Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 24 - Kim & Justin I.

Well, it's date #7 time and I dedicate this post to our mothers, whose diligent efforts made this date possible.
So this definitely requires a little back story...

There my mother was, chatting it up with her hygienist back in the fall, when lo and behold they discovered they both had a single 30 year old in Texas. What are the odds? So, they have been in communication ever since trying to figure out how and when they could get us to go out. When this dating project popped up, I told my mom that if she really wanted this to happen, now was the time. 

So, I got a phone call last Monday from a squealing mother who said, "guess who's going to be calling you??" Their plan worked and later that night I got a phone call from Justin (yes, another Justin...turns out it was a popular boys name back in the early 80's). He asked me if I wanted to go to the rodeo and see Reba...who doesn't want to go to the rodeo? So of course I said yes and we planned to meet at the rodeo, since he was coming in from Dallas. Little did I know that Houston's lovely weather would be a prime feature of our date.

On Friday, a cold front and large storm moved into town, creating less than amazing driving conditions...Houstonians get a little crazy when driving in the rain...or any kind of weather for that matter. Combine bad weather with typical rodeo traffic and you get an extended freeway stay. It took me an hour and a half to get to the rodeo, but I made it and all by myself too! (It was my first time without a navigator.) So I parked and gave Justin a call, went to the nearest gate and waited under the awning with the workers (It was raining). I didn't realize that the gate that I had chosen was one of the most difficult to find. I told him the nearest landmark was a Ferris wheel...too bad there were 3 in the park. Third times a charm! He was finally able to find me and we briskly walked through the chilly rain and found our seats in the huge 74,000 seat arena. 

A midst the riding, roping, and racing, Justin and I chatted and I found out some very interesting things about him...
1. He is a dentist and will be opening up his own practice in Austin in a few months. (Very impressive for someone so young.)
2. He was born and raised in Snowflake, AZ.
3. We're the same age, which means, we went to school together in 3rd and 4th grade... 
4. Which in turn means he knew my grandmother who was the school librarian for many years. When I asked him if remembered her, he said, "I loved storytime in the pit with her!" It's such a small world! In fact, I used to work in the library after school and help check out books. I probably checked a book out to him. So random!
5. He is a rodeo junkie, even though this was his first time to the Houston rodeo. 
6. He loves country music and Reba happen's to be his favorite. It made me wish I knew more of her songs.  

We went and grabbed some fine rodeo cuisine before the concert started. We both settled on a basket of fries and chicken strips, which he graciously paid an exorbitant amount for...gotta love the rodeo food prices. :) While we ate, one of my favorite events happened...the calf scramble! I love watching teenagers falling all over the place while trying to catch calves...quality entertainment! As this event finished up, we were fascinated as they began to wheel out the stage for Reba in pieces and put everything together. It was fun to watch. Then they warned us the lights were going out and bam...there she was! Now, Reba has been around for a long time, but she is still an amazing performer! I chimed in on all the songs I knew and had a blast listening to the fiery redhead belt and her amazing band play their little hearts out. It was one of the best rodeo concerts I've been to and it was fun to be there with such a fan!

After the concert ended, we fought the crowds to get out and met up with Mauren and a group of friends that were also there to check out the food tents and rodeo art. On the way to meet them, I saw some co-workers and their 4 boys, who we talked to for a bit. Justin was passing out high fives to the boys by the end and I thought that this was a good sign for a dentist...kid friendly. :) I snapped a picture with their oldest son and told him he would be date 7 1/2. He was just too adorable in his rodeo attire! We then met up with Mauren and the gang. We tried some of her funnel cake, which was a new experience for Justin (glad we could introduce him to one of the best parts of the rodeo), and then we checked out the art. Looking at all the art from the kids did not make me feel good about my artistic skills...the artwork was amazing and done by such young artists! Incredible! After perusing awhile longer, we were all feeling the effects of age and decided it was bedtime. Justin and I said our thank you's and goodbyes and parted ways. Despite mother nature's attempts to ruin this date, we had a great time at the Houston rodeo! Thanks to Justin and our moms, I can add another successful date to the list. 

