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Cooking & Reading | Nine Months

Happy Sunday Everyone!


I know it's 2024 and now that I finally put all my Christmas decorations away this morning, I figured I could give myself one more post to talk about 2023 (and perhaps a bit about 2022). What a crazy and unforgettable year it was.


First, I wanted to share a few things that still made me smile last month that I didn't have time for in my last post:


  • The friends that put up our 2022 Christmas card on their card wall

  • The friends that send photos to me from time to time about Teri/Terwin

  • Eating leftovers/frozen people give me (I am terrible at cooking)


I guess the pattern that comes to mind is to simply be remembered during all the busyness of a holiday season. Seeing all the Christmas cards in front of me as I write this post still brings a lot of joy to me. I'll probably leave those up for a while, not too late to send me one if you have extras :)


On that last bullet point, I'm not sure why but the topic of cooking has come up quite often lately with friends and family. Maybe because its 2024 and many of us want to do better with diet? I'm not sure. Teri and I went through a lot of ups and downs regarding cooking. Surprise surprise, I was usually the cause of the "downs." It is also why I just bring drinks or just Venmo some money to the host to most potlucks. It's a bit embarrassing come to think about what I put Teri through. What do I mean? Well when I had the freedom to experiment in the kitchen, stuff like this would happen:



When I watch videos like these (I have several more.... most are too embarrassing to post), I am reminded of what I would always say to Teri, "I can't believe you married me." I'm sure you all think that way as well. This post is probably a good one to hide if I meet someone new and tell her I have a blog.


I haven't ate lunch yet and I'm thinking about fast food. Teri didn't crave fast food like I did. Maybe this is something I should work on. I least I took her to Costco every week to buy real food and took her out to eat (usually at a sit down place) whenever she wanted to. Overall I feel like she was fed well. I'm thankful for that.


On the topic of fast food, some of the things I wasn't really proud of in our marriage was when I would buy fast food for myself after work and then hid the trash before I went in the house. This wouldn't happen often; usually after a business trip and feeling extra exhausted because of the travel. She would always get on my case about buying fast food before dinner. Not a good way to start off our evening.


We only ended up with a handful of go-to recipes to make at home. I was very fond of this "taco mash" recipe that she discovered in late 2019. Since I am very low maintenance and can usually eat the same thing over and over if it tastes good enough. I insisted that kept Teri should make taco mash over and over.

Teri Making Taco Mash (again). Yum for me! Makes me hungry thinking about it.

Eventually she got annoyed with me about this dish and never made it again :(

Looks better when we are all done cooking, right?


One thing I wish we did more of was to pray and do devotionals together. Praying "the standard meal prayer" for meals was pretty routine, sometimes a bit rushed or missed entirely when I was hungry. In 2022 we got a lot better at praying and discussing our devotionals, mostly thanks to her. She always talked about her bible reading on a daily basis. It was nice to see this video for the first time recently for us praying for my favorite taco mash:

"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." - 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

What's the takeaway with all of this? Well, learning a new recipe a month was a goal we came up with in the beginning of 2022. Since I have more time on my hands these days, one of my goals for 2024 is to learn a new dish to cook every month. Before you invite yourself over, note that this is not a top priority. But if I do stick with this routine, I'll write about it here since everyone seems to like talking about food and me eating healthier. This also works out well because I got a 2024 calendar from a friend and it includes a new recipe on every page.


To really show I'm serious and promise to you all that I won't put my next relationship (God willing) through the same pain Teri and former roommates dealt with, I enrolled in a local cooking class in late February! I've always learned something new from the few classes I've taken over the years, including what Teri and I took in January 2022:


This means that by Thanksgiving, I should have no more excuses to prepare my own turkey. Looking forward to it.


Teri's 2022 Retrospective

While I'm a bit behind schedule on 2024 planning, I can't think of a better way to start off 2024 by reflecting on Teri's journal entry she wrote about in the beginning of 2023 that we never even had the chance to talk about together.


She started off reflecting on 2022:


1. Five Sentences to describe the 2022 year: - The year I received life through studying / reading His words - The year I learned how to read His words (how to read the bible) - The year I became more curious about my God and who He is - The year of learning more about relationships and building them through marriage, life groups, rooted, kids ministry - The year I learned more about who I am through His lens and where I fit into His plans

On Friday I had dinner with a high school friend I haven't seen in several years. She didn't get a chance to know Teri, but learned a bit about her reading the blog. The most important outcome I told her and so many people about Teri is that she had an anxious-free cancer battle until she passed away. Don't get me wrong, Teri had a lot of anxiety about other things in our marriage (like when I started cooking stuff). The only explanation I could come up with regarding her anxious-free cancer battle is what she wrote about regarding her 2022. Thank you Jesus for giving so much life to her through your words.


2. What did I expect? Not much. I was feeling a bit unsure about life at the start of the year. Marriage was hard.

The beginning of 2022 was indeed hard for us. It was mostly because of what happened in 2021 and being so unsettled in our new living situation and not having an established community and routines for our marriage. I've written about in bits and pieces and will write about in more detail in the near future.

3. What happened / took me by surprise? Bible reading, getting more involved in church. Bible project, such an awesome tool for learning more about God.

