“HAPPINESS Starts When NOTHING Is EXPECTED, But, EVERYTHING Is APPRECIATED”

“HAPPINESS Starts When NOTHING Is EXPECTED, But, EVERYTHING Is APPRECIATED”

In my line of work, I’ve had a few surprises. Perhaps because I’m OCD, shooting for perfection in an imperfect world may be why I choose to view my cup as half full rather than half empty?  When I’m on location, I’m the Boss, Mrs Fix It, Find It or Mend It. Cindy is my partner. 

Although we are mainly known as “The Texas Twins” or “The Pawning Planners,” this Twin Team is a partnership and we work better with each other far more than with four generations of our family on location. Why? Because Cindy and I actually get along with each other. All the time? Absolutely. Two halves make a whole. 

My entire family and occasionally, Cindy laugh at my vision of “perfect execution” at not only our bookings but also, family events. 

My son will tell you “something always goes wrong on location.” Well, if it does, it’s our job to fix it. When the Mariachi Band broke down getting to the venue, I went and made two trips to pick them up myself. I don’t sit around complaining about problems- I fix them and move on. But, hey that’s me. 

We don’t have a “magic button” to call someone else to fix an issue on location. What we do have is each other. The only time I’m on location alone at an Event is at a Prison Wedding. All other Events are Team Efforts. Cindy is always with me on location. Larger Event Services require several family members and several suvs based on the booking. If you need Coordination, Floral Design, Photography and an Officiant, we need at least three suvs. Having a Team on site is how we address unexpected problems or forgotten items from other vendors. We don’t point fingers because we fix the problem. 

Over the years, when another florists has forgotten this that or the other and when I’m Coordinating or Officiating, I’m generally the first person to know about it. 

If I’m busy, my twin sister is. Problems require solutions and we find a solution on a regular basis. Failure isn’t an option at a Life Event.My success at making my Clients happy on location somehow never works out with my own family. Why? I have no real idea. 

For my family, competing about who “got the best gift or had the best birthday” is an ongoing argument over “they always get the best so and so.” 

I now REQUIRE EVENT SECURITY if you’ve booked me as a Coordinator, Officiant or BOTH. Why? Too many bar battles, drunk guests and arrests. If you have an Open Bar- you NEED SECURITY on site. You also need Event Insurance. 

Last September I had two security staff members on site with me due to the Open Bar. One rowdy guest started pushing James Allen (who weighs over 300 lbs) because the bar was closed. No one can push James Allen. He’s a huge guy and often smiling at anyone who tries to push him around. My security people are big and often former military or police. 

Believe it or not, Funerals are far more unpredictable. Most family members assume they’ve got nothing to lose at a Funeral. I’ve been pushed over a coffin Officiating a funeral.

Weddings are notorious for drunken brawls and I’ve been called names when forced to advise one guest that he’d been “cut off.”  While trying to break up an argument at another wedding, I was  punched. I have decided that I don’t feel safe without security on site. 
As a Client, you shouldn’t either. There isn’t anything fun about a belligerent drunk on location. You hired me to Officiate, Coordinate or both or as a Floral Designer. You didn’t hire me to be a referee. At 5’7 and 145 lbs, I’m not equipped to break up a fight on location. Seriously. 

Frankly, no amount of money is worth getting pushed around or abused while trying to orchestrate an Event that went downhill because guests or members of the wedding party obviously “couldn’t hold their liquor.” 

If someone is hurt at your Event or if the Venue is damaged- YOU SIGNED a contract that holds YOU LIABLE for damage to the venue. 

If one or more of your GUESTS are injured, you could face a civil suit for medical bills. Remember that. You NEED SECURITY at ANY OPEN BAR EVENT! You can’t afford not to protect yourself and/or your guests. 

If you have guests with a drinking problem, don’t give them an Open Bar to destroy your Event with. It’s well known that I have strong opinions on Open Bars. I’m seasoned and experienced. 

Eight years of seeing far too much on location has taught me to plan ahead. You should too. You will thank me when things get out of hand and staff is on site to address the issue. Trust me. 

My son and his wife wanted an Open Bar at their wedding years ago. I said “absolutely not. All of your friends are twenty something and can’t hold their liquor.” 

