Sharing cupcakes and smiles on Good Morning America

May I share a fun family story with you?

Yes, yes, it involves cupcakes again.  (Just so you know it’s a sweet story.)  I promise we won’t be telling weekly cupcake adventures.  (OK, I don’t promise.  But it’s not likely to happen again soon, especially since, shhhhh, don’t tell, I really don’t like cupcakes that much…)

I just wanted to share with you what happened with our daughter last week far from the shores of her Northwoods childhood home in Upper Michigan.

As many of you know she lives in the Big City now.  New York City, to be exact.  She’s traveled from the woods to the subway, from Lake Superior’s shores to skyscrapers beside the Hudson.  Our youngest has been living in the Big Apple for three years now.  (Our oldest also lives in the city, on the opposite side of this country.  He drives toward his university with the Pacific Ocean over his left shoulder, while the youngest nods toward the Atlantic Ocean over her right shoulder.)

You’re wondering how she ended up on Good Morning America, one of our country’s morning news and talk shows,  last Wednesday, aren’t you?

First, she wasn’t interviewed as a celebrity.  She wasn’t making news.  She was a sidekick during the weather segment, handing out cupcakes and coffee and having a blast.

What fun!

Here’s what happened.

She works in the financial end of an events and catering company in Manhattan.  A couple of weeks ago someone promoting a movie over there in LA called.  They needed someone with a New York food handling certificate to supervise the distribution of cupcakes on Good Morning America.

Our daughter volunteered.

We asked her a million questions beforehand.  She didn’t know.  She didn’t know what time she’d be on TV.  She didn’t even know if she would make an appearance on camera.  Maybe she would just be in the background, supervising cupcake distribution.

It didn’t matter too much to us because we don’t have TV service, and couldn’t watch if we wanted. Besides, we had to be at work.  But the grandparents wanted to know.  We advised them to watch Good Morning America from 7-9 a.m.  I begged my mom to call me at the school if our cupcake distributor was seen.

My mom called at 8:40 a.m  Our smiling girl was indeed spotted for maybe two seconds during the weather segment.  Yes, she had made her television debut.

What smiles!

She emailed photos of the Big Cupcake Event.

It was delicious.

Mostly because you could see how much she seemed to be enjoying herself.  She was grinning from ear to ear.

She later told me how much fun she had.

You know how people can sometimes be in their own worlds, preoccupied, shut off from their fellow commuters.  Sometimes we ignore the passersby as if they weren’t really there. We don’t always say hello, smile, make contact with a stranger.  Perhaps we’re scared or busy or just don’t really care.  It can be a fragmented world, especially in a city filled with millions of people.  Sometimes it feels like we’re self-sufficient islands barely nodding to other islands.  After a while, this feels normal.

On this cupcake day, the recipients of sweet cake and frosting smiled, laughed, perhaps spoke.  They seemed genuinely friendly, engaged, caring.  They were shocked out of their separate island-selves, instead perhaps feeling their hearts thaw as another stranger passed out sweets.

Dozens of smiles sparkled all around, the day’s worries and cares momentarily forgotten.

My smile sparkled later in the day as I admired the photos and heard the enthusiasm in my daughter’s voice.

That, dear reader, made the whole experience extra special.  Much more special than the two seconds of TV “fame”.

You can look at the photos and witness the givers and receivers smiling.  They were sharing, engaging, taking a moment in a busy day to pause and exchange.

The cupcake crew

To give and to receive.

Sure, you could say that the movie promoters were attempting to get something in exchange for their free cupcakes.  You could say they really wanted folks to remember the name of their movie when it comes out in July.  That is undoubtedly true.

(The name of the movie is “People Like Us.”  If you click the link you can view the infamous cupcakes under the “Celebrate” tab.)

But I like the fact that my daughter felt genuine happiness as she smiled and spoke to so many strangers, passersby, random tourists visiting the TV site.  She felt the joy of giving. And the cupcake recipients laughed, chatted, grinned, smiled, said “thank you”.

Doesn’t it make you want to smile more often as you walk down the street?  Give the gift of your smile, your nod, your casual passing…to honor the presence of another person instead of remaining lost in thought or busy in daily routine?  To acknowledge the presence of another person just like you.

