Welcome to the Wandering Drays!

Not all who wander are lost...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Our First Ball

What to say?  It was absolutely perfect.  A night out with friends, swanky dresses and tuxedos, and a beautiful hotel hosted the party.

It is the Marine Corp's 236th Birthday this year, and the Ball is in celebration of them.  We all need to take a moment to stop and think about all they have done for our country. I see them every day at the Embassy and I am proud to know them.  I didn't realize that this year was both the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  Sobering.

For me, prep for the Ball actually began way back in July when my dress arrived in the mail and I had it altered to perfection just before we left from Ohio.  Of course, I totally goofed and had the dress packed in with our HHE (boat shipment) and not our UAB (air shipment).  I was sweating bullets two weeks ago when our HHE had not yet arrived.  Thankfully, it arrived and I didn't have to do the last minute oh-my-gawd-I-don't-have-a-dress shopping escapade.

Shoes arrived two weeks ago as well.  And not only did they NOT fit, they were 4 1/2 inch heels.  Which sounds so innocuous.  Until I put them on.  And while they looked smokin' hot on me, I did NOT look smokin' hot walking in them.  Or should I say clomping in them.  I ordered a different pair from amazon.com (who I will very shortly profess my love for) and they arrived two days before the Ball.  I really *heart* you, amazon.

Got my nails done the night before the Ball.  Left work an hour early and couldn't flag a taxi down no matter what I did.  They were all full.  So I walked it.  It's only a couple of miles from work, but you can imagine the look of desperation on my face as I walked along a busy road to get to the nail salon in time for my appointment.  All in the name of beauty.

4 1/2" Heels.  Never gonna happen.
I'd also like to take a moment and point out that threading is NOT for the faint-of-heart.  Thought I'd have a nice time getting my eyebrows shaped and wasn't feeling the love for wax that day.  I had heard about threading and asked them to do that instead.  Oh, Momma.  My eyes teared during the entire traumatizing and painful process.  To be fair, I hadn't shaped those brows (or should I say "brow"?) in a few months, so there was some serious work to be done.  Again, it was all in the name of beauty.

The day of the Ball prep was easy.  Had the kids taken to the local American club a few hours before we had to leave so there would be no meltdowns while we were trying to get ready.  Smart, really smart!  Cuz we were still lacing up Jason's new shoes minutes before we had to walk out the door to catch our shuttle to the Ball.  Thankfully, we had no boogers to be wiping off icky kids' faces in between the laces.

At the Ball itself, we got to meet up with our friends.  The reception area was gorgeous, and since I'm (woefully) allergic to alcohol, I downed lots of fresh strawberry and mango juice.  Delish.

The Marines were smart in their uniforms and sharp in their ceremony.  It was lovely meeting the Ambassador and the guest speaker was fantastic as well.  Of course, the food was amazing.  And, the coffee perfect.  Sadly, the waiters took my desert AND my coffee before I was done with it.  ::sigh:: But, I'm sure I'll recover somehow.

On a positive note, I totally made it through the night without taking off my shoes once.  And although they weren't the 4 1/2 inch heels, they were a towering 3 1/2 inches.  I'm not a heels kinda gal, so it was a struggle.  All in the name of beauty.  Again.

Danced with the girlies (in those shoes, no less!), drank some more strawberry juice, and enjoyed the time with my hubby.

Since I turn into a pumpkin at precisely 11:25pm every night, we took the first shuttle home at 11:00pm.  I nearly fell asleep in the van.  Our friends, however, are much better partiers than we.  They stayed until 1:00AM.  Dang, I feel old.  But can't fight it.  The shuttle dropped us off at our doorstep (amazingly) at 11:23pm.

Like I said.  Perfect.

Cheesy American touristy photo.
I can't help myself.

Me and my posse.


  1. I am so glad you had such a good time! You guys look great!

  2. You look radiant! I missed going to the ball this year. Glad you had such a good time.