Mace, I didn’t see this until just last night, but here is some advice for you to help improve your chess:
Don’t strip your king of protection unless you absolutely have to. Bringing it out is a sure way to get mated against a skilled opponent. In your game, for example, you’re lucky that your opponent didn’t play h2-h4 on his 20th move, which would have immediately decided the game in his favor. (The threat being f4-g5m.)
Don’t bring your queen out so early in the game. Although it worked for you this time, your queen will become a target that your opponent can use to harrass you while completing his opening development. A better rule of thumb is to get both center pawns, you knights and your bishops out with the first six moves or so, then castle and decide where you want your queen for your 7th and 8th moves. (Generally speaking, of course.)
For god’s sake, don’t take the pawn when playing Black against a Queen’s Gambit. The lines are too complicated to go into here, but take my word for it that Black rarely has a chance to even things out after 3.e2-e4, black moves; 4. f1xc4. This gives White an overwhelming superiority in the center, not to mention better development.
Unless you’re planning to use the f file for a rook attack, don’t move the f7 pawn, which exposes the h5-f7 diagonal, making your King’s position very weak.
You should check out Fred Reinfeld’s book on the Stonewall Attack as White and the Sicilian Dragon Defense as Black. It is good for your level, and will teach you about having an overall plan of attack in your games. Also, study Morphy’s games. They’re very clear in terms of theme and style, and will help you learn more at this stage of your development than studying the more modern masters.
Hope this helps.