"When you have to walk a thousand miles and you take the first step, it looks like a long ways. And it really helps if there's someone there saying 'Well, we're one step closer, the goal definitely exists, it's not just a mirage out there'." -Steve Jobs

Brandon shared this quote with me last night, and it really hit home. With any big project, it feels kind of like you're embarking on a thousand-mile-hike. Which is why many dreams never actually get started. Who wants to walk a thousand miles?! (Without a map and with few provisions.) Taking the first step is the hardest because you have stare that thousand-mile hike in the face and say, "Let's do this."

But this quote highlighted an equally important key to pursuing a dream: having the support of someone right there beside, you reminding you of what you're doing and of why you're doing it. I am so blessed to have the support of my amazing husband - he's as invested in this dream as I am, and is a daily source of encouragement (not to mention tech support!). When I feel overwhelmed or discouraged he reminds me that this dream is not a mirage - and that indeed, I'm one step closer. I'm so fortunate as well to have the support of family, of dear friends, and amazing blog readers who randomly write me notes of encouragement. I can't imagine doing this without all of you!

Yesterday and today are shoot days and I find it so inspiring to work with someone as talented as Signe. Our creative visions match up so well, and when we work together, we crank up the music and just have fun! (The apartment gets a little trashed in the process, but creativity is rarely neat and tidy...) I put together the little grid of pictures up top as an inspiration board to show how far we've come in the past month and a half. Seeing these pictures all together gives me SUCH joy - it gives me hope that the book will one day become a reality!

Since Brandon's a numbers guy – as a tribute to him – here's a little breakdown on where we're at so far...


Start date of project: Oct. 21, 2013

Projected end date: March 11, 2014

Photo shoot hours: 72

Recipe-testing volunteeers: 40

Recipes Tested (by me): 38

Blog Posts: 34

Recipes Shot: 22

Newsletters: 7

Stories written about project: 4

Agent meetings: 3

Publisher meetings: 2

Videos shot: 1

Podcasts recorded: 1

Classes taught: 1

Cups of coffee consumed: endless

We're seven weeks in, and I'm pretty proud of how far we've come! There is still SO much to be done, but sometimes it's good to take a step back and appreciate how far you've come. When it comes to pursuing dreams, you just need to put one foot ahead of the other. Don't obsess over the end goal - just keep doing what you're doing: you will get there!!

A note to all you amazing recipe-testing volunteers: I haven't forgotten you! My goal was to try and test through all 100 recipes first before I have you all cross-test them. I think instead I'm going to get through 50 and then start sending them out to you all. This may happen after Christmas, but rest assured, I will definitely still need your help!!

Have a great weekend everybody, and see you all Monday!

xo, Anna

(Food photos by Signe Birck; photo of my by Nate Poekert; photo of yellow table by Brandon Carl.)