Q03

Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?

My moms dad has been out of our lives for as long as I can remember. This year he died and it was suprisingly harder to deal with than I thought it would be. Although I hadn't talked to him in 15 years I started crying when I found out and decided to go to the funural. I kept regretting not getting to know him better and at the same time I was angry for him not making the effort to get to know me. I saw his step grandson and they seemed to have such a good relationship and that hurt me the most. My daily life wasn't changed in the slightest but the whole situation was a weird one and I wish that it did't have to happen like that. Family is the most important thing and it took him passing away for me to understand how much he was missing out choosing to leave his family.

son turning into a teenager and his bar mitzvah approaching

My Grandmother turned 90 years old. She is my only living Grandparent and the matriarch of our family. It is great to be able to spend time with her and to be able to take her to ball games... I only lament that more of the grandkids don't make a stronger effort to be with her. I learn so much each and every time I am with her. I love to pray with her...

Well, this comes back to my brother's tribulations. It has drained my pleasure in life, I admit. I hope to get this back soon.

I had an affair with a married man who is in my family (not related by blood) and it was found out, creating quite a stir. In the beginning I felt that a lot of damage had been done, that I would not recover. Eventually the situation passed. I moved on and now feel like my family relationships are pretty much back to normal. There are a lot of family members I haven't seen since the news was made "public" but I'm finