Nine to Phive Photography & Events

Some things take a lot of faith.

Quitting your day job to do what you love professionally is probably right up there. It takes planning, preparation, courage, talent, perseverance, and ultimately just letting go and making the jump. You have to balance your mental and emotional well-being with your family’s financial well-being. I doubt it ever gets easy. I doubt you ever stop wondering where you could be if you hadn’t given up a steady income. I also doubt that it ever gets old.

Whatever the consequences might be, I think we have sacrificed enough of what we are meant to do. It’s time for us to start living the dream, everybody!

Those of you who followed Josh’s and my journey through Europe know that we are obsessed with photography. After a few years of building our skills and accumulating better and better gear, we decided that we were ready to attempt to launch our passion into a full-blown business endeavor.

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 1.51.03 PMThus Nine to Phive Photography & Events has been created. We are live on the interwebs as of yesterday, March 5th, and we are pretty darn psyched.

Obviously, we offer photography services (family portraits, weddings, and the like), but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Photography may be one of the the things that brings Josh and I together when it comes to this business, but we have also historically had hobbies and interests that have set us apart–just like any couple. Ever since planning my own wedding from top to bottom, I have been enraptured by the details of event planning. I am a creative and an administrator at heart, and those two characteristics together make me a natural for the job. Josh is also very creative, but his knowledge and skills when it comes to technology surpasses mine. This is why he is has been interested in DJing for awhile. Now that we’re committed to starting our own business, it makes perfect sense to bring our talents together to make something great.

We’re most excited to be providing quality event planning services with photography and DJ/emcee options in-house. We’re here to make your special day or moment as simultaneously unique and effortless for you as possible. Well, we’re here for you, that is, if you happen to live in Upstate New York 🙂

jjWe’re scared, I’ll admit. But making people happy with our work will make us happy. We’ll just have to trust that if we follow our hearts, the business and finances will follow. We’re going to do this, and it’s going to be great.

NOTE: Josh is still working full-time to keep us on our feet. I will be stepping down from my marketing job as soon as it is feasible.


Awkward and Awesome Thursday: PUSHing Through

Still image from a summer shoot with PUSH

Okay, so I’ve been fairly vocal on here about the fact that I’m pretty overwhelmed what with all of my classes, my internship, work, Muse, being married, being a sane person, being an at least somewhat nice person, and the like.

Basically I’ve hopped over to Nine to Phive long enough to complain about everything that’s going wrong, all the while being a bit hazy on everything that’s going right.

One of these such things is my simply fabulous internship at the local film studio Envision Productions. Paul, my supervisor, has taken me on all sorts of adventures with him, one of which involves filming a documentary about PUSH Physical Theatre. More on them later, but for now, suffice it to say that I am loving my job. Any day that I get to spend watching them work makes my own work seem worthwhile–and not nearly as exhausting as it could be. These guys work up sweat!

However awesome this crew may be, whenever there’s a lot of sweat, there’s a chance for a lot of awkward . . .


  • I get to work with these people . . . GAAAAAHHH . . . NOT . . . WORTHY . . .
  • I don’t vaccuum. Ever.
  • My hair keeps falling out.
  • The previous two items added together means little red dust bunnies strewn around the living room carpet.
  • Professor No. 1: Read the next four chapters of the book by Thursday. Professor No. 2: Read the last three chapters of the book by Thursday. Oh, and also these two chapters of this other book I forgot to tell you to buy. Me: AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!
  • Making bacon-raisin empanadas this weekend. Don’t knock it ’til you try it. 
  • That stupid Roll-Up-the-Rim-to-Win business on Tim Horton’s coffee cups. I have to use my teeth every time.


  • Even though I “made up my mind” to pursue a degree in communication and an internship in film, I still get to spend time in the theatre. You don’t know how good that feels 🙂
  • Being in the bathroom and overhearing my supervisor talking about me: “She’s great. She knows what she’s doing. She knows how to shoot, how to edit, how to light . . . It’s great.” *Blush*
  • Hosting our first Couchsurfer!
  • The rim-rolling paid off! We won two free drinks. The cup says free coffee or latte, but they actually let you get any drink any size.
  • Theatre dates with my love ❤ Can’t wait to see The Whipping Man in a few weeks.


