She missed 7 birthdays with her mom. See the heartwarming way she made up for lost time.

Watch the unforgettable celebration Patricia threw for her mother, then scroll down to see how this wild week came to life.

Since Patricia moved to the United States nine years ago from Costa Rica, she hasn't been able to see her extended family as much as she wants.

She's been with her husband, David, for eight years, and together they have a 6-year-old son, David Jr. But except for the two of them, Patricia has no family in the United States.


David Sr., David Jr. and Patricia near their home in New York. Images via Delta/YouTube.

"Everybody is [in Costa Rica]," said Patricia. "My mom, my sister, my brother, my other brother, my younger brother, my cousins, aunts, uncles, my dad."

In fact, Patricia's family has never met her husband and only met her son once on a short trip a few years ago. She keeps in touch with her family via phone, Skype, and e-mail, but being far away remains a challenge, especially for Patricia's mom, Carmela.

"It's hard," Patricia said. "It's hard for everybody, for her, for me, for my son."

Patricia entered Delta's My Next Trip Back contest with the goal of making up for lost time.

As part of the contest, Delta asked for story submissions to be considered. She described how she hoped to win and return to Costa Rica to celebrate her mother's birthday — not just once, but SEVEN times. She wanted to throw parties for each of the birthdays she missed after moving to the States. And what better way to celebrate her mom and bring the whole family together?

The magnet on Patricia's fridge reads, "Missing someone?"

Just weeks after hearing the ad for the contest on the radio, Patricia was thrilled to learn she'd won.

Delta flew Patricia and her husband and son to Costa Rica...

...where her very happy family met them at the airport.

Except for Carmela. Patricia saved the biggest surprise for her.

While the Delta crew interviewed Carmela in her kitchen, Patricia and her family waited outside.

When the time was right, it was up to David Jr. to pull off the big reveal.

Carmela was beside herself. Hugs, tears, smiles, and a few more hugs for good measure. This was the homecoming Patricia had dreamed about.

Now that the surprise was out, Patricia and her family could get to the business of celebrating their matriarch.

With plenty of confetti...

...silliness...

...fireworks...

...and cake.

Lots and lots of cake.

And while seven parties is enough to make any mom feel like royalty, the real gift for her was having her family together for the first time in a long time.

Carmela and David Sr. dance together at one of her seven celebrations. Photo by Patricia Rios, used with permission.

Carmela had grown up without much money, and after raising a family of her own, she wasn't accustomed to being the center of attention.

"My mom [felt like a] queen," Patricia said. " She is our queen, but she [thinks] 'Oh it's for me? Just for me? This music is for me? I've never had something like that.'"

And coupled with the chance to reunite her family for an unforgettable celebration? There's just nothing like it.

"For us, it was a miracle," said Patricia. "It was a dream."


Or maybe, just maybe, it was a wish coming true.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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