See you next time!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 23 - Jessica & Tyler

For my 6th date, I returned to Austin, TX to go out with Tyler, another good friend of Kendyl and Heather's. They gave me his information a few weeks ago, which was actually great because Tyler and I were able to talk via phone and text a couple of times before meeting in person. We established a common love of Cake (the band, although I love the food as well) and he coached me in a couple of areas so I could talk the way all the cool kids here in Austin do so I wouldn't stick out like a sore Houstonion thumb. I felt like I already knew the guy before the date, which makes the whole "blind date" thing much less intimidating. After meeting him, I'm happy to report that Tyler is every bit the gem that the girls said he would be.

Tyler is a good ol' Texan boy, through and through. He was born and raised in Austin (lucky guy!) and everything from the deer head on the wall of his living room to his great boots and charming use of "y'all," exuded Texas in the best way. He's just the type of Southern Gentleman I hoped to find in abundance when I first moved to Texas two years ago.

The original plans for our date got rained out, but luckily Tyler is really flexible and easy going. To be honest, I've been feeling a little worn out with all the "creative" dates for this project (as much fun as they are, they're a LOT of work to pull off successfully!), so I was actually really glad for an excuse to do a classic, simple dinner date where we could just get to know each other better with no fanfare. Tyler chose a great restaurant called Guero's on the infamous South Congress street in downtown Austin (or SoCo, as all the cool kids, and me thanks to Tyler, call it). The food was delicious, the atmosphere fun and Austin-esque, and best of all the conversation was easy and fun.

In no particular order, here are the Top 3 Most Interesting Things I learned about Tyler during our fabulous dinner conversation. (There were way more than 3, but that's all I'll list for brevity's sake) (1.) If Hollywood ever decides to do a sequel to the "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" movie "27 Dresses" called "27 Tuxes", Tyler would be the star. He's been in more wedding parties than I've been to weddings, and he's loved it every time. (2.) Of course the topic of family and siblings came up, and OF COURSE Tyler has...wait for you know what's coming yet?...take a wild guess...only brothers. I swear this is not happening on purpose. (3.) Tyler is living, breathing proof that you actually can be ordained as a Reverend online. I thought that was something some silly television writer made up for a funny plotline on Friends, but it turns out it's a real life thing. I was thoroughly entertained and fascinated as Tyler and I discussed the process he went through to be ordained and all the ways he is planning on abusing, ahem, I mean putting to use his newfound power. (Mostly he's just planning on officiating at one of his best friends' weddings)

Tyler, with his boyish but also rugged good looks, charming manner and exceptional sense of humor, made this classic and simple first date one to remember. Just another great reminder of how many high quality men are out there if we just open our eyes to see them. Until #7, this is Jessica, signing out!

(I totally forgot to take any pictures until the very end of the night, AND I forgot a real camera. It's kind of hard to take a good quality picture on your phone when you don't have a fancy front facing camera. The following were the best I could do, but I think despite the blurriness and poor lighting, you get the idea that Tyler is quite the handsome fellow)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 22 - Kim & Seth

Alright blogging world...I'm back to report another fun date!

So, when this whole project started, a friend gave us a list of guys she knew in the area that could be potential dates. Mr. Seth was on that list. Now, I had never met Seth, but I knew that he was the DJ at most of our church dances. DJ's have to be fun, right? It's got to be a law somewhere. So, when he randomly added me on Facebook last week, I decided that I would use our new found friend status as leverage. Friends don't let friends go dateless! He was nice enough to agree to go out with me and even missed his Brazilian Jui Jitsu class for it.

It took me awhile to decide what we should do on a rainy Wednesday night. We had discussed several options, when I came up with a dinner around the world! I researched a lot of restaurants in the area and picked a different restaurant for each phase of dinner. Houston may not be known for its' mountains, sidewalks, or nature, but it doesn't fall short on the variety of food it has to offer. It was mind boggling and a little overwhelming! Turns out Houston is chalked full of amazing sounding restaurants that I would like to explore someday. How to choose?? Well, I had it narrowed down to 6 restaurants in close proximity, but due to time restraints we ended up narrowing it down to two, one of which I was extremely excited about.

So Seth came and picked me up and off we went! We got to know each other on the way to the only Dominican restaurant in Houston. I served a Spanish speaking mission in NYC and worked with a lot of Dominicans in the beginning. I fell in love with their crazy ways and their amazing food! I was so excited to taste tostones again and get to know Seth, who was totally game for a new culinary experience. We got to Punta Cana and right away I had a feeling that it was going to be good. 

