After a long day of trying to force a few of my family members into getting along with each other yesterday, I’m looking forward to a wedding this afternoon and shopping with my twin grandnieces today.
Cindy was taking her husband Steve for new glasses after his dental appointment to grind down his guns for dentures. It’s an appointment he’s put off for months. After researching this, I understood why. Steve lost his teeth in Iraq. He worked as a fuel tank driver at Camp Anaconda for eight years and was also in the roadside attack. Steve never planned on packing his bags for Iraq or losing his teeth but, jobs were scarce when Steve decided to save the farm by taking a job in Iraq.
His perfect teeth gone, Steve had struggled with the decision to have his remaining teeth pulled and getting dentures. Tainted water caused massive tooth loss to government contractors and service people.
Steve like many others, has struggled with the decision to finally get dentures. My brother in law will be relieved to finally get through the painful process of being fitted for dentures.
There wouldn’t be any Black Friday shopping for Steve or Cindy so, I decided to take the twins shopping. As usual, electronics topped the Christmas wish list.Juggling work and family, I was catching up with a few clients and trying to enjoy my day but, as usual, my family caused a ruckus again. The twins and Madyson are all looking forward to Christmas but, the same can’t be said for Cindy or I due to the ongoing bickering among our adult children.
Yesterday morning, my son, his wife and I got into an argument regarding “helping” my niece, Stephaney. My niece has had a year of disappointing behavior that has alienated her with more than a few of my family members.
I have no idea why my son and his wife became so upset that my sister and I were planning to pick up Stephaney to go to the movies on Thanksgiving. But, their opinions regarding Stephaney weren’t about to change my plans.
My sisters feelings (along wth my own) were hurt because no matter what happens, Stephaney will always be her daughter. Having your own relatives throw a fit about you spending time with your own daughter is so thoughtless that I can’t even describe how Cindy and I both felt about this unnecessary family feud.
Because of this “line in the sand,” about seeing my niece on a holiday that is normally spent with family and friends in the spirit of Thanksgiving, my son and his wife didn’t bother coming over to my home for Thanksgiving.
I wish I had asked my son or daughter why there was a problem about this rather than numbly listening to all of the reasons my son and his wife felt Stephaney should be cut out of family functions but, quite frankly, I was too shocked. Telling me they won’t come if my niece is at my home was a horrible way to start my day.
Marriage merges families. The good, the bad or the ugly. If your son or daughter are marrying, you not only gain a son or daughter but for a bonus prize, their family as well.
You can either be thankful for your “bonus family” or not but, they are the new family marriage gifts you. Inlaws or Outlaws? You will soon find out. Stephanie’s family and I don’t get along. Truthfully, we never have but, I bite my tongue regarding these Outlaws that will never work at getting along. My son’s marriage divided my family.
The wedding was also the hardest event I’ve ever had and the hurt feelings caused that day are the sole reason that my nieces who were close to my son have lost him to Stephanie. Spending time with their cousin meant spending time with Stephanie.
My son was raised in a close knit family. His wife wasn’t. Her family is a virtual Hodge Podge of opinionated and strong willed people. My family tries to get along with anyone but, we have limits. The wedding was a real eye opener of chili stirring for me.
By the time my niece, Leigh Ann married, Cindy and I worried that another rift would occur. It didn’t. We loved Alex’s mom and family and Alex fit right in to our family. He worked at getting along with my daughter in law too but, Stephanie can be hard to get along with.
Family feuds are common at family functions for reasons I don’t understand. My opinion is that if you don’t have anything nice to say then it’s best to shut up.
However, underlying hostility is often fueled by alcohol and celebratory drinks at family functions which is why I frown upon drinking at my home and although I’ve quietly suggested “that’s enough” my suggestions aren’t always taken seriously.
My nieces, daughter in law, and son have always had issues with one another but, things became far worse after my son married. My nieces don’t get along with my daughter in law and refuse to put forth any effort. On the flip side, my daughter in law puts no effort into getting along with my nieces. My son is (like me) caught in the middle. It’s a war zone.
