Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of the reality TV show Fixer Upper, have become one of America’s favorite couples. Viewers watch as they renovate unlivable houses in and around Waco, Texas, into amazing homes the new owners can be proud of.
But the show goes several steps further by providing glimpses into the happy couple’s home life. They and their four children live in a large Texas-style ranch home with plenty of acreage, a few farm animals, and as odd as it may seem, no televisions.
While Joanna visualizes how the final renovation will look in terms of removing walls, adding a new laundry room, and staging the home for its final viewing, Chip swings a hammer and tears out kitchen cabinets on what he calls ‘demo day.’ Working together, the finished homes are a tribute to the Gaines’ remarkable abilities.
As Chip and Joanna became more and more popular as the result of their TV show, business for them skyrocketed. They have even struck up a deal with Target to carry a line of their home improvement items.
Sometimes though, enough is enough. There are only so many hours in a day, and as the couple became busier and busier, they found there just weren’t enough of them.
Chip had tweeted about his new book, “Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff.” In the wee hours of the morning, he received a return tweet from a customer.
The tweet read, “It’s been 3 weeks, and I still haven’t gotten my wreath.” Those eleven words, punctuated by the interrogative “What’s up?!” that followed, sent Chip into deep reflection. While it doesn’t seem like a customer following up on an order would prompt Chip to want to give up his successful show, it did.
Even though Chip knew he could not help the customer out until morning, it bugged him all night. The following day while he and Joanna were on the set filming, they both began to wonder what they were even doing there.
Between running their home decor business, renovating houses, and working on other business deals, the Gaineses were tired. Both of them, having a strong sense of family, realized too much time was being taken away from what meant more to them than anything else.
“These past several years have been such a mind-blowing season of life for us,” Chip said. “They have also been a very real struggle.”
Putting their marriage and children first, something had to give. That something was their famed TV show.
Perhaps this one statement from Chip Gaines sums up how the couple reached their decision: “We had been driving so hard for so long now. And I had this sense that if I kept my foot on the gas, we might be headed for disaster.”
We are only capable of achieving just so much before reaching a point where we must stop, breathe, and smell the roses. It’s time for Chip and Joanna, who have worked incredibly hard, to slow things down and get back to the basics of life.
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