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Friday, May 3, 2013

Be Enough

It’s been a rough week. There is a good reason I’m telling you this. I am not seeking sympathy and I am not trying to draw attention to myself. I just want to keep it real. And here’s why. Well, actually, before I get to the why, I need to give you a quick synopsis of some of the talks from Big Traveling Potluck last weekend. Stay with me through what will seem like a random string of thoughts. It will all come together in the end.


Melissa Lanz (who is completely wonderful) spoke about having a personal mission statement. She shared the story of her life journey so far and it was sweet and inspiring. Watching her husband watch her speak might have been one of the more tender things I’ve witnessed in some time. Anyway, during her talk she mentioned a friend who has the personal mission statement “Be Better” and how that friend is constantly striving to, well, be better each and every day.


Matt Armendariz (who is also completely wonderful) spoke about creativity and shared his story of how he got to where he is today and how he keeps the creative juices flowing. I loved getting insight into his thoughts and his day-to-day life. There was one comment he made that made me pause. Someone asked if he ever turns things away and he essentially said, “No, I’m a freelancer, I can’t afford to say no to projects.”


One of my best blogging buddies Helen Jane spoke about overcoming creative blocks. One of her core messages was that you don’t have to do it all. It’s easy to feel like you have to do it all, but you don’t. It’s not realistic. Focus on what you’re good at and find success that way. And, by the way, success isn’t always about the millions of followers, millions of dollars, millions of any of that.


Ree (a person I am so blessed to know) shared the top 10 things she’s learned about food blogging. Buried in all the funny, witty, thoughtful things she shared was a moment of vulnerablity. A moment where she told us that in 2011 it was all too much, that she was a shell of a person, that she was forced to change the way she was doing things and stop doing so much. Ree is the epitome of the mom who “does it all.” Hearing here admit that she actually can’t do it all was the most inspiring thing she could have said and it was one of the more powerful moments of the weekend.


My dear friend Jeannine (she works for ONE and she is the BEST) and I were talking one night about one of the big problems with blogs, and Pinterest for that matter. When you read blogs, you see all the good in the blogger’s life but rarely (if ever) the bad. You don’t see the grumpy days, you don’t see the ‘Happy Birthday’ bunting that did NOT come out perfectly, you don’t see the cake that failed to rise. You see all the beautiful parts of people’s lives. Which isn’t to say that the beauty isn’t real. It is. But the beauty is all the more beautiful because we also have the ugly in our lives. When you look at blogs (or Pinterest or Facebook status updates or whatever!) that only show the happy-go-lucky side of life, there is danger of feeling bad about yourself and thinking you are not enough.


I also had a heart-to-heart with Deb from Smith Bites (another choice human being). We talked about how wonderful the conference had been, how great all the talks were. And then Deb brought up Melissa’s friend’s mission statement. She essentially said, “I’m not feeling it. ‘Be Better’ assumes you are not good enough. But you are. I think the mission statement that resonates more is ‘Be Enough.’ ” We talked about how we completely understand why Matt says yes to all the projects that come his way, but that it really is okay to say NO. And we talked about how you don’t have to to be good at everything. And that is OKAY. And you know that beautiful lifestyle blog that you read every week where the mom is always stylish and the kids look like J. Crew models while they are planting organic basil in the backyard that is later perfectly chopped for the salad that the kids actually eat for dinner? Yeah, even that blogger’s life does not look like that everyday. And that’s OKAY!

disneyland with girls

So, you would think after all this inspiration I would have had a great week, right? Monday morning we got some crummy news. We were supposed to move to a house on a horse ranch in June. We were just going to be renting it, but it was close to work, in the same amazing school district we’re already in, there were horses all around, lots of light and lots of space, and 360 views from the top of a mesa. I was going to rename my blog “Pioneer Woman Junior” and it was going to be AWESOME. There was a lot of work to do on the house, but we were excited and ready for the adventure. And then it was unexpectedly pulled out from under us. And that just about did me in. The stress and uncertainty were just too much. By Tuesday I was feeling better, more optimistic. Then I went to Disneyland on Wednesday with my beautiful daughters and forgot all my troubles. Then…Thursday. The reality hit harder than it had all week. Even The Vampire Diaries couldn’t bring me out of my funk. (Yes, I just admitted I watch The Vampire Diaries. We’re keeping it real today, folks.)

