An Afternoon with Ashleigh

If any of you are from Michigan, or know someone from Michigan, you know when it comes to our state, we have about three main points of conversation: our lakes, our volatile weather, and our endless construction in the non-snow months. In recent weeks, my main complaint has centered around our sometimes-nice, sometimes-snowing springtime weather that’s caused me to have to reschedule more shoots then I care to admit. My eventual solution became to stop trying to schedule anything, and if I found myself with some free time, to grab my camera and go.

The problem with that strategy?

Most people don’t have the availability to up and shoot on a moment’s notice.

While I hadn’t given that fact much consideration, thankfully Ashleigh stepped in. Without missing a beat, she offered her time to work with me, and successfully assuaged my growing fear that I’d lost any photography-related talent I’d worked so hard to cultivate! (Seriously guys, THAT many shoots were postponed/rescheduled! It was bad!!).

Ash has become a dear friend very quickly and is someone I look up to in many respects. And not just because she’s the ULTIMATE GIRL NEXT DOOR. Seriously, she is. I’ve taken a poll. It’s unanimous.

Anyway, Ash and I met not quite six months ago when I began working at Starbucks for the third time. Apparently, three really is a charmed number because when I stumbled into this store, I ran into a lot more than I anticipated. I found dear friends, new coffee addictions, and a whole new level of clumsy that I’d never before discovered (yes, today I did drop two Mango Dragonfruit refreshers and an iced White Mocha, thank you).

Ashleigh has worked at this location for a couple years and manages to make balancing sixteen drinks, countless customers, and stressed out co-workers look easy. She’s a girl with a heart of gold and piercing, animated, blue eyes to match. Over time it became obvious Ash also has a tremendous amount of patience (bless her, she has to deal with me regularly) and a wry sense of humor that never fails to entertain! And at this point, maybe you’re wondering if I’m blowing steam, or just being dramatic, and while I may be a little bit… (fine, I dropped a Mocha frappuccino too), when it comes to Ashleigh, she’s well-deserving of the praise. In fact, if you know her, you know I really haven’t done her justice. She has my respect for the way she continuously goes out of her way to show respect for others, and her inherent sense of empathy is one of the most compelling personality traits I’ve ever encountered.

Since meeting her, I always thought Ashleigh had the most approachable beauty. It took me getting to really know her, to understand how deeply her beauty runs. There’s a lot more I could’ve talked about when it comes to Ash… the tremendous occupational therapist she’s about to become, our mutual obsession with Strawberry Açaí, or even her extensive knowledge of the Office. After all, all people are multi-faceted and daily complex! However, for now, I’ll settle for feeling extremely privileged to have gotten the chance to work with such an inspiring, talented human!

Still don’t believe I know the ultimate girl next door?

See for yourself…