Welcome to the Family Table

An empty seat at the family dinner table…

“uplifting” – Oprah’s O Magazine
Dinner with the Smileys began for a simple reason: my husband left for a 13-month deployment, and my three sons were sad to see his empty seat at the family dinner table.  So I decided to fill it.

The Family Table

For each week that Dustin was deployed (and there were 52 of them!), the boys and I invited someone new to sit in his seat and share a meal with us — at the dinner table. We welcomed artists, governors, senators, school teachers, musicians, comedians, neighbors, and even a zookeeper.

Despite its beginnings, however, Dinner with the Smileys isn’t really about dinner. And it’s not about the military. It’s about the family dinner table and inviting your community to join you there.

What I learned after hosting 52 dinners in a year is that there are many lonely people in our communities.

And no one should have to eat alone.

My husband is home now, but our dinners continue. I’ll share them with you here, along with recipes and pictures. My hope is that you, too, will be encouraged to invite someone to dinner.

Welcome to the Smiley family dinner table. Pull up a chair. We are glad you are here.

Now an award-winning book!

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