Although I don’t spend a ton of time watching TV, over the past few months my family and I have watched our fair share of HGTV’s Fixer-Upper. Chip and Joanna Gaines are the protagonist couple who transform ‘fixer-upper’s’ into another family’s dream home. Part of the appeal of the show is definitely seeing these rundown houses be transformed into beautiful homes…who doesn’t love a good Cinderella story? But what really sets the the show apart (in my opinion) is the dynamic of Chip and Joanna. Chip – the silly, laid back ‘big kid’ is clearly completely infatuated with his more serious, type-a, sophisticated wife Joanna. They have a great relationship and family life (4 kids, live on a ranch) that is both entertaining and inspiring to watch. In addition to the fact that I really want to have my own fixer upper one day, here are a few other things I’ve learned from Chip and Joanna.
Goofy is the way to be
One of the things I love the most about C&J is that they don’t take themselves too seriously. While they certainly take their job seriously, they both joke around and tease each other constantly. Their sense of humor is clearly a key part of their relationship and definitely a highlight of the show. There are actually studies that show that couples who laugh together are more likely to stay together longer. As someone who loves to laugh, I think having a sense of humor helps make life (including relationships) a little more joyful.
Angels fly because they take themselves lightly. – GK Chesterton
Encouragement is key
Another thing you see consistently between Chip and Jo is encouragement. Chip brags about Joanna’s eye for design, her beauty and her general awesome-ness. Joanna celebrates Chip’s strength and ability to…tear things down. They both take time to show appreciation for each other, something I think is easy to take for granted and let slip as we get comfortable with our loved ones. But the the truth is we all can use reminders of our strengths and talents and a little affirmation every now and then.
Family and relationships come first
While certainly they work super hard, Chip and Joanna clearly value their family and their relationship and will put those things before anything else. I think this is an especially important point as in our culture motivated by social/economic success, we have a tendency to sacrifice relationships and our family lives in order to ‘achieve.’ Chip and Joanna remind us that maybe our income and how ‘busy’ we are isn’t the real measure of how successful we are, but rather our quality of lives and of our relationships.
We can each have our own thing
The beauty of Chip and Jo’s relationship is that they are a team. They work on these projects and care for their family together. But they aren’t attached at the hip. They have different strengths and based on that work on different parts of the house individually. In the beginning you’ll see Chip tearing down walls and putting in floors while Chip leaves Joanna alone at the end to decorate and furnish. I think independence within relationships is so crucial; to remember who we are and what we bring to the world as an individual that is a separate and complete entity.
There is always, always, always hope
Some of these houses that Chip and Joanna take on are truly horrifying (or at least really tacky) when they first start off. Even with all the graphs and presentations that Joanna makes to show what the potential of the house is, it’s hard to really believe in the beauty of the end result. I think life in general can often be this way; we are unsure of how things are going to turn out, which is especially hard when it looks (and feels) so unpleasant in the present moment. But the whole concept of Fixer Upper couldn’t happen if there wasn’t faith. Faith of the family who entrusts their home (and lot’s of money) to the Gaines and faith of Chip and Joanna to actually believe they can do what the say they can. We have to have hope for the future and the richness of life; understanding the value of the hard parts and persevering because of the beauty we see in the end result.
Fixer Upper is definitely an entertaining and inspiring show, made all the more special by it’s hosts: Chip and Joanna. Shout out to the cutest couple on HGTV!
Photo credit: magnoliamarket.com