Sunday, January 15, 2017

Jan 15th, 2017

Today was fast Sunday. I fasted for Jordyn. To understand how to connect with her emotionally and understand how she thinks and of course steer her in the right direction with hobbies and talents. Sydney and Jordyn fasted to. Tonight after we had our family scripture study, Sydney was concerned about helping the need and suggested we as a family help out with Feed my Starving Children again. So sweet of her to think of others. We went rollerblading together today and tonight I also enjoyed watching Sydney and Jordyn work together to make brownies. I'm grateful when I see my kids get along and enjoy each other as friends!!

Jan. 14th, 2017

Levi and Jordyn had basketball games. It's so fun to watch them play. They both try their best and I love to see them learn every time. Aunt Tricia came to visit while she is in town with Nathan and Sarah. They saw our store, enjoyed Bahama Buck's and then we went to the Gilbert Temple. We walked around the Gilbert Temple. It was nice to take the kids. It's been awhile since the kids have gone. It was a perfect day too because we got to enjoy a rainbow while we were there. I'm grateful to see those beautiful creations with my family.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Jan. 13th, 2017

Jordyn wrote Sydney a really thoughtful note. She was excited to give it to Sydney and Sydney was genuinely grateful for the gesture. Macie made me a picture of a rainbow and told me she wrote my name on it too, "OOM". I love being a mom. Feeling sore from getting back to lifting weights. My legs have been sore for 3 day straight now. I love being warm. I love my bed and waking up nice and warm in the mornings. I'm grateful that I sleep well at night in my cozy bed.

Jan 12th, 2017

Levi "Dad, did they have bikes when you were a kid?"
Macie "Mom, why are you hicking up?" Have the hick ups
Jordyn "Are Mormons allowed to wear man-kinis?"
Grateful for the funny things they say and even more grateful for the cute prayers given.

Jan. 11th, 2017

Redirected myself with my nutrition. The goal is to view food as a way to fuel my body to function properly. As mentioned previously, I hope my daily desire to Seek God will fuel my spirituality and soul. Grateful that Sydney talks to me and confides with me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

jan. 10th, 2017

We're opening up our second BB store the end of Feb/beginning of March. These next 6 months are gonna fly by, be busy, stressful, and exciting.  At least this time around it won't be so NEW since we've done this before. I hope and pray this store is as successful or even more so than the Cooper Store. Wages went up by $2 Jan. $8 to $10 an hour. I believe my first job in the summer of 1997 was $5. All our employees make minimum wage and they are all 16-21 years old. I think of many of the good we've done in the community with the store and am happy, proud, and grateful we've facilitated in helping schools, clubs, and families financial in many cases.

Jan. 9th, 2017

I'm grateful for sunsets; and some days Arizona has the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen like the past 2 nights. Levi and I were looking at it tonight: blues and pink with fluffy clouds. It looked like cotton candy we concluded. Jeff left for an overnight meeting in Scottsdale. It's been a few days of stress. Here's the story and some background--Jeff got laid off from Pfizer a year ago and started with Amgen. They gave him a nice signing bonus and the stipulation was that he couldn't resign for a year or else we'd have to pay it back. Well the year with Amgen was pretty ugly. The atmosphere, manager  was unlike he's ever known. An opportunity with Pfizer came up and so in applied for the job and technically signed with Pfizer Dec. 16th. Jeff had just enough vacation days to use until his official year mark with Amgen so he wouldn't have to resign, thus paying back the signing bonus. Well Amgen received confirmation of this development and fired Jeff today, 2 days before his year mark. Thankfully we found out he wouldn't have to pay back this signing bonus. We were both relieved about that. So I'm also grateful for that in addition to sunsets.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Jan 8th, 2017

I'm grateful that primary went well this morning. I taught a new song and tried a new method. Thanks to the internet I can use other people's ideas. Our ward starts at 8am so we hustle in the morning and it's a miracle when we make it to church on time. Later today I realized the all 6 of us our in primary together. Jeff teaches Levi's class now and Macie is a Sunbeam.

