Saturday, December 25, 2010

christmas with the steffens

Can you believe I'm posting photos and it's still Christmas day? :)
The evening of the 23rd to the day of the 24th we spent with Brian's family. It was nice to have all the siblings there. We exchanged our secret santa sibling gifts and other gifts with eachother. I didn't really get any good photos because I was sitting in a hard spot. It was fun and the boys made out really well!!
THANK YOU GG& GG Hand for the hip-swaying santa. We love him!!
The boys LOVE their cups and beanies.
Here are the boys in the Christmas PJs with their Christmas PJ tin:

Parker and Carter got Sit N Spins from Uncle Matt/ Aunt Rachel and Aunt Beth! They are a HUGE hit!


And yes, those are the boys favorite cereals- we weren't mean and gave Carter Raisin Bran. P&C actually don't even like sugary cereals- they would rather have mini wheats, granola, raisin bran, plain cheerios, and honey bunches of oats.

The little animal bags are their new church bags and inside is loot to keep them quiet at church. Hopefully.

Santa ate the cookies, drank the milk, and fed the carrots to Rudolph.

Parker was VERY excited to get the Gospel Art book in his church bag. He knows about 50 gospel art photos.

Carter was just as excited and kept saying "Jesus!"
After having a breakfast casserole that cooked while we were opening gifts, we ate and then headed to Grandma's and Papa's in Kendall. They were such good boys while mommy and daddy showered and packed. We were in Kendall at 10:15am! ;)

Carter was exhausted but was pretty good the whole day. Here he is relaxing with Uncle Jon.

Christmas is about the baby Jesus, friends and family. We are so blessed.
This Christmas was perfect. <3

Friday, December 10, 2010

sweet memories

When I was a senior in high school-I volunteered at the Sweden Senior Center in Brockport. Every Thursday I looked forward to seeing Jim and Luella... I wondered how they are doing.... :) This article was in 2005 but you get to see how stinkin' cute they are! It tells you how they met! :)

He got the 'point'
For Jim Higgins of Brockport, true love hit him a second time around and it all began with a point.

After his wife of 55 years died in 2000, Higgins kept himself busy playing golf and going to the VFW in Holley but all of that changed when he decided to check out the Sweden Senior Center in Brockport.

"The first day I was there I sat at a table with five ladies," he said. "After I'd been going there a few times, I heard a rumor that there was a lady who was interested in me."

That lady was Luella Jennejohn - a widow of 17 years.

"Well, the next time I went there she turned around and pointed at me. I pointed back and that was our introduction," he explained with a laugh.

The couple's first meeting was in 2002, they dated for about eight months and got married on Valentine's Day in 2003.

Jim and Luella are both in their mid-80s and they say they are very busy people who are always on the go and always see a lot of people.

When asked what the secret to their happiness is, Jim said it was compatibility. "We're very much wrapped up in each other," he said. "We just sit and talk and laugh and sing and go to church together."

Luella said another key ingredient to their happiness is that they like the same things. "We spend a lot of time outside and we like going to concerts that play music from the 40s and 50s," she said.

Their second wedding anniversary falls on a very busy day, Luella said. "It's a busy day at the senior center and later that day we have a meeting because we're representatives of the Sweden-Clarkson Recreation Center," she explained. "We might celebrate our anniversary a day early.

Jim has two sons, Michael and James. Luella has one daughter, Patricia.

"We love spending time together," Luella said.

Caption: Brockport residents Luella and Jim Higgins met at the Sweden Senior Center about eight months before getting married on Valentine's Day two years ago by Justice of the Peace William P. Cody. When asked about the highlight of their time together, Jim responded, "Being together, being active and being in love." Luella added, "That surprise first anniversary party at the Sweden Senior Center." Photograph by Walter Horylev.

I started "googling" their names.

In Feb 2009 Luella wrote a poem for their newsletter at the Sweden Senior Center (SSC).
"Growing old is not so bad
Just think of all the fun we had.

...Parties, proms, and movies galore,
Now who could ask for anything more?

We seniors are treated like royalty.
The four letter work we life is F-R-E-E.

A discount here, coupons there
Planes and trains lower our fare.

We are treated kindly if our hair is white,
My gosh, we must be doing something right.

We can "kick up our heels" and act like a kid
Maybe not so high as we once did.

The world is moving fast, we can't slow it down."

