Monday, September 15, 2014

Our RePat Starts

Our first school year in Saudi Arabia has come to an end and we are headed home for our long summer break.  This break for us will be our RePat.  What is RePat?  Repatriation is the process of returning a person to their place of origin or citizenship.  The country of Saudi Arabia makes us leave the Kingdom for 2 weeks a year and that time we are gone is called our "Repat".  Everyone's on camp happens at a different time based on when they came and their work schedules, for us, Brad came in May so we should have taken our trip in May but his department let him push his repat back several months so he will come at the end of July to join us.
The kids went to school for a half day while I exercised (needed to make sure I burned off the stress energy before heading out with 3 kids alone for our long journey home) and I packed up our suitcases (The only reason we have 2 suitcases is so we can pack them full to bring home.  They were half empty!)
It was SUPER sad to leave Brad.  The kids and I are so use to having him around all of the time.  As much as I wanted to kiss and hug him he had to tell me to "be careful".  Public displays of affection are not welcomed in public places, so a quick "good bye" it was and we were off.
Thankfully the customs line (yes, we have to clear Saudi customs to leave the country so they know we are leaving the country) was short and we were on the plane before long.  Once on the plane, the kids settle into their flying routine and were happy again!  This first flight to Dubai all three kids sat together!  It was really nice!!!  It worked out well for the most part except for when food was served and I was trying to reach across them all to help Ethan and Owen out.
Dubai was a bit crazy.  The kids were tired and ready to go and we had time to spare where I had to try to entertain them.  I had 2 bid kids in the stroller with all of the carry-ons and Ethan on my back.  Let me just say, I got my workout in and was regretting my morning CrossFit class!!!!  I was exhausted and ready for the next flight!
Tired as we might have been, I was glad we were all just smiling through it!
This was my first time to take a 15 hour flight and I was actually a bit nervous about it.  The idea of being STUCK in a small space with 3 kids for 15 hours is what nightmares are made of.  What I didn't realize was that the 15 hours straight on the plane was going to mean that the kids were actually going to get good sleep.  By the time they eat, wind down, and finally fall asleep they usually only have an hour or two before our 6 hour flight would land.  So this flight, we ALL got good sleep!!!  Note to self- start booking longer flights more often!
We were all rested and ready for a treat to celebrate the success once we landed in Atlanta!!!  We didn't have a long layover and most of that was spent clearing customs.  We had just enough time to check in with family, potty, and get ready for the final leg of our journey!
These kids have travel down pat!!!  Makes it easy on this momma to travel long journeys alone with them!
If I can get the big kids to participate and carry what I need them to, Ethan is usually really good about following along!  Monkey see, monkey do!
It was nice to land at 9am!  We were ready for breakfast and had enough energy to get through our morning before nap time!  We napped and had a perfect evening.  Another note to self- try to book flights with morning arrivals.  Makes jet lag almost non-existent!  We are SO happy to be back in the States surrounded by green grass, blue skies, familiar places, and loving faces!  I can't wait to see what this first repat has in store for us!

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