The cute Jamaican waitress told us we could pick our table. (There was only one other couple there so it was a hard decision.) My mouth watered as I glanced over the menu and Seth gave me the reins on ordering. So many options...I'll take one of each! Just kidding! But we did get a good chunk of food. 
Here's the order...

Empanadas (one of each kind)
A sampler platter of 3 different kinds of meats
Arroz y Habichuelas (beans and rice for you beans ever!)

While we waited for the food, we chatted about our families, work, hobbies, etc. I found out a lot of interesting things about him. Seth is the oldest, with all younger sisters. I am the oldest, with all younger brothers. Funny, eh?  He was born in Australia, but isn't Australian. He's half Finnish and half Houstonian. Crazy! He started DJing a few years ago on a whim and started his Jui Jistu class with in the last year, which shows he has an adventurist side. He is great at asking questions and we had a good time talking until our food came...

My hat goes off to Jarlis, the amazing owner and chef of Punta Cana! It was everything I hoped it would be and more! Que rico!! Seth agreed that the food was awesome...good thing too or we might not be friends. We were eating and Jarlis brought over an extra surprise that he wanted us to try...platanos con miel (plantains with honey)...on the house! Awesome! At this point we were the only people dining in the restaurant and I think Jarlis enjoyed watching us enjoy his food. It was past closing time, but he was in no rush to have us leave and talked with us for 20 minutes or so about opening the restaurant, living in NY, the D.R., etc. I loved it! 

So, Seth and I decided that our around the world eating fest better begin and end in the Dominican Republic. There was no room for dessert! We were stuffed! Seth graciously paid for our meal, we finally let Jarlis close his restaurant, and headed home. Amazing food and great company made for another wonderful date! Thanks Seth!


Tune in for the next blind date installment tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 21 - Mauren & Mike

Wow, it’s arrived! We’ve made it to the second portion of our dating project! It’s the part that tonight’s date, Mike, likes to call – the better half. :) We’ve met so many fun people and had such great experiences that it’s hard to imagine things getting much better!

Mike found out about the project through one of my Facebook friends and sent a message to our account to let us know he was interested in participating. I quickly emailed him back to let him know that we’d love to have him join us in our little adventure and got something set on the calendar to go out.

Because he was coming from the south part of town, we decided to meet halfway, near the Heights/downtown area. As I was talking to my co-workers about some date ideas in that area, one of them mentioned SculpturWorx, the studio of local sculptor, David Adickes. The gates to the area are usually open in the evenings and I had actually wanted to visit it for a while. For those of you unfamiliar with his work, Adickes is responsible for creating several giant presidential head busts that can be seen in random parts of town, like the I-10 east and I-45 southbound interchange.

I gave Mike the address I found online and we arranged to meet there at 7 p.m., just after dark. As I drove through the poorly lit warehouse district where the address led me, I began to wonder where on earth my co-worker had sent me…  It seemed to be a pretty sketchy part of town and I started to worry about my safety. I mean I was meeting a complete stranger, in a perfectly dark alley, in a corner of town that I was unfamiliar with and that I was sure could host my body (or any body) for quite some time… You can be sure the first thing after I parked was check in at the location via Facebook. You can never be too careful, right?

However, when I met Mike I instantly felt at peace and realized I had nothing to worry about. From the moment he arrived, Mike was friendly, welcoming and just as excited as me to be checking out some of the coolest structures in town. 

We talked as we wandered the grounds and found ourselves in awe at the more than 50 head busts (ok, maybe more like 100 – I don’t know, a ton!!) that sat in the lot next to the SculpturWorx parking lot. We quickly approached the gate to the lot, but were disappointed to find it locked. Thankfully though we could still see plenty of the statues and even captured some decent photos to share with all of you (see the end of this post for more)! The majority of sculptures are of past U.S. presidents, occasionally he does some more unique images, like the set of Beatles statues we saw from afar.

While we meandered through the area and I shot photos through the chain link fence, I learned that Mike currently works at a cognitive learning center in Sugarland. There he helps teach kids that struggle with learning disorders how to cope with them and how they can learn the same concepts in a different way. One of the topics he teaches just so happens to be the U.S. Presidents. Needless to say, he can name all the presidents in order, forwards and backwards. I think I can name maybe the last 4…Though they’re not all pictured here, see if you can identify any of the ones at the bottom of this post.

