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All of the images in this post are Whitney Loibner’s, except for the very last one. Lovely, aren’t they?

I am always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them.

Pablo Picasso

My husband loves that quote. He gave it to me several years ago and I put it in my office. Mostly because he gave it to me and I knew he’d be looking for it the next time he came in. It struck me at the time as being a very Bryan Jones type of quote. He loves the new; he’s never afraid to jump in. When I first read this quote I thought why on earth would I want to do something I can’t do? The whole point is to do what you are very good at, so that you look good when other people see what you can do. Really well.

Obviously, that’s not a very helpful mindset for those of us trying to live a creative life. Or really, those of us trying to have any kind of life at all.

I’ve grown to love these words. I hear them now with a different inflection, a small dare each time an idea or possibility presents itself. You’re telling me I can’t do that? Step back and watch me try.

So, last year I published a book.


Ok, so it wasn’t completely mine.

I can’t claim the lovely pictures. Those were by the wonderful Whitney.


I can’t claim the recipes. Those were by my family at Fellowship North.


I can’t even claim the original idea. Or all the organizational/editing/grunt work. That was mostly due to a faithful group of women. Ones who are way more passionate about cooking than I am. Dutifully they would come into my office with stacks of recipes marked in red pen, or send email after email saying, “What can I do next?”


Still though, this project pushed me past anything I had done before in many ways. Trying to lay out and edit an entire book was challenging to say the least. I tended to use the phrase taking over my life quite regularly. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning trying to meet deadlines like I hadn’t since college. I lugged around a huge proof copy everywhere I went. I designed that cookbook, laid out every page at home, at work, at friends’ houses, at the soccer field. It was my constant companion. One I was only too glad to send off to print. FINALLY.


But I’m telling you – when the boxes came in, when we got to see that thing for real? It was beautiful. It still gives me a little thrill to walk into someone’s house and see it sitting on the counter.




  1. You are so talented. I can’t imagine there’s too much out there that you can’t do!

  2. Kelli

    Beautiful! So much different that the typical church cookbook you see.

  3. i have always thought that i wanted to go back and blog about this. You really did do such an amazing job.
    love it!

  4. Thanks y’all – and Kelli, that’s SO the response I was going for – “different than the typical church cookbook…”

    Whitney, you should blog about it. Because I’d love to hear your side of the story! 🙂

  5. kat

    One word: YUM.

    All of it!


    It makes me happy every time I see it!

    LOVE. IT.

  7. Sarabeth, I really want one.  Do you still have any and how much?  I can come by the church whenever!

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