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, June 8, 2014

Geeze It's Been a Couple of Months of SUCCESSES! Spring Break, TDY's, a New Job, and Running!

Because after a hard afternoon of tromping through a museum,
everyone deserves ice cream on the national mall!
This poor blog has been left alone and abused!  How can two more *expletive* months have gone by without a single entry!?

But honestly, it's been a successful, and of course busy!, couple of months.

Spring Break success!  The kiddos' friends arrived from California  (we'd know them in Egypt!) and hung out with us for a week.  Hard to believe that this was my last update.  We were so excited that Spring was finally here!  And now it's summer already?!  ALL FIVE KIDS (that's our three and the two who flew out to us!) had a blast.

I was still in the middle of a RN contract assignment and had somehow been scheduled 48 hours that week, so the fab hubby took off some time to hang out with the kids and keep them out of trouble.  He took them bowling and to the movies and also to Great Falls!  If you live in the DC area, you must go there.  It's absolutely fantastic!

All five kids at Great Fall.  The fab hubby was super fabulous
and took the kids to great places like this!


After some schedule finagling, I managed to pull a fab mommy moment and take all the kids to the Smithsonian National Natural History Museum.  The dinosaur exhibit was about to be closed for FIVE LONG YEARS, so we had to get in and see it!  Unfortunately, it was the last day of spring break and it was PACKED.  I'd never seen so many people crammed into a museum at once.  But we'd navigated crowds in Egypt, so we knew how to handle ourselves.  The only scary moment was when The Toddler decided he could navigate faster by crouching below knee level and crawling between legs.  That kid completely owns me.  I bellowed  out "KELLEN" so loud that the crowd of people surrounding us hushed and parted so that I was able to scoop up my wandering toddler.  Thankfully, I hadn't resorted to tears.  And yeah, I'm that kind of mom sometimes.

Orange Line, baby!  Riding the metro.

Quite possibly the greatest metro rider. Ever.

Chaos in the museum!  (Abby took this photo!)

Tourist time!

I had a hard time getting the boys to not do something crazy whenever I
took their pic.  This is the best way to get them - when they're not looking!

How can I not forgive him for running off in the museum?  Such a sweetie.

Anyway, just as we sent our visitors back on a plane to California, and things were getting back to 'normal', the fab hubby headed out into the world on a 2-week TDY.  Thankfully, my mom flew in from Ohio to help out with the munchkins.  The kids were happy to see her and I took her to see some of my fav NoVA spots.  You know.  Starbucks.  Old Town Alexandria.  More Starbucks.

Teaching my mom the fine art of the sippy face.
Old Town Alexandria.  One of my favorite places.

Because when you help out with your crazy grandchildren for nearly
two weeks, you totally deserve a beer at lunch at least once!

And then, in all this craziness, my contract at NIH concluded.  I'd been a travel/contract RN since arriving in NoVA, but I was starting to feel like a vagabond.  As much as I loved contract nursing, I was kinda tired of moving from job to job every few months.  And I really, REALLY love working Pediatrics at NIH.  So, I took the plunge.  And accepted a full-time position at NIH.  I honestly couldn't be happier.  This is a great direction for my career, and I'm up for the challenge.

And speaking of challenges.  I'm officially in Marathon training mode.  It's about four months until the Marine Corps Marathon and I'm convinced I can do it in under 5 hours. I ran The Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco in 5 hours 38 minutes.  Honestly, I WAS pleased with my time, but at the same time, it was sorta frustrating -- I was tracking for under 5 hours at the 20-mile mark.  The last 6 miles killed me!  Anyway, I'm on the trail again and have increased my distance while decreasing my time.  And of course, I love it.  I have sadly been having some arthritis flair ups - especially on cold/wet/humid days.  But I've been able to work through it, and that's really all that matters to me.  Power through it or quit running.  I chose to power through it.

My favorite compression shirt for those days when my hands really hurt.
Arthritis sucks.

A pain-free and awesome running day; hitting a local trail!
Right now?  I'm on a TDY!  But mine is for the Army.  I'm at Fort Carson, Colorado (in Colorado Springs) completing my annual Army Reserves training.  Really, it's fantastic.  I work in the ER as a nurse here on Post for two weeks every year.  I love that my military career mimics my civilian career.  Doesn't get better than that!  And despite my work load, I'm still able to get out and run, whether on Base or at my favorite stomping grounds -- Garden of the Gods.  Nothing but successes right now.  And it feels really, really good.

Fabulous TDY.  Pikes Peak in the distance.

Garden of the Gods.  One of my favoritist running places in the world.

Fabulous trails!  Doesn't get better than this!

Of course we all know the dreaded bidding season is upon us, right?  It's all the Foreign Service rage. And we all love it.  <insert eye roll here>  But we've got our theoretical plans for bidding mapped out and we're comfortable with it.  Here's hoping one of those theoretical plans works out in our favor.  We'd love an additional success!


No comments:

Post a Comment