Hey brooke, the area around the stomach is the first place you gain fat, also the last place to lose it. There is no such thing as spot reduction, when you lose fat, you lose fat throughout your entire body, while abdominal exercises might strengthen you abs, it does not help you lose strictly belly fat.
What you should do is incorporate cardio training in your workout routine to help burn the fat in your body. Also eat clean and try not to consume too much refined carbs, but try eating whole grain carbs instead, such as whole grain bread, brown pasta etc.
Hopes this helps :)
Get a good full body heavy free weight lifting program and start lifting weights.
Look into New Rules of Lifting ( any of their programs are great) but the one for women is a good starting point. The one for Abs will give you abs! I also would recommend "Female Body Breakthrough: It was when I followed her rules for foods to put into the diet and foods to take out ( processed including whole grain breads- go Ezekiel instead) I had the best luck in losing inches and pounds and getting the shape I was after.
Also in her book she introduced me to "metabolic workouts" I have not stepped on a piece of cardio equipment in 2 years and have slimmed down significantly. I weigh 156-160 on average - 5'6" but I wear a size 6 today- when I was only doing cardio and got down to 145 I wore size 8's and didn't look 1/2 as good as I do now. I have curves in all the right places.