We found some more accessible statues in the parking lot that we could check out up close and as you can see, they’re HUGE. These are just the heads so you can get an idea of how much larger they are when they’re set on the bust. 

After we had sufficiently tortured Lincoln and Jefferson (I think that’s who it was) Mike humored me as I led him on a wild goose chase to find the other 4 busts located along the side of the freeway interchange. However, after searching through the severely rundown neighborhood across from the warehouse district, we gave up our search. We never found them but I’m certain they’re still there. Maybe I’ll try going during the day next time. ;) 

After we finished our little scavenger hunt for the undiscoverable presidential heads, I had the brilliant idea to go to a nearby Starbucks shop to sit down and get to know each other better over hot chocolate. I had even done a map search prior to our visit to make sure there was something nearby. However, as we approached the destination dot on the screen, I learned that it was one tucked inside the front of Target and came fully equipped with one table and an extra long line. Scratch that. 

Instead we wandered through the parking lot until we ended up at the next best alternative to hot chocolate…ice cream! 

We placed our orders at the nearby Marble Slab and Mike graciously paid before we headed to the tables outside to enjoy the weather and the company. 

Like Jessica’s dates have often come from a family of just brothers, I’ve discovered a theme among some of my dates, too. They all love to cook! Well, at least the last few. I love it! Mike particularly loves to cook Cajun food and says that gumbo with chicken and sausage is his shining star.

I also learned that Mike was in band in middle school (me too) and that it was his goal to play Mary Had a Little Lamb on as many instruments as he could. He made it to 19, including clarinet, tuba, French horn and bass drums (yes, bass drums – different pitches and all) among others. Impressive, right?

He loves sports and is a die-hard pro football fan, but is also big into professional baseball and basketball. He also loves to play disc golf, an activity I might not have called a sport before tonight. I feel like I got the inside scoop on a secret society! I mean, who knew there was such as thing as a putter (a type of Frisbee, not golf club) and a driver? Not me! I also learned that some of the best Frisbee collections are found in billiard stores. Who would have thought?! Maybe some day when I actually learn how to throw a Frisbee properly, I’ll look into it more. I’m terrible. :/

Before long we had to part ways, but overall I had a great time and was glad to meet someone new that I may have missed out on before this project. Thanks, Mike, for braving the sketchy parts of Houston to come spend the evening with me! 

It’s been fantastic to meet and learn about people from all over this great state. May the adventure continue!

 A cool optical allusion -- this... actually this...

I love these trees! There's a complex in midtown that has these outside for year-round color. Brilliant!

Day 20 - Becca & Coltan

IT'S DAY 20!!!! WAHOO!!!

I have a special 20th date in store for you. If you are one of our faithful blog followers my date for tonight should look familiar. . .really familiar. . .really. . . So climb aboard! This is a canoe trip you won't want to miss.

Dear Blog,

I'm gonna tell you a little story about how this date came to be. So last Monday I was thinking about who I would want to go out with and I remembered this guy I'd met at BYU-Idaho. I don't know how I met him there, but I knew he was cute, funny, and lived in Houston. I didn't think we had any mutual friends in Houston, so I headed to the computer to do some quality facebook stalking. It took about 10 minutes to find him, (oh I'm good!) send him a message, and plan out our date for the following Monday. I was way excited. Then on Wednesday I got a call from my good friend, and fellow blogger, Jessica. We talked about how everything was going and what plans we had made for future dates. She started to tell me a funny story about how she got hooked up with someone's cousin, and when she had called him to set up Sunday's date she found out that I had already asked him a few days earlier. She gracefully offered to cancel her date because I had asked first, but we both agreed that it would be much more fun to just go out with him 2 days in a row. After reading about her date with him I'm happy we stuck with that plan.
Coming into the date I could barely keep my eyes open. I had to work early that morning and was going off of 3 hours of sleep. I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to form full sentences and really give this date my best effort. I think I did ok, apart from the occasional rambling. :) The plan for today was to meet up at my friends house, load up her canoe, and head to the lake. I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous as I drove to our meeting place. That feeling soon left once I actually saw Coltan in his flannel shirt. You see, I was also wearing a flannel shirt and I took that as a sign that this date was gonna rock! We were already matching! Wahoo!

