Andrew Q&A + what I learned from the night shift.



Hey everyone!!! Janae was off working all day, so I decided to write a post. First off, thank you for all the questions!!! That helps a ton to see what to write. This post is filled with a lot of random, so bear with me. Here are a few pictures of our day; then, I will answer a few questions and end it with a few things about working the night shift.

Beck is officially a mama’s boy. Anytime there is a choice, it is all mom. I either have to be riding my bike for him to want to hang with me (which I hope he continues to love), or I have to bribe him with something else for him to want to go with me. I’m not THAT mad about it, just a little bit.

They finished our floors yesterday, and I swear the oil finish they put on them is a biohazard. We had to run to Janae’s sister last night so we wouldn’t die of fumes.

All the remodeling has us outside the house quite a bit, so the fantastic warm weather this week has led to many picnics outside, and it has been fun!

Everyone else was gone, and out of the house, so it was just Beck and me at home working on the thousand things on my to-do list because the weather had been insane. I cannot believe how much snow we have gotten this year.

So we got some new chicks in February, and we have been introducing them to our existing group of hens, and it has been challenging. The older hens are establishing their pecking order. We have been keeping them separated at night, and one of the kiddos left the hatch where we get the eggs open. It’s big enough for the little chicks to get out. Fast forward to this morning, I went outside to find one baby chick running around on its own, and the others were nowhere to be found.

The above picture is how I found them. They were all huddling together between our house and the hot tub, I was so relieved, and it took FOREVER to find them. Our awesome neighbors found one too!! So glad they didn’t get snatched by an animal.

I decided to be Bob Vila and try to make our coop just a little bigger so the chickens all have some much-needed room from each other. I didn’t do a very good job constructing it, but we tried! If any of you have ideas to help integrate the two flocks, I am all ears!

So many neighbors are getting chickens; Skye says her new favorite animal of the day is a chicken, especially this one. I think the new animal changes by hour rather than by day, but we LOVE IT!

Remember the tree that almost fell on Brooke in the backyard? It is finally Spring cleaning around here, so Beck and I got to work with the chainsaw, and we took six full truckloads of this massive tree; I’m tired.

Alright, I know not that exciting of a day, but I wanted to answer some of the questions from a few readers!!

Question 1: John

Do you own a Specialized Bike? Do you have a road bike, gravel bike or hard tail in addition to your full-suspension mountain bike? Have you competed in any organized rides/races or do you plan to? Have you ridden gravel or roads or do you stick to single track and mountain bike trails? What is your ideal mountain bike day/ride?

Hey John!! First off, if you are willing, I want to go to the PNW, so BAD. You’ll have to tell me where to go to bring the family and where to ride!! I have ridden all kinds of bikes. Currently, I own a Santa Cruz – Hightower. It is the perfect do-it-all bike. I got a great deal on it, and it has a lifetime frame warranty and bearings too! So I’m stoked about it.

In a perfect world, I would love to have a gravel and road bike. However, I use the Peloton ALL THE TIME, especially during the winter; I hope that translates to my bike fitness this season. I have yet to do any races, but I keep thinking about it, just wondering what to do.

My perfect mountain bike day is riding most during the middle of the week; most times, I get the mountains to myself – they are empty. I love to do a little of everything. My favorite ride is about 20 miles and about 2,000 feet of climbing. Come out to Utah, and I’ll take you. I could talk about bikes all day – so I’ll have to stop there.

Question 2: Ali

Yes, I have a question for Andrew: Are you excited to see your bestie in Boston?!

Uh yes!! When do we get to see you??

Question 3: Jenny/Amanda

My daughter and I are dying to hear about your career change. No more DNP? What made you change your mind? I am a nurse and my daughter is in nursing school at SUU, so we are totally curious!

Hi Jenny!! This is a loaded question; I’ll try to get this simple. So I have 3 Bachelor’s Degrees: Exercise Science, Spanish, and Nursing. I absolutely love being a nurse, yes, there are some really hard times, physically, mentally, etc., but I truly wanted to have a career where I feel like I am adding good to the world and making a difference, albeit a small one. I wanted to find something that I felt fit me, my goals, and my family. I am actually going to try to stay per diem in the ICU so I can still keep my skills and have the “intensity” I love.

Ok… back to the point. For how much schooling I have done, I don’t love it. If I am being completely open and honest, I wasn’t happy with trying to fit everything in. I really liked the material I was learning, but I didn’t quite feel the passion or find that I was happy in the program. I didn’t also have a job that I really wanted or a field to pursue. Another detractor was that I was expected to find my own clinical preceptors in addition to working full-time, school full-time, find quality clinical placements, and shadow them in my already VERY limited time.

