Don't call her crazy ... anymore. Miranda Lambert may write and sing about gun-wielding, vengeful women, but she's admittedly much more serene than her lyrics these days. The country beauty has a newfound sense of security -- both personally and professionally -- with the help of a new love and a new album that's impressing fans and critics alike.

We sat down with Lambert to talk about the sophomore effort that's earned her a second Grammy nod, the famous boyfriend who's given her more confidence and the one celebrity whose shoes she'd rather not wear. Plus, for a girl who says she doesn't laugh much, we catch her giggling several times during this candid chat.

Congratulations on your Grammy nomination. Where were you when you heard the news?

I was driving with my boyfriend [fellow country star Blake Shelton] from Houston to Oklahoma, and I got a text from someone that said, "Congratulations on your nomination!" And I didn't really know what for. And then I started calling around trying to find out, and no one was answering their phone. So it took about 30 minutes to figure out what I'd even gotten. But to me, the Grammys are the ultimate. They're not political. They just go for what they think is great.

Do you have any Grammy predictions, or is there anyone else you're rooting for?

I'm just hoping I'll get to meet Beyonce. Maybe I'll get to sit by her or something.

I've read that you're a big Beyonce fan. What's your favorite song of hers?

Probably 'Irreplaceable.'

Would you ever cover 'Irreplaceable' or any other Beyonce song in a live show?

No way! You know, there's a rule: if you can't do it as well as the original artist, don't do it. I don't think country folk should be singing Beyonce.

You've made a lot of 'Best Albums of 2007' lists with your sophomore CD, 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.' What would you say is the most autobiographical song on the album?

That would have to be 'Famous in a Small Town,' because I wrote it in my hometown, and everything in it really did happen. That would have to be the song that would describe me most. But then my favorite song is probably 'Desperation.' In 'Kerosene' and 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' -- throughout both albums there's a theme, and it's being strong. Even if you're going to be vulnerable, like in 'Desperation,' I think it takes a lot to say you're desperate for someone. It takes being strong just to admit that you're weak.
Your current single, 'Gunpowder and Lead,' is almost like a cross between Martina McBride's 'Independence Day' and Aerosmith's 'Janie's Got a Gun.' What's the story behind the song?

When I was younger, my parents took in abused women and their kids. I'm glad you recognized the message, because some people are like, "Ugh! I can't believe she's singing that!" It's meant to be taken light-hearted in some aspects. But it's also very real to me, because I saw first-hand what damage it can do to a family to be in an abusive relationship.

You call yourself "crazy" on two different songs. Do you have a crazy side?

I think all girls do. [laughs] But I think mine is over for the time being, so that's good.

Can you 'fess up to any guilty pleasures?

I love 'Sponge Bob Square Pants.' I'll sit there and eat cereal like a six-year-old, and watch it. My mom always laughs at me because when I'm at her house, I turn into a little girl again, watching 'Sponge Bob' and eating cereal.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I've just been really blessed. It's been a slow, steady rise and I'm building something hopefully to last for the next 30 years. But one of the highlights would definitely be that my album 'Kerosene' went platinum. That's a big deal -- to sell a million records. People aren't doing it as much these days.

When I interviewed Blake recently, I teased him about flirting with Paula Deen on the Food Network, and I asked him if he was trying to make you jealous. His answer: "Miranda doesn't get jealous. She just waits 'till we get on the bus and then punches me in the arm." Is that true? Do you not get jealous?

[laughs] I used to. But Blake is a very secure person, and he never gets jealous. So I think that rubs off on me, which is good, because I had the tendency to before. But he really makes me feel confident in who I am, so I don't worry about it.

He also said you're a very real person who hasn't let fame go to your head -- "this feisty blond from Texas" who doesn't doesn't apologize for being who she is. Is that an accurate description?

I think that's right on. But he'll deny saying all of that. [laughs] He always says nice things about me in interviews, and then I'll ask him about it and he'll go, "I didn't say that!"

Now it's your turn to brag on him. What do you love most about Blake?

I love Blake's personality, as well. He brings out the best in me. It's awesome to be with someone who's your best friend. And he's a truly honest person. I don't think he's ever lied to me -- not even about something small. He gives me a sense of humor. He always tells me that I'm miserable because I don't laugh that much. I have a weird sense of humor. He keeps me laughing all the time. That's the most important thing -- to have fun.

Speaking of humor, have you ever been the victim of a tour prank?

On our last show with Dierks [Bentley], it was just non-stop for the entire show. I mean, clowns coming from the ceiling, ping pong balls being thrown on the stage ... It kind of almost ruined our show. [laughs]

Who's one celebrity you would not want to be right now?

Britney Spears. [laughs]

And if you had five minutes with Britney Spears, what would you say to her?

I'd say, "Girl, you need to go to church." [laughs]

Would you take her to church with you?

I don't go to church, but I think she needs to. [laughs] I just think she needs to go home to Louisiana and remember where she came from. And she needs a spanking -- a real one, like from her dad. [laughs]