While on a break from the road as he supports his latest album, the country star and wife Alexis sit down with PEOPLE for our family issue

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Jimmie Allen was thrilled when he found out he and wife Alexis would be giving their daughter Naomi Bettie, 17 months, a sister this November. "That's like nine more years of Disney princesses!" he says. "I'm obsessed with Disney World. I've always wanted to go inside a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique."

Admittedly, domestic bliss took him by surprise. "I wanted to be a dad," clarifies Allen, 35, who also has a son, Aadyn, 7, from a previous relationship. "But I never wanted to get married. Alexis changed that."

The couple, both natives of Milton, Delaware, wed in a private ceremony in spring 2020, with a larger celebration last May. "Being Mr. and Mrs. publicly has been exciting," says Alexis, 25, a nurse. "It's a second honeymoon stage for us."

Another unanticipated perk of settling down: creative inspiration. Last month Allen published a children's bookMy Voice Is a Trumpet. "It was the first time I've written something to my kids," he says. "I wanted to give them confidence to stand up for what they believe in."

While on a break from the road as he supports his album Bettie James Gold Edition, Allen and Alexis sat down with PEOPLE for our family issue.

jimmie allen
Jimmie, Naomi and Alexis Allen
| Credit: Jim Wright

On their first impressions of each other:

Jimmie: I did the whole creeper thing. I would swing by her Facebook and like a couple of pictures on there, like a couple of pictures on Instagram, but I wasn't following her yet. Then we were at my cousin's house — I was hanging out and she came downstairs. She just got off work, had her little scrubs on, being a nurse.

I had this whole thing put together that I was going to say. Smooth Jimmie was ready, but he didn't show up. I ain't say nothing. I just looked at her, said "Hi," then put my head down and kept talking to my cousin.

Finally when we were leaving, I grabbed her phone and said, "This your phone?"

Alexis: He put his number in my phone. He kind of caught me off-guard! I was not looking for anything at the moment, and I'm sure he wasn't either.

Jimmie: I thought she was amazing from the little bit I knew of her. She seemed super mature, had herself together. Kind and sweet.

Alexis: It just happened so fast and we just went full-in, all emotions. I have so much love for him, so much respect. I admire who he is to me and to everybody around him.

When we met, I was just graduating. I had to study for my NCLEX to officially become a nurse. And he took the time, right before he went on tour, to study with me even though he had no idea what he was doing. And it made me realize — this is someone who really cares about me, who cares about my future even though he's still working on his.

On bonding over their shared home state:

Alexis: I think our connection with Delaware really helped our relationship as well.

Jimmie: I love Delaware to the core. I would move back right now to relocate — bye Tennessee! I don't need to be here.

Alexis: He's a simple man; Delaware keeps him simple.

Jimmie: I just want to fish, go to Moose Lodge, and play cards. I don't need much.

On married life:

Jimmie: Before my dad died, he was in the hospital. Lex came and she met my dad, and he liked her. He pulled me to the side and said, "Listen, you mess up a lot when it comes to relationships. Don't let this one go." I said, "All right."

Alexis: We haven't officially announced this, but we've actually been married for a year. We got married on his birthday — June 18 — last year. Actually publicly being Mr. and Mrs. has been really exciting! I thought it was going to be the same, but I feel like it's a new honeymoon stage for us. We get to wear our rings out in public.

Jimmie: I wanted to be a dad and do music, that's it. I never wanted to get married. The whole husband thing was not something I ever wanted to do. But Alexis changed that. Now, I like it. It gives me some security — she can't just be like, "I'm done." Divorce is a lot of paperwork!

On growing their family:

Alexis: New home, new marriage, babies. Just doing all the life things.

Jimmie: We're just getting started on the babies.

Alexis: No we're not! I think we're finishing that chapter soon. I'm still learning how to parent a 7-year-old, a 2-year-old and I'm having another baby.

Jimmie: And another baby and another baby and another baby...

Alexis: Mmmm. He thinks that!

Jimmie: I like to dream.

