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Why 'Fixer Upper' stars Chip and Joanna Gaines don't want you to call them lucky

Posted June 30

“Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines are living the American dream, but they would like to make one thing very clear:

“Anyone that thinks we got lucky is really crazy,” Chip Gaines said in an interview with People Entertainment.

“Anything that’s important to us, and anything we want to do to the best of our ability — we know that it’s going to require work,” he added.

For me, a huge part of what make the Gaines so likable is the fact that even now, after all their success, they still aren't afraid of hard work. They build dreams from the ground up, and I think it's part of that starting from scratch every time with something new that keep them down to earth and humble. They come back to their roots with each new build and each new design, and strip down the "whys" as they focus on THE American dream: creating a safe, beautiful home for a family.

“We’ve just been really particular about reminding ourselves where we came from, how this all started, really what our reasoning for going to work every day is,” Chip said.

My husband and I bought our first "four wall" house this month. We've been married 11 years and lived in a four-plex, an appartment, a townhome, with our parents, and now finally we have a home that we hope to grow old in.

But getting there hasn't been easy. The "Chip" part is finished-now it's getting to the "Joanna" part of finding furnishings, hanging artwork, figuring out furniture and...THE YARD. We decided to bite the bullet and finish it as soon as we moved in, because it's summer and with four boys home all day every day we needed a place to send the animals children.

Fast forward a few weeks and several thousand dollars, blisters, sweat and many tears later, and we've *almost* got a yard. There have been many nights when I've looked out my butcher paper-covered windows (still waiting on coverings) at my husband, with a headlamp on his head, digging ditches for sprinklers until midnight. And felt so grateful that he has worked so hard to give us this dream. And it's one that can be easy to take for granted.

“When you hear my mom’s story, she was born and raised in Seoul, Korea, and then she moves here at 19 and gets married to my father — of course they have their struggles and ups and downs. But that whole idea that I can accomplish anything here, I feel free, there’s just something about that that’s sweet,” said Joanna Gaines.

Aside from their hit TV show, the Gaines have built a bit of an empire in their hometown of Waco, Texas, where they own the Magnolia Market, a bakery and a bed and breakfast. Joanna Gaines has her own line of textiles and furniture; they also have a book on the New York Times best-seller list, “The Magnolia Story,” and in June, Joanna was declared the No. 1 TV personality on social media, surpassing even Oprah Winfrey, according to People.

“For Jo and I to have worked so hard and to have started this beautiful family with four gorgeous kids out here in Waco, Texas, on 40 acres, it really does seem like the American dream you’ve heard about growing up,” Chip said.

Despite all thier success, Joanna says Chip wears the same old pair of jeans, a denim Wrangler shirt and dirty hat — every day.

“There’s something really romantic for me about not just saying that you remember where you came from, but really living that out,” said Chip.

“This is America, the greatest country in the world. If you can set your mind to it, you can accomplish it. And where else can you say that?”

I'm so grateful for people like the Gaines family who are such a positive influence and give hope to all us dreamers by making us believe that with a great vision and lot of hard work, anything is possible.

Carmen Rasmusen Herbert is a former "American Idol" contestant who writes about entertainment and family for the Deseret News. Her email is carmen.r.herbert@gmail.com.

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