Never Forget

Ten years has passed from the day when our lives changed forever. When a new page was turned in the history books.

I still remember that day so very clearly. I was supposed to be on the east coast for meetings but schedules changed, and instead I was working at Nokia’s office in Finland. I was driving home and talking to my sister on the phone. She mentioned that a skyscraper had collapsed in New York, and another is on fire. This didn’t make any sense to me. Buildings do not collapse and catch fire.  I was hurrying to get home and turn on the television while searching news updates on my cell phone, and browsing through radio stations in order to find out what was going on.

Eventually I was in my house, and glued in front of the TV. I was staring at it with a  great disbelief. It was surreal like watching a movie with real people instead of actors. People dying, crying, buildings collapsing. Sadness, sorrow, disbelief, disaster.

And I still can hear President Bush’s words at the end of his speech:

Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.”

The life had changed.

Yesterday was past, on that day people had to unite more than ever, and future was unknown. People and nations united, facing the new tomorrow. The freedom is what we have, and what we believe in. Although it has not been an easy road. Brave men and women have stepped up ready to defend our values and beliefs. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice, so many more carry the pains of the war against terrorism in their hearts. Seeing friends struggling with the visible and invisible wounds of war breaks my heart every time even though I am prouder than proud of their dedication for this great country.

That being said, please, take a moment of your day today, and say a prayer for those who lost their loved ones ten years ago, for those who were there ready to help and die for others, for those who serve and have served this great country, and for their families who stand by their service members through thick and thin.

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes
us well or ill, that we shall pay any
price, bear any burden, meet any hardship,
support any friend, oppose any foe, to
assure the survival and success of liberty.”  
~President John F. Kennedy

We did not forget. We will never forget.

MilSpouse Weekly Roundup

It’s Friday – finally ! And the best thing ever is that I was asked by Mrs K at Mrs. K and Captain J to host this week’s Milspouse Weekly Roundup. So welcome to visit Adventures of The K Family!

MilSpouse Weekly Roundup is a weekly get-together for MilSpouses, hosted by wonderful ladies stationed around the world. The current week’s host chooses next week’s host, and this way we keep the Roundup going. And if you for some reason miss a roundup posting, you can always check Weekly Roundup update by Wife on the Roller Coaster . And most importantly, MilSpouse Weekly Roundup is a great way to catch up with other spouses, so please link up your favorite blog entry from this week!

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I had tons of plans for this special posting of mine, and what happened….?! I got completely swamped by travels this week. Jason and I flew to sunny California for Labor Day weekend. We had such a great time — enjoyed the sunshine and warm weather in San Diego. We got back late on Monday night, and on Tuesday morning at 0800 I was back at the airport – this time heading to Ketchikan  and Sitka  in southeast Alaska. I got back from my business meetings late on Wednesday night, had a more or less regular working day on Thursday, and in the evening I hit the road again… This time road tripping for almost 250 miles to tiny town of Healy, just outside of Denali National Park – for another work meeting as a first thing on Friday morning. And somehow in the middle of all this I even had time to get my university classes’ homework done – before the deadlines.

Seaworld - San Diego
Sitka, AK
Southeast Alaska

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But I am sure at least some of you are visiting Adventures of The K Family first time ever, so brief introduction is in order, don’t you think?! My name is Nina, and I am happily married  (since July 9, 2011) to Jason who is an Army Officer. We are stationed in Alaska, just outside of Anchorage, and have been here for a couple of years. He is my best friend and hero who always manages to make my day, no matter what is going on.

Mr & Mrs K

We both love traveling, wines, delicious food, are nerds, and spoil our little beagle, Tassu, way too much. We also enjoy all kinds of outdoors activities from skiing and hiking to biking although I am the health and fitness nut of the household, with a goal to qualify for Ironman race in Kona, HI, one day. In addition to all running, biking and swimming, I am also completely hooked to CrossFit as well as do some personal training and teach cycling classes.

I work full-time in the technical field, doing engineering in one of the world’s biggest corporations as well as I am working on my Psychology degree with an ultimate goal of getting PhD eventually. My professional interests are related to the trauma and military psychology, and would love to combine my technical background with psychology in the future. Ideally I’d be working with the PTSD population and developing new techology-assisted therapies such as Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy.

Lastly, I have been doing photography professionally for several years. Nowadays I mainly work through my photo agencies or do corporate/editorial assignments for the clients. For the pics, check out the Facebook , or KominiakPhoto ‘s official site.

But now it is time to hear about you, so go ahead and link up your favorite blog posting from this week — I can’t wait to read about your adventures.

