Nurse's Week 2016 - Meredith

Nurses are so important to our community.  Alongside doctors they assist in making us whole and healthy again.  And making the sick comfortable.  Without nurses, our doctors couldn't perform their jobs as well..and they fill in medical gaps with compassion and companionship.  They're there when we're born, throughout our lives and they'll be there when we take our final breaths.  In honor of Nurse's week, I had the pleasure of treating two local Effingham nurses to a photo session.  They deserve it don't you think? ;) 

Meet the beautiful and amazing Meredith.  She has sparkling brown eyes, perfectly golden hair, and AMAZING smile...and she's a nurse.

 Meredith, local nurse at the neonatal intensive care unit and at an outpatient surgery center

Meredith, local nurse at the neonatal intensive care unit and at an outpatient surgery center

Meredith recently moved back to the Effingham, Illinois area.  She works in the neonatal intensive care unit at St Johns in Springfield and also at an outpatient surgery center near St. Anthony's.  She has been a nurse for 3 years and finds fulfillment in the profession.  When asked what she loved most about her job, this is what she had to say, "In the NICU, our patients are most often admitted very premature. It's so rewarding watching these too new and too fragile infants grow and develop right in front of me. There is nothing more fulfilling than witnessing these tiny miracles every day."  Parents....we are so lucky to have a woman like this in the NICU!  Someone who views your child as a 'miracle'. 

Meredith decided to pursue the nursing path when she was a teenager.  At the time she babysat children and dreamed of opening up her own daycare center.  Unfortunately, two of the children she watched became very ill and had to be hospitalized for a while.  The experience made Meredith realize that she had a desire to help children in a different way than she had imagined...she wanted to become a nurse.   I have always believed there are things that happen in our lives that point us straight to where we need to be.  This is a perfect example.  Although it's unfortunate these children were ill, our community benefits from here being in the right place at the right time to realize her path and ultimately serve the children in our area.

When Meredith isn't busy being a dedicated nurse, she can be found playing with her 'fur daughters', Ellie and Hattie.  She also enjoys activities outside and spending time with her family-especially her nieces.  She's looking forward to getting more involved in our community and can't wait to see what the future has in store for her. 

I asked Meredith if there were one thing she could tell the community about nursing, what would it be? "Nursing isn't all about dealing with blood, guts, poop, pee, snot, or any other bodily fluid you can think of. It's about being there for a patient or family during one of the most vulnerable, scary moments of their life. It's about making an impact and being a kind, friendly face when it is needed the most. "

Thank you Meredith!  It's people like you that help hold our community together!

Samantha Mays

Introducing my lovely sister, Samantha.

 Samantha Mays- college student- hard working single mom

Samantha Mays- college student- hard working single mom

Sam came into my studio to let me practice some of my new techniques.  And to have a fun girls day.  We attempted some imaginative portraiture and some boudoir.  Sam lives a few hours from me.  She's working on her bachelor's degree and hopes to one day enjoy a career she loves and raise a happy family. She has two awesome little boys (not that I'm biased) Landon (6) and Bentley (5).  She's also single (ahem eligible bachelors). ;)

We had a lot of fun during her session...getting creative and getting pampered.  And she loved her images.  Here's what she had to say: 

      "Ashley is very professional, but also loves to have fun. She was able to make me see myself in a way that I never thought was possible. If she can make me feel beautiful and love myself, she can do the same for you....I enjoyed getting spoiled while getting ready for the session....getting my hair and makeup done, yummy treats. I also found that seeing the final products made me feel so much better about myself.....I was afraid that I couldn't take good pictured and no matter what was done, that I wouldn't be able to see myself as beautiful. I was proven wrong, the pictures made me realize and feel that I am so much better than I thought I was. They made me feel gorgeous." -Samantha Mays

Enjoy a selection of her images below!

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