I feel like I’m drowning.

I know I’m a drama queen, but I don’t see any point in lying about how I feel on Nine to Phive. Especially when hardly anyone reads this blog since I’ve gotten so lax about updating it. No one will be fooled, if you know what I mean.

A Muse performance at ELEV8 conference this year. I thought it was sufficiently depressing.

Maybe it’s because I now have an IC flareup for two weeks out of the month. Every month.

Maybe it’s because I’m scared to death that I won’t be able to keep a full-time job, let alone a job in the highly impractical field that I love.

Maybe it’s because I’ve had to take a 19-credit load this semester just to graduate on time (barely). Oh, and those extra credits? They cost me $800 of over-enrollment fees.

Maybe it’s because two of Muse’s biggest performances of the semester are over and I don’t feel relieved. No less busy. No less stressed. No less out of breath.

Maybe it’s because, after two and a half years of marriage, I feel like I should have worked out so many of the selfish struggles that my newlywed friends seem to have no problem with after just a few months.

Maybe it’s because I feel guilty turning to my family for support when they’re struggling just as much as me right now.

Maybe it’s because I love God, love my church, and love my brothers and sisters in Christ, but can’t find the time or energy to invest in my personal spiritual life.

Maybe it’s because I want more than anything to write freely–stories, poetry, journals, grocery lists, bucket lists, this blog–and I can’t even find time to do my required writing for class.

Maybe this is my life now.

Keeping my head above water. 


I thought graduating this spring would feel like a weight being lifted, but as I approach commencement with all of this and more baggage (some of which won’t disappear the moment I walk across that stage), I feel as though it’s just a doorway into different and heavier weights pressing down on me.

Pressing down on my lungs . . . 
On my heart . . . 
On my spirit . . . 
I’m broken . . .

Drowning . . .

Oh, and a drama queen. There’s that, too.

Back from the Abyss

I know what you’re thinking. How dare I come back after such a long absence and post another Awkward & Awesome and think that everything will just go back to normal? I understand your hurt. Unlike more successful blogistas such as Sydney over at the renowned Daybook, I did not have the courtesy to let you know that I would be taking a break from blogging for half of forever.

Well, that’s because I never meant to. I had no intention of staying away from Nine to Phive for so long, or at all . . . Every night when I came home from work after being in classes all day, looked at the clock and thanked God that Josh and I were used to eating dinner on a European schedule, looked into the fridge and asked for our “loaves and fishes” to be multiplied, and looked at my lonely laptop with the broken keyboard, I said to myself “When was the last time you posted? Don’t you have time to whip something up tonight?”

The answer was never “yes.”

All that to say, I got kind of tired of being a victim to my crazy schedule, and I made up my mind (just today, actually) to take back my life and my blog.

So here I am! Hope that all is forgiven and that we can look forward to a lot more posts together in the future. Since we last spoke, and I mean before I started babbling about Yom Kippur and TobyMac and Spanish art museums and actually talked about what was going on in my life, I have been up to quite a lot.

  • I have begun my final year of college. If (and it’s a big ‘if’) I get into a course offered at a sister campus next semester, I should graduate right on time! Can’t believe it’s happening already.
  • I have started two new jobs as a writing lab tutor and ESL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher. Love both of them! I feel more like a therapist than a tutor at times, but that’s what makes it interesting.
  • Josh and I have been really focused on keeping our marriage strong. Like saying ‘no’ to work and school commitments to spend more time together and all that mushy gushy stuff ❤
  • I have enrolled in a digital video production class. Changing. My. Life. I don’t know why I didn’t take this course ages ago. I was meant to do this, and I’m loving every minute. I love the professor. I love my camera. I love HD. I love have card-swipe access to the Mac lab. I love everything except the stupid program we have ot edit in . . .
  • I have been in the process of directing a student-written theatrical performance set to debut in November. Muse Creative Arts Ministry is a campus organization (of which I am now the president) that groups creatively-inclined students together on projects to impact the campus and community. Our pioneer performance, “The Chains,” is an exploration of the many ways that slavery and bondage manifest themselves in the human experience. It is going to be absolutely beautiful, but it is a lot of work.
  • I have written a feature-length screenplay that will get produced in the summer of 2014. Did you read that correctly? I am going to be a produced screenwriter and director. I am so utterly excited, I can’t even think of anything else to say on this topic . . .
  • I’m looking for an internship. As if I don’t have enough to do.

