“When Opportunity Calls, You Don’t Send It To Voice Mail”

I always answer my phone unless I’m with a client or inside a Prison. Why? Because every phone call is a lead. If I’m unavailable to answer my phone, my sister Cindy normally handles calls and in a pinch, my niece Leigh Ann. 

Cindy or Leigh Ann are always traveling with me across backroads of Texas. I never drive more than three hours from Fort Worth without a copilot. Why? I’m night blind. My vision is far less clear in the dark even with my glasses. 

I answer emails several times a day as well as phone calls, text messages and contact us link requests from five websites including questions about items for sale in my Texas Twins Treasures storefront. 

The pink multi bling bouquet featured in the profile of this blog is a handcrafted item available by special order through Texas Twins Treasures. Please note: bling bouquet orders are currently running 8-10 weeks. A deposit is required for any special order floral design. 

For those unaware of why my Texas Twins Treasures inventory is so eclectic, items listed were initially taken in trade or bartered in lieu of Event Services through The Pawning Planners.Cindy and I have also listed items we came across in our thrifting adventures. Yes, it’s a wild mix of items. All furniture items taken in trade go through an extensive refurbish process. We DO NOT SHIP FURNITURE but, we are happy to meet your freight company. 

Bouncing from Texas Twins Treasures inquiries to Texas Prison Weddings, Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners as well as numerous venues that I’m on staff at keeps me very busy but, it’s essential to field phone calls, emails, and text messages whether I’m available or not which is why you may be calling me but, speaking to another member on my team. 

Booking up and stacking my schedule for the first two weeks of this month, I knew that I was cutting it close by working right up to 3AM Monday to head to DFW Airport. Why 3AM? Our flight leaves at 6:15AM and I’m traveling with not only my twin but also my twin grandnieces, Maryssa and Makenna, my niece, Leigh Ann and her three year old daughter, Madyson. 

It’s a full trip of kids and I’m guessing, chaos but, hopefully with a carefully orchestrated itenarary, doable. 

Maddy CAN BE A HANDFUL so, I’m bringing an umbrella stroller AND a monkey backpack (aka leash) to keep up with her. 

Maddie’s mom, Leigh Ann refuses to discipline her but, at nearly three, Maddie needs boundaries. Note Makenna’s face (far right) at Maddie “acting out.” Maryssa and Makenna both know that Maddie can be a lot of work. If Maddie had been a twin or multiple I have no idea how Leigh Ann would have handled her. Maddie is far more “spirited” than my son, nieces or twin grandnieces ever were. 

The twins aren’t exactly “looking forward” to a plane ride with Maddie going nuts most likely but, traveling with toddlers is tedious as any parent, grandparent or guardian realize. 

Maryssa and Makenna both are accustomed to Maddie being more than a little “sparky.” They both roll their eyes at often embarrassing outbursts. I’m normally the most organized person I’ve ever met but, this year has really put a strain on me. It’s not my Clients either, it’s certain members of my own family. 

Cindy is usually my copilot but, not on my Huntsville trip. Why? Because Cindy was taking her daughter, Stephaney to court in Parker County. 

My niece, Leigh Ann and her daughter were my “riders” to Huntsville. Maddie can and does get cranky in her car seat but, seat kicking aside, Maddie is always with Leigh Ann. My niece goes to her gigs with Maddie in tow just as Cindy did with Maryssa and Malenna years ago. Bookings often involve not only Cindy and I but also occasionally, my niece Leigh Ann and Maddy or Maryssa and Makenna.

Since Cindy was dealing (yet again) the “trickle effect” with the drama and disaster her daughter, Stephaney being off the rails again and our father convinced strangers are living in his attic, stress from Yexad will follow us to California. We can’t escape the crazy texts and phone calls that have “shadowed” Cindy and I the past year. 

Stephaney, at thirty one years old is facing possible jail time for her months of shenanigans. She currently faces not only a DWI but also, a marijuana possession charge and her second Driving Without A License charge. Not knowing if our family member will be going to Prison is stressful.

