Christy Carlson Romano has come a long way from her days playing an overachieving teen on Even Stevens: She’s going to be a mom!
The Disney alum and her husband, writer-producer and veteran Marine Brendan Rooney, are expecting their first child — a daughter — on Christmas Day, a rep for the actress confirms to PEOPLE exclusively.
“I am flabbergasted at the serendipity of having a baby on Christmas. It’s our favorite holiday!” Romano, 32, tells PEOPLE. “What a gift we’ll have this year. Feeling so blessed and grateful … and a little nauseous.”
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Their first child’s due date isn’t the only holiday that has extra-special meaning to the couple. Romano and Rooney, 33, were married in a winter wonderland wedding in Alberta, Canada, on New Year’s Eve in 2013. They met in February 2011, while both were students at Columbia University, and were engaged nine months later.
“I was the assistant director on an on-campus documentary about veterans,” Romano — who just directed her first feature film, Christmas All Over Again, which she co-wrote with Rooney — told PEOPLE in 2013.
“Brendan was the president of the Military Veterans at Columbia and we met while we were interviewing him.
“It was such a magical feeling that stayed with me, so I wanted to recapture that on my wedding day,” Romano added about why she chose the Fairmont Banff Springs, a hotel she visited while performing in The Sound of Music, as her venue.
Aside from her directorial debut this year, Romano — who also provided the voice of the titular character in Kim Possible and played Belle in the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast in 2004 — will star in the sci-fi indie film Prism alongside her husband.
Rooney, who also co-wrote and co-produced Prism, is currently in development on two separate original one-hour television projects.
— Jen Juneau with reporting by Melody Chiu