make a toast to August 2, 2013

Bloodhound Cocktails

“I can’t believe you haven’t written about it on your blog!” my friend Broderick said to me on one of his visits to the house. Not the most recent one and probably not the time before that. Months ago, really.  Sat at the island in the kitchen, I looked at him and gave him the tight smile/shoulder shrug combo and held up my hands as if to say “…weeellll…”.  I didn’t know what to say. I kind of still don’t.

He had a point. I’ve been really honest and straightforward here on the blog…for years. I’ve talked about lots of stuff here that’s been really heavy. Me and this blog – we’ve been through a lot. So why was I at a loss for words now about this thing that was so huge, monumental, ENORMOUS even? Heck, I still am.

So here goes: we’re getting married. MARRIED.

On the most insanely quirky day last fall, under the guise of a pig roast, Mike proposed. The guys also set the pig on fire which started the day off with a moment I can only describe as “Benny Hill-esque”. After the smoke cleared and folks gathered, we had drinks and games and a toast that ended up being a proposal. Mike is a master of the surprise party and this was no exception. I was SURPRISED. Genuinely. Really.

I said yes (YES!) and there were some happy tears and more games and drinks and hovering over a (extra crispy) BBQ-ed pig eating it straight out of the pit and a couple phone calls and a photo or two.

This wedding that I’m just now talking about is the most Instagram-ed, Facebook-ed wedding that I haven’t talked about here yet. So why the radio silence here about something that I’m so stinkin’ proud of and happy about? Hell, this post has been sitting here waiting for me to pour my heart out for weeks.

Truthfully, I don’t have any words to describe how I feel. I’ve been stumped as to how I’m supposed to talk about something so important to me. We’ve been together for four-ish years. Somewhere in the beginning of it all, I think I said to him that I never thought I’d get married. It’s true – I didn’t. Not because I didn’t believe in it.  I can say with great certainty that, although my parents were married up until my mom passed away, my family model wasn’t always the best. The view of marriage from where I stood was a really tumultuous, turbulent one.

The months and years after my mom’s death and then my father’s were, frankly, a really dark time for me. Much more so than I ever let on. Wondering where I was supposed to be in life, feeling like an orphan, trying to hold tight to the family of friends I’ve chosen, trying harder to make good choices. That empty feeling of loss compounded by more loss. Feeling cheated that my parents weren’t around anymore and weren’t going to see the next however many years so what’s the damn point. Being generally kind of a mess and diving into work to mask it a bit.

bridesmaid scroll from Choosing You on ETSY

Meeting Mike happened at a time that wasn’t ideal for either of us – each of us processing our own grief and kinds of loss. We were friends first – months of notdating – and I always found myself wanting to talk to him. We sat at his house for countless hours under the little roof on his back porch and talked. And talked. And talked. One day, I just didn’t want to leave…so I didn’t. There have been some bumps along the way and, in the end, I’m very lucky that he loves me despite myself. I’m lucky I let myself finally be loved in a really meaningful way – a way that I don’t think I really saw growing up and a way I probably would have sabotaged any other time because of that. Loved by a person that makes me a better person just by association.

See? The words just don’t do it justice. They just don’t.

So in less than two months (!!!), in a flurry of glitter and sparkles and mismatched plateware and an ever-expanding collection of milk glass, we’re getting MARRIED. Now that I’ve spilled the beans here, I’ll probably be chatting about the stress of wedding crafts and the like. Next month, most of our most favorite people will be getting together to be a part of this really remarkable day, eat some BBQ, listen to great music and make a toast to us spending our lives together – much like they did the day we got engaged (except with less fire, hopefully).

English Bloodhound – makes 1 – recipe inspired by Miller Union in Atlanta, Georgia

While wedding photos are being taken by this talented guy, our guests will be enjoying a cocktail reception. This one, which happens to be one of my wedding colors, is in the running. I had this over ice at Miller Union and it was fantastic – you can serve it up like I did here, as well.

  • 1 ounce gin – Bluecoat is a favorite of ours
  • 1/2 ounce Campari
  • 1 1/2 ounces pink grapefruit juice

– In a shaker or large glass, combine ingredients and stir well to combine. Strain into a cocktail coupe or over ice in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a bit of peel or a cherry or nothing at all. Enjoy.

 *I asked my ladies to be in my bridal party by giving them these scrolls – they turned out beautifully. They’re made by Choosing You on Etsy


Wendy Aug 2, 2013 10:08 am

So excited for you both and also so grateful for you sharing your experiences with the planning madness with me – it definitely calmed me down! I wish you all every happiness and remember – the day will be perfect, not because of cakes, dresses or flowers, but because you are marrying the love of your life.