Jan 7th, 2017

I'm grateful for date nights. Sometimes I think how cools it would've been to been alive during the 1940's or 50's. I wish I danced more. When I think of the 1940's and 50's, I think of fun and good dancing. I find myself thinking/imagining what a place or street looked like back then. Music and dancing now is raunchy and unoriginal. Funny thing is I don't even know much about music, but I do know if  I like the beat of a song cuz then I can dance and move around.

Jan 6, 2017

Today is Rowan's 12th birthday. When I think of her turning 12, I think of Sydney turning 12 in 11 months. I'm scared of Jeff and I being parents to a teenager soon. I hope and pray our kids can talk to us, gain a testimony at a young age, and hold on to it, have good friends and leaders, and have fun during their teenage years. Most of all, I hope they will know how much Jeff and i love them and that they are daughters of God and son of God (for Levi). This is my prayer for them. I'm grateful to get things organized and orderly around here.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Jan. 5th, 2017

So today was truly the day the kids went back to school. Nothing too eventful to my day, normal things like working out, cleaning, spending time with Macie, errands, etc. Along with my desire to seek God daily, I also plan on working hard to tone my body and fuel my body with healthy food. I'm still trying to figure a nutrition/workout plan that will work with me so it can be a lifestyle change. To keep track, I plan on making a fitness IG account. Similar to why I'm journaling on a blog--keep track, document, and see change.

Jan. 4th, 2017

This morning I read 10 ways to Increase your Faith in the Ensign. I was validated to read that one of the ways is to read the scriptures and pray EVERY day. It confirmed to me that my resolution and desire to seek God EVERYday is exactly what I need to be doing. Grateful to know I'm doing that the Lord wants me to do and hope to see changes in myself.

Jan. 3, 2017

Today I pulled a Lauren and got the kids ready for school, walked to the bus practically running to it. When we got there, no was one there. Turns out school doesn't start until Thursday. Oops! Kids were really happy when we came home and we found out they had 2 more days of Christmas break. Grateful for a relaxing day to catch up on sleep and work on Primary Chorister stuff.

Jan. 2, 2017

Cleaned the Christmas decorations, rearranged Jordyn's room, drove around in Jeff's new truck, and now I have a horrible headache. Most likely from detoxing from a bad diet of treats and Diet soda the past few weeks. Grateful to be home!

jan. 1 2017

New Year, new goals and resolutions. This year I plan to seek God EVERYday though prayer, scripture study, and journaling (thus blogging-I'm back). Here we go... I'm excited to do this. I feel like it is kinda like an experiment. Eager and yearning to feel changes within myself by seeking God EVERYday cuz I know I need to boost my testimony and faith.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Timothy Craig Shaw Sr. May 2016

