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Category Archives for "General"

Announcing the Giveaway Winners & A Sex Challenge!

By Dustin | General

I hope everyone is enjoying a great weekend with your families.  We have a busy weekend planned as usual, including our first family trip of the year to Busch Stadium on Sunday afternoon to watch our favorite St. Louis Cardinals in action.  I’m sure it will be a lot of fun, but we’ll have to see how we hold up to the sunny, hot and oh-so-humid weather in the afternoon…especially Bethany who is now around 8 months pregnant. 🙂

I am excited to share with you the winners of our Get Rich Slowly giveaways this week!  I chose each one based on how many entries they had using a random selection from Random.org.  Here’s the rundown:

Michelle won a copy of You Need A Budget which will help her and her husband meet their financial goal of “staying out of debt as they start adding to their family.”  If you haven’t read my review of YNAB, please take a minute to do so and check this software out for yourself.  I truly love it!

Lesley won a copy of Your Money: The Missing Manual by leaving a comment on our Facebook page.  If you haven’t joined us there yet, please come over and see what 415+ folks are doing as an engaged Facebook community!

Amy won a copy of The Total Money Makeover as part of our first (of many) exclusive giveaways for those signed up for the Marriage Time newsletter.  Join us there for some unique content, personal interaction and of course some Marriage Mojo!

I really want to thank everyone who participated in these giveaways all week.  It has been an incredible week as many friends from Get Rich Slowly have joined our community after clicking over from my guest post there.  I also really enjoyed hearing all of your financial goals on the YNAB post, and all of the kind comments left on the Facebook page and sent via email really made my week special.

The 7 Days of Sex Challenge from ONE Extraordinary Marriage

I also wanted to call your attention to an awesome challenge being put together by my friends and partners in marriage improvement Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo at ONE Extraordinary Marriage.  Please check out their announcement post and consider signing up for the 7 Days of Sex Challenge!

Tony and I recently had a fun discussion about date nights, and he recorded it to share as a prize for one of the many giveaways they’re doing for the challenge.  I was honored to add my time and thoughts as a sponsor of this great challenge where they seek to help couples fire up the intimacy in their marriages.

Check it out…and Go Cards!

New Here? Welcome to Engaged Marriage!

By Dustin | General

Engaged Marriage continues to grow through the enthusiasm of our community and the willingness of ultra-cool folks to support and share our message.  Today, I am beyond excited to let you know that one of my online heroes, Darren Rowse, is featuring a guest post I wrote on Problogger.  Please take a few minutes to head there and read “7 Tips to Keep Your Family On-Board for Your Blogging Journey.”

With growth comes new readers, so I put together this post (which will become a permanent “tab” at the top of site) to give a quick overview of what we do here at Engaged Marriage.

Who Is Writing This and What’s This Site All About?Happy Days in Cancun

First of all, my name is Dustin Riechmann and I created Engaged Marriage.  That’s me pretending to be strong in the picture.  That’s actually not a photo of Illinois where I live.  It’s Cancun, Mexico where we vacationed for a week in August 2009.

This is sort of relevant because it was during that vacation that the idea for this site started stirring in my mind.  My wife thought it was just some sort of delirium brought on by too much cheap tequila, but it turns out that the idea stuck.

I would really encourage you to spend a few minutes reading the About page since it provides the best overview of what this site is, well, all about.

In a nutshell, a central theme of the posts here at Engaged Marriage is candid and practical advice that you can learn and put into action without a huge time commitment.  Alongside the “action items,” you’ll find healthy doses of motivation in the form of humor, personal stories and spiritual reflections.

This site is not a “typical” marriage resource like many books and even some other blogs.  I’m not a PhD or a counselor. And I’m not here to fix serious problems or provide therapy.  This site is for those that have good (or at least pretty good) marriages and want to make the most of it.

I’m living the crazy life of a husband and father with all of the demands that come with it.  I understand it’s a very real struggle to find time to devote to improving your married life.  I know how it feels to struggle to even keep up with the everyday requirements that we face as couples in the earlier years of our marriage. I know it’s hard.  But I also know that it’s totally worth it.

Here Is Some Suggested Reading

The best way to see if Engaged Marriage resonates with you is to read some of the posts here.  You can browse all of the posts if you’d like, but I’d suggest you begin by checking out a few of these:

Fight Fair! 6 Simple Conflict Resolution Skills for Your Marriage

Take 15 Minutes Each Day to Just Be a Couple

I Love My Wife Enough to Shop at Wal-Mart

Help! What Are Your Top Parenting Tips?

