The James Family

A smile happens in a flash...but its memory can last a lifetime.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The last 5 months

Wow, has it really been 5 months since my last post? Actually now that I think about this year...5 months is sounding about right. I will start this post off by saying that although I was a little sad to fall off the blogging train, it's been good for me. To not worry about posting, and just plug into my family. So here's a little bit about what we've been up to. December 29th Ned was honorably discharged from the Navy. I was overwhelmed with a lot of emotions. I was so happy that he was never going to deploy again. I had done so much on my own the last few years that I had almost forgotten what it would be like to have my husband home for Christmas and other special occasions. But the other side of me was terrified!! I had no idea what lied ahead for us and after 7 years of the comfort of Navy life, I wasn't sure how things would work now that Ned and I got to make decisions! But here is what we have come up with so far...

I have mostly taken a break from cake. Oh, how I love cake. I really do. The last cake I made that I spent a ton of time on was this one:

I made this cake in Indiana in honor of my wonderful Grandmother, Dorothy Neilson. Every year for YEARS AND YEARS she would make homemade Christmas cards. I decided to re-create the cards and make them out of fondant to decorate a cake and her Christmas Tea Party. Ah, my family is fabulous. I really have the most fabulous Aunts who are so creative and amazing. It was a great event. I have made a cake or two here and there since but I just simply don't have the time that I used to have. I love going back through my cake pictures and look at the cakes I created. But for some reason, I just feel that this isn't the time right now to keep pursuing cake. It just seems a bit off to me, and that's ok. To everything there is a season. Which brings me to my next JOB!

I am working for CHG in the CompHealth Locum Tenens division. And, by the way...I LOVE IT and it's amazing! I was so fortunate to get the job. I emailed an old friend/roomate when I was driving to Utah and she told me about a position on her team. I immedietly submitted my resume and sure enough...I had a job a week later. I assist the credentialing process for the largest Locums company on the planet. It is my dream job, really. I absolutely love it. It has been an adjustment leaving my babies during the day but I am really comforted knowing that they have Mom and Dad home right now and that is worth a lot, too. Oh, and did I mention....Ned got a job at CompHealth too?? He works getting our Doctors hospital privalages and he LOVES it there, too. We commute into work together, take our lunches together, call each other a ton during the day and of course...give each other a hard time. I absolutely love it. My friend pointed out something...she said "don't you think it's crazy that you and Ned once worked oceans apart from one another. Now you're 100 feet. I love it, love it, love it.

oh and for the fun part....We bought our very first house!!!!! This is a picture of a couple of my favorite rooms...

We love living in our own house. It's such a blessing. We are so grateful to have gotten a fair price, low interest and are enjoying the benefits of a VA loan. (NO mortgage insurance!) So to wrap up this post, I guess I would just say that life is really what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. But if you can find the strength and the faith to just go with it, amazing things are in your future. I love where we live and already have such amazing friends at work and in my new neighborhood. Of course, I still love and cherish my Washington Penn Cove ladies. But it's different now. I feel like I am progressing. In the Navy I felt so trapped by the next deployment. The next PRT. The next eval. I don't know, I just think we got to the point that we were done with that chapter. I am so grateful to have had that experience. I will NEVER forget or regret the time we spent dedicated to our Country. Truly a blessing. I guess I'm just grateful for second chances and for new begginings. It works for me. The kids are doing so good. I fall in love with them a little more each day. Tatum is going into first grade....strange! still a charector. And my sweet Raegan is growing and becoming independant. Well this is me signing off for now. I love you all and will try to be better about posting. I have felt like a break was needed from trying to portray my life as an interesting story. Now that we've kind of settled into our identity here a new chapter has started. I will do better and sharing it. Love to you all. Kerstin

Monday, December 13, 2010

A bloggable life...

I have been blogging for almost 4 years now. I love to blog and capture moments and memories. I used to be "teased" by a few people saying that my blog portrayed a "magical life". Ha ha!! I always laughed. Anyway, obviously I have fallen a bit off of the blogging train and I regret that. I need to do better. I often visit my blog to check others' sites but have been remiss in updating mine. Perhaps, there was a bit of truth to what others would say about my blog. It seems that the past few months have seemed less than magical and maybe that's why I haven't wanted to post and parade all of our life drama for the whole world to see. So here I am, with a recap of the past month or two (or 6!)

I'm sure many of you already know, but Ned is separating from the US Navy December 31st. It's been a long time coming and we are ready for this change. However, that doesn't make it any less scary. It will be different not having "the Navy" decided everything. At first we thought we would settle in Ft Wayne, IN near my parents. Ned drove me and the kids out here and returned to WA to tie up loose ends at home. A week or so into our Indiana adventure, we both felt that this was not the right thing for our family. And so after some thought we have decided that Salt Lake City, UT will be a better fit for us. We are hoping that some good job leads will pan out, and Ned will also be attending the University of Utah.

Another point of news is that my Grandfather (Mom's Dad) passed away Saturday evening. It was sudden but the family had a few days' notice and my Mom was even able to get out in enough time to say goodbye. He was a great man and will truly be missed.

The kids are growing and getting bigger everyday. Tatum is in all day kindergarten and to say it's an adjustment is an understatement. It's hard for me to put her on the bus at 7:15 am and not see her until 3:30. I know it's the best thing for her. It's just with all of these changes, and the recent passing of my Grandpa, I am really realizing how fleeting life is. It seemed like just yesterday Ned had joined the Navy and I was expecting Tatum. And now, in the blink of an eye our whole lifestyle is changing. Tatum is a big sister to two other James babies now and each one of them is growing and learning to live in a world much bigger than any of us can comprehend. It shouldn't be that hard for me to say to myself just STOP and enjoy this. They won't be little forever. I feel like for the most part I do. However, there are hours in the day where I have 3 voices vying for my attention and not enough of me to go around. Hopefully each day will get a bit easier than the next. I hope you all are enjoying your holiday season and I will hopefully be a bit better at blogging our not-so-magical but still wonderful life.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Way Way Way Way tooooooo long...

