Who We Are

Photo by Jen Fox Photography

Here we are!

We're James and Kirsten Petermann, and we are baby Ewan's parents. Our love story is a little on the unconventional side, involving a time lapse of nine or so years since seeing each other in college (1999-2000), a broken neck (his), a subsequent Facebook reunion as a result of said broken neck (November 2008), and then him showing up in my hometown (and us seeing each other for the first time in nine years) about twelve days before we got married (May 23, 2009, a mere six months from the time said Facebook reunion took place). Oh, and did I mention his vow of celibacy and my promise never, ever to date again?


I'm not sure what you want or need to know about us, so I'll start with some pretty basic stuff. We spent the first two years of our marriage on the eastside of Seattle, but recently (as in July 2011) moved some 3,400 or so miles to the Orlando, Florida area where they have some of the craziest drivers I've ever seen. I (Kirsten) just left my job of eleven years (gulp! gasp!) so I can focus on the never-ending task of unpacking our boxes, building a beautiful home for my family, growing a baby, and when I have the time, some writing and photography. My B.A. degree is in English with a literature emphasis, and it took awhile for me not to be snotty about my book selections, meaning that I now read books by people that are not dead. As far as photography goes, I shoot with a Canon 40D, have a decent selection of lenses, and am a bona fide Flickr addict. I was born and raised in Washington state (Bellingham, to be specific), and I love it there. 

James is originally from Holyrood, Kansas and is really, really smart. And he is good at pretty much everything. (I'm his wife, so I get to say that.) We moved here because he got a job offer that we couldn't pass up, and because he got more sinus infections in the Seattle area than we could count. A change of climate was definitely in order. He studied psychology in his undergrad years and went on to pursue a master's in theology. Around the time he broke his neck, he was working on the family cattle farm in Kansas and drilling oil wells. He's a terrific poet and writer, can read and speak Koine Greek, and likes to kiss me lots (see photo). 

A lot of who we are and what we're about is directly influenced by our Catholic faith. It's an important part of who we are and how we approach life. We had the good fortune of being part of a dynamic and amazing parish in Washington, and have found a new church home here that we are also coming to love. James was raised in the Catholic church, but left for several years starting when he was 19. I was raised in a non-denominational evangelical Christian home and was received into full communion in the Catholic Church on Easter Vigil 2010. It was a journey neither of us expected to make (which is the understatement of the century), but I can honestly say this was one of the happiest days of my life. If you're interested, you can read more about that journey here.

I guess you could say the past year or two of our lives has seen a lot of change ... if you count moving, getting married, converting to Catholicism, moving again (but this time across the country), quitting jobs and getting new ones, having and losing our first child, and then finding out we're expecting our second a lot. Um, yeah ...

We are pretty normal people, I guess. We're in love with each other, and we miss our little boy like crazy. And here we are, facing some pretty extraordinary and unexpected circumstances, continuing to grieve for our firstborn even as we prepare for the arrival of our second. Our aim is to be open and honest about our experience (you won't find us sugar-coating how nasty grief is, for example), to meet others who have found themselves on similar journeys, and hopefully to be an encouragement to you should you find yourself facing something like this, too.

We thank you for joining us on the journey. Peace be with you.

We'd love to hear from you! Feel free to e-mail us at kirsten116 [at] gmail [dot] com