Long story short, I had been thinking hard about this for about six months. A job opportunity just kept coming up, and I didn’t really think much about it the first couple of times, but the opportunity is to be an Organ Donor Coordinator. I’ll be working as a nurse, and it literally hits all my wants in a career and lifestyle. I’ll work better hours and less time than I previously was as an ICU nurse (To answer Amanda’s question). I am really trying to be a morning person right now – we will see how that goes when I start working. There is a huge work/life balance focus for the team I’ll be working with, and the team seems to be AMAZING. So I’m excited about a new adventure.

I changed my Masters’s program to an MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management. I have less than a year, and it is an easier program. They also told me that if I ever wanted to go back to the NP program, I could do it after my Masters and it is only a year more. I’m not sure I’ll do that, but it is nice to know that opportunity exists.

I could also write a whole other post about this.

Question 4: Erica

Question for Andrew: Which one of your personality traits do you see in each of the kids?

It is really fun to see our different personalities and our kids’ personalities and how, if any, are passed on. One thing that Janae and I really agree with is sleep. There is something in Baron genes that make sleep and falling asleep VERY difficult. Bedtimes are hard with the kids that have some of my chromosomes. Janae and Brooke can fall asleep within 10 seconds. I also think the Baron side has some wild chromosomes – but that is up for debate. Nature vs. nurture, who knows?

Question 5: Arianna

For Andrew, I know his blogs are normally lighthearted/funny but I am sort of curious what tips he has for being a supportive spouse when a taper is difficult or race day goals don’t go as planned… Just say nothing, try to be encouraging…? Personally I get more annoyed with my spouse sometimes when he tries to be encouraging so it’s a lose/lose for him unfortunately.

This is a VERY important question, and I don’t know, hahaha.  I find that I am a fixer and will do anything I can to make things better, but if it’s a hard day at a race, injury, or whatever else.  Sometimes I hug Janae, and sometimes, I just sit there in the trenches with her and let her know that I love her no matter what, and I just love to cheer her on.  But you are right; sometimes, it is a lose/lose.  But That’s what we do!!


Okay, this post is wayyyy too long sorry about that! I just wanted to finish with a list of 5 things I learned from the night shift. This meme really sums up a lot!

1 – The night shift takes its toll on you. I think I was in denial for the longest time about this. I have major FOMO – fear of missing out on everything. I would rather sleep for 4-5 hours and be involved with the family than get extra sleep. My kids wouldn’t miss too much time without me because I would leave for work right before bedtime, and I would see them before they went to school.

To play devil’s advocate. I really don’t feel a difference between 6 and 9 hours of sleep. Anything less than six, I start to deteriorate and forget my first name. So if we are being honest, six nights in a row, I would feel my brain working slower, and I would have a lot less patience.

2 – The munchies come alive at night. I know this is probably scientifically proven – but I cannot believe how much food I can eat during the night shift. At my last job, management kept the back office full of all kinds of treats and food. THIS KILLED ME. I would subconsciously walk back to the office,   not realizing what I was doing. The security guards and I became best friends, mainly because I knew where the stash was (with permission, of course), but I needed to get into a locked office, and they always knew when I was calling that they were going to get the good stuff. I liked to do this a lot when I was the charge nurse. It seemed to brighten everyone’s night, especially at 2 AM.

3 – I ALWAYS would forget what day it was. I usually would work 5-6 nights in a row and all dates and times lose their meaning. The only important thing was to remember what night it was, whether it was night 6 of 6 or 1 of 6.

4 – You learn to be creative with everything. Sometimes it is very difficult to get a hold of a doctor, family member, and/or lab result. The list goes on. Sometimes it works, and sometimes you get someone yelling profanities through the phone. Sometimes you have to roll with the punches.

5 – My favorite thing about the night shift was that by the end of the shift, I was dead tired. But I could get into bed when I got home and fall asleep within 2 minutes. That DOES NOT HAPPEN normally for me. Maybe I’ll get healthier sleep habits and do that naturally. Also, if you have any tips on this, please send them!


1 – Have you ever worked the night shift? Did you like it?

2- Tell me about an unexpected career change. Are you happy you did it? Do you regret it?

3 – What is the most challenging thing that you have overcome? How did you get through it?


You May Also Like



Hi Andrew! I just wanted to share that my mom was an organ donor when she passed away and if you ever want to hear about the impact of organ donation on the family of the donor, and the direct impact of the nurses we experienced as her family through such a difficult time I’d be happy to share. Nurses are the most amazing people. You are making a difference!