For months, the Open Bar Battle raged on but, I won that battle. Twenty something year olds AND an Open Bar? Good Grief. I had enough to deal with at that wedding without telling someone they were drunk. 

My daughter in law cannot hold her liquor. I have an Open Bar at my home and if you think for one second I haven’t seen her start with one glass of wine and finish with two bottles, think again. My husband rolls his eyes that our bar is the busiest room in the house when entertaining our family. 

I now actually ask clients booking photography if they have an Open Bar at their Event. Why? Because if you do, Leigh Ann (who doesn’t drink) will be covering your Event or my son working solo. I don’t trust my daughter in law to be on site with an Open Bar and, I have my reasons. 

It took me years to establish my reputation and no one (not even a family member) will take that away from me. Cindy and I limit problems by asking lots of questions before assigning Team Members to your Event. 

Cindy and I hate competition among our adult children and cannot understand why on earth both of her daughters and my son make everything a competition or, an argument. 

If I had a nickel for every time I had carefully planned the “perfect holiday get together” with my own family that ended with my son arguing with my niece or my one of my nieces saying my husband wasn’t being nice to them- I would be rich by now. I have chili stirrers in my own family. Everyone does. 

For those of you who missed the Christmas Disaster of Fighting Family Members Blog at my home AKA WorthamWorld last year- count yourself lucky. I’m still upset about “losing it” and hitting my breaking point in front of my entire family over yet another “Christmas Argument.” 

I’m normally level headed but, when you have a relative with mental illness and addiction “strung out and starting $hit” at your home, it’s hard to “control the crazy.” You might just lose your temper. I did. 

My sisters, brother and I were raised to respect others and hold our tongue but, if I have to raise my voice in my home, know that I was pushed into it. 

My blogs are a diary of sorts. The good, the bad, the disasters, the successes along with family and business are one in the same. 

Meaning there’s no line between business or family for me since four generations of my family work for me. 

I’m The Whip Cracker around here. On rare occasions, Cindy handles photography when Leigh Ann, Robert or Stephanie are already booked and Cindy can be a bit of a Whip Cracker herself when it comes to photo angles. “You are off center. Fix your hair. Move your head.” For a person who spent years as a commercial and print model, I’m not offended about “photography direction.” 

Cindy is also my “ears” on location addressing problems when I’m busy Officiating, Coordinating or Both at an Event. The LAST thing I needed last Christmas is someone complaining about so and so getting better Christmas Gifts than they did. 

If anyone knew how time consuming shopping for “equal gifts” every year was for Cindy and I, they’d understand just how competitive our adult children actually are and how sick and tired Cindy and I are of trying to keep any gifts “even” among our blended families. 

Cindy or I had carefully bought gifts that we had assumed were of equal value to limit any arguments and spent thousands of dollars last Christmas to buy our adult children what “they wanted” and as usual, an argument broke out because my niece Stephaney started the usual round of “that’s a better gift than this.” 

I’m so sick and tired of the Christmas “who got the better gift” battles that I’m nearly committed to dropping gift giving altogether. I cannot win with my family. My husband is happy with whatever he gets. The twins are happy too. My son and nieces along with my daughter in law are far harder to please. 

Leigh Ann and Stephaney argue incessantly over whatever they get and ironically, my daughter in law often opens my niece, Stephaney’s gifts. Yep. It’s a free for all of flying wrapping paper and comparisons. 

Having an argument over gifts is an ongoing chaotic escapade for my twin sister and I. So much so that I’ve nearly decided to “skip Christmas gift giving” and birthday parties for our family because of the “competitive chaos.”  

Leigh Ann, Stephaney, Stephanie and Robert argue over gifts in front of the rest of the family which makes me furious especially when they didn’t buy any gifts for anyone else while complaining about their gifts “not being as expensive as so and so or not what they wanted.” 

I dread birthday parties and Christmas at my home every year and, I’m not alone. Cindy does too. My husband always starts the holiday season with our birthday on November 13 and his usual speech “well, it’s your birthday and soon Thanksgiving then Christmas and another houseful of people who cannot get along with each other. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!” 

