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.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

And Yet ANOTHER Month+ Has Passed! Colorado to Virginia. YO! We're HOME!

Yet again, I'm so far behind on my blog.  Like nearly two months! But I've got excuses!  I, well actually, WE, have been busy!

Running in Colorado.  So lucky that my Army annual
training ISN'T all work and no play!
Last you read, the big kids and I reunited in California (that was end of July) and they went to surf camp with some besties from Cairo (so much better than remembering this only as "the summer we got evacuated from Egypt"), and then in early August, we drove to Colorado (oh, Great American Road Trip!) and my parents met us there, and then my parents and the big kids had their Great American Road Trip (at least to Ohio) while I stayed at Ft. Carson to fulfill my Army Reserves Annual Training/Duty (Working in Ft. Carson's ER.  I totally love that what I do in my military career is the same thing I do in regular life!).


Are ya following?

But wait!  There's more! What about the fab hubby?  And Oh!  What about The Toddler!?  Because by this point, it had been nearly seven months since last we saw each other.   Months ago, before the evac from Cairo had occurred, the fab hubby and I had planned on having a little mini vacation in Colorado -- sans kiddos.  He would fly out to me toward the end of my last week of Annual Training and together, we would drive to Ohio to get the kids (all THREE of them!) and then we'd continue to our new home in Virginia.

And our plan actually worked out, despite the crazy PCS-moved-ahead-a-month-OMG-the-kid-juggling caused by the Cairo evac!

Reunited!  LOVE.

AWWW!  Exactly as we should be.  Together.

Yup.  Sippy faces!

Totally my favorite.

Dang, we're awesome!

One more in Garden of the Gods.

Road tripping through Missouri.  Mmmmm.  BBQ!

Almost to our first destination!

But wait!  There's more!  We got to spend a couple of days in Ohio, visiting with friends and family --- and most importantly...

Our loves!!

Sippy faces!!!!  LOVE.

We spent nearly seven months apart.  SEVEN MONTHS.

Missed him so much.

Before his haircut...

But wait!  There's more!  We all piled into the Momvan and started our last journey.  To Virginia.  And by WE, I mean: Me, the Fab Hubby, the big kids, the toddler, the fav pooch (remember, Starbuck flew with me from Cairo to California.  That's one well-travelled pooch!), and OWEN'S CAT.  The one he rescued in Cairo.  She luckily made the evac from Cairo.

We arrived in Virginia all in one piece and crammed ourselves into a hotel room.  And got up early the next morning to go to our new home.  The PCS gods have been kind to us.  Because last fall, when we learned of the fab hubby's next assignment, we made arrangements with some good FS friends who would be departing NoVA at the same time we would be arriving --- and we are renting their house.  We didn't have to navigate the NoVA/DC/MD rental market AT ALL.  And to all our FS friends who had to go through that hellacious experience recently for their PCS, I say...

Nah nah nah nah nahhhhhh nah!

Sure!  We had no furniture.  Or kitchen items.  Or any household items, really.  But we had a house and that's all that mattered!

But wait!  There's MORE!

Talk about a small FS world!  Friends of our who also evac'd from Cairo are renting a townhome in the exact same neighborhood as us.  Our kids have been friends for years!  And now, they (our two kids and their two kids) all ride the same bus and attend the same school (but thankfully -- not in the same classes, because all of them are attached at the hip as it is!)!!

And speaking of school!  The big kids started school just four days after our arrival in Virginia.  NO KIDDING.
"We're home, we're home!" He says every time we stop somewhere.
This time, he was right.

Checking out the pumpkins growing in the front yard.
Before you get excited, please know that I suck at gardening.
I accidentally killed the pumpkin vines (what are they called?) the first
week we were in the house, when I was attempting to pull weeds.
Sorry Jen!!!

First nap in the new house.

Love him.

First day of preschool!

More first day of school photos!

Friends in Cairo, friends here.

Also friends in Cairo and friends here!
Tweens.  Nothing else needs to be said about their smirky faces.
But I love them.

You guessed it!  Friends in Cairo and now friends and neighbors here!
We Moms love the bus!
Whenever you move, you WILL spend thousands of dollars.  Whether you want to/plan to or not.  There are so many items you need, so many items to be replaced.  Quite possibly, you will blow most of this money in one single trip to Target.

One of five trips to Target.  I wish I was joking.

Or, in our case, the fab hubby got sent overseas on a TDY (that's a temporary assignment, for all you non-FS-non-military folks) less than two weeks after our arrival to NoVA.  Thankfully, it's only for 60 days.  But since we'd already been separated for seven months, it was a little bit of a shock.

Of course, the fab hubby's suits were in transit on a boat from Cairo.  With an estimated arrival to the U.S. of Who-The-Heck-Knows.  So, a trip to the suit store was in order, adding to our list of gazillions of dollars blown on this move.  I just made the best of it.

There's not much a BFF latte can't fix! 

Before the fab hubby left for his TDY, he did get the chance to get settled at his new office.  So, I took the metro and visited him for lunch one day!  And then I took a bike trek into DC and toured Georgetown.  It was an awesome afternoon.

Riding the metro with my new bike!  I conned my dad into assembling
this gorgeousness for me.  Well, actually, I sent the bike via Amazon
to his house.  He didn't have much choice.  Ha!

Lunch with the fab hubby!
Enjoying something we never would have
eaten in Cairo.  SALADS!!

Starbucks in Georgetown.
Sippy face!

Classic.  Overlooking the Potomac.

The fab hubby left the following week, but we've been doing ok.  Kids are handling it quite well, especially considering how long it's been since we were all together last.  We've got FaceTime and that makes a HUGE difference.  Plus, it's only two months.  After everything we've been through since February, we can definitely get through this!

Kids have been adjusting well to school and enjoying some of the great things that the U.S. has to offer. You know...

Sticky marshmallow fingers.  Enjoying s'mores at our friends' house!

Marshmallow off the bonfire!

Hanging out with his rescue cat, Boots.
She's doing pretty well here.
And Owen just absolutely loves her.
Kellen's first ice cream truck experience!  The kids were singing
"ice cream truck!  ice cream truck!"
It didn't take him long to figure out what that meant.

Meanwhile, I've been slaving away building furniture.
The fab hubby is soooo lucky to have missed out on this part of the move.
Here, The Toddler is excited to show off this desk.
He 'helped' me put it together.

I frequently wake up to a pair of toddler feet in bed with me.
I love it.

And no matter how long I've been back in the U.S.
I still completely, totally, fully love my moments at Starbucks.
Yup.  We've made it home.  Now we're just waiting for the fab hubby to return so we can actually say we're ALL home! We're on the countdown!  Just a little less than three weeks to go.


  1. your story is wonderful, the photos gorgeous, and you make this life fun in spite of all the worries and separations and ups and downs...miss you!

  2. You guys have had the craziest year... glad the end is in sight! And so nice to be in the same city again - we missed you.

  3. I am sighing in relief for you that you have landed softly and weathered the craziness with style. Love that family friends (including Starbucks) are nearby who just understand, too. Welcome home!