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Hello Mountain Home, or rather Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s been quite a while since we wrote an update article here at the Observer. We’ve had a very busy year!
With the holidays right around the corner, Thanksgiving marks the perfect moment to sit down and reflect on the things that we’re grateful for before we get caught up in the hustle and bustle that comes with the Christmas holidays. And we do have a lot to be thankful for.
To start, this holiday season marks the last time that Alison and I will have an empty bedroom in our house. As some of our friends in town know, we are expecting the birth of our first child towards the end of March of next year.
It’s been a long road to even getting to the point of carrying a child, but God finally answered our prayers by gifting us with a girl for our first. Thankfully, Alison has been doing very well with the pregnancy and the baby is on track with her anatomy and growth.
The pregnancy has been the highlight of our year, and we look forward to spending time with our families over the holiday season for the lead-up to the little one’s birth.
God truly is good.
Another thing that we’re grateful for this year is our health. Earlier this year I contracted shingles at the young age of 34. It came as a painful surprise and quickly worked its way onto the retina of my right eye, taking my eyesight for a little under a month.
The experience was a wake-up call to how important my eyes are to my profession as a journalist and a photographer. A big thanks to the crew at Vance Vision Clinic and Baxter Health’s Emergency Department for jumping in quickly to save my eye before any permanent damage was done.
I’m also thankful to Alison for taking over the Observer by herself for nearly a full month while I recovered. Alison isn’t a professionally trained journalist, but she still took up her own pen and paper and wrote some great articles while I was out of the game.
Speaking of great articles, we’re thankful to be finishing year two of the Mountain Home Observer in December. We didn’t know what to expect when we started our digital publication two years ago, but it has turned out to be a great adventure.
Since our founding, we’ve had a lot of firsts under our belts, including snagging the title of being the first to create an online-only local “newspaper” in Arkansas. Since then, we’ve also become the first online-only outlet to become full media members of the Arkansas Press Association.
When we first opened our doors in December 2021, many of my mentors and former colleagues thought that Alison and I were a little crazy. We had no funding, no investors, and no real support group in Mountain Home. All we had was a dream and a few dozen early subscribers.
Thankfully, that was all we needed. Today, we can say that we serve a readership of over 30,000 people a month and an explosion of paid subscribers, and it’s all thanks to the amazing members of this community. Running the Observer has been a series of learning lessons, and it’s something that I’ll always be thankful for.
We’ve had our ups and downs this year, and we’ve even made more than a few people upset by calling things how we see them. We’re thankful for those moments as well as they’ve let us participate in and lead in serious discussions about the future of Mountain Home and Baxter County. We hope that we’ve helped to make this a better place to live.
Lastly, Alison and I are thankful for Mountain Home. This little slice of the world is a truly special place and I think we’re all thankful to live here, especially as hard times fall over the rest of the country and our world.
Our area truly is a little slice of heaven, and we’re very lucky to be able to experience its beauty each day.
With that said, a special thanks goes out to our readers. You all allow us to continue to live here. We could not do this without you, and we hope that you have a restful and joyous Thanksgiving weekend.
No edition for Thursday and Friday. We’ll be back at it on Monday.
Chris and Alison Fulton