Last night I realized that my public persona this week was all roses and Mickey Mouse ears. The sadness and the frustration and the downright crappy feelings were nowhere to be seen. Not on Facebook, not on Instagram, not on my blog. Which isn’t to say that the happiness wasn’t real. It WAS. And the happiness and moments of fun and gratitude for my amazing life and the people in it kept me going. But, you know, I also had a day this week where I felt like I was in a thick fog and could barely get anything done. I don’t want to be one of the bloggers who only portrays the pretty things. I want to us to connect, to realize we’re all in the same boat, a beautiful boat that sometimes gets rocked.

This is why I’m telling you it’s been a rough week. Because I want to keep it real. This week my “enough” changed from day to day. One day I was Supermom with more energy than Richard Simmons. The next day I felt nearly useless as a mom, certainly neither fun nor patient. But that day I at least made dinner. And that was enough, enough to get me through.

Be Enough. It’s okay. Sometimes enough is amazing. Sometimes enough is just enough. But it’s always enough.

owen sleeping



  1. you get it Jane, you TOTALLY get. it.

    you are enough. you are enough today, you are enough tomorrow, you are enough next week – and there isn’t one single, solitary thing that you will ever add to the top of the heap that will make you MORE than enough . . . you are simply, beautifully, flawed, warts and all . . . enough

    be better yes, embrace what Melissa said about being better – but rest in the fact that you are enough! (((hugs)))

    • Jane Maynard

      deb, YOU get it. and this comment is wonderful. xoxo

    • Deb – you are such a blessed person to know in this community and the ultimate “keep it real” gal. Love you.
      Jane – this was so great. I am so sorry about the house… I know it’s hard to remember that everything is meant to be, right? Been there, done that. Love you!

    • Jane Maynard

      love you right back, kristen!

  2. 2

    I love this post and thanks for keeping it real.
    I am sorry about the house, as much as it is sad for you and as cliche as it sounds, maybe it just means something better is waiting for you.
    we all have rough weeks and it is def ok to just be enough!

    • Jane Maynard

      thanks, jamie. my mom said pretty much just that – you’ll look back and go, “oh, THAT’S why that happened!” you and my mom are both right, I”m sure of it! 🙂

  3. 3

    Hi, Jane,

    Thank you for sharing, I hope that the act of sharing has helped you put an up and down week (aren’t they all?) into perspective. I am reminded of the old Frank Sinatra song, “That’s Life” and of my High School class motto: “One step at a time, but always forward”. What else can we do but keep on forging ahead?


    • Jane Maynard

      doug, you hit the nail on the head – I started writing this last night when I was feeling pretty bummed, finished it this morning, hit publish and immediately felt better. very cathartic! love the two quotes you shared. great sentiments. thank you!

  4. 4

    You are and always have been WAY more than enough – even on the worst, crummy, sad or disappointing days…love you so! ALWAYS – no matter what…

  5. Thanks for sharing. Oh have I NOT felt like ‘enough’ for many many months now. I can’t seem to accomplish it ALL and I keep trying to remind myself. However, there have been more ‘foggy’ days than there have been sunshiney days. Not that anyone would notice much. I rarely say anything about the blues that overwhelm me with too much to do and not enough hours in the days.
    We are enough! Women are SO very hard on ourselves.
    Again, thanks.

    • Jane Maynard

      sherri, thank you for sharing your experience. it’s helpful to know we are not alone, don’t you think? I do think we are very hard on ourselves, it’s always good to just BREATHE and realize we aren’t alone. big hugs to you!

  6. 6

    Thanks for this, Jane. Also, I love that pic of sleeping Owen.

