NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Spend a lot of time with a guy over five years and you get to know him pretty well. In the time Carrie Underwood has spent co-hosting the Country Music Association Awards with Brad Paisley, she's learned there's nothing fake about the man with the white hat.
Paisley's not projecting the family first, fun-loving, good-guy persona that's made him one of country music's most popular stars. That's who he is, and he's found an uncommon balance Underwood really didn't believe existed in show business.
"He's not a different person in front of the camera and a whole different person away from the cameras," Underwood said in a recent interview. "He is the way you think he is. It's really great to see how somebody has balanced family life and doing this, you know, being in our crazy world. Because a few years ago I was wondering how on Earth anybody could make that work. And seeing him and (wife) Kimberly (Williams-Paisley) -- she's superbusy, too -- being able to juggle that is very encouraging."
That doesn't mean Underwood's ready to start a family just yet.
She and husband Mike Fisher, a star player for the NHL's Nashville Predators, are at the peak of their respective careers. The former "American Idol" winner's latest album, "Blown Away," was a multiweek No. 1 on the country albums chart. She's in the midst of an arena tour and also is up for female vocalist of the year at Thursday night's awards, airing live on ABC at 7 p.m. from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.
Children are in the plan "eventually," though.
"It's so funny, I still think of myself I guess being much younger than I actually am," Underwood said. "I'm like, I'm too young to have kids when I'm 29 years old, so I'm really not. My mom had a couple in her early 20s and a lot of people do. I don't know, I guess it's a sign of my immaturity in that area. I've only been married two years. I really want to enjoy that and really figure that out a little better before we start throwing so much responsibility into that."