How I fell for Fort Smith

I was born, raised and educated in Fayetteville, AR. I’m a FHS and U of A alumni. One may say Fayetteville is my hometown. It was an amazing town to be raised in which is why I stayed there for college. There is good shopping, eating, bike trails, the hogs and above all else, good people. You can imagine that when I became engaged to my now husband how excited I was to move to the industrial town of Fort Smith. Not. At. All. I feared there was nothing for a 22 year old in Fort Smith. At first, there wasn’t. In the beginning of my courtship with this city I was just my husbands (a man already well known and loved in our community)fiance. But then I decided I was going to make the best of it and I let down my inhibitions and I started to fall in love with Fort Smith.  The more I learned about our community the more I liked it. The more people I got to know the better this place became. You ever heard the saying “a house is not a home”? Meaning that a house is just a structure but it is the family and life in that structure that makes a home. Same idea applies to a city and its community and I really couldn’t love this community any more. Here are some of my favorite things about Fort Smith and why this place is my home now after just 7 short years.

1. Small business shopping- The first time I went to Suite One, the owner, Tasha helped me shop. Through shopping there we have become friends. Every time I go in that place every girl offers to watch my daughter while I shop. It’s like shopping out of a girlfriends closet! Then another precious friend opened a  Fort Smith boutique, Hazels Haven which is also the funnest shopping experience. They go out of their way to put things on hold for you and make you feel special. By far my two favorite little shops to hit up in Fort Smith. Bonus: My husband can go in either of those stores for presents for me and they know me so well they can pick out stuff that I will love! Shopping local is the best!

2. Eating- Do you guys realize how much the foodie scene has picked up in Fort Smith? From fancy shmancy like Movie Lounge and West End 21 to “quick eats” like River City Deli. Have you been to Pho Vietnam? Don’t let the old gas station look scare you away, it’s the best! This summer if you don’t go to Delicias Michoacanas and get a homemade popsicle you won’t forgive yourself. It’s not just their homemade ice cream delights either, have you had a homemade tamale there? My mouth is watering, moving on…..

3. Event scene- We may not have The Amp but we still have a music scene. We have big names that come to the River Front and Convention Center all the time. If you like the music scene then you most definitely don’t miss The Klocks or The Velcro Pygmies show every summer at The Rib Room. It’s like a Fort Smith locals summer bucket list event. We have tons of fundraiser events throughout the year that are always fun and for great causes. We even had a marathon this year!

4. Resources- Speaking of all those fundraiser events, Fort Smith has some great resources for our community; Children’s Emergency Shelter,The Reynolds Cancer Support House, Girls Inc. of Fort Smith, Community Rescue Mission, Bost Inc. and so many more.

5. The People- There is nowhere in the world with better people. After living here for almost 8 years I have really become too used to doors being held open for me. When I traveled to D.C. not too long ago I had a few doors dropped in my face because I was so prepared for the person in front of me to hold the door as I pranced through it. I also got stared at like I was about to rob a woman when I held a door open for her. We are nice here, we are kind, we help each other, we care about each other and we put others before ourselves.

6. Healthcare- We have doctors here in Fort Smith who have been trained by some of the best in the world. Did you know people travel from all over the United States to see some of our specialist right here in Fort Smith? When I worked in the hospital I even took care of someone who came from over seas to see one of our doctors in Fort Smith.

7. Schools- We have lots of private school options in Fort Smith that are always winning awards. I have a step-son in UAFS right now and is having the best time and hopefully will get the best job when he graduates from our pay roll, ahem, I mean from the college.

This post is getting too long or I could go on and on and on. This city is my home and I am blessed to be able to raise my daughters here. Are you wondering what this has to do with skin? It doesn’t really, other than the fact that Johnson Dermatology is committed to this community. When I started working there I fell in love with Fort Smith all over again, knew I would never leave. I joke sometimes that Johnson Dermatology will have a statue of the founders Dr. Brad and Dr. Sandy in 100 years in front of the building because JD is here to stay. I’m working on earning myself a brick in the sidewalk or something. We thrive on always becoming better so that we can serve this community to the best of our abilities. I became a nurse practitioner to serve and this community has a place in my heart so it is my honor to serve the people of Fort Smith. I hope you all can read this post and learn something about Fort Smith or just appreciate our home a little more because we actually have a lot to offer the great state of Arkansas.

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”  -Audrey Hepburn

Happy Sunday to all, start your March right, happily, Nina



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