In 2000, Earl and I dated that year until October 15th, when on a regular evening of the week, after Earl had done homework and I was folding laundry, he proposed to me using the childhood letter of love and request: Will you marrry me? Check yes or no! I immediately said yes and started crying, which alarmed Hannah who came to check on mommy and why she was crying. It was then we smelled the gift she brought me after I put on my new diamond ring-a poopy diaper! The way we were engaged is the way we’ve lived our lives-down to earth, no fuss or frills. Functional beats impractical any day of the week. That New Year’s Eve was spent in Lemon Grove, CA where I was getting to know Earl’s family as their future daughter-in-law.
After another 12 months of engagement and planning, Dec. 31, 2001, we were preparing to be married on Jan. 5th, 2002. We moved into our tiny duplex in Gardner, KS. Earl was finishing up his last week of police academy after our wedding, so I honeymooned in my parents house with Hannah-very anxious to be out of the nest for good! Earl and I then finished our last semester of college while Earl worked the night shift at the prison. We graduated from MidAmerica Nazarene University with our Bachelor Degrees and I took the nursing boards immediately. We were already expecting Brianna and knew we needed a bigger home, so with both of us working full-time, we moved to our first home together on Walter St. in Gardner. Earl switched jobs from the Sheriff’s Dept. to the Olathe Police Dept. and things were good. Brianna arrived in November of 2002 and New Year’s Eve the year of 2002 was spent at home with the girls.
Earl was still in the Marine reserves and when Brianna was just 3 months old, he was mobilized to California while the Marines stationed there went to Iraq to fight. Those 5 months apart were very hard on us as a young couple with two small kids, and we almost didn’t make it through. But we both love the Lord and fought hard to keep our family stable. After Earl returned and life got back into a normal routine, we decided to try for another addition to our family. We spent the New Year’s Eve of 2003 again together as a family.
I was expecting when we bought our bigger home in Olathe, KS and we moved in August, 2004. New Year’s Eve of 2004, I had worked all day and was scheduled to work New Year’s day as well. I had a premonition that day that something with my pregnancy wasn’t right, and sure enough, on New Years Day, 2005, I miscarried and had a D&C at the very hospital I should have been staffing, and also discovered it was twins I had been carrying. We decided to put baby-making on hold so that in July of that year, we could go on the honeymoon we never had. So, a week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with good friends was a big focus for us that year. After we returned, Isaiah was conceived and all was well. New Year’s Eve 2005 was easy-going and life was going great.
That following year brought us very few events-we went to a counselor to work on our relationship, and then Isaiah (aka Money) was born in May of 2006. However, something was stirring in Earl’s heart-an unrest he couldn’t put a finger on. He wanted a new career and had gotten his Master’s Degree in Business while working full time for the OPD. We decided to take a risk for us and he took a position at Metlife to become an independent financial planner. So, New Year’s Eve 2006, we were getting ready for a major career change.
Even after taking his new job, Earl felt unrest and I was growing as a wife and person and recognized then what I didn’t when we were a younger couple. Earl was made to be in the military. It was in his blood and in his heart. So, the New Year’s Eve of 2007, we were making plans to join the Army active duty. In March of 2008, Earl left for 3 months to go to Officer Career Course. He graduated in June, and in August of 2008, we made our first military move to Fort Sill, OK. We were stationed there for seven months of training. We made some awesome friends there and New year’s eve of 2008 was spent with them.
2009 has brought many events with it…our second military move to Fort Lewis, WA; a summer of preparing for deployment; another move to a different house; and of course, being seperated the rest of this year by deployment. I look back over this decade and am amazed at the Lord’s work in my life. He’s helping me grow as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter and as a person. Oh, don’t worry…I’m still the loud, crazy, obnoxious, sometimes inappropriate Kathy James Morris! However, the Lord has changed my heart and is helping me be less selfish, more responsible, and more loving than before. Many of you reading this have become friends of mine over this last decade, and I’m a better person for having met and known you. I value each and every one of you as part of my life and I love you dearly.
As we enter a new year and a new decade, I hope all of you can know the peace that I have in my heart. Yes, my husband is thousands of miles away at war. Yes, I’m tired and frustrated by the challenges being a single-parent brings…but I have more peace in my heart tonight than I have had any other night in my life because I am a child of the King, and I have value in His sight and in the sight of my beloved husband. God bless you and your loved ones in 2010.