We decided to take our dinner to the lake the other night to catch the sunset and enjoy some much needed fresh air. After a long winter, any temperature that rises above fifty degrees triggers an alarm in my brain that won’t shut off until I’ve ventured outside to enjoy that almost unrecognizable warmth. Sure, we kept Olivia bundled, but walking around the lake jacket-free was the freedom I had been hoping for.
Olivia sat on Darrin’s lap for most of the evening, sucking down her bottle and staring sleepily out at the trees that seemed to glow. The sunset was beautiful, and I’ve got a feeling that the next bottle I fed her from our living room couch had a view of the television that, by comparison, was incredibly disappointing.
These two. Olivia, snuggled and bundled with her dad, lasted maybe ten minutes before her eyes started to droop. Watching your beautiful baby, who seems larger than life, encounter beautiful places in nature that also seem larger than life can really make you feel small and awestruck and grateful for the crazy but beautiful life you’ve been given.
We made sure to pack all of our picnic necessities. Nuts, popcorn, Perrier…and Rusty the Robot, who sure seemed to enjoy himself despite his inability to consume any of it.
I’ve got a feeling that we’ll back to this little patch of paradise a lot this summer. Taking ordinary tasks outdoors has a special way of making them not only more exciting but also more enjoyable. Feeding Olivia while snacking on popcorn and watching the sunset turned an ordinary task into an extraordinary memory. A moment from her infancy that I’ll especially cherish.
So if you’re feeling like the day’s ordinary tasks have become stagnant and stale, try simply moving them outside. Here are a few fun ideas to get you started this spring:
- Fold your laundry in your backyard during the evening’s golden hour. Or in your front yard. Give the phrase “airing your dirty laundry” a whole new meaning. 😉
- Bring your meals outside. Have a picnic in your front yard. Or at a nearby park. Or even on your front doorstep.
- Try growing your own vegetables this summer and eliminate some expenses on the grocery bill. And maybe even a few extra trips to the store.
- Spend as much playtime or freetime outside as you can this spring/summer. Rediscover the wonder that is blowing bubbles with your kids. Read with the sounds of chirping birds in the background. Write your emails or file that paperwork beneath a park pavilion or out on your front porch.
- Would it be weird to wash your dishes on your front lawn using a garden hose and some dish soap? Maybe. And maybe you wouldn’t get too many of them washed. But maybe you also tell your kids to throw on their swimsuits and help you. Who knows? Maybe the afternoon turns from washing the dishes to spraying each other with the garden hose. Sounds like a fun summer memory in the making.
The more time I spend outside, even if what I’m doing is considered “work,” the more rejuvenated and energized I feel for the tasks that lie ahead.
What about you? What are your favorite ways to bring the ordinary outdoors? What are some of your favorite summer activities? We certainly have more lake days calling our names this summer!