Even Makenna and Maryssa are tired of the arguments over who got what. We all are. Are our adult children so spoiled that they’ve forgotten other families are struggling to have a meal? 

I’ve signed my entire family up to volunteer this year at the soup kitchen to give them a better idea of how others wish they had a gift to open. It’s my Christmas gift to them. Empathy, Compassion and Gratitude have flown out the window around here for a few of my family members and I’ve decided to get them back.

My aunt and cousins run a food pantry in Gordon that feeds three counties. Cindy and I have helped deliver food and provide cakes and pies for fundraising as well as donating money to buy paper products that include diapers, paper towels, toilet paper and personal hygiene items. 

Cindy and I grew up poor. We know what it is to have nothing under the tree. We know what it is to wrap the same gift over and over again so her daughter thinks she is getting more than one gift. It’s been years and years ago that we were that poor but, poverty is something you never forget. We haven’t. Cindy and I are far more generous than others because we know true abject poverty. We lived it. We survived it. We became workaholics to keep from ever being poor or hungry again. True story. The fear of being poor chased us to do more, work harder and be successful. 

Protecting our adult children from the harsh reality of poverty didn’t give them empathy. It’s time to teach them how lucky the  actually are. 

I’ve nearly decided to take a vacation for the holidays and let our adult children prepare their own meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as buy their own gifts or go volunteer at the mission.

No matter what I do to make the holidays special- someone in my family is going to get in an argument with someone else. Don’t let those smiling multigenerational family photos of ours fool you. 

Cindy or I had most likely threatened everyone into “slapping a smile on their face” for whatever group photo you see posted on the internet. “I wanted to be in the front. Why is Stephanie in front of me? She’s an inlaw and I’m a real family member!” 

Yep. I cannot make this $hit up. Be me. Be Cindy. “She’s wearing a better dress than I am.” Or, “Stephanie is making me look fat. Put the skinny one in the back!” Holy Cow. “I’m the pretty one and Stephanie is in the front, she should be on the back.” Cindy and I rolled our eyes at each other and shrugged. Why can’t our adult children get along? For one of two photos? It’s like pulling teeth!  

Family photos are rare because it’s a literal ass whipping to get everyone in the same place at the same time and in a good mood. Why our family chooses to act like they can’t stand each other I have no clue. 

There are far more photos of Cindy and I with the twins or Leigh Ann and Maddy for a reason. We all get along. After all, no one is handing out a new family. Forcing my entire family to look happy is a lot of work. 

Today’s blog title is based (as usual) on Cindy’s ingenious way of summing up the situation. For some reason every year, Cindy and I have a birthday dinner that’s attended by all three of our adult children ages 33, 31, and 29 as well Cindy’s three grandchildren 14 and 2. 

You would think our adult children who “celebrate their birthdays all month long” would at least buy a birthday card wouldn’t you? 

Well, sorry gang there aren’t any birthday cards or gifts on our birthday, Christmas or even Mothers Day. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Cindy and I are both baffled that for OUR BIRTHDAY we are shouldered with the expense of high end cocktails and dinner for our children rather than vice versa.

Last year, my husband “put an end to the madness” of $500 and up birthday dinners for Cindy and I. Matthew actually told me “it’s ya all’s birthday not theirs. They should be buying your dinner. I’m tired of this. We take them out for their birthdays. Why can’t they treat you and Cindy on your birthday?” 

My husband also realizes (since family events are held at our home) that our three adult children “show up empty handed and leave with a haul.” 

Cindy’s Husband doesn’t understand it either. Steve Daniel never missed treating his mother on Mothers Day or Heaven Forbid, missing her birthday until her death. Steve can tell you the date and time of his mothers death. My brother in law’s greatest tragedy in life was losing his parents. 

My husbands mother was an alcoholic and he struggled with a strained relationship with his father his entire life. Why? My husband was an unexpected child late in life and his older brother was the Golden Boy. Matthew’s father never got over losing his oldest son and my husband spent his entire life trying to make his father proud.

