About Carol

Carol Shwanda chronicles her blended family's lives and experiences offering hope, guidance, wisdom, inspiration and humor to anyone who is in or about to enter into a blended family.

Learn More

Let’s hear from you.

I would like my blog to be a forum for my readers to share their stories and experiences and express their views and opinions about being a part of a blended family. I am working on a book tentatively titled:Blended Family Stories. It will be an in depth look at the real life challenges and joys of successful blended families. If you would like to be part of my research I'd love to hear from you.Take my Blended Family survey

Must Reads for Today’s Successful Blended Families


For advice or information, email carol@shwanda.com


Subscribe with RSS

...or by email

Seaweed Art Cards
  • Parental Heart Stopping Moments Part 2

    Eva was supposed to have returned home today, but her flight was cancelled due to technical difficulties. She had already said goodbye to all of her friends and her program directors, boarded the plane and was snoozing when the captain announced the flight was cancelled and the passengers were to deplane, get their luggage and return to the gate to get a shuttle to take them to a hotel where they would spend the night. That’s right, my 15-year-old daughter was unchaperoned in a foreign city. Yippee!! At least that’s what she thought. It was about 10:30 this morning when I found out. I got this message from her below, which I have copied and pasted verbatim from Facebook.

    Eva: mom this is important!

    okay so my flight was cancelled because there was something wrong with the engine. so continentel made everybody get their luggage and we took a shuttle to a really nice hotel in madrid near the airport. ´They are paying for our one night stay and a buffet dinner. I know you are probably freaking out right now but everything is going to be okay. do not come and pick me up at the airport today!!! i wont be there.

    i need to make sure you get this in case i cant find a pay phone but currently i am writing to you on one of the hotels computers. tomorrow i am going to wake up at 7 and the shuttle will drive everyone to the airport for a 9 o clock flight to newark. and i think my san francisco flight will stay the same

    i will need to check my bag again and basically do the same process but that is okay because i did it today and im not worried

    just know im not sobbing or nervous and what you need to do is pick me up at the airport tomorrow. just one more day in madrid hah. and there are other people from a different study abroad group that i became friends with that were also on the flight

    i will have to just call yopu when i get to newark with sophias phone but this hotel is like 5 star! it has a game room and i have a double bed. i met a really nice man who helped me with my luggage and there is a group called lPI that i hung out with once and one of the guys is here too. im going to eat a big buffet dinner then watch spanish sponge bob.love you

    i have my passport. my door locks automatically. by nice guy i ment nice guy not creepy pedophile. i know self defense im fine.one of guys from LPI. its like sol abroad and we hung out in granada.

    ps. im awesome

    This was Eva’s end of the exchange. My interspersed comments were something to the effect of, “What do you mean ‘nice guy’ helped you with your luggage?” And, “Where’s your passport? Don’t lose that again.”

    I managed to get the name of her hotel and called her. She answered, “Hola.” We talked for about 45 minutes. I asked her to tell me in one word how she would describe her trip. Her response, “Amazing.”

    What I found remarkable was how self-assured and confident Eva was that she could handle the situation. Earlier I had phoned her Sol Abroad program director to see if she could help, but she was already en route back to Granada. Eva was literally alone. There was no one there to help her. She had to figure out on her own what to do. At 15. She is, indeed, awesome.

    Published on July 17, 2011 · Filed under: LIFE WITH TEENAGERS;
    1 Comment