Thursday, February 25, 2016

spring bucket list, 2016 ed.

I am so ready for spring. Last weekend we had some unseasonably warm weather, and it was nothing but a tease because the snow is back this week. But it got me thinking about all the fun things I want to do this spring with my little family, and I want to squeeze every drop of fun and sunshine I can out of this spring! So I thought I'd compile a spring "bucket list" for my little familia and me.

1. Gardening.
Okay, I will be the first to admit that our past gardening attempts have not gone all that well. We are pretty notorious for starting out the season gung-ho with gardening fever...and then letting other priorities take over, letting our poor little garden get all thirsty and dead. At least, the parts that don't become a bird-and-bunny-buffet. BUT this year, I have some vague ideas of scaling back our efforts to a reasonable level and doing some small-scale container gardening. Namely herbs--I do love to grow and cook with rosemary especially, and I have had good luck with it surviving in spite of my gardening neglect. Also, I would love to start a tradition of gardening as a family and involving Avery in the whole deal. I am a firm believer in getting kiddos outdoors to play and learn and soak up all those wonderful outdoor experiences! And it will just be a fun activity for us to do together.

So, stay tuned--soon I'll be reviewing a new book on the topic of container gardening, and then I'm sure I'll be sharing pretty photos of our little plants as they progress (and hopefully not die).

the beginnings of a past spring garden that went south...RIP little plants...

2. Family walks.
This sounds like such a silly little thing to add to a bucket list, right? Like, of course we will take walks--that's not exciting enough to plan for specially. But with how busy life can get and how wrapped up in the grind we can get, it never hurts to plan for even the little things, to help us remember! We are so very much looking forward to spring weather so we can reinstitute our evening family walks around our little neighborhood.

Our dogs Bean and Link need it BADLY. They are so tired of being cooped up indoors all the time and they've become little balls of pent up frustration and energy. Of course we don't have as much attention for them as we used to before Avery came along, so that doesn't help!

Mike and I need our evening walks just as badly. It's an easy, enjoyable form of exercise we can do as a whole family, and we need all the help we can get in squeezing in exercise. And! It's more valuable time for Avery to spend outdoors, which, again, I believe is an integral part of childhood. So, bring on the family walks!

3. Park adventures.
We are lucky enough to live in a sprawling suburban city that is home to many city parks. We've frequented a few of them--Mike and I even spent some time at one of them on our first date--but there are parks in our city we have never visited! We certainly need to get on that this year. Whether it's to check out playgrounds or take the dogs along for one of those family walks, parks are definitely on our to-do list this spring.

And, added bonus: a new city park has been planned to go in just down the road from our house, and should hopefully be completed this summer! I see many walks to this particular park in our future.

Avery's first trip to a park. OMG, I can't believe she was ever that small!!!

4. Zoo adventures.
Avery's first birthday is coming up (gah!), and Mike and I have decided our big gift to her this year will be a family zoo membership and, weather permitting, her first trip to the zoo on her birthday proper. But, of course, we will want to make good use of our yearly membership and visit as often as we can manage! It's not too far away in downtown Indy, but it's enough of a trek that it will be a special sometimes-activity. Perhaps we will be able to periodically take a weekday off work to visit the zoo when there are fewer people between us and the animals!

5. Farmers Market trips.
Our city holds a weekly Farmers Market on Saturdays beginning in the spring! I can't wait to get up on a Saturday morning, have breakfast together, and then go amble and poke around at the Farmers Market. It takes awhile into the season to really get going with much produce to offer, but in the meantime it will be fun just to have yet another outdoor activity on the docket.

6. Yard sales.
I love hitting the local yard sales to search for treasures! And now that we have a kiddo, we will be in the market for gently used clothes, books, and especially outdoor toys for her. I'd love to find her some small-scale toddler play equipment this year! Crossing my fingers for an elephant slide.

7. Turning our yard into an outdoor living space.
It's one of those catch phrases you always hear on HGTV type shows: outdoor living space. Well, I want one, dangit. Our backyard is currently just a backyard...and a dog toilet. (Ew.) It is going to remain a dog toilet, and there's nothing we can do about that besides keeping on top of the pickup doody duty. (Ew.) But I would also love to do some things to our backyard to make it an inviting play and hangout area for our family. A patio would be a nice start! Hopefully we can get a quote on one this year and see if we can work it into our budget.

I'm sure I will come up with more items to add to the list, but this is a great starting point, I think!

What's on YOUR spring to-do or "bucket" list?

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