November 27, 2013 01:00 PM

This Thanksgiving, Jake Owen is positively giddy over all his blessings.

“It’s been the most amazing year in my life so far,” says the country singer, 32, who celebrated his first wedding anniversary with wife Lacey in May, while their daughter Pearl turned 1 on Nov. 22. “It’s just been an awesome first year of our life together.”

Bringing his girls out on the road means he’s not missing any of it.

“She’s already walking the length of the tour bus,” says Owen of Pearl, who started walking at 10 months. “To see that excitement on her face when she realizes what she’s doing, it’s just the coolest thing. The greatest part is that I was there to see it!”

Courtesy Jake Owen

It’s just one of the many moments Owen, who releases his new album Days of Gold on Dec. 3, treasures these days.

“I used to find myself feeling empty a lot,” he admits. “I spent almost seven years riding around on a tour bus chasing a dream. You go out and play a show and people scream and sing along, but then the show is over, and you go back to the bus and sit there alone. It’s like going from the highest high to the lowest low.”

“Now I look forward to getting back on my bus, so I can sing ‘Old MacDonald’ to Pearl,” he adds. “You can chase the dream all you want, you can make as much money as you want, but if you don’t have anyone to share it with, you’re not quite as far along as you thought. I have a lot more substance in my life now.”

Courtesy Jake Owen

To read more from Owen, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE Country, on newsstands now.

— Danielle Anderson

Related Video: Jake Owen: Pearl ‘Has Made Me Less Grumpy’

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