kindness

Sometimes Friendship is Gummy Bears

About 3-4 years ago I was going through a period of my life when I genuinely believed I didn’t have very many (see: enough) friends. I considered myself a master of acquaintances, succeeding in keeping most people at arm’s length to ensure that a) I wouldn’t get hurt and b) I wouldn’t disappoint anyone. Some days I told myself I was satisfied, other days I wasn’t so convinced.

Combined with shyness and bouts of social anxiety, I struggled knowing what kind of friend I should be. I read articles and watched how other friendships worked, and though I wasn’t necessarily dissatisfied with my relationships, I constantly worried that other people were. I thought I was too boring, I thought I was too quiet. I was too this or not enough that and I drove myself crazy, making notes on what I could improve on or what I should do differently.

In time, I came to realize that these fears were all linked to the insecurities I felt as a person, rather than the weaknesses I had as a friend. I’m not saying I am or have ever been a perfect friend, however, in not accepting and loving the person I was, I was doing a disservice to both myself and to anyone I tried to start a friendship with.

These days, I consider myself very lucky to have an amazing group of friends. And while I would still consider myself a guarded person, I have a much easier time opening that door because I’m proud of the person I’m introducing on the other side. In light of this however, I still find myself having those doubtful days. With a constant stream of articles, quizzes and social media anecdotes that define what friendship should look like or feel like or sound like, sometimes I’m still left wondering if I’m a good enough/entertaining enough/honest enough/etc. friend.

For example, the other day I read an article that was titled something like, “You Can’t Consider Yourself Best Friends with Someone Unless…” and it went on to list a number of conversations and experiences the author considered defining for a friendship. I clicked on the article in hopes of finding relatable experiences I could share with my friends, however, as I read through it I didn’t recognize myself in a single thing. Does this mean all my friendships are fake? Of course not! Does it mean that we live in a world where friendships are as unique as we are and should be understood accordingly? I’d like to think so!

The way I see it, friendship is what you make it. There is no definable timeline, there are no parameters and there are no “you’re not actually friends unless…” Friendship can be big, it can be small, and it can be shown with words and actions alike.

About a week ago, after having a terrible day and coming home on the verge of tears, my roommate, Rachel, presented me with a small packet of gummy bears. It was the last packet leftover from my sister’s birthday—which featured a taco piñata full of mini alcohol and candy—thus making it precious cargo.

“I just want your day to be better,” she said as she handed them to me. And it genuinely was!

I know it sounds silly and small, but in that moment it made me feel loved and understood, which is really what friendship is all about. It’s not about being a specific this or that or talking about this or experiencing that. Sometimes it’s just someone willing to give up their gummy bears. And when you can find people like that, you stop worrying about whether you have “enough” friends, because having even one friend like that is a far greater gift.

31 Good Things that Happened in January

Hello and welcome back to another year of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. It’s a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in!

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1) This woman hilariously rejected the idea of New Years Resolutions

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2) This girl let Beyonce welcome her into the new year

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3) This woman paid tribute to her pregnancy cravings

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4) This guy made a memorable appearance on TV

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5) Demi Lovato set a great goal for the new year

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6) This woman won money on HQ trivia

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7) This boyfriend came up with an amazing gift idea

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8) This t-rex shoveled snow

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9) This girl left some amazing advice behind

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10) This man made do with what he had to make his dog happy

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11) The Times Up Movement took the world by storm

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12) Oprah gave a powerful speech at the Golden Globes

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13) This woman repaired a butterfly’s broken wing

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14) This man saw his wife’s new haircut

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15) This hippo created her first painting

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16) This girl showed off her skills on the subway

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17) Sterling K. Brown gave a great speech after his SAG award win

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18) This late wife played one last trick on her husband

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19) This girl used her tragedy to try and make a positive difference

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20) This girl made a valid plea

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21) Beck released a music video with the cutest cast ever

 

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22) This horse worked up some courage

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23) Vikings fans donated over $200k to the Saints’ punter’s charity

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24) Olympian Michael Phelps started teaching his son the ropes

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25) This girl apologized to someone she used to bully

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26) Reddit encouraged people to share kind things strangers have done for them

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27) This grandma got the royal treatment from her sisters

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28) This 3rd grader got the welcome party she deserved after missing 15 months of school for cancer treatment

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29) This girl woke up to an amazing surprise from a stranger

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30) This dad made a YouTube tutorial

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31) These twin brothers weathered the flu together

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what February brings!

If you missed any of the “All the Good Things” posts from 2017, you can check them out here.