How Does Natural Family Planning Benefit Marriage?

Write an Awesome Romantic Love Letter: The Simple “5R” Approach

Should Married Couples Have Joint or Separate Bank Accounts?

How Marriage Helped Make Me a Christian

Love Everyday: Thoughts On Loving Amidst the Chaos of Life (an awesome and totally FREE collaborative e-book)

I’m Digging This Place, Now What?

If you think you’d fit in here and enjoy reading more stuff from me and some talented guest-posters, I’d strongly encourage you to sign up to have new posts sent to you (for free) to read at your convenience.  You can have these delivered right to your Email or RSS news feed reader.  You can read more about these options at our Don’t Miss a Thing page.

Aside from the blog, you can connect with me and other great members of our community on the Engaged Marriage Facebook page and on Twitter.

And always feel free to contact me at any time.  I love to receive feedback, suggestions, questions and proposals for high-quality and original guest posts.

Welcome to our community!  We are happy you are here.

Guess Who’s a New Monthly Columnist at Simple Marriage?

By Dustin | General

This guy. 🙂

I am excited to announce that Corey at Simple Marriage has graciously asked me to join his team as a monthly columnist. Simple Marriage is one of my favorite sites, and I’m confident it’s a place Engaged Marriage readers will enjoy and feel at home.  Corey is an excellent writer, a devout Christian and an all-around awesome proponent of great marriages…through simplicity.

I will providing monthly posts on the topic of Careers & Money.  This is an area where I have a lot of interest and passion, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to spread the word about the power of pursuing work that you love, living with a plan and achieving family financial freedom.  It’s a vital part of having an extraordinary marriage.

I would really appreciate it if you could take a minute to visit Simple Marriage and read the announcement post. It would mean a great deal to me if you could show your support in this way, and we would both love to hear from you in the comments section.  Feel free to share your thoughts here or there about topics you’d like to see covered in the area of Careers & Money (I have two places to write about it now).  While you’re there, also check out the rest of the Simple Marriage writing team.

Welcome to the Readers of Simple Marriage !

If you are a visitor from Simple Marriage, I would like to welcome you to Engaged Marriage and say Thank You for taking the time to come over for a look.  While you are here, I’d encourage you to check out the “About” page to get a feel for the motivation behind the site, and please take a look around and check out some posts.

If you like what you see, please Don’t Miss a Thing! and take a moment to sign up to get updates by email or subscribe via RSS. I also love to interact with new friends through the Engaged Marriage Facebook Page.

The mission of Engaged Marriage basically boils down to this: I want to help good people achieve the extraordinary in marriage and in life!

As a starting point, I recommend checking out these posts to get a flavor for the content here:

Take 15 Minutes Each Day to Just be a Couple

Write an Awesome Romantic Love Letter: The Simple “5R” Approach

37 Family Things to Do at Home on a Rainy Sunday

Fight Fair! 6 Simple Conflict Resolution Skills for Your Marriage

How Does Natural Family Planning Benefit Marriage?

Thanks again to Corey for this opportunity, and thank you all for your continued support of Engaged Marriage and the pursuit of Extraordinary Marriages.

Some Old Posts for the New Year

By Dustin | General

Reflections on Engaged Marriage 2009As we change the calendar and welcome 2010, I spent some time reflecting back on all of the incredibly good things that have happened through my creation of Engaged Marriage around four months ago.  I have thanked you guys in the past for all of the awesome progress you’ve brought to this blog as we’ve reached some major milestones together.

Well, please accept my sincere thanks once again because you have been such a vital part of spreading the message that Extraordinary Marriages are possible, and we shouldn’t settle for “normal” when it comes to the most important relationship in our life.  Many of you have become my friends, and I am confident that you’ve imparted more wisdom on me than I’ve shared in return.  Thank you!

A Few of My Favorite Posts

As we start unfolding the New Year, I thought it would be fun to take a few minutes and look back through the 63 posts I have published since my initial Welcome message back on August 21st along with the nearly 620 comments you’ve shared in return.  By the way, you can do the same at anytime by clicking on the “Browse Posts” tab at the top of the page, which lists every post by category and the number of comments you’ve graced it with.