My niece, Leigh Ann’s husband Alex manages to get along well with our entire family but, my daughter in law can’t “blend in” for some reason I don’t understand.
Alex fits in by keeping opinions to himself. Alex loves having a big family. My daughter in law, not so much.
It’s well known that I frown on Open Bars at our events because liquor along with Inlaws and Outlaws can fuel the fire. How badly? Enough for me to NOW REQUIRE security at any Open Bar Events Booking.
I’ve been at too many events the last 8 years with drunks throwing punches or chairs, heckling me or the couple during the ceremony, and/or getting into verbal or physical altercations with guests, the wedding party or even myself or my team when trying to restore order to chaos.
The deal breaker regarding Open Bars without security actually occurred last year in Fort Worth after 6 people were arrested for starting a drunken brawl.
That event was “it” for me. My husband was horrified that I was in the same room and possibly in danger with fists flying at what was supposed to be a joyous wedding.
No event, booking or gig is worth putting myself or my team in harms way. I’m seasoned and experienced enough to spot problems in the planning process by asking if there is going to be conflict among the guests or a “buffet of free booze” AKA an Open Bar.
Alcohol is the #1 problem at weddings I’ve encountered. If you MUST have alcohol at your event, hiring on site security is in my contract and it is now non negotiable.
My work merges with my family. We work Events together and we spend time together. I schedule my son and daughter in law or my niece or even my grandnieces, Maryssa and Makenna at Princess Parties. Cindy and I work as a Team.
Drinking has become a problem at family events since my niece and son were old enough to “tap the bar.” Family Events are always at my home. Cindy and I have had this tradition for years and after last years “Christmas Chaos” and now this years Thanksgiving argument about spending time with my niece, it became clear to me that my son and daughter in law need to lighten up. After all, they’ve started a few arguments too.
Stephaney’s drinking last Christmas was what actually led to a few loose lips and altercations between my niece and other shocked relatives in my own home last year.
One can only assume that my squabbling relatives would be far more relaxed if they weren’t two fistedly drinking alcoholic beverages in my home at family events. I’m actually considering limiting or cutting alcohol completely at family functions in my home from this point forward because my daughter in law and niece could practically win a booze guzzling competition.
My husband’s description is far better than mine so, here it is “it’s almost as if they have been on a desert island for months. I walked through the bar area and Stephaney Mahaney was drinking from both hands. Stephanie Hafele was running a close second. It makes me feel like the only reason they bother coming over is to pillage the liquor, get drunk and get into an argument. I don’t want to start an argument with you about this but, certain members of your family are difficult to get along with sober. They are impossible when they are drunk and there is a liability involved. If someone gets drunk at our home, gets into an argument with another relative, leaves in a huff and gets into an accident, WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE because they were drinking at our home. I’m strongly suggesting that you lay down the law and advise them that coming over here to get blasted on our dime isn’t appreciated and is no longer an option. We should start a cash bar and make them pay for their drinks because I’m pretty certain it would cut the problem in half if not altogether. Last Christmas I said something to Stephaney Mahaney about slowing down on the martinis and got my head bit off in my own house with her explanation to me being that she “doesn’t like being around so and so and getting drunk is the only way she can deal with them.” I suggested not coming over at all if she had to be drunk to attend our family functions.”
Yep. My husband doesn’t beat around the bush. He gets right to the point and since he has no family of his own coming over on holidays- he’s really getting fed up about ruined holidays year after year. My husband cannot understand why someone has to start an argument at every family event. I can’t either.
My son or my niece or even my daughter in law have a million reasons why they can’t get along with each other if only for a few hours. The excuses are lame at best. “So and so makes me uncomfortable. Leigh Ann said this or that to my wife. Stephaney is being rude. I need a drink or five.”
My husband and I hate to see everyone gathered at the bar rather than with the rest of our family but, up until this point, we hid our disappointment. Warily, we watched the adult children march right past the den, family room and kitchen and go straight to the bar.