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31 Good Things that Happened in December

I have good news and good news. I have only good news!

As mentioned in this blog post, at the end of every month I’m going to highlight all the good things that happened in that 30-day (or so) span, to give ourselves a break from the well known bad.

You can find last month’s here.

Happy December to you!

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1) This guy met a friend he made online

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2) After a family lost both of their dogs in the same weekend, this dog food company paid tribute

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3) These besties hung out

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4) This guy got accepted into Harvard

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5) This boy collected over 1000 toys for kids in Puerto Rico

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6) This doctor went the extra mile

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7) This girl hilariously interviewed her cat

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8) This man continued his pursuit to become the first one handed professional football player

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9) This woman helped a fellow runner finish a marathon

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10) This man made working on the Tarmac a little more exciting

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11) This dog met the Internet

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12) This:

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13) This police officer adopted a homeless mother’s opioid addicted baby

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14) This family was reunited with their dog

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15) When this little boy saw someone wrestling with his sister, he came to the rescue!

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16) This Grandma learned to use Google Home

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17) This little guy read 100 books

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18) These girls asked Santa for their dad to come home and he delivered

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19) This man left a generous tip at a restaurant

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20) This couple came full circle

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21) This boy got rewarded for his giving heart

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22) This dog got a new pair of wheels

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23) Texas Rangers’ pitcher, Cole Hamels, and his wife donated a $20,000 mansion to charity

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24) These puppies were saved from freezing to death

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25) In honor of the release of the new Star Wars film, these people gave their best Chewbacca impressions

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26) This guy took to Twitter to highlight some good things from 2017

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27) This woman got an amazing surprise on Christmas morning

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28) This Dad’s carpet Instagram went viral

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29) This dad shaved his head

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30) These flight attendants made a flight delay festive

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31) And finally, the holidays! Whichever one you celebrate, I hope it was wonderful and filled with love, family, food and everything in between.

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Can you believe 2017 is already over?! When I first posted 31 Good Things that Happened in January, I wasn’t sure if it would work out quite like I pictured, but it’s been so much more than that. Every month I was so genuinely excited to put the “All the Good Things” posts together and I’m happy that you guys have been loving the result as much as I have.

I will definitely be continuing this series going into 2018 and I can only hope that the vast number of good things happening in our world will continue to surprise and inspire us all.

Happy New Year, everyone! I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

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30 Good Things that Happened in November

I have good news and good news. I have only good news!

As mentioned in this blog post, at the end of every month I’m going to highlight all the good things that happened in that 30-day (or so) span, to give ourselves a break from the well known bad.

You can find last month’s here.

Happy November to you!

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1) The Dodgers took out a full-page ad in the Houston newspaper to congratulate the Astros on their World Series win

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2) These childhood sweethearts got engaged

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3) Lin Manuel Miranda’s son saw the first act of Hamilton

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4) These sisters perfectly showcased what it’s like being sisters

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5) This dog liked his new carpet

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6) This stepson gave his stepdad an amazing surprise

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7) Actress Gabby Sidibe responded to a nasty Instagram comment in the best way

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8) This police trio got warmed up

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9) This homeless man got the ultimate payback after a helping a woman with his last $20

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10) This boy gave out some great encouragement at the New York Marathon

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11) These passengers turned a delayed flight into a party.

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12) This 102 year old man met the nephew he never knew he had

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13) This cartoonist created a series that reminds us to be thankful

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14) This boy saw clearly for the first time

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15) Australia voted YES

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16) This Australian man proposed to his boyfriend using his water polo team

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17) This mom wrote a beautiful letter to her nurse

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18) This cop went above and beyond the call of duty

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19) This man danced his heart out

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20) This chef offered some help to a customer

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21) The lead singer of Imagine Dragons posted this great reminder

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22) This boy got some camera time during his mom’s yoga video

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23) Thanksgiving

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24) After accidentally inviting the wrong teen to Thanksgiving last year, this grandma invited him—and he accepted—to spend the holiday with her family anyways. This year, she invited him again and he brought his girlfriend.

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25) This man spent his Black Friday paying it forward

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26) This puppy made a new best friend

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27) This girl got flowers from her dad

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28) These Indian women who are victims of acid attacks walked in a fashion show

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29) This woman became the first contest with Down Syndrome to compete in the Miss Minnesota pageant

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30) This woman got an amazing surprise from her grandmother

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what December brings!

