Blogging Laryngitis


nicole bullock thinking
You know that feeling when you have laryngitis? Straining to make noises, a sore/achy throat, and feeling the effects of vocal fatigue? You know that you should probably rest your voice, even though you have a lot to say? That’s how I’ve felt lately with my blogging. I have said so many things on my blog over so many years, and I continue to think of so many things to write about. Even though I technically have a voice, I feel like a bit of vocal rest is best right now.

Micro-posts on social media have been just what the doctor ordered lately. I’m doing so much in my personal, professional, and private life, so blogging has been on the back burner. When I do write, my posts end up being saved unfinished in my draft folder. I have spent over 12 hours writing about a topic really close to my heart this month, but when it came down to hitting publish…I couldn’t do it. I did not feel ready to open myself up to the possible criticism and necessary explanations that it would begin. You have to have a thick skin to write about anything potentially controversial, and my skin is eerily thin right now.

The past 6 months since my move to Detroit have been a thrilling, fast-paced, up-down-and-sideways, and sometimes horrifying experience. With my professional career being Internet-based, the appeal of blogging has waned over the last year.  Knowing that business decisions can be influenced by the things that I publish, I have grown extremely cautious.

It’s weird that I feel like this right now, because I living in Detroit gives me SO much to talk about. I am falling in love with my new city, and I want to “say nice things about Detroit.” I love the history, architecture, and culture that have made the Motor City so interesting and appealing to me. I’ve been toying about starting another offshoot blog dedicated to all things Detroit (because I have an addiction to registering domains, and already have purchased a few for this purpose). But again, social media feels like the right place to share it.

Bear with me as I figure out my place in the blogosphere. I’m going to sip my icy drink and listen for a while.

Wordless Wednesday: Ingrid Michaelson Tonight

Wordless Wednesday: Neverending Detroit Winter

never ending Detroit winter

Settling Into Life in Detroit

blue berkley bullock homeOur family has been in Michigan for a few weeks now, and I feel like we’re settling into normal life. Well, as much as possible.

November was a month of transition. Packing, driving cross country, starting a new job, finding my way around, and trying to catch my breath. We were fortunate to be able to stay with the Mero Family in Plymouth for a few weeks, who we knew from our time in Michigan back in 2008. We did the one-car double-commute thing for two weeks, where we’d leave Plymouth, drop Taylor off at the airport in Romulus, I’d drive to work in Troy, and then go back to Plymouth. It was 120 miles round trip, and very exhausting and time consuming. I flew back to Salt Lake two weekends in a row to pack, attend a going away party, and get some last visits in with friends and family. On the second trip back, Rosie returned to Detroit with me.

I began working as an SEO specialist at Moncur Associates, a digital branding agency. I will be focusing on SEO, but working with the social media team to integrate social and content strategies for our clients. It’s been an interesting transition to go back to SEO after doing full-time social media at my last job, but I know that my social media experience makes me a better SEO, and vice versa. When I began working, the office was in Troy. Three weeks later, the office had relocated to Southfield. It’s a convenient location to my house, and a pretty snazzy contemporary office.

wooden dining room setOn the last day of November, we got the keys to our new house in Berkley. Our house is a cozy blue 1920’s bungalow with a white porch, squeaky wood floors, and a good backyard. Berkley is a suburb 11 miles north of downtown Detroit. I know this because we live off 11 Mile Road. When we drove out from Utah, we packed as much as we could into the cars. Because we had to coordinate the moving truck with Taylor’s company, we knew it would be a while before our stuff was delivered. Right now, the estimated arrival date is December 30th.

Our Black Friday was spent furniture shopping. We got some fantastic deals, and purchased a dining room set, couch, and beds. Other than our new furniture and the miscellaneous STUFF we’ve purchased on our multiple Target/Meijer/Costco/Walmart runs, the house is otherwise empty. It will be nice to have all of our dishes, kitchenware, dressers, linens, decorations, and clothes, but for now…we have enough to get by.

7 foot artificial christmas treeWe debated over a real vs artificial Christmas tree this year. I was set on getting a real tree…until I went shopping for a real tree. I don’t consider myself OCD at all, but I started getting frustrated at the “fresh” trees I saw in tree lots. Most were severely asymmetrical and patchy, and really didn’t look very pretty. The ones that were full and looked nice had very sharp needles. Four lots later, I gave in to Taylor’s pleadings and got an artificial tree. As a consolation, we bought a lovely fresh fir wreath. With the tree set up, full of lights and ornaments, this alone has helped our house feel like a home.

Christmas will be simple this year. Taylor will be on a 4-day trip, so Rosie and I will be on our own. Luckily, many new friends and people in our ward have invited us to celebrate with them, so we’ll have ways to be merry in our new city.

Wordless Wednesday: Woodward Avenue, Downtown Detroit

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Wordless Wednesday: Four Days in Michigan

michigan collage

I’m Moving to Michigan

detroit map pinLast night I updated my Facebook status, and mentioned our family’s move to Michigan at the end of the post. The general reply?

“Whaaaat? No! You’re Moving? Did I miss your announcement?!?”

Although I’ve been talking about our upcoming move for several months, I guess it’s never been official because I didn’t make a big to-do on social media.