Then I found this....
"Higgins, James F., On September 17, 2007. He is predeceased by his wife of 54 years Maryanne. Survived by his wife Luella; sons Timothy and Michael (Gail Forward); grandsons Aaron, David (Kate Gilbert), Matthew and Phillip; great-grandchildren Emalee and Trey Higgins; sister Marion Fullam; brother William and many nieces and nephews.

"Jennejohn, Luella M., September 3, 2009, age 89. Survived by her daughter, Patricia Gay; grandsons, Danny (Jennifer) Everett, Keith Gay; two great-granddaughters, Alexis Gay and Jasmine Thornton and many nieces and nephews."

My heart is sad.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Check out this giveaway my friend Sarah is hosting:

You should enter. You could win a Rose Facial Polish from ME! Made by NYR Organic.
If you enter- tell her Holly sent you! ;)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

funny, not so funny story

It all started when Brian parked the car on the slope of our driveway in hopes the city would come and suck up the leaf pile behind his car. Our pile was passed because of the car (I assume). So, he wanted it moved incase they came by.

Brian likes to use the emergency brake when parked on the slope.

Do you think you know where this is going? I bet you're wrong.

Brian turned off the brake (See, you thought he'd leave it on, didn't you ;) )..... and went to drop the kids off at our friends house so he could attend a meeting in Syracuse with me. Since I was already in Liverpool doing a postpartum job- he would meet me there and we would drive to Syracuse together. We grabbed dinner at Panera in Liverpool. He decided to tell me there his car was acting funny. Maybe the transmission was slipping? He said he felt like he was driving in snow.

We drove in my car to the meeting. At about 10pm we arrived back to Panera. He was gonna drive his car to our mechanic in Fulton and I would pick up the kiddos. Brian put his car in reverse and drove out of the spot, put it in drive and it wouldn't budge. Ut oh.

We called our insurance and towed it the allowable 9miles to BURDICK TOYOTA in Cicero.

We got a call. The emergency brake was jammed. $92. Possible new transmission, emergency brake cables, check engine life off, etc etc etc couldn't give exact price- anywhere from an additional $500-1000. WOW. We can't afford that.... So, Brian was offered $500 cash or $1000 toward a trade in.

After thinking about it for a while we decided to take the $500.

Brian called back and left a message. It took days to respond back.... We got a call from customer service appoligizing for the way this had been handled.

Brian was then informed that they would only pay out the wholesale price. Wanna guess what it is???

$100. Not a typo. $100
The KICKER?! He then said "you owe us $92 and we would give you $100 so we'll just call it even and TAKE THE CAR OFF YOUR HANDS"
WHAT?! excuse me??

No way. We paid $75 and got it towed to our mechanic.
We just got notified he looked at it, the car is fixed. It cost about $200.

Burdick Toyota, You are sleezy. You tried to nickle and dime us and we don't appreciate it. We were thinking about upgrading to a Sienna, and your dealership has made us rethink this decision. We wouldn't want to support your dealership. You lost a customer for sure. Good riddance, The Steffen Family

I have owned a Saturn for almost 4 years and I have never ever ever ever experienced service as horrible as this. I was always given a fair price and treated like I was their top priority. When something upset me, their customer service deparment was willing to give gift certificates and other free things to make up for any inconvience. Saturn is sorely missed.

Friday, November 12, 2010

parker's potty zoo trip

Parker has been doing so well potty training... that he earned his day at the zoo. This has actually been weeks in the making. He's been day trained for weeks. He is still having a problem wetting the bed at night (but goes in potty at naptime)... so I figured he deserved his prize. eek! carter needs a haircut
BIG BOY with the elephants

The boys were SO BUMMED the 'tigers' were sleeping.
this monkey was hilarious HAHAHA


happy [belated] halloween


Every fall we go take family photos at fallbrook. It's breath taking with all the leaves changing. Here are just a couple:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

i know i know

I know I keep saying I will get better, and I do for like 3 days and then I'm back to not posting.

Life has been CRAZY to say the least

I am doing post-partum work 3 days a week.
I've got a couple new moms due in March to doula for.
I am quitting mary kay and trying to get rid/return inventory.
I started with an new all-natural organic skincare company. Neal's Yard.
seriously, check it out, it's awesome!!!!!!!!
I was just called as... PRIMARY PRESIDENT.

I am feeling a little overwhelmed. I know that callings come from Heavenly Father and I know I will do okay. It's a lot on my plate now. Hopefully I'll post some photos of the boys soon. I know everyone is waiting.

