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.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Kids Are Safe AND I Don't Have Cancer

The kids are safe and I don't have cancer.

That has been my mantra for the past week!  My mole biopsy came through last Wednesday, and it's not a melanoma.  It IS severely abnormal and I'll have to have a sizable chunk of skin surgically removed, but it's NOT cancer.  I was so excited!  Lots of promises made to God that included sunscreen. [Although a little side note here:  the mole was located on my body where the sun DOESN'T shine.  But I still promise to beef up the sunscreen.]

And I was all ready to sit down and put my happy words on my blog.

And then Cairo happened.  I'm not even going to sugarcoat it.  The last five days have been nearly unbearable.  Not knowing exactly what was happening there, feeling so completely out of control of the situation (but to be fair - I wouldn't have any more control of it even if I were there).  Evac or no evac?  That was the question.  And we stood by no evac until ordered otherwise.

I knew the kids were safe, but I of course kept wishing they were home.  And yes, I worried constantly and fretted and I even brushed away a few tears.

I was coming off a horrid week anyway (cancer vs. no cancer), so my mantra became:

The kids are safe and I don't have cancer. 
 But after five days of unrest and some major political changes, there was no more option for authorized departure.  Call from the fab hubby at 9AM on the west coast = 6PM in Cairo.  Ordered departure was on.  He was packing up some stuff and getting the kids and their chosen favored belongings in order.  (Our house was due to pack out on July 11.  Bummer.)   

And after a gazillion emails and phone calls and messages and more emails and phone calls and messages, he and the kids made their way to Cairo's airport less than 12 hours from the time he first called me and flew out to Germany and will soon be on their way to DC.  No, I won't be seeing them any earlier (my military orders for my Reserve Training are in the very near future and can't be altered).  But they are safe.


Some things I need to jot down before I forget - and my apologies for this being so short, but I worked today in the ER late into the evening, and I'm flipping back into another shift early in the AM (oh, thank God for coffee!):

I'm so grateful to everyone who reached out to us over the past week.  Heck, for the past six months!  Our friends, our family, all of you.  Thank you, thank you! from the bottom of my heart.

And to everyone at the Embassy (yeah, I'm pointing at you, GSO!) who helped to get the ordered departure organized and running so smoothly in a the crunch of a mere few hours:  I am impressed and grateful. 

The fab hubby will simply (haha! as if any of this is simple) be starting his next assignment early.  Family and friends across the U.S. have offered to help with the kids since I'm still away -- and we've taken many of them up on the offers.  In fact, shhhh....but a nice little trip to Los Angeles just might be in order for the big kids for a few weeks this summer.

Because you know what?  The kids are safe.  And I don't have cancer.

It's not at all how we envisioned our first assignment concluding, but that's exactly what it is.

One more thing, and this is in regards to Egypt itself.  This past week has been a victory to many of the people living there - and while I make no political statement whatsoever about the outcome, I am hopeful for Egypt's future.  After spending hours reading news stories and looking at pictures of the demonstrations, this is the picture that holds a special place in my heart.  Because in the end, all of us, every single one of us, no matter what nationality or religion, just want our children to have a chance for good future and to be safe and loved.

I don't know where I found this picture (wish I did, so that I could give credit), but this is a beautiful, intimate moment of hope.



  1. I love that photo too... and your mantra with your facts to back it up! You and your family have had a tough time, but you are a tough momma and you have such a wonderful positive attitude!!

  2. It's strange as I don't know you in "real life"--just from your blog. But whenever I hear of stuff going on in Egypt your family is the first thing I think of! Glad to hear everyone is safe and together. And thank goodness for your diagnosis. I am a survivor of stage II melanoma (at the ripe old age of 19) and have massive scars on my forehead from it. Yeah, sunscreen is annoying and being a ghost compared to all of my tan friends sucks--but 1) I like not being dead from cancer and 2) My non-sagging skin is going to look freaking awesome even in 20 years while they all look like leather bags.

  3. Safe kids, safe hubs, no cancer - ABSOLUTELY FLIPPIN' AWESOME!!!!!

  4. Glad to know your kids are safe, and soon enough, you will all be back together. And you're cancer-free, which, from another mom [of 3], who discovered/had the surgery for 'pre-cancer' [CIN3, cervical] before our first hardship post in 2006 - I'm very happy for you, and the 'positive results'. I also remember 'promising God' that I'd never skip a check-up, and so on... Even though, like somebody else mentioned here, I don't "know you in real life", but I feel like we all belong to the same community, and share similar stories/challenges. Luckily, we're not been evac'ed... Hummm...We're in Bolivia [!!!], which used to be our 'dream assignment' - one never knows, right? Take care of yourself and your family. Our warmest wishes from La Paz for a peaceful future... :)