Three Year Anniversary (11.07.2015) Paper, Cotton and Leather

You know those moments when you know “Oh yeah, this is going to be big. This is one of those moments” and do everything you can to remember every little detail?

It may have been a first kiss. It may have been a major moment in history you witnessed. It may have been when you saw a shooting star.

I have a few of those myself but three main ones come to mind:

  1. Swimming solo in the Mediterranean
  2.  The day Drew proposed
  3. The day we were married

 

November 7, 2015 I married my best friend, my better half and my rock.

Three years ago we did not take a honeymoon but have made every weekend, every holiday and every single day an adventure. Words always fall short when I try to describe the type of person my husband is or why I love him but it has always been made clear we were created, raised and meant for each other.

He makes me laugh. Every day.

He makes me smile. Every day.

He makes me work harder. Every day.

He encourages me. Every day.

“Love is not about how many days, months or years you have been together. Love is about how much you love each other every single day.”

 

 

In traditional anniversary gift-giving Year One is Paper.

It’s believed that paper is the traditional symbol for the first anniversary because it signifies writing the blank pages of a new chapter in life. It also is a fragile material which represents the delicate state of a new marriage.

From the moment we were engaged I started keeping a journal of our year-long engagement. I wrote about how difficult it was being away from each other, how exciting it was to book our venue, how sweet it was to countdown to the rest of our life.

I wrote my vows in that journal and each year on our anniversary I will pull it back out and write to him/us. The papers of this journal are completely blank. They’re stark white, empty, blank; ready to be marked with the thoughts and milestones of a couple that will never be in that same stage again. If we had lines, we would be guided. If we had prompts we would be influenced.

But the pages are blank.

Only we decide what goes in them, what we never want to forget and we can focus on exactly what is best for us.

 

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tzu

One Year Anniversary. Photo by Liz Rudman.

One Year Anniversary. Photo by Liz Rudman.

For more One Year Anniversary pictures by the insanely talented Liz Rudman, check this out! You can check out the location of the shoot here

 

 

Year Two is Cotton

The traditional gift for a second wedding anniversary is cotton. It symbolizes the need for a marriage to remain strong and be able to adapt to changes. The significance of the ‘gifts’ to symbolically mark the years of your relationship is not lost on me. As more time passes the material of the gifts grow more durable and valuable.

On our wedding day we opted to symbolize our unity by tying (literally) a fisherman’s knot with two golden ropes. This has remained untouched since our wedding day and the knot: solid.

During our cross-country move the end of one of the ropes was broken up a bit. The three strands that made up the rope separated but did not fray. It stopped midway up the rope without touching the knot. While I have yet to fix that, I could glue it. But that doesn’t take away the fact it was ever broken. It experienced a tribulation, a slight trauma but it still stuck together. It was held by the solid knot, surrounded by everything meant to protect it. If I were to glue it, it might look a bit better physically but that doesn’t erase what had happened.

 

Our second year brought challenges. Oh yes, it did! Job changes and promotions. My car was totaled by a drunk driver going the wrong way on I-5. Medical and health issues. Petty fights together and big relationship changes with others. There were sacrifices as individuals, there were sacrifices by family. I brought the gift of efficiency, attention to detail and small daily gestures to ease the stress of his job. He brought humor to tragedy, tight hugs when I could only cry and he lead us through several tough, challenging decisions.

Cotton can show up in many forms. It blends with other fabrics, it adapts to it’s environment and is known for holding strong in any condition. The higher quality it is created with, the longer it will last.

 

“Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.” Simone Signoret

 

 

 

Year Three is Leather

The traditional 3-year anniversary gift is leather, which is symbolic of the marriage reaching a stage of flexible durability. The modern third anniversary gift is crystal (or glass), which has a special beauty, yet is still fragile—again, both significant representations of a maturing marriage.

I feel like this is going to be my favorite stage. We have reached a mutual understanding of expectations.

He updates me on his schedule and what to expect and I’ve relaxed (a little) that we don’t have to clean, do laundry…plan..or cook…etc. the same way 😉 He wants to have a relaxed day on the couch watching football without doing anything and I want to get out of the house and go do things. We compromise and do both.

We understand that good intentions are better than having done nothing at all. We understand the type of people we want to be, the type of people we want to be around or avoid and the type of people we want to raise in the future should we be so lucky.

Our wedding song was “When You Got A Good Thing” by Lady A and listening to that brings back the memories and lyrics that we hold dear to our hearts. We never forget that we do have a good thing! A GREAT thing. A unique thing.

It has always been Us and We not You and Me. We understand every decision we make is for us. Not for family. Not for friends. Not for work. Not for selfish reasons.

But what is best for US. Our favorite thing to do is enjoy every little thing around us, living in the moment, understanding how fortunate we are. We love to try new places and beers, eat new food then make fun of how it was too fancy over french fries. We love having friends and family in our home and we love being alone with the dog.

We choose to trust and love each other every day.

We choose to always kiss goodbye in the morning and say I love you every day.

We choose happiness and to laugh instead of taking each other too seriously.

We choose each other, over everything and everyone else, every day. 

11.07.2015

 11.07.2015. Photo by The Grays Photography.

 

Cheers to Three Years! 

Marin

 

And if you’d like to watch our wedding video click here

 

“Lord knows we’ve had our bad days
And more than once we’ve disagreed
But you’ve always been a friend to me.
And there’s times I’d rather kill you
Than listen to your honesty
But you’ve always been a friend to me.”

