December life in photos

December was a slow month. The stomach flu hit hard for me, then for Rich. The kids seemed to escape the worst of it but overall it wasn't the healthiest month for us.

It was, however, a month of mixed bag weather. We had cold (for L.A.) temps and rain early in the month.

Leaves falling everywhere.

Pouring rain and 50 degrees on Charlie's birthday party with his school mates. The kids didn't care - they wanted to jump in that Power Ranger jumper anyway.

Well, except for this kid. She didn't want to.

Rich totally surprised me with his Christmas spirit. He hung Christmas lights, laid out a runway for Santa's reindeer, helped decorate the tree and led the Elf on the Shelf effort.

Speaking of Rich and Elf on the Shelf, here's one example of what the kids woke up to in December. (And yes, we keep our crayons next to our liquor decanter. Don't you?)

My delicate climate flowers. It was 55 degrees this particular morning and they were irritated by the cold. I tried explaining that I had to walk to the bus stop when it was 20 degrees out, sometimes less, but they weren't interested.

Shopping for a Christmas tree in 75 degree weather feels strange. Like eating a full dinner at 6 in the morning or wearing your underwear on the outside of your pants. It's just not right. But hey, palm trees! Sunshine!

The end result is the same. Pretty tree, bright lights, special ornaments, too many gifts and needles in your carpet. Merry Christmas.

These are the only two photos I managed to take of the kids Christmas morning. The memories I'm preserving for these two . . . I'm sure they'll thank me some day.

Our Michigan State Spartans beat Ohio State in a win that took them to the Rose Bowl. Big moment in our house. We're not huge football fans or incredibly involved alumni but this was fun.

I traveled to Sioux Falls, South Dakota the second week of December. It was zero degrees when I landed. Everything looked like this. I wanted to remind my kids, who were bundled up in sweatshirts and saying "it's cold out" back in California that the rest of the country is in a deep freeze. But I didn't. I let them have a bit of childhood bliss.

First backyard campfire ever in Southern California. We have lived here almost 12 years and this was a first. A big first. S'mores were eaten.

Temps rose into the 80s. It was 82 degrees on Christmas day. No need for shoes.

These hair clips were made with love by my sis-in-law, Robin. Alice loves them and and just think they are so cute in her hair with these buffies (e.g. ponytails).

Disney on Ice. Scored some free tickets from work and took the kids. Charlie was utterly silent with his eyes glued to the stage. Alice danced and jumped up and down. Typical of their personalities. A reminder to Rich and I that we should take the kids to events more often.

Visited the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles with our friends Tom and Michelle. It was our holiday get together with them and maybe just maybe we should turn it into a tradition. It went smoothly. No melt downs and no one threw up.

One of the best parts about December is the light traffic and some light days at work. I was able to soak up this view on my way from the office to home. Not too shabby, December. Not too shabby.