Tuesday, August 25, 2015

74 DAYS!

I'm I may look like a goober but I'm all ready to see some fish! Got my snorkel gear and my waterproof phone case! Only 74 more days!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Honeymoon Trip Planning

Well the trip is really coming together! 
We got our itinerary from our Travel Agent and she has us set up to do a lot of hiking and exploring while we are in Australia. Last weekend Josh and I went through all the excursions for the Cruise and we picked out some good ones!

I ordered our money from the bank and was able to pick it up. I love seeing all the colors! Our money can be so boring! 

I started a count down on my phone. It doesn't feel like it's that far away because we have so much to do before we leave!

 Oh and here's a cute picture of Brodee! I haven't seen him since the wedding. It breaks my heart!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

I'm So Brave - My Story of Fighting Spiders With Tears in My Eyes

I have arachnophobia. It's not the typical "Oh I'm a girl and I'm scared of spiders!" Nope. This is the real thing. I've written about it before. 

Since the last time I wrote about my fear (in 2008), I've had a few more experiences with spiders.

Back in 2009 I was on an excavation in Utah for the UNEV pipeline. I told the crew that I had pretty bad arachnophobia and I would really appreciate it if people kept them away from me since I didn't want another panic attack. I'll take care of the snakes, scorpions, centipedes, etc. and you deal with the spiders. Easy, right? Nope! I was under a tent analyzing some artifacts when a few guys came up to me and asked me if I could look at an artifact that was in their scoop. I said sure and then they showed me a huge spider that was in their scoop. I jumped up and yelled and the guys all ran away laughing. Over the next few minutes I just sat there freaking out. I was trying to keep it to myself but the one of my fellow analyzer turned to me and said, "Courtney, it's okay. Just cry."

This guy knew me pretty well. I actually hunted snakes (to capture, not kill) with him at field school back in 2007. So he knew I was serious.

Well I ended up crying all day, ALL DAY. Seriously, I can't control it. The guys ended up feeling really badly about it. I just don't understand why people have to see me have a panic attack before they believe me!

Back in 2012 I was on a survey when I came across a tarantula. He was just walking along, minding his own business when all of a sudden this girl jumps and screams at the top of her lungs. He jumped, I jumped, I cried, and he ran away. I had a good crew with me so they helped me calm down and we continued the hike.

Flash forward to last Wednesday. I was at home, about to leave for dinner with my coworkers. Before I left I remembered that I needed to get our passports out so I could scan and send them to our Travel Agent so she could issue us our Visas. I went into the bedroom, got the safe, got our passports out, secured it, and then saw the spider. He was just hanging out on my bed spread. I screamed "NOOO!" at the top of my lungs and then jumped up on the bed, ran across it, jumped down, ran through the bathroom and into the kitchen. I've never moved so fast in my whole life! 

I got a cup and a note pad from the kitchen, took a deep breath, and headed back to the bedroom. I tried multiple times to catch him with the cup but he was too fast! After a few seconds of this my anxiety caught up with me and the panic attack began. I was crying, bawling, uncontrollably. I was yelling, I was screaming. My whole body was seizing up and shaking. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I had no idea what I was going to do.

So I called Josh.


That was all I managed to get out between my sobs.

Josh told me that he couldn't come home and that I would need to calm down and take care of it. After a few deep breaths, I went back into the bedroom. The spider was on the side of the bed and I could see him in the mirror. I put a large bowl under him (to catch him when he fell) and then I took a big swing at him with my notepad. Again, he was too fast. He took off running and I started yelling and crying again (yes, Josh was listening in on speaker phone). 

I continued to chase the spider until he ended up on my luggage. I then went to the back to find some bug spray but all I could find was ant/roach spray. That will have to do. I came back into the bedroom and unleashed on him. But again, he was too fast! He finally ended up on my luggage again. This time I smacked the notepad down so hard I was sure I got him. I moved the luggage but I couldn't find a body. OH NO! Where is he?!

I then noticed that my luggage was a little bit unzipped. I put it on the bed and slowly unzipped the top part... nothing. I then slowly unzipped the bottom part... AND THERE HE WAS! Just looking up at me! I yelled, zipped the bag shut, ran to the front door, and threw the bag into the yard while yelling "GO ON! TAKE IT!"

I gained my composure and then headed outside with my ant/roach spray in hand. I unzipped the bag, turned it over, and threw it on the ground (hoping he would fall out). NOPE! He's got a death grip on the bag. 

I had no choice. He left me no choice. I unloaded the ant/roach spray on him. He did not like that! I sprayed him until my beautiful bag was covered in chemicals and he was dead. 

30 minutes. The whole ordeal took 30 minutes. I continued to cry as I cleaned up the mess and called my coworkers to tell them I would not be attending the dinner. The panic attack was still happening and I didn't want to leave the house. 

Now, a few days later, my body is still sore. I feel like I had a full body work out.

But I did it! I took care of the largest spider I have ever seen indoors! I don't know what it was. I tried to research it but I started to get anxious when all the pictures of spiders popped up on my computer screen. 

