Joanna Gaines Reveals Her Phone Background Is a Special Message from Her Mom: 'Don't Forget, Jojo'

The Fixer Upper: Welcome Home star reflects on how important it is to have fun in the Summer issue of Magnolia Journal

Joanna Gaines
Photo: Christin Rose/Magnolia Journal 

Joanna Gaines admits she can definitely take life "so seriously" sometimes.

In the Summer issue of Magnolia Journal, the quarterly lifestyle magazine she publishes with her husband Chip, she's reflecting on not only having more fun, but also learning how to "flourish." (Magnolia Journal is published by Dotdash Meredith, PEOPLE's parent company.)

One way to do that? By remembering to focus on the more playful moments of everyday life. Joanna reveals in a personal essay in the issue that her mom's signature phone sign-off isa reminder to embrace frivolity: "Have a fun!"

And that's not a typo, she explains. "Simple words, but weighty in truth, and made even more beautiful by her Korean accent," Joanna, 44, writes.

She even asked her mother to help her make it a daily reminder. "I asked my mom if she'd write it out for me in Korean, and now it's the screen saver on my phone. Something to hold tight to, to keep close," she adds.

Joanna Gaines
Joanna Gaines/Instagram

The background is one way her mom encourages her to fully savor the silly parts of life.

"My mom is such a playful person, always has been—and she knows I'm naturally wired to be more serious. But she raised me, and she knows there's more to me than that. Parts of my personality that aren't so easily shown. That's why she reminds me, every time we're on the phone—'Don't forget, Jojo, have a fun!'" Joanna says.

The Magnolia Table star wrote about a pastime that's taught her to embrace her playful side this year — her new hobby of roller skating.

"I was in the middle of my Christmas shopping at the time, and I had just ordered each of our two daughters a pair of roller skates from this retro shop I'd found online," she says of their girls, Ella Rose, 15, and Emmie Kay, 12. (She and Chip, 47, also share sons Drake, 17, Duke, 13, and Crew, 3.) "Without thinking about it too much, I logged back on and ordered a pair for myself—green with pink laces."

Joanna Gaines
Magnolia Journal

She said the retro pair of skates were the perfect embodiment of how to "have more fun." Since then, she's laced them up constantly, especially on days when she feels extra pressure.

"Lately, my skates go wherever I go. Days when things feel heavy or hard, I lace them up and stroll around. I've worn them while filming the cooking show and around the office," she says. "Just like with my girls, I can see how it changes the faces in the room. Things lighten up a bit. People do too. There's a new kind of energy in the air that no one expected."

That's how she's learned to see that "all around us, life is flourishing," and that the two words — fun and flourish — go hand in hand.

"Worry less, skate more," she wrote. "That's all I'm after."

It's no secret that Joanna has a new-found affinity for rolling around on her retro pair of skates. In fact, her 44th birthday gift from her Magnolia team was a video of employees rollerskating in celebration of the co-founder.

The video started with an opening shot of Joanna's green skates in front of Magnolia's headquarters in Waco, Texas. After a splash of "Happy Birthday Jo!" on the screen, Joanna herself appeared in the video, skating and flashing peace signs at the camera. Viewers even got a peak of her birthday cake — a simple white cake with miniature versions of Joanna's signature pink-wheeled skates sticking out from the top.

The Magnolia Table star was clearly grateful, writing in an Instagram post of the video: "Best gift ever @magnolia."

The Summer issue of Magnolia Journal is available on newsstands starting May 20.

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