I’m sorry to tell you: This is Delicious.

Crockpot Christmas Crack

1 16-oz jar salted peanuts

1 16-oz jar unsalted peanuts

1 12-oz bag semisweet chocolate chips

1 12-oz bag milk chocolate chips

2 10-oz bags peanut butter chips

2 1-lb packages of white almond bark or vanilla candy coating

Starting with the peanuts, layer all ingredients in a large crockpot. Turn the pot on low, cover with lid, and leave sitting for 2 hours.

It’s okay if you need to combine multiple bags of opened, partially eaten peanut butter chips.  Just, you know, in case you know someone who might need to do that.  Also, try not to cut the almond bark with an ice cream scoop.  It’s maybe not the best way.

Invite a friend over to play with your kids, because a good kid in the mix shakes up the dynamics in just the right way.  Let play for 2 hours.

Then, remove lid and stir to combine.  You’ll want to taste some right now: this is advisable.

Replace lid and leave sitting for another 30 minutes. Stir again, and then spoon mixture onto wax paper or non-stick aluminum foil. 20131220-100248.jpgAllow to harden for at least 1 hour.

Or eat it right out of the crock.20131220-100303.jpg

I’m sorry to tell you: it’s amazing.


Small Slivers of Light

“It seems as though maybe this is an okay way to celebrate Christmas. That maybe this is the way you move on. You find the small slivers of light, and you hunker down in them. You hole up in the still warmth of this kind of beauty and you wait, knowing that the beams will get wider and wider every day. Knowing that one day, you will wake into the full power of the sun, and you will finally be warm.”

~Addie Zierman, When We Were On Fire

Prepare Him Room

From the archives: Teaching Tuck and Ty, December 2011


Joy to the world,
the Lord has come.
Let earth receive her king.
Let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing.

I am realizing that I always thought of this lyric as my reminder to set aside the wrapping paper, shopping lists and bows, to slow down with the glitter and the ornaments, long enough to make room in my heart – for even a moment – to remember that this season is about so much more.

I know now: sadness will take up every inch it’s allowed.

This Christmas could easily pass with my heart wrapped entirely in grief and gray. As I listen to this song, it causes me to think differently.

To make room in my sadness for joy.
To allow my darkness to be soft enough to be aware of the light.
To let sadness step aside sometimes.
To remember – for even a moment – that this season is about so much more than death, loss, and heartache.

(Because I could very easily give my holiday to those three.)

May my broken heart prepare him room.

* * *

“May his light shine in our darkness and may I be ready to receive it with joy and thanksgiving.”

~ Henri Nouwen

I Miss Loving You, December.

There seems to be a force field around me, like I’ve been visited by Violet in The Incredibles. Nothing can penetrate me. Nothing can get close enough for me to feel it. It’s good and bad.

“Christmas is in two weeks. I feel nothing.”

“Well, I’d say that’s an improvement.”

Three Christmases later, I am not on the floor, crying. I don’t feel sad. Because I feel nothing. I can function. I’m not paralyzed into a catatonic state because of Christmas carols playing throughout Target.  But I can’t feel joy, either. All the music, lights, happiness – I lean into it, and I feel nothing.

Christmas seems to be happening around me.

But I’m not running from it. So I’d say this is an improvement.

December, I miss loving you.

* * *

“December, the diamond-frosted clasp

linking twelve jeweled months to yet another year.”

~ Phyllis Nicholson