I want to thank all my friends and family who have offered their condolences at the passing of my father. Yesterday we attended his memorial service. I have posted my remarks below for those of you who weren't able to attend. Thanks again for all the love guys.
CS Lewis once said “Isn’t it funny how from day to day things don’t change, but looking back everything is different.” The passing of my father marks the beginning of a time when our lives will forever be different. I’ve lost the man who raised me; the man who gave me a role model to follow; and the man who I wanted to grow up and be like. But today I’d like to take you back to a happier time when my day to day life didn’t seem to change much. When, as a kid, I was right where I wanted to be everyday- with my Dad.
Like many of you, the first thing I think of when reflecting upon my dad is his sense of humor. He loved a good laugh. I grew up on many of the same sources of comedy that my Dad enjoyed as a kid. He fed me a steady diet of Mad magazine, Dr. Stranglove, Mystery Science Theater 2000, and later, the Simpsons were a staple in my household. Comedy shaped the way he viewed the world. It was as if his entire life was an episode of Mystery Science Theater 2000 and he was the guy making wise cracks at everything around him. Of course, as his kids we loved it. He could get us laughing our heads off. But he was usually the one who laughed the hardest. On many occasions I saw him laugh so hard that he literally fell to the ground and rolled around in laughter. Or, at other times, I could be on the complete other side of the house and hear him laughing. Over the years I learned that if he was on the phone laughing it could only mean that he was talking to his brother Uncle Tom. The two of them shared many inside jokes and life experiences that they loved to laugh about.
Sometimes you may have wondered if you could ever get a serious word out of his mouth. I had an experience with my Dad as a kid that gave me insight into why he used humor so much. For a few years my Dad taught early morning seminary. One of those years he taught the seniors in high school. One Saturday morning we woke up to discover that our house had been toilet papered. It was the most glorious sight my 9 year old eyes had ever beheld. The idea that a group of high school seniors would take time out of their cool lives to toilet paper my house and write a message in the lawn about how much they love Brother Shaw, it was almost more joy than I could bare. And apparently, they thought my Dad was super cool. Who was I to argue? From that experience on a beautiful Saturday morning nearly three decades ago, countless homes have experienced the great blessing of being toilet papered by my hands. Of course before my older brother Jun could drive, my Dad would pile us into our blue Plymouth Voyager minivan and chauffeur us to the site of our toilet papering adventures. There may or may not have been with us a Renouf or two, an Arnold, a Ferguson and maybe even a McCormick.
During my Dad’s time as a seminary teacher I was allowed to accompany him one time to his 6am class. Outside of toilet papering, it was the highlight of my life. All my senses were heightened. I remember the 18 year old guy sitting next to me offered me a gum ball that looked like a baseball. It was the first time I had seen one of those and it was so cool. I chewed it the entire time. Then my Dad taught the lesson. Can you believe that I can still remember the details of a lesson that I was taught when I was 9 years old? My Dad was an incredible teacher. For the lesson that day he had a number of pieces of construction paper that he passed out to the students. He handed one out that said “Heart” on it and asked the student to stand in the front of the room. He gave students other signs that said “Anger,” “Shyness,” “Sarcasm” and a number of other emotions and characteristics that were designed to keep the other students away from the heart. Then we had an activity where the students without signs were supposed to break through the kids holding the signs and make it to the heart. We learned how tough it can be to make it all the way to the heart. He asked his students to contemplate what barriers they put up to keep people from their heart. He told them that the barrier that he used to keep people from his heart was sarcasm. My Dad was the most tender-hearted man I ever knew. He learned to protect it through laughter and sarcasm.
My Dad definitely had many serious moments as well. Typically the serious moments with my Dad were events centered on our faith, our religion, the priesthood and his unwavering testimony of the Savior. He gathered us daily for prayer and scripture study. Of course my Dad would never call for the family to gather in a dull, boring voice. He would belt out in his goofy way “Time for Family Prayer!” We prayed as a family daily. We read the scriptures daily. My little secret was that I would hardly pay attention as the verses were read because I knew that my Dad would explain it all in a way that was perfectly clear to me. He not only studied the scriptures with our family, I would frequently see him reading them on his own. He even started gathering my friends to do scripture study with them. Our house in Las Vegas was situated in between the seminary building that I attended and my high school. We started a tradition with a couple of my friends to leave seminary and spend about 20 minutes every morning at my house before heading to school. In addition to enjoying a nice bowl of cereal, my Dad led me and my friends in scripture study. At first friends thought it was strange and that my Dad was crazy, but they quickly started to understand his humor and look forward to our morning tradition. My Dad would also lead us in prayer and frequently called on my friends to say it. As we rose from prayer and headed out the door, my Dad would always sing the same song to us: “Keep the commandments!” He also loved to ask my friends about what “hot babes” they were chasing. After their response, he would say, “well that’s nice, but what’s the spiritual condition within?” Jason, Jon and I still laugh at that classic question from my Dad.
My Dad always seemed to have the right words when you needed them most. He gave the most inspired Father’s blessings- to the point where I questioned if I would ever be able to provide such powerful blessings to my children when I grow up. He also took advantage of alone time to teach me important lessons. One time we were standing at a vantage point where we could see the entire Las Vegas valley. He leaned over to me and said, “The priesthood is the most powerful force in the whole world and the vehicle for man to bless the lives of Heavenly Father’s children.” Then as he pointed to the Strip he said, “You could throw it all away in 5 minutes down there on the Strip.” That statement made such an impact on me.
