Thursday, June 16, 2011

Horsing Around in San Antonio!

The thing I was most looking forward to after the trip to Philly was my trip to San Antonio. This year, I had committed to Andi Fergason that I would visit in the spring, on the weekend of her horse show. I had not seen her riding in a show since her very first year of horse riding, and I knew that she had improved a lot. I was really excited to see the Fergasons, get more soul-filling, love on them, and just enjoy each other's company generally! Curby decided to join me on the trip, after I told him that in order to win my heart he also had to win the heart of the Fergasons.  Well, its true and I am committed to authenticity and communication. LOL.

The entire Fergason family met us at the airport, which was a really fun treat. I was inundated by kid hugs and shouts of "TIFF!!!!!" and then quieter voices saying, "Hello, Curby, its nice to meet you." which is how well the Fergason kids are trained!

Curby won over the boys on the way home by disclosing that he used to play video games, and in fact had beaten the whole "Lego: Star Wars" game. That was that, the boys were putty in Curby's hands after that! Later in the weekend we had a Wii party with just the boys and they were in heaven! Its a good thing that I still have the love of Andi and Brooki, because the boys have definitely thrown me over for the Curbster.

Later, Jared (the middle boy) told me that he was nervous about whether or not they would like Curby but their dad had reassured them that "If Tiff likes Curby, then he must be likable. I'm sure we'll like him." So I
said, "Well, J, what do you think, now that you've met him?" "I like him," he answered simply.

The first day we were there was a free day for Curby and me, so we took ourselves on a little hike and picnic in New Braunfels, followed by a blizzard at DQ. It was a really, really fun day. The weather was perfect and the hike was awesome. The picnic was perfect - a deer even came near enough to snap a photo, and the blizzard was heaven. Turns out Curby and I have the same favorite flavor and that was a fun discovery!

The horse show was awesome! Andi looked so good up on the two horses she rode, Zorro and Shilo, and she received first place for her riding on Zorro. I was so proud of her, and very impressed.

After the show, we met up with Curby's parents who had driven down from Arlington to see Curby and meet me. We had a lovely evening eating dinner and then wandering around the town of Gruene (incidentally, where Willie Nelson was discovered). The next morning, Curb's parents joined the Fergasons, me and Curby, at church and then we had a lovely barbeque lunch back at the Ferg's house. Later that evening, Sarah and Myles joined us and we got to have a great visit with them, too.

Monday evening came too soon and Curby and I said a tearful farewell (on my part ) to my second family, as we headed back to LA. Pictures below.

Philly(ing) up my Soul - March, 2011

I tell you what, friends. By early March I was due for some Soul Filling. I needed to see some friends and have some good times with them. Its not for nothing that I look forward to the NASPA student affairs conference every March. This is a great opportunity to at least get together with my friend Matt, and usually a few other good friends from Baylor, while hanging out in a new city and recharging our batteries (and occasionally, attending a few sessions on student affairs-related topics).

I roomed with my friend Jessica for most of the trip. Jessica is a great friend of mine from here at UCLA and it was fun to get to introduce her to my Baylor friends and hang out with her in the evenings! Matt and I got into Philly first, so we spent a day together, exploring Philadelphia - we walked from the convention center down toward the famous Art Museum, where Rocky ran up the steps, then we kept walking and eventually go to the penitentiary that once housed Al Capone. Later we met up with our friend Katie, and ended up at a bar around up by our hotels, just hanging out with some other friends who were in town and getting caught up.

The next days, we spent time exploring Philadelphia, making memories, attending conference session, and one night, by sheer luck and blessing of the Lord, ended up back at the bear from earlier in the weekend - and it happened to Karaoke and $6 pitcher night. What tremendous fun! We were even joined by our old professor, Frank Shushok, who enjoyed himself along with the rest of us - it is fun that we get to be colleagues now!

Overall, Philly lived up to my expectations. I left exhausted with not getting enough sleep and drinking too much beer - but completely refreshed emotionally. Below is a photo album of some of the pics from the trip. Enjoy!

Meeting Curby

Here is the (long) story of how "Tiff met Curby"

My friend Jessica told me I needed more dates. And then she said, "Just sign up for this site -"  We were gchatting on St. Patrick's day. I was disappointed because this guy I had gone out with a couple times had turned out to be a dud and I had no plans that night nor for the weekend ahead. I had also had two beers.

So I did it. While she and I gchatted, I filled out my profile, answered 200 questions and then let the math algorithm of the site do its work.

And it found me a few matches. There were a few highly matched men, many in the mid-to high 90's. Then there was this one guy who was a 99.4% match.

He looked pretty cute, and as I read his profile, I thought, "Hmmmm, he seems pretty cool and thoughtful. He seems to love Jesus and have a good sense of humor, and I think he's pretty smart." So I emailed him.

This is what I said that evening (Thursday):
Hey there Cap, 
I enjoyed your profile for the following reasons: 
1) your overuse of the letter I to the point of your keyboard failing. 
2) your affection for HP7 - though I'll be honest that 5 was my favorite because I felt like the spiritual idea of fighting for something good was so clear. 
3) you made me smile while simultaneously made me think that my (newly created) profile was not nearly cool or thoughtful or funny enough. 
So check out my profile - and consider that in reality I am much more um, cool, thoughtful, and funny than that... Unlike most recent movies, I am much better in 3d than in 2. :) 
Lets talk. Tiffani

I emailed some other men, too. And then I waited.

