Melinda and David
~ The Happiest Couple ~

   

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Monday, January 03, 2005
Linkin Park Rocks!

My first Linkin Park concert was this summer.  We went to the Project Revolution tour with Korn, the Used and several other entertaining entertainers.  The concert was shortly after Hurricane Charley.  I found out (after the show) that Linkin Park, who headlined and organized the concert, also took a portion of sale from each ticket sold at the Tampa show and donated it to Hurricane Charley relief.  Wow, was I impressed.  There are a few bands and singers (Bono, Band-Aid come to mind) who've help out the world with various disaster or hunger and suffering relief.  I was glad to be a part of this one so personally.  We donated water and cash locally but this seemed really cool.

Just now, watching the news, I see singer, Michael (Freeze) and fellow bandmate, guitarist Brad Delson, being interviewed because Linkin Park is spearheading fund raising for the victims in southeast Asia's Tsunami disaster.  Linkin Park is offering an initial $100,000 in the newly created organization Music for Relief.  All money raised will go directly to the American Red Cross programs to provide immediate help and long-term support to those in need.  Visit their website:  www.MusicForRelief.org.  Even a dollar will make a difference!  

According to the Miami Herald, "[Linkin Park] is no stranger to charity, having donated $500,000 to various organizations throughout 2004, according to the band's label, Warner Bros. The group's official website includes an ''Awareness'' section, with links to such organizations as the International Child Abuse Network, the United Way and the Japanese American National Museum."

Generation Y'ers tend to disgust me regularly with repetitious acts of selfishness and the "me" attitude that permeates through most of them I meet.  It really is heartening to see such a selfless and grand act by someone who hopefully most of these kids respect enough to begin to act themselves.  We all know that the voter registration for 2004 reached a record high in the 18-25 year-old crowd with help from Rock the Vote, Vote for Change and P-Diddy's Vote or Die campaign.  Unfortunately, only 17% of that crowd actually turned out to vote. 

On another note: today, Baby Bush recruited Daddy and Bill Clinton to lead the a nationwide fund-raising effort in the US.  The hurricanes that hit us were nothing compared to the devastation in Asia.  As the world's superpower we can make a difference - if we choose to.

"And the day came when the risk it took
to remain tight inside the bud was more
painful than the risk it took to blossom."
--Anais Nin


Posted at 11:29 am by melicious
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Monday, December 06, 2004
Honeymoonin'

We hope we found the perfect tropical paradise.  The Caves in Negril, Jamaica is where we are planning to honeymoon.  Wow, this place looks amazing!!!

It's a small property - only 10 rooms and has no more than 24 guests there at a time.  It is the ultimate honemoon location according to everything I've read and people I've chatted with.  Number one rated hotel in Negril according to Trip Advisor, all-inclusive, cliff jumping, snorkeling right off the hotel, daily menus prepared to your tastes, open air couples massage, private cave for a jacuzzi/champagne sunset, private cave for dinner for two filled with candles and rose petals.  Yum :)

We were a bit worried because Negril is where Hurricane Ivan went through in September.  After seeing what Charlie did to our area (and having to relocate the wedding ceremony due to hurricane damage) we were a little skeptical.  However, a few very nice folks on different message boards have assured us that the Caves is still "where we wanna be, mon". 

Have you been to Jamaica or know anyone who has?  We'd love to hear from everyone about ideas for the perfect honeymoon!  Plan "B" is Rio or Paris.


Posted at 03:27 pm by melicious
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Monday, November 22, 2004
American Express Financial Advisor (TM)

Last week I finally got my window from American Express.  What that means is I have a timeframe to complete the necessary exams and get licensed to practice selling securities and insurance in the state of Florida.  If I complete everything necessary by the "window" date I become an AMEX rep and get a sign-on bonus of $3k immediately.  My window date is February 8th, however, I'm hoping to have everything completed by the first of the year.  It's going to be a busy month and a half, but I can't wait to get started.

