Ree Drummond has come a long way since starting her Pioneer Woman blog in 2006. Not only has she published best selling cook books since then, she has also become one of the faces of the Food Network with her cooking show The Pioneer Woman. Part of the charm of her show is how she includes her husband and children. Ladd Drummond, who Ree nicknamed “Marlboro Man” has stood by her side for the entire adventure. Their marriage is not as sweet as you might think, though. In fact, it might be downright strange!
It Was Love At First Sight
Ree met Ladd Drummond at a bar. For her, it was love at first sight. She revealed what made her fall for him in a conversation with The Pioneer Woman Magazine, “He was tall, strong and mysterious, sipping bottled beer and wearing jeans and cowboy boots.”
After staring at him awestruck from across the room for several minutes, Ree made her move. She mosied up next to him and said hello. Their conversation was brief. Ladd had to leave the bar to “cook Christmas turkeys for some folks in his small town.”
Ladd Didn’t Call
After their quick conversation, Ree expected Ladd to call her. He never did and Ree still remembers the heartache, “Throughout that time, I allowed myself to remember his eyes, his biceps, his quiet manner. Disappointment would wash over me.” Her sadness wouldn’t last.
After four months of waiting, Ladd called. When asked by a blog reader why it took so long for her perfect match to pick up the phone, Ree responded, “I know the answer. But I’m going to let him tell you.”
Ree Had To Prove Herself On The Ranch
The relationship between Ladd and Ree was going so well that Ladd invited his lady to join him for a day at his ranch. Ree agreed, seeing it as an opportunity to prove she was more just a pretty city girl.
She had no idea what working on the ranch would actually entail. When she got there, she was told she would be helping Ladd and his brother, Tim, work their cattle. What exactly that work was turned out to be a stinky surprise.
Ree remembers that Tim told her she would be taking the temperatures of their cattle. It didn’t take long for her to realize what that meant she would be doing. As cattle entered the “chute” they made their way past various cowboys until they got to Ree.
Once the first cattle was in front of her, Tim looked her way and yelled, “Stick it in!” When the job was done, Ree was a whole new woman. She passed the temperature test, and a few weeks later Ladd proposed.
Their Wedding Was Massive
The wedding of Ladd and Ree was not a small event. They exchanged their vows during a huge church ceremony. Ree wore a classic white dress with a flowing train and Ladd looked dashing in his tuxedo. They’ve been married for over two decades, and if Ree’s Instagram is true, their flame is burning just as bright as ever.
In an Instagram post in 2017, Ree shared a picture of their wedding and wrote that a cricket woke her up and she didn’t know why, but, “I love Ladd, though. And that’s all I really need to know.”
There Was No Watermelon Crawl At The Wedding
The Watermelon Crawl is a popular line dance inspired by a 1954 song of the same name. It would have fit right in at Ladd and Ree’s wedding, except Ladd had other plans. He might have just gotten married, but Arizona State was taking on Nebraska in college football.
Ladd holed himself away in the men’s locker room and watched the game. Arizona State is his alma mater, and he religiously watches them every Saturday. They must have won because he told Ree after that the game was a “good omen.”
Their Honeymoon Was Cut Short
As Ree describes it, once she and Ladd exchanged vows they decided to “let nature take its course.” The embarked on a three-week honeymoon to Australia where nature did just that. Ree was pregnant with the first of four children.
The couple was shocked by how quickly Ree got pregnant. These days she laughs about it, “Now that I’m painfully aware of just how fertile I am, I laugh when I remember how ‘surprised’ we were.” Not much surprises the Pioneer Woman these days!
She Didn’t Change Her Beauty Routine During Pregnancy
They say the first year of marriage is the hardest. And being pregnant during that time can cause added stress. Ree refused to let that happen. She wrote on her blog that even though she was pregnant, she refused to change her beauty routine.
Keeping the “spark alive” was important to her, so she made sure to continue to get pedicures, even as her due date neared. And before she let Ladd take her to the hospital to give birth, she showered, curled her hair, and “primped like crazy”
Ladd Has Strict Rules He Must Follow
Despite being married for two decades, Ladd still lives by a strict set of rules Ree has set forth for him. A true lady, she believes there are certain things about her that Ladd should not be able to witness.
The rules were the most strict during her four pregnancies. Not only did Ree fight to stay beautiful, she refused to let her husband be near her when it was impossible. Can you imagine leaving the room every time your significant other needs to fart?
No Farts Allowed, Ever!
One of Ree’s biggest rules is that Ladd cannot witness her break wind. After 21 years of marriage, she says the act would be her “kiss of death.” She is so strict about her bodily functions that she even restrained how hard she pushed while giving birth to avoid it.