After last Christmas, we also have been working on a plan to limit arguments, hurt feelings and upsetting the other family members.
I will now strictly limit my family to a 2 drink maximum in order to limit conflict with a relative who has had a few too many. I have no choice really. If I don’t, my husband will.
For years now, every holiday get together has either my son, his wife or one of my nieces stirring the chili and I’m sick of it.
Three years ago, I somehow managed to get my son, daughter in law, nieces and grandnieces to a photo shoot.
Trying to force everyone to get along and smile would’ve probably won America’s Funniest Home Videos had we filmed it.
But, Cindy and I were too busy telling everyone to get along and look happy to film a video. Here’s the adult kids photo below.
They look happy right? It’s because Cindy and I were on the sidelines coaching them to look happy.
My niece Leigh Ann (far right) has lost 100 lbs since this photo was taken. Her weight along with her sisters have caused many fights with my daughter in law. Why? Because she makes fat jokes.
Cindy has a million “family related Cindyism Quotes.” Why? Observing our feuding adult kids gives her new material. Seriously. Cindy sits and listens. She’s heard a lot over the years and literally “came up with the quote below last Christmas.” I’m unable to force my nieces, son and daughter in law to get along and I’m also considering scheduling time slots for Christmas to limit any animosity. My husband came up with the idea after a lengthy conversation today that included limiting drinking.
Yesterday, my son and his wife were upset that I was taking my niece to the movie. Although everyone was invited to join us, my other niece along with my son and his wife decided not to “because Stephaney was going.”
This morning, my husband said “it’s the day after Thanksgiving and here we are dreading Christmas and chaos with your family. It’s high time we segregate the people who refuse to get along and ruin EVERY HOLIDAY. Robbie and Stephanie Hafele can come to Christmas from 10AM-12PM. Leigh Ann, Cindy, Steve, Maryssa and Makenna can come from 12PM-2PM. Stephaney Mahaney can come from 2PM-4PM. This way, no one is fighting and arguing and we have no conflict. Yesterday, your son and his wife upset you and Cindy over taking Stephaney to a movie and didn’t bother coming to Thanksgiving. Guess what? It was the BEST holiday I’ve ever had since we married. Do you know why? Everyone got along. Everyone had a great day and you still had time to spend with your niece while your grandnieces made cookies and Steve watched football. I want the Happy Holiday that everyone except our family has. In order to obtain it, we need to schedule your family members. Trying to throw everyone in the same house at the same time is like putting 3 cats in a box together.”
Although this truth hurt, Matthew was right. He’s quiet. He’s observant and he’s wise. My husband is burned out on bummed holidays in our home.
For years now, I’ve hoped my family would get along. It’s hard to accept the fact that our family refuses to get along although the truth was right in front of face.
My desire for a close knit family is something I’ve wanted my entire life. My family though have a different view. The adult children “act like children” year after year after year. I cannot get my entire family to get along and it is my greatest disappointment.
I’ve tried my entire life to have a “perfect holiday” and although I don’t feel that expecting my family to get along for a few days a year is impossible, it actually is.
All I ask them to do is bother to show up and get along. My husband and I do everything else. We decorate, we cook, we shop and we try to create the perfect happy home.
There are only 5 days that I ask my feuding family members to “call a truce.” My birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mothers Day, & Easter are the ONLY days out of the year that I expect peace and harmony and, I’ve yet to enjoy a conflict free moment on any the 5 days of the year I’ve begged for a fun filled- drama free day.
I’ve decided that this Christmas, if my nieces, son and daughter in law cannot and will not agree to be nice to each other in our home that perhaps my son and his wife can come open gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. The rest of my family can visit in blocks.
As usual, anyone wanting to go to the movies is welcome to come. What they aren’t welcome to do is argue about who else is going. Cindy and I always go to the movies on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Hopefully, this Christmas will be as “mostly pleasant” as Thanksgiving was without Robert, Stephanie, Leigh Ann and Stephaney bickering with one another or saying they “won’t come over if so and so is coming.” Trying to make the rules at my home? Shocking right?
