Today is Grace's 28th birthday. This afternoon we had a surprise party at our house for her and it just so happened that her mom flew in today to help us out for a week so she got to celebrate with us as well. We got Grace an Ipod for her birthday so she can continue to sing and dance around the house without having to change CD's (if anybody wants to get her an I-tunes gift card or anything else I'm sure she would not be opposed)!
In addition to it being Grace's birthday this is a special day for us because 5 years ago I came and visited Grace here in Eden Prairie just after we had started dating. In April of 2003 Grace came back from her 6 month stay in the Phillipines and visited Los Angeles for 10 days before moving to Minnesota to live with her sister, Gayle, and family. Grace and I had known each other for about 1.5 years and I decided to ask her to date me during her 10 day stay in Los Angeles. About a month later I decided that I wanted to visit her for her birthday and flew to Minnesota for a few days and stayed in Bob and Gayle's basement. Grace and I had such a great time that weekend as always and we would take walks in the rain around Round Lake Park, which was down the street from the Bob and Gayle's house. I couldn't get enough of her dancing around the puddles on the wooded trail telling me everything about everything. I also remember one afternoon we sat on a small bench at the end of the trail that leads into the park right in front of the lake and it just seemed like everything was so perfect. Every time I walk by that bench I think of it as the "love bench". Those memories are still so vivid in my mind. It was that weekend that I knew I wanted to marry Grace.
So this year we have come full circle and we are back in Eden Prairie for Grace's birthday, but now we live 4 houses down from the entrance to Round Lake Park where we shared some of our first memories together.