Wanderings, Weight Loss, Water Features & Weddings…

Saddling up from Fort Worth, Cindy and I headed to view a funky trade proposition sent through The Pawning Planners on our way to a Wedding Rehearsal in Arlington. 

We are not only twin sisters and partners but also best friends. Cindy and I do everything together. It’s rare for me to consider a water feature but, for over fifteen years I sold water features and upscale patio furniture for Texas Patios and Yard Art. 

I was the top salesperson and my greatest talent is actually selling or brand promotion. Knowing the value of a items taken in trade is key to flipping for a profit. It’s not unusual for flips to become flops now and then but, when it comes to upscale patio furniture, fountains, antiques and other large items, I’ve “rarely flopped a flip.”

This barter involved another family reunion in exchange for a beautiful fountain. I knew the value of the fountain and also that moving it would require at least four men which is why I planned to sell it straight from the Clients home.It’s well known that I will do anything to keep from moving large items and renting box trucks. Hiring help costs money up front. My “plan” will work because this item is no longer available as the maker has long since gone out of business and many homeowners want this particular fountain.

Last year, I flipped two fountains and both sold right off the Clients properties. The more ornate or elaborate the fountain, the better the selling price.Cindy and I have worked bouncing from Wellbridge to visit our dad to Sundance to visit her other daughter, Stephaney. 

I’m honest regarding what’s going on in my life since my personal life often revolves around Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures, Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham and The Pawning Planners. 

Working with your entire family of three generations isn’t always easy when your son or daughter in law think your niece is a narcissist. 

My son has been jealous of Leigh Ann for most of his life. “Leigh Ann has never had to pay rent. She has the latest electronics because she doesn’t have the responsibilities everyone else does.” 

These ongoing arguments are often referred to as squabbles by Cindy or I. Holidays are Hell with three adult children competing about who got the best gift of birthday party. 

Leigh Ann thinks my son is spoiled. “Robbie has been to Hawaiia four times and the Caymen Islands as well as other fabulous places including Acapulco.” 

My son’s take on his cousin? “Leigh Ann has been to Japan twice and has the newest phone the minute it’s available. I left home at eighteen and have been paying my own bills all of my life. Leigh Ann should pay rent or go live with her husband on base.”

Meanwhile…my other niece, Stephaney is back in treatment to level out on her medication after going off her Bipolar One meds again. 

I told my son that “Cindy and I are juggling clients from four businesses while visiting dad or Stephaney in Psych Wards everyday and the last thing either of us need us advice about what to do with Leigh Ann. 

Cindy and I are overwhelmed trying to keep the family together while addressing our clients needs. My advice to my son? “I wish all three of you adult children would work harder at getting along. You could go visit dad or Stephaney and give Cindy or I the day off for a visit. Coming over to complain about Leigh Ann to me is unwelcome. I’m having surgery next week and juggling far too many commitments at the same time. One day, Cindy and I won’t be here to force you three to get along and this family is going to fall apart without our constant nagging to work at your relationships and put your competing natures aside. Stephaney would love a visit as would dad but nobody aside from Cindy and I have made any effort to go visit either of them.” I meant it. 

My niece, Leigh Ann had gastric bypass surgery last December. Since then, any “fat photos” I post on social media garner a quick call from Leigh Ann who is famous for posting “blackmail pics” of other family members to take it down. I don’t and here’s why, my twin sister and I went on a weight loss journey and have fat photos as well as skinny photos all over the internet. 

Cindy and I compromise the TwinTeam of The Pawning Planners, Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures. We work together as Event Coordinators, Floral Designers, Appraisers and more. 

At nearly fifty four years old, Cindy and I are also in menopause. We’ve struggled through weight gain in our midlife and fought to lose it the “natural way.”

Leigh Ann loves taking photos of us with her when we are makeup free and looking like heck while she is “runway ready.” After years of looking haggard next to my niece with her false eyelashes and perfectly coiffed hair, I now decline her much loved selfies. Why? Because I realize that by taking a photo with someone looking swell while you’ve been staining and stripping a trade in the workroom on top of being twenty years older than my niece, makes Cindy and I look worse! 

Don’t get me wrong, Cindy and I can “fix ourselves up” and always do when working Events where “being on” is expected.When Cindy and I are working on Floral Designs or refurbishing furniture though, “fixing ourselves up” is the last thing we are thinking about.

Yesterday, after having her hair and make up done, Leigh Ann “dropped by” my workroom and wanted a photo with Cindy and I. Covered in stain and stripper working on an old club chair, I strongly declined. I’m not the “selfie” type when I am fixed up and neither is Cindy. In fact, we hate selfies and FaceTime. At our age, every wrinkle shows on a “close up.” 

Last week, Leigh Ann told me that her husband who has been in the Navy for over eight years is getting a sign on bonus that she plans to use for a “Mommy Makeover.” 