  7. 7

    You just made me cry!! That was just what I needed to hear this week, thank you! 🙂

    • Jane Maynard

      success! I made someone cry! 🙂 (I’m so mean, eh?) you’re welcome – thanks for commenting, natalie!

  8. 8

    Be enough. That is a wonderful idea. I’m so glad you shared your REAL with us.

    • Jane Maynard

      thanks so much, susan.

      and, yes, it’s a wonderful idea. so glad deb shared it with me.

  9. 9

    Loved this Jane. It can be so hard to remember that we’re enough, that whatever we have to give on any given day is enough. I sure am finding this right now as I slog through my third trimester while taking care of my toddler. I try to remember to “be kind”. Be kind instead of judgmental, be kind to my little girl who is grumpy and cutting molars, be kind to my hubby who is doin his best too, and be kind to myself when I find I’m just all used up and need a rest.

    So sorry you’ve had a rough week. Take care.

    • Jane Maynard

      so glad this resonated with you, jen. thanks for your kind words and hang in there! it sure is hard being pregnant and having little ones to take care of…just wait til the baby is born! 😉 seriously, though, like I said in the post, there’s hard and there’s wonderful all mixed together. anyway, good luck with the rest of the pregnancy!

  10. 10
    Jennifer Green

    Thank you so much for this post. It was just what I needed to hear today. I just sent a text message to my boyfriend that basically said the same thing. I am a teacher and we have our state testing next week and I am at the point of tears. My students have given up and there is not much support from their parents.

    Hope you have a great weekend and thanks again. 🙂

    • Jane Maynard

      I wish I could give hugs to all your students and make good breakfasts for them every morning next week. I’ll just have to resort to prayers and happy vibes. sounds like they are lucky to have you as a teacher.

      you’re welcome for the post – thank you for commenting.

  11. 11

    Love this! I know just what you mean. 🙂 Marc and Angel Hack Life have a lot of wonderful advice like this.

  12. 12

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Social Media magnified the idea that people have perfect lives. We all end up feeling “less than”. Truthfully, nobody is perfect. We all have good and bad days. A magazine cover looks perfect but it takes weeks, a team of professionals, and they still photoshop it. It’s not attainable because it doesn’t exist.
    It takes courage to be real in front of so many people. I admire you for doing that..

    • Jane Maynard

      you’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome!

      thank you for your comment and your kind words. 🙂

  13. 13

    I haven’t posted on my blog in 18 months because I didn’t think I could keep up with what other blogs gave. I felt in a sense like a failure and that my blog wasn’t worthy of being considered a food blog. When I gave up the pressure I put on myself to keep up, it was huge relief. I don’t miss the impact being better (or just being) put on my life. Now I enjoy others’ blogs, like yours. Though I must say when I saw the title and intro to this post, I thought a “blogging hiatus” was going to be written… I’d hate to see that, but at the same time, if that’s what “being enough” means, then that IS enough.

    • Jane Maynard

      no worries, no blogging hiatus from me – so far it hasn’t ever become a stress for me, for which I am very grateful. but i will have to remember this message if it ever does come to that! 🙂

      I admire you for stopping your blogging when you felt you needed to. the fact it was a relief mean you made the right decision and you are NOT a failure. I have a good friend with a beautiful food blog who has started and stopped a few times…you gotta do what’s right and just go with the different seasons of life.

      I’m rambling. just wanted to respond and tell you thank you for commenting!

  14. What perfect timing. I struggle to “be enough” every day. I have chosen to work outside the home climbing the corporate ladder. But, I also have an amazing husband and two amazing kids who mean more than anything to me (even more than work….say it ain’t so). If I’m not careful, I can easily live in constant guilt between the two worlds – that I’m not giving enough on either front.

    My kids don’t have themed birthday parties, our teacher gifts aren’t cutesy, and my home is far from “decorated.” I am slowly learning IT’S OKAY. No one will die….or even notice the difference…if our lives aren’t perfectly coordinated or scheduled. It sure helps to have others’ testimonies to not feel alone when slipping back into a guilt cycle.

