Tobi really knows how to keep a secret... he's the master of surprises.
Shortly after leaving for work this morning, he returned with a big grin, claiming that he forgot something. By the look on his face, I knew that his parents were standing behind him, and sure enough, suddenly I heard their voices, singing (the German) "Happy Birthday" as they appeared in the doorway with a huge tray of (30) tea candles. What a wonderful surprise! And they brought a gift along... which came all the way from New Mexico (Thank you Grandma & Grandpa!).
It's turning out to be a very special day, indeed.
But yesterday was pretty memorable, too. We drove to Belgium, met some friends, and celebrated St. Martin's Day by carving a lantern from a huge turnip (apparently an ancient tradition), and marching around a huge lake, past a huge villa, through a castle-like tower, and along a cobblestone street, which circled a field with a single old tree at its center. The sun had long-since set, and we could see our breath, which added an element of adventure to this age-old tradition. People sang and played tambourines during the procession, and at the end there was a man in medieval attire, who sat upon his horse as he told the story of St. Martin in Flemish.
If only my camera hadn't died before the procession had even begun. The mental images in our noggins will have to do for now.