10 things that brought a smile to our faces this week

Time to celebrate as we head into the holiday weekend! To kick things off, here are ten of the best things we found this week. Kick back, relax, and enjoy these hits of happiness.

1. Watch blind paralympic champion runner David Brown tear up the track in the 100m.

Brown sprints tethered to his guide, Jerome Avery. The rubber finger bands allow Avery to run in exact unison with Brown, guided by his movements. As his guide, Avery calls out potential obstacles and keeps Brown informed of how far he has left to go. The goal is to run as one person. Incredible to watch.

2. Soldier Ethan Houston surprising his mom at the grocery store after being deployed in Germany for two years.

The scream says it all. Probably scared some of the customers at first, but we all get it. It's the ongoing sacrifices of military families and the joy of reunion all wrapped up in 30 seconds.

3. This delightful reminder that little kids are hilarious and deep and have a totally different concept of time than adults do.

Teacher George Pointon shares his year one (kindergarten in the U.S.) students' responses to the question, "If you could travel time, where would you go?" Absolutely delightful answers and analyses. Read the story here.

Photo by Eddie Kopp on Unsplash, George Pointon/Twitter


4. 70-year-old becomes Yankees' bat girl 60 years after being rejected for being a girl


Lifelong New York Yankees fan Gwen Goldman wrote to the general manager of the team when she was 10 years old, expressing her dream of being the team's bat girl. The manager told her she would be "out of place in the dugout." But times change, thankfully, and Goldman got to fulfill that dream this week. Read the full story here.

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5. A woman lost her dog two years ago. When she went to a shelter to adopt a new puppy, there he was.

Aisha Nieves's beloved dog Kovu had been missing for two years, and she assumed he was gone forever. But when she went to an animal shelter looking for a new pup to adopt, she noticed a dog that looked like Kovu. Then she saw the scar over his eye and knew it was him. "He was screaming, trying to get away from the guy holding him and run to me," she told The Morning Call. Then, he just jumped on me, and we started kissing and hugging." Gulp.

6. The best beauty hack and most adorable positive affirmation influencer you'll ever see.

"I wook so cute" should be everyone's mantra when they look in the mirror. And look how responsive she is to her mommy's comments. Maybe we should all get ourselves "sticked up," as she seems to be onto something here.

7. Speaking of adorable, this puppy being overtaken by sleep despite trying his best to fight it is just too much.

Are we all feeling this at the end of a long week? Soooo tired, but refuse to sleep because we don't want to miss anything. (Definitely need to have the sound up for this one. We feel you, dawg.)

8. This story of a BLM flag being torn starts on a down note, but ends with a beautifully uplifting message.

The Millers weren't terribly surprised to find their Black Lives Matter flag vandalized, but an anonymous neighbor who bought them two replacement flags left a note that restored their faith. "I saw it as a chance to remind you, remind myself, remind vandals and kind people alike that you can't tear away someone's humanity, you can't tear away their pride, you can't tear up love and compassion and good hearts the way you can tear up the fabric." Read the full story here.

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9. A homeless artist was discovered, and Oprah surprised him by buying one of his paintings for $5000.

Richard Hutchins has a heck of a life story, from having his art studio burn down to spending time in jail (where he made paintings on the backs of envelopes, using Skittles for paint) to living on the streets of Los Angeles. With the help of Charlie Rocket, he's been rocketed into artistic fame and success. This video of Oprah surprising him is just pure delight.

10. This incredible reminder of the power of art to shift our perspectives and help us see the world in a whole new way.

Human beings are simply amazing, and few things make that as apparent as art. The things we can conjure up in our imaginations and share with the world never cease to amaze.

Regardless of what's happening in the world, there are always stories big and small that can bring a smile to our faces and a moment of peace to our hearts. You just have to know where to look for them—and hopefully, we're making that search a little easier.

And just for funsies, here's a bonus boost of adorableness:

Why is that puppy the cutest thing ever? Why?

Enjoy the long weekend if you get one, and keep seeking joy, everyone!

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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This article originally appeared on 11.21.16


Photographer Katie Joy Crawford had been battling anxiety for 10 years when she decided to face it straight on by turning the camera lens on herself.

In 2015, Upworthy shared Crawford's self-portraits and our readers responded with tons of empathy. One person said, "What a wonderful way to express what words cannot." Another reader added, "I think she hit the nail right on the head. It's like a constant battle with yourself. I often feel my emotions battling each other."

So we wanted to go back and talk to the photographer directly about this soul-baring project.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."