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5 Square Pegs I’m Thankful For

It’s Thanksgiving time again, which means we have reached that point in the year where there is an entire day dedicated to something we should all strive to do a little more of: be grateful. I personally feel like I could talk for hours about all that I am thankful for, but that’s not to brag, it’s more to criticize myself for all the moments I let trivial things make me forget.

This year has been a trying one for our world. Fear and hate have tried their best to dictate who we are and what we do. But among this darkness has also been the constant presence of love. There are people helping people and loving people and saving people. There is still an ever presence of light that is trying it’s best to bleed out the dark.

Here on my blog, I’ve been doing my best to highlight the good things that have been happening amongst the bad in a monthly segment called “All the Good Things.” It’s a list of positive minded and/or inspiring actions/events that happen during a specific month, the length being equal to the number of days in that month. Come December, I’ll have done 11 “episodes” which equivalate to 334 good things that have happened so far this year! (And that’s only the ones I included on the list!) For me, making this list each month has given me a constant source of hope and positivity. It’s inspiring to know how many good hearts are out there in the world!

Speaking of good hearts. Last year for Thanksgiving, I wrote a post about 8 badass women I was (and still am) thankful for. Starting with my girl, Gina Rodriguez, the list showcased 8 women who had truly inspired me that year with their character, courageousness and all around badass-ery. This year I have a new list, and while they are not all women, they are all people who I’ve looked up to this year . For amongst all the repetition and imitation found in this age of social media, these 5 people are paving their own way with passion, innovation, inspiration and kindness. These are the square pegs challenging all the round holes—don’t make it weird. They are the ones standing out for good reason, showing the true benefit of being yourself and standing up for what you believe in.

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1) Ellen DeGeneres

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If you’re ever looking for a smile or a safe place to laugh, Ellen is your go-to girl. With her unwavering positivity and message of kindness, she is a constant source of joy for anyone and everyone, especially those who watch her show. I am constantly inspired by the goodness she brings to television and social media and I can only hope to be part of projects with such a positive impact one day.

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2) Malala

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Honestly, I don’t even think there are words I can say that could possibly describe the magic that is Malala. But maybe that’s the point. After all, it is not only her voice but her actions and her unshakable bravery that make her someone I continue to look up to. If you don’t know her story, I highly you suggest you look it up in its entirety, but here’s a sneak peek:

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3) Gal Gadot

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A small part of me wishes Wonder Woman would have come out last year so that Gal Gadot could have been properly featured on my list of badass women, but the rest of me is glad it came out this year, because she is the superhero we all needed. It’s no secret she’s a badass, but it’s also no secret that she’s humble and kind and an incredible role model for young (and old and any age really) girls and boys alike.

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4) Chance the Rapper

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I don’t like being behind the times, so when I started hearing everyone talk about Chance the Rapper’s album Coloring Book, and then realized I could only listen to it on Spotify, I almost immediately handed over my $7/month so I could see what this guy was all about. After doing so, let me just say that regardless of whether or not you like his music—which I do—you can never be too late to the party that is Chance the Rapper. Bottom line, he’s just a great person that is so full of life and love that it makes you want to be full of life and love.

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5) Lin-Manuel Miranda

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A few months back I had the opportunity to see Hamilton when it came to LA, which was everything I wanted/hoped it would be times 1000. Afterwards, I more or less love-ranted my way into a blog post called “5 Lessons I Learned from Hamilton & Lin-Manuel Miranda,” which says pretty much everything I want to say here, save for a few more thank you’s. As someone who’s constantly exhausted by what I find on social media, Lin-Manuel Miranda is always a breath of fresh air.

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Sometimes I have to remind myself that these tweets are not written directly to me. But then again, maybe they are. Maybe they are exactly what I need to read in order to get me where I need to go, which in a perfect world, is a place where I can write something that is exactly what someone needs to read in order to get them where they need to go. I’m all for this assembly line of inspiration, kindness and productivity, Lin. Let’s keep it moving!

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Thank you to all these square pegs and to the many more that are out there making a positive difference in the world. I have so many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving and you are all among them!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

31 Good Things That Happened in October

I have good news and good news. I have only good news!

As mentioned in this blog post, at the end of every month I’m going to highlight all the good things that happened in that 30-day (or so) span, to give ourselves a break from the well known bad.

You can find last month’s here.

Happy October to you!