For the last three or four weeks I've been taking classes, watching videos and immersing myself in several thousand pages and countless websites of financial information.  It is SO cool!  I am learning so much stuff I wish I would have known years ago.  I blame my parents as the whole reason that got me started on wanting to do this instead of continuing to work out of the house doing transcription.  The transcription thing is really great because it allows me a flexible schedule and I can work outside, next to the pool if I want.  It works out well for being a taxi-mom with our clan for various after school activities et al.  However, ever since the hurricanes, the work has been very sporadic and I am making about half of what I was making all summer.

Back to my parents.  They took a trip in September to Europe for three weeks.  Now, my parents have been retired for 10+ years and just decided one day they wanted to take this trip so they booked it and went.  I want to be in that same position once I'm retired 10 years.  Rather, I WILL be in that position.  The knowledge I'm gaining already is going to help with investing the money we make when we sell my condo and then how to accumulate wealth and set up a very secure future with our regular income.  I can't wait!

Does anyone know anybody else who works in financial advising or have any suggestions, tips, useful info they want to share?  I figure once I get solid on this job I'm going to try to post a once a week column-type thing here, sharing information/advice on securities and investing with you all.  Is there any interest in that kind of thing?

Anyway, better get back to hitting the books.  Peace.

Posted at 12:13 pm by melicious
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Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Goin' With the Flow

Well, we were able to find another location for the wedding.  We took a drive down to Bonita Springs last weekend and met up with my parents at Barefoot/Lely Beach.  It's a great site for a wedding and the foilage and beach sand looks mostly intact.  We have a choice of three different locations and chose the one with the most parking, easy access and a boardwalk for the procession.  It's going to be so wonderful.  Guess maybe we'll get married barefoot, huh? 

We also met with our wedding officiate,
Jannette Adams, last Friday night.  She was so helpful and warm.  We're looking forward to having her seal our love legally :)  She had great leads for vendors for many things like photos, cake, flowers, etc.  A really great lady and I highly recommend her to anyone planning a wedding in Southwest Florida.  She travels anywhere from Sarasota to Marco Island to airplanes and boats to perform weddings.  Thanks Jannette!

I also got my
DRESS!!  It's so beautiful!!!!  It was supposed to have been brand new, white with beads and sequins and it looked like it was online.  But when it arrived it is more ivory than white (although it definitely photographs "white looking").  And, it had definitely been worn AND altered.  Luckily whoever had it had the top altered smaller and that was the only part that didn't fit me.  It looks like I'll be able to have a seamstress let out the top and take in the waist and hips and it should fit perfectly!  A professional cleaning should have it in great shape.  I'm not complaining, I love the internet.  It makes it so much easier to get exactly what you want and can't necessarily find nearby.  I don't even want to tell you how cheap it was, it's almost embarassing! ~LOL~  Now we just have to find a dress for Leah...

The guys are wearing matching outfits.  The younger boys (John, Cory and Jesse) are going to wear ivory polo shirts and kahki shorts.  David and Rudy are going to wear Tommy Bahama ivory silk camp shirts and matching ivory silk shorts.  The pictures should look beautiful - especially at sunset.  I'll be sure to post them here.

I'm going to make our flowers.  We're using burgandy silk roses and ivory & burgandy silk orchids.  Not a whole bunch of extras like babys breath and greens.  I want something that's going to look simple and elegant.  I think the bridal and maid of honor's bouquet will just be roses with a few orchids tossed in for the color contrast, tied with long ribbons. 

Now we just need to secure the reception location.  We have it narrowed down and should have something solid in the next week or so.  We need to get that done so we can get on with the invitations!  More to come...

Posted at 12:17 pm by melicious
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Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Chuck You, Farley!

David and I took a drive out to Capitva Island early Saturday to scout out the best place on the beach to set up for the wedding.  This is the first time we've been out to Sanibel or Captiva since Charley blew through here.  The last time I tried to go out the islands (early September), it was still too damaged to let anyone besides residents or business owners across the causeway.  National Guards, armed with semi-automatic machine guns, made sure of that before you paid your $3.00 to cross the bridge.

November 1st the toll went up to $6.00 per car to enter the island.  This is supposed to pay for the bridge repair/restoration they're working on.  Crumbling pylons have stopped school buses from picking up kids because the supports can't take the weight.  Also, the speed limit on the entire causeway (approx. 3 miles long) was 15-20 mph for a looong time.  Well, the repairs have started but there is no amount of tolls that is gong to restore Captiva.   More on the toll raising in another post.

