Gaines and her husband Chip, 42, settled on gratitude as the theme for the fall issue of their magazine, The Magnolia Journal, which got the 39-year-old thinking about the tedious to-dos that pile up throughout the day.
“I kept thinking I should write about a monumental moment in my life or how bad a situation ended up turning out for the good,” she writes in her “A Note from Jo” column. Instead, the Fixer Upper star decided to highlight some of the chores she used to dread, and share how she transformed them into, “reminders of how blessed we are.”
One task she turned into a treasure: “For a while I had convinced myself that I had gotten my college degree and had four children only to run a taxi service,” she says. “I spent so much time shuttling kids to and from gymnastics or baseball.” But now the renovating guru reveals, “To say that I have embraced driving would be an understatement.”
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Instead of feeling like a car service, she took the opportunity to catch up with the couple’s four children, Drake, 12, Ella, 10, Duke, 9, and Emmie, 7. “They love to download their days to me when we are out and about,” she says. “Some of the most meaningful talks I’ve had with my kids have been when it’s just one of them and me in the car.”
The same can be said for her quiet moments on the road with Chip. “The car is often where we connect, process, and get the other up to speed,” she says. “Or, we roll down the windows and let the music play, and that’s just as good.”
For more of Joanna’s tips on how to make every day a little more meaningful (“Nothing ever looks the same again: Everything starts looking like a thank you,” she insists) pick up the fall issue of The Magnolia Journal, on newsstands now.