People just like us

How about we keep our eyes open this week for an opportunity to give?  Perhaps simply a smile or a friendly “Hello, how are you doing?”  Perhaps we’ll encounter situations where we feel comfortable to pause, to engage, to be present with another person or situation.  Perhaps we won’t hurry by, lost in our own thoughts and busyness.

I know I’m going to keep my eyes wider open for opportunities to slow down and share.  Are you readers game?  Can you divulge an incident where you recently shared of yourself and received big smiles in return?

And finally, another big thank you to my cupcake girl for letting me post this story!

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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73 Responses to Sharing cupcakes and smiles on Good Morning America

  1. Fountainpen says:

    There are lots of people in NYC “just like us”…..really there are!!!!


    • Kathy says:

      There are indeed, Fountainpen! I seem to remember that you met many of them at one time. You probably have lots of memories of NYC “people like us”.

  2. Elisa's Spot says:

    It is very hard to be angry when there are even more than just one! You probably won’t understand my words, but, the larger the sample, the more ‘even’ things seem to be. Balance. psst…I am using the word angry way too much of late, I think there are other things, just angry is easy to say or to name.

    Kiah! You looked like you were doing more than work there! The energy in what is in the images, both perceived and real, made my morning. Thank you!

    • Kathy says:

      It is a little hard to understand your meaning today, Elisa, but that’s OK. It’s good that you shared, and part of me seems to understand without more elaboration. The energy in those pics made my day, too. Glad you could feel it.

  3. bree1972 says:

    Your daughter is a very beautiful young woman! Loved the cupcakes, loved your words!

  4. How fun! If I had known, I would have watched. I love it that your daughter did this, that she allowed you to share the story, that you reminded us about giving sweetness both to those we know and also to those we don’t. Love the image of giving a cupcake to a stranger on a NY street. That’s street sweet, indeed!

    • Kathy says:

      Smiling at your sweet words, Kathy. I am happy she agreed to the sharing of the story, too. She’s a very private person, so her allowing was a gift, indeed. Thank you for saying you would have watched. I would have had to send you many photos in advance for you to recognize her during those two seconds. 🙂

  5. Your beautiful daughter has an infectious smile…I’m sure the moments of connectedness made the day for many cupcake recipients. You’re right, this is a very sweet story. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, she does, doesn’t she? I love when she smiles and is happy. Of course, don’t we almost always feel better when we see a genuine smile? Thank you for adding your sweetness to the mix.

  6. Goodness, gracious, sakes alive – how doggone fun is that?! And just look at her smile. She outshines our recent super moon!

  7. Carol says:

    A “sweet” pause in the beginning of another busy day in the lives of so many; how neat that Kiah got to be instrumental in creating smiles and a moment in those lives that will add just the right touch of comfort in their day. A cupcake morning!

    • Kathy says:

      It’s good to be able to share smiles early in a busy week, Carol. It’s infectious, almost, she smiles, I smile, you smile, we all smile. 🙂

  8. Sara says:

    Great sentiments. I’m looking forward to getting out of the house/studio to mingle with my species when craft show season begins next month. It’s so refreshing to talk to strangers once in a while. In the meantime, I’ll pass on a smile and a few kind words in my comings and goings.

    It’s nice to see how your daughter is passing on her happiness in such a genuine way. Looks like she had a blast!

    • Kathy says:

      I even laughed reading your comment “mingle with my species”, Sara. Funny! I am smiling at your passing on of smiles and kind words. And you already have–with your sweet comment.

  9. Kerry Dwyer says:

    I like this. I like the double meaning in ‘People like us’.
    I moved from a bustling city to rural town. It took me a while to get used to people knowing my name in the baker’s and the grocer’s shop. People here smile and say hello as you walk down the road.
    Kiah looks radiant and very happy.

    • Kathy says:

      Kerry, that is indeed a gift of a small town. I have never lived in a bustling city like you or Kiah, so have always appreciated knowing the bank tellers and pharmacists. Glad you enjoyed the double meaning.

