25 Things I’m Grateful for Upon Turning 25

Now that I am turning 25, it’s time to take a moment and thank all the amazing people in my life who have loved me and supported me over the past quarter-century, and have helped make me who I am today. And so, without further ado, here are 25 things I am grateful for upon turning 25:
 (Note: this is a doozy of a post, with lots and lots of photos!)


1. A boyfriend who moved to the other side of the world to be with me, and loves me despite the fact that I cry during animated movies, leave my shoes all over our apartment and not in the designated shoe area, and eat all of our desserts.


2. Sweet, fluffy puppies that loved and cuddled me unconditionally for so many years, that let us dress them up in silly outfits, and were always excited to see us come walk through the door.


3. A little sister (#4) to talk to about everything and enjoy the nerdy things in life with, whether that be gaming (Gamers gotta game: pokemon, neopets, toontown, puzzle pirates, runescape…), math clubbing, or thrift shopping together.


4. A big sister (#2) that is always encouraging me to try new things, explore the world, be “just a little silly”, and whatever you want to do, there is a way to do it!


5. A big sister (#1) that inspires me to work hard for my goals, never stop brainstorming, and read, read, read! I learned piano because I loved listening to her play, I followed her to Hong Kong because she was moving over…what will she (then I) do next??


6.The powerful sense of love, support, and fearlessness instilled in me by being one of four strong, independent daughters, all of us successful in our own way.


7. A little momzo that will always answer my phone call, no matter the time, and listen to my every rant, no matter the level of importance,  patiently on the other end. Then, solve the problem, somehow, from the other side of the world.


8. A dadzo that is my #1 cheerleader – making sure I’m on track with all the pieces of the pie and helping me think through my life plans, while also always teaching me how to relax and enjoy life. Don’t sweat the small stuff, unless it’s traveling or applications, then TRIPLE-CHECK EVERYTHING!


9. The tradition of puzzle weekends that I have had the honor of sharing with my grandparents for the past few years, sitting together by the fire, puzzling, feasting, and sharing family stories. Our 5th puzzle weekend is coming up in spring 2017!


10. The goofy family dynamic of Team B (#3 and #4) that developed when only the two younger sisters were left at home with two crazy parents! Lot’s of organized activities!


11. The brother I never had, now given to me through marriage (to sister #1, not me), who I’ve probably spent more time with than any other person in Hong Kong and is the most thoughtful, caring host and friend. I think I have spent 80-90% of Saturday nights at his for a family sleepover, being spoiled with yummy home-cooked food. My only concern is that Bren is going to leave me for him!


12. Two adorable nieces for me to dote on, and be “Auntie Bird” for. ..I think they think my name actually is Bird. They’re like, Caroline who?


13. The discovery of a whole new set of family members in Hong Kong to celebrate holidays, life successes, housewarmings, and lazy family weekends with.


14. Bren’s family, for patiently sharing him with me as we managed long distance for two years and liking me even though I was basically a jetlagged zombie every time I met them in the beginning.


15. The loving community on Useppa Island that has seen all of us Davises grow up over the years and taught us how to interact with grown ups, even when we didn’t want to. They also politefully averted their eyes as we acted annoyingly back in the day. We don’t do that anymore, of course, especially not on the bocce court.


16. The silliest, smartest, nicest group of girls and guys I found at Harvard to do everything together with. We were so cliquey, we should’ve named ourselves….


17. A group of roommates that got miraculously placed together freshmen year, stayed together all four years of college, and I know will continue to be friends for life.


18. The inspiring all-female social club I was able to be a part of through college, filled with diverse, driven, and loving women, who also knew how to have a great time.


19. New fun friends in Hong Kong to explore the city and settle into the real working world with, but let’s not get too serious!


20. Annual family reunions to keep me in touch with my constantly expanding group of family members, see each other grow over the years, and teach me how to TALK REALLY LOUD TO GET HEARD.