I can't believe I haven't posted in over 5 weeks. Shame on ME!!!! The past month or two has been nothing short of a whirlwhind. I have always done so well posting on my blog, this has definately been the longest in between posts for me in almost 4 years. The past couple of months have been a lot of changes for our family but I really don't feel like posting about it all on the blog. Nothing is wrong or anything, just a lot of stuff happening. I think I have started shying away from posting everything about our life on the blog, and maybe that's why I haven't posted. It's easier to say nothing than to pick and choose I suppose. I'm an all or nothing kind of gal. But the kids are doing really well. Raegan is growing, growing, growing. Carson is my handsome man and Tatum is learning to read and as always our princess. We had a great halloween and the kids enjoyed the trunk-or-treating and it was tons of fun. To be honest, I am just feeling overwhelmed. All of my family, church and cake commitments have left me absolutely exhausted. I have had only a handful of nights in 3 months where I've had "off" and doing whatever I wanted to do. Busy is good, but I think it was getting to the point of too much. I'm trying to know my limits and trying to learn to say "no" once in a while. It's hard for me. But I will try and do better posting from now on. : )


We picked our pumpkins and it was awesome to have all 3 of our kidds excited and aware. Last year, Rae Rae was just itty bitty and slept out in her carseat. She is such a blessing in our lives. Carson and Tatum LOVED finding the perfect pumpkin, which they carved mostly by themselves!

September/October Continued...

Here are a few random pics ( stole them from my friend, Cassia...) of us. The cupcake topiary I did for my friend's daughter and I thought it turned out so fun. The cake, I made for Cassia and Brandon's sealing. It was an amazing day, followed by a fun open house. Love Oak Harbor!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'm still here...

Hello all. Yes, I am still here. Sorry for the spurratic posts lately. Things are just busy, busy, busy. The biggest event around here lately is that our dear friends Brandon and Cassia went to the Temple to be sealed with thier 3 sweet girls. It was an absolutely amazing experience. I will never, ever forget it. Of course, I had to commemerate this occasion with a sealing cake. : ) Tatum is loving Kindergarten. She loves to learn, and color, and her favorite part of school is music time and of course... "hot lunch". Carson is doing great and we've really had a calm week with him after increasing his asthma meds., that girl is crazy and busy. But we love her sooo much. I am taking baby Rae to Indiana this week to see Great Grandma Neilson. I am looking forward to having a couple of days in Indiana and seeing some family and friends. I will try to be better about posting.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Too cute...

Aside from taking a one year old to is my favorite age. Raegan is at that perfect age where she's still a "baby" but yet such a big girl at the same time. She is loving to climb up on things and explore. She loves to take things apart and it is so neat to see her actually learning about her surroundings. I love to stop with her and let her feel leaves, and moss, and grass. She is so amazed by it all!! At the grocery store it is so cool to just take an extra 2 minutes and let babies feel a pineapple or a kiwi. The expression on her face is so worth it! Raegan so far is my climber. She climbs on everything. Tatum and Carson were NOT like this. They were both very timid and afraid of the unknown. Not our baby Rae. She is all about new things and loves it. We love you, Raegan...thanks for being so darn cute!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When did life become so crazy that the very thought of logging in to my blog and posting some pictures became "too much". Shame on me! I need to do better. I know it's only been a couple of weeks since my last post, but in earlier years and months I would post a few times a week. So things have been busy around here. And a little crazy. I applied for a TLC Cake competition show with Cake Boss. And was denied. But that's ok. Wow, it was such a great experience applying and putting together my submission. The kids have been keeping me busy and Raegan is climbing everywhere! Here are some recent pics from the past week!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Kiddos and some cake...

Yes, I'm still here. I realized that I haven't been as diligent in my blog lately. I feel bad about that. I keep a blog for the kids. I want to get blog books printed for each one of them and copied into a pdf. I have been so busy the last month. It hasn't really made the time go fast or anything but at least I'm not bored. I am excited for things to slow down in August and spend more time just hanging out with the kids. And maybe folding laundry. Maybe.


I have been wanting to do a damask style wdding cake for a long time now. I finally got my chance! It was much harder and time consuming than I thought. But I'm happy with the end result. It looked so nice set up at the venue with the topper and flowers. Thanks Cricut Cake for the nice monograms!!!


This was a cute little retirement cake I did for a nice lady who served 20 years in the Navy. I love that it is both patriotic and feminine.


I recently did this Luau cake and I love love LOVE it! So much fun to do... I love telling a story through cake. : )

Monday, July 26, 2010


Have I mentioned before I have fabulously talented friends? My friend Cassia took some pictures of my babies and I thought they turned out great. I am often intrigued by family photos. They are what I refer to as a "Red Carpet Moment". You know, everyone is dressed nice, and matching. Everyone seems happy and problems are few and far between. Sometimes I wonder what family pictures would look like if they captured a glimpse of everyday life for us. The kids dressed in the outfit they insisted on wearing. The kitchen strewn with cake stuff and looking tired and rocking out my favorite apron while chasing around Raegan who is now into everything. That probably wouldn't match my living room furniture, so instead we got all dressed up and for an hour....pretended that we always match and have our hair fixed. But either way, my kids and my family keep me going to continue to do my best...even I may not always look my best. : ) Love you guys. You are Mommy's sweeties.