  10. Susan D. says:

    Oh, this is just too fun! Kiah is beyond kewl … just like her mom. Thank you for sharing this sweetness (in so many ways).

    • Kathy says:

      Twas fun, Susan Dee, truly fun! When this happened, I knew, absolutely new, that I wanted to share this on the blog so you guys could smile wider than your computer screens, too. lol!

  11. sonali says:

    Oh! so nice!! What a lucky girl Kiah is. The lovely pictures say it all. It truly must’ve been so much fun. Their cupcake crew looks cool! May she keep going with the high spirit similar to how she volunteered for a TV show. Smart & Awesomely cool 😀

    • Kathy says:

      Sonali, perhaps some day soon someone in India will want you to hand out sweets. You never know! Stranger things have happened. I can imagine your big smile and happiness, too. I always imagine your smile when you leave sweet words as comments.

  12. That is a sweet story! 🙂

  13. Great story! And she does look so happy and bright there! The story reminds me of my husband who will smile and say hello to anyone he sees walking down the street. It is one of the things I love about him. I have observed that when he does that, other people are more likely to say hello to each other too.

    • Kathy says:

      Your husband sounds as sweet as you, Patty. It sounds like he is often the more outgoing one in your family? I used to be more outgoing than my husband, but lately the roles are switching a little more. It seems like he is growing more social as he ages and I am growing more comfortable just smiling.

  14. Heather says:

    I like your commentary on people-islands. I think that is one reason I didn’t enjoy living in Miami. I like going to the bank or grocery store and chatting with the tellers/cashiers because of something shared. I’m sure NYC and other large cities are filled with similar stories – like Kiah’s cupcakes (which I cannot believe you don’t love!) – but I seem to find them more in small towns. Perhaps it’s me who is less of a person-island in a small town!

    • Kathy says:

      Isn’t it fun knowing and chatting with all the people we run into while living in a small town? I adore the bank tellers here, especially. I liked this story because it showed that this kind of fun CAN exist in the big city. Maybe it’s just not as obvious as in a small area with less people? Maybe we humans sometimes shut down in larger surroundings because it can be so overwhelming. I know I shut down more when visiting the kids in NYC and San Diego.

  15. What a lovely, sunny, smile Kiah has! Isn’t it wonderful how something as simple as sharing a cupcake can have such a ripple effect of good will and connecting with our fellow beings? Thanks for sharing the uplifting story and cheerful pictures!

    • Kathy says:

      The “ripple effect”…yes…I had forgotten that phrase. Love how joy can spiral out and out and out. Glad you were uplifted. Am really enjoying the ripple effect of joy lately.

  16. Brenda Hardie says:

    Thank you for this uplifting story today Kathy! What an exciting adventure for Kiah! She does indeed look radiant and her smile brightens everything. My Mom always used to smile and strike up conversations with strangers “people like us” along her way and she made several friends that way. Yes, there were some people who were put off by her friendliness but she didn’t let that dampen her spirit. I guess it rubbed off on me too because typically I am the same way…although not quite as outgoing as Mom was. Cupcakes, coffee and bright smiles….yep…sounds like a good recipe to make any day a happier day!

    • Kathy says:

      Good morning, Brenda. I love it whenever life shines through us and we look radiant, don’t you? I am usually the one in our family who has been a conversation-striker-upper, but not always. Kinda depends on my mood. I do like smiling at people though. Sitting in a coffee shop in Houghton now and just had a conversation with the most smiling woman and her friend. Not having any sweets today. Going to start a little spring cleanse and eat really healthy for the next three days.

  17. Dana says:

    Kiah shines like the sun in these photos– what a beautiful and infectious smile!

    This is a really uplifting and fun story, Kathy. You’re right, the 2 seconds of acting “fame” are far outweighed by the lasting memories of connecting with others. Even though this was staged in the context of movie promotion, the simple act of reaching out and giving to others is timeless.

    PS: Marty also had 1.5 seconds of “fame” recently. Can you spot him in the official trailer for the Fairmont Empress Hotel? (Hint: he’s the one painting!)

