Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

If you need a mood boost, we're here for you.

10 things that made us smile this week

From adorable doggos to heartwarming humans, here are 10 tidbits of joy to boost your spirits.

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but his week's list is somewhat dog-heavy.

It's a bit odd, because I'm really more of a cat person. I've had more than a dozen cats in my lifetime and not a single dog. I do love other people's dogs, though, and there's no shortage of awesome stories about dogs that occasionally make me question my loyalty to cats.

Animals in general are joy-bringers, though. Along with the dogs, we've got bears and an otter this week that I think will bring a smile to even the most hardened of hearts.


And there are awesome humans, too. Sometimes it's easy to become dismayed with our fellow humans, especially when most of what we see are headlines about bad behavior. It's good to be reminded that there are so many people doing so many great things in the world.

If you need a boost of faith in humanity or just a little mood boost with some endorphin-pushing animal videos, we've got you covered. Here are 10 things that made us smile this week:

The dramatics of this husky are entirely extra and it's hilarious. (Sound up.)

"You went and got groceries WITHOUT me? Waaaaaaah!" And how he just escalated with the foot tap. Such a drama king.

Then there are these guys with the cutest doggo photo shoot ever. 

How do you train dogs to do this? Or do they just do it on their own?

Chef José Andrés inspires with his words about utilizing our talents to change the world.

www.upworthy.com

"Longer tables, not higher walls." Chef José is an international treasure. Read the full story here.

Ths mama bear wrangling her toddlers across the street is every mom.

Been there, mama. Totally feel you.

Girls ask their stepmom to adopt them after 12 years and the joy is palpable.

Speaking of mamas, oof, this one hits right in the feels. Stepparents can be a gift, and this family clearly has no shortage of love.

As if sea otters needed to get any cuter…

It's not even doing anything and I think I might die from the cuteness.

The delightful anger management skills of this young one. 

@larobenz

BRO I CANNOT WITH HER 😭😂😂😂😂 @emmali. #TheSuicideSquadMovie #stitch #fyp #foryou #viral #blowthisup #kids #emmali #kidstiktok #funny #comedy

That grin, though. He may want to sleep with one eye open, but that girl has got charm times a hundred.

Couple celebrating their 67th anniversary get a tear-jerking surprise from their kids.

Well, shoot. That one required a tissue warning. So sweet. Read the full story here.

On a personal note, the teens are all right.

My teen daughter and her friend went to Dairy Queen and were helped by a woman who was just a ray of sunshine. She was juggling lots of different things, but was warm and cheerful and kind with everyone, from co-workers to customers. My daughter and her friend noticed.

She took their order for two mini Blizzards, but then handed them two smalls (the next size up) instead. They told her they'd ordered minis, and she smiled and said, "I know. It's all right. Enjoy." They were delighted.

They didn't see a tip jar but wanted to do something to show their appreciation. So they went to the grocery store down the road, bought a small bouquet of flowers, and went back.

When they handed her the flowers and explained how they saw and appreciated her excellent service, she was shocked and thrilled.

"You guys! I'm gonna cry!" she said. "Oh you've just made it all worth it! Can I give you a hug?"

And she did. And it was all just pure joy. And my daughter came home beaming about the whole experience.

The teens are all right.

Let's pounce into the weekend like this dog pounces into the ocean for the first time.

Bounding with joy. Let's do it.

Hope that brought a smile or six to your face! Come back next week for another roundup of joy and delight.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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It can be hard to find hope in hard times, but we have examples of humanity all around us.

I almost didn't create this post this week.

As the U.S. reels from yet another horrendous school massacre, barely on the heels of the Buffalo grocery store shooting and the Laguna Woods church shooting reminding us that gun violence follows us everywhere in this country, I find myself in a familiar state of anger and grief and frustration. One time would be too much. Every time, it's too much. And yet it keeps happening over and over and over again.

I've written article after article about gun violence. I've engaged in every debate under the sun. I've joined advocacy groups, written to lawmakers, donated to organizations trying to stop the carnage, and here we are again. Round and round we go.

It's hard not to lose hope. It would be easy to let the fuming rage consume every bit of joy and calm and light that we so desperately want and need. But we have to find a balance.

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