My Emotional Affair with The Pioneer Woman

I had to confess.

I was having an emotional affair with The Pioneer Woman.

A few months ago, my husband noticed a change in me. He saw me glancing at my phone at all hours of the day, giggling to myself, tearing up more easily, and spending more time in the kitchen.

The time had come.

“Babe, I think I have a crush on the Pioneer Woman.”

That’s right-Ree Drummond in all her fabulousness!

My Emotional Affair with The Pioneer Woman Omaha Mom ReeI’ve been familiar with Ree Drummond for several years now. I grew my collection of her cookbooks over time and have seen her flowered cookware lining the shelves of the stores where I shop; though, never actually adding the famous Charlie the Basset Hound cookie jar to my own kitchen.

“I’m not a chef, and I’m not an expert at anything. I’m just a mom and a wife.” -Ree Drummond

Can I get an amen?!

The crush probably started when I opened the first cookbook I owned of hers, The Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime, and made my now favorite salad ever: Chicken Taco Salad.  The flavor is oh-my-yum! I told my husband that she’s simply magical. Everything I make of hers, my children eat . . . even the selective eater. It’s a miracle!

I spent a lot more time than I care to admit scrolling my phone this past year. But while I was searching for a dinner recipe, I came across The Pioneer Woman’s Instagram page and started watching her stories. I guess it’s time to admit I have never watched her show on the Food Network, but I was all about the Instagram posts. Don’t discount me yet, Ree! Her kids helped film her show from their ranch due to the limitations of the pandemic, and it was so funny to watch the behind-the-scenes of them helping to cook and film the show.

I think that’s another reason why I adore Ree.

I felt like I got an inside peek at their family.   She’s an amazing cook, but she appears to be an amazing mom and loving wife too. She says, “My days are spent wrangling children, chipping dried manure from boots, washing jeans, and frying calf nuts.” She serves up her bites of heaven to her hubby Ladd and the cowboys on their ranch. She can do no wrong in my eyes.

Recently I picked up her book, Frontier Follies: Adventures in Marriage & Motherhood in the Middle of Nowhere, and I was laughing out loud. The book gives a glimpse into her life on the ranch, her marriage, and motherhood. I could not put the book down (and read it in two days)! I laughed so hard at her doughnut story, becoming famous, and just trying to take a relaxing bath, and then cried as she sent her girls out into the world. Hold me, my babies are not leaving the nest!My Emotional Affair with The Pioneer Woman Omaha Mom Ree

Tonight I was eating my Cap’n Crunch Chicken Strips (which ALL my children tried) and just kept thinking about how glad I am that The Pioneer Woman is in my life.

Ree, if you see someone looking very lost on the ranch one day . . .it might just be me.

Time (and dinner) will tell if my husband accepts Ree’s new place in our marriage, but if not-save me a spot on Pawhuska ranch!

Ellen Kehs was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois where she met and later married her high school sweetheart, Mason. Together they’ve traveled the world, most recently touching down in Omaha in June 2019. She’s a mom to three little boys, Theodore (nine), Woodrow (seven), and Maximus (four). Life is never boring with her boys! Ellen loves being a military spouse and she embodies the “bloom where you are planted” mentality. In addition to soaking up whatever current city she’s living in, she is passionate about reading and getting books in the hands of children, as well as helping other mamas connect with each other. She has a bachelor’s degree in secondary English education, a master’s degree in adolescent literacy and technology, and she teaches 6th-12th grade English online full-time, but is primarily a stay-at-home mom. Her hobbies include, exploring, reading, swimming, napping, snapping pictures, playing games, baking, and loving on the little men in her life.