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.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Happy Reunion with the Big Kidlets

No tears (although it was hard).  Kiddos traveled unaccompanied for the
first time!  They're already travel pros and did just fine on the five-hour flight.
I'm exhausted after a very long week, and it's not just because I worked the last six days straight in the ER.  And truthfully, I couldn't be happier!

The fab hubby and I decided to burn through some of those UNITED AIRLINES miles we'd been racking up over the years, opting to fly the big kiddos from Ohio to me in California last weekend (remember...they evac'd outta Cairo on the 4th of July).  Ohio is our [taxable] "home of residence," and the fab hubby and the kiddos had been catching up with family there for the previous two weeks.  

Of course, the evacuation changed everything we'd been planning for the last six months.  The fab hubby's PCS to Washington, D.C. was accelerated by a month and now starts at the beginning of August instead of September.  Unfortunately, since I was unable to leave Cali early due to my upcoming military orders, we were sort of in a bind trying to figure out what to do with the kidlets for the remaining summer (all of August!!).

Not to worry though! Because, of course it's a super small FS world out there.  Last summer we had sponsored an arriving family at the Embassy and that family and our family became fast friends --- all of us, adults and kids alike.  Well, that family recently PCS'd to Camp Pendleton here in SoCal. After a quick text to my girlfriend there, we actually had the plan in place before the kids even hit U.S. soil from Egypt.  I couldn't be more grateful, as she had also watched out for my kids in Egypt all during the six months of my absence.  Really, how do you say thank you to someone who loved on your kids and treated them as if they were her own?

And now, suddenly our kids are slated to have an awesome summer.  Earlier this week, I dropped Owen and Abby off in Camp Pendleton to hang with these besties and they'll be headed to surf camp later in the month with them.  SURF CAMP.  When just three weeks earlier they were stuck in Cairo watching the world around them collapse.  So happy to have my kids happy again.

And speaking of HAPPY!  I had the best three day long weekend with the big kidlets before I dropped them off with our friends.  Now, I'm simply going to let the pictures do the talking.  It.Was.Amazing.  (And yes, I managed not to cry when they emerged from the airplane.)

New scooters!  And riding in downtown Long Beach.

A boy and his dog reunited.

Riding the waves.  It was an overcast weekend.  But they still
loved playing in the ocean.

So awesome.

Definitely my favorite picture of the weekend.
She's always been a California girl.

Sweet treat at one of our favorite bakeries in Belmont Shore.
Took the kiddos to the lego exhibit at The Science Discovery Center in Santa Ana.
Owen tells me he's a tween and that he doesn't smile for pictures.
Whatever.  I still totally adore him.

Science Center fun.  Owen didn't realize I caught him smiling!

She adores her brother.  He kinda adores her, too.

Scowl away, broody tween.  In just a few years you'll have your own
Facebook account and I'm going to tag you on EVERY SINGLE scowling
photo you take.  You've been warned.

Still missing The Toddler so much!  But he's obviously not suffering.
Here he is at my parent's house.  (Don't worry - he's not driving this thing!)
He'll be hanging with both my parents and the fab hubby's parents for
the next few weeks.  He's definitely getting loved and spoiled!
My summer's not so bad now any more.  But a BFF Frap
always makes things even better.

Got this on my shoulder the week after the evacuation.  "Wanderlust" with five
birds, one for each of us in our family.  Because even with all the crazy, we
absolutely love what we do and look forward to more.

The kids and their besties.  ALL SIX OF THEM together for nearly three
weeks!  Our friends are super amazing for letting our two big kid hang
out for so long!  Surf camp for all these munchkins in two weeks!


  1. Okay, so you managed not to cry. I failed. These pictures made me tear up. God bless your friend, really. What a gift she gave you.

  2. your friends are definitely amazing, but I was saying that even before I knew about the new summer plans!

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