Deployment Journal/Blog Week 20

Tonight is New Year’s Eve-2009 and as I sit at my parent’s kitchen table in Queensbury, NY; I am suddenly hit with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. Ten years ago tonight, my husband and I had recently begun our courtship and were celebrating the new year seperately then as well. He went home to California and I stayed in Kansas. Hannah was one year old and neither of us really thought our relationship would last long, I don’t think. Who would have thought of all that this decade would have brought our way. If you have a few minutes, I invite you to look back on the last ten years with me and all the Lord has brought me to and through.

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.Christmas day…my dad and I in our similar shirts from Old Navy

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    • Alyssa Thurman McLain Beautifully written Kathy. What an interesting story. You are a great wife!

      December 31, 2009 at 6:11pm · LikeUnlike
    • Gwen Lee okay now I am in tears reading this and knowing where you come from.. Only knowing God can get you through these things and still have joy and peace and love.

      December 31, 2009 at 7:07pm · LikeUnlike
    • Thank you for sharing this!

      December 31, 2009 at 7:41pm · LikeUnlike
    • Amy Gaul Vandorn wow kathy. so neat to hear your heart and your story. and i’m with jana – thanks for sharing!

      December 31, 2009 at 8:13pm · LikeUnlike
    • Michele Black Husfelt Thanks for sharing, Kathy. You’re one of my very favorite Army wives:)

      December 31, 2009 at 9:53pm · LikeUnlike
    • Thanks, Kathy.

      December 31, 2009 at 10:08pm · LikeUnlike
    • Beth James Demorest love you- SO SHE SAID!

      December 31, 2009 at 11:43pm · LikeUnlike
    • What a wonderful blog, girl you have my heart and I pray and cherish your family,Earl is an amazing Husband and Father, you are blessed!!!

      January 1, 2010 at 1:20am · LikeUnlike
    • Kathy James Morris From Iraq: I love you more every day and I’m only the man I am because of the woman you are.Watch out next decade, here we come. God has truly blessed me with you….my Queen

      January 1, 2010 at 1:58am · LikeUnlike
    • wow, Jason and I went our first group dancing date 10 years ago this New Years!!

      January 1, 2010 at 4:27am · LikeUnlike
    • Michele Gibbens Otten ‎@Iraq…awww, Kathy and Earl you are awesome! Thanks for sharing!

      January 1, 2010 at 10:41am · LikeUnlike
    • Christina Irvine- Stapleton Love you Kathy! I still cherish the times we had growing up and I’m thankful God has allowed us to keep in touch. You are a truly amazing woman! Love you so much!

      January 1, 2010 at 10:41am · LikeUnlike
    • David James This is all so wonderful, I can’t stop the tears as I read it…. NOT

      🙂 Love ya sis.

      January 1, 2010 at 10:50am · LikeUnlike
    • Lindsay Heard

      This absolutely so precious and then to read what Earl wrote you. I love it. You two are an amazing couple and I think it stems from you both admitting where you wanted to grow together…and God honors our vows and efforts to be and to love more like He does. I am fondly remembering the time of my life when we were local friends. You are a treasure! Thanks for your honesty and sharing this special sneakpeek into your heart. I love you, friend!See More

      January 1, 2010 at 10:55am · LikeUnlike
    • Linda Horton Oelze Neat to see how God has been working in you! Thanks for sharing.

      January 1, 2010 at 12:56pm · LikeUnlike
    • Laura McChesney We can sing together “He’s still working on me…”. Thanks for sharing. Your transparency is of great value. I learned that from someone in KS long, long, time ago.

      January 1, 2010 at 4:45pm · LikeUnlike
    • Doris Quigley Another beautiful sharing of your life…from a beautiful,full of life woman of God. I am inspired each time I read your blogs.

      January 1, 2010 at 5:40pm · LikeUnlike
    • Hope you have a great holiday, Kathy, and that 2010 brings you nothing but good news! Keep hanging in there 🙂

      January 1, 2010 at 6:21pm · LikeUnlike
    • Anna Cole James Thanks for sharing with us Kathy! We love you and Earl and love seeing how God is blessing you as individuals and as a family. Keep looking up!

      January 1, 2010 at 8:54pm · LikeUnlike
    • Celina White James Kathy, this note reiterates to me all the reasons why I so very much admire you. Love you, Happy Twenty-Ten to the Morris family!

      January 1, 2010 at 10:03pm · LikeUnlike
    • Jeanette Obando WOW- you write the most uplifting weekly deployment blogs…. Thank You for being in my life and for being a great supportive friend especially during this deployment- it has not been easy. I value your friendship, your honesty and the way you look up to the Lord for guidance, for faith and for peace in your life. You surround me with that when I need it the most. Thank You friend 😉 Love you lots

      January 2, 2010 at 1:09pm · LikeUnlike
    • Kathy–I love you so much and I thank God for bringing you into my life!! Fort Sill was amazing and the best thing ever!! I grew too and realized a lot about my value as a woman, wife, and mom! We’ve grown a lot, haven’t we!!!????!!!

      January 3, 2010 at 10:01am · LikeUnlike
    • Julia E. Clay-Hamm

      My take on things since the wonderful young woman Kathy James Morris came into our lives:
      1. New Years Eve 1999 we prayed that if it was God’s will your relationship would last, and thank God it did!
      2. Your visit with us New Years 2000.. the infamous Paul Hamm snapshot of what “appeared” as I was about to punch him…what a lovey first impression of your soon to be new in-laws!
      3. Your wedding day Jan. 5, 2002… I think that was the first time I’ve attended a wedding where the groom was leaving in less than 24 hours! It was a beautiful wedding in which I gained a wonderful daughter and granddaughter.
      4. November 4, 2005…The Brianna Perfect timing event :0)
      5. Puerto Vallarta or as we lovingly call it The Isaiah Vacation :0)
      6. Earl had me wondering what the urgency was to overnight his Transcripts from Helix High School. Had no idea he was Army bound! AWESOME!!
      And last but not least, yes Kathy you are still the loud, crazy, abnoxious, sometime inappropriate (your words) person who IS my wonderful daughter-in-law, loving wife to my son, and loving mother to the best grandchildren in the world!!
      Most importantly though, you are a child of the most High God! And I am thankful to God for blessing us with you! The best is yet to come!!
      See More

      January 4, 2010 at 10:00am · LikeUnlike

    • I havn’t felt so much love from a family in a long time. I am so lucky to have met you and your family. I feel like Ive gained a sister. You have a very special heart and thank you for letting me become apart of it. You are such a great mom and I respect you for living your part in life. Thank you for being a great listener and givng great advice. I hope that Ill soon be able to come and visit you and your beautiful children Keep the great work up and stay strong… I love you!See More

      January 5, 2010 at 9:41pm · LikeUnlike
    • Kerri Kalmbach Rogers I just finally got to read this and it is BEAUTIFUL!!! Ft Sill loves and misses you guys!

      February 9, 2010 at 3:54pm · LikeUnlike
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