So there’s a run-down of the stuff you can expect to hear about on Nine to Phive from now on, because every single one of these things is trying to dominate my attention. Stick around for the ride, and you might see something cool!

Awkward and Awesome Thursday: School Days


  • Registering for my Spring semester classes of my senior year. Where on earth has the time gone?
  • Performing “Some Nights” in ASL at Homecoming. (picture above)
  • Being an instant away from sending an “I love you :-*” text meant for hubby to Stryker.
  • Presidential debates. Enough said.
  • I was so excited to take my required Persuasion course at RIT and, you know, graduate on time. They told me in July that it was too early to register and to come back the first day of classes. They told me the first day of classes that the class was full and I couldn’t get in. Fail.
  • My dear friends from Messiah Theatre had their senior showcases recently, and I couldn’t get out of work commitments. Saddest of days :-
  • A garbage bag left in the trunk of our hot car. Blech.
  • Working on my abstractions project for Video class. Turns out I’m not an abstract enough thinker. Well, there’s a problem I’ve never had before . . .
  • Avocado pits. Slippery balls of evil standing between me and my healthy-fats-filled goodness.

  • Fall is here 🙂
  • Going for a drive with all of the windows down to air out the garbage stench.
  • Having my family right around the corner. Well, 15 minutes away. Close enough.
  • Free Dinosaur Barbecue. Our class council is awesome.
  • Muse Creative Arts Ministry is busy as can be preparing for our fall performance, “The Chains.” Rehearsals just started last night!
  • Volunteering as a photographer for campus-related and personal events and getting “paid” with concert tickets and free wine tours.
  • Kristen’s boyfriend (and Josh’s buddy) Neme moved to the US last month! It’s been so great having him here.
  • Progressive dinner at professor’s homes. I love these faculty couples 🙂
  • Josh and I got an incredible deal on our class’s senior cruise . . . and we decided to go! Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to us! What a fun and relaxing and not-at-all-like-our-experience-in-Europe this will be.

Happy Anniversary to My Long-Distance Love

I’m not sure if you guys have picked it up from the past few Awkward & Awesomes (I know I missed one!), but Josh and I are actually not living together this summer. Most people who hear this and don’t know us very well seem to automatically assume that this means we are separated, probably waiting on a divorce.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

My husband loves me so much that he is working around 60 hours a week (often twelve hours at a time overnight shifts) to provide for me and our future family. A job opportunity opened up in our former hometown back in Pennsylvania that paid more than double what Josh was making here in Rochester. To recuperate the savings we spent while in Europe, we agreed it would be worth the time apart to make that much-needed cash.

Well, after three months of only seeing each other on weekends (sometimes!), we’re not so sure it was worth it anymore. But the end is finally in sight! August 19th is Josh’s last day, and hopefully some time shortly after that we’ll be able to celebrate our anniversary properly–

You know, together.

Reblog: 33 Ways to Stay Creative

This poster absolutely made my day after a night of dealing with a stomach bug and still needing to come into work this evening. I came across it on tumblr and have had no luck locating the original author, which breaks my heart a little bit. He or she deserves credit for something so inspirational!

It’s all so simple, yet so ingenious.

I couldn’t have stated so many of these tips better myself, and the list is perfectly inclusive. When I think of my favorite ways to “spring clean” my creative mind and exercise those imagination muscles, I come up with almost this list exactly! It seems to me that the author left nothing out!

Well, you know what I think of this list (I highly recommend making lists to foster creativity, by the way), but what do you think?

What do you do to stay creative?