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These stories and videos were like Bernie's mittens for our hearts

In this history-making week, there were so many stories that had us smiling.
/ Source: TODAY

There were many inspiring moments this week — from young poet Amanda Gorman's assertion "there is always light" to the lighthearted fun that is placing a snapshot of a grumpy-looking, be-mittened Bernie Sanders in our front yards using Google Street View.

The good news: That's not where the good news ended! Here are some of the stories and videos that kept our hearts warmer than Bernie's very practical coat:

This dad is helping his transgender daughter and others shine...

When his daughter Ruby, now 12, hit tweenhood, Toronto dad Jamie Alexander realized she felt like she still had to hide when it came to wearing a bathing suit.

Frustrated with the limited options available and with experience in tech start-ups, Alexander decided to develop a line of swimwear that would allow transgender girls up to size 20 feel more confident wearing bikini bottoms at the beach and anywhere else they choose.

The result is Rubies, a company named for his daughter, and the bikini bottom has been such a hit that he is now developing underwear with a similar concept.

"I want to focus on the positive stories about these kids and normalize them," Alexander said. "They're just kids. That's how people need to see them."

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... and we could learn something about shining from this little girl


Declaration Time! Practicing the Alphabet while affirming myself! ##wordsofaffirmation ##wordsofwisdom ##fyp ##foryou ##selflove @darlyngandco

♬ original sound - Ariana

Little Ariana Young, 3, has already mastered her ABCs in the form of affirmations that will have you believing that not only is she "awesome," "beautiful," and "creative," but you are, too.

This hero dad pulled double duty while guarding the Capitol this week...

Dr. Jake Kohut, a music teacher at Canterbury Woods Elementary School in Fairfax County, Virginia, and a married dad of two, is used to finding ways to provide stability for his students. But this week, he did so in between shifts guarding the nation's Capitol as Sgt. Jacob Kohut of the D.C. National Guard.

Kohut spent the week teaching classes remotely on a laptop in a Humvee or from the drill floor of the D.C. Armory before he began 12-hour shifts for the National Guard at 10 a.m. each day.

"He absolutely loves his students and would do anything for them. He is extremely dedicated," Kohut's principal told the Post. "I think he is an excellent example. He teaches our kids the importance of practice, determination and resilience.”

...and our hearts melted watching this emotional grandpa receive the recognition he deserves

The TikTok account @storytimewithpapajake is heartwarming on a regular basis, as granddaughter McKaela Larson asks her "Papa Jake" — also known as World War II veteran Jake Larson — to tell stories of his experiences in battle and his memories of the war.

But when two of his 192,000 TikTok followers offered to arrange for him to receive a certificate and a U.S. flag that had flown over the Capitol on Pearl Harbor Day in recognition of his military service, even Papa Jake was overcome with emotion.

"I never expected anything like this in my life," said Papa Jake, his voice choking, and in that moment, he became Papa Jake to all of us.

We laughed along to this parody of a popular song...

Would the members of Dexys Midnight Runner approve? Doubtful. But the familiar tune of their iconic '80s song "Come On Eileen" is the perfect backdrop to Kim and Penn Holderness's endearing plea for a shot at the COVID-19 vaccine. (See what we did there?)

"Come on vaccine, don't want COVID-19. It's been 10 months... Just come on, vaccine," Penn sings. "So many exposed. When will we get our dose? Just please hurry... and come on, vaccine!"

And while we are hanging out with the Holderness Family, about those Bernie memes...

... and laughed with this mom with an unfortunate story about her thong

Oh, Gracie Noe. We're not laughing at you, we're laughing so very sheepishly with you as your daughter tells the story of how she discovered a pair of your thong underwear stuck to her shoe at school in a video 4.2 million people have now seen.


Currently looking for a new school for my 6 year old. ##whyshedomelikethat ##foryoupage ##sendhelp

♬ original sound - Gracie Noe

Our favorite part? When your daughter tells her principal, "This is my mom's underwear. Our house is messy." Yeah, we felt that shot right to the heart.

Good luck at the next parent-teacher conference.

There's a new ice cream in town...

Ice cream might not be able to warm hearts, but it certainly can make us smile. This week, Jeni's Splendid, an Ohio-based ice cream company, announced a new flavor in honor of our new ice cream-loving president and his favorite order: a double scoop of chocolate chip ice cream in a waffle cone.

Now this is something to smile about!Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

The new flavor features crunchy chocolate flakes and chocolate-covered waffle cones in a "velvety vaniilla" ice cream.

Jeni's Splendid founder Jeni Britton Bauer said the flavor will be sure to "bring people together," keeping with President Biden's theme of unity.

... and "Bridgerton" is getting a second season (Hooray)!

Those of you who burn for "Bridgerton" are in luck — series creator Chris Van Dusen told Hoda and Jenna they will begin filming season two later this spring in London.

Though the second season will not focus on the Duke of Hotness — oh, sorry, the Duke of Hastings — it will spotlight a new major romance for the eldest Bridgerton brother, Lord Anthony Bridgerton, played by actor Jonathan Bailey.

Van Dusen is making big promises. “I think it’s going to be as sweeping and moving and as beautiful as viewers of the first season have come to expect from the show,” he said.

We'll leave you with this special moment 5-year-old Pallavi's mom caught on video as she realizes that the new vice president is half-Indian like she is.

"She's me! She's me! Look, we're the same color!"

See the light and be the light, everyone.