Sanibel seems to have survived the storms fairly decent.  There is some lost foilage, which is to be expected, and a few blue tarps.  For anyone living in Florida, the Amry Corp blue tarps decorating roofs is as common a sight as a palm tree since Hurricane Hurrah '04.  We did notice that out by the Ding Darling Preserve there must have been a hellatious fire that took out a lot of low-growing shrubs and nearly all of the palm trees were black and missing most of their fronds.  Now when Charley made initial landfall on August 13th, Sanibel/Captiva was where it hit.  It bounced off the barrier islands and rolled up to Punta Gorda where it came ashore and did the majority of damage.

Capitva looks like a war zone.  Bear in mind, there is one way on and off the islands by car, a long road that goes from the mainland to the end of Captiva.  With a max speed limit of 35 mph it can take over an hour to get from the toll to South Seas Resort (which is the fartherest point on Captiva.)  It was heartbreaking driving down the winding road that used to be enclosed in a canopy of lush green leaves and bright tropical flowers.  Homes, many of which had never been seen because of the natural tropical "fence" were visible.  That was the only bright point of the drive.  There are so gorgeous places out there for sure.  I've probably been out to Captiva a couple dozen times.  It's not that I know it well, but you remember places and things because of landmarks.  The only way I could tell where I was on the road was because of the cute little signs that owners use to name their homes; "Captivated", "Dolphin Point", "Sue's Casa", etc.

The resort where our wedding was supposed to take place took a few hits.  Two of the historic cabins that face gulf-side were completely gutted, completely roofless and in the process of being made whole.  The six foot plus wild seagrass fencing the beach from the main road will probably come back but it was only about eight inches high.  Everywhere you turned you saw devestation and loss.  I'm sure that by February many plants will have a good start growing back - in Florida you can throw seeds on the ground and they may be jungle mass in a month or two, but we're not taking chances.  The wedding will not be held on Captiva.  Instead we're going to Fort Myers Beach or Bonita Springs.  It's a toss up between two state parks right now.  We're going to look at both of them this weekend before we say anymore. 

I know that Fort Myers and Bonita did not take nearly the hit that Captiva did.  Fort Myers Beach was underwater for a short time but the last two times I've been down there it looked nearly normal already, so I'm sure by February it'll be back to it's splendour.

Yes, Jim, the hurricanes were awful.  The lasting effect they'll have on this area, in both tourism and natural beauty, will outlast most of our memories of the storms.  But if that's the price I pay for living in paradise, I'll pay it.  Now that Fall is here in full swing it's mild and sunny and gorgeous every day - barely any rain and sleeping with the windows open every night.  This is why we full-timers swelter through the summers, you just can't beat it.  I love this place.

Posted at 11:38 am by melicious
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Sunday, November 07, 2004
Homecoming!!

Here are some pictures of our little "angels" at their first formal for Cypress Lake High. Since both of them are freshman I'm sure we're going to have lots more pics like this to come.

Anyone who hasn't seen Leah or Rudy in awhile is going to be surprised!!!

Leah, gorgeous in her Homecoming dress
Rudy, smashing in his white tux
Rudy and Kristin before the dance
Leah and Karl before the dance

P.S.  Kristin is Rudy's main squeeze, but Karl is a friend of Leah's from her R.O.T.C. class.  I should put up some pics of her in uniform! :)  She is competing in a state-wide tournament with the R.O.T.C. Raiders during the beginning of December.  Karl is also a Raiders member.

Posted at 04:04 pm by melicious
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Thursday, November 04, 2004
The NEW & IMPROVED Brady Bunch


Clockwise from the back:   Rudy (14), Leah (15), Cory (9), Jesse (8), John (13). 

This is our clan.  I hear they're remaking the Partridge Family so why not let us remake the Bradys.  The only one who's not ours is the little boy in the black t-shirt on the left side of the picture.  That's Ricky.  He's a neighbor who comes to play with the boys when they're here.  This was a combo birthday party for Jesse and John on October 23. 