    Thank you for saying what we were all feeling.

    • Jane Maynard

      fight the guilt! 🙂

      thanks for your comment, bonnie. really appreciate it.

  15. 15

    This is why I adore you. So well said. I have the same sentiment when I read too many FB posts. I know they’re “real”, but I like hearing the real scoop on people’s days, too! You and your blog are just so lovely. Miss you in MP!

  16. 16

    I never really post comments to your blog, but I follow it weekly. Just had to post a comment today. I have three kiddos bout the same ages as yours…two girls and a boy, in the same order, like you. One reason I love your blog is because when I come here…I see great food pics, get great ideas, but most importantly, I totally feel “relaxed” reading it. I guess I feel like I am just sitting down and talking with you. I don’t feel a pressure to be perfect or to have perfect menus…and I love that…that’s why I come back. I remember when you posted that your kiddos got lice and that they had the stomach bug when you moved. May sound silly, but those words came back to me during some of my own. challenges and I thought, “see…even that food blogger doesn’t have the perfect life”. Not that anyone does of course…

    Anyway…love ur blog. You are so funny and just “perfect”,

    (By the way…you had me truly lol’ing when you talked about having more energy than Richard Simmons! )

    • Jane Maynard

      ANNA. this comment was beyond sweet and made me tear up. thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and beyond kind words.

  17. 17
    Denise NH

    Wow! I didn’t even notice what day you posted this entry because I myself have been out straight the last 3 weeks trying to be super wife, mom & friend. This blog for me is a place to go for dinner ideas when my being is so full from giving that I can’t even think about how to nourish my family. This blog is about community and supporting each other so we can all get through the challenges that we face, because we all do go through most of the same things just at different times. Be proud of what you have accomplished here, I am sure your family is!

    • Jane Maynard

      denise, THANK YOU. so sweet. and I agree, I just love the community that we have here on the blog. it’s wonderful. anyway, thank you!

  18. 18

    this is why i love you friend!

  19. 19
    Kim from PA

    So sorry about the house. Thanks for sharing “Be Enough”.

    I am traveling for work this weekend and am with many women. Last night we were treated to a fabulous dinner in a trendy art gallery. The food was wonderful, atmosphere inspiring & spirited, complimented by excellent wines.

    When I went to the dessert table and selected a deep chocolate, hazelnut torte that was literally 2 bites in size (perfect), the others looked at me with little “tsk, tsk” smiles and then all said “they weren’t going to be bad”. A few agonized over it…..but did not go for the mini-2-bite-perfect dessert as if the sky would fall if 2 bites of chocolate hazelnut goodness is consumed.

    This is all ridiculous to me. What has this world come to when 2 bites of dessert at an event causes deep guilt if enjoyed and judging someone who does partake in the mini-2-bite goodness as “being bad”.

    My mission statement would include: “Engage in what brings joy to your heart” and “Don’t be so Hard on Yourself”.

    And…..when at an elegant event, “Go For The 2-Bite Mini Dessert”…….it’s worth it! 🙂

    • Jane Maynard

      LOVE your mission statements. and, yeah, whattup ladies? eat the 2 bite dessert! totally worth it! 🙂

      thanks, kim…

  20. 20

    Love that you wrote about this topic. It has been on my mind for days! What we view on internet and social media can skew our sense of our own reality. I often think about the ways peoples lives are portrayed and compare myself to what I view. But then I get reminders and reality checks that we typically want the world to view all of our good stuff.

    And as a mom some times I can just do the bare minimum and sometimes I can do it all. Yesterday, I threw in the towel and took a nap, I didn’t accomplish much. Today feels a lot better. I am learning to honor both sides of the coin and hope that I can meet my own needs more often and just “Be Enough” on any given day. Thanks for sharing!