I'm working on it guys, I really am. I've killed smaller spiders that are in the office or in the Raptor but this one was huge! Probably about the size of my palm.

Phew. Crises averted. For now. I just hope he didn't bring a friend.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Dirty Thirty!

Remember when I made this amazing "30 Before 30" list? And then remember how I didn't anticipate working 6-7 days a week, with very little time off, for TWO straight years?! UGH! Well, I didn't make it. I didn't complete my list before my 30th birthday. 

I completed 17 items and have six in the making (they will be done by the end of the year). That still leaves seven. Bummer. 

I'll just take those seven items and add 33 more and make a "40 Before 40" list! Perfect!

My parents decided that we would celebrate my 30th in style and what better place to do that then in Chicago!

My parents picked me up in Indiana and we met Josh at the W Chicago Hotel right across the street from the Sears/Willis Tower. 

Before we left for dinner I opened presents and my parents order some fancy room service. Chocolate covered strawberries?! Yes, please!

 Me with my Chewbacca bag and Lightsaber chopsticks!

After that we caught a cab to Shaw's Crab House where we enjoyed a seafood tower (oysters, blue crab, king crab, shrimp, and lobster), lobster mac-n-cheese, potatoes, king crab legs, and a piece of cake for dessert. It was all very delicious! 

The next day I got up early and decided to treat myself to Starbucks. Give me some slack! It's my birthday!

I read my book for a few hours then went and woke up Josh. We all headed out into the city to find some brunch. We stopped at this little fast food brunch place and got waffles with Nutella. YUM!

We then headed towards Millennium Park, but made a quick stop at Garretts for some famous popcorn. It did not disappoint!

We cruised through Millennium Park and ended up at Buckingham Fountain. Last time Josh and I were in Chicago the fountain wasn't turned on so it was cool to see it in all its glory.

I started to get blisters on the bottom of my feet (my sandals are cute but are not for walking) so we rested here for a few minutes then Josh and I went on the Architecture Boat Tour.

[Goodbye Parents!]



Our tour guide was great! He was very knowledgeable about the history of the city and its amazing architecture!

After the boat tour my parents and I headed back to Indiana while Josh went back to his place in IL. Josh should be done with his job in the next few weeks so we are going to start moving him back home soon! 

[Presents from my parents (Lightsaber chopsticks, Chewbacca bag, Star Wars posters, and Arrested Development) and from Josh (BOSE noise canceling headphones and the Lakers history DVD set)] 

[Star Wars backpack from Ryan, Missy, Luke and Andie]
Thanks everyone for the presents, texts, calls, and FB messages. It was a great day!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Mice and Work and Grandma

We have mice. It's a common issue with trailers. They climb in through the black tank and then they find their way into your beautiful trailer!

We have been able to block off most of their entrances with steel wool but one area was really hard to get to. There is a hole at the very back of a narrow strip which is in a cupboard under the oven. The mice love to come in this way! The only problem is that once they are in the cupboard there is no where else to go. They can climb onto the stove but their journey stops there. They can't get to any food but they keep coming! 

Over the past few months I've probably caught 15 mice. The only thing that works is peanut butter and an old fashion mouse trap. They are gross but that is seriously all that works!

A few nights ago I woke up when I heard the trap snap. I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep but I kept hearing this strange noise. I didn't want to get out of bed to investigate so I turned my fan on higher and fell asleep. The next morning I got up to find this:

Yes, that is a mouse. The trap got him by the foot and he was trying to escape down the narrow strip but the trap was stopping him. UGH! I was so mad! I hate taking the dead mice out of the trap and now I have to deal with a live one?! 

I put a sticky trap (see in picture) along with another snap trap in the cupboard and went to work. I was hoping he would smell the peanut butter, turn around, and get in one of the other traps. 

No such luck. I got home from work, put on work gloves (I didn't want him to bite me!), and then reached into the cupboard and grabbed the trap.

I'll spare you the details but he is no longer with us. 

After cleaning up the mess he left (he started chewing on the wooden cupboard), I was able to find a ton of steel wool so I shoved that into the back of the cupboard. I guess we will see if it works!


 My boss called a meeting the other day at 6:20 AM and he wanted there to be coffee and treats for everyone. These guys are so high maintenance some times. I usually go to Panera to get the treats (bagels, pastries, etc.) and while I am there I will get the coffee. Bad idea. They guys don't like Panera coffee, they only like Starbucks. Also my boss doesn't like pastries (so he says even though I've seen him eat them plenty of times) so he likes me to go to a local bakery and get him doughnuts. Ugh. So at 5:15 AM I was at the bakery getting doughnuts, then if was off to Starbucks to get the coffee, and then off to Panera to get the bagels. I made it in time for the meeting too! 

Pipeliners!! *shakes fist*

Speaking of Pipeliners, it's been REALLY warm around here. We've been in the high 90's with a heat index over 110! Insanity! I feel bad for the guys in the field sometimes. 

But here is Josh, keeping it cool with his insane beard.


I use 1800Flowers.com so much that I have reminders sent to me so I don't forget to send people flowers. I just got one the other day for my recently deceased Grandmother. She would have been 93.