This party was the first time all five kids have been together since July!  John lives near Nashville with his dad and Jesse just moved to the Orlando area from New Jersey in July.  Hopefully we'll all be able to get together more often.  Aren't they sweet?  Can't you just imagine our grocery bill when they're ALL here??  On Christmas we'll hopefully have everyone together again.  I just have to figure out where to hang seven stockings and not feel like a washer woman!

we're also pretty blessed that the kids get along good (for the most part).  They have their moments but who doesn't.  What's important is that they all do really care for each other in their own way, even if they have a rough time showing it positively all the time.  There isn't one of them who wouldn't want any of the others around.

As a side note I just want to thank everyone for all the warm wishes and emails.  It's great to know there's so much love out there.  I'm truly lucky and blessed to have such wonderful friends near and far.  Thank you all so much.  I love you! 


Posted at 12:16 pm by melicious
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Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Hi Everyone!! I'm Getting Married!!!!



Well, here I am on blogdrive.  I figured it was about time, especially with enough of my friends (virtual and virtually) all over the globe telling me I need a blog.  This is a dandy way to keep up with everyone, so... here I am. 

There's been so much going on if you couldn't tell by the blog entry subject!! First, please let me apologize that I didn't call you to tell you about this personally but there's so much going on.  I love you all so much so please don't be mad!  Right now I'm going to try to everything in a brief timeline to catch everyone up.


02.28.02
I quit my excellent job with the State of Michigan and move to Florida for better weather and family ties.  Best move I ever made.

08.15.02
Leah and Rudy meet each other because of Amanda (Leah's good friend and Rudy's current girlfriend) at Cypress Lake Middle School.  Rudy is David's oldest son.  They become good friends and stay good friends even after Rudy and Amanda break up.  Leah met David and went out to eat with them and hung out well before I ever did.  Leah and Rudy used to talk about what big Smashing Pumpkins fans their parents were.

04.22.04
David and I meet when I was picking Leah up from 99X-Fest.  He had gone to the show with Rudy and some of his friends.  David invited me (and all the kids) to go out to eat at Waffle House (woo hoo) after the show.  Unfortunately, we haven't been back there since and I'm sort of a nostalgic kind of girl, ha ha.

05.24.04
Our first official "date" which was also Leah's birthday.  I wasn't going to go but she insisted.  Kind of interesting that we met and Rudy's birthday happened while we were at Waffle House and then our first date was Leah's birthday.  We went out to eat at Mr. Mee's Sushi joint and then went downtown and hung out at Liquid Cafe, tossed back a few beers and talked for hours!  The kids (Leah and Rudy) were calling each other all night saying, "They're STILL not home!  It's after midnight!  What do you think they're doing?!"  Also, this was the date of our first kiss.

07.04.04
Leah and I moved out of our condo and in with David to the house he was building.  The builder finished three months ahead of schedule and he invited us to share it and our lives together.  We were already silly-stupid in love with each other by this point.  Yes, it was fast and, yes, it is incredible.  We've been waiting our whole lives for each other.

10.05.04
I sign on with American Express and will be a financial advisor after completing my Series 7, Series 66 and Florida Life/Home/Health Insurance licensing.

10.15.04
Rudy's band (Ten Speed Indian) played a gig at the Liquid Cafe on a Friday night to a pretty decent-size crowd.  They were AWESOME!!

10.18.04
We get engaged.  Yay!

10.30.04
David's Surprise 40th Birthday party.  His birthday is actually Halloween.  David's mom and dad were in town visiting from Rochester, NY.  We had a great time.  He was mostly surprised in spite of a couple people screwing it up and spilling the beans.

11.03.04
George Bush wins the presidential election.  John Kerry's on television right now giving his concession speech, nearly in tears.  I feel sort of bad for him.  Wonder what we're in for now...


That should get you all up to speed.  I'll be adding pictures and links to come regarding our life and upcoming wedding.  The important wedding details are:

What:  Our wedding with Rudy as the Best Man and Leah as the Maid of Honor
When:  February 25th, 2005, Sunset
Where:  Captiva Island on the beach/gulf side in front of 'Tween Waters Inn.
Who:  Family and close friends.  The full moon should be there, too.
Why:  Silly question.

That's all for now. 

Love & peace. 
~mel

Posted at 11:22 am by melicious
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