My Piece of Heaven

Our oldest child, Annie, turned eight this past Monday.

Birthdays are a big deal to our family, and we celebrate them in a number of ways…the Special Breakfast, the Party, the Family Dinner.  There is so much to say about each of these, but for my very first post I want to share with you an overview of our family gathering celebrating Annie’s Eighth Birthday and how this event helped inspire my website.

I love you, Sweetheart

Birthday Family Dinners at our house are more than our immediate family eating dinner together on someone’s birthday.  We extend the invitation to any of our family who lives close enough to join us as we celebrate.   The Birthday Girl {or Boy} chooses the menu.  The number in attendance always varies, but for Annie’s Birthday Dinner this year almost everyone we invited was able to join us…twelve adults and four children.  Sixteen lives gathered together to spend an evening rejoicing together over our daughter.

Few things delight me more.

Family began to arrive.  Everyone admired the Birthday Girl’s newly pierced ears, and they exchanged hugs and embraces.


Once we were seated, Boom Pa blessed the meal.  He took note of how many times we had all joined hands around the table together to commemorate different occasions as a family, grateful on this evening for Annie and her life, asking the Father to quicken her little heart to hear His voice.

family gathered around 2

We ate.  We laughed.  We all shared what we love about Annie.

family gathered around

As people finished their dinner, I slipped away to scrape the plates and prepare for dessert and coffee.  I glanced over from the kitchen sink and saw a table full of our family sitting together and loving one another.  I saw my daughter, one year older, creeping one step further away from childhood.  I saw our home bursting at the seams with life.  I saw a piece of heaven.

We lit the birthday candles, sang the familiar chorus, passed around pieces of cake.

Birthday cake

Annie opened her gifts.  Jake watched with delight.


Norah and Lillian finished their cake and then kissed everyone night-night with sleepy eyes and deep yawns.  And then we lingered together.  Some of us moved to the couch to catch up.  Some stayed around the dinner table to talk.


I enjoyed everything about the evening:  preparing the food, setting the table, remembering when Annie was a baby girl, creating a place for family to gather and celebrate, watching the love spill over from one heart to the next.

An evening like the one I just described does not happen on it’s own.  It is a labor of love, and, to some degree, there is a certain amount of skill involved.  But there are insights that streamline the process without compromising the quality of the finished product.  I hope you will stay tuned as I share bits of our life and compile the insights I have learned along the way.

Practical.  Elegant.  Let’s get started, shall we?

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4 Responses to My Piece of Heaven

  1. Roderick says:

    Amazing that you looked back, really looked, while clearing the dishes. Our family gets along pretty well, but it’s only rarely that I really stop to notice at gatherings. You are blessed! Not every family is like yours, trust me.

    • Anonymous says:

      I understand that this is Timm’s family. Why is your family not present?

      • Katherine says:

        Your understanding is incorrect, and your approach is cowardly. My family is present. If you would like to ask any further questions, you may leave your name and email address. Otherwise, please keep your anonymous comments and assumptions to yourself.

  2. Pingback: Rachel’s Baptism | katherine sasser

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