What went viral this week: A new season of 'This Is Us' + adorable Halloween BFFs

Read on to discover some of the sweetest stories to brighten your mood!

What went viral this week: A new season of 'This Is Us' + adorable Halloween BFFs

We're nearly there, mamas—the month of September is almost over. We're so close to being able to say that the first full month of remote learning, in-person schooling, or a combination of the two, is behind us.

This was a September unlike any other. If your family is still struggling to adapt to the new normal, you're not alone.

We love finding good news to help bring a smile to your face. Read on to discover some of the sweetest stories to brighten your mood!

This toddler’s new bestie is a 5-foot-tall skeleton 💀

This toddler's deep devotion to his new best friend is making us smile, for sure. Two-year-old Theo refuses to go anywhere without his five-foot-tall skeleton friend, Benny.

Theo's mom, Abby, says their friendship started innocently enough. She was rearranging things in their basement when Theo found the skeleton—and quickly became attached. They were about to head out for a trip to their local reservoir but Theo wouldn't leave without the Halloween prop.

"I was like, okay, whatever," Abby said in a video she posted to Instagram. "We'll bring the skeleton in the car. It's not a big deal." When they arrived Theo wouldn't leave the car without his new pal.

"When we got to the reservoir, he refused, REFUSED to get out of the car. I couldn't do anything to get him out of the car, so I was like, 'okay, whatever. We're just going to bring this skeleton with us. Who cares what people think. It's going to be fun'."

Since then, Theo and the skeleton, who the family's named Benny, are inseparable. Abby has posted several videos and pictures of their unlikely friendship to her Instagram account.

We're not sure what's funnier—the pair sitting together in Theo's rocking chair, casually reading a story, or the pals enjoying a trip to the grocery store.

Abby told Motherly that she hopes other people can find the joy in her son's quirky friendship. "There is so much craziness going on in 2020. My biggest hope is that it makes people smile."

She also says she's learned she'll do just about anything to make her son happy. "It has been a lot of fun seeing his imagination grow," she added.

They've even added a skeleton pet to their family! Abby recently shared a video of Theo unboxing a skeleton dog. While he seemed a little shy at first, Theo quickly warmed up to his newest friend.

We love seeing parents embracing their kids for who they are and what they love. Even if it's a five-foot-tall plastic skeleton.

Hallmark has announced its first LGBTQ holiday movie 🎉

It's not even October but we're so ready to break out the cocoa and sweaters for this!

Hallmark announced its full slate of holiday movies for 2020—and for the first time ever, one will feature a gay couple. "The Christmas House" will premiere on November 22nd. It stars Jonathan Bennett, perhaps best known for his role as Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls.

According to the synopsis, Bennett's character Brandon and his husband Jake, played by Brad Harder, "are anxiously awaiting a call about the adoption of their first child." The film also stars Treat Williams, Sharon Lawrence, Robert Buckley and Ana Ayora.

"Our holiday table is bigger and more welcoming than ever. This year's movies reflect our most diverse representation of talent, narratives, and families, including 'The Christmas House'," said Michelle Vicary, EVP, Programming. "Our movies are rooted in warmth and positivity, meaningful connections, family gatherings, and seasonal traditions—a winning formula we hope will bring our millions of viewers much-needed levity and holiday cheer at the end of a tough year."

You can check out the full slate of Hallmark holiday movies here.

This summer, Bennett publicly came out in a heartfelt Instagram post.

"What does family look like to you? What does pride look like?" he asked. "Every family and every expression of pride is different. To me pride is about accepting yourself, loving yourself, and then being proud of exactly who you are. It took me a long time to be able to feel comfortable posting pictures that looked like this. But I am proud of who I am, and I am proud of the journey I've been on. So no matter where you might be on your journey, just know that you are NEVER too much, and you're ALWAYS enough."

We agree!

Disney unveils touching tribute to Chadwick Boseman ❤️

Disney unveiled a beautiful tribute to the late actor Chadwick Boseman this week.

When families visit the Downtown Disney District at the Anaheim resort, they'll be able to visit "King Chad," a moving mural dedicated to the actor.

Boseman, 43, died last month after a long battle with cancer.

The mural shows Boseman giving the Wakanda salute, alongside a young child wearing a hospital gown and Black Panther mask. Boseman famously played King T'Challa in the Black Panther films until his death.

Nikkolas Smith, the artist behind the mural, shared several photos of the new installation.

On Instagram, he wrote, "To millions of kids, T'Challa was a legend larger than life, and there was no one more worthy to fill those shoes than Chadwick Boseman. I'm so thankful to be able to honor Chadwick's life and purpose in this way.
I am grateful to the Disney family for being so supportive of my journey as an artist."