Cindy and I are upset about Stephaney’s numerous court hearings for good reason. What is it? Seventeen years of her bad choices have taken every bit of pity we had left right out of both of us. Seriously. In and out of jail or in and out of a Psych Ward isn’t funny although other members of our family think it is. It’s debilitating for Cindy and I and upsetting to Stephaney’s twin daughters but, try telling that to other family members. 

Over the past eleven months, family issues with my niece and my father have consistently disrupted my life and my schedule as well as my twin sister, Cindy. 

Cindy and I both fully expected Stephaney to be arrested at this hearing. We’ve both watched her get handcuffed four times this year. It’s horrible to admit but, true. 

All four times were involuntary commitments. My niece is Bipolar One and refuses to take her medication. Stephaney has been out of control since last October. 

Ironically, last October, Stephaney traveled to California for filming with Cindy and I prior to going “off the rails” in a path of self destruction. It’s horrible to have a family member consistently disappointing you but, it’s our life. 

Stephaney was already on probation in Oklahoma when she decided to go off her meds and on a wild rampage of driving while intoxicated and other mysterious behavior that included her believing that she was being chased by invisible people. 

Surprisingly, my father believes invisible people are living in his attic. The fact that my dad and my niece are living together now with both of them having paranoid delusions isn’t lost on me. 

Wild texts from my father or my niece have been a regular occurrence the past year. Why they both decided to “flip out” in the same window I have no idea but, Cindy and I are sick and tired of dealing with the daily doses of drama and chaos dad or Stephaney have put on us. 

Other family members find this amusing. It isn’t. Ridiculous suggestions from my aunt to my brother or sister in law only infuriate my sister and I. 

Why? It’s easy to give advice to someone when you have no real idea what’s going on because you haven’t bothered to either call of visit these out of control family members and while you are sitting in the comfort of your home, my sister and I have been visitors to dad or Stephaney at eight Psych Wards the past year. 

If you have never been a visitor to a Psych Ward, then you have no real idea how stressful these visits actually are. Cindy does and I do too. 

By the way, whoever is scheduling daily visits at Psych Wards needs to knock it off. Patients expect their family members up there everyday. Family members feel guilty if they aren’t. 

Do everyone a favor and limit visits at Psych Wards to one day a week or even two but, seven days a week is a literal a$$ whipping. Seven days a week with two relatives in two different units? 

Yea buddy– it’s an emotional rollercoaster of crazy that I wish I could wipe from my memory but, I can’t. Cindy can’t either. 

Cindy and I have both been to Hell and back this year while juggling over a hundred clients and trying to act normal in front of our husbands and grandchildren as well as our clients hasn’t been easy. 

Mentally, I was already worried about not being with Cindy for moral support due to my schedule. I’ve never called in sick and I have never been late. CLIENTS ALWAYS COME FIRST. 

Cindy frequently checked in by phone to give me updates. I was quite sad that my sister was sitting all alone in a courtroom wondering if Steph would get arrested in front of her again but, helpless to change things. 

Unless you’ve dealt with an out of control family member, the stress is something you cannot and may never understand. My mother was mentally ill and a drug addict. Leaving the chaos of my childhood behind, I never imagined that we would be faced with uncertainties again but, Cindy’s daughter, Stephaney has really given both of us a “run for the money.”

I instructed Cindy to stay calm regardless of whether or not Stephaney was incarcerated and involuntarily committed again. Last week at another hearing, the judge threatened to arrest Stephaney because she was smirking. I spent an hour going over how not to act in a courtroom to prevent further issues. My niece often laughs at inappropriate moments. There isn’t anything funny going on in a courtroom. Contempt of Court isn’t a laughing matter either.

For those of my TDCJ Clients who follow this blog as well as my others, October is booked out. New bookings are being moved to November. McConnell Unit is still on lock down and it may be November before the lift occurs. 

I have a few updates and site changes. Due to my business shifting with TDCJ Weddings taking up most of my week Monday through Friday, Texas Twins Events is undergoing numerous site changes. 

If you’ve visited Texas Twins Events and it’s down, please be patient as we are working to make the site far more user friendly. 