I heard back from Curby early Saturday morning:

If you are more cool, thoughtful, and funny than your profile, I'm going to have to stockpile more electronics ... I almost launched coffee onto my keyboard when I read about your gchat studying! 
I like you, let's talk indeedy :) 

So I wrote him back a long email with some random conversation starters and stuff, later that day. And he wrote me back a long email on Sunday and totally "got" my sense of humor. He sent me his phone number in case I wanted to call him. I wrote him back that night and included my phone number, saying "I appreciate you giving me yours though, so now I'll know its you if you call/text."

He called me on Monday night. We talked for an hour and it was so fun and easy. Before the end of the conversation, he asked me out for the following Saturday. I had made tentative plans for that Saturday, though, so had to say "maybe." My friend, Jenn, and I had talked about going to this Salsa dancing thing some friends were putting on, but when I talked to her the next morning, she said she was unable to go.

Curby had asked me for a movie, but when I mentioned what Jenn and I had planned to do, he said, "That sounds fun, even though I'll be really bad at it, and would be a much better first-date story than a movie!" So we decided on dinner and salsa. Right then, I knew that he was going to be a pretty cool guy - how many guys WILLINGLY go dancing on a first date?

We texted some, and talked on the phone the next few days, and it was just fun and easy. Even talking to him on the phone was something I looked forward to and felt like we were really learning about each other, not just making conversation. His texts made me laugh and I learned he had a great, goofy sense of humor and was really thoughtful and intentional about his life.

Saturday arrived and I was nervous. I had woken up that morning and remembered the tail end of a dream I had where I was an old lady telling the story of my life and I said, "From then on we were Tiff and Curby." I scolded myself, "Tiffani, settle down! You are putting way too much pressure on this first date!"  The thing was, I liked him A LOT on "paper" - what if one of us didn't like the other when we met in person?!?! So I asked some of my friends to pray that our feelings - whether for or against - were mutual.

He arrived to pick me up, with flowers, and after about 15 seconds of akwardness, it was clear that he was great and that we were going to have a terrific time. It was like peas and carrots. Like we had known each other forever.

We had dinner and danced and we had a great time. Curby asked me out for a second date for the following weekend, while we were dancing, and I said, yes. Afterward, we walked all around Santa Monica and ended up down on the pier. It was beautiful and we talked about our lives and family until it was almost 1am. At that point we decided, "wouldn't it be fun if we just stayed up all night and kept talking? that would be a great story!" So we did. While we were hanging out at my apartment, Curby said, "Saturday is too long to wait to see you again, I would like to take you out sooner."  (I swooned and said, "Well, I'm only free on Monday." and so Monday it was.)

We had breakfast at Marie Callendars' (next to my apartment) and he left for his church, and I got ready for mine.

And that was that. From then on we've been together, like chocolate chips and cookies, like shoes and socks.

More to come on this, I'm sure. But now you know one of the reasons why I've been so absent on the blog lately!

In the meantime, please join me in my rejoicing and in praising the Lord for this good thing. We have both been so grateful and thankful for God's goodness in bringing us together. He has done more than either of us could ask or imagine. I am learning a lot about myself, about God, about my assumptions and my heart, and about what things I knew before this relationship and what things I realize now I didn't know. I'll have a post on my transition from adult-singleness to adult-coupleness soon. But other posts will likely come before that.

Thanks for reading, friends. :)

Curby and I on our first date.

Tiff's Life Lately

Forgive me friends! I know that I have not been posting much in the last two months. Before that I was not doing a great job of keeping you updated, but I was at least posting.

Well, there have been a number of reasons that I could give you. But the main one is that I've just been swamped trying to balance everything in my life.

In the next few days, I'm hoping to post a bit more. And recommitting to posting small blurbs, just to get things posted. :)

Each of the following deserve their own posts and will get them! Coming soon:
* In mid-March, I attended the NASPA conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - it was great fun and I was reunited with some old Baylor friends and we hung out with some of our new friends from our respective colleges. A great time.
* Shortly after that, I met a new guy, Curby. We had the best first date ever, and have been together ever since. We're heading up on three months together now, and my life has continued to improve with this great blessing from God.
* Curby came with me, a few weeks later, to visit the Fergasons where we had a GREAT time seeing Andilin at her horse show (she performed excellently) playing the Wii with the kids, and hanging out with John and Karen Fergason. We also got to spend some time with Curby's parents. It was really fun.
* In mid-May, I hosted my mom for a week at my house when our annual-ish Girl's Weekend turned into a "Girl's Week!" We hung out with Curby, took a few cooking classes, played games, and just generally enjoyed being together.
* In late-May, I flew out to St. Louis to celebrate the marriage of Heather (Caddell) and Jason Wickersham! It was a joyous occasion and I was blessed to be a bridesmaid. Curby was able to join in the festivities and I got to show him my old haunts and introduce him to some good friends.
* In early-June, my parents drove out to LA to help celebrate the graduation of my friend Jessica - who they think of as a second daughter, and who has been a dear friend of mine here in LA. We had a great time celebrating her accomplishments so far and the almost-completion of her dissertation.

Phew! That brings us up to date on all the big happenings of the last three months. I leave you now to being writing some individual posts - complete with pictures of those individually! Enjoy! and thanks for sticking around during my long absence!