He also knew the right words to share in letters. As a missionary, I eagerly awaited my two page, single-spaced weekly letter from my Dad. They were always full of scriptural quotations and spiritual experiences from his life. I loved them and needed them desperately, especially when I was struggling. In one letter he shared the Savior’s teaching about leaving the 99 sheep to look for the one that is lost. He said, “if the Savior was there, that’s exactly what he would be doing.” His words gave me a huge boost and a newfound direction. Although I had a mission president, I truly considered my Dad to be my priesthood leader.
My Dad always knew the best way to handle a rebellious teen ager like me. In high school, my Dad found out that I had been throwing water balloons at people as my friends and I drove around in his car. He only made one comment to me that rings in my ears to this day: “Jeffrey, we lighten burdens, we don’t add to them.” That was all the punishment I needed to never do that again. When I was 14 years old I got caught stealing. I’ll never forget my heart pounding and the cold sweat that consumed my body as I waited for my Dad to pick me up. I imaged how he was going to react. Of course there would be disappointment but probably sheer anger as well. I imaged the wrath that I would soon face. As we got in the van to drive home, to my utter astonishment, my Dad said not a single word. We drove 15 minutes back to our apartment in complete silence. It cut me to the soul to think of what my Dad must be thinking about me. Sometimes silence says more than all the words in the world combined. When we got home, he ushered me into his bedroom where we cried together and he helped me feel the strongest resolve possible to never steal again. I wonder how other fathers may have approached that situation. He had every right to be furious at me. But he was more focused on teaching his son in a spirit of love a lesson that would last him a lifetime.
My Dad loved to tease other men whom he thought tried too hard to be macho. Whether it was wearing a dish towel as a bib, crocheting blankets and teaching hardened gang members to crochet too, or carrying around a seat cushion, it seemed like he went out of his way to prove that he didn’t care what people thought of him. In my early years of high school I ran cross country. During this same time my Dad was super into doing aerobics at the gym- or it’s modern day equivalent of Zumba. One day he said to me, “if you’re such a stud cross country runner, why don’t you come with me to my aerobics class on Saturday to see if it’s for sissies like you say it is.” Of course I was utterly embarrassed to walk into a room full of women, except for me and my dad, and join them for an hour of aerobics. It was amazing to see that my Dad knew all the moves. He increased his difficulty by putting down more steps than me and absolutely crushed me for an hour. I never teased him again about doing aerobics. But I loved that he didn’t conform to the norm and was truly his own man, no matter what others might say or weird looks he might get.
I consider my Dad one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. He was my age when he got laid off from his job and went back to school full time. With 3 kids at home, I can only imagine what a stressful time this must have been in his life. I remember going with him up to CSFU to check the grades that the teacher posted outside his office. Of course he ruined the curve and got the highest grade in his class and got A’s in every class, even in his Master’s program. He was not only book smart, he could also figure out how to solve difficult problems. One morning we woke up and went outside to discover that my Dad’s car had been smashed into. The back fender of the car was completely broken up with fragments laying all over the ground. A couple days later, I came home from school and saw my Dad having a very serious talk with a man on our front porch. When my Dad came inside, I asked, "what was that all about?" He told me that he had gone out in the middle of the night to investigate which car in our neighborhood had run into his car. He took pieces of the fragments and noticed the color of the car had left a streak on his car. With the evidence in hand, he found the car just down the street from us. When he confronted the owner, he confessed to everything during their conversation on our front porch. Brilliant.
As an older kid in the family, I remember going to the hospital when each of my younger siblings was born. My Dad was so excited to introduce me to Chris, Katherine and Tyler. He smiled from ear to ear as he let me hold them for the first time. He frequently talked about the experiences surrounding our births and always shared how happy he was when we were born. These were truly the happiest moments of his life. With the birth of each of my 4 children, I can remember consciously thinking, “This is the joy that my Dad spoke of!”
Chris- I know that you and Dad had a special bond from the day you were born. I bet you guys have talked just about every day of your life. You went through a lot together. Thank you for everything you did to care for Dad over the years. We all owe you a debt of gratitude. Thank you.
Katherine- You have no idea how excited Dad was to have a daughter, his first and only baby girl. You were and have always been the jewel of his eye. Dad was the leader of all of us boys in the family who dotted all over you. It was a great day when Dad walked you down the aisle in Alaska.
Tyler- You were the last born child and the only one of us born in Las Vegas. You have such a tender heart and caring disposition just like Dad. I hope that these characteristics you got from Dad stay with you and bless your life forever.
Jun- We are close enough in age that I know how much Dad meant to you because we lived many of our best moments with Dad together. I know Dad is so proud that you are active politically. I think Dad introduced both of us equally to politics. But all the hours of listening to Rush Limbaugh with him seemed to rub off on you more than me. I know you will do a great job of making a difference and advancing many of the causes that Dad was so passionate about.
To my mom- I appreciate all the support and kindness you extended to Dad over the past several years. Thank you.
To Grandma- I consider you an angel amongst us. I appreciate everything you have done for me as a grandmother and that you did for my Dad as a mother.
I don’t think I ever talked to my Dad when he didn’t end the conversation with “I love you and I’m so proud of you.”
Now it’s my turn. I love you Dad. And I’m so proud that you were my father.

