were more wonderful parents like them.

Thanks for your posts, Jen! They've brought lots of laughs to our home. I'll keep you in my prayers, too. I'm so sorry for your loss.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I am so very sorry, and that is all I can say.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia

What an amazing account of Baby James' life. He fought so hard to live. John and Abby have a strong faith and it will help them during this difficult time. I enjoy your blog and how nice of you to dedicate this day to special people in your life. May baby James rest in peace.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTina H.

What a sweet, beautiful little boy. I am so sorry for their loss. Thank you for your tribute.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I am so sorry for the loss of an incredible little boy. His light will continue to shine on in everyone he touched during his short time here.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbassetsnbrits

I am so very sorry for all of your loss. What a beautiful angel heaven has now!

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLee, Melissa and Jackson

I am in tears... I watched the video and started crying less than 30 seconds into it, and cried all the way through. What a beautiful family, and my heart goes out to them in this difficult time. James looks like he is the light of their lives, and I'm so sad that he had so little time with them.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJaedyn

My thoughts are with John & Abby. They are truly amazing people.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Rest in peace baby James. I'll remember you in my prayers. X

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAims

love and healing to your friends

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnna B

I am so sorry for the loss of your friends' babies. There are truly no words to convey how much that hurts. I can't even imagine. I will lift them up in prayer.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thanks for sharing James' story. My deepest sympathies to his loved ones.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

How sad - what a sweet little guy! Thanks for sharing his story with us.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLibbie

Okay, I'm seriously sitting here crying. My heart aches for the family. May James be at peace.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn Johnson

We read through this lovely family's blog today and were moved to tears at the way your friends cared for and adored their sweet little one.

Thank you and thanks to them for sharing their wonderful lives.

Blessings and prayers for this family and for their son.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbunny

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