My wife and I have recently been re-watching the sessions of this last General Conference, which we “tivo-ed”. In my opinion, this is one of the most spiritually powerful General Conferences I have seen. Maybe I am just sorely in need of spiritual enlightenment- which is always true, but I was genuinely touched in life-altering ways by much of what was said over the conference center pulpit at the beginning of this month. I count it among the “tender mercies of the Lord” that so many spoke directly to my soul about real problems and issues I am currently facing and helped me to feel my Savior’s love so clearly. Here are some of the promises and quotes that touched me the most this last conference: Read the rest of this entry »
Tonight I had one of the worst experiences a person can have. I attended the open-casket viewing of 21 month old Matthew, a dear friend of our family and a frequent guest at our house. It was absolutely gut-wrenching to hear the racking sobs of his distraught mother standing next to him, holding his limp little body and repeating half-coherently “I don’t want to say goodbye” as she stroked his hair and held his cold little toddler hand. It tore a hole in my heart to walk past the cherubic, colorless face with eyes closed, a face that just last week had brightened our home and our lives with infinite color and eyes that then sparkled blue as he laughed and played at our feet with our children. Read the rest of this entry »
I have recently been thinking deeply about some of the issues raised in Matt’s recent post over at Times and Seasons regarding how we might better allocate our resources to helping eradicate world poverty. Although I was admittedly a bit flippant in my initial response to that post (I often am when initially presented with fodder for thought), it is an issue that has bothered me ever since I read his thoughts. I have been thinking about how I can better help. What can I do? Read the rest of this entry »
I recently posted about the visit my family and I made on Memorial Day to the cemetary in Pershore, England where my ancestor Timothy Fowles was buried in 1881. As I noted in that post, Timothy’s son John Fowles — my namesake — is not buried in Pershore with his father because he converted to the Gospel as taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the age of 16 with his mother Eliza Sanders and emigrated with other Mormon converts to America. Thus, he is buried far away from Pershore in Sanpete County, Utah. Read the rest of this entry »
Two years ago, I posted about a visit that my family and I made to the graves of our ancestors in the SLC City Cemetary on Memorial Day. We repeated the experience last year and had a profound visit to the resting places of our family there in SLC. Once again, we were not able to make it to other graves located in Sanpete County, Utah last year, or to graves of my wife’s ancestors located in northern Utah and Idaho. Read the rest of this entry »
Tanya S.’s post over at Millennial Star about returning home from her mission ten years ago has made me wax nostalgic about the last ten years. I thought it might be interesting to post squibs about approximately where I was at around this time each year for the last ten years. It might help my readers (the ones who don’t already know me well) to get to know me a bit better.
I would challenge others (especially in the Bloggernacle) to engage in a similar exercise, either on their own blogs (with a link back so I can find it) or in the comments section here- it is fun to think back about where I have been, and I would love to see where you have been. So permit me to now engage in a bit of “navel-gazing“…
My last ten years:
One year ago (2005):
Just finishing up working my first year at this law firm, getting ready to have our fourth child, and working a TON of hours (it was a very busy time at our firm last year for litigation- a lot of “irons in the fire” so to speak).
Two years ago (2004):
Studying like crazy for my last round of law school final exams at the University of Michigan Law School to graduate in December 2004 from law school. I think Church & State, Evidence, and Patent Law were up on the table then. I was also very busy finishing up some papers (in Complex Litigation and my awesome Bloodfeuds class), grading final exams from my German students (I taught undergraduate German at the University of Michigan), and preparing to move my family to Texas at the end of the year. It was a crazy time!
Three years ago (2003):
Studying for law school exams at the University of Michigan- I think Copyright and First Amendment law were the big substantive courses that semester- and teaching undergraduate German. Andrea and I were also getting ready to move to Texas in the Spring to do a summer clerkship at some law firms in Dallas, and one in Phoenix. This was also the year I started blogging on a (now defunct) blog called “Life According to Jordan”, the domain of which has now been taken over by some calling card scam.
Four years ago (2002):
I was studying for law school exams at the University of Michigan- this time is was contracts, constitutional law, and criminal law that were up for testing (typical first year fair)- and teaching undergraduate German. Blah. It was a tough time- very busy. We were also getting ready for the birth of our third child.
Five years ago (2001):
I was still in my Ph.D. program in German and Linguistics at the University of Michigan and teaching undergraduate German courses. However, I had just taken the LSAT and was secretly applying to law schools around the country to get out of the Ph.D. program, facets of which I intensely disliked. I was so glad to be admitted to the University of Michigan Law School one month later, where my family and I could stay put in family housing and where I could keep teaching and have the German department pay my law school tuition (which they did!!)
Six years ago (2000):
I had just finished the first semester of my Ph.D. program in German and linguistics at the University of Michigan, as well as my first semester teaching undergraduate German there. What a ride that was! I was preparing papers for or studying for exams in Phonetics and Generative Syntax- basic graduate-level courses for the Linguistics aspect of my Ph.D. program. Andrea and I were also preparing for the birth of our second child.
Seven years ago (1999):
I had just completed the Michaelmas term of my Master’s program at the University of Oxford. Oxford has three terms: Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity, each term being 8 weeks and there being an 8 week “break” between each of the three. During the Michaelmas term, I had studied the History of the Yiddish Language and Classical Hebrew, as well as attending series of lectures on advanced literary analysis and the German poet Heinrich Heine (the latter being the subject of my Master’s thesis). Andrea and I were very, very poor but very much enjoyed living in England.
Eight years ago (1998):
I was still in my Junior/Senior year of undergraduate studies at BYU, and was gearing up for final exams. Andrea and I lived in Provo, Utah in BYU family housing, and had just had our first baby. I was also working full time as a Sales Associate at First Security Bank (for those who know it, the branch inside the Albertson’s Grocery Store on the corner of State Street and 16th North in Orem).
Nine years ago (1997):
Andrea and I had just moved out of our first apartment and were living with my parents in South Jordan, Utah for a month until I was slated to begin studies at BYU in January 1998. We were both working at different branches of First Security Bank in Salt Lake City. We had been married in May of this year in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple in American Fork, Utah.
Ten years ago (1996):
I was living in Rexburg, Idaho, having just completed a two year mormon mission to Germany, trying to complete my associate’s degree at a private LDS (Mormon) College called Ricks College (Now BYU-Idaho). I was working as a math tutor, and desperately trying to convince Andrea that I was her man (a successful endeavor, in the end ).
So there is my long-winded recap of the last ten years. They have been good years, all in all. I can only hope that the next ten will be as good to me and see as much progress as the last ten years saw.
Everyone wish John good luck as he and his family move this month to London, England, for a new career opportunity. John has decided to leave us Yankees to work at a large, “magic circle” firm headquartered in London. While we are all excited for his opportunity (and for the opportunity we will have for free lodging in London!), we are of course sad to see him and his family move so far away.
Good luck John! Remember who you are and where you came from!!
Today, as we do every month, we got an informative newsletter from our son’s elementary school.
I have really enjoyed reading Julie’s comments about her day over at FMH. She has a very fixed and vibrant determination about how things are and should be, which is quite refreshing most of the time (and grating a small minority of the time). Her comments about home-schooling have made me pause and reconsider some things.
(I am writing them here because this is a "blog on life, family,", etc., and I have not been using it very often to air out thoughts like this. I used to get a nice release by blogging, but have been apprehensive lately about using the blogging tool. I saw an expert witness in a deposition once get slammed with questions about something he had written (probably as a joke) on his blog. It was not pleasant, but that is a story for another day…)