Jeff's 1/2 Ironman April 2016

Told by Jeff:  "I lye in my hotel room icing my knees and listening to "I Lived" by One Republic, I have so many emotions coursing through me that I want to share with my friends about my experience today running in my first triathlon, the Oceanside half ironman. First, I appreciate everybody who encouraged me to sign up and supported me through my training efforts. Lauren cheerfully carried a bigger burden while I trained and was always very encouraging. I love that she is so supportive. I'll share more about that in a minute. But here's the story of today... 
I didn't sleep at all last night. I kept thinking about the swim, the biking, the run--was I really ready for this? I thought about the logistics and the gear...oh the logistics and gear!! Its very overwhelming for a first timer like me. Did I forget something? What exactly did I need to do when I transition from swim to bike, bike to run. I kept playing it over and over again in my mind. I got down to the transition area about 5am and set up all my gear. I then proceeded to nervously pace around for about an hour until my wave was called to gather. We slowly inched forward as waves before us started. I got more and more nervous with each step. Finally we got in the 62 degree water and swam to the start line and treaded water for a couple minutes before the gun sounded. I had never swam long distance in the ocean before. The feel of salt water in my mouth and nose was very uncomfortable to me as first. Plus all the athletes were packed in like sardines and swimming on top of each other, literally. At one point another swimmer and I crossed torsos and formed an X. It was total chaos. Several times when I went to get a breath, I got splashed in the face by the person next to me. The first 5 minutes of the swim gave me my first moment of despair during the race. I started questioning why I was putting myself through all of this. For a brief moment I contemplated quitting. Thankfully things got better quickly. The swimmers spaced out and I could actually get a rhythm to my stroke. The most difficult part was trying to navigate the direction of the next buoy. I generally behaved like a fish in a school- just follow the direction of everybody else. When we got to the end of the 1.2 mile course in Oceanside Harbor, I was still feeling strong. My swim time was 42 minutes. I ran up the ramp and found Lauren cheering for me on the railing at the top. She gave me a hi-five and a huge smile. I kept thinking about that image of her- so supportive and excited to see me compete. When I got onto my bike and left the transition area, I got choked up thinking about Lauren and how awesome she is to me. She got to the dock super early just to cheer for me. I'm so glad she did. I thought about our hi-five and her beautiful smile for the next 3 hours on the bike. I needed that image to get me through it.
I knew the bike would be the most difficult for me, mostly because I hadn't trained properly. I felt great for the first half. Then the seat started getting uncomfortable. It's really hard and takes many hours of riding to get used to it. Since I just went to training for 2 weeks for my new job, I had only biked once in the last 3 weeks and I felt terrible the one time I went. The last 20 miles was a game of trying not to feel excruciating pain on my butt bones. I had to stand to pedal a lot which put extra strain on my legs. I was also the only one I saw who didn't have a triathlon bike with the bar that extends in the front to rest your elbows to take pressure off your legs, back and arms. I had another minor moment of despair on the bike when I passed the 35 mile marker knowing that I had 21 more miles and I was beyond ready to be done. I kept a slow and deliberate pace and pressed forward, finishing the biking portion in 3:05.
