However, there are certain times when a girl has to take a break. A well-deserved respite to go see someone who has helped change her, even mold her into a better version of, I believe, the already pretty decent person that she was before. Now, I know you are saying, "But Kim, who could you even begin to mean? Who could make you better than you are?" The answer is as clear as this:
Seriously, if you have not allowed yourself to be swept into the world of Ree Drummond, aka Pioneer Woman, then you need to stop what you are doing this very minute and go visit her blog. OK, maybe you can just finish reading my quick little post and then go visit her. Because I can tell you, once you get into "From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" it won't matter if I don't post for another three months, because you will be hanging on her every keystroke.
I first heard about PW from another friend/blogger whom I stalked...err...have had a respect for...for quite sometime. When I started reading Ree's blog I just fell in love. Her thoughts on the world around her and her place in it let you know that she is pretty down to earth. That trait is what makes you love her even once you figure out that she shoots amazing photos, homeschools her four adorable and equally amazing kids, writes like a modern day Erma Bombeck, and cooks food that would make Paula Deen envious. Oh, and did I mention that the cherry on top is that she is gorgeous to boot?
So, back to my little mini-break from laundry, stamping, and general housewifery. Ree and her family, complete with husband, mom, all the kiddos, and her sister and brother-in-law, came to Book People in Austin tonight for her to sign copies of her new cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks. As soon as I knew she was going to be in town I knew that I had to be there to meet her for a couple of minutes and get her to sign my copy of the cookbook before I manage to get butter on every page. Trust me, my friends, if you are cooking her recipes there is a high probability that you will get butter on the pages, and that can be a very good thing.
I arrived with Little Miss in tow around 6 p.m. Luckily for me, Lydia had set up camp and was holding a piece of floor for the two of us. After getting my child settled in with a huge candy cane and a piece of paper to draw on we had a chance to chat about all of the goodness that is in the cookbook and get caught up with a little bit of gossip that we had not had the opportunity to discuss. We noticed the lucky bearers of the red bracelets in line to get a pre-talk chance to meet PW and started deciding how long our own wait would be. And, as we expected, as we waited and got to know our floor mates the room on the second floor of that book store began to fill up. Seriously. There were a lot of folks crammed into that space, and I began thinking of fire codes and how well were the load bearing walls of this building actually constructed. It is the medic in me. You see a fun evening with laughter and a chance to meet someone who wrote a book, I see a potential Charleton Heston film-like disaster in the making.
All of a sudden, I look up and see Marlboro Man in the flesh, surrounded by the kids. By the way, if by some miracle you are actually reading this Ree: You. Did. Good. I always thought you were just kind of teasing us with the Wrangler and chaps pictures, but now I must say, "Bravo!" He was even kind enough to sign cookbooks himself for all of the crowds waiting downstairs while you were busy with the lines of people upstairs. Even the kids were giving out autographs. And for every nay-sayer in the world who thinks that kids who are homeschooled lack socialization skills, all I can say is "Pbbbttt!" These children could be a walking advertisement for the merits of teaching your own.
Anyway, on to my meeting with PW. I made her a little stack of notecards with a cowboy kid on the front holding the reins of his stick horse. It wasn't until my 5-year old daughter pointed out to me that I failed to watercolor his little face that I realized he looked like one of the Twilight characters decided to go play on the ranch. Sorry about that one, Ree. I am sure that if you let the kids color his face in he will look a little healthier! She was amazingly gracious about the gift, and the fact that I was pretty much stammering to find the right thing to say to her. I am quite sure that I embarrassed myself as I was thinking, "OMG, OMG, OMG....it is Ree right here!". She signed the books, posed nicely for the above photo, and then it was time to move on to pick up a super-cute t-shirt and bundle up the kiddo for the drive home.
So, I have to say a heartfelt, "Thank you" to the Pioneer Woman. Thank you for the time that you take every day to include us in your life. Thank you for all the great prizes that you give away (I know one day I am going to win one!). Thank you for the pictures, the gorgeous pictures that make me believe that one day I will get a big-girl camera and take pictures like you do. Thank you for showing us your family with mud on them, your sink full of dishes, and all the parts of you that make you real. Thank you for being as nice in person as you are on your blog. It was a real treat meeting you, and I hope that you see all the success that you could ever want, and all the blessings that your heart wishes for.
And, thank you to all my friends who stick with me even when I don't post for three months! You are an amazing, eclectic group of women who have filled my life with joy and I love each and every one of you!
Until next time, Happy Stamping!