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1) Ellen kicked off October with her own list of good things

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2) The cast of Mean Girls turned the attention to those who need it

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3) Eric Church wrote a song in light of the Vegas shooting

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4) As did Maren Morris & Vince Gil

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5) This little girl started reading Harry Potter for the first time

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6) This high school runner gave up his race to carry his teammate across the finish line

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7) Everything went pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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8) This football team continued an amazing tradition

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9) We finally found out what Nickelodeon slime was made out of

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10) This dog was recsued from a well

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11) This little guy got to be a pilot for a day

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12) This girl sang her new rescue dog a lullaby

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13) Burger King released a creative anti-bullying ad

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14) This woman got pulled over for “suspected DUI” but quickly found out it was part of something much bigger

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15) Contestants on Miss Peru, took a stand against gender violence. 

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16) This therapy dog contined bringing joy to veterans

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17) The #MeToo campaign on social media brought light to millions of victims of sexual assault and formed a united front determined to finally put an end to it.

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18) This dad helped his son get through his first round of shots (and vice versa)

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19) This man took makeup lessons so he can help his wife who is going blind

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20) This dad turned his son’s wheelchair into a Game of Thrones dragon

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21) This high school football player with cerebral palsy scored an 80 yard touchdown

 

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22) Hailey, a girl from a previous good things post, threw out the first pitch at the World Series

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23) This boy met his little brother for the first time

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24) This police officer helped an 8 year old boy celebrate his birthday after no one picked him up from school.

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25) The man behind “Haircuts for the Homeless” was gifted a barbershop by a stranger

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26) This 82 year old man hiked the entire (2,190 mile) Appalachian Trail

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27) This nurse sang to her dying patient

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28) This little girl laid down the law

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29) Season 2 of Stranger Things was released!

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30) This couple brainstormed their Halloween costumes…

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31) …And then this weatherman won Halloween

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what November brings!

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31 Good Things That Happened in August

I have good news and good news. I have only good news!

As mentioned in this blog post, at the end of every month I’m going to highlight all the good things that happened in that 30-day (or so) span, to give ourselves a break from the well known bad.

You can find last month’s here.

Happy August to you!

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1) This baby and this dog made us all jealous with their friendship

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2) This girl turned her skin disease into art

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3) This boy scored a touchdown

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4) These couples played a life size version of Hungry Hungry Hippos at a marriage retreat

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5) Phil Lewis a.k.a Mr. Moseby from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody got to reminisce

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6) This man proved that size truly does not define strength

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7) Taylor Swift went to court to stand up for sexual assault victims everywhere

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8) This father and son connected

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9) This daughter was reminded how much mother’s care

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10) David Beckham showcased a dad’s love by staying up late building a Disney Lego castleFullSizeRender

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11) After sending a text to the wrong number, this guy got an amazing response

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12) This woman adopted a dog who has waited patiently for a home

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13) Delish introduced us to s’mores sushi

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14) This girl posted an amazing Tinder bio

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15) This girl continued to inspire the world with her story

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cancer free

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16) This bird found a new passion

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17) These Tough Mudder competitors displayed the true definition of a team

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18) This woman showed us her incredible dog

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19) These boys gave their grandpa one last gift (via Love What Matters)

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“My grandfather was in the hospital last week and while admitted he was having intermittent episodes of confusion. Some of it was related to his mild dementia and some of it was the pain medicine. At one point, he asked, ‘Have they given me the go ahead to play?’ I said, ‘The go ahead to play?’ He said, ‘Yes, did the doctor give me my permit to play?’ I said, ‘Play what??’ He said, (in a somewhat annoyed tone) ‘Lindsay, I want to play ball with the boys.’ He was referring to my two sons. They are 11 and 8. Choking back tears, I just smiled and said, ‘Of course you can play.’ Now, here we are exactly one week later. My grandfather was cremated this morning at 10am. All on their own my sweet boys decided to put this in the casket with him. It says “Come play anytime. Love, Chase and Trav.”

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20) The solar eclipse brought some wonder to the world…

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21) …and served up some grade-A puns

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22) Neighbors and strangers alike came together to help one another

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23) JJ Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans, started a campaign to raise $200,000 for victims of hurricane Harvey…and has currently raised almost 10 million dollars!! (You can donate here)

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24) John Cena was surprised by a few of his fans

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25) Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo donated money to a cause close to his heart

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26) Rapper Logic released and performed his new song “1-800-273-6255”—the number for the National Suicide Prevention Line—on the VMA’s, and the organization saw a huge influx in calls. (via Buzzfeed)

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27) This couple achieved their dream of visiting every Cracker Barrel in the US

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28) This cartoonist captured what it’s like for parents to watch their kids grow up fast (via Huffington Post)

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29) This sister shared some serious love

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30) This mom & son started school (via Huffington Post)

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31) This important reminder was shared

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what September brings!

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