Of course, the Top Ten (most viewed) posts are always highlighted under the “Greatest Hits” at the bottom of the page.  While these are the most popular posts, they aren’t necessarily my personal favorites.  Some of my earliest posts didn’t get any attention, but I still think they’re pretty cool.

So, here’s my list of the lesser-read but still my favorite posts from 2009 (all four months of it :)):

Here’s wishing everyone an incredible, marriage-building 2010!

I’d love to hear from you in the comments to this post.  What was your favorite post(s) from Engaged Marriage in 2009?

Photo by Optical illusion

You Guys Are Simply Awesome!

By Dustin | General

The Top 10 Marriage Blogs of 2009 from themarryblogger.comTo all of the readers of Engaged Marriage: Thank You!

I am really excited to announce that Engaged Marriage was recently selected as a Top Ten Marriage Blog in a contest hosted by Stu at The Marry Blogger.  In fact, we were voted as the #1 Marriage Blog overall!

This ranking was based solely on the nominations that were submitted during the contest period.  In total, 16 blogs were represented by more than 100 submissions.  That means that you, the loyal and enthusiastic readers of Engaged Marriage, earned this accolade for our site.  I will proudly display the Top Ten “badge” in the sidebar in honor of your continued support.

I am truly amazed by the strong show of support.  I’m pretty sure that Engaged Marriage was the “youngest” blog represented.  Yet, after only 3 1/2 months in existence, we have created a community here that is enthusiastic about spreading the message and mission of supporting Extraordinary Marriages…it’s simply awesome!

I would also like to encourage you to visit Stu’s site and see the entire Top Ten list.  There are some fantastic sites included and many that I hope to collaborate with in the future.  And please spend some time checking out The Marry Blogger.  Stu has an awesome site and some excellent info to share with all of us!

And That’s Not All!

While I am heaping praise on you all, I wanted to share some other milestones that we have reached recently.  I have been really excited by the continued growth in readership.  In the three-plus months since its inception, approximately 7,000 people have visited the site, and the best single day last week welcomed nearly 250 visitors.

It’s pretty incredible to realize that the site’s pages have been viewed nearly 15,000 times in the short time that it’s been around, and the majority of those were within the last month.  I hope I can someday look back at this post with the same amazement as I feel now when I read my post celebrating our first 1,000 pageviews after about our first month.

If you like numbers, I have some more cool information to share about the members of our growing community:

  • The 53 previous posts have a total of 349 comments at the moment
  • Folks from 81 different countries have visited the site
  • Visitors have found Engaged Marriage through 235 different online sources
  • Engaged Marriage has over 2,300 followers on Twitter
  • Our Facebook page has 160 Fans with more joining in each day
  • Approximately 200 people have subscribed to receive automatic updates on new posts via either email or an RSS reader

I love numbers (I’m an engineer after all), and seeing the progress we are making in reaching a growing audience is certainly rewarding.  However, what really makes all of the hard work I put into this blog worth it is the very real connection I’ve established with many of you.

Through our interactions in comments, private emails and various social media platforms, I really feel connected to a larger community of great people who share my belief in the idea of extraordinary marriages.  And not only do you believe, but you are proactively pursuing it and helping myself and others along the way.  That’s what this thing is all about!

How Can You Become More Involved?

If you wish to join us in building an enthusiastic and supportive community, I would kindly ask you to consider taking one of the following actions.  They are all easily reversible if you decide this proactive and positive action thing is not for you, though I don’t suspect that will be a problem!

  • Sign up for Free E-mail Updates so you can read new posts in your inbox at your convenience.
  • Subscribe to the RSS Feed so you can read new posts in your Google reader or another platform.
  • Become a “fan” on the Engaged Marriage Facebook page to interact and receive updates on the latest happenings & behind-the-scenes news.
  • Follow Engaged Marriage on Twitter where I have frequent conversations with so many great people from around the world.
  • Tell your friends, family and co-workers about the site and invite them to pay us a quick visit.  In the first days of the site, a couple of enthusiastic readers sent emails to their friends with a link to the site and another shared it on her Facebook page (thanks Jaycie 🙂 ).  This has a bigger impact than you’d think, and that initial show of support laid the groundwork for the community that has emerged since.  Could you do the same?

Once again, thank you for you incredible support & for being part of the Engaged Marriage community!