It's April! It's my mum's birthday today (yesterday was my dad's), and on Thursday my oldest daughter turns 19! Then there's my sister-in-law, uncle, and whole group of people who share April as their birthday month.
We've had quite a bit of rain over the weekend and the rain finally gave way yesterday afternoon. March showers may have preceded April showers, but I'm sure they're on their way. Here are some fun and practical things to do to embrace April.
1. Go puddle jumping. I love to do this during the summer months, but once the temperature gets above 50 degrees, dashing through the yard in search of puddles is a great way to wake up. Even better when you have a couple of dogs to help you out.
2. Open up the windows. Once the sun is shining, open up your windows even if it's only for 10 minutes to let fresh air in and the stale air out. Now go ahead and start cleaning those windows. I've started on the inside and once the snow recedes from the house a bit more, I'll get started on the outside. (My mother used vinegar and newspaper.)
3. Start to edit. I still have a few stray winter items lying about, but I've stored away the heavy blankets, and all snow/winter related accessories. Start to go through the closets and put away heavy boots, coats, and other clothing. Now is the time to check on your spring wardrobe to see what needs sprucing up and what needs replacing. Tops on my list—a pair of tall puddle-jumping boots! Donate what you don't need.
4. Get outside! The cold temperatures this past winter had me walking on the treadmill, but no more. As of yesterday, the track is cleared for take off and I'll be there for the first time since November! Even if I know I'll be stuck in the house for hours on end, I'll pop on out to the porch and grab a bit of vitamin D. Soon the bikes will tuned up and ready for action! It's my new old favorite thing to do.
5. Force spring bulbs indoors until you can see the real thing outdoors. This is especially important in my neck of the woods because winters are long and my yard doesn't get full sun for quite a while. I have some leftover paperwhites from Christmas that are starting to bloom on my kitchen counter right now.
6. Clean up the yard. Oh boy, this is a biggie for me. I walk outside and see planks and pallets where the wood used to be and plenty of wood shavings just off to the side of my porch. We do a lot of raking when the snow is finally gone. And sometimes that's enough to get you through. Remove fallen branches, rake up leaves, and leave behind a nice clean yard.
7. Are you a gardener? Get a jump start on planting by gathering herb and/or vegetable seedlings on a windowsill. I'm never quite sure what's going to make it through the winter in my own herb garden, so it's off to the garden center for little peat pots of rosemary, thyme, sage, and mint.
8. Start planning outdoor activities. Since my oldest daughter is still in Boston until May when there are all kinds of outdoor activities planned at her school and around the city that we'll take advantage of. My youngest daughter has already started planning to register for bike races and this year's local triathlon.
9. Celebrate D.E.A.R all April long. Drop Everything and Read Day isn't just for kids, so grab your book, grab a blanket, and head outdoors.
10. Start a summer bucket list. What are some of the things you've been meaning to do, but didn't get a chance to last summer? Here are a few examples: Take a boat ride. White water river rafting. Camp under the stars. Go to the drive-in. Try out a few new BBQ recipes. Learn how to play croquet. Picnic in the park. Attend a movie or concert in the park. Ride a roller coaster. And here are a few more.