    • Kathy says:

      I saw him painting, Dana, how cool! I also saw the waterfront where you work. AND now I want to hop aboard an airplane and fly there and visit your beautiful city (OK, we can go to the woods, too.) Connecting with others is the gift we’ll remember long after our brushes with any kind of fame subside. Man, you are so wise.

  18. Karma says:

    Very cool! Glad Kiah had such an awesome experience. I kind of had that type of experience recently. I suppose folks on vacation are pre-disposed to smiling, but randomly striking up conversations in elevators on the ship usually lead to a smile about something!

    • Kathy says:

      I am now imagining you chatting with folks on a cruise ship. I suppose a cruise ship almost becomes like a small town, a place where it feels safe to engage? And, of course, you’re right, on vacation we tend to relax and let go of our busyness and just “be”. Happy week, Ms. Karma!

  19. Lori DiNardi says:

    Oh how fun for your daughter. She must be very social. I am too. It was so disappointing when I first moved to FL, people weren’t as friendly here. I’ve smiled and said ‘hi’ to my backyard neighbor, I don’t know how many times, and she doesn’t even notice me.

    What a lovely, friendly and warm daughter you have. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Actually, Lori, she’s not that social. She is friendly and smiles beautifully, but generally much more reserved than her mama. I am sorry that your backyard neighbor won’t acknowledge you. I wonder what hurt or sadness she’s carrying around that prevents her from engaging with someone as smiling and friendly as you?

      • Lori DiNardi says:

        Well, sounds like Kiah did a great job. She looks lovely. The lady behind me just seems very preoccupied with her own life. I don’t take it personal. Her mind is always somewhere else, and she’s not even paying attention to anyone or anything around her.

  20. Christie Eagan says:

    Wow way cool Kiah. She sure does have a beautiful smile mom.

    • Kathy says:

      She sure does, Christie. I will make sure she sees that you commented. Nice to see you my friend–planning on going down to Yale in early June.

  21. Christine says:

    That is so awesome, Kathy. You have a really beautiful daughter. It’s always amazing to me how other people will respond to a genuine smile. She seems like a fantastic young woman. Well done! And loved the thoughts here.

    • Kathy says:

      Glad you liked this, Christine. I love to see her smiling. Come to think of it, I love it when any of my family smiles. Warms our hearts, doesn’t it?

  22. A smile and a cupcake…who could resist? This is a heartwarming tale from the cold canyons of the Big City. She is lovely, Kathy, both inside and out.

    • Kathy says:

      I shivered reading your comment, Scott. “The cold canyons of the Big City”. Hey, you’re a writer as well as a photographer! Thank you from the bottom of this spring heart.

  23. What a great story, and a fantastic opportunity – not just to be on TV, but to be a part of something so fun!! In my office, I sit by the front door, so everyone who comes in is greeted with a smile and “Hello!”. Some people look confused by this, they don’t seem to expect friendliness when they walk in to a government office!! 😉

    When I was in high school, my communications teacher gave us an experiment – when we walk down the halls between classes, we were to look directly at people and smile – to see what kind of reaction we got. I’m not talking about big, goofy smiles with a huge wave – just a little acknowledgment toward someone else as we walk down the hall. It felt a little funny at first – but it ended up being pretty successful!

    • Kathy says:

      Holly, glad you thought this was fun, too. I wonder how many people’s lives you’ve eased with your smile and Hello over the years? Probably hundreds. Liking that experiment your communications teacher shared with you. It does make a big difference. Probably bigger than we know.

  24. Sheryl says:

    What a wonderful story! You’re so right that smiles, nods, and other small things (like cupcakes) can really bring happiness to both the giver and receiver. I notice that when I smile at someone when I pass them on the street that I usually get a pleasant smile back.

    • Kathy says:

      Sheryl, I am glad you were inspired by this. I can almost picture your open smile. In fact, I can feel your good heart through your words. Thank you.

