The Main Ingredient Of Our Family Blend

Saunders 2016 (14)

Not too long ago my husband and I were featured as a New Power Couple on a podcast highlighting empowering relationships.

The couple that interviewed us was especially interested in hearing about how we’ve been able to successfully blend our families. My husband and I have often mused about how blessed we are that our family has melded together so easily, but this was the first time we were asked to talk about it publicly.

We gave a lot of credit to our children. But much of the credit falls to the heart of our family: my awesome husband.

His kids were 19 and 15, respectively, when I met them. When we started dating, he brought me around them gingerly at first. I think he was more excited than anyone when his kids and I became friends on Facebook, which back then he considered a big seal of approval. They have his wit, kindness and fun-loving spirit, so they were easy to enjoy spending time with. My kids were 9 and 14 at the time, which meant the time my hubby and I spent together usually involved them too. He didn’t have to do much besides toss a ball to win my son over. With my daughter, he was patient, kind and even taught her how to drive. With one in college, two in separate high schools and one in elementary school, the interaction between all four kids was limited at first. The boys hit it off quickly. My son liked the idea of having a big brother and despite their age difference, they really got along like they were siblings by blood. The girls got to know each other in a most unusual way: by sharing a bed in Paris! When my hubby had the winning bid at a charity event for a trip for four to Paris, he decided we would take the girls. So they had their first meeting at the airport en route to a week in The City of Light. Turns out the two double beds their room was supposed to have only had one. They got to know each other quite well in a week. Flash forward to our wedding four years ago. All four kids stood up with us as our respective bridesmaids and groomsmen and it was not one but all four of them who stood together to deliver a heartfelt, humorously beautiful toast.

The years since that perfect day have given us many pictures of bliss as we’ve watched our family bond deepen. Our girls talk more to each other than they do us and our youngest son looks up to our oldest in a way we hope will keep them just as close as the years go on. We spend a week together at the beach every year. It’s a sacred time where we can escape the daily grind of life and simply play games, unwind on the sand and just be a family. When my husband talks about our kids he refers to them as his sons, his daughters and our children. He is self-less, giving, compassionate, funny and hard working. He is the nucleus of this beautifully blended family we call ours and on this Father’s Day, we have no one to thank more for each other than him.

Happy Father’s Day Doug, we love you so much and we are so grateful to have you in our lives!


  • Stu 3 years ago

    Hello, I live in flagstaff. I’ve watched you for many
    years. Im texting to tell you that I recently saw you on “pbs” Horizon show. You did a great job and I felt a real connection with your interviewing. It was personal and local. In other words it had a meaning and purpose to keep me informed about state matters. Even though I live in “Flag”!
    Also, I had a feeling that this specific job suited you more than the 7 morning show. You seemed like you enjoyed what you were doing.
    If I have the time I might pass the word on to pbs az. Take care, great personal blog, thx I didn’t have to use Facebook (!) and the best of everything!, Stu Deering

    • Catherine Anaya 3 years ago

      Hi Stu,
      Thank you so much for the very kind words. That means so much to me. I appreciate you watching both shows and especially for taking the time to read the blog and offer your thoughts. Wishing I was in Flagstaff right now where it’s a little cooler than the Valley :) Thank you again for watching through the years!! Best of everything to you as well… Catherine

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