Reading List: The Magnolia Story

I have always loved to read but have just recently embraced the audiobook and y’all, I’m convinced I adored this one so much because Chip and Jo were reading it to me. The whole book felt more like a conversation between the three of us, as if I was at their gorgeous farmhouse in Waco eating one of the cupcakes from the bakery, with us all laughing and sharing about life. It was brilliant.

In their memoir, The Magnolia Story, the Gaineses get real, opening up about how they met, fell in love and got married, the rocky start of their first business and how their sudden fame has changed their lives. Don’t worry, they still don’t have a TV.

I loved hearing stories from their very different childhoods, how Chip almost blew their first date, their low key honeymoon in New York and how Joanna made the agonizing decision to close her dream business to focus on raising their children. I laughed out loud several times, mostly at Chip’s shenanigans: the time Chip ran to the grocery store and forgot to take their new, sleeping baby and when he bought a houseboat, sight-unseen, and it turned out to be a leaky wreck. I oohed and awwed and relayed several parts to Taylor when they shared about their marriage, reminded again of the rarity of a strong marriage and thankful they’ve redefined the power couple.

Did you know that neither Chip or Joanna were formally trained in construction, design, or real estate? They literally figured it out as they went. This is a beautiful story about two people coming together honoring their faith and each other, chasing big dreams and creating beautiful things along the way — including four children in a short period of time. Jo shares some about the struggles of being a working mom and balancing it all – something tells me there’s another book coming, maybe? Hopefully.

My favorite takeaways? Faith, family and friends are everything. Enjoy the journey. Chase your dreams and work hard.

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