By Ashley Salas, Model: Lily de Anda, Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Paty Quiroga, Location: Showcase Lighting (813 E. Calton Rd.), Accessories: Bejeweled, Evening Gown: Forever After
Instantly, opening the doors to Showcase Lighting, classic Christmas songs are delicately played. The energy carried by the place is a warm embrace. Spotted near the center of the room is a mysterious lady in red, embodying perfection, culture, intellect and ethic once my eyes meet hers. Have I ever seen anything more lovely? She shines bright beneath the glass chandeliers, so effortlessly dignified and gorgeous. She smiles, waves hello and starts walking gracefully toward me. Right away, I can see why many people consider her la primera dama de Laredo. Ladies and gentlemen, DeLaredo City Guide introduces Liliana de Anda.
Age is just a number, but 45 has never looked so good! “I’m a fan of the magazine and the work the photographer does. Naturally I said yes to being the cover model. Plus, I’m going to turn 45 soon and I thought it would be very special to have some editorial and professional photos taken,” de Anda said. Life’s sole purpose is to be lived to the fullest, with smiles and love all around. That’s exactly what de Anda lives by every day, whether it’s having coffee on a gloomy morning or simply seeing the joyful smile of her daughter before closing her eyes for the awakening of tomorrow. “What are you grateful for this Christmas?” I asked. “This Christmas, I want to thank God for the health, love and life He’s able to give the people I love,” she said.
As a mother to her 21 year old daughter, Andrea, and a wife of 23 years to local engineer Victor de Anda, she enjoys reading on a Sunday afternoon, outside her beautifully cared garden and learning all the kinds of crafts that exist in the world. But, as a woman of many talents, what do you do when the love you have overflows? You adopt 30 godchildren, of course! Each one with a little piece of your heart, what more could you possibly want. “It is a blessing and a very big commitment that my husband and I have. It makes us feel very valued and loved by our compadres and godchildren, and they are equally reciprocated,” de Anda said. The beauty of it all, she gives without expecting to receive something in return. Because of how blessed she is, she is able to bless others. “We are always attentive of them. To some, we see them very often by family proximity, and those we unfortunately don’t get to see as frequent as we would like, we rely on technology. We’re always aware of them by a phone call, text message or social media,” she added. Can I get an Amen for the glorious advances of technology?!
If you ask yourself how the de Anda duo manages so many kids at once? Here’s your answer: “Every year we host La Posada de Ahijados where we give each of them their gifts. That way, many can get to know each other and build long lasting friendships.” She embodies the type of success we all aspire to have. De Anda carries the type of happiness most people spend their lives searching for. She has successfully found it within the hearts of those loved ones that surround her. “My goal in life is simple: to live in peace and harmony with the people I love,” de Anda stated. Her voice carries a carefree soul–a humbleness that comes from growth and wisdom. De Anda looks thoughtfully out the window. She smiles as she sees the photographer is arriving. She’s ready for her closeup.
13 Questions with Liliana de Anda
Tell me one Christmas story you remember as a child.
I have two older brothers, so I grew up playing wrestling and whatnot. One Christmas, there was a sudden Star Wars fanantism. We decided to ask Santa Claus for a miniature version of Yoda’s swamp for me and spaceships for them. In school, they would tease me with saying that Santa wouldn’t gift me that because that was only for boys. On Christmas morning, under the tree, there stood Yoda’s swamp and their spaceships. Safe to say, there were three very happy kids.
How do you define happiness?
It’s something that most of the time, we have to procure ourselves. For me, happiness is being in harmony with those that surround me.
What makes you happy?
Family and friends reunions.
If you could have anything under the Christmas tree this year, what would it be?
A female dog, to keep my Max company.
What has been the best advice you have received?
I should always put myself in the other person’s shoes before I speak my mind.
What inspires you?
My husband and my daughter.
Who are your heroes?
My husband and my two brothers.
Tell us a secret.
I’m sort of a witch. Shh!
If you could transport yourself anywhere in the world, where would you go?
San Miguel de Allende! I love their essence.
You are stranded in an island and only have three things with you. What are those three things?
A book, a picture of my family and friends and my beige colchita that I can’t sleep without.
Describe yourself in five words.
Friendly. Organized. Impatient. Energized. Sharer.
Dead or alive, famous or not, who is one person you would like to spend the day with?
I’d like to spend it with my daughter. We’d go shopping and eating, the perfect girl’s day.
What’s on your bucket list?
Become grandparents, whenever God provides my husband and me the opportunity to take on that title.