Also, for my TDCJ Clients, a new link, WWW.TDCJOFFICIANT.COM will be added to Texas Twins Events in the coming weeks to address the large amount of traffic visitors who are specifically looking for Texas Prison Wedding Officiant Services.Of course, you can still contact me through any Wendy Wortham Website or on my FB Page, Texas Prison Weddings with Wendy Wortham.

If you had told me two years ago after merging Texas Twins Treasures and Texas Twins Events to create a barter option with The Pawning Planners that I WOULD AGAIN be rebranding and expanding to include Texas Prison Weddings, I most likely wouldn’t have believed it BUT the truth is that Texas Prison Weddings now take up the majority of my bookings. Because of this, accommodating my TDCJ Clients with a user friendly site is very important to me. We appreciate your patience. 

My life is a literal juggling act of family and four unique businesses blended together. The truth is that Clients come first and my family runs a close second. Why? I don’t have anyone to bump Prison Weddings to on my team and no one booking Prison Weddings wants anyone other than me to handle their service. Because of this, I’m booked out months and even up to a year ahead of time.

Last week, I even forgot my own husband’s birthday. If you missed the previous blog on my other site detailing why, here’s the link– Forgetting My Husband’s Birthday And Other Surprises.

The wedding ceremony at TDCJ Holliday Unit was scheduled for 2PM and the drive back to Fort Worth was a little over three hours, I suggested to my Florida bride that Leigh Ann and I meet for her photos ahead of the scheduled wedding at Holliday Unit by meeting at Fairfield Inn. 

While en route, my bride called an hour earlier from Houston to Huntsville and got an ETA from me. 

I took four calls booking three Units and another wedding at Mercado Event Center and Bell Tower Chapel And Garden while driving to Huntsville. 

My niece answered numerous emails from new clients and also several texts from my Beto Bride and Michael Unit Bride as well as a new clients in Gainsville and Stiles Unit. 

Juggling my schedule upon returning from California has me booked out the rest of October. I will be out of state working Destination Weddings and Events October 15th through October 21st. Leigh Ann is also booked and unavailable for bookings during this window as is Cindy. If you need someone for photography, my son and daughter are handling short notice bookings in our absence. 

Since my Florida bride had an extra hour on our arrival time, she went to the nail salon. We made arrangements to meet at noon at Fairfield Inn after I sent her several other options. I loved the lobby area. 

You may be wondering why we chose this particular hotel? The options in Huntsville are somewhat limited. I was looking at lighting particularly and warm tones to coordinate with the 6 bouquets I had packed for photos. 

What I’m looking for when choosing a location is color and background. Hotels are public locations and because of this, a great place for pictures. 

Not all Units are located near hotels though so, many times we do impromptu photos outdoors. 

What I didn’t know and couldn’t know was how my perfectly orchestrated schedule with everything else going on in my life would turn out yesterday. Who would? I’m OCD, I’m organized and I try to prepare for anything. 

Everything right up to meeting at Fairfield was right on schedule. Even my grandniece, Madyson jumped in to “pose” with my bride. We were all having a great time so, what could go wrong? Stay tuned ya all.Photos below are courtesy of my niece, Leigh Ann Blais– Maddie & Me Photography. 

Floral Designs provided by me as a courtesy from my Texas Twins Treasures Inventory. After finishing photos with my beautiful bride, Leigh Ann and Maddy at Fairfield, we still had about an hour until the wedding time at Holliday Unit. 

Because of this, my bride ran to run a few errands and I dropped Leigh Ann and Maddy off at Target near Fairfield Inn after taking them to lunch at Taco Cabana.

I still had what I thought was plenty of time to get to the Unit when I googled it and hit directions. Sitting in my SUV, navigation put me over twenty minutes from the Unit which surprised me but, like an idiot, I (wrongly) trusted Navigation Lady.

Jumping on the freeway as directed, I would drive 70-75 mph and up in order to be fifteen minutes early checking in. 

Subsequently, I was issued a speeding ticket. I literally didn’t have time for this but, was polite and cordial. 