And also, check out the next week’s host Jane at A Few of My Favorite Things . She is an awesome Army wife blogging from sunny Hawaii.


How Did We Ever Survive Without Cell Phones?

I was 17 or 18 when I got my first cell phone. It was a very basic phone with ability to receive text messages but not send. It was rather bug and bulky. At that time call rates were enormous so I really didn’t use it for anything else than quick calls about location and such.

Fast forwarding to today. I have an iPhone. And I love that little thing. My whole life is in it – all the contacts, notes, memos. All the information is on my fingertips. But I still can survive without it. If I miss a call, not a biggie, I can always call back. I don’t need to be married to my phone although I like to have it nearby. I can have dinner with friends without letting the phone interrupt good times. During the past week I have witnesses several occasions where people act like brainless idiots with their phone obsession. Irritating! Why can’t we respect others at least a little but, and keep phones away or silent when interacting with others?

One of these days I was coming from the post office, and a war veteran had parked his brand new Mustang in front of the post office. While I was waiting for my husband to pick me up, I witnessed some very rude behavior. A young man said something to the vet, along the lines how cool his Mustang is. Veteran got all smiley and friendly when someone complimented his car. He offered to open the hood and show the engine to this young man. There they were, the veteran and young man talking about the cars when dude’s cell phone rings. What does he do? Yeah, right. Answers the phone, and tries to tell caller that he is with someone but doesn’t hang up. Veteran keeps talking, and young man signs him to “sshhhh” with his hand. Veteran closes the hood, and gets into his car, looking frustrated and disappointed. Young man has finally ended his call, and is now explaining how he had to talk to his pregnant wife. Veteran says what I was thinking – “you damn kids and your cell phones” .
Sorry my pregnant friends out there in the blogosphere but I am sure his pregnant wife could have waited for a few minutes when he was sharing a short moment in his life with this veteran. I f the pregnant wife was already having a baby, guy shouldn’t have been in downtown but by her side.

My another cell phone annoyance happened a couple of days ago when I was at the commissary and a girl in front of me was talking on the cell phone, being extremely slow at the self checkout. Unfortunately she had already gotten to the self checkout station, otherwise I would have just walked by, and cut in front of her. Yeah, call me rude but phones are not needed in the checkout line. Pay your stuff, and go somewhere else to chitchat with your friends.

While cell phones are great, and are useful tools in various situations, people should also remember to use them in a respectful manner. There is a reason why the cell phones do have on/off and silent functions. Sometimes it makes sense to use them.

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #56

September. Already. It has been such a busy week, and I am almost dreading next week when I am practically flying from one place to another. We are heading to sunny California for the Labor Day weekend, then return home just to grab another suitcase and sleep for a few hours before being on the plane again.

The university started this week too. So far so good – I am greatly enjoying my research and lab classes. The only hiccup is a textbook on one of the online classes. The eBook should be available online but accessing it has turned out to be a serious headache. Hopefully teaching assistant and professor figure out what to do sometime in near future…

But now it is time for every Friday tradition — MilSpouse Friday Fill-In by Wife of A Sailor !

1. My plans for this weekend include traveling to San Diego , but what I’d really like to do is nothing else – this was our Labor Day weekend plan !

2. I consider the Labor Day holiday as start of fall. It actually has felt like fall in Alaska already for a little while .

3. My favorite meal for cookouts is anything healthy , but my friends or husband wouldn’t agree.

4. So far, my favorite part of summer has been our wedding! It has been a great summer overall though !

5. When it comes to deployments, my philosophy is to them one at a time, day by day .

Country Life

It’s State Fair time in Alaska! Jason and I went to the fair on Sunday, after I had finished an engagement photo shoot (check out the Sneak Peak here ). After such a miserably rainy month, Sunday was perfectly sunny and warm. I was able to wear a short-sleeve shirt and the sunglasses – again. Not a surprise that a million other people had found their way to the Fair too.

We had such a great afternoon – leisurely walking around, checking out all the farm animals, taking pictures and munching Fair goodies. Well, being a health nut it was a lot for me to eat just a few french fries – just to prove it again that I don’t like them. Oh, and I also tasted an elephant ear. And didn’t like it.

However, I wish the good ol’ country would be a bit bigger deal in Alaska. While the Fair is a great occasion for people to get together and have a great time, I still miss the giant State Fairs with millions of events in Washington State and Texas.

But nevertheless, we had a great time – pictures should tell it! Once again I was nearly speechless about the beautiful quilts at the fair. They always make me feel like an elementary school kid with my quilting projects…

Army Life and Adventures. Notes from here, there, everywhere.