Friday, May 24, 2013


Another long story up Jeff and I met and stayed in contact before we got married.
When I first went to LHHS I didn't know anyone besides my parents and Brooke who went to the school. Technically I should have gone Brea HS. The friends I eventually met had gone to Junior High with Jeff but Jeff and his family moved to Vegas the summer he started HS. Had they not moved he would have also gone to LaHabra HS. In retrospective it's a good thing he didn't. I think he would've broken my heart in HS and that would've been the end of that. But he lived in Vegas. My new friends asked if I knew him because he was Mormon and they showed me his pictures (which I thought he was cute).  Our first introduction at a x-country invitational race at Mt. Sac in Oct 1993 was quick. It's a vague memory now. We first hung out with each other a few months later in January. There was a big earthquake the same weekend I met him. I was at Erin Cardenas' house close to where Jeff's grandma lives. A group of us just hung out and there was a connection, but we were only 14. We started writing each other (7 years) and that continued until he got back from his mission. I saw him here and there when he would come to visit his family. We would see each at stake dances and a group of us would eat a Denny's after. We would dance together but I didn't like touching his completely drenched white shirt and the smell of sweat that surrounded him. This was the case with most guys. Either the a/c didn't work or there must have been a ton of people. There were many months when we didn't talk because he called me a "molly mormon" because I wouldn't kiss him at a Denny's parking lot...and did I mention he said that his friends dared to kiss me. Hmm. Some things you just don't say if you wanna kiss someone. Again he was 14 or 15. But at the time I was offended and he knew it. Months passed and he called outta the blue. Time had past and I was over it but he had called to apologize. We were 16 now. Those 2 years make a big difference. We kept in contact during college even though he went to Ricks and I went to BYU. We were each other's first email and starting emailing than writing on paper:) He came to visit BYU my first semester there with some friends. It was good to see him. He felt like family at this time in my life when I was feeling lonely inside. He was having a hard time too because his parents had divorced and they were dealing with too much to support him financially or emotionally. Jeff supported himself by donating plasma, cutting hair, selling cookies and school books throughout college...oh yeah and getting good grades. Thankfully he had academic scholarships to help him. When he left for his mission I went to the MTC. Looking at those pictures makes me cringe. I wore overalls and of course my hair was nappy:) What a surprise that I had nappy hair:) We wrote throughout his mission as well and he came to see me at Liberty Square when he returned home and was heading back to BYU-Idaho now. When I graduated from BYU, I moved back to my parents home and the first Sunday I went to their ward and guess who walks in...JEFF. He took the semester off and was living with his mom and working to save money. We were finally living in the same city and it was just kinda obvious that we would start dating. We had talked about it once when he visited BYU--if we ever lived in the same city, which never seemed like it would actually happen, we would have to date since we had been friends for so long and were definitely attracted to each other.
Some of the things that I admire and love about Jeff:
1. His friendship. As I already mentioned we were friends first. Truly friends. We both genuinely cared for each other. Every year since we had met (age 14), he remembered my birthday and usually mailed me something special. It made me feel special that he remembered and even sent something even though I was never his "girlfriend."
2. His Loyalty. The fact that we kept in contact for so long and sustained a constant relationship with many miles between us. I have still yet to have kept the same contact with anyone else like I did with him.
3. Kindness. One time my parents and I flew to Utah and had a layover in Vegas. He met us at the airport with a dozen donuts. Let's admit it....It's always a hassle to go to the airport, park, and go inside. He did it and then even brought us donuts. So nice even though I don't like donuts. He always speaks to me with kindness as well and their are other sweet, nice things he's done for me and others.
4. Charismatic. He's usually always upbeat and in a good mood. He likes to do fun things. One date he got an old limousine and a bunch of friends together. We drove to LA and went to a comedy club. Our first date: blown up boat and rowed around Newport Harbor with random questions he had written down to ask each other. And he's a have to be charismatic to get educated, busy doctors to talk with you.
5. Drive, assertive, hard working, creative. He's worked since he was 8 in commercials, plays, and a movie. He's sold candy and fireworks outta his locker in Jr High, earning money; that was until the principal found out. He played guitar on the strip in Las Vegas to earn money, washed dishes at a restaurant, tutored someone, cutting hair, selling cookies, school books, and plasma, and then some jobs that actually gave him a W2 form. Another memory that comes to mind is when he made a powerpoint presentation to my parents when he asked them for my hand in marriage. He catered to both my mom and dad. Slides for my dad were about how he was going to provide for me and slides for my mom were about why he's was in love with me. He works very hard with his job and has always found creative ways to drive sales and to reach out to people.
That's a short version of our story and why I fell in love with him. Of course since we've been married, there are more examples and more traits that I love about him but that is another post for another day.


Anonymous said...

tyetoryGreat recollections! The kids will love this some day! I learned a few things myself! I remember the first time I met Jeff in Brea. He was sitting in the chair, so quiet! Brooke and Tim were doing all the talking. I thought how different the brothers were. How could I have ever thought that Jeff was shy and reserved?

Anonymous said...

