Since Fixer Upper’s 2013 premiere, Waco, TX natives Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines shot from obscurity to worldwide fame as they won the hearts of millions of fans with the highly rated HGTV series. “I don’t see how we could be happier,” Chip reflected last year, but the duo just revealed some news that’s bringing their bliss level to new heights. “Look at the little heartbeat!” Joanna recently gushed, posting a sonogram video on her Instagram page starring their latest bundle of joy, due this summer.
“Think about how lucky they are to have a fifth child and how lucky the kid is to have them,” Jimmy Don Holmes, a friend of the couple, exclusively tells Closer Weekly. Jimmy, whose JDH Iron Designs business is featured on Fixer Upper, adds that “they just want a healthy baby” to join their family, which already includes kids Drake, 12, Ella, 11, Duke, 9, and Emmie, 7. “Chip and Joanna are happier than ever,” an insider tells Closer of their excitement about expanding their family. Their little ones, after all, are the reason they shockingly announced they’re stepping away from Fixer Upper after its current fifth season. “Motherhood is a gift,” Joanna, 39, says of how her family trumps her celebrity status, “and fostering these little people’s growth is my favorite job of all.”
Their decision to leave Fixer Upper at the height of its popularity was a bold one. “People might think Chip is just this goofy guy, and he is a goofy guy,” Joanna says, “but he’s also the bravest person I know.” The HGTV ratings juggernaut has benefitted them financially and led to various business ventures — like their Hearth & Hand With Magnolia home and lifestyle brand at Target, their Magnolia Journal magazine, and their soon-to-open Magnolia Table restaurant near their Magnolia Market at the Silos — but their top priority remains their kids. “I don’t care enough about my finances to compromise my family or their well-being,” Chip, 43, says.
His paternal instincts have won him a lot of respect back home. “His dad was a good dad,” Jimmy says, “so that primed Chip to be a superdad! And his father-in-law is one of the most amazing guys in the world, so Chip’s got a lot of guidance. But he’s a natural anyway. He gets out there and plays with those kids and does stuff with them all the time.”
Joanna is a model mom who wins equal praise. “She’s just so kind,” Jimmy says, adding that she will literally drop her professional duties to spend time with her children. “She’ll just sit down in the grass and talk to them for 40 minutes, even if she really didn’t have the time to do that.” She makes the sacrifice, though, because, she’s reminded every day that they won’t be little for long. “Drake is officially taller than me,” she marvels about her oldest. “I can’t handle how big all of my kids are getting and how fast time seems to be flying by. Lately I’ve been particularly careful to soak it all in. I don’t want to miss a single moment of the things that matter the most to me.”
Chip and Joanna’s unflinching devotion to their children has been a shared trait from day one. “Family is very important to them,” Gayle Gaines, Chip’s mom, tells Closer. “They care very much about how their kids turn out and they’re very well aware that spending time with them and investing in their lives is important.” The family’s Christian faith and values have paid off well, as their sons and daughters have grown to be “smart, well-mannered, kind-hearted kids,” the insider shares. “They’re happy, polite and respectful, and they all have chores on the family farm.”
Plus, they’re encouraged to live an active and healthy lifestyle, which is why the Gaineses don’t have a TV at home. “They’re all more apt to ride horses, garden, cook, play board games, or do arts and crafts together,” the insider notes, adding that attending church regularly is another treat for the family. The couple’s strong belief in God has even made it easier to follow through on making the current season of Fixer Upper its last. “Joanna always has the attitude that God will take care of things if you do your part,” the insider says, “and having another baby has always been part of Chip and Joanna’s plan. Up until now, she wanted to concentrate on launching their various businesses so when the time was right she could step away knowing the groundwork was laid for their ventures to run without her constantly overseeing them.”
Until the new baby is born, though, it will still be full-steam ahead for Joanna. (She and Chip are reportedly shopping around ideas for a new show.) “After four kids, she pretty much has this pregnancy thing down pat,” the insider quips. “Plus, she’s a very organized woman with tons of energy so she’s up at 5:30 a.m. hitting the ground running every morning, even while pregnant.”
Her secret weapon? Chip. “He is the ultimate cheerleader, coach and dream maker,” she says of her husband of 14 years. “I get to hear his thoughts and benefit from his wisdom and encouragement on a daily basis.” His feelings are just as strong. “Chip is so crazy in love with her even after all these years,” the insider shares. “He has a tendency to spoil her rotten, so he’ll be front and center during her pregnancy, waiting on her hand and foot.” On-screen or off, the two exemplify “the best teamwork,” Jimmy insists, and the baby will certainly benefit from that. “Can you imagine the nursery? I’m sure Joanna’s run it through her head 6,000 times how she wants to do it. And knowing Chip, he’s probably got 3,000 names for either a boy or a girl,” Jimmy adds, teasing, “though Joanna’s probably not going to want any of them!”
If they disagree about the little stuff, though, it’s all good. “We’ve always been on the same page when it comes to the things that matter most,” Joanna stresses. “Our family and our values and how we want to raise our children.” That means even at Chip and Joanna’s busiest, their kids are their whole world. As Fixer Upper duties called them away through the years, Chip and Joanna agreed always to look their children in the eyes and say, “‘No matter what, we choose you,’” Chip reveals.“‘You’re the most important thing in the world to your mom and dad. We want you to know that if you need us, if there’s something that comes up in your life, you tell us and we will leave whatever it is that we’re doing in a heartbeat.’”
That new little heartbeat the couple saw during Joanna’s sonogram recently only proves that they’ve made the right decision to step away from the limelight for a while to focus on their family’s future. “I feel like a little bit of a load has been lifted, under the realization that tomorrow’s going to be a different chapter,” Chip says of making peace with saying goodbye to Fixer Upper for now. “I feel like it’s going to be the right decision for our family moving forward, and we’re really optimistic about that. We’ve got everything that our hearts desire.”
And as they welcome their new baby in a few months, things are bound to only get better. “There is just something about a clean slate,” says Joanna. “I love the idea of a whole new year waiting out there full of hope and possibility. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.”
For more on Chip and Jo, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more exclusive news!