Blending Families

Recently, my husband and I got into a little tiff about the number of presents under the tree. It all started when I came home from hours of shopping and excitedly showed him the deals I had gotten. At least my intention was showing him the deals I had gotten, it turned into him counting the number of gifts I had gotten for cousins and siblings. His expression was clearly underwhelmed and when I asked why, he replied "Well, we can't afford to buy gifts for your entire extended family!" Needless to say, I was crushed. I wondered why he wasn't happy, I mean this is the season for giving after all. He left and I sat around the tree wrapping the bounty of gifts I had just purchased. I thought for a long while, then I realized, our Christmastime is not the same.I grew up in a home with a single mom. My parents divorced when I was just a toddler, and I was raised by my mom and her long time boyfriend. In the past five years, my mom has remarried, but one thing has remained consistent, I am the product of a blended family. Though my original family was not traditional, there was never a marriage between my mom and her boyfriend, he raised me as his daughter. I spent holiday mornings with his family, the afternoon with my mom's side, then, if there was time, I would see my dad's family in the evening. So while I sat there at my Christmas tree, baffled by my husband's response, I realized, our family dynamics have everything to do with this. Kristian grew up in a two parent home. Christmas consisted of his sisters, his parents, homemade stockings (a Sanchez family tradition), and the usual gift exchange. I'm sure everything wasn't as Walton-esque as it sounds, but his family was normal. Well, this is my thought anyway. He did not grow up sharing holidays with grandparents that sometimes raised him, with cousins who were closer to siblings, parents who made you choose one or the other, and so on. So there I was, huffing and puffing, wrapping these presents with a complete absence of Christmas cheer, then my Aha! moment. Ultimately, he isn't mad about the money, he isn't mad that I'm buying presents, he's upset because he doesn't understand. This Christmas will be Kristian's first without his family. I'm so excited for him to see the dynamics of my family! To see first hand what being in a crazy, mixed up, blended family is like. We have three destinations for Christmas and one on Christmas Eve. My traveling pack of siblings (four in total) will probably fight over who can ride with Sissy, and Kristian will inevitably think of some quirky way to resolve the matter. I know once we're surrounded by my brood of cousins and my excessively nice aunts and uncles, Kristian will forget we ever had this tiff. I think he will come to realize how interconnected my family is. This year I think we'll both be a little more aware of the larger context of family.

SXSW. Austin, Texas. 2011

Austin, Texas Fashion: Unique, soulful, diverse, authentic, and comfortable. Land of no judgment. Pure expression. The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) is the annual spring convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Discovery dominates the weeklong celebration and fosters both creative and professional growth alike. To have the indie music and film lovers visiting our city for 10 days just exponentiates the heart and soul of Austin. The independent theme of self-expression is celebrated in many different forms that are as unique as the thousands of people who attended.

With high tech and the University of Texas, the entire world is represented here in Austin with people from all over the globe living, working, studying, playing, and yes… listening to music. Standing side by side a bohemian lovely in a long flowy skirt, t-shirt, Birkenstocks and dreads will be a woman in a power suit and heels. Each one feels like they belong. There’s no judgment. Well, I take that back, if there is judgment here in Austin, it’s because someone senses fake, imitation or a façade. Being comfortable in your own skin is what Austinites really care about. (Being comfortable practically is also high priority!) That vibe creates a film/music/technology festival that only Austin can birth.

This year’s SXSW was the best yet, with a new fashion event that celebrates the long-standing relationship between music and style. The theme was “Emerging Fashion from Around the World” and it was yet another avenue of discovery- what is on the frontier of fashion. Check out to taste the unique, soulful, diverse, authentic, and comfortable world of fashion on display here in Austin at Style X.

Clogs, Fashion and Function

Clogs were a part of the “hippie” expression of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s and they are back!  Sighted on the runway of Louis Vuitton and Channel Spring 2010. They are styled with mini-skirts, jeans, shorts and    skinny or wide-legged pants.

This fall, you'll find clogs in multiple fabrics, prints as well as leather.

While they are all considered clogs, they have just as many differences as they do similarities. They range from a stiletto look to low and chunky.

If you're a short-legged woman, lengthen the look of your legs by wearing tights to match your clogs.

You won't have a hard time finding them this fall because they're everywhere and come in a wide price range.

I walked into the Marriot Hotel last week and there was Kelli McAnally, administrator with Round Rock ISD in her Dansko clogs. She told me she has twelve pair and they make her feet happy!!

Dansko Black Desert Snake

The question this season isn't whether you'll wear them or not, but rather which clog will YOU be wearing?

Know Your Style

Have you ever heard the expression, ‘If you don’t stand for something then you’ll fall for anything?’  Well the same is true for the clothes you wear too!  If you don’t know who you are, then you’ll walk out of the house looking like anybody all because “It looked good on so and so!”  Who cares about “so and so?”  You’re the girl that matters! The good news is that great style never fades, so what’s your style?  Here’s just a few….


Bohemian Girls are usually very artistic in nature wearing flowy, delicate dresses and hair (not too hippy chic though).   If your style is bohemian, you will usually feel most comfortable walking bare foot or flat shoes choosing pieces that are romantic, and free-spirited.  Just like your personality!

Ali Macgraw - 1970's Vanessa Hudgens - 2010


Think all American girl.  Jeans and a white – t-shirt ; Katherine Hepburn and Jackie O are two of my favorites!  If you walked into one of their closets, we could walk out like we just went shopping yesterday.  Classic girls closet doesn’t go out of style because it is filled with the basics like black skirts and pumps and of course a jean jacket.  Classic girls love the simplicity in color and lines and always look great in a fresh, white tank!

Jackie Kennedy Onasis Katie Holmes


The trendy girl of course is an easy one spot!  She follows the trends every year and has the personality to do it!  Whether it’s sparkle or cameo, she’s the girl to sport it.  A good trendy girl understands though what trends to put together and which ones to leave off.  She’s bold, courageous and you always see her coming!

Trendy to Current

Take caution though ladies, trendy fads are best for the girls in the 20’s – for us hot chicks in our 30’s and beyond, being ‘current’ is the way to go, a.k.a. – your own spin of the trend that fits your lifestyle best!

Sex and the City Girls

So know your style and have a lot more fun shopping!

Created Woman/Creator

One of the best things about being a CREATED WOMAN is the opportunity to personally know the Creator. I sometimes wonder if women are aware that getting to know their Creator is possibly one of the most exquisite joys in life.

I have found that as I get to know my Creator and I am aware of His love, the more comfortable I am in my own skin… the more grounded, confident, and peaceful I am. With this awareness I tend to pick outfits that are more true to who I am; more of an expression of my soul and an extension of my own uniqueness.

So, if I end up being a bit over-dressed or under-dressed, it’s OK. I can wear Austin style in Dallas and not really care if I look different. It doesn’t matter what other people think because I am me. I am comfortable. I am unique. And that’s OK, because He made me.

Does it really matter if I have purple hair or teased hair? Fitted or flowing blouses? Flats or heels? Bright vivid colors or simple black and white? I don’t think so. Isn’t fashion the expression of a woman’s soul? Bliss is being comfortable in my own skin. Bliss is knowing my Creator.

As always, I find that song lyrics best express my soul. Third Day sums up this Creator-Created Woman topic very well… “Who is this King of Glory, who pursues me with His love?”