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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy

person holding a smiling balloon in front of their face

We've got 10 smile-worthy finds to lift your spirits.

One of the most classically "Upworthy" stories of the past decade is the story of Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench. In a twist of fate, Wanda texted her grandson about Thanksgiving plans in 2015, or so she thought. The number she texted belonged to a young man named Jamal, who said she wasn't his grandma but could he have a plate anyway? It was a joke, but she invited him to join her family's dinner—and he came.

Jamal and Wanda became fast friends, and they have gotten together for Thanksgiving nearly every year since. They've seen a lot of life changes together—Jamal finding love, Wanda losing her husband, a global pandemic. And Jamal is still getting random texts from random numbers on occasion, which is just a reminder of the story that has delighted millions over the past eight years.

Jamal and Wanda made this week's list along with some other delights, both old and new. May these tidbits of joy lift your spirit and bring a smile—or 10—to your face.


1. Three cheers for the greatest college trick-or-treaters ever

Swipe to see the whole thing. Reason #739 to not put an age limit on trick-or-treating.

2. Woman who worked as a housekeeper for 30 years to help fund her son's pilot education gets the best surprise

There's nothing like a mother's love. Nothing.

3. 4-year-old Emi is out here making eternal optimists out of all of us

"Everything that changes has a sweet to it." Wise words, little one.

4. It's year 8 of the greatest Thanksgiving story ever told and we are here for it

It never gets old. (Scroll through for the whole story.)

5. Baby girl repeatedly pranks her parents by pretending to have her arm stuck in a bottle

The acting chops, though. So adorable. Read the full story here.

6. The way this mama cat introduces her baby to her doggo friend

It looks like she's teaching him how to be gentle with her baby. So sweet.

7. Backpacks of school supplies in lieu of flowers? We don't deserve teachers.

"A teacher to the end" indeed.

8. Ever seen two cellists rock an AC/DC song? It's amazing how well it works.

This isn't new, but it's new to some people and definitely worth revisiting for those of us who have seen it. Read more about 2Cellos here.

9. Hummingbird gets stuck inside, but lets a gentle human help

Here's to helping the gorgeous little birdy find its freedom.

10. Ginormous dog sounds like Chewbacca while getting a bath

First of all, how is that dog real? Secondly, what on Earth is he going on about? Does he like the bath or hate it? Or maybe he's just trying to make conversation with the hairdresser like the rest of us.

Hope this roundup brought a few smiles to your face! If you enjoyed this post and want to see more like it in your inbox, subscribe to our free email newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.

A young woman drinking bottled water outdoors before exercising.



The Story of Bottled Waterwww.youtube.com

Here are six facts from the video above by The Story of Stuff Project that I'll definitely remember next time I'm tempted to buy bottled water.

1. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water (and not just a little).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube


A Business Insider column noted that two-thirds of the bottled water sold in the United States is in individual 16.9-ounce bottles, which comes out to roughly $7.50 per gallon. That's about 2,000 times higher than the cost of a gallon of tap water.

And in an article in 20 Something Finance, G.E. Miller investigated the cost of bottled versus tap water for himself. He found that he could fill 4,787 20-ounce bottles with tap water for only $2.10! So if he paid $1 for a bottled water, he'd be paying 2,279 times the cost of tap.

2. Bottled water could potentially be of lower quality than tap water.

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Nearly every kid will experiment with a curse word

There are multiple reasons why kids might start experimenting with a curse word…or two…or three. It might be because the word sounds funny, or they’re imitating their parents (oops), or because they’re trying to vent some intense feelings and that word seems to feel right. It’s all part of exploring language.

But even though this phase is innocent and natural, it can still make for some pretty awkward moments for adults.

For Tina Midkiff, that moment came while teaching daycare. Midkiff was “trying to resolve cussing issues” with a young girl in her class, especially since Midkiff didn’t want the other kids hearing it.

Getting creative, she found the perfect place for her adorable pottymouth—the bathroom.

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Some dads just get it.

There’s no shortage of stories out there showing how emotionally distant or out of touch some baby boomers can be. Younger generations are so fed up with it that they have their own catchphrase of frustration, for crying out loud.

The disconnect becomes especially visible in parenting styles. Boomers, who grew up with starkly different views on empathy, trauma and seeking help, have a reputation for being less than ideal support systems for their children when it comes to emotional issues.

But even if they often have a different way of showing it, boomer parents do have love for their children, and many try their best to be a source of comfort in some way when their kid suffers.

Occupational therapist Jacqueline (@jac.rose8) recently shared a lovely example of this by posting a video of her boomer dad helping her through a divorce in the best way he knew how.

Turns out, it was the perfect thing.

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Could five minutes a day save your relationship?

Could taking five minutes out of your hectic morning to really connect with your partner over coffee be the key to a good relationship? An Australian relationship coach says it saved her marriage.

In a piece originally written for the Australian website Kidspot, which was picked up by several publications worldwide, Aston Simmonds explains that she and her husband, Adam, were on the brink of divorce four years ago.

Simmonds is a relationship coach, podcaster, author, speaker, and mother of two who works to inspire people to create the best lives and relationships possible.

The stress of parenting their two young kids had gotten to the couple. Their once meaningful communication had devolved into mostly housekeeping and family-rearing talk. "Parenting, bills, food shopping, and comparing and arguing about who was doing the most or not enough,” Simmonds recalls in the viral article.

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The Vegetable Orchestra performs.

The idea of a concert where everyone plays vegetables sounds like a funny one-night-only joke. Still, the Vegetable Orchestra, out of Vienna, has played more than 300 concerts and released 4 albums over the past 25-plus years.

It all started when the group’s founder, Matthias Meinharter, had a silly idea in the kitchen. His friend had signed them up for an hour-long slot at a student festival and they wanted to perform non-traditional music.

“As we were making vegetable soup, we landed on the idea of cooking it on stage and performing a concert with the vegetables while we were doing that,” Meinharter told Atlas Obscura. “It all started as a joke,” he told the BBC. “We were brainstorming what we could do, and we thought: ‘What is the most difficult thing to play music on?’”

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Dad's motivational speech for his newborn daughter in the NICU has everyone gushing

"It's going to be like this for the rest of my life. Will always be one of her top cheerleaders."

NICU dad's motivational speech for newborn is beautiful

Having a baby is an adjustment for any new parent but not all new parents get to walk out of the hospital with their newborns a couple of days after birth. For a number of reasons, oftentimes due to prematurity or birth complications, some babies have to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) anywhere from days to months. During their stay they're closely monitored for signs they can start spending more time outside of the incubator.

Incubators regulate temperature, humidity, optimize oxygen levels and monitors a baby's vital signs. New dad, Ed Andretti, recently welcomed a baby girl, Cathara, who is having to spend some time in the NICU after being born three months early. But it was his sweet motivational speech he gave to his daughter through the plastic of the incubator that has everyone's heart melting.

Andretti can be seen looking into Cathara's incubator saying, "you hear that beeping? That's you. You're breathing so good the machine is like 'yo, take this baby down on oxygen.' That's you, you're doing great."

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