When Lady Antebellum played the WUSN Stars & Strings benefit show in Chicago last week, I had a chance to talk with the band backstage — before they took the stage, and before they took off for the Thanksgiving holiday. And now that all three band members are raising three kids — and there are three more on the way — they all seemed to think that a baby changes everything.
“The holidays are so much more enjoyable now. It’s all new again,” Charles Kelley told me. “And it’s all about Ward.” This year, Kelley, his wife Cassie and their almost two-year-old son will be part of a bigger family celebration. “Every other year, we go up to the north Georgia mountains where my dad grew up, and we’ve got about 50-60 cousins there. And now all their kids will be there. This is our first time going up there with our little one. So he’s gonna get to meet about 15 little cousins. They’ll just play in the yard out at the farm. It’s gonna be so fun for all of us.”
This year’s Thanksgiving is going to be very low key for the band’s Dave Haywood, because he and his wife Kelli and their three-year-old son Cash are all waiting on baby No. 2. “We’ll be staying in Nashville this year, because we’re about three weeks away from a baby,” Haywood told me. “Kelli can’t travel, so everyone’s coming to us.” And while he is excited for Thursday, he’s also looking forward to Friday. “On the day after Thanksgiving, we always decorate for Christmas. That’s always been our tradition. We’ll go out the next day and find our tree, we’ll be breaking in our new kitchen, and just getting ready for the baby.”
Hillary Scott will also be staying close to home this year, with her husband Chris Tyrell and their four-year-old daughter Eisele. “Usually we’re either in South Carolina or at my parent’s house in Nashville. But this year, we are hosting it at my house,” she said. “We’ll all make a side dish, and then we ordered a turkey and ham. And my dad might also do a pork loin on the Green Egg, just to have an option. We try to keep our Thanksgiving super casual. I know some families get dressed up for it, but we keep it casual all day. We do a midday thing so that we can eat more than once.” By next Thanksgiving, everything will have changed all over again for Scott. She is expecting twins, due sometime early 2018.