EGG HARBOR CITY — When Mayor Lisa Jiampetti and her husband, Michael, moved into their home in 1992, they lived within their means and bought a house with only 900 square feet of living space.

Jiampetti, 55, remembers walking past her old kitchen table, hitting her hip on her countertop and feeling a little claustrophobic.

Jiampetti’s happy place was created 10 years when she had an addition put on her home that gave her a dining room. She also purchased a new, larger dining room table that could seat as many as 15 people at the Raymour & Flanigan store in Egg Harbor Township. Her life has changed since the addition was put on her house.

“This was like a breath of fresh air when we put this on. ... We were able to have bigger family gatherings for the holidays,” Jiampetti said. “We could never have anybody over for dinner (before the addition).”

When the dining room addition and table were added to the house in 2008, Jiampetti’s two youngest children, Michael and Matthew, were 15 and 12, respectively, and still living at home.

It was important to Jiampetti to have her family eat dinner together at 5 or 6 p.m. or whenever Michael Jiampetti, 52, came home from work.

Now, Jiampetti hosts Thanksgiving dinner, which includes not only her children, but her mother, her sister-in-law and her sister’s-in-law children.

“We are so grateful, thankful and blessed that we have this addition and we can spend family time together,” Jiampetti said.

Staff Writer

Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.

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