Fans around the world are showing their love for the mural. Letitia Wright, who plays Boseman's on-screen sister, Shuri, commented, "🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾💕." Actress Sherri Shepard wrote, "So very proud of you! Congrats & Thank you for this—we needed it."

Smith also shared a special moment with his infant son in front of the mural. The picture of the two of them together, celebrating the excellence of the life and career of Boseman, really hit home for us.

Boseman's turn as the Black Panther inspired millions of families. We hope this installation will allow future generations to share in his legacy and memory.

All hail the King.

'This is Us' is coming back 2 weeks ahead of schedule!

With 2020 being what it's been, we need some good news right now and NBC is giving it to us.

New episodes of This Is Us are coming soon—a full two weeks ahead of schedule!

The show was supposed to come back in early November, but since the country will be a little preoccupied with the election at that time we're getting the 2-hour premier of season 5 of This is Us on October 27.

This good news comes as one of the show's stars is also celebrating great news. Mandy Moore recently announced her pregnancy with a series of sweet snaps of her and husband, Taylor Goldsmith.

Moore posted a trio of black and white photos to Instagram, with the caption, "Baby Boy Goldsmith coming early 2021 💙."

This is the first baby for the couple, who married in 2018.

Moore's "This is Us" co-stars immediately showed their support. Susan Kelechi Watson commented, "Baby's comingggggg❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️" while her on-screen husband, Sterling K. Brown, wrote, "So happy for the both of you. You and Taylor will be terrific parents...but you told me awhile ago, so....😁."

We love how happy the parents-to-be look and Taylor's hand on his wife's growing bump!

It gets how big? These viral pumpkins are a festive dilation demonstration 

A year-old Facebook post from Pregnant Chicken is recirculating again this week, featuring a photo from the midwives at the Royal Oldham Hospital in Lancashire, England.

The midwives carved Jack-o-Lanterns with a twist, using round pumpkin mouths to show how much a mama dilates during birth.

When you're one centimetre dilated your cervix is as open as the mouth on the first pumpkin, and when you get to 10 centimeters it looks more like the last gourd in this pic.

Don't let this Halloween display scare you, mama. This is a totally normal part of birth. The human body is amazing and dilation is pretty cool because it helps bring your own little pumpkin into the world.

This is a great Halloween decor idea for all the mamas with October due dates.

Jamie Orsini is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, military spouse, and a mom to two busy toddlers. In her spare time, Jamie volunteers with the Solar System Ambassador program with NASA/JPL and reads anything she can get her hands on. She’s currently working on her first novel.

The one thing your family needs to practice gratitude

And a tradition you'll want to keep for years.

Gracious Gobbler

I think I can speak for well, basically everyone on planet earth when I say things have been a bit stressful lately. Juggling virtual school, work and the weight of worry about all the things, it's increasingly difficult to take even a moment to be grateful and positive these days. It's far easier to fall into a grump cycle, nagging my kids for all the things they didn't do (after being asked nine times), snapping at their bickering and never really acknowledging the good stuff.

But the truth is, gratitude and appreciation is the kind of medicine we need now more than ever—and not just because the season is upon us. For one thing, practicing gratitude is a scientifically proven way to boost our happiness, health and relationships. More importantly, we need to ensure we're cultivating it in our children even when things are challenging. Especially when things are challenging.

I'm ready to crank the thankfulness up a few dozen notches and reboot our family's gratitude game so we can usher out 2020 on a fresh note. So, I've called in some reinforcements.

Enter: the Gracious Gobbler.

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Here are the self-care items you desperately need right now

Self care is not enough, but with the news, the ongoing pandemic and just life, it can't hurt to self-pamper to make the world feel less heavy.


This week has felt like a month. Between the debate, Chrissy Teigen's heartbreaking news and now with President Trump tweeting that he and Melania have tested positive for COVID-19 it's hard to not feel overwhelmed. On top of that, we are still in a never ending historical pandemic, people are still losing their jobs and moms, well, we are at the end of our rope.

Yes, motherhood is political, and no, self care is not enough to fix burn out, but if all you need right now is to turn off your phone and cozy up to a soft blanket because you've had enough, I hear you. Hard same. So we picked some stuff for you to buy and pamper yourself. No regrets, we all deserve some self-love right now.

Here are things that will make you feel hugged:

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Dear 2020 baby: Thank you

This year has been a mess. But you've been the light in the darkness.

Sweet 2020 baby,

I just want to say thank you.

Because in many ways, this year has been a mess.

A bit of a disaster, really.

But you.

You've been the light in the darkness.

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