YOU’VE SEEN the cover of the magazine—the lines, the angles—so let me tell you what it was like just outside the frame: It was warm inside, and it was snowing. Folk music played softly over the speakers. Our photographer and creative director were somewhere upstairs lining up the shot, and I was sitting on the couch with the snout of a snoozing English Lab leaving a damp spot on my leg, thinking, odd as it might seem, about the desert and newness, its strangeness and sameness. It’s funny, I thought, how a few days can change everything.

All of this was especially top of mind with good reason: Just two days before, I’d been in the desert—specifically, Joshua Tree National Park—and taken the hand of my now wife, and as the sun went down, I told her that I loved her and would love her always and would spend the rest of my life with her.

And because what would a major life change like that be without something similarly momentous: Upon returning to Little Rock, I officially started my new role as editor of this magazine, which is how I’d come to be sitting on the couch with Max, the English Labrador (one of the unseen responsibilities of the position involves dog-wrangling and couch-sitting, for which I will always, quite gratefully, volunteer my services).

In many ways, neither change is different, at least not overly so. I know that my role as a husband, especially as far as the day-to-day particulars are concerned, is about the same as it’s always been—though there are still moments when I look at her and think, This is my wife, and that is crazy-pants, and ohmygosh, am I married now?

Much in the same way, my job at the magazine is still, as it has been for six years now, to tell stories about this state that I’ve come to love so fiercely. In that time, our outgoing editor, Katie Bridges—the woman who hired me and is, as I’ve told anyone who will listen, the greatest boss I’ve ever had by a long shot—and the staff have worked hard to make a publication that is true to the spirit of the state, one that seeks to tell unexpected stories about a place that so many people—residents and otherwise—think they know already. And that, I can tell you, won’t be changing anytime soon.