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Round-Up of Interesting Reads #9: Santa is Coming!

By Dustin | Link Round-Up

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is only a week away.  I hope that you will have the opportunity to spend some nice, quiet time with your family and friends during this most joyous of holidays.  To help you get into the Christmas spirit, and get the most out of this last week before the big day, I have assembled a lot of fantastic reads in this edition of the Round-up.  Please take some time to check out each article and share some laughs with me when you watch the video clip at the end of this post.  Merry Christmas!

  • Brad And J’s 1st Annual Christmas Stimulus 2009. Brad from Enemy of Debt and J. Money from Budgets are Sexy have teamed up to offer a truly generous giveaway.  All you have to do is leave a comment on each of their posts, and you will be eligible to win $300, no strings attached.  Talk about a sweet Christmas gift!  Hurry, though, because the deadline to enter is midnight on Saturday, December 19th.
  • A Brief Guide to Holiday Tipping. J.D. from the great Get Rich Slowly blog provides some practical and straightforward advice for who you should be tipping for Christmas and just how much you should give to avoid looking like a Scrooge.
  • Traveling by Plane With Kids: My Tips & Experiences. For you poor souls that must travel long distances with small children over the holidays, I suggest you take a look at this very helpful post.  Samantha from Mama Notes has lived through a very long plane ride with her baby boy and lived to tell about it!
  • Man Knowledge: Early 20th Century Battles Every Man Should Know.  The Christmas season always helps remind me of the constant sacrifices made by our armed forces.  Their selfless service is very much highlighted during the holidays when many will not get the opportunity to share Christmas morning with their own families.  I think everyone should read this post from the Art of Manliness, which will grow your appreciation of the heroic service provided by so many military members throughout modern history.

By the way, if you need a “push” and some motivation to get off your butt (like I do), you won’t want to miss a little competition  I’m cooking up to kick off the new year!  Look for a post in the next few days that announces “Improve Yourself! 2010“.  If you don’t already, I’d really encourage you to subscribe to receive new posts by RSS or Email so you don’t miss your chance to be part of this exciting contest…great prizes will be included!

  • 10 Awesome Christmas Gifts for Married Couples. If you still need to buy a gift for your spouse or another married couple, why not make it a meaningful and helpful present?  My post makes it easy with links to great gifts that you can buy at the lowest price from Amazon.  If you know someone who could use some career advice or some motivation/direction in their life, then I highly recommend you check out Dan Miller’s site at 48 Days.  Click “Christmas Deals” for some insane discounts, including autographed books!
  • Finally, I’d like to share an awesome compilation video from one of my favorite Christmas movies…I think you’ll recognize it. 🙂

And please don’t forget the reason for the season:

Keep Christ in Christmas!

Round-Up of Interesting Reads #8: Black Friday Edition

By Dustin | Link Round-Up

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving and didn’t go completely broke during today’s shopping sprees.  We enjoyed a nice, local holiday with visits to each of parents and plenty of good food and great company.  I spent Black Friday hanging out with the kids, while Bethany and her Mom “enjoyed” their annual shopping spree that began before the sun even chose to rise this morning.  All in all, it’s been a great couple of days to mostly relax and enjoy family.

I will have a big announcement about Engaged Marriage coming the middle of next week, and I hope to write a few more posts this weekend in between several birthday celebrations (including Bethany’s).  In the meantime, enjoy this installment of the Round-Up, which is topped off with a clip from my favorite show on television: The Office!

  • Nominate Marriage Blogs for a “Top Ten” List of 2009.  Stu at The Marry Blogger is currently taken nominations and votes to compile a top ten list of blogs about marriage.  If you have not already done so, I’d really appreciate it if you clicked this link and took a minute to leave a kind word for Engaged Marriage (or another favorite marriage blog if you prefer).
  • The Number One Rule to Enjoying Your Kids More.  I loved this article at Zen Family Habits.  As our lives become more hectic, the reminders offered in this post become vital to appreciating all that our families have to offer.
  • And finally, please enjoy this awesome wedding clip from The Office!

20 Questions to Help You Overcome Barriers and Find Your Passion

Round-Up of Interesting Reads #7

By Dustin | Link Round-Up

Among the other great information you have provided so far through the Help Engaged Marriage Grow Up the Right Way survey was some insight into how the Link Round-Up posts are being received.  Well, maybe insight isn’t the right word…the number of people who said they wanted more of these posts was almost equal to the number who said they wanted less!

So, for now, I will continue to share my favorite reads from around the web.  But the schedule for these posts will not necessarily be weekly.  This should provide plenty of time for me to write about the topics that everyone said they enjoy, while still pointing the way to other great resources available out on the World Wide Web.

So, without further ado!

  • The Day I Killed My Credit Card. Brad at Enemy of Debt provides a funny, satirical look at the difficulties of breaking away from the cycle of debt.  Your rewards card is not your provider.

And last but not least, I have to use the photo space in this edition of the Round-Up to share one of our latest family photos.  This was our first attempt at outdoor photography with our two little ones, and we had a blast!  Here is our happy crew:

My Great Family

Weekly Round-Up of Interesting Reads #6

By Dustin | Link Round-Up

This week’s edition of the weekly round-up features a few great sites that I just discovered over the past several days, along with some fantastic articles from my regular reading list.  And there is even a bit of harmless self-promotion.  From marriage preparation to the difficulties of parenting, enjoy this week’s Interesting Reads!

  • 7 Awesome Ways to Find Your Creative Inspiration.  Wow, the author of this article must be a genius, I mean seriously how great is this post?  OK, so I wrote it.  But I am proud of it, and I totally love the My Super-Charged Life blog, and I am thrilled to have my writing featured there.  Check out this site to get the best from your life.
  • Being a Mommy is Hard.  The Extraordinary Mommy site is authored by a fellow St. Louisan, and it looks like a fantastic multimedia blog.  As a Daddy, I really enjoyed this short, but deeply meaningful, post about the emotions we sometimes face as parents of young children.
  • This week’s photo comes all the way from….my kitchen table!  We had a fantastic time carving pumpkins with our kids this evening, and I wanted to feature their work.  These pumpkins were picked at a local farm last weekend as part of our annual pumpkin picking/fried fish eating trip with close friends.  Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Weekly Round-Up of Interesting Reads #5

By Dustin | Link Round-Up

It is time once again to highlight some great articles I have read on the World Wide Web this week.  This edition includes some family/marriage sites, some advice on reducing stress and some sound financial advice.  And, as always, we will top things off with a cool picture.  Enjoy!

  • 10 Ways to Reduce Stress Without Spending a Dime. I love the Dumb Little Man site, and this article lives up their high standard.  I am a big believer in minimizing stress in life, and this post provides some practical advice toward that end.
  • Finally Out of Debt?  Here’s How to Stay Out.  Any regular readers of Engaged Marriage know that I am a big believer in a debt-free lifestyle.  This great post on The Wisdom Journal gives some practical advice for staying out of debt after you reach that milestone.
  • Finally, I will end with another funny wedding picture.  This pic posted on Divine Caroline tells a great story of a probably well-intentioned bride who may forever be known as “Bridezilla”!

Bridezilla Takes Charge!