My husband and I along with Cindy and Steve buy all of the food, do all of the cooking and yet, our adult children try to make demands?
It’s impossible to have my entire family in one place at the same time without an argument so, I’ve given up, I’ve joined my husband and I’ve decided that we may have to start separating certain members because we have no other options.
I’m certain that one day on my deathbed, I will beg my son and his wife and my nieces to get along and they will choose not to. It’s devastating to me that they aren’t as close as I am to my cousins but, it’s out of my hands.
My son and nieces all compete with one another. My son and his wife also are either “getting along with Stephaney” or “getting along with Leigh Ann.” What they aren’t doing and never have done is “get along with Stephaney and Leigh Ann at the same time.”
My son recently was gifted a fairly new model truck. “Well, wouldn’t you know that Robbie, the Golden Child would get something nice. He’s so spoiled.” Or my son about my niece, Leigh Ann, “she has the latest electronics, she’s been to Japan and she gets whatever she wants, Leigh Ann is so spoiled.” Or my other niece, Stephaney about Leigh Ann and Robbie, “they are always the favorites. Whatever Leigh Ann wants she gets. Robbie is spoiled rotten. He always gets his way.” None of the above is actually true.
All three of our adult children are carefully treated the same by both Cindy and I. Robbies father gave him the truck I didn’t. But, Leigh Ann and Stephaney both resent Robbie having something nicer than them.
I’m guessing by Christmas, Leigh Ann will trade her VW for a new SUV in order to “compete” with Robbie and I’m probably right. It’s a never ending race for the best phone, the nicest car, the better apartment or home, the most fabulous vacation, etc.”
All three adult children and my daughter in law should be celebrating the success of the other but, they aren’t. I don’t understand it.
Gift shopping for all three and my daughter in law REQUIRE Cindy and I to make sure that one gift isn’t better than the other. Yes, it’s stressful. Cindy and I hate gift comparisons but, since our children were young, the competition has been never ending.
With Stephaney, Stephanie and Leigh Ann, the clothes, shoes, purses and other gifts are nearly identical intentionally. Why? To prevent arguments over “so and so got a better or more expensive gift than I did.”
What makes this “gift grumbling” really ironic is that Stephanie, Stephaney, Leigh Ann and Robbie can find the smallest differences in their bounty and find a reason to come to Cindy or I complaining about it.
This “gift grumbling” makes every Christmas and even birthdays a genuine competition. “Oh you took Leigh Ann to Japanese Palace for HER birthday and took me to Saltgrass?” You get the point.
This “competition chaos among our kids” has become intolerant to such an extent that I now have to plan separating my nieces & my son and his wife coming to WorthamWorld in sets to open their Christmas gifts a month ahead of time by making plans the day after Thanksgiving.
I’m a planner and often ask a lot of questions when working with clients. Why? Conflict resolution. I need a Plan A, B, C, & D. With my family, no amount of planning can prepare for the yearly arguments that always destroy my perfectly planned holiday get togethers.
Cindy and I are both sad about all this bickering but, we are ready to give up forcing our family to get along at this point in our lives.
Rather than remembering a horrible holiday, we have decided to start doing whatever possible to have happy holiday memories.
The “family meeting” this week laying out the rules is sure to be stressful but, if I don’t call the meeting, my husband will.
If the only solution to this problem is to separate our “squabbling sibling” scenarios by separating them, it will be a decision they’ve made by refusing to be nice. I’m up in the air about this Christmas but, hoping for the best (as usual).
My Torres Unit Bride checked in this morning on my schedule the next 1-2 months. I’m updating my Texas Twins Events TDCJ Clients in today’s blog.
I’m booked out through December 15th and new clients are being moved to January.
Most Units block out wedding ceremonies during the holidays. If a Unit is on Lock Down, you will still file your I60 to take a place in line once the Lock Is Lifted.
