10 things that made us smile this week

Heeyyyyy, everyone! It's time to share our weekly collection of Hopeful Happy Things, which has frankly become a bit therapeutic for me to pull together. It's far too easy to let the Terrible Trending Things suck up all of our attention, so purposefully focusing on joy and delight feels quite healing.

Check out these 10 things and see if you agree.


Bear cubs find a hammock and create delightful chaos.

How frigging cute are these cubs? Every kid who tries to get into a hammock for the first time understands. Hang in there, cubbies. Hammocks are hard, even for humans.

This beatbox champion's stylings—the beatboxing AND the hair—are too epic.

First of all, holy talent, Batman. I don't even understand what he's doing, much less how, but I'm floored. Go, Show-go, go.

Second, let's talk about the bowl cut/mullet mashup, because that's just all kinds of WOW.

Pandas entertain themselves like toddlers and it's the best thing ever.

More videos of pandas doing somersaults, please.

The way this kiddo talks to his younger sibling is literally the cutest thing ever.

The voice. The sweetness. The emotional intelligence. The consent lesson. This is more than my ovaries can handle. Good job, Mama.

These super big brothers make Halloween epic with their baby sister every year.

That is one lucky baby girl.

There's nothing better than a best friend reunion, but this one will hit you right in the feelies.

Love a kid who lets his emotions out. Read the full story here.

Profoundly autistic boy said he wanted friends for his birthday. More than 55,000 people responded.

Daniel is profoundly autistic and his parents said that he had never expressed a desire for friends before. They weren't even sure if he fully grasped the idea of friendship. His dad shared his birthday wish on Twitter, and birthday greetings poured in from unexpected places. Read this beautiful story here.

We all need this reminder of how powerful and life-changing teachers can be. 

"My teacher said I'm an artist!" and that's all it took for this kid to proudly display his artwork. Teachers are superheroes with incredible powers.

Surprise veteran homecomings never get old. This one is just pure joy. 

If that doesn't make you smile (and then maybe cry a little), then I don't even know. Splash some cold water on your face or something and make sure your heart is pumping.

Seriously cannot get enough of Abby, the donut thief superhero.

This isn't new, but I'd never seen a compilation of this cutie's verbal gems before. Too hilarious. I did a little digging and found out the family has a TikTok channel (@alongcameabby), so excuse me while I go bingewatch a precocious preschooler for hours.


Hope that lifted your spirit! Keep an eye out next Friday for another round-up of happiness. :)

via USO

Army Capt. Justin Meredith used the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program to read to his son and family while deployed in the Middle East.

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One of the biggest challenges deployed service members face is the feeling of being separated from their families, especially when they have children. It's also very stressful for children to be away from parents who are deployed for long periods of time.

For the past four years, the USO has brought deployed service members and their families closer through a wonderful program that allows them to read together. The Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program gives deployed service members the ability to choose a book, read it on camera, then send both the recording and book to their child.

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Cayce LaCorte explains why virginity doesn't exist.

The concept of virginity is a very loaded issue in American culture. If a woman loses hers when she's too young she can be slut-shamed. If a man remains a virgin for too long, he can be bullied for not being manly enough.

There is also a whole slew of religious mind games associated with virginity that can give people some serious psychological problems associated with sex.

Losing one's virginity has also been blown up way beyond proportion. It's often believed that it's a magical experience—it's usually not. Or that after having sex for the first time people can really start to enjoy living life—not the case.

What if we just dropped all of the stigmas surrounding virginity and instead, replaced them with healthy attitudes toward sex and relationships?

Writer Cayce LaCorte is going viral on TikTok for the simple way she's taught her five daughters to think about virginity. They don't have to. LaCorte shared her parenting ideas on TikTok in response to mom-influencer Nevada Shareef's question: "Name something about the way you raised your kids that people think is weird but you think is healthy."

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The Rock and Oscar Rodriguez on Instagram.

As the old saying goes, “do good and it will come back to you in unexpected ways.”

Sometimes those “unexpected ways” come in four-wheel drive.

Oscar Rodriguez is a Navy veteran, church leader and personal trainer in Culver City, California. More important than that, he is a good person with a giving heart. In addition to taking care of his 75-year-old mom, he also makes meals for women victims of domestic violence.

Rodriguez thought he won the ultimate prize: going to a special VIP screening of Dwayne Johnson's new film "Red Notice," and getting pulled up on stage by The Rock himself. But it only got better from there.

Thanking him for his service, praising him for giving back to his community and bonding with him as a fellow “mamma’s boy,” Johnson stands with Rodriguez on the stage exchanging hugs … until Johnson says “I wanna show you something real quick.”

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@bluffbakes on Tiktok

Chloe Sexton—baker, business owner, mother—knows all too well about "daddy privilege," that is, when men receive exorbitant amounts of praise for doing normal parental duties. You know, the ones that moms do without so much as a thank you.

In a lighthearted (while nonetheless biting) TikTok video, Chloe shares a "fun little story about 'daddy privilege'" that has now gone viral—no doubt due in part because working moms can relate to this on a deep, personal and infuriating level.

Chloe's TED Talks-worthy rant begins with:

"My husband has a job. I have a business, my husband has a job. Could not make that any clearer, right? Well, my bakery requires that we buy certain wholesale ingredients at this place called Restaurant Depot every week. You've seen me do videos of it before where I'm, like, wearing him or was massively pregnant buying 400 pounds of flour and 100 pounds of butter, and that's a weekly thing. The list goes on and on, like — it's a lot."
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