I suggest everyone getting pulled over treats Highway Patrol and the police with courtesy and respect but, I was raised that way. “Did I know I was in a construction area? No. I was paying attention to navigation.”

The exit I was told to take was closed and I had to drive another 9 miles to the next exit. I was now beginning to REALLY PANIC! I’m never late.

Taking the exit as instructed, I found myself traveling down a rocky dirt road. Praying that the Unit was on the other end, I again checked the time. 

Driving down back roads, dirt roads and deep country, I actually thought to myself “if anyone really guessed at how unpredictable my days actually are- they’d have a whole new version of a day in the life of Wendy Wortham.” 

In the middle of the dirt road some ten minutes off the freeway, Navigation Lady said I had arrived? Omg. 

What happened next was me slamming on my brakes in horror and nearly driving sideways into a bar ditch and a tree. The time? 1:27PM. I’m supposed to be at least twenty minutes early to a Prison. 

Good Lord, I completely lost it. Late to an event? What would the Warden think? All of these years of exceeding any and all obstacles and NOW I WAS GOING TO BE LATE?! 

My normal composure flew right out of my SUV. Hyperventilating, I called my bride and told her I had not only been stopped for speeding but also, was lost.

I advised her that I would call the Unit and find my way. Nearly crying and definitely stuttering (as usual when I’m upset), I called Holliday Unit and asked for the Chaplain before getting cut off. My cell signal was weak and I kept losing the call. This only added to my despair. 

Checking my tire and the passenger side of my SUV, I had dented the right side and blown out my tire. More damage to my vehicle? Check. My husband is actually used to the repairs that driving to Prisons puts on my vehicles. I’ve been through 3 suv’s in 5 years. 

Now that I was crying, a farmer watching the entire incident stopped to help me. Luckily, the farmer that was most likely wondering what the Hell I was doing back there alone in the wilderness felt sorry for me and got me back on track. God Bless him. 

Driving to Texas Prisons, I’ve had 7 windshields, 2 blow outs and 2 new dents. I’ve put over 80k miles on 2 suvs and I’ve had some real adventures believe me. 

From the goat attacking my SUV at O.L. Luther Unit to the deer jumping out in front of me near Hodge Unit, to trucks hauling water to frack sites and throwing rocks into my windshield, when I tell you that I’ve really run into some unexpected incidents, I’m not kidding! 

I was so upset that I started throwing up driving back down the rocky dirt road asking myself “how far I was from the Unit?” 

I back tracked my way back to the freeway to get a signal and called the Unit again. This time, I was transfered to the Law Library. Begging for an actual address to put in my navigation, I explained that my Bride had flown from Florida for the wedding and to please, please allow her to marry although I was running late, lost and trying to find the Unit.

By the Grace Of God, I was told that they would wait for me whatever time I arrived and got the actual address. The kindness shown to me during what could have been a disastrous situation will never be forgotten. Holliday Unit staff went above and beyond to make this wedding happen. I’m forever grateful to this Unit.

Trying to calm myself, I sipped water while breathing in and out as slowly as possible driving some twenty minutes back to the Unit my Navigation had directed me away from. Leigh Ann called to check on me and was horrified to hear that I had not only got a speeding ticket while getting lost but also, dented my car again. As she worried about me calming myself down enough to perform the ceremony, I worked really hard to try and stop crying and get myself together. 

This has NEVER happened to me before IN eight years of traveling to people’s homes, venues OR Prisons.

Arriving at Holliday Unit, my bride was in the parking lot waiting on me. I nearly fell when I finally left my vehicle from the stress to be honest with you.

We walked up to show our ID to the guard in the birds nest to be cleared for entry to the Unit.

Last Wednesday, the bride had been advised that the groom would be behind glass. None of my clients are comfortable about being separated for their wedding. 

She actually considered cancelling the wedding because of the glass. I talked her out of it because I was concerned we would have trouble getting a new date. I have valid concerns. It’s not easy getting a date for a Prison Wedding.