Perhaps because Cindy and I had such a rocky childhood ourselves, we overcompensated our own children? A friend recently mentioned that “most likely Dr Phil is going to tell you and your sister that you are enablers. I don’t want to hurt your feelings but, both of you jump through hoops for your kids and I don’t see either of you getting any benefit from the older ones who don’t even show up when your having surgery. Don’t get me wrong. You’re both amazing parents but, at some point, you BOTH need to let go. Push them out of the nest and fly away. The twins need you but, the older kids are adults now. I don’t want your feelings hurt when someone else tells you that you aren’t doing what’s best for Stephaney, Robert or Leigh Ann. Prepare yourself for this. By the way, I love Dr Phil and can’t wait to see you on the show!” For Cindy and I, hearing what awaits us because we are trying to get Steph help didn’t exactly sound like a “good time.” 

After seventeen years of the expenses to send Steph to rehab and bail her out of jail over and over again, Dr Phil is OUR LAST HOPE though so, if we are called enablers, we will accept it and move on. Desperate measures are necessary to get my niece in a position to support herself and stay out of trouble. At least Leigh Ann and Robert are married and supporting themselves which is more than I can say for Stephaney. Cindy and I have been supporting Stephaney a year now after she went off the rails. Our husbands, as usual, have no idea what we’ve spent to try and get Steph to go to work while buying her food and clothing and her brand of cigarettes.

Stephaney is the only bilingual person in our family and since she is unstable, we no longer have an in house translator. 

Many people assume that ALL of our Clients are hillbillies but, the truth is that a small percentage of Clients actually use the barter option of The Pawning Planners. 

How small? 10-20% of our Clients Barter their event service.The majority of our Clients book through Texas Twins Events or Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham. 

The Barter Option of The Pawning Planners exists to give anyone an option for a Dream Event regardless of their income.

My twin sister is fun loving and always ready for adventure without any of the planning or list making, much less the preparing I do regarding the unexpected on location. Cindy is always ready for a laugh when I get caught off guard on location. 

Cindy is also never at a loss for words. Cindy’s greatest joy is her three granddaughters, Maryssa, Makenna and Madyson.A photo posted on Twitter of me with a shocked look on my face taken by Cindy was a favorite partly because I wasn’t posed and perfect. 

The truth is that surprises happen all the time but, I do try to limit my shock at something unexpected “rattling me.” 

My Groom had saved his vows to his cell phone which had subsequently died leaving him speechless. We worked it out. We always do. My twin sister is famous for her #Cindyism Quotes used on Pawning Planners Apparel as well as her ability to talk to anyone on location. Cindy has never met a stranger. 

This week was full of the usual round of surprises for me beginning with a call from the producers of Dr Phil regarding my niece, Stephaney. 

My schedule is often booked months in advance so, a request to “fly out for three days of filming this Sunday” with only four days notice was more than a little surprising for me and, not an option as I’m booked at a Texas Prison Wedding at TDCJ Coffield Unit on 09-11-2018. 

I don’t schedule Prison Weddings, the Warden does. Because of this, at best, I normally have 5-7 days notice regarding a Prison Wedding which is why I never book more than 15 TDCJ Weddings in any given month. 

My schedule must be flexible in order to address a short notice booking. Although, my twin and I would love to get my niece the help she needs, we never expected to be on the Dr Phil Show with Stephaney. 

I had suggested to the producer flying Stephaney and Cindy out to film for three days due to my schedule but, apparently, I’m wanted on the show as well so, we are looking at dates in either October or November. Due to our holiday next month to celebrate our birthday and keeping my schedule flexible to accommodate filming with Dr Phil, new bookings for Texas Prison Weddings are being moved to November. 

Cindy and I normally travel in November and December but, we are moving things around this year after a disastrous trip last Thanksgiving to film in LA left us struggling to get home. Holiday travel is something that wears you out at a certain age and frankly, I’ve hit it.

Cindy and I are in LA with my twin grandnieces and other niece, Leigh Ann and her two year old daughter, Madyson October 15-20 for a “girls trip” and business but, due to my Itinerary (yes, I always have an Itinerary), we cannot film for three days in LA during this window due to my commitments. 

I’m really looking forward to this trip with Cindy, Maryssa & Makenna, Leigh Ann and Madyson because the twins haven’t been to LA with Cindy or I for the last four years due to school. 

