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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For advice or information, email carol@shwanda.com


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  • When Every Day is Valentine’s Day

    Paul and I rarely make any special plans for Valentine’s Day because often times we have the kids with us, but when we don’t, we always make time for romance. That’s the way it is with remarried couples with kids from their previous marriages. When the kids are with the other parents, we are alone. In addition to every other weekend sans children, Wednesday nights are our date nights because it is a “no kid” night.  Either we have a candlelit dinner at home or we ride our bikes to the local eatery.

    Last Wednesday, the day after Valentine’s Day, Paul surprised me. He picked me up from work on a glorious, sunny day and took me for a drive along the coast. Afterward we stopped in at the tasting room/restaurant of one of our favorite wineries, The Bonny Doon Vineyard  Cellar Door. By sheer chance, the wine maker Randall Graham, a rather pleasant, yet eccentric sort, who bills himself as the Rhone Derranger, was standing behind the bar. We got a chance to talk with him Paul purchased his book for me Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology which he signed. I am thoroughly enjoying the book, which has been reviewed as, ” an iconoclastic send-up of the wine industry and a celebration of unsung grape varieties, the book features, among other things, Grahm’s hilarious literary parodies–Joyce, Kafka, Pynchon, Salinger, and others–together with song lyrics, other snarky satires, poems, lectures, and more. Subtle undertones of gravitas with faint suggestions of earnestness lie beneath the humor…

    The best part of all, aside from sharing time alone with my hubby, was being the recipient of Paul’s spontaneity and intuition for what would make me happy. That’s the best Valentine’s gift of all.

    Published on February 22, 2012 · Filed under: BLENDED FAMILIES, CELEBRATIONS, Remarriage, Romance; Tagged as: ,
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