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elf on a shelf, elf on a shelf wheelchair

@stronglikestella on Instagram

Stella was born with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), causing her to need a wheelchair.

When she received her first Barbie, also in a wheelchair, her mother Samantha Lackey saw a spark in her self-esteem, according to Good Morning America.

So as Christmas time rolled in this year, Lackey decided to take a classic holiday tradition and give it a creative, more inclusive spin.

And thus, Bean, Stella’s Elf on the Shelf, became a wheelchair user as well.

With his purple chair and bright pink foot holders, Bean is practically Stella's twin. And having the best time.


Stella and Bean even share the same activities, like rock climbing

Stella regularly climbs the rock wall while at occupational therapy. And with a few craft supplies, Bean climbs too!

Or using a G-tube

Lackey shared on Instagram that Stella has since moved on from her gastronomy tube, but still had some leftover syringes.

Being an elf, Bean, of course, is supplemented with hot cocoa.

And winter time pool parties

So. Many. Floaties.

Just all around embracing the finer things in life

The caption “sELF care Sunday” is just too clever not to share.

Bean also helps Samantha speak up for the disabled community...

Lackey often posts her clever Bean pics alongside informational—and inspiring—captions, like this one:

“Did you know the disabled community makes up 25% of the worlds population. Making it the largest minority group in the world AND one that you can join at any point in your life. We’ve learned how important representation is to raising a daughter with a disability. We’ve also seen how immensely UNDER represented disability really is in our lives. REAL disability, not Drake in a wheelchair (😬) We, as allies need to do better for the generations we’re raising. Normalize disability. Have conversations. Grow relationships. Fight for equal rights and pay. Amplify voices. Focus on mental health.”

...making big topics elf-sized

Lackey shared with GMA that starting a conversation about disability can be overwhelming, especially for parents who never grew up needing to have them. So starting small, with toys and books that better normalize disability, makes the subject easier to approach, both for kids and parents.

It might be a “silly little tradition,” but after seeing the immensely positive impact it has had for Stella, Lackey calls the decision a “no-brainer.”

"We make it a lot harder on ourselves," Lackey told GMA. "If we start with small conversations, whether it be Elf on the Shelf or inclusive toys or a character in a book that they see, or on their favorite TV show, that's just going to help a future generation be inclusive and be kind and be good humans.”

Christmas, 2022?

As for whether or not Lackey plans for Bean to return next Christmas, she’s already let folks on Instagram know that, yes, he will definitely be making a comeback. Perhaps next time, “with pyrotechnics—who knows?”

You can follow Stella, Bean, Samantha, and all their holiday shenanigans on Instagram by following @stronglikestella.

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.