My niece, Leigh Ann is now offering mini sessions for the holidays. If you are interested in booking, please visit her page on FB– Maddie & Me Photography.
Complimentary photos are offered to Pawning Planners Clients as well as Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham.
Texas Twins Events Clients pay an hourly fee of $75 for photography. Photo discs are available for $25 of all photos as a courtesy to clients. We do not copyright photography.
I’ve had a few questions regarding the location of Prison Wedding Photo Shoots. First, the ONLY photos with the inmate are inside Units or outdoors in the picnic area. Inmates CANNOT LEAVE UNITS for photography or any other reason. UNIT PHOTOS are available at MOST PRISONS but, PRIVATE UNITS may not offer photography. Purchase of Unit Photos are at a fee of $3 each in quarters. DO NOT BRING PAPER MONEY to the Prison. Please be aware of this.
Please don’t forget bring your Marriage License to your TDCJ Wedding. Without it, your TDCJ Wedding will be rescheduled.
Secondly, we use areas near Prisons for photography. From railroad tracks to wooded areas, most locations for photography are within 5 miles of the Unit.
Bouquets, props, scarves, furs, holiday decor and other “photo booth” items are a courtesy to clients. I bring everything that you need but, I encourage you to bring items you might want including change of clothes for photography or photos of your incarcerated fiancée to “personalize” your photo shoot with our Team.
Changing leaves and trees bring beauty to our outdoor photo shoots. Often, I will show you how to pose or what to do by example.
I’ve worked in film and print modeling for over 30 years and am more than a little comfortable on camera. If you are uncertain of how to pose, I will either help Leigh Ann or Cindy pose you or shoe you what to do by example. We want you to be thrilled with your photos.
The photo below took nearly an hour to get right. Lighting and other factors including wind often affect getting a great photo.
Be patient during your photo shoot because we are looking at background, lighting and other aspects to get a clear photo. Movement requires changing the camera settings into sport mode. Numerous poses are often necessary in order to get a “money shot.” We may do a variety of similar poses to find the best photo. Be patient and try to have fun. It’s your day and we want you to have wonderful memories which is why we offer complimentary photography to TDCJ Clients.
My twin sister or my niece, Leigh Ann will act as the photographers at your mini shoot. I will be handing you numerous items or helping you with poses while adjusting your clothes or primping your hair. You work with a team at photo shoots to ensure you look your best.
Many of my clients have never had a photo shoot and are surprised to have so much fun with us on location.
Be yourself and celebrate your wedding. It’s your wedding day and, we want you to have a good time. We often “test photo poses” using my twin grandnieces, my sister or I before having clients reenact a shot.
Occasionally, even I try a pose for Leigh Ann to check her camera as I did in the photo below. From leaves to branches and other unexpected items, we are open minded on variations.
To bring color to your shoot, I bring a wide variety of colorful scarves and bouquets to keep your photos fresh and unique.
From bubbles to flower petals to bouquets and even bouteniers for our Grooms, you have a choice of numerous options for your photos.
If there happens to be a hotel or courthouse near the Unit, we are happy to meet you at a different location as long as it happens to be close to the Unit.
I’m often driving up to 6 hours one way for a Prison Wedding and try to keep photo shoots within close range to Units for timeline purposes.
We will take 12-25 photos of you in various poses and I will mail you copies of your photos. If you like, I can send a disc as opposed to printed photos.
The bartering option comes up frequently for TDCJ Clients who want to know more. Bartering was established for Texas Twins Events Clients who couldn’t afford to pay for services four years ago.
I expanded by merging Texas Twins Treasures and Texas Twins Events to create The Pawning Planners.
Clients wishing to barter event services undergo an Appraisal Appointment with Cindy and I. We walk the prospected trade to decide whether it will work for us or not.
Please be aware that any and all trades offered aren’t accepted. Bartered items are “flipped” for sale at Texas Twins Treasures. If there isn’t a market for your item, we will work out another solution.
