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Family Update 2015


We hope this letter finds you well. It’s hard to believe another year has come to an end, while it is bittersweet to say goodbye to 2015, we are looking forward to 2016 and all that God has in store for our family and for yours. 

A little recap from our year: 

Olivia is now 6 and started first grade this year and has been doing exceptionally well. She received student of the week award recently and was so proud. She loved making her ‘all about me’ poster and proudly displaying it in her class. She’s reading short beginner books and getting smarter by the minute! Her favorite subjects in school are math and art, she is a smarty pants this one! She has been in dance this year, hip hop to be a specific, and while she is more of an introvert and our shy girl she surprised us and really enjoyed her dance recital! 

Gianna is 4 and is in pre-K. She absolutely loves school and all of her teachers and friends, it’s so cute to watch her personality blossom and grow. She loves all things dance and gymnastics, pink, frilly, and girly. She would wear 10 different outfits a day if we let her. She loves accessories and bows in her hair, and she is quite particular these days about how she lets mommy style it. She is what one would consider the stereotypical “middle child” and is quite sneaky and mischievous at times, more than 10 minutes unsupervised and shes painted her dolls nails and has a full face of pageant makeup on! We love her dearly and are excited for this last year of her home before she starts Kindergarten next fall. 

Rocco turned 2 in October and is a W I L D boy! We didn’t realize how different boys and girls could be until he joined our family. He is in a little preschool class a couple days a week and loves playing and being the rough and tough little boy he is with his friends. His sisters still adore him even when he destroys their doll house, Olivia actually loves tucking her brother in bed every night and getting him up every morning, it’s so sweet. He is all boy and we are enjoying the challenge of raising him and learning the things that make him tick. Alex often lovingly defers situations to Mike because she is so used to the girls personalities. Thankfully we are a great team! 

Alex is doing great, she transitioned into a new position in the NICU which has been her dream since before becoming a nurse. She is loving her job and learning so much every day. In her ‘free time’ she loves all things photography and as some of you know has a studio in our home specifically for newborn photography. She has a website you can see here: and loves collecting cute baby props and photography gear. 

Mike is also doing great, he has been working primarily from home as now he has a team of employees who work his photobooth events while he is busy on the back end doing administrative things. Snapbooth has grown a lot over the last few years, and while primarily his business is built from weddings he has also branched into a lot of private, corporate and charity events. The latest news is that his business is expanding to California in 2016 and we are so excited for what this new adventure has in store! 

We feel blessed beyond measure every day and love that the holiday season helps us to reflect and reminds us even more how abundantly blessed we have been. We thank God every day for YOU being a part of our lives, near or far, we believe God is personal and intentional and has crossed all of our paths with great reason. Should any of you want to visit Arizona anytime, keep us in mind as we would love to see you! Be sure to pack lightly in the summer months, SPF 150 sunscreen and a bathing suit because we spend all summer in our pool. If its the winter, dress warm because it can get a bit nippy here, just look:


So much love from all of us to all of you!!

Pat BurkardDecember 27, 2015 - 8:52 pm

What a great writer you are… Love reading and following the family.

Rocco: 7 month letter

My sweet yet crazy baby,

You seriously seem like a toddler because nothing about you is very baby-like these days except that you still drink a bottle. You are quite the little personality around our house! Now that you are crawling and climbing nothing will stop you. Your sisters are constantly yelling “mom, come look what Rocco is doing” or “no Rocco, get down!”

At 7 months you are:

-crawling like a maniac…not just crawling, but climbing and are seriously a crazy baby!

-eating anything I give you, baby food is for the birds. Your favorites are bananas, watermelon, frozen waffles, shredded chicken, peas, sweet potato and of course puffs

-love going in the pool

-still up once a night to eat

-such a monster we already had to put your crib down to the lowest level, you wake up every morning growling and laughing and holding on to the crib bars like tarzan!

 -SO happy when I come and get you in the morning or after a nap, you squeal and have the biggest sweetest smile and huff and puff and growl until we pick you up

 -loving movies. Your favorite is Frozen. Your favorite thing to do is sit in your high chair with puffs and watch it. You seriously get at least halfway through every time

-love to play in the loft with your sisters. You are really brave by the stairs so we have to barricade it with a toybox but you love crawling around and spitting up all over the toys, or standing up on their giant dollhouse and pretending to be tarzan again ;)

-got a haircut! Auntie Beana gave you the cutest little boy baby haircut

-are a really easy going happy baby and we couldn’t love you more!

To the moon and back,


Rocco: 6 month letter

To my sweet son,

You are halfway to a YEAR old, say it isn’t so. These last 6 months have been fast and furious my love, as I am sure the next 6 months will be and the rest of your childhood. I say this every month, but 6 months is for sure my favorite!

At 6 months you are:

-eating puffs and LOVING them. Seriously, you are obsessed with them

-love sitting in your high chair and watching the movie Frozen with your sisters

-are CRAWLING! I wouldnt call it a textbook crawl, but you are on all 4′s and you move from one place to another

-are down to one feeding at night now

-still wake up between 5 and 6 and love watching your Praise Baby DVD’s

-love to smile

-are really photogenic

-are getting much better at hand/mouth coordination

-love your big sisters to pieces

-have THE best hair of any baby, ever. Every single person who ever sees your picture agrees. People seriously cant stop talking about your hair.

-still love your dad the most, he can make your face light up by just walking in the room. I think its because you think your looking in the mirror ;)

-are 18 pounds and wearing 9 months clothes

-are super squirmy and wiggly, you cant sit still when someone holds you!

-are such a joy to us and we couldn’t imagine life without you!

To the moon and back,



Rocco: 5 month letter

My BIG 5 month old boy:

Squeeze your cheeks, touch your hair, kiss your sweet face, snuggle your babyness thats growing way too fast, repeat.

At 5 months you are:

-wearing 6 month clothes

-starting to move around on the floor

-not quite able to sit up but like being in your bumbo chair

-love playing in your exersaucer propped up with blankets

-sit in your high chair like such a big boy

-love your big sisters

-ADORE your daddy, seriously your face lights up when he comes in the room

-have this new REALLY high pitched scream when you want to get our attention. It works.

-will grab and hold toys

-are 17 pounds

-get super messy when we feed you baby food

-every morning you wake up between 5 and 6 and love watching your Praise Baby DVD’s

-smile when you see a familiar face

-are obsessed with eating puffs (a baby snack that dissolves right when it goes in your mouth)

Are the sweetest baby boy I have ever met and I am so honored to be your mom!

To the moon and back,



Rocco: 4 month letter

My sweet super smiley 4 month old son,

I will say this EVERY chance I get, but I still cant believe God blessed us with a baby as sweet as you! Our family would not be the same without you and we are so incredibly thankful for the gift you are to our home.

At 4 months you are:

-smiling like crazy and starting to laugh

-napping 3 times a day

-eating twice a night

-tried your first food, peas, you weren’t a huge fan so we will hold off til 6 months before we try again (I hate peas too baby)

-wearing 3-6 month clothes

-had your 4 month vaccines like a champ

-love just laying on the floor on a blanket and watching your big sisters be crazy and silly

-making a lot of noises

-have the BEST baby hair ever. Seriously no one can meet you or see your picture without saying something about your hair.

-looking a lot like your biggest sister Olivia

Simply amazing. Mommy loves you to the moon and back Rocco!