So here’s the official announcement. Through the months of November and December, our family is moving back to the Detroit area. Taylor and I are driving out one car full of stuff on November 3rd, and the moving truck will probably come the first week of December once we’ve found a place to live. In the mean time, I’m going to stay with a family from our old ward for the days I’m in town. I’ll be in Salt Lake at various times through the next 5 weeks, but it’s going to be pretty busy with packing and moving preparation.

michigan mitten map print

To address the fact that it’s DETROIT I’m moving to: Yes, I know the city is bankrupt. Yes, I know the winters are cold. Yes, I know that it’s far away from Utah. Yes, I know you don’t like X sports team. But I’m okay with it. Our family needs this. And we’ve lived in Michigan before, so we know what to expect.

Taylor was transferred to Detroit back in March. He’s been commuting to Memphis for the last 4 years, but it hasn’t been too terrible because he could jumpseat on FedEx flights. Since he’s been based at DTW, he’s been dealing with two big stressors: living in a crashpad and commuting back and forth on standby. Both Detroit and Salt Lake City are Delta hubs, which means that a lot of passenger traffic gets rerouted at the last minute. He thinks he has a way home, then gets bumped. Or has to route through another city. It’s enough to take his 2-4 days home down to 1-3, and sometimes he’s home less than 24 hours before he’s gone another week. He’s hating crashpad life: 15-25 pilots sharing a hotel room full of crappy bunkbeds and one bathroom. Seven months of that torture has been enough to consider a career change. I don’t want him to quit his dream without giving life in Detroit another try.

michigan leavesRight now I’m being considered for a few different jobs, and will be flying out to Detroit for interviews in a few days. I’ve been job hunting for months, but earlier in the year didn’t turn out to be the right time to move. Now it is, and we’re being proactive. It’s scary to put moving expenses on a credit card and not know when I’ll have work, but sometimes a leap of faith is necessary.

It’s going to be difficult to leave Utah. We have such a strong support network for friends, family, neighbors, and former coworkers. We’ve been back in Utah 4 years, and it’s feeling harder to leave than when we left in 2006. But don’t you fret…we’ll still be back to visit. We’re planning to come back from Christmas.

Want to see us before we leave? On Saturday, November 16th, I’m going to hold a going away party open house. The location will be determined soon, but you can keep tabs on the event on the Facebook event. Hope to see you there!

 

6 Months in Michigan

I can hardly believe that our family has been living in Michigan for 6 months now! Here are a few of my favorite things about living here:

-Living in the same state as my husband!
-Fireflies!!! (Rosie and I counted over 70 of them last night)
-Diet Vernor’s Ginger Ale
-Partying with the Pearces
-Leo’s Coney Island
-Mike, Erin and Will
-The spectacular rainstorms and thunderstorms
-Hillary, Steven, and Elodie
-Jerusalem Garden in Ann Arbor
-Plymouth Township Park
-Pizza Papalis in Greektown
-The Henry Ford Museum
-Easy access to the rest of the country via Detroit Metro Airport on free flights

I don’t know how long we’ll live in Michigan. Taylor’s under the impression that we’ll figure out a way to move back to California in 6 months (as long as his airline survives the merger and he can get a bid for the ATL base and commute from ONT). If we do move back, I wonder if we’d be any better off financially than we are here (and we’re currently NOT making it financially). I really miss my friends and family on the other side of the country and have felt a lot of loneliness here. We have made a few good friends, and I crave the time we spend with them. I am grateful for the good times we’ve had in Michigan (and the places we’ve visited while living here).

You know you’ll be housebound when…


I looked out the window this morning around 5:30, knowing that there was a snow storm overnight. Apparently, we got about 3 inches of snow, then an inch of ice, covered by another 4 inches of snow. School’s already canceled. Looks like it’s soup, hot tea, and movies for Rosie and I today!

Road Trip Complete!

After 1750 miles (in addition to the 670 from LA to SLC), I am finally “chillin” in Michigan…both literally and figuratively. Actually, the weather has warmed up a bit, so it’s a balmy 31 right now. Our apartment won’t be ready until January 18, so we are basking in the generosity of the Pearce family from our new ward. We looked for deals on extended stay motels, temporary rentals on Craigslist, and options with people we barely know in far-off corners of the Detroit-Metro area. After a few weeks of looking, nothing was panning out. Last week I got in touch with my new RS president, who helped set us up with a family in our ward that could host us for two weeks. They are totally generous and lovely, and living in their house feels like I’m playing “house” as a child again. The beds are more comfortable than I’ve ever owned, the theater room rivals any one I’ve ever visited, the three fridges are stocked with goodies from Costco, and the house is just amazing. It’ll be hard to move back into our painted-cinder-block-wall apartment in two weeks.

Today I’ll be attending church in the Plymouth Ward, and this evening I’ll pick Taylor up from the airport for his next 3 days off. Rosie will be signed up for school tomorrow, and we’ll find a bank account to open (with access in CA, UT, and MI…none of which BofA, Wamu, or Wells Fargo can offer) I’m signed up for intermediate algebra, statistics, quantitative reasoning and writing…and will order my books this week and start with coursework.

It’s been so nice to have a couple weeks off. I’m glad the roadtrip is over…and Michigan is ending up to be nicer than other peoples’ predictions. There’s my update.