On the siblings' relationships:

Alexis: Aadyn's really good with Naomi. He likes being a big brother to her. There are times where he says, "She's hitting me" and I'm like, "You have to understand she's a baby." And he says, "Yeah, I know." But he's excited to have another baby sister.

Jimmie: He wanted a brother! But he loves it and Naomi loves him. The other day he and our neighbor's daughter Grace were running around the house and Naomi wants to hang out with him so bad! She can't quite keep up, but every now and again, they'll come down and play with her for a little bit. They'll give her about two minutes. I'm curious to see how the two girls will grow up together, being not that far apart.

Alexis: Honestly, I'm kinda scared. We went to visit a close friend of mine who just had a baby and Naomi was getting mad at us because we weren't giving the baby to her! She put a burp cloth on her shoulder and grabbed a blanket and started rocking it, because she was watching us. She's going to think this is her baby. I think she's going to understand that it's a baby and that she has to be careful, but I also feel like she's going to be very possessive.

On having a second daughter:

Jimmie: I'm excited about having a girl because that's like nine more years of Disney princesses! I'm obsessed with Disney World. I've always wanted to go inside a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. I am hype!

On their differing parenting styles:

Alexis: He's an overly protective parent anyways. Still to this day, he tries to make me chop up Naomi's food. So tiny you can't even see the pieces, that's how little he wants them to be.

Jimmie: I'd rather be prepared and nothing happen than not be prepared and something happen!

Alexis: He's definitely made me over-aware of everything, which I'm grateful for because I am a first-time parent. Most of the time we learn from our mistakes.

On tour life with the kids:

Jimmie: Naomi loves the show. She dances, makes noises — I think she considers it singing.

Alexis: She'll go up to people who are standing there not really interacting with the concert and she'll just be like, "Come on — dance to my daddy!"

On writing My Voice Is a Trumpet:

Jimmie: It was the first time I've written something to my kids — I want to leave them something other than music. I wanted to give them confidence to stand up for what they believe in. To know it's okay to be different, to know that they're special and how to use their voice. It's super important to teach people that at a young age, because if not, you become a cowardly adult that's afraid to speak up. There's a lot of those — tons of them. They're worried about how people might feel about them because they have this opinion or that opinion.

But we can teach kids at a young age to accept individuality, to accept authenticity. And as an adult, they'll have that same confidence. At some point in their life, they'll go back to all the tools you equip them with and pull from that. It's important to give them the tools they needed at a young age to help build that foundation.

Jimmie Allen My Voice is a Trumpet
My Voice Is a Trumpet
| Credit: Flamingo Books

On having difficult conversations with their children:

Alexis: We've taught Aadyn that some people are raised differently and everybody has different views, and we just have to adjust and be patient. We will probably face more as he gets older and gets in more situations with color and how he looks different from his classmates.

Jimmie: I've only had one situation where he didn't understand. One day, he had asked me about George Floyd. It was like, "Daddy, why was he killed?" And then he said, "Why is it I see a lot of people that look like me and you being killed? Why is that always on the news?" I wanted to explain it to him — but you can't really go too deep because he hasn't lived long enough, he's not old enough to quite understand that, "Hey man, there are some people that just ain't going to like you because of the color of your skin. That's just how it is. They don't know you, they know nothing about you, but just because..."

People don't like you for something that we can't control. And vice-versa, there's people that just don't like other people. That's just how it is. It sucks. But trying to explain that to him at age 7 is difficult. We've had four or five conversations and every conversation, we're having the same little gap.

Alexis: It definitely starts at home. You just have to start the conversation about everything in life and just hope and pray that they take what you give them.

Jimmie: Yeah. I feel like as a parent, you're doing your children a disservice if you don't prepare them for what's out there. That way, they can navigate through life and understand, "Hey, this might happen. But just because this person treats you that way doesn't mean you should." So that's what I try to do — try to prepare him for life as real as possible, the same way my parents did for me. My dad did not BS me, my mom did not BS me.

We should prepare our kids and help them. Don't just say, "Do that and get better." No — show them how, and they'll be better equipped for life. I just try to do that all the way around, the same way as my parents did for me. I hated them for it sometimes! But in the long run, it paid off.

For more from Jimmie Allen and family, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.