Another thing that really encouraged me recently was knowing that some of you ordered the books I have on my coffee table that I wrote about in this post. Lets see it again here in case you missed it:



4. What goals did I accomplish? Read the bible in a year!!!!

That's all she wrote for what she accomplished. And I think that's all she needed to write and all I've been thinking about for what's most important to me in 2024. After ~5 or so failed bible reading attempts, I'm really committed to read and finish the same plan Teri used. I'm only on day 7 and so far so good. I will certainly write about how this is going in the months to come.

Teri's Plans for 2023

The second half of Teri's "My New Year" journal entry on 1/4/23 was focused on 2023:


5. What do I expect for 2023? To see what God will do or us in terms of family planning / more clarity and discernment on next generation. 6. Goals - Lose Weight (diet routine, bedtime routine, exercise routine) - Find a Surrogate - Unity with Erwin (continue counseling) - Continue studying the bible - Look for more ways to serve - Better health, emotionally, mentally, physically

This part of her journal was the most difficult to read and reflect on because it focused on starting a family. One of the areas that surprised me in 2023 was finding a lot more joy when I spend time with the kids of my friends and family. I'm so thankful for Mayo and find it funny that I probably walk Mayo 2-3x more than Teri and I did when we were together. Lucky for Mayo.


Talking to my friend on Friday reminded me about the idea of still having a child through surrogacy. I wrote about almost being a father during Father's Day Weekend last year. While her eggs are still frozen, I still told my friend "no way" since I don't feel comfortable at all bringing another child into this world all by myself. She shared that there's so many single parents out there that figure it out and make it work. It did get me thinking and feeling sad that we were so close to starting a family. On a more encouraging note, Teri's goals to look for more ways to serve is a much better way to focus my energy on than myself. Besides my yo-yo diet (I will work on through learning a new dish every month), I think I've been decent in taking care of myself and sort of overdid it in 2023. I hope in 2024 I can find new opportunities to serve the community. I'm open to any ideas, please feel free to share in the comments.


Nine Month Anniversary

I don't really use social media these days besides checking in on LinkedIn from time to time to help with some of my recruiting needs. I saw this recently on LinkedIn which caught my attention and encouraged me. Hopefully you can reflect on it too as you look ahead to 2024:

Reading old posts from this blog has helped me out tremendously. I'm so thankful to have come a long way in this grief journey since Teri passed away over nine months ago. But is the "end" really in sight? Not really. I don't think there's really an end to this. I'll eventually run out of new videos and pictures to post, but as life progresses and take steps to move forward, I'll experience them differently compared to the way I viewed life before Teri passed away. I guess it's now time to look ahead towards 2024, remembering that January 2, 2024 marked nine months since Teri passed away. I still can't believe it. Thankfully I feel at peace these days more than anything else. I choose to stay positive and remind myself that death and this world is temporary and I will see Teri again. I'm thankful to take things one day at a time and be reminded that everyone grieves differently and there's no timeline. This helps me continue to grieve with hope and also use blog to hopefully encourage others. This adventure is not just for me, but for so many of you that still check in with me and share that you're still thinking about Teri. Thank you for helping me not feel alone and remembering her.


Thank you for reading this far. I love all of you. Have a great rest of the weekend! Hopefully Teri's plans have inspired you a bit. Please stay in touch, I look forward to hearing about your plans for 2024 and how I can be a part of it. Blessings,

Erwin


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6 comentários


Jenny Scott
Jenny Scott
11 de jan.

Thanks for sharing , Erwin. I loved hearing Teri’s voice say, “gross, Erwin!” That made me laugh. I miss her voice and her conversations with you. I love how she read devotions and prayed for her marriage over dinner, so cool! I loved your transparency with throwing away your trash before you come home. I have done that, too, haha. I loved hearing yours and Teri’s goals and expectations of the year. I love your cooking goals. If you need cheap and few ingredient recipes, I can probably help you out. I also love hearing you have a goal of taking life one day at a time. Thanks for being such an encouragement to me in this area. God bl…

Curtir

Thanks for sharing and continuing these blogs. The cooking class we took together was so much fun and such a great memory! Maybe the three of us can do it again before too long - may inspire you to cook more. Great to hear you’re going to tackle reading the Bible in a year once again! So thankful Teri encouraged me to do it.

Curtir

Thank you for sharing, Erwin! I was encouraged by Teri‘s journal entries. IMO God really did help her accomplish what she set out to do in 2023. She finished well!


Re: potlucks, you could totally do what you did with your piano playing. Learn one or two crowd-pleaser dishes really well, then take them to everything. Kenny does a really good spicy (but not too spicy… bc if I remember correctly you don’t like spicy that much??) oven tri tip. Lmk if you’re interested.

Let us know how Bible reading goes! And that‘s awesome that Teri would share her daily Bible reading with you. I’m inspired!

Curtir

The pic of the empty egg plate at the end of the video sent me 😹😹😹


And seeing her 2022 retrospective and plans for 2023 were a huge encouragement. Just showed how much she was delighting in the Lord and His gifts

Curtir

Erwin Edillon
Erwin Edillon
08 de jan.

Awesome suggestions! The first meal in my new calendar is way overwhelming. I’ve never even heard of half the ingredients. What I make needs to be simple and easy or I probably won’t make it ever again.

Curtir
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