Cody Aug 2, 2013 10:08 am

What a beautiful post, Tami! So excited for you. I’m getting married in November and I know how hard it is to express the happiness of this time in your life – you did it very well. Congrats!

Lynn Aug 2, 2013 11:08 am

You are marrying your friend – that is so lovely. Congratulations to you both!

I look forward to reading more about it – I’ll bet you have a great wedding. xo

Paula - bell'alimento Aug 2, 2013 02:08 pm

This is pure happiness.

Jes Aug 2, 2013 02:08 pm

I think you mentioned the engagement in passing, or just mentioned your fiance or something, at Mixed last November, so I didn’t even notice you hadn’t talked about it on here. Congrats on making the post official! :)

I’m much like you–never really believed that marriage could work, etc. and I’m not sure how it’ll end up for me in the long run (3 years strong with my boyfriend…who knows), but it’s so nice to see the story turn out magically fun. Because that’s exactly how I’d describe a pig roast proposal! (Which is how my dream wedding party will be–an epic pig roast with all vegan sides, heh.)

Good luck with the rest of the planning and, ohgoodnessheck, I’m making that cocktail soon!!

Matt Aug 2, 2013 05:08 pm


Joel Aug 3, 2013 01:08 am

Well said :) Very happy for you both!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar Aug 3, 2013 07:08 am

this is soooooo exciting! so happy for you. this is the perfect drink to celebrate with!

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme Aug 3, 2013 08:08 am

Congratulations to you and your Prince Charming! We just celebrated 25 years together and I hope you’ll be as happy as we have been. A strong friendship that grows into love and then marriage will certainly stand the test of time. Couldn’t be happier for you.

Helene Aug 3, 2013 11:08 am

So flipping proud of you both and giddy to be one of your bridesmaids!

BigBoutte Aug 3, 2013 12:08 pm

=o) Love You

Eileen Aug 3, 2013 08:08 pm

Congratulations! This cocktail definitely sounds like the perfect way to celebrate. Campari sounds like such a great addition to the usual greyhound. Yay!

Sarah Crowder Aug 4, 2013 09:08 pm

CAN words do it justice? We can only try. Congratulations to you both!

Mary@SiftingFocus Aug 4, 2013 11:08 pm

Congratulations! Your words did a fine job of doing justice to your exciting news and your found love. So glad you shared, and looking forward to more sharing, pics, and details of the upcoming wedding.

Mallory Aug 6, 2013 11:08 am

Congrats! What a well-written post :)

merry jennifer Aug 6, 2013 02:08 pm

I’m just so, so happy for you two. I can hardly wait to see all of the photos from your wedding. xo

DessertForTwo Aug 6, 2013 10:08 pm

Oh, Tami! I was wondering when you were going to share your happy news here!
I’m so happy for you.
I, too, never thought I’d get married. I have parents probably should have been divorced decades ago, which does not make for the best role model. But, I dove into my faith and married someone within my faith and it gave me a lot more confidence about this whole marriage business.
And now, I couldn’t live without him. He’s my everything, yet I’m still myself.
Happy happy happy for you! xo

Congratulations!!! :D So exciting. And my heart goes out to you, about losing your parents–I lost my father a few years ago and even though I still have my mother it’s definitely thrown me for a curve, to put it mildly. Also, these drinks look lovely!

Helen Aug 10, 2013 01:08 am

take it from me, although you don’t know me, being married to YOUR perfect person makes life a joy. We have been married for over 21 years and it’s been perfect…not PERFECT in the traditional ways, mind you, but perfect for us. good wishes and loads of happiness for both of you!

Lara Aug 11, 2013 11:08 pm

Must say, it’s refreshing to read a positive and inspiring story. Loved this. Might try that cocktail as well. Awesome stuff.

kelly Aug 15, 2013 03:08 pm

Congrats Tami! Hope you 2 are always crazy happy!

Phyllis @ Oracibo Aug 17, 2013 04:08 pm

Tami, Congratulations!
I finally found & married a great fella…my history reads something like yours as far as a role model for “not a great marriage”…but from what I’m reading, you have pretty much got things nailed….good luck and have a wonderful wedding and new chapter to your relationship…you deserve it!

Phyllis @ Oracibo Aug 17, 2013 05:08 pm

Tami, congratulations!
I loved your post…so honest and heartfelt. I too come from a “don’t have a marriage” like this background…so understand the challenges you have overcome. Have a wonderful wedding and here’s to you! Wishing you wonderful things in the “new” chapter of your relationship and life! You deserve it!

Shobelyn Sep 23, 2013 08:09 am

I am teary eyed with this post. I am glad you made a good life for yourself in spite of your loss at a very young age. You parents who are looking out for you from up there are very proud of you. Good wishes to you.

Boo Sep 29, 2013 05:09 pm

Just made this cocktail- heavenly.

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