My twin sister, Cindy has wanted a tummy tuck for years but couldn’t afford to have the surgery because she has been raising her twin granddaughters for fourteen years without benefit of child support from either of their parents. 

I couldn’t afford to pay for my sister’s tummy tuck because my husband and I help Cindy and her husband, Steve with money and have for the fourteen years they’ve had custody of the twins. We have responsibilities that keep us from spending money on ourselves. 

Leigh Ann had the surgery that Cindy and I had both tried to get but couldn’t because BCBS has a “weight loss rider.” 

Now, Leigh Ann is having the makeover that we both wanted but have too many financial  responsibilities to afford. 

Cindy’s oldest daughter, Leigh Ann, lives with Cindy and Steve, Maryssa and Makenna and Leigh Ann’s two year old daughter, Madyson rent free. That’s right, at thirty three years old, my niece has never paid rent.

Alex lives on base in Lemore, California. Leigh Ann has the only car with her in Texas. How this marriage is working, I have no real clue.

Over the past year, Leigh Ann has had her lips “plumped up” and her smile lines filled at a cost of over $650 a pop. She isn’t really old enough to need these fillers but, Leigh Ann is all about Leigh Ann. 

Many of Cindy’s #Cindyism Quotes regarding narcissistic behavior are based on Leigh Ann. “gets TURNED on FASTER than CABLE tv, LOOKING at THEIR own REFLECTION!” Or “just BECAUSE you BOUGHT a TICKET to the MOVIE, doesn’t MAKE you, the STAR of the SHOW!” 

As usual, no one in our family recognizes that many of my sisters hilarious Life Quotes are based on them. “your EGO is NON-NEGOTIABLE, and can’t BUY happiness, MUCH less PAY for ANYTHING else.” 

Last night, my son and his wife once again, tried to give me advice on telling Cindy to force Leigh Ann to pay rent but, after all of these years, Cindy won’t. 

The joy of Cindy’s life is two year old Madyson and the twins, Maryssa and Makenna. That baby, Little Maddy lights up our life and while having a married thirty three year old and her baby “boomerang” back into Cindy’s home was an unexpected development, my sister effectively rolls with the punches of higher electric bills and no help with the housework or expenses of having all three of her grandchildren living with her.

Leigh Ann books more photography gigs than Robbie and his wife, Stephanie because Leigh Ann markets herself on her FB Page Maddie & Me Photography. 

Robbie and Stephanie never post promotions because they are so busy working their other part time gigs. Stephanie works as a mermaid at Sea Quest and Robbie works for his father at Mr G’s, my husband at McBee Homes as well as working as a consultant and Officiant for me at Texas Twins Events. 

Their FB Page is maintained by me because they are both too busy to post promotions which is why they have far less bookings than Leigh Ann. Here’s their FB Page RC & Steph Photography. 

The competition for likes between Leigh Ann, Robbie and Stephanie is an ongoing issue between them.My FB Page for Texas Twins Events isn’t geared towards “getting likes.” I post tips for budget brides and our events for Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners. Here’s the link– Texas Twins Events & The Pawning Planners.

I operate an entirely different FB Page for Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham because TDCJ Weddings are Creative Requests and an extension of Texas Twins Events. Here’s the link– Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham.

Juggling Texas Prison Weddings, Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners and Texas Twins Treasures as well as my family isn’t easy. 

Trying to force everyone to get along on location is an ongoing ordeal. Leigh Ann won’t work with my daughter in law and my son won’t work with Leigh Ann without an argument. 

Leigh Ann thinks her photos are better than Robbie and Steph while Robbie and Steph think their photos are better. Grrr. 

Leigh Ann’s Photos are edited prior to listing while Stephanie “doesn’t believe in edits because they are too time consuming.”I’m known as the Captain or Boss Lady by my entire family because I expect Event photos to be posted within a week. 

My stringent guidelines make for ongoing arguments with my daughter in law while Leigh Ann understands the importance of getting clients their photos quickly.

Complimentary cds of edited and non edited photos are mailed to clients as a courtesy. 

My timeline for mailing cds from either Robbie and Steph or Leigh Ann are within ten days. After five days, I’m calling or texting “reminders.” 

I’ve been told by my niece, daughter in law, and son that working for me isn’t easy. I’m a stark professional. I’m early, diligent and determined to exceeding clients expectations. I expect the same from my entire family.

Maybe that makes me “bossy” but, in order to grow your business, Commitment is essential to success regardless of how many of my family members complain about “how hard working for me is.”

I asked my niece Leigh Ann “what’s Alex getting with his bonus.” The answer? “A sexy wife.” My niece is committed to doing whatever it takes to look and feel beautiful. Meanwhile… I’m concerned that if she doesn’t stop, she may wind up looking like a Kardashian..