Moving, Michigan, and a New Page in the Lifebook

You may have noticed my abnormal silence last Thursday.

(If you didn’t, shame on you.)

I would love to sponge my inconsistency away with a laugh and a snarky quip, but sadly, both my situation and my surroundings render me speechless for anything but garbled slurring and incoherent ramblings about Great Lakes and cardboard boxes.

To cut a long story short — we moved.


For those of you who aren’t aware (shame on you twice), my family has been stuck in the complicated process of moving both ourselves and our home business from Maryland to Michigan, a process that started some time last year but was the result of seven years worth of dreaming. Those dreams and that process and all the blood, sweat, and tears we shed to make it happen finally came to an end last week, resulting in four tired but happy human beings and a blog post that never came.

So, yes — to answer the question you didn’t ask — life has been ever-so-smidgently crazy. Take, for instance, the 10-hour drive up. Normal people hire a moving-van. The Barans, however, think they’re better than normal people and can do everything themselves.


And that, my friends, is how I ended up in the backseat of our minivan alongside a freezer, two tubs of dried beans, various and sundry trashbags stuffed with clothes (they take up less space that a suitcase, you see), a plethora of children’s toys we planned to sell at some point but never got around to it, a sword (mine), a pair of art bags overflowing with things that don’t belong in art bags (like duck tape and plastic skeletons — also mine), and two cat carriers wedged into places that cat carriers most definitely should not be wedged.

One of those cats also threw up an hour into the journey.

For the first time in my life (maybe), I pulled rank as the youngest sibling and made Anna clean it up.

But despite a journey that was fraught with perils (AKA mom being paranoid about the car breaking down and the McDonalds server ruining our sundaes), the house was still standing when we finally arrived, weary and wounded and smelling of cat vomit.


Dad’s face says it all.

Moving is always complicated, but having done it seven or eight times in the last few years, you’d think we would be fairly good at it by now. However, if you think that, you’re in for a sad surprise. For instance:


This is Anna’s and my sleeping arrangement. If you’ll kindly direct your eyes to the left side of the picture, you’ll see an empty bed frame laying uselessly on its side.

Right next to a mattress.


I’ve also been stabbed at least eight times by splinters, since we ripped up the carpet but didn’t put anything else down in its place. We’ve been walking around on splintery sub-flooring for a week and a half, yet despite our pain, none of us are intelligent enough to put on some shoes.




THIS GIRL. This girl mowed two acres with nothing but a push mower.

My sister is the real-life incarnation of Wonder Woman.



*chokes on her drink* It’s… just look… it’s a… we have a…. *is rendered incapable of speech*

And thus is was that Sarah Baran finally found a partner to share her life with.


Yes, we own a BB-8 speaker. Because we’re cool.

Shout out to Corissa Maiden of Praise for reminding me that Adventures in Odyssey exist. Our first New-House-Tradition is to sit down every night and listen to two or three episodes. As you can see, Anna and I are generally the only ones who manage to stay awake through the whole thing.



Guys… Anna found a weapon.



Because we’ve moved so often, most of our household items spent a good chunk of time packed away in storage, while we functioned on the bare necessities. (The other day, I had to use a fork handle in place of a butter-knife for lack of the real thing…) But we’ve finally been able to haul everything out and look upon the treasure trove of memories and assorted wall-hangings that haven’t seen the light of day in what feels like ages. Mom remarked that it was like meeting old friends again


And then… there’s that.

Whatever it is.



Our second day here was graced with a rainbow, which was a nice reminder to uphold all our joy with gratitude to God, from Whom all blessings flow.

(That was strangely poetic of me.)



Anna had different priorities.

Seriously though, I’ve spent the last week wandering glassy-eyed around our house and yard, randomly touching things to make sure they’re real. After seven years of dodging in and out of rentals, basements, and friend’s spare rooms, it’s crazy to think that we’ve finally settled down. And here, of all places.

The Blue Water Bridge to Canada.

I’ll be honest: Though life has been a crazed conglomeration of of adventure, chaos, stress, deadlines, and excitement, that wasn’t the entire reason I didn’t post last week. They played a big part in that decision, yes, but when it comes right down to it…

I didn’t want to write a blog post.

Because how can I even begin to sum up these last few weeks? Written words are too flat, too colorless to capture the depth of emotion, the height of adventure, the fullness of my gratitude to God for giving me a wild bunch to call my family and a storybook to call my life.


Luckily, I brought pictures.

But sometimes, life is so good that you don’t want to waste the here-and-now trying to cram it into the narrow parameters of a page. Sometimes, it’s nice to forget about all of that and just be still, sitting with my family, our legs dangling over turquoise water as the lights of Canada wink at us from the opposite shore. Breathing in the twilight breeze. Thinking about our house with the caving-in staircase and the splintery floors, contemplating adventures past and dreaming about the adventures future.

Living the adventure present.




After seven years, God has finally brought an end to our Maryland chapter. Now the story is turned to the Michigan pages.

This ought to be fun to watch.

And for your last dose of amusement… can someone please explain to me what’s going on in this picture?


Even I don’t know.



28 thoughts on “Moving, Michigan, and a New Page in the Lifebook

  1. My, my, my, what an adventure! Looks like a lovely place…. although I’d hate to see it come winter…

    HOLD UP. Your sister mowed two acres IN A SKIRT AND WITH A PUSH MOWER???? I would faint from heat stroke after mowing five feet. WHAT ARE YOU BARANS MADE OF???


    1. *clamps hands over ears* DON’T REMIND ME OF WIIIINTEEEER…. It’s only September and I’m already freezing to death.

      WE’RE MADE OF POLISH STUBBORNNESS AND IRON GRIT. Or… some of us are. I may have somehow missed my share of iron grit… Though to finish off the picture for you, I really should add that it was 90 degrees the day she did that…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. #ModestWonderWoman ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m not one to mow the lawn in my metal bathing suit, that’s for sure!

    Also, you make a fantastic sea maiden (or lake maiden, whichever you prefer)


  3. Congratulations!!! It looks lovely!!! ๐Ÿ˜€
    You are more than welcome for the reminder. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    WOW you’re way far north. I may have to come visit you some summer. ๐Ÿ˜€
    *high-fives Anna* HELLO fellow skirt-wearing push-mower. (though I’ve never done 2 acres, because we’ve (sadly) never owned that much. you’re awesome!)
    I would say that the last picture looks like you’re about to spread your invisible wings and glide out over the water. Or else you’re just having fun. One of those two. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. THANKS!! AND COME. Being fully content with my new lodgings, I now need people to come and geek out with me about them. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Though we’re really not THAT far north… it could be worse, lemme tell ya.

      Anna applauds you. As do I. #SkirtWearersUnite


      1. I CERTAINLY WILL!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ Though there’s this little issue of needing a driver’s license first… ๐Ÿ˜› I really should have it by now, but driving is kind of the almost-only-thing that really truly scares me, so… yeah. I’m working on it. XD

        If you live close enough that you can see Canada, that’s far enough north to keep a day-trip almost out of the question. ๐Ÿ˜› Though maybe sometime we could meet half-way somewhere… *goes into ENTJ planning mode* XD


        1. Just looked up Bluewater Bridge… *headdesk* I completely forgot Michigan came that close to Canada on the east side; I thought you were all the way up north! (and geography is one of my favorite things, so that’s something I should have known ๐Ÿ˜› )


  4. A bridge to another country… that is such a cool thought. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I LOVE that sunset picture! Gorgeous. My mom has a lot of family who either live in or have come from Michigan. We live a good deal farther west.


  5. Ahem…I noticed, and I remembered. Do I get a prize…or something? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I think you Barans are really neat people, and often are people after my own heart. Keeping up two acres with a push mower long term is not, however. As my mother says, work smarter, not harder. So we need to find Wonder Woman’s protegee a riding lawn mower. (I have mowed one acre with a push mower before, but it wasn’t all nice and open and straight lines for much of it. I had to swerve and avoid oodles of various things in the yard to do it. Now I live in a house where there’s a riding lawn mower and a younger brother and mother who do it for me.)