  25. Christina says:

    How fun, Kathy! Thanks for sharing Kiah’s Big Apple adventures. Regarding your question, I’ve actually been making a major effort to engage with strangers lately so it’s interesting that you bring this up right now. What I’ve found very interesting is that the more outwardly friendly and happy I am to them, seeing them light up with a smile and laugh makes me even happier. Such a win-win situation and all it requires is a little extra bit of energy 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Your words made me smile this morning, Christina. You have such a bright blooming smile, too. That light that we can spark and share among others is so beautiful. I am headed out in the woods this morning. The sun is shining so brightly it simply must be smiling.

  26. Joanne says:

    This post made me smile Kathy. You, feeling so proud of Kiah being happy and caring made me smile, and Kiah’s smile made me smile too!

    I hope this little story makes you smile too, just as it did me…my son arrived home last Friday, from the USA, and he told me that they travelled from Manhattan (yes, he stayed in Manhattan for 8 nights), down to New Orleans, up to California, and in the whole five weeks, they didn’t come across one single unpleasant person! In fact, he said everyone was really friendly in the states!!

    Isn’t that heartwarming? Both of our babies are sharing smiles! 😀

    • Kathy says:

      Joanne, how wonderful that your son is home again and that they had such a wonderful time. (I suspect that the fact that he didn’t experience an unpleasant person might have to do with his own energy and smiles. How often it seems that we attract into our lives what we share.) It’s good to see you here this morning. As a matter of fact, was just thinking of you while sitting on the couch a few minutes ago. Happy to see you when the computer goes on!

  27. Tammy says:

    Kiah is lovely and that is such a treat for you and for her. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Robin says:

    Such lovely smiles. I was reminded of the “Free Hugs” people I met while visiting Chicago a few years ago. No cupcakes involved but there were lots of smiles and free hugs. You’d be surprised at how many people turn down a free hug. (Not me, of course. I never turn down a free hug.)

    • Kathy says:

      People turn down free hugs, Robin? Seriously? What a fun thing to do…to give out free hugs. A few years ago we had a virtual hugging party here on line. Virtual hugs are almost as good as physical hugs as long as you sit still enough until the warm energy of love enfolds you. Hugs to you, Ms. Robin in the Bogs.

  29. ladyfi says:

    What a lovely way to cheer people up!

  30. Beautiful daughter and yes I saw her on GMA; just happened to be watching while taking a break from getting ready for my yard sale (yesterday). Now, after reading two blogs about cupcakes I’m off to make some blueberry muffins. I think they are like cup cakes without icing, aren’t they?

    • Kathy says:

      YOU SAW HER ON GOOD MORNING AMERICA? OK, Ms. purpleborough, I know you’re pulling this Midwestern leg. (Even though part of me believes you!) I actually love muffins. Who needs that icing anyway? **grin**

      • No, I would not pull your leg. You look like you could whup up on me! You might send another one of “those packages” and cause all kinds of trouble. I saw her and thought she was one of the GMA staff.

  31. katyarich says:

    Hola Kathy, That was very nice of your daughter, great pictures and beautiful smile…looks pretty, have a lovely week!

  32. Barb says:

    Oh, yes, I like doing this – giving out smiles – not cupcakes. Kiah looks radiant with happiness. Does she want to be an actress now? I’m smiling now, too.

    • Kathy says:

      I like giving out smiles, too, Barb. Can’t remember the last cupcake… 🙂 Nope, she doesn’t want to be an actress. She’s not one that seeks out the limelight, although she sure looked happy to be on Good Morning America that day. (Gosh, it already feels sooo long ago!)

  33. flandrumhill says:

    There is something irresistible about a beautiful girl handing out cupcakes that would make anyone smile or at least pause and take notice. Whoever planned this event knew what they were doing.

  34. Reggie says:

    I am sooo delighted that we got to meet your daughter in person, Kathy – she is an absolute treasure, beautiful inside and out. No wonder all those passersby were all smiling when she passed around the cupcakes! And who knows where her big TV debut will lead? 😉 Lots and lots of love to Kiah!

    • Kathy says:

      So glad you and Richard were able to meet up with Kiah, Reggie. That made ME smile big, way back here in Upper Michigan! I’ll tell her to come and read your comment here. 🙂

  35. so cool for your daughter and yes I will try to slow down and share –

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