Love you.

Friday, October 15, 2010

some days are like that....

I have always known that I was meant to be a mom.

Some days I have had about enough. I need to escape for an hour and have some "mommy" time when Brian gets home from work.

For a couple weeks now, I have just REALLY loved being a mom. Parker and Carter are such sweethearts. They love each other and us so much. They radiate love and acceptance.

I know that I am so blessed.

Parker is now (almost) FULLY potty trained. He is so excited to go to the ZOO for his prize once he's fully trained. He is in full time underwear- at home and in public. If we are home, he doesn't tell me (I told him he doesn't have to) unless he needs help. In public- he always tells me. :) *KNOCK ON WOOD* and he hasn't ever had an accident out. The only obstacle right now is wetting the bed at night. He doesn't do it at naptime. He actually thinks it is funny. He'll say to me "I pee in my bed! HAHA" . Not quite sure how to show him it's NOT funny. Silly kid.

Parker still knows all his upper and lower case letters, shapes, colors, numbers, and some traffic signs. He can spell stop. He has a tracing book that teaches pencil control and then I'll start working on writing letters. He loves that stinkin' book. It goes to naptime and bedtime even. He looks on the back- where the whole series is pictured and says "i want all these". HAHA. :) Someday, Parker, someday.

Carter is REALLY smart. He is 18mon and can follow any direction. He is a snuggle bug. He loves loves loves to read. He will find a book, and bring it to daddy (his favorite reader). Once the book is over he says "more" "more" and daddy will read it again. He's starting to recognize letters.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


FINALLY! clean, smudge and streak FREE floors!!! I think I'm in LOVE I came across Mrs Meyer's cleaning products at a local natural foods store. I was looking to replace my Theives that my children dumped all over the laundry room floor. I am happily satisfied with my find. And what made me even happier??? Walmart had it for less. Thank you Walmart for starting to carry more eco friendly products.

Oh and I got a $5 rebate on the mop. Score.I swear, it's the little things in life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

sharing. fhe.

Last night for FHE we had a lesson on sharing. I then shared two m&ms with Parker and asked him if he would share ONE with Carter. He happily did. I then did the same to Carter- who SHOCKED me when he willingly shared his with Parker. It was adorable. I seriously almost cried. I'm so emotional. LOL I said "sharing makes us happy". They both said happy! :)

We mentioned how missionaries SHARE the gospel. And they drew pictures for our friend John-Mike who's on his mission in California. Parker drew a picture. (circles with lines) He usually scribbles. I asked him what his picture was of. He said "Missionaries are happy" :) :) HE GOT IT!

Below isn't the same picture bc that is en route to Cali. This is one he drew for me after

Thursday, October 7, 2010

G&G Steffen Visit

Grandma Steffen came for a visit while daddy and Grandpa Steffen went to a John Updike conference. Brian was so happy to go.

Grandma bought the boys matching Buzz/Woody pjs. They now insist on wearing them everynight. They are cute pjs.
Parker and Carter are SO BLESSED to have TWO sets of superduper grandparents. WE are so blessed.
Above is a photo of both of them and their curious george fruit snacks from Grandma Steffen too.

Friday, September 24, 2010

the great commandment

In October 2007, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin gave a talk entitled "The Great Commandment".

I don't remember much about that talk. But the talked changed my life.
Watch the video of it. You'll see what I mean.

Joseph B. Wirthlin stood shaking at the pulpit delivering the words of God. At times it looked as though his frail body was going to collapse right there on live tv.

Nearing the end of his talk he grew increasingly weak. Elder Russell M. Nelson, stood behind him and held him up for the entire rest of his talk. Talk about charity- the pure love of Christ. It brings tears to my eyes.

The words I remember most from that talk was the quivering "thank you" Elder Wirthlin said to his brother in service, his brother in Christ after he successfully finished his talk.

Watch it. It will send warm chills up your spine.

May we ALL have a moment of selfless service in the upcoming day, week, month.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

halloween sneak peek

This weekend Parker and Carter are going "trick or treating" with Jonathon, Grandma, and PaPa Miller at Jellystone. Parker can HARDLY contain his excitement when it comes to the yogi bear wagon rides. We went today and got their costumes. They LOVE them. They were SO excited. I asked Parker what he wanted to be for Halloween and he said Woody! I thought for sure it would change. But it has stayed Woody for a month. He was jumping up and down today when we found a woody AND buzz costume in their sizes. Carter is excited too. He lovingly says "buzz! buzz!".

