updated 06/08/2010 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/09/2010 AT 5:00 PM ET
Growing up in the South, Vanessa Minnillo had a clear idea of what she wanted to accomplish – and it wasn t necessarily about achieving stardom.
“I thought I would be married with three kids before I was 25,” says Minnillo. “I ve been excited to have kids since I can remember. I was more excited about having kids than getting married!”
But now that she’s getting ready to celebrate the big 3-0, she’s taking a step back and reassessing her once-strict timeline. “I learned to take life day by day,” says the judge on ABC’s reality show, True Beauty. “You can have dreams and aspirations and goals but you can t put time constraints on them.
Boyfriend Nick Lachey, 36, is okay with her relaxed attitude as well. “Nick and I talk about kids but we don t talk about when because it goes back to the time constraint thing. It becomes stressful,” she says.
Still, Minnillo knows she doesn t have all the time in the world. “I want three to four kids, so I know I gotta get started,” Minnillo says with a laugh. “But as long as life goes the way we hoped and dreamed, we just take everything as a blessing, and when it does come it will be the right time.”
And there’s one thing she s sure of. “Nick is going to be an amazing dad,” she says. “I hope [it will be] with me, but either way, he’s going to be an amazing dad.”