While the world anticipates celebrations for Christmas in just a matter of weeks, Kellie Pickler and her songwriter husband, Kyle Jacobs, are looking forward to what comes after the holiday. On Jan. 1, 2012, Pickler and her handsome husband will celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary. The two eloped on an island in the Caribbean on New Year's Day 2011.

The wedding came as a surprise to many of Pickler’s friends and fans, as the couple had been working hard at putting together a glamorous Nashville wedding before deciding to hop a plane and share the special day with just each other.

"Marriage is so special," Pickler recently told PEOPLE. "I never thought that I would get married, so I'm glad that I let that wall down. I'm glad that I let Kyle love me. He is the greatest blessing in my life."

And as they close in on one year as husband and wife, Pickler reveals that one of their secrets to keeping their love going strong is writing about those special moments they share in a journal.

"He's been doing it since before we got engaged, and [then] I started a journal for him," says the 25-year-old singer. "It's one of those things you write in not for any special occasion but just because you love one another. It shouldn't take holidays for you to act like you like each other and be nice to one another. You should be like that every day."

Pickler will have one more reason to look forward to January as well. Come Jan. 24, the singer will release her third studio album, '100 Proof.'