To set the record straight, I am a HGTV and DIY network addict. Remodeling shows, house hunting anywhere, and even tiny house construction, I gobble it all up. But none of the shows provide the silly boost of positive energy to my week like FIXER UPPER with Chip and Joanna Gaines. So often we learn that the television persona is just a charade, so I was a bit hesitant to start reading their new book THE MAGNOLIA STORY, fearing that my image of them might become a bit tarnished. I should not have worried. Chip, Joanna, and co-writer Mark Dagostino have written a delightful look at the couple's separate childhoods, their courtship and early marriage, but mostly they've focused on the love, dreams, and entrepreneurial spirit that made their small Waco construction/decor businesses take off. Unlike so many reality tv stars, it wasn't their outrageous behavior that got them noticed; instead it was Joanna's unique family friendly decorating style featured on her modest blog. And it was their loving, but crazy couple dynamics that cinched them a spot on HGTV's prime time line up.
The book is narrated alternatively by either Joanna or Chip, and their differing perspectives on the same topic is often funny. What's that line - women are from Venus, men are from Mars?? But behind every comment, you can feel the genuine love and respect that each has for the other. And then there is their ability to not only let the other person dream big, but also to support the dream in a fashion that both are involved in making it a reality. The book describes this process happening not once, but over and over. And now with their hit show, they are not just flipping houses for profit; they are restoring parts of Waco for new generations and helping other families' dreams come to fruition. I'm delighted I read the book, and now, even more than ever, I am ready for another dose of Chip's antics and Joanna's shiplap!