We lifted the boat into the back of the truck, then Coltan used his crazy Alaskan skills to batten down the canoe and back the truck up the driveway. Our Woodlands adventure was ready to cast off. (And that's the extent of my knowledge of boating terms.)

It was a short drive to the lake where we unloaded and started off on our journey. The weather was perfect for us. Not a cloud in sight. We looked around the lake and started heading towards the huge fountains and ducks. With the wind blowing in my hair I felt like   Pocahontas. . . in flannel.

Coltan and I had no trouble finding something to talk about. (Which was good because there's not a lot of other things to do on a boat.) He rowed as I talked . . .and he rowed as he talked. ( I didn't do a lot of rowing.) :) We took turns sharing stories about  traveling, work, families and music. Did you that they have fish canneries in Alaska? And here I thought all they were known for was their Cherrio plant. :) Fact!

After floating around for an hour I busted out our awesome dinner. I've noticed that the other girls have been going above and beyond on cute date foods. Well... I'm not that delicate when it comes to food, but I do love a good theme. So tonight's theme was fish food. ( We're on a boat. . .get it?) I got sushi, chicken salad on bread in the shape of a fish, gold fish crackers, shark fruit snacks, and some cute little cans of Sprite and hummus. Fancy? No! Classy? The chicken salad was. Me? 100%. I thought it would be fun to play the game Encore with these little Korean cookies that have English words on them. Unfortunately the words were all animal names, limiting our song choices. I could only think of two songs that used the word 'chicken' in it. Oh well.

Well this is getting long, so I will just touch on a few other things and wrap this puppy up. The sun had set so we put on our head lamps ( I was so excited to use them!) and headed back to the dock. We were about 150 feet away when we noticed a flock of ducks floating near us. I figured they were probably hungry and we turned our little canoe around to feed them our remaining goldfish. I guess they weren't in the mood because every handful of goldfish that I chucked at them sent them flying. The fleeing ducks made a cool sound though.
We docked, loaded up the canoe and decided to take some jumping pictures for the blog. 30 minutes later these were our best shots. :). . .

We ended the date by going to Market Street in the Woodlands and drinking hot cocoa and apple cider. We shot the breeze for another 30 minutes while the bike cops guarded our canoe. (Thank you bike cops!) Then we drove back to my friend's house to drop off the canoe.

I had a lot of fun with Coltan. I really admired how honest and upfront he was. It was great watching his face light up as he spoke about things that really mattered to him. I can add him to the list of people I'm happy to know!

Oh Blog, I can't believe I'm half way there. My first five dates have been so much fun! I know there are people out there wondering how much we are leaving out to make these guys seem so great. I am blessed to tell you that it's not that much. :) These guys are awesome! I am learning a lot. Thanks to everyone who is making this journey with me! Wish me luck on the next 5 dates.



Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day 19 - Jessica & Coltan

Two things before I get started recapping tonight's date. 1.) Buckle up, boys and girls, this is going to be a long post, but I just don't know what to edit out, so you can skim or just enjoy all the nitty gritty details! 2.) To Stephanie & Brock, this is not the date activity we discussed yesterday. Just wanted you to know right off the bat. That one is hopefully still in the works, but I think you'll be entertained by what I came up with instead.

Ok, back story first. A couple weeks before this project officially kicked off, I was asking some girl friends to help me find dates. The lovely Jody responded the next day and gave me her cousin's information and said he was ready and willing to participate. I filed him away under "ask in a few weeks" since he was a sure bet. So when I finally called him last week to ask him out, there was no fear since I already knew he knew what he was getting into! He was so fun to talk to on the phone and I was already looking forward to meeting him, and then at the end of the conversation he threw a little wrench in our plans, which you'll find out about later.

I came up with 3 different Sabbath-day appropriate date ideas, and one by one each of them became un-doable for one reason or another. Yesterday I was starting to panic because I wanted to have fun, and options are much more limited on Sundays when we aim to not be too rowdy or spend money. I had decided to put my dilemma on the back burner and proceeded to ask out a different boy for a future date via text. While I was explaining to him what this whole project is about, I typed "It's something me and 3 girlfriends are doing. We each go on 10 first dates..." Except my phone's autocorrect feature turned "first" into "fort". 10 fort dates. I laughed and then, da-da-daaaah! LIGHTBULB! I could literally go on a Fort Date for date #5!! Who doesn't have an awesome memory (if not several) of building forts as children and loving everything about them? As soon as I got off work, I was off and running and I gathered all the necessary supplies to have some yummy food inside the amazing fort me and Coltan would build out of a card table, folding chairs (special shout out and thanks to the McPhie's for those), a ladder, bricks, safety pins, and blankets, sheets and a tarp.