The twins are now homeschooling and loving it which gives us far more flexibility for travel during the school year. 

Makenna (left) is an exceptional student while her sister, Maryssa (right) is more interested in social media. 

We are working on getting Maryssa to apply herself to studies versus her social media accounts. Two sets of twins always get a lot of attention but, little Maddy keeps my twin grandnieces pretty busy herself and is a model for numerous small shops. 

Maddy is hilarious and like me, pretty animated which is why Cindy uses her photo on so many posts.Maddy’s blue eyes and ringlets of red hair are a stark contrast to Maryssa and Makenna’s blond hair and green eyes. Since I’ve been asked about my latest “Trades, Treasures or Trash,” I believe my latest Barter isn’t a Bust because inlaid Mother Of Pearl is always a hit at Texas Twins Treasures. 

I will soon be listing some fairly unique Oriental collectible pieces. This screen is beautiful.I was actually more interested in the inlaid wood table set with pull out chairs but, made a deal on the black lacquer screen and the set below which needs wood conditioning but is in otherwise good structural shape.I’ve had several inquiries regarding Military, Fire, Police, First Responders, Teachers and LBGTQ Discounts offered at Texas Twins Events. 

The answer is yes, these discounts apply to not only Texas Twins Events bookings but also, Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham and/or Pawning Planners Clients as well as buyers at Texas Twins Treasures.We love our Clients and although price points are far below our competition for Officiants, Floral Designs, Coordination, Photography and More, find that by offering additional discounts helps our Clients as well as generates new bookings via referral business. I do not advertise as I have no need to due to our referral bookings.

We are currently sold out of our handcrafted fascinators and will list new designs when they become available.Please note that Bling Bouquet Special Otders are now running at 9-12 weeks. 

Our handcrafted bouquets are also quite heavy at 2-3lbs. Smaller bouquets are 1-2 lbs based on the weight of the brooches.We have two photography teams to serve you. My niece, Leigh Ann works solo or my son and his wife, Robert and Stephanie work as a Team.

Since I Officiate numerous types of Events with my twin sister who helps me coordinate, I want to point out that we honor Interfaith Ceremonies as well as honoring Cultura Traditions on location. 

Safety is always a part of any celebration. I’ve had inquiries regarding “Groom Tossing” recently. 

Anytime you are tossing a Groom into the air, there is a danger of falling. Because of the mishap in Lompoc, we now suggest using a blanket or other item in order to safely “catch” the Groom. 

For those who missed the post, here are the photos and the issue of the patio lights “catching” the Groom.We want your Event to be memorable, safe and fun. This “toss” could have had disasterous outcomes but, didn’t.Last year, I had several comments regarding one of our Brides being pregnant. I’m going to first address the numerous “shotgun wedding” comments. 

The Groom was deployed in Afghanistan and upon returning, contacted us to Officiate their wedding. I was amazed at a few vicious comments regarding the Brides “condition.” 

My philosophy is that if you don’t have something good to say then perhaps you shouldn’t. But, that’s me.A few years ago, I had horrible comments on yet another post regarding a Pawning Planners Bride who had “bad teeth” and yet another because she wasn’t beautiful? Come on ya all. 

I can’t believe people are so dang mean sometimes but, for the record, both Brides were Pawning Planners Clients and couldn’t afford Event Services. 

Jo Anna needs dental work but can’t afford dentistry. She is a wonderful mother and lifelong friend of my Team. Jennifer and Jo Anna both used parks for their Events as many Pawning Planner Clients do.Whether I’m in a Park, Prison, Backyard, Barn or Exclusive Venue, all of my Clients come from different backgrounds and budgets so, please be kind when commenting on a post because my Clients are also connections on FB, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, GooglePlus and Pinterest. 

I’m off to meet my saucy sidekick and twin sister to ship out more Pawning Planners Apparel orders and after a Texas Prison Wedding in Venus, and meeting two new Texas Twins Events Clients today. If you’re looking for a quote to customize your Pawning Planners Apparel, check out Cindy’s blog– Cindy Daniel- The Original Redneck Granny And Creator of #Cindyism Quotes.

We would like to wish all of our Twins, Friends and Connections a Blessed Weekend…