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19 candles on this cake!

Happy Birthday to my "bee bee" brother Brad. I can't believe he's already 19 years old. I still remember him as a baby. I was 9 years old when he was born, and I thought I was his 2nd mom. I remember one time when he was a toddler and my mom was out of town, I stayed up late into the night with him as he crawled around and didn't want to go to sleep. It was so much fun for me and from that time on I couldn't wait to have my own baby! My mom tells us how when Brad was a baby, my sisters and I would run home off the bus because we couldn't wait to see him. He was THE CUTEST little baby and we all fought over who got to hold him, feed him his bottles, and take him out during church when he'd cry. (In fact sometimes when it was my turn to hold him during church, I would purposely make him cry so I could take him out. Evil, I know.)

Brad was spoiled with 4 older sisters but he deserved it for some of the things we put him through. We liked dressing him up as a girl and teasing him about girls when he got a little older. This is not a joke - Brad slept with us until he was about 7 years old or so (maybe even older?). He had his own room but every night he'd rotate who's bed he slept in, and we didn't mind at all. We ate it up because he is the baby of the family!

I have a few favorite memories of Brad as he got older. *Him & I used to drive around and look at Christmas lights together when he was about 10 years old or so. *Nobody in our family will ever forget the Lime & Chile experience. As a birthday gift to Brad, I won't tell about it on my blog, but it was hilarious and we always threatened him with telling the story at his missionary farewell. *He has a love for the movie "16 candles", just like the rest of our family. One year at Lake Powell, he put me and my sisters to sleep by quoting the movie word for word. That summer I think we slept on our family room floor every single night watching the movie, so we all knew it pretty good. But Brad had every line memorized. *A more recent experience that also involves the movie & our family's love for crank calling: About 1.5 years ago, my cell phone rang and when I answered it was an operator asking me if I knew how to take a TTY call (is that what it's called?). Anyway, it had been a really long time since I had ever talked to Amber on the phone, but I figured it was her calling me for some reason. I told the operator that I knew how to do it - and so she starts talking to me, relaying what the caller is typing in to her. It was so funny because the operator uses a monotone voice and she said to me "Jenny, Mike, Sarah, Sam - everybody up" (the first line of the movie). It caught me off guard and I was so confused. It took me a little while to realize it was Brad crank calling me and I still don't know how he managed to do it using the TTY system.

So my post is getting really long but I can't believe how fast the past 19 years have flown by. Kids grow up way too fast. Brad will be leaving on his mission to Brazil in less than 2 months, and it's crazy that he's old enough to be a missionary. Before I know it, Noah's going to be 19 and I already dread the day!

Happy Birthday today, Brad! We love you and appreciate the good example you are setting for us. We hope the next 2 years really are the best of your life, but we'll miss you. (The other day Noah asked me if he could go to Brazil with you.) Put your gift to good use and write us lots of letters!

I just had to include the picture below because I love the "Nacho Libre" look on Roxy.


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Happy Valentines Day!

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I ♥ Jake Ryan

I mean Scott Baldwin.

It's his birthday today and I just wanted to post a little birthday message for him.
I already said it in his birthday card, but he's a great brother-in-law, friend, neighbor, home teacher, babysitter, and more.
We love you Scott!
Happy Birthday!
♥ - Shalae & Noah


He's only 3, but...

I haven't posted about my Noah Boy for a while because I started a new blog for all the funny things he says and does. I feel like I'm posting about him everyday, but that's just on my private blog - so let me update this blog with some of the things he's been doing and saying.

I know I'm bragging - but I am so proud of how smart he is! He has 2 scripture books with somwehat long stories about the main stories in the Book of Mormon and the Old Testament. He can pretty much summarize all of the Book of Mormon stories, but there are 3 stories in the Old Testament book that he has memorized word for word. I am the proudest mom and I can tell that it will be easy for him to memorize things. I'm thinking about teaching him the articles of faith! :)

One of my favorite things is clean sheets on my bed. I washed them on Saturday, so I was looking forward to getting in the bed after my shower that night. Noah and I were both nice and clean and he looked so cute with his hair combed and cute jammies on. I wanted to take a picture of how cute he was, and guess what he does for the picture - he puts his fingers up his nose - in my nice clean bed!!

This one's a lot cuter:

Before those pictures were taken, he was so tired and not able to keep his eyes open. I had been brushing his teeth for him since he was too tired to do it himself. When I brushed his tongue, he gagged. I tried waking him up a little by telling him that when he was in my tummy, every time I brushed my teeth I would go "bluuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhh" (and I imitated throwing up). He was cracking up and my plan to wake him up worked.Later after he got in bed, he must have been thinking about being in my tummy. He randomly said "When I came out of your tummy I had blood". I said, "yeah". Then he goes "How did I get in your tummy?" I seriously had to think for a minute about what to say. All I could come up with was "Mommy & Daddy wanted to have a baby and name him Noah". That was the worst answer but I was not prepared to have this talk with a 3 year old. I'm sure he is still wondering how he got in there because he's too smart to be satisfied with the answer I gave him. I hope it doesn't come up again for a long time!
It was a classic conversation that I of course added to Noah's blog but I couldn't resist sharing it on this blog too. He's growing up way too fast!


President Hinckley

I know this post is a little late but after the funeral yesterday and our lesson in R.S. today at church, I can't help but do my own little post about the prophet of our church.

He's been the prophet since before I was in high school, which has been a long time! I will always remember that President Hinckley was the prophet during a lot of monumental times of my life. I think he will always be my favorite.
I love this picture of him. It's a little grainy but I scanned it from our Relief Society newsletter. I got tears in my eyes when I first looked at it. Last week when my mom called me to tell me that he had died, I was a little surprised, but mostly I was just happy knowing that he was with his wife again. That was pretty much my feeling all week - I wasn't very sad about his death, but happy for him.

Then yesterday was his funeral and during the closing song of the funeral, there was a little slideshow with pictures of him, I couldn't help but cry (I'm usually so good at holding back tears). I wanted to go lock myself in a room and cry by myself for a little while, about how much I will miss President Hinckley. He lived such a good life and touched so many people, including me. I was interested in watching his casket being carried to the hearse (sp?) and watching the funeral procession to his gravesite. I almost wanted to be there - even on the side of a road, to be part of so many people showing their love and respect for him.

After the funeral was a show about his life as our prophet, and there was this part where it showed some young men shaking his hand. It looked to me like missionaries that had been in a line to shake the prophet's hand. As one of the men got up for his turn to shake President Hinckley's hand, instead he gave him the biggest hug. It looked to me like President Hinckley wasn't expecting it, but smiled and hugged him back anyway. I wished it was me hugging him. I feel like I knew him personally, and he knew me too.

He has given so many talks and there are so many quotes he has given, that have made me feel like he was talking directly to me, and knew what I was going through at the time. As I thought about how I was missing someone that I had never even met, it made me think about my Savior Jesus Christ. President Hinckley stood for everything that represents Jesus Christ. I know that my Savior does know me personally, and he speaks to a prophet. Sometimes, it is through a prophet's words that we receive answers to our prayers - which has been the case with me many times as I've listened to President Hinkley talk. I know that I can continue to learn from him even though he is gone and I'm excited to sustain a new prophet for our church at the same time.

I know this post was a little churchy, but I love the gospel and I know that we are blessed to have a prophet on the earth today. I look forward to being able to give my Savior a big hug someday, and I will search out Gordon B. Hinckley in heaven - to do the same!