After her first child was born, Ree was proud of how she made it through, “Over nine months and a normal delivery without the slightest flatulent slip-up in front of my lover.” And if she ever did fart in front of Ladd, she said she would divorce him and “start fresh with someone else. And I’m not kidding.”
Too Tired To Go Out
One New Years Eve, Ree said she was desperate to go on a date. She wanted to get dressed up and show Ladd off to some friends of hers. The friends were planning a dinner and Ree asked Ladd if they go.
Ladd had just finished a long, hard week working cattle and just wanted to sleep. He told Ree that he was too tired. She wrote, “All he wanted to do that night was stay home and relax. I was deflated.”
A Skunk Saved The Day
Ree was very sad that Ladd didn’t want to go out that night, and he must have noticed because he made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. Earlier in the week, Ladd had fatally wounded a skunk that had been destroying their property.
He told Ree that if she got rid of the skunk’s body while he took a nap, she would get her date. Ree accepted. While Ladd slept the week off his weary body, she got rid of the skunk and got her date. She says the memory still haunts her today!
She Had An Emergency C-Section
For the birth of one of Ree and Ladd’s children, the Pioneer Woman needed to have an emergency C-section. She was 35 weeks pregnant when she went into labor and was rushed to the hospital. Because of complications, she was told she could not give birth naturally.
Ladd stayed by her side the entire time. True to form, Ree demanded that he look away during the the procedure. He was not allowed to look at anything relating to her abdomen. Did he break the rule?
He Saw Her Guts… Literally
Ladd did not follow Ree’s rules this one time. While the C-section happened, he couldn’t help himself and snuck a peak. How does Ree know this happened? He fessed up after they arrived home with their newborn child. She says he “sweetly” mentioned it to her.
Somehow, this infraction of the rules did not end the marriage. Perhaps Ree uses a three strike system, making this the first strike. We’ll have to keep following her story to see if there have been anymore!
Ladd Is Not An Adventurous Eater
You’d think with all the different kinds of meals that Ree Drummond is capable of making as the Pioneer Woman that Ladd would have quite the pallet. That thought couldn’t be further from the truth. Ladd is as classic as cowboys come- give him meat and potatoes and he’s happy.
Try to offer him caviar and he’ll scoff. And don’t expect to see him in a Michelin-starred restaurant anytime soon. Just show him where the nearest steakhouse is and he’ll be fine. As for Ree, she was a vegetarian before she met Ladd!
Ree Started Eating Meat Because Of Ladd
These days, few people make a sizzling steak more tantalizing than Ree. Before she met Ladd she, though, she strictly ate a vegetarian diet. If it was red and used to have a pulse, she didn’t want anything to do with it. Can you guess how Ladd changed her mind?
The story Ree tells is that Ladd made her his specialty; a steak cooked in sizzling butter! That piece of meat changed her life. And although she still eats vegetables, Ladd and her sons don’t!
Another Pregnancy Complication
There’s a lot that Ree Drummond doesn’t want Ladd to see her do, but she’ll tell her fans just about anything they want to know about her life. This leads us to another story about a pregnancy complication. She was 35 weeks pregnant and was going into early labor.
Her doctor intervened, giving her magnesium sulfate. He also warned her that the medicine would more than likely make her lose her lunch. She responded, “Oh, please, please, no. Please, please, no. Do we have to do this?”
Ladd Saw The Whole Show
There was no avoiding it this time for Ree. Ladd was getting ready to go to the rodeo when he got the message about the medication. He rushed to the hospital to be by his wife’s side. As if it was fate, the medication kicked it at the exact time he arrived.
Ree said it was so sudden there was nothing she could do. She was left, “without any time to ask for a bedpan, a plastic bag, or even an empty trash barrel.” She added that it was like The Exorcist scene, but eighty times worse. Yikes!
They Don’t Believe In Gender Roles
Ladd and Ree Drummond’s marriage is anything but traditional. Sure, he’s a cowboy and works long days on the ranch while she stays home and cooks dinner, but that’s not their whole dynamic. When Ree is busy and needs Ladd to take care of the children, he does.
He’s had to take on an even bigger role at home with Ree’s incredible success. The busier her schedule gets, the more he has to stay home and take care of the kids.
Ladd Makes It A Family Business
Ladd doesn’t just help take care of the kids when Ree is busy. He takes the kids to sports practice and teaches them how to work the ranch. He also gives his wife ideas for new recipes and her blog.
Sometimes he even plays the role of secretary by checking her emails and fielding phone calls. Ree’s mother couldn’t be happier with Ladd and loyalty, “coming from a Western ranch culture in which the men have traditionally been the kings.”