I was so eager for today's date and to have everything waiting for Coltan at the park we had arranged to meet at, I may or may not have showed up 45 minutes early. Whoops! Luckily for me, today was absolutely beautiful! 77 degrees with a light breeze and not a cloud in the sky. So once I set up all the supplies I laid down to take a much needed breather so I could be nice and relaxed for the date.

When Coltan arrived, I met him across the park and as we were walking towards the big tree everything was hidden behind, I felt the same apprehensive feeling as I did with Nick on the potato-golfing date. What if this handsome young man with his impressive Baby Blues thought my idea was super juvenile and dumb? All I had as a back up plan was a nerf football, but one game of catch does not a great date make. Well, once again my fears were completely unfounded. When I told Coltan what we were doing and he saw all the supplies, his face lit up and he proudly proclaimed that he is an Expert Fort Builder (seriously, he and his friends have an annual fort-building extravaganza) and he got right to work! With my "help" (i.e. handing him safety pins and taking pictures)

Coltan constructed a beautiful fort, one that I was only a little bit scared to crawl inside. I was *pretty* sure that neither of the bricks laying precariously on top of the ladder above my head would fall down, and if they did I was confident that Coltan was perfectly capable of driving me to the nearest ER.

I got out the snacks I had prepared ahead of time (thank you Pinterest!) and a deck of cards and some pens/paper and crawled into Coltan's masterpiece behind him. It turns out we didn't need the cards and paper, as soon as we crawled into the fort, the conversation was off and running and the next 2 hours of talking were so delightful and stimulating, no extra activities were necessary! Now, I've had pretty great luck with good conversations on these dates, which is awesome because Great Conversations are my FAVORITE THING! But I must say, there's something about being inside a cozy little homemade den, sitting criss-cross applesauce facing each other, that encourages some good ol' no-holds-barred, all walls down talkin'.

(I just need to take a moment to show off this delicious food. Bacon-wrapped little smokies drizzled in a brown sugar glaze, and cream cheese filled, chocolate dipped strawberries. Yum!)

It turns out Coltan and I share an obsession, ahem I mean love of, choir/group musical performances. It was delightful for me to compare and contrast my musical experiences with someone who totally gets why I love music and performing it with groups so much. We talked about work and future plans, shared funny and meaningful stories and memories, and by the end of our fort session I felt like I've known Coltan for years instead of for technically only 2 1/2 hours. We share a lot of the same life perspectives, hopes and interests. We're different in plenty of ways too, so the flow of topics and insights was invigorating. (For me, at least, though as I'm writing this I'm totally laughing out loud at the thought that Coltan could have left thinking, "ugh, that was painful...glad THAT's over!" I'm pretty sure he had a good time too, but it still makes me giggle to think his experience might have been totally opposite of mine!)Oh! Also, it's getting a little ridiculous at this point, but once again my date had ONLY brothers. He is one of 5 boys. It's wigging me out but I kind of love these weird coincidences too. =)

When it got dark and we had donated a sufficient amount of blood to the local mosquito population, we broke camp. Taking everything back to the car was a much better experience with a chivalrous man around to help carry the heavy stuff. =) We said our goodbye's, which included a hug. Confession, I totally forgot about my goal and tapped out! Oy, someday that will stop being my reflex.

So there you have it, another fun and successful date with a high quality man. Who knew there were so many out there? Thanks to Coltan for being such a good sport, a fun date, and a master fort constructor!

(This picture is dedicated to Coltan's mom, just want you to know your son is indeed capable of smiling normally for the camera) ;-)

On a serious note, I'm so looking forward to the second half of this project. It's been such a good experience and I'm learning a lot about myself and letting my guard down and pushing insecurities aside. To Cody, Nick, TR, Jared and Coltan - thank you again to each of you for your time and all around goodness, and for making this once intimidating and kind of scary project such a joy to participate in!

Stay tuned folks...especially for Becca's date tomorrow. There's a special surprise for all of you that I think you'll be especially entertained by!