-Garth Brooks, A Friend To Me

 

 

 

Get More Social Media Engagement

In college, I majored in Journalism and Mass Communications. I was guided into a Public Relations degree, interned with an award-winning advertising agency and later played the role of a Marketing Manager. When it comes to mass communications and digital marketing, it’s not just the Millennials who are using social media for their benefit…all businesses should be maximizing their efforts. Every day I see people failing in this 

Social media provides a 24/7 connection at no cost to provide stories to establish connections and persuasion to sell and purchase products. While reading my latest JMC Update publication I came across some helpful, and very useful, social media statistics. The full magazine is available here but let’s look at the page I mentioned. I am going to walk you through the stats you can decide which platforms work best for your goals.

Why is this important?

  • 6 out of every 10 people in the U.S. will use social networks this year and the average person spends more than 5 years of their life on social media.
  • Businesses are hiring pros to focus on potential outreach and increase their revenues via free or low-paid services.

jmc update

  • 93 percent of Pinterest users use the platform to make purchases or plan future purchases.
    • Pinterest is best for those selling a physical or visual product. This is a great place to share your finished interior design photos, pretty cupcakes or recipes, decorated dorm room, candles and much more. If you’re an engagement, wedding, newborn or other special occasion photographer you have a huge potential to watermark and upload your photos for sharing.
    • The biggest key in any of these products is linking back to your website! If they are actively engaged and like what you’re doing but you don’t guide them back to help serve them, shame on you turning customers away. You can easily automate this through your website and a software like IFTTT. By connecting all of my initial automations, I can now see each blog with an image included shared on my board. People are saving them and reaching out for business.
    • Include plenty of keywords so you show up in searches. If you need any help with these, please let me help you!

  • 200 million people use Instagram stories per month. Plus, top brands post 4.9 times per week on Instagram.
    • I personally prefer using IG stories to Snapchat stories. You can also go live and interact to your audience, save to your highlights and directly poll your viewers.
    • If top brands are encouraged to post 1.5 times/day or about 4.9 times/week that doesn’t sound like it adds up too much, huh? I suggest researching your top demographic, scheduling or posting at the times they’re most likely active online to make the most of your engagement. By staggering times and days to test your results you will see what your audience is wanting and when.
    • Start by posting once daily in your theme and a pattern that will appear cohesive and beautiful to viewers.
    • Even if you’re a personal brand, switch to a business profile. You will see your stats live and have the potential to grow where you want to.

IG STORIES TRICK: There are a few requirements to use the See More swipe-up feature including having an IG Business account and at least 10k followers. If you have neither there are a few loopholes. Reach out if you want to learn the workaround.

  • 100 million hours of video content is watched on Facebook daily. 79 percent of American internet users are on Facebook.
    • You know how the videos on your timeline will start up without you pressing play? A majority of the time you will continue to watch the video and automatically be transferred to one similar. By going LIVE on Facebook you have the chance to engage with your audience. The best way to do this is to notify them the day before or day of so they know what to look forward to. If you have something to share immediately, the best way to be authentic is to…be authentic! Go live, don’t worry about correct grammar or the best lighting. Be as clear in your messaging and this video will live on in your network’s timeline.
    • Creating visual content that encourages people to share or prompts them to take action will expose you to new audiences. With 79 percent of users on Facebook, it’s a pillar that can (and should) be included in every social media campaign effort.
  • 67 percent of Americans report getting their news from social media.
    • No wonder this last election stirred up so much controversy. Using Facebook, Google searches or other online platforms as a news source is commonplace. If you can create news, write an article or share/create something newsworthy then you’re well on your way to fitting this niche and making yourself relevant.
    • Did you know NEWS stands for notable events weather and sports? Make stories newsworthy by including pieces after your hook and before your CTA that include recent events or happenings especially.

  • U.S. social network ad spending is expected to hit $26,007,137,644.75 in 2018.
    • The best form of advertising is word of mouth and referrals. This cuts the corner of having to achieve a know, like and trust factor with potential clients. People are well-aware of ad spending and targeted marketing when faced with certain topics or searches. To avoid being blocked, create your own posts. Look at what works well and replicate or boost for a few dollars. I wouldn’t boost a post that didn’t include a CTA asking to purchase a product or service.
    • You looking for someone to help with your ad targeting? I’ve got a girl. Let me know if you want to connect with her.

  • Posts with emoticons receive 33 percent more engagement than those without.
    • Emoticons, or emojis, offer a visual and creative way to express your message to followers. It’s the best way to reach a casual, informative, playful or expressive message. For example, Domino’s Pizza tweeted pizza emojis in the shape of a larger pizza emoji and used this to help their campaign Domino’s Pizza Anywhere.
    • Use GIFs, emojis or other fun communication to engage your audience.
  • The average internet user has 7.6 different social media accounts.
    • Sounds like a lot right? If you include your email or digital accounts and how connected you more than likely are this will add up quickly. I personally have Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter (not active), Pinterest, WordPress, and two email accounts. So this stat is fairly accurate.
    • If you’re looking for a way to reach the largest audience possible, post on every platform (automate sharing to make this easier) but pay special attention to your followers. If someone comments, comment back. Like their comments. Respond to messages or share testimonials. This is the most powerful resource you have.

 

You have an idea and the facts to stand behind what platform you choose to pursue. If you haven’t read my blog post on creating quality content head back over to the blog page after this.
Cheers!

Marin

You tired of reading about engagement and you want your own REAL results? Let’s work together.