Its so great seeing the joy on your children's faces..... It makes life worth living.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Doula Blog.
That's one reason I've been slacking on this blog.... I've been BUSYYYY

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Out of "office"

I've been in Utah since the 10th. I get home the 22nd. I will update then.

Monday, August 2, 2010

family home evening

Tonight our family home evening was on missionaries and missonary work. I did the lesson and the activity was to make Elder Holahan birthday cards from all the future missionaries! :) We took their photos with future missionary tags. They loved their own nametag.

:) I sure do love these boys

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The boys LOVE lawrence welk. (and so does mommy)
We had just finished our baths.
<3 love this
Gram B would be so proud.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

*doula blog

Birth Faith gives some GREAT resources on pregnancy/labor/birthing. This one is (I think) my favorite.....

Labor tips for dads

I also like to call this one: “Parturient Relations: PR for dads.” Remember these “Five PR’s”–the most helpful things you can provide for your partner while she labors…

1. Presence

  • Sometimes all she needs is your loving physical presence.
    • Be “Rock Steady”—the familiar, strong, soothing rock she can hold on to.
  • Be “present” in every way—don’t let your fatigue or fear take your attention away from her emotional and physical needs.
  • Do NOT fall asleep (unless she’s asleep).
  • Do NOT leave her alone unless she demands it.
    • Some women prefer to be alone while they labor. (But don’t go too far!)

2. Protection

  • Be a buffer between your wife and the rest of the world.
  • You can’t protect her from the intensity of childbirth or from unexpected complications, but you can protect her personal space and surround her with peace and calm.
    • Close doors.
    • Turn off/down the lights.
    • Take over answering questions so she can keep her energy focused on her hard work. If someone tries to talk to her mid-contraction, gently ask for them to wait or stand between them and your wife until her contraction is over signaling with your hands for them to wait a moment.
    • No matter what happens or how much stress may arise, ensure that she always feels safe and secure. Remember Jesus Christ’s calm in the storm that frightened his disciples: “Peace, be still.”

3. Pressure

  • One of the most helpful hands-on ways to help with the most difficult contractions is counter-pressure.
    • Use your hands to provide firm, strong, steady pressure.
      • Lower back/pelvis
      • Double hip squeeze
      • Knees while sitting with something against her back
      • Hip while side-lying
    • Do not let up until the contraction ends! (You will probably get tired.)

4. Prompts

  • Your wife will likely not be in a position to remember all of the ways to increase her comfort, so your job is to prompt her.
  • Remember PURRR
    • P Position: Is she changing position every half hour?
    • U Urination: Is she using the bathroom every hour? (And drinking lots of fluids?)
    • R Relaxation: Is she as relaxed as possible?
    • R Respiration: Is she breathing evenly and as calmly as possible?
    • R Rest: Is she resting between contractions?

5. Praise

  • All of your words must instill her with hope, confidence, peace, comfort, pride, and power.
  • Think of it as your job to help her get to the “finish line” without giving up.
    • “You are so amazing right now!”
    • “I am so proud of you!”
    • “You are doing so well!”
    • Kissing counts! (Some women find kissing very helpful.)
    • When she says, “I can’t do it!” reply with, “You are doing it.”
    • When she’s reached the point when she thinks she can’t do it anymore, that usually means she’s almost finished, so shower her with praise, encouragement, and lots of statements like: “You are so close!” “You’re almost there!” “The baby is almost here!”


My new friend and fellow birth junkie- Lani has a contest and giveaway on her site: it's her first ever!

Great prizes. :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

brian-less date night and eye exam

Tonight I bought the boys a coldstone kid cone and we went to the playground where they ate it and then played on the playground. Here they are on the swings. Parker wasn't digging the swings and Carter was loving it!!I forgot to watch Obama on the View (which I really wanted to see just to say that I saw it).... so I hooked up the laptop to the tv and streamed the episode through the tv. This seriously happened:
Carter was saying the blessing for dinner and Parker started saying "my turn". Carter unfolded his arms- looked at Parker- put his finger to his lips and said "shh" -- I seriously had no idea he could do that!!

Today we went to play with the MacCallums for a bit. It was bittersweet. Below is the MacCallum/Steffen crew:
Little Lovebirds ;)
I had an eye exam on Thursday anddddd got CONTACTS for the FIRST time in my life.....
NOW I can wear sunglasses!!!