Vanessa Minnillo Says She Wants 'Three or Four Kids'

06/09/2010 at 05:00 PM EDT

Vanessa Minnillo Says She Wants 'Three or Four Kids'
Vanessa Minnillo and Nick Lachey
Jason Merritt/Getty

Nick Lachey

Nick Lachey

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."

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