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When the first signs of spring start to bloom, I start to feel like skipping down every street I walk on and soaking up as much sunshine as possible.

This is slightly premature, with spring not officially starting until March 20. But after a weekend of deliciously sunny weather, spring I can hardly contain my excitement that winter sits squarely in my rear-view mirror.

This weekend got me wondering why this is big deal to me. I live in Los Angeles, after all. This year especially, I think we had a week’s worth of winter weather.

The realization came to me that glorious weather plays a part, but really, the weather serves as a signal that my favorite parts of the year wait just around the corner.

The selection at the farmer’s markets starts to grow; more fruits will be on my horizon and in my kitchen. Spring signals the end of the crappy stretch in sports that starts at the end of the Superbowl and lasts until the NCAA tournament begins. Seriously, this stretch is rough as far as sports are concerned.

Most importantly, the change in weather means: baseball is coming.

Spring training is already here, which means we’ve been without baseball for far too long. Research tells us there is no better way to spend a lazy afternoon than sitting in the outfield grass at spring training in Arizona.

OK, that’s only my research. But I know what I’m talking about. It’s 100% true.

And when baseball is here, it means summer follows close behind. I’m pretty sure I don’t have to sell you on the virtues of summer.

For me, that means warm evenings at Dodger Stadium with Bryan, picnic dinners while listening to great music at the Hollywood Bowl with my mom and sisters, and maybe a trip or two (or five) to the beach.

Welcome to 2012, spring. We’re so glad you’re almost here.

For any readers out there (Mom, are you there?), I’d love to hear what you like most about springtime!