Also, I made a career change from a corporate job to a local non-profit and am so thankful and happy with the change and ability to contribute to our community.

thanks to you and Janae for sharing so much of your life with us!


Hi Shannon!! Thanks for commenting! I would love to hear your experience about your mom, if you are willing to share!

Have an amazing day!!


So glad you found your chicks!!
I use to work nights and didn’t love it. I’m like you and don’t like to miss out on much. I prefer working days even though they are busier but also don’t love getting up at 430 AM haha
i know it’s been a few years for you, but do you have any suggestions/tips for preparing/writing the nclex exam?

Also, can you share a few of your favourite summer shorts…I need to get my husband some new summer clothes and you always have great style! :)
Thanks Andrew


Hi Jane!!
As for the Nclex, it has been a while. I think the thing that helped me most was practice questions. I did tons of those and that helped me realize what topics I need to focus more on and also key words/prioritization of care. Those are big points in the Nclex

Sometimes I feel like I still have teenage boy style haha. I love the billabong shorts and vuori shorts. I usually live year round in them. The billabong ones are called: all day layback. Vuori – I like all their stuff.


We were inly able to integrate our littles to our establish flock with chicken blinders. Easy to put on and made a world of difference!


Such a good idea!!!


Hey Andrew,
Great to read your post! And I’m glad you discovered the chickens. No experience whatsoever in keeping chickens so can’t help you there, I’m afraid.
1. Never worked to night shift and I have no intention to change that. I am ‘on call’ about 1-2 nights a week for patient that need help, but they rarely ever call.
2. Like you, I also started nursing school. Started in 2020 when my youngest was 5 months old, and I am nearly done, finishing my thesis this month. I have a Masters degree in cultural sciences. It doesn’t really compliment each other ;)
3. Nothing work related really, I’ve always had a good time at work and with colleagues. But I’ll be happy when I receive my degree, as you yourself know studying while taking care of little kids can be a challenge sometimes.
Have a great day!


Wow!!! Congrats, do you know what you want to do yet?? or is the ever changing? Thank you for saying hi!!


My husband rides the same bike, here in the PNW. We live in Bellingham WA and he rides Galbraith most often. It’s super family friendly here and easy access to trails for running and riding! Come visit and he will take you riding!


YESSS… I keep telling Janae that I want to go out there so bad. My favorite trails are riding through huge pine trees on single track. We will definitely come visit, just need to figure out when!!


Loved your post. In the world of bike justifications and n+1 (wink)….I would argue that with current technology, you dont need both a road and gravel bike. While it is nice to have both, I have found that having just my gravel bike and then an extra set of wheels with road tires mounted on them is incredible. So easy to switch back and forth depending on ride plans. Takes up less space and opens up a lot of options for riding ;)


Leann!! I was seriously thinking about this so much. Such an amazing idea – now I just need to get that, OR I have been thinking about getting a cross country bike to potentially race or do longer endurance rides. N+1 is definitely the best rule of thumb!


Andrew – for families your best bets in the Seattle are the Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Aquarium, and the Seattle Children’s Museum. There is also the Pike Place Market, which is near the Aquarium, but that might be a bit much with all the kids in tow. The Museum of Flight is also very cool. T-Mobile Field is a great place to catch a baseball game of course – hopefully the Mariners can get things pulled together, not looking too great so far. I also always suggest taking a ferry from Seattle to Bremerton and back (assuming the kids have never ridden). You can eat in Bremerton somewhere or just turn around and come back. It’s about an hour trip each way.

Be prepared to witness some of our homeless population. I had a friend that visited from Virginia several years ago that was pretty shocked at what he saw, and it’s only gotten worse. I personally have never had any issues and things are generally safe at any of the places I mentioned.

As far as cycling – North Bend is a great area with Tiger Mountain for mountain biking and also some great hikes. Snoqualmie Falls there would be a great place to take the kids.

I know there are some others from the PNW on here – please feel free to chime in!

Let me know if you guys ever decide to visit!


John!!! Thank you so much for the best ideas!! We are so excited to plan something up there. We will for sure let you know and you’ll have to tell us about all the best food places. The PNW is definitely calling us!


1. Yup! Worked in a large animal NICU/ICU overnight shift. I loved it at the time (I was in my early 20’s).
2. I went from being a veterinary technician (animal nurse) to an archaeologist. And I love it! Completely different field, unless I’m identifying animal bones!
3. Single hardest thing is being a single parent, but my family and friends are amazing and we are figuring it out!

Have an amazing time in Boston! Cheering Janae on from Delaware!!


