It's mid-November, and our neighbors have their Christmas trees up and lit already.
In the spirit of seeking joy and light, we're sharing the stories and images that made us smile this week. Enjoy!
This week, a family welcomed a special baby girl...
After 14 sons, Michigan parents (and grandparents!) Kateri and Jay Schwandt welcomed their first daughter, Maggie Jayne, nearly three decades after the birth of their first child.
"This year has been memorable in so many ways, for so many reasons, but Maggie is the greatest gift we could ever imagine," said the proud dad.
... and another introduced us to a special son
Drummond and her husband Ladd met Jamar at high school football practices in their hometown.
“Jamar’s circumstances presented themselves to us in a way we couldn’t ignore — so, long story short, all six foot five inches of him showed up at our house one afternoon, bag in hand, ready to move in,” she wrote.
This baby shocked her dad with some verbal chops...
TikTok user @amerikoni seemed a bit surprised when his baby girl played right along with his "Dad and Baby Breaking News" video by saying her first (adorable) word.
...and this toddler shocked us all with some literal chops
Two-year-old Ilirian Kameraj already knows how to chop vegetables like a pro and roast a chicken. Yes, after only two years on the planet, little Ilirian is already more accomplished in the kitchen than some full grown adults are and has amassed an impressive fanbase on Instagram and TikTok.
This family welcomed a baby after unimaginable loss..
YouTuber Brittani Boren Leach's 3-month-old son Crew passed away 10 months ago after he stopped breathing while he was down for a nap on Christmas. This week, Leach, 29, gave birth to baby boy Cole.
Leach revealed that she packed her late child’s stuffed animal in her overnight bag for the hospital. “I sleep with Crew’s llama every night, so of course he’s here with me,” she wrote.
...and this family proves that after divorce, there can still be incredible acts of love
TikTok user @kelleylorraine shared a video of the moment she surprised her stepchildren with a visit from their mom, and... sorry, something is in our eyes. We need a moment.
Leslie Odom Jr. and wife Nicolette Robinson revealed why these holidays will be extra special...
Broadway stars Leslie Odom Jr. ("Hamilton's" original Aaron Burr, sir) and Nicolette Robinson ("Waitress") aren't willing to "wait for it" when it comes to the holidays this year... but their best gift will be the baby boy they are expecting in March! Big-sister-to-be Lucy, 3, is already getting excited about her new role.
... and this little girl has the right answer when it comes to her Christmas wishlist
Same, girl. Same.
And finally, a gift for all of us:
We had to share this video of TikTok user @alec.reed surprising his friends at school after being away for 10 months, because... well, you'll see. There is a reason it has 11.4 million views.
As one commenter said, "It's the slapping on masks while SPRINTING outside for me."
Share this with the people you would love to be reunited with right now, and look forward to moments like these! They are coming.