  21. 21
    Laura in San Diego

    I deeply appreciate this posting.. it’s timing and it’s content. I’m a 43 yr. old wife and mom of two girls 4 and 7 and I feel the pressure, real and otherwise, put on myself. I think a lot of it comes from the socialmedia of today that wasn’t present 10+ years ago. I don’t actively participate in facebook,etc because it seems like competition to me..who can have the best/perfect life.
    Yours and Ree’s blogs are the only ones I follow every day for the positive realness of it all:) Thank you!

  22. 22
    Lynn BB

    I am sure I am at least a decade older than you, but I really think that the commercial “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget your a man” ruined it for women. I went back to work full time three years ago with one currently in college and two headed there this year and next. I think you can do it all, but none of it well when you are stretched too thin. It’s a constant struggle to hold everything together. This weekend I did nothing except for catch up on laundry and get a head start on meal prep for the week and I was thrilled that I actually had the time to do it.

  23. 23

    Jane – I can’t begin to thank you enough for sharing this post. It came at the perfect time. And yes, sometimes it IS just enough to get dinner on the table.

  24. 24

    If I knew then what I know now … I woke up one day last summer and I was 60 (yikes!) and I still have to remind myself on a regular basis that daily life is a balancing act of giving, taking and keeping it real — not a race or a contest. How lucky you are, at this time in your young life, to be connected to people who are willing to sit down together and share their approaches to work and life. And I have to say, even though I don’t plan a menu or even cook very often, my son is 29, and I blog only for pleasure, yours is the one blog I make sure to read all the time, because you always come across as genuine and real and just enough for me. And as usual, dear Jane, thanks for sharing.

    • Jane Maynard

      oh, cora, what a sweet sweet comment. thank you! and I am so grateful that we met all those years ago and have been able to stay connected through this little blogging world!

  25. Love you so much Jane! Brilliant, thoughtful post. xoxo

  26. I read this as I wipe tears from my face. I can’t tell how much I can relate. Different circumstances but all the same. Sometimes being a mom is a lot. Too much at times. And all too often I put on a sturdy face and strong front not to put my burdens on anyone else. Thank you for your honesty and sharing this today. It’s exactly what I needed to hear. Enough is always enough- my new mantra! 🙂

    • Jane Maynard

      thanks, kelley. I love your comment…and I’m glad you have a new mantra! 🙂

  27. 27
    Nikki CB

    Thank you for this post, Jane. It hits home for me.

    I’m so sorry about your house. I hope something great will come along.

  28. 28

    I’m so sorry about the house Jane.
    You know, there is another side to ‘keeping it real’ that I don’t normally see discussed on blogs. Some people don’t show the bad/sad/terrible etc. days of their life because they feel it might make them vulnerable to ridicule. Although I don’t have a food blog, I certainly wouldn’t want to post about days when I break down and get depressed. I do not like discussing that side of me. I would not want people to think/tell me I’m in need of therapy or whatever. I’m sure there will be tons of readers who will give support on those days but there will also be someone out there who’ll use this weakness against you or make a snide comment.
    So although I support all those bloggers who DO come out and show their weakness, I like to build a wall around me to keep me safe. Hope this doesn’t offend anybody…just wanted to share a different point of view.

    • Jane Maynard

      na, of COURSE no one is offended! this is all about sharing! 🙂

      you gotta do what’s right for you and what heals your heart best. for me I feel like because I’ve put myself out there in a public way, I’m always open to criticism or ridicule, both on the good and the “real” that I put out there. for me it’s worth the risk. the beautiful comments on this post (including yours) make it completely worth it to me because we can all connect. if I get some criticism, no biggie for me. but I TOTALLY understand how some people feel safer in the walls.

      anyway, thank you for your point of view and for still being supportive and kind!

  29. 29

    Thanks for being so real! I read so many blogs and wonder if they have down days like I do. I love reading your blog and following you on instagram and now even more!! Happy Mother’s Day! I hope your day is wonderful! And a new house comes soon!! 🙂

  30. And this is only one of the many reasons I love you Janey May. Keeping it real.

    You’re MORE than enough.


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