I worked night shift, in a thoracic ICU for a year; I sleep like Janae which made it a very long year. I fall asleep quickly and can sleep for more than 8 hours. I felt like a zombie that entire year, fortunately that was before I had kids and I could sleep all day long. My husband worked nights for around 20 years and loved it. He was able to live a nightshift life all of the time and that made it easier for him. I enjoyed the atmosphere on nights, I didn’t enjoy how my body felt.

I have been doing respiratory therapy for 20 years and I do love it. I will do this for the rest of my working years. I do, however, do a variety of jobs within respiratory therapy and have a good work/life balance. I find that balance is crucial for me to continue doing and loving my job.

I ride a road bike, I am afraid of mountain biking even after taking classes on how to do it. I can’t have clip in pedals on a mountain bike, going down hill is terrifying, I would rather climb up all day and have a ride back down than do the opposite of that.


I’m sure you have seen quite a bit of things in your many years of service!! You are amazing!! I agree with you, clipping in on a mountain bike is very scary. I don’t do that – I have flat pedals and I love them. Happy riding!!!


I switched careers and ended up getting a doctorate and now I’m a professor. I love it and wouldn’t change a thing.

For getting your sleep habits on track, I highly recommend a sunrise alarm. I also think that sleep requires discipline. You have to commit to prioritizing rest!


I totally agree, sometimes I forget that discipline is something that it necessary in all aspects in life – especially rest/sleep. Professor!! That is awesome, what do you teach


Hi Andrew! Cool post! Thanks for sharing about your career path! I think you can really make a big difference in people’s lives with the organ donor coordinating. It’s literally life changing for the people you help!
I think so much of my working life has been rolling with the punches. When I was young I thought I’d have one job forever basically but I don’t think that’s how our world works anymore.
We are in the PNW! We’d love to have you all visit!


YESS.. We are definitely coming up soon! Hopefully this summer!!


L&D nurse here. I was a night shift for almost 9 years and thought I was a night shifter for life. I used to get by coming home and sleeping 4-5 hours and going back to a regular schedule on my days off BUT perimenopause is rude and I found that it took me days to recover. Also, it turns out doctors are much nicer to you when you don’t have to call them at 3 am.
Nursing is my second career – I didn’t graduate until I was 40. In my previous life I was a 7th grade teacher. I am so happy with my choice – I love my job and the flexibility it offers. And I honestly have the happiest job in the hospital (99% of the time).


I was a night shift ER/Trauma RN for 7 years! Like you mentioned, I thought it was great while I was doing it. I didn’t miss much time with the kids (I would come home from work, take them to school, wake up just in time to pick them up). But when I made a career change to an administrative position on day shift, whoa. It took about two weeks of switching to days before I realized how terrible I had felt on night shift! I had no idea how exhausted I was on those 5-6 hours of day time sleep until it was over. I felt like a whole new person back on day shift! Now, there is NOTHING that would bring me back to working nights. And after 18 years in emergency medicine, I don’t miss direct patient care either.


Loved this post! I’m an OB so all too familiar with the night shift life. My husband is a living donor kidney recipient. I’m so excited for you and all the families you’ll be able to impact. His organ team changed our life!


Andrew! Thanks for answering my questions about your career. I’ve worked in dialysis for 30 years and I know that transplant coordinators are AMAZING.
If I wanted to send something to Janae, does she have a PO Box?


Hi Andrew, and thanks for the post! Many years ago, I left grad school to pursue a different career, and am loving what I do. I have not regretted it at all. I was worried everyone would see it as ‘quitting’ but my friends and family were so supportive and my career now is such a good fit for me. I hope you’re really happy with your new job path.

I’m a terrible sleeper who has gotten a lot better. Going from a crazy student-y schedule to a 9-5 was helpful. I also realize that I need at least an hour or so to decompress and relax after getting home from anything before I try to sleep. Unlike other people who find reading really relaxing, it winds me up, so some good brainless TV is key. I also need to work out every day so that I’m as physically tired as mentally tired. And I absolutely do take melatonin– one half an hour before I go to bed will help me get that sleepy feeling I need. I have also learned not to get into bed before I’m sleepy, or I’ll just get stressed out about whether I’ll sleep. Finally, I have more trouble when I’m not home, or don’t have my husband/cat to snuggle with, so I have used the Peloton sleep meditations and like them.


Integrating the chickens…. Give the older chickens something to distract them for a long time. For example, pecking at a head of cabbage. Anything that will take their minds off of the new chicks. Have more than one water and food source so that the new chicks have access when the old chickens feel territorial. Try integrating at night, even placing them directly on the roosting bar. But before you do any of that just try to get the two flocks familiar with each other (maybe have the two coops close together so they can see each other, let them free range together, etc.). I hope this helps. It is difficult to do!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *