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.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Somehow the day-to-day has moved forward from the horrible and painful events of September.

Benghazi.  Sanaa.  Tunis.  Khartoum.  Cairo.

Cairo.  Our home.  The aftermath still lingers along with the pain and the fear. I suppose each day is a little easier than the day before.  But at the same time, the daily commute to work provides a constant reminder of how close it was [is] to home.  The streets surrounding the embassy are blocked now with barbed wire; the local police and military are greater in numbers; I admit I still feel uncomfortable walking in the streets near the embassy.

But we're back to normal(ish).  At least as normal as normal can be.

Less than two weeks to my marathon.  LESS THAN TWO WEEKS.  I admit.  I'm excited.  I'll be in San Francisco in just 9 days.  My flights have been arranged.  I've packed my lone bag (carry-on only!) in my head. I have all my running gear.

I know we just got back from R&R less than 2 months ago.  Yet it seems so much longer ago than that.  And I need this.  I've been focused on this marathon for nearly four months.

I've trained for this.  Not as much as I needed to train to be fast, but as much as I needed to finish comfortably.  This past week I ran 18 miles on Saturday night.  It took me 3:45.  Acceptable.  And it is what it is.  While there were terrible moments of self-doubt, and terrible moments where I frankly wanted to quit, I managed to cowboy-up and power through those.  So, I'm ready.

This week I committed myself to raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for the Nike Women's Marathon.  If you'd like to contribute to my fundraising efforts, please click HERE.  My initial fundraising goal was $100.  As of this moment, I'm at $340!  So now, I'm shooting for $400.

In other normal news, Abby got her ears pierced.  It honestly took months for her to get the courage up to do it, but she finally decided to have them pierced.  What convinced her?  She wanted Hello Kitty earrings.  Ah, the power of Hello Kitty.

Ears pierced!  She can't wait to replace these gold studs with Hello Kitty bling.

Awesome braid curtesy of our amazing nanny.  Abby loves it!

More normal news!  Big kids are on Swim Team at school this year.  Abby, having tried but sadly failing to make Team last year, worked all summer at her swim strokes.  I am so proud of her!  She tried out again this year and made Team!  Owen, now in 4th grade, is back on Team this year, and is doing so well.  They had a swim-a-thon last week (5:00pm - 11:00pm, although I pulled them at 10:00pm.  Momma just can't stay up that late.) and enjoyed the time with their friends while swimming lap after lap after lap.

Second year on Swim Team!

And this past weekend we finally got the chance to tour the Step Pyramid in Sakkara, as well as the Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid in Dashur.  We rented a van with driver and took the kiddos, including the toddler (who slept pretty much during the entire tour of Sakkara) to see the sites.  We finished off the day with old-school glass-bottled Orange Mirinda Soda (kids have never seen bottled soda before moving to Egypt) and the baby puking in the back of the van.  Making me all the happier that we had rented a van instead of driving our own SUV.  Gotta love Egypt though -- our Boab washed out the toddler's pukified Britax carseat.  Total score.

I love this photo.  It reminds me of how much I really
love Egypt and how incredibly beautiful it is here.
Visiting Sakkara with Dashur Pyramids in the distance.
Fab Hubby with big kids and a local tour guide.

How the toddler gets to see the world.
That's me with Kellen.  He's actually awake!
Step Pyramid, Sakkara.

Don't be surprised when you see this on our family Christmas Card this year.

See those teeny-tiny human dots in the middle?  That's the Fab Hubby
and the big kiddos hiking up the Red Pyramid.

Old-School bottled soda.

Loves him some Orange Mirinda.

Post puke-fest.  Who knew he got motion sickness in the back of a van??!!


  1. So glad you're feeling confident with your training - you're going to rock that marathon! And these pictures are just gorgeous! Happy you're back to normal(ish) too. xo

  2. You're going to kick that marathon's ass! Super jealous of seeing cool stuff. So lucky. I'm glad things are back to "normal." I'm sorry about all that's been happening. I met an Egyptian (Christian, and gay!) EFM here (about a week or two after the events) and when he said he was Egyptian, he looked embarrassed and said he hated what was going on. It was so nice to hear. I'd like to tell him, that I'm sorry about the Americans who incite this kind of stuff, and that not every American is that mean. Since he's with one, and has met a ton, I hope he already knows it.

  3. I miss Cairo, and it makes me sad to hear of the negative changes, but with great change, well, chaos is to be expected. I hope that things settle as soon as possible. Not just for our 'visitor' wants and needs, but for the people of Egypt who live it day-to-day. We loved the Saqqara Pyramids far more than the Giza pyramids. The whole complex is more 'real', as if you can sense what people were doing and how they used the place. Great photos of your family too :) Can't wait to hear more about your marathon. That is very exciting, and you are awesome for being able to go do it!

  4. So excited for you! I remember thinking the marathon seemed so far away and it's practically here! Way to go for the kids, too. Can't wait to see photos and glad things are getting back to normalish!