"I started freaking out and jumping up and down," Swift, 19, tells the Associated Press. "I honestly never would have predicted this, eight nominations – I'm ecstatic, and blown away and so, so thankful."
With eight nods, Swift was second only to Beyoncé, who had 10, and ahead of Lady Gaga, with five. Swift is up for album of the year for Fearless, as well as song, record and country album of the year.
The soon-to-be birthday girl was in an Los Angeles hotel room with her mom editing home videos when her producer texted her the news: "AAUUGGH!!!!!"
"To be recognized by the Grammys is the ultimate honor, and all I know is that when I write about this in my journal tonight it will be in all capital letters and underlined four times, and there will be lots of exclamation points in this entry because I never imagined I'd get to write this kind of journal entry," Swift says.
Swift's been nominated before, but never won. She finds out if she'll take a statuette home on Jan. 31.
"The thought of that absolutely is something that you daydream about," she says.
But for now?
"I'm just gonna call a bunch of people and tell them that I love them."
Watch the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, live on CBS – and catch up on all the news and style from the show on PEOPLE.com!