I quickly transitioned to running where my legs felt like 300 lbs cement blocks. The course wasn't totally obvious to follow, or maybe I was just too tired to have to think about which direction to run. So I picked a guy running in front of me to follow. His jersey was one that many people were wearing, "California Triathletes." It was about 11:10 when we reached mile marker 1. I had another moment of despair when I realized that I had 12 more miles. That first mile of running was brutal. My legs were adjusting to using different muscles from the bike. I was feeling tired. I tried to stay focused on the guy in front of me and stay with him. By about mile 3 I caught up to him and struck up a conversation. It was a very welcome distraction since music devices are not allowed at ironman events. As we ran together over Oceanside pier, we passed my mom, my sister Katherine and her husband Chase. I could hear them cheering for me from pretty far away. It felt great to see familiar faces and to have them cheer my name so loudly. My new running partner, Randy, and I continued our run together. At mile 7 I saw Lauren again and all 4 of my kids. The brief moment of distraction caused me to get separated from Randy. He pulled about 20 feet in front of me and I didn't have enough strength to catch up with him. This separation prompted my next moment of despair. Randy had set the pace and been a great distraction. I felt a sense of obligation to stay with him. But now we were separated and I didn't know if I could do it on my own. For the first time I thought about walking. I thought about how I had to run 6 more miles by myself. The fatigue I felt was tremendous. I needed nutrition. I started eating some of the snacks I packed in my runners belt. At every aid station I poured a cup of cold water on my head and drank a mouthful of Gatorade. Once I got this nutrition in my blood, my motivation returned. I knew that I could keep the same pace that Randy and I had been keeping. In fact, I even thought I might be able to catch up to him, although he was out of sight at this point. The miles started passing more quickly- 8, 9, 10. At mile 11 there was a turn around point where I saw Randy again and realized that I was only about 100 yards behind him. I think he thought that I had completely fallen off the wagon. When he saw me he said "Great job man!" At the aid station for mile 11 I drank my first cup of Red Bull.  Within 30 seconds I felt the effect. I picked up my pace. I asked a bystander the time and he said "12:30." I started my swim at 6:56. I realized that I might be able to break the 6 hour mark. I drank more Red Bull at mile 12. I was feeling great. The last half mile was along the boardwalk on the beach. I was passing people right and left. I felt a little vindication since I was the one that all these people had passed on the bike earlier. I ran hard to the finish. When I crossed the line, the burst of excitement forced me to let out a huge scream and thump my chest. My family ran up to me and gave me huge hugs. It was a moment of intense joy to be done with the race and see them again. I tried to tell Lauren about it and I was surprised to get choked up. I walked away from everyone and actually sobbed for a minute. The emotions of the day were so extreme that my body had to release them. All the self doubt, all the pain, all the worry, was gone in an instant. It came out of me as the tears fell down my cheeks. After I got that over with, I went back to my family to relish in the joy of the moment. It was like I had died and gone to heaven to be reunited with them- that's the intensity of joy that I felt.
The entire experience proved to be such a powerful metaphor for life on earth- there are many moments of despair and pain, but ultimately that's not what we will remember and take with us to eternity. I believe we keep locked in our hearts all the precious moments of pure joy so we can reflect upon them forever. These are the moments when everything makes sense in our lives. When there was no confusion or worry. When we found our purpose and fulfilled our mission. I will always cherish the sense of fulfillment and joy that I felt today. The memories of the despair are already fading in the background.
Oh and by the way, my finish time was 6:00.36, 37 seconds off breaking the 6 hour mark. But who cares about the time anyway? The experience was one of the hardest and best moments of my life. I wouldn't change a thing about it.