"We're really happy that we get to be in one place with the babies [2-year-old twins Max and Emme] for a while," she says. "This is going to put us here for like six months. It's unheard of for us. The babies can do dance class and soccer practice. We're excited about being a little bit of a normal family for a little while."
The move to Idol also demonstrates how Lopez, 40, and husband Marc Anthony, 42, make big life-decisions – like taking a new high-profile job – together.
"I don't know that we ever thought I'd do something like this," says Lopez. "But when I was a dancer, was I going to be an actress? Yeah. When I was an actress, was I going to be a singer? Yes. I just think this is another evolution of that – and [Marc] explained it to me like that."
Now that the announcement is official, Lopez is eager to get started on her new gig. "I'm going to give it my whole heart, soul and passion like I do with everything that I do," she said. "I'm looking forward to such a fun year."