Yesterday was a momentous day for this young reporter. It was the day I received my first honest-to-goodness paycheck.

Yesterday was a momentous day for this young reporter. It was the day I received my first honest-to-goodness paycheck.

I’ve gotten paid before I started working here, of course. One-time checks for freelance writing and editing, or cash to water a friend’s plants. I have made money by playing music, but that hardly counts as what one might call "work." And I’ve put in my fair share of hours in unpaid internships and projects that "pay in exposure," whatever that’s supposed to mean. But never before have I gone to a real job every day in exchange for money.

I consider myself blessed today, and it’s not just because I can now afford to buy myself things. (Although, to be honest, buying things is pretty amazing.) I’m blessed because I’ve got a job doing what I enjoy. In the past three weeks, I’ve gotten to meet some amazing people. I’ve grown acquainted with the Texoma area. I’ve gotten to write about everything from migrating birds to unemployment statistics. Every time I answer the phone "newsroom, this is Josh," or whip out my Professional Reporter’s Notebook to jot down a fact, I can’t help but smile.

Seriously, that’s what it says on the front of my notebook. "Professional Reporter’s Notebook." It’s like the notebook is as excited to be doing this as I am.

I’m looking forward to learning more about the people and places in this neck of the woods, and I hope you will all bear with me as I keep growing as a writer and journalist. And if you can think of anything great to spend this first paycheck on, I am open to suggestions.

Happy birthday Friday to Evorie Graham of Collinsville; Jordan Renshaw of Denison; Barbara Gunville, Larry Jackson, Samuel Taylor Jr. and Anthony Hughley, all of Sherman; Stanley Lewis Blythe of Colleyville; James Edward Holcemback of Bowie; Sherry McCown Woods of Arlington; Jimmy Wilkerson of Whitewright.

Happy anniversary Friday to Robert and Josie Softly of Sherman, 55 years; Stan and Betty Vick of Savoy, 10 years; Don and Joyce Harvey of Sherman, 6 years.

Happy birthday Saturday to Michael Hutchins and Alfredo Hun, both of Sherman; Craig Kelly and Samantha Atkinson, both of Denison; Alicia Renay Nichols of Van Alstyne; Asia Braxton of Dallas; Kay Bowen of Calera, Okla.; Billy Jack Portman of Carrollton; Stephen White of Pottsboro; Isaac Hernandez of Whitesboro; Ronnie Gaines of Allen.