P.S. We loved the power point! (we would have said yes anyway) It did answer some questions we would have had. He's a fantastic son-in-law!!!

TimShawSr said...

I am so glad that you wrote this Lauren. It is so interesting to know “the rest of the story.” I often heard your name mentioned by Jeff, but the first time I remember meeting you was when he left for his mission at the MTC. It is so funny you talk about how awful you looked with “nappy” hair etc., I just remember how beautiful you were. I recall taking Jeff aside there and asking him quietly, “What kind of relationship do you have Lauren?” His reply was, “We are just friends.” Then when we chatted in the parking lot you told me about him trying to kiss you in the parking lot of Denny’s and calling you, “Molly Mormon,” I just thought that here was Jeff pulling the fire alarm again, doing something dumb! And, blowing the opportunity of a life time, because, as I mentioned before, there are few times I have had such a strong impression from the spirit of the character and value of a person as I did of you at that time of you. I wanted you to raise my grandchildren!! That is why I sort of got worried that here he had treated you like that, and been so flippant in who knows how many other ways, and was leaving on his mission. I figured a woman of your caliber would certainly be noticed, A LOT, by very good men at BYU. That is why I wrote Jeff the letter I did. Looking back in it, and hearing the whole story, I was meddling in something you two were already working out in your own time and the Lord was probably working out as well.

TimShawSr said...

Just let me set the record straight on Jeff and the Plasma thing. I was pretty angry with him when I found out about this. I was working two jobs at the time and could have, and would have sent him money if he had let me know he needed funds. Whenever I talked to him he told me things were going fine. I knew about the other things, but Jeff was always an entrepreneur, a real hustler, that was Jeff being Jeff. But, I would have drawn the line at selling body fluids!!!

Jeff was a born salesman and entrepreneur, his mind has always run in those tracks. It is a wonder to behold. You mention his Jr. High business. He had the real operation going out of his locker; he would purchase a box of candy bars, and then sell them out of his locker for full retail. I knew it was happening, I figured it was probably breaking some school rule, but I figured he was showing real initiative, I wasn’t about to beat it out of him. But then I got the famous phone call from the Assistant Principle Mr. Frankenstein (or whatever his name was). “Mr. Shaw, I need you to come to the school immediately.” “What is the problem?” “I am suspending your son from school for having explosives in his locker.” “What are you talking about?” “Just come to the school.”

After getting Jeff home and getting the whole story from him: It seems he decided to add another wing onto his store and sell fireworks. He noticed the girl next to him never used her locker, so he asked her if he could borrow her locker. She agreed and gave him her combination. Unknown to me, he had purchased some fireworks at one of those Indian firework stores in Nevada, and put them into her locker. He began to sell his new products on the down low. For some reason this girl decided to open her heretofore unused locker. She was of course absolutely horrified of the site and immediately reported it to the office like any good girl would!!! I asked Jeff why he didn’t put the candy bars in her locker and the explosives in his locker just in the event something like this might happen, he had a blank look like he hadn’t thought that through. He was still learning the skill to on how to fully develop a business plan.

Lauren, the attributes you talk about in Jeff are all so true. The one thing that was ALWAYS TRUE about Jeff is that he was ALWAYS the LEADER. I can only think of two times in his youth when he did something that gave him a real sense of contrition, and for which he later made amends, and in each case he made the mistake of following someone else’s lead. Like Joseph Smith, he had to learn to be true to his own inner voice.

He stood out among his friends. One of the most prominent cases is in the life of John McCormick. In 8th grade, John came to Jeff and said to him, “You are different from everyone else, you don’t swear; Why not?” Jeff’s response, “Because I’m a Mormon.” Of course John was invited to church and joined, served an honorable mission, was married in the Temple and is a pillar in the church; because in 8th grade Jeff chose to be different, and it didn’t bother him. In my many years working in Juvenile Hall I can tell you that the place is full of kids that are there because their biggest fear was to be different from the other kids; Jeff was fearless in standing for the right.

TimShawSr said...

Growing-up Jeff was never a complainer when it came to spiritual matters. Whenever I called for family prayer, he was there, scripture reading, family home evening, he was there. Often I would call out for a “Family Meeting,” I would here Jeff repeating, “Family Meeting” and come bouncing into the room. In high school Jeff had member and non-member friends. So many boys wanted to be seen with Jeff. I was his early morning seminary teacher. We would get up, go to early morning seminary, and then we would go home. While Jeff would be eating his breakfast boys would start showing up at our house. In the beginning they all waited out front, but after long they knew that was futile and they would just come in the house and have a seat. Jeff wasn’t going to leave the house until him and ALL his friends, member and non-member, knelt with us in prayer before. Then as they all flew out the door with Jeff they would all repeat, “Keep the Commandments.”

You two are meant for each other, I have known it since that day at the MTC. I love you Lauren and consider you once of the choicest among our Father’s daughters. I just consider it the greatest honor to have been given the privilege to be Jeff’s father and to have you as my daughter. I rejoice like Abraham. As I see my posterity being brought-up in the covenant what greater joy can there by, what greater star in a crown. Thank you.