    As for reminiscing over old stuff long put up in storage…I totally agree with your mom. Which makes it really hard to get rid of it. Hence the pile of stuff accumulated over the years which I just recently had to weed through and rip my heart out many times. *stops to cry over lost nick nacks*

    I thought the coolest picture is the one where it looks like Anna is standing on the back of an albino fish or ray or something and just looking out over the water as though nothing cool at all is happening. (Which I understand it’s actually just a rock shelf, and so it may not be cool, but it LOOKS cool.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And didn’t you tell me a couple days ago that you had practically NO furniture in the house? And yet I see a table, chairs, a bed frame, mattresses, dresser, etc. Hmmm….

    Anyways, welcome back to your blog!



    1. *shoves virtual chocolate at you* There’s your prize. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Yeah, we’ll get a ride mower eventually. It just… hasn’t happened yet.

      Also, THAT’S ME, FOR YOUR INFORMATION. *is offended**not really* ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anytime you see a human wearing pastels, it’s proooobably me.

      Yeah, well, that stuff wasn’t always there. And what you just listed is basically the extent. I have a bookshelf (priorities, here) and there’s a quilt chest somewhere and a cabinet in the kitchen, and a few assorted end tables, but that’s pretty much it. Our living room looks rather bare without a sofa…


      1. In my defense, the picture with your family waving their arms had the pastel-wearing girl in it, and you had no idea what those people were doing, so I naturally assumed that it was Anna running around doing something unfathomable to you and not YOURSELF! *ahem* I did think it was you until I tried to apply logic to the situation, just so you know. And that is a pretty frequent occurrence.


  6. *Sees Anna’s weapon*
    I needs this weapon….. I shall call it Branchy. and It shall be mine, my own, my precioussss.

    That. Dear Sarah, is why cats are gross. (Do not be mistaken, you should be very offended by this comment *stalks away in an uncatlike manner*)


  7. As someone from a family who mowed five acres with a push mower for three years…yeah. Kudos to Anna. And also for having one of her priorities be jumping in mud puddles. And to you all for surviving a Maryland-to-Michigan move!

    You guys look like you have so much fun. ๐Ÿ˜„


  8. Always happy to read about your latest adventures…I feel like I am there the way you describe things. So glad you are lovin’ it but we are missing you and can’t wait to hear all about it at the beach sooon! love you…


  9. Welcome to the world of ginger ale, Mackinaw Island Fudge, horrible road conditions, cold humidity, and showing people where you live by pointing to the general area on your palm.

    Oh and lots of trees and vacations “up north”.

    And you only fit in if you hunt or fish. (I am an outcast.)

    Gotta love Michigan. Welcome to the state! P.S. I don’t know what you call carbonated beverages in Maryland, but here it is ALWAYS pop. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  10. I noticed… And this week wondered if you would post… Or not… You did post! *throws feathers*

    It took me way to long to figure out what that was you were standing in. Then I realized you were on a rock. It almost looks like you’re turning the ocean to foam (or ice), gazing into the distance… “I wonder how long it will take to reach the horizon.”

    You ask me what is going on in that picture. I give you what is going on in that picture.
    Girl A (you) is stuck in a musical. Dancing back and forth. Singing about finally seeing her long lost sister (Girl b) who she misses and can’t wait to talk to again.
    Girl b (Anna, right?) is standing there waiting for her sister to give her a hug… But is a bit awkward as her sister is taking forever singing about how she misses her. And keeps acting like she is going to hug her, but then twirling around and belting out the next verse.
    …That what it looks like… *shrug*


  11. I noticed. You’re welcome.

    And your family seems so special- you get both Galadrial and Wonder Woman. My family has sisters #1-5, plus an evil mastermind with serious mental issues planning to take over the world. I’ll let you guess which one I am.

    Haha, my priorities are with Anna. And yeah, I know the feeling you describe. I’ve moved several times as well, and it always feels so unreal. Even after being in one place for a little over 3 years now, I sometimes just sit and cry for hours because WE LIVE HERE NOW. So… yeah. I do have emotions, apparently.

    And also, that second to last picture is just gorgeous… it looks like it’s a book cover.

    Anywho. Welcome back, Sarah, and I pray your time in your home is blessed.


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