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It's amazing how much things -- and people -- can change in 10 years. Today, Oct. 3, 2018, I only need to look inside my own home for proof of this.

You see, today is my baby's birthday. And not just any birthday, it's Emma Loise Thomas' 10th birthday.

What a 10 years it's been, and where has the time gone?

It got me thinking, what was the world like 10 years ago that Emma was born into?

Well, Oct. 3, 2008, was a beautiful Friday morning in Northwest Arkansas, but the news coming out of Siloam Springs that day was not great.

A headline on the front page of the Oct. 3, 2008, edition of the Benton County Daily Record reported nearly 50 jobs being cut at Gates here in Siloam Springs.

For many in numerous areas of business -- including newspapers -- it was a tough time.

At the Thomas house though, on that morning, all we knew was joy. (Amy's note: uh, Panic! Two?!? What the heck were we thinking???)

Emma Loise Thomas was born shortly after 10 a.m. at Mercy Hospital in Rogers. (Amy's note: uh, huh? I don't know what he was doing at 10 a.m., but I had just arrived at the hospital. Lou wasn't born until 12:36 p.m.)

My wife Amy and I were not first time parents as Nathan was two months away from turning 3, but going from one kid to two is always a challenge. (Amy's note: Aaaaa-men!)

Thankfully, we had plenty of help. I remember Amy's parents were in town to help us with the new baby, and them being here also helped me that same night. (Amy's note: He missed getting pooped and puked on. Not from the same person either.)

Yep, on the night of my daughter's birth, I was covering high school football. (Amy's note: My poor dad. He was covered in something else. We still owe him.)

It was a huge match-up -- No. 1 Fort Smith Southside at No. 3 Bentonville from Tiger Stadium. The game lived up to the hype too. Bentonville, led by legendary coach Barry Lunney, defeated Lunney's former team 14-7 in a defensive slugfest. (Amy's note: It was also a huge matchup at the hospital. Nathan had already figured out he was no longer numero uno.)

Little did we know then that the two teams would meet up again in the state finals two months later at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. (Amy's note: Nathan and Emma still go head to head to this very day.)

It was an exciting night for Siloam Springs football too. They scored with 16.8 seconds left on a pass from Bryan Adair to Chris Villasenor to win at Vilonia 22-17 and improve to 5-0 and 2-0 in the 5A-West. (Amy's note: It's still exciting around here.)

A lot has changed since then. (Amy's note: Hmmm... and yet so much feels just the same.)

Emma Lou has grown into a true daddy's girl, and believe you me she has her daddy wrapped around her little finger. (Amy's note: And she knows it.)

I still have as much fun covering high school football as I did that night watching the Tigers and Rebels. (Amy's note: He missed his daughter's very first night. He'd better enjoy it.)

And Siloam Springs has certainly gone through some ups and downs in its football program. (Amy's note: Unlike Emma's ability to get her Daddy to buy her anything she wants. How does she do it?)

I just hope the next 10 years don't go so fast. (Amy's note: Me, too.)

(Last Amy's note: I made him go to the game. He loved it then. He loves it now. He loves his little girl way more.)

-- Graham Thomas is the managing editor for the Herald-Leader. He can be reached at The opinions expressed are those of the author... and his wife Amy.

Sports on 10/03/2018

Print Headline: Hard to believe it's been 10 years

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