Christina & Josh Hall say country life has gotten tough
In the middle of the first season of their new HGTV series, Christina in the Country, Christina and Josh Hall say their Tennessee cottage no longer feels like the getaway it was meant to be.
In an Instagram Live session on February 2, 2023 — the first they’ve ever done together — the couple answered fans’ questions and spoke about how busy their lives have gotten, two shows, two houses, three kids and one production company to juggle. Rather than recovering from their busy lives, they said their second home and design projects in Tennessee only added to the pressure — but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Josh Hall says fun in Tennessee is ‘on hold’
After two divorces, Christina, who grew up in Southern California, bought a farmhouse near Nashville in 2021 to relax with her kids. She shares daughter Taylor, 12, and Brayden, seven, with her first husband, HGTV’s Tarek El Moussa, and Hudson, three, with her second husband, Ant Anstead. She and Hall married in early 2022.
In promotions for “Christina in the Country” which premiered in early January 2023, the 39-year-old designer said life in the country felt like “heaven”. But in a video Heavy received from Christina’s Instagram Live session with Josh, the couple revealed their time in the country has turned out to be far less relaxing than they initially hoped.
In fact, Josh claimed being in Tennessee doesn’t feel as fun as it used to, which Christina denied.
“It’s mostly work lately,” he said. “We used to go there and had a lot of fun. And now the fun is kind of on the back burner. It was a lot of work putting these episodes together.”
“Oh please,” interjected Christina. “The fun is on the back burner?”
After explaining that he’s “more focused on other things,” Josh admitted that “it’s fun” to have his sister, Stacie, five minutes away. Christina then said that anyone who watched the last episode, in which he and her design partner James hit the road in a RZR off-road vehicle, “knows there’s a lot of fun happening.”
Later in their conversation, Christina admitted that since they started doing design and television work there, the way they spend their time in Tennessee has changed.
“It used to be … we would go to Tennessee to get away and hide and turn off the phones and everything was so quiet,” she said as she sat with Josh near the pool at their primary residence in Newport Beach, California .
“And then when it got to work,” she continued, “it was like, ‘Okay, now we’re coming to Tennessee and it’s like, hectic for the five days that we’re there and really packing those days with work.’ , and then (we) come home to work… more!”
“Our days are starting earlier and earlier there,” added Josh. “I forget how much 24 acres is and I’m very obsessive. I mean, I’ll rake leaves, take care of animals, winterize the house, whatever. I’ll do that before she wakes up, and then she’ll have a full day… of work.”
Also, juggling work, clients, and family in Tennessee and California has become more tiring than they expected. In fact, Christina said she believes frequent travel is partly responsible for her recent health issues, for which she has undergone extensive testing.
“Walking back and forth a lot … definitely took a little toll,” she said. “I wish I could go back to California and feel super wasted, like I got hit by a bus.”
Christina and Josh Hall may not be retiring to Tennessee after all
Early January, Christina to People magazine that her “ultimate plan” is to retire in Tennessee.
“We will definitely retire here,” she said. “I’d love to do the opposite (of what I’m doing now): I’d love to live there full-time and then have a cute little beach cottage in California, in La Jolla, that we return to.”
But on their Instagram Live, the couple sounded unsure about that plan when a fan asked if they’d ever move there full-time.
Christina said slowly, “Possibly when all the kids graduate from high school? Maybe then. Maybe then.”
“I mean, I don’t think Christina is ready for one of those hot, stuffy summers,” Josh said. “She has taken a few doses over the past year. But live through a whole summer? She might change her mind.”
In early 2022, Christina and Josh wed in a private court ceremony — a secret she revealed during the December 2022 premiere of her other HGTV show, Christina on the Coast. She revealed on Instagram that they had started dating in March 2021 in Nashville.
After their secret marriage, Josh, a former police officer and real estate agent, became CEO of the production company Christina founded, now called Unbroken Productions. The pair began producing their two home renovation shows — one filmed in California and the other in Tennessee — and developing other shows without a script.
With their home in Tennessee no longer being the tranquility it once was, the couple regularly takes a two-hour flight to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for short vacations and are currently planning a vacation for Christina’s 40th birthday in July.
“Nothing beats chips and salsa, some sun, a few Mexican beers,” Josh said during the Instagram Live, then joked, “Is it my birthday or her birthday?”
Despite the stress of working on two shows in two states, the Halls said at the end of their Instagram Live that they hope HGTV will renew “Christina in the Country” after the Feb. 25 season finale, which they plan to watch a sightseeing party in Tennessee.
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