A few weeks ago at Beto, one of my brides vomited after being escorted to the groom BEHIND GLASS.

It’s very upsetting. The first time I walked into a Unit where the groom was behind glass, I started crying myself. Prison Weddings are stressful but, at least my clients are happy and joyous. Nothing prepared me for the groom to be behind a glass partition. NOTHING. I was upset for my Bride, Nikia. 

But, I was the only one upset because Nikia knew ahead of time that the groom would be separated. Here are photos of my very first Wedding separated by glass at Ferguson Unit. The truth is that I was so shocked and upset by the glass that I’m not even in the photo! Why? I was too busy trying to not be upset for my client that’s why. For a person who had never been in a Prison prior to being asked to undergo the process and become a Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Approved Officiant, the glass was something wholly unexpected for me.

The glass is troubling to such an extent that I’ve had clients reschedule or cancel their Prison Wedding. Nikia wasn’t bothered by it but, she’s an exception. 

Thankfully, I recovered my emotions by the time I met Leigh Ann back at my SUV and we drove a few miles for Nikias bridal photos. Here they are.My Florida bride was so upset about the glass that she nearly rescheduled her wedding. The glass is incredibly upsetting. Couples can’t hold hands, hug or kiss.

I advised my Florida bride that if we cancel a few days prior to the wedding that it’s far harder to get approved for a new date. The Approval Process for a Prison wedding takes numerous signatures. It’s a process. 

For my clients who have cancelled or tried to reschedule their wedding, it’s a lengthy process. I warn against cancelling or reschedules because this can be far harder to do the second time around. Prison Weddings involve the entire Unit. 

I advised my Florida Bride not to cancel regardless of the glass because I had concerns about getting a new date for her wedding. 

Because of this, we were both shocked that the groom walked right out. My responsibility is to advise Units if there’s a cancellation or Heaven Forbid, I’m lost and running late. 

My phone call detailing the fact that I was lost and my bride had flown to Texas AND rented a car to get to this wedding was embarrassing for me a person who strives to be professional at all times and never late but, thank God I followed protocol and notified the Unit! 

The bride was THRILLED to hold her husband’s hand and hug him. They had both written their vows which brought the beauty to the ceremony. Here they are. My newlyweds. The brides smile says it all. Heading back to Fort Worth in the pouring rain after picking up my niece and grandniece, I was so relieved that everything worked out yesterday after everything going wrong that you can’t imagine.

An hour from Fort Worth, my beautiful bride called me to tell me she had driven to Houston to visit her grandmother and found her in the backyard with a broken shoulder. I was deeply saddened by this and the bride was actually calling to check on me and make sure we were safely headed home in my wrecked SUV? Yes, the people I meet are amazing. They are loving. They are kind. They are truly a Blessing. 

After everything that had happened and while following the ambulance with two hours sleep, my bride was worried that I was safe and okay? 

My photos from Fairfield are from my phone and I can’t wait to send my beautiful, compassionate and amazing new friend the photos from Leigh Ann’s camera. 

We are praying her grandmother is okay and after a wedding at Belltower Chapel today and Baptism tomorrow, I’m going to start packing and I’ve decided to wait to repair my SUV until I get back from California next weekend in order to focus on finishing my work week and prepare for Destination Events in San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point and San Clemente. 

Leigh Ann, Maddy, Maryssa and Makenna, Cindy and I are hoping it’s not raining when we head to DFW but, looking forward to a new week of new adventures in sunny Southern California far away from the drama and chaos my dad and Stephaney have interjected into our lives this year.

I’m looking forward to meeting my stepsister Tammy in Long Beach. We haven’t seen her since handling her daughters wedding last September and a brief visit last October while filming. 

Hopefully this work/vacation trip will give the twins a worry free week away from worrying about their mother, Stephaney. It’s sad to me that although Cindy and I have always been the parents aka MeMe’s to the twins but, they still worry so much about their mom and her choices that we’ve had to put them in counseling.

Will Stephaney get her life back together? I have no idea. I’ve spent hours and hours praying for resolution and peace with my niece and her choices to only be surprised yet again…