The Porter Annual Post is here!

Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s the holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! And Happy New Year! Everything falls within a week of one another this year. I think the universe knows that we all need a week of celebrations, joy and light. What a year it has been!

Aside from the hundreds of other reasons that 2016 was tricky (do I even need to list them?!), roughly a year ago I was coming to the realization that I was experiencing postpartum depression, anxiety and anger. The whole kit ‘n caboodle. Faaaantastic. When I look back on this year I feel like I experienced it in a fog. I was here, but some days I did not feel very present. In short, 2016 was really hard for me and my little family as we worked to find a balance that helped me to be a better person. We are so very fortunate to have close friends and wonderful families that love and care for us when we need it the most. And in that way, 2016 was amazing,

When it came time for the Porter Annual Post we almost didn’t do it. It felt like too much to handle and do. Designing an idea, finding clothes, props, coordinating calendars with Kelly, working around naps and cranky children, putting the cat on a diet (kidding!), decorating the tree early, yadda yadda yadda. Soon though (early November), people started telling me how excited they were to see the 2016 edition and how much they looked forward to it each year. I eventually knew that we could not take away that small joy, especially when some days we need every ounce we can gather.

And so, I present to you the 6th Edition of The Porter Annual Post! Many thanks to the lovely Kelly of Mountain Dog Photography who helps make our vision come together each year! It’s a fun tradition that I am so glad we tackled again this year.

Enjoy this year’s card and have a peek at all of the previous years! It’s a fun little trip down memory lane.

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It all started in 2011 when Devin and I moved into our vintage farm house. It was done as a joke because Devin used to tell his kindergarten class that he read the Wall Street Journal at home! 🙂

2011 Christmas Front working_a

2012 I was very busy with my business, so Devin had to do the baking.

2012 Christmas Front working_fullsize

2013 we added a new model! Oh my goodness, he was so little!

2013 Christmas Front APPROVED

2014 was cozy and nice.

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2015 we celebrated with a New Years card because there was no way I was getting Christmas cards together with a 3 week old and 2 year old around! 😀

2015 Christmas Front Approved

What is Saint Nicholas Day? And how we celebrated.

Saint Nicholas, born during the third century in Greece, was a very giving man who dedicated his life to God and serving the needy. He is known as the protector of children, the patron of sailers, and a friend to those in trouble. His most common recognition though is for being a gift giver, particularly to those who needed something.  There are many stories about this saint, however one of the more popular stories is one that has led to the celebration of Saint Nicholas Day on December 6th. The story goes that he helped save a poor man’s three daughters from a life of slavery by secretly delivering bags of gold for them to use as their dowries. The gold was dropped through a window and fell among their socks and shoes. This leads to the current day tradition of children setting out a sock or a shoe the eve of Saint Nicholas Day in the hopes that some treats might be delivered to them. Chocolate coins and oranges are the most popular gifts, both representing the gold that was given by Saint Nicholas. He really is the original Santa Claus!

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Now, in addition to being a wedding and portrait photographer, I am also a mother. Each day I strive to teach my little ones (3 and 1) to be kind, compassionate, and loving. Some days my little life lessons are better received than others. Often I just accept the fact that they are little and that tackling one another is also a brotherly form of affection.

Up until this year I did not know much about Saint Nicholas Day. It is celebrated on December 6th, which is the feast day for Saint Nicholas. While we are Lutheran, we never celebrated this day in my family and mainly spent the months of November and December learning about advent and eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus. This is not to say that my parents did not instill Christian values in us and remind us that Christmas is also the birth of Christ, but let’s face it…Santa Claus!!! We had toy tunnel vision.

So along comes the Christmas this year and my husband and I are faced with introducing Santa Claus to our oldest son who is newly 3. We’ve gotten away with not mentioning SC the past couple years, but he is old enough now to see it in books and ask about it. Neither of us are opposed to playing along and delivering gifts from SC, but we also knew we wanted to really focus on the giving aspect of the season and not a bunch of “Gimme! Gimme!”

I then overheard another mom talking about Saint Nicholas Day and an idea popped into my head…Instead of giving the boys treats, why not celebrate Saint Nicholas Day by guiding them to be like Saint Nicholas? Instead of having the boys put socks or shoes out to receive gifts from Saint Nick, I had them help me prepare gifts to bring to people on Saint Nicholas Day! On the eve of Saint Nicholas, Brennan helped me bag up oranges and chocolates with little well wishes and pretty ribbon. Sullivan offered his joyful support by watching and chewing the ribbons. While working we talked about how nice it is to do things for others and to share what we have. We also talked about how good it feels to make others smile.

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Saint Nicholas morning we hopped into our sleigh and Brennan called out the name of our first delivery. He donned a red and white Santa hat as a disguise so no one would know who he was and we dropped off our first bag. While no one was home at the time, we soon received an excited message thanking us for the sweet surprise. Brennan was elated! We made eight stops with our Saint Nicholas treats and each time Brennan eagerly donned his Santa hat and grabbed a bag. He would joyfully say “Happy Saint Nicholas Day” and pass off the treat with a smile. If no one was home, he would tuck it safely by their door so they could “find a smile later”. (Three year old sayings kill me with cuteness!)

Later that evening we sat together before bed and I asked him about his favorite part of the day. Sledding with his brother came up, as well as chasing the dog in the snow, but then he paused and truth be told he said, “We make people happy today…And smile.” That folks is what I would call a parenting win. And man it felt good!

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He makes me so proud! In addition to preparing for Christmas and raising two tiny humans, I am working on something new to add to North Photography. Each year I strive to give more and I am very excited at what might be coming together! More on that later.

If you have young children and want to introduce the original Saint Nicholas to them, I highly recommend the Veggie Tales movie Saint Nicholas-A Story of Joyful Giving. It was cute and inspired conversation with Brennan. Thank you to the St Nicholas Center for a wonderful explanation of who Saint Nicholas was and the many stories that surround his existence.

May we all be so loving and giving. 

Welcome

My name is Kathleen and I am a wedding and portrait photographer located in Vermont. If you are looking for beautiful pictures and inspiration, you have come to the right place! In order to book a session or wedding date, please contact me today!

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802-435-0224 | kathleen@north-photo.com

Located in Westford, Vermont