Transportation of larger items incurs an additional fee. Items in need of extensive refurbish are also discounted due to their current condition.
We do not accept livestock, firearms or moonshine items in lieu of services. Please be aware of this and use this site to upload a photo of the item or items you are considering bartering.
Cindy and I love to dig through your stuff and try to find something of value however, Pawning Planners Clients are located within 2 hours of our location in Fort Worth.
The reason for this is our travel expenses. We do not barter Destination Event Services.
Destination Event Services are booked solely through Texas Twins Events and incur travel fees and accommodations.
If you’ve seen photos of my Team and I in another state, the event was booked through Texas Twins Events.We also do not offer a venue to Pawning Planners Clients. The reason for this is the cost. Renting a venue can run from $750-8k based on the location. If you are bartering your Event, the event will take place at a free location.
Many of you have asked why our Pawning Planners Clients have unique locations. The reason? The location was FREE.
From a C-130 to a karate studio, barn, backyard, parking lot or even a jail or Prison, the client didn’t book a venue. Parks are also free. If you’ve seen a photo of me at a venue, the client either paid to rent the location OR it was a venue that I’m on staff at. I.E. the location wasn’t FREE to the client.
I’m on staff at several venues in the DFW Area and clients booking me or anyone on my team in the area have already secured (and paid for) the location. Pawning Planners Clients are effectively “worked in” to our schedule. What this means is that paying clients are booked first.
Pawning Planners Clients REQUIRE flexibility with our schedules meaning they must get in line according to our availability.
Texas Twins Treasures deliveries are also scheduled “around” bookings with Texas Prison Weddings, Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners.
We are happy to meet your freight company and offer delivery services for a fee within the DFW Area.
I’m hoping that Christmas with my family is drama free this year and looking forward to hilarious dating stories from my niece, Stephaney since the twins decided to set her up on online dating sites yesterday.
Although, Cindy and I never tried online dating, it’s provided plenty of laughs for us when our dad and my niece, Leigh Ann tried it years ago.
I’m hoping my son and his wife soften their views on Stephaney and her issues of being Bipolar but, arguing with me regarding visiting my niece was uncalled for.
Years ago, my son and his wife handled our photography but, for two years, my niece Leigh Ann has as my son and his wife rebranded and expanded to work as an Officiant/Photography Team together.
Robert and Stephanie (below) also handle Destination Events as a Team and enjoy traveling together.
Robert is not only an Officiant on our Team but also an experienced photographer and can also handle set up or tear down on location. His wife, Stephanie handles photography and floral design on location.
Leigh Ann works solo and books out quickly. Leigh Ann is also a wedding Officiant.
My niece also handles jail weddings as does my son. I am the ONLY Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Approved Officiant on our staff.
The reason for this is that TDCJ Clients want only me to Officiate their ceremony and there is no need to add additional TDCJ Officiants at this time.
My niece, Leigh Ann has recently lost 100 lbs and is also a model on Instagram as is ger daughtet, Maddy. Leigh Ann (below with my Hutchins Bride) enjoys working photography with TDCJ Clients.
Leigh Ann’s daughter, Maddy is sure to give us a few hilarious holiday photos again this year but, since I was asked for a few of my favorites, here they are.It’s hit and miss with Maddy on photos and since I’m often with my twin sister or niece, my three grandnieces may be on location with us as well since Leigh Ann brings her daughter with her wherever she goes.
We work as a family which clients realize and it’s not uncommon for Maddy to jump into photos with clients on location to “strike a pose” either. My favorite Thanksgiving Photos yesterday? With my feisty Beagle Foxy Wortham and my brother in law, Steve Daniel. We’ve added a wide array of holiday props for our mini photo sessions and look forward to meeting ya all soon for your Dream Event with Texas Twins Events/The Pawning Planners and wish all of our twins, friends, families and clients a wonderful holiday season filled with love and laughs from our families to yours…
Comments by Wendy Wortham