|Courtesy Claire Varnon|
The Eli Young Band has a lot to celebrate.
Earlier this month, they received their first two CMA Award nominations — for vocal group of the year and song of the year for “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.”
And now, the band has some more big news: Bass player Jon Jones, 32, and his wife Sarah, 29, are expecting their first baby — a boy! — on Dec. 23, they tell PEOPLE exclusively.
While this will be the couple’s first child, it’s the second baby for the band. “It’s funny that in the band, Mike got married first, and then me,” Jones says referring to frontman Mike Eli.
“Then Mike and Kacey got pregnant and had their baby girl in July, and Sarah and I are right behind them.”
Jones and his wife — who was his college sweetheart — have been married since January 2011, but they have been talking about expanding their family for a long time. He shares how they discovered they were expecting their first baby.
“We were on the road when she found out, so she sent me a picture of about a half-dozen positive pregnancy tests,” says Jones.
“She wanted to be sure! It’s something you wish you could find out together, but she knew she couldn’t keep it to herself that long. When she called I could hear the excitement in her voice.”
When he’s not working, Jones spends his days at home going to doctors appointments with his wife, shopping for baby equipment, painting the nursery — and debating names.
“It took Sarah and me a month to pick out our couches for the living room, so we’re going back and forth a lot,” he tells PEOPLE. “Our goal is to have a name chosen by the time he is born.”
When the tour ends on Oct. 27, the Eli Young Band will head into the studio to record their second album for Republic Records, due for release in 2013.
The CMA Awards will be broadcast live on ABC-TV Nov. 1.
– Kay West