Nick and Vanessa Lachey have been married for nearly seven years, but they still know how to make each other swoon — even if their more romantic moments have to be penciled in. Case in point? Valentine’s Day.
“We’re at the stage where we plan it,” Vanessa tells Brit + Co. “He wanted to do it on Valentine’s night, but I have Top Chef Jr. You have to make it work.”
While they didn’t divulge exactly what this year’s plans will entail, they did give us some insight as to just how romantic they can be, with each dishing on the sweetest thing the other has ever done for them.
“He totally wrote me a song — he put it on a CD,” Vanessa shares, with Nick, 44, interjecting, “[I think it was called] ‘Rescue Me.'” (Awwww!)
By the end of that same year, the two were engaged to be married. And things only got dreamier from there. The lovebirds now have three children together — Camden, 5, Brooklyn, 3, and Phoenix, 1 — which Nick says deepened his love for his wife.
“The sexiest thing she’s ever done for me is give me [three children],” he shares. “[They’re] a constant reminder of the love you have.”
It’s a good reminder to have when things get crazy — and in a household with three young kids and two parents with thriving careers, things do get crazy. The night before they spoke with Brit + Co, the couple sat down to discuss their strategy for doing it all while still maintaining their sanity. “You’re only human. You feel massive guilt. You feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions,” Vanessa says.
Luckily, they have a foolproof way of handling their priorities — by putting their family first. “[The kids] always know that they are important in our lives and in our hearts — they’re the reason [we do it all],” she shares. “Whenever we make a decision to put our family first, we never regret it, we always love the result.”
The morning of our interview, for instance, daughter Brooklyn, who swaps classrooms on Mondays, found herself at school with no Valentines in hand for a school party. Mom and dad quickly came to the rescue, rearranging their hectic schedules to save the day by showing up with Valentines. “We turned around on the freeway,” Vanessa tells us, gushing, “The look on her face…”
Other days, as Nick puts it, they “divide and conquer. It’s about supporting each other,” he says.
In fact, becoming part of a team was one of the biggest lessons Vanessa says she learned when becoming a parent. “I went through my whole life looking for number one,” she admits. “You look out for your partner, [but] once you have kids, it’s 100 percent a team unit, being together [and] raising them.”
They also rely on a third party — Pampers (more specifically, the Baby Dry-diapers line) — to help rear their little ones. “[Phoenix slept] through the night and didn’t have any leaks,” the actress tells us.
That means getting a full night’s sleep, and for the Lacheys, that’s a big, big deal. “Sleeping is one of the most important [things] in infant development,” Vanessa says, noting that when baby sleeps, brother, sister, and mommy and daddy sleep, too. “Anything we can do to ensure more harmony, we are all about it.”
And mom and dad, in particular, definitely need their ZZZs in order to work in tandem as they do. They try to schedule their projects in three-month chunks, so that one parent is always home with their brood. Nick just got back from a holiday tour with 98 Degrees — something he says may become an annual thing.
Now, it’s Vanessa’s turn, as she takes on a hosting gig for Top Chef Jr., which sees 12 culinary virtuosos between the ages of 9 and 14 duking it out in the kitchen for head judge Curtis Stone. “I have begged [Nick] to stay home for at least three months,” she jokes.
For the 37-year-old, the experience is one that has inspired her to breathe new life into her own culinary dishes, which she regularly shares on her blog. “They see the world through a very different lens,” she explains of the kid chefs. “It’s really pure and it’s fun.”
It also helps her relate to the palates of the duo’s own children. “Our kids eat differently than we do, so I almost had to get re-inspired,” she says.
Nick and Vanessa also rely on each other when working on projects together. Despite being technical competitors on Dancing With the Stars, they never approached it as if they were dancing adversaries. Rather, they became each other’s support systems after a hard day of work. “It was nice to have someone who truly got it coming home,” Nick says.
There is one thing he would like to clear up about that whole experience, however. “I’m a good dancer, dammit!” he teases.
What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for your significant other? Share over @BritandCo.
(photos via Amy Sussman/AP Images + Todd Anderson/Getty Images)