My White Sister Has Got Me Thinking…

Family Bombeck Quote

My fav middle (and white) sister, Elizabeth, Instagrammed this quote from journalist Erma Bombeck on my birthday this week. Perhaps because of all the birthday wishes or the fact that it’s now Father’s Day weekend, but the quote she shared has increasingly resonated with me these past few days.

I’ve mentioned this to people on and off over the years – and yes, I know it sounds hella cliché – but my family are my best friends. We’re indeed a strange cast of characters who may look nothing alike but share so very much in common – from our winsome smiles and inane senses of humor to our core values and many little quirks. We’re a bunch who’ve each become fiercely independent while still learning to grow together through our individual and common experiences.

No doubt there’s been lots of loving and laughter over the years -two qualities that go hand in hand in our family. We’ve also had our fair share of sharing illnesses (really, the ‘rents are saints for taking care of our sick selves, especially with Mare’s hypochondriac ways), hiding (and breaking) toys, borrowing (and at times stealing) money, among many other challenges, which I view as having only served to further unite us over the years.

As important as loving and laughter are to any functional fam, I’ve also come to find the “defending” component as equally essential to the mix. We’re all quick to call each other out on our shit, but even quicker to defend one another. We may not be fighters (well, except for maybe Annie after that hockey stick incident), but I would caution anyone to mess with the Burri.

Sure, with the six of us (seven if you count our token black sheep or good ol’ Grandma across the street) occasionally comes the selfish diva, moody bitch, annoying vegan, inconsiderate ass, unsought counselor and insufferable know-it-all (often as a result of the blond – ahem, Elizabeth). We’ve seen each other at our best and at our absolute worst – I know I’ve resigned myself to never living down Annie’s wedding reception…

After some solid reflection on that moment and so many others these past few days, I keep coming back to something my dad told us time and again growing up: “You’ve all got to stick together.”

Well, Dad, stick together we certainly have. I believe it’s this that has become the common thread that’s bound us all together.

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Per Usual, I’m in the Minority

Layla Snow

I get it. You hate cold weather; a hatred that’s probably been only further magnified by winter continuing to linger like it is now in late March.

I’m sure many of you have recently stepped outside and flashed a McKayla Maroney-esque sneer similar to the one of my sister’s dog Layla in the pic above.

Like you, I’m fully aware that spring has officially arrived, so why isn’t the weather acting like it? Damn Mother Nature and that (Punxsutawney) Phil with his six more weeks of winter. Winter’s the worst, right?

Wrong. Per usual, I’m in the minority. As my friends and family know, I’m one of the seemingly few folks who genuinely loves cold weather. Winter and I are tight. In fact, if it weren’t for it not being light enough for morning runs, we’d be besties. But generally I’m a big fan of rocking my Patagonia jacket, holing up at Starbucks, couch surfing with my mags or a good book and piling on the blankets at night.

While many out here in Virginia don’t mind (but always find a reason to complain about) these soft winters with their lame quasi-cool temps and little to no snow, I personally can’t wait to move up north in the near future (Boston!) so I can bundle up, finally get into cross country skiing and occasionally score a snow day when a massive snowstorm like good ol’ Nemo hits.

Growing up in the Midwest, I miss my authentic winters, a fact I was reminded of this past weekend when my mom group messaged my sisters and I photos of the winter storm that dumped 15 inches on our small central Illinois town. The pics made me reminisce about snowfalls during our childhood and all of the good times we Burri and the neighbor kids had together.

In this spirit, and because my mom braved the snow and cared enough to send these shots, I thought I’d share them here on the blog. Enjoy!

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To Be a Coed Again


The third generation of Burri (fourth if you count my cousin Christina) at Mizzou officially began this week when my parents moved my youngest sister, Mary, to campus. It seems like just yesterday the fam was moving my overly-anxious ass to Columbia. 10 years later (damn!), I recently found myself talking with Mare for a good while; her exuding such excitement about all the opportunities soon to come her way. I mean, I’m pretty impressed that one of her initial goals is to get involved with the Women’s Center.

During our convo, I found myself using such clichés as “Be yourself.” and “College is the best four years of your life”, the latter ringing so true that I extended my academic experience to eight years. Moreover, both not only aptly describe one’s college years,  but also go so veritably hand in hand when it comes to the overall college experience. I’m glad my middle (i.e. white) sister, Elizabeth, and I can look back on our own experiences and offer such sage advice to Mare.

Oh, to be a coed again. My best friend, Jules, and I were discussing this the other day and we both decided that we’d relive–as opposed to redo–the college experience again in a heartbeat. I’ll most definitely be living through Mare’s next four-plus (I mean, she is a Burrus, after all) years at what I, as a self-professed colleges geek, can definitively say is one of the most amazing schools in the country.

I also can’t go without sharing the priceless sign below that Mare came across during her first day on campus. Welcome to Mizzou, right?!? For clarification’s sake, it doesn’t have anything to do with race but instead refers to the architecture of Mizzou’s two sides of campus: White Campus and Red Campus.

I’m not sure who gave this sign the go-ahead, but perhaps a little more prudence could have been exercised here. Nevertheless, it was definitely good for a laugh!