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.

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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

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  • Parental Heart Stopping Moments

    Eva is coming home from Spain tomorrow. Everyone is so excited. I feel like she has been gone forever and her absence has been palpable. For one, there’s been a lot less laundry, food consumption, household activity and quite frankly I’ve never seen her room so clean! (We are taking bets to see how long it will take her to mess it up. I say 10, Mark says 5.)

    We are all driving up to San Francisco to pick her up from the airport tomorrow evening. However, there was some concern that she would have to delay her returning flight because last week her father and I received the dreaded international phone call… “Eva’s passport has been stolen.” My heart stopped. How? Where? What happened? It turns out she and her friends wanted to take a dip in the river and left their bags on the river bank and looked away for a split second, and poof, her bag was stolen. (Note to self, do not carry passport with you.)

    I told Eva through her tears that is was an unfortunate life lesson and we are just so grateful that she is safe. Her father wired her more money and I extend major kudos to Sol Abroad for reacting quickly and handling the passport replacement process. Eva got a new one in three days.

    As I write this, my daughter is en route for her journey home. She is on an overnight bus ride from Granada to Madrid. From there she will catch her flight to Newark, NJ and then connect to San Francisco which is 1.5 hours from our house. That means she will be traveling for over 30 hours when she gets home tomorrow evening. (I hope she has some Justin Bieber movies to watch.)

    I was able to IM her on Facebook this morning and she told me she was sad to be leaving. She made so many friends that she is afraid she will never see again. I told her, “Ya never know. You just might cross paths with them someday, particularly the ones who live in California.” Eva also told me she feels very “cultural,” she loved her host family and she’s really taaaaaan.  At the risk of sounding “mom like” I told her  that she had a life changing experience and that I was so proud of her.

    It was life changing for me too because I know when Eva comes home I will see a different child, one who is more mature, confident and self-assured, with apparently, a really great tan. I asked Eva if she got taller and she replied,”I’m pretty sure I’m done growing.” And I thought to myself, “Yeah maybe, but only on the outside.”

    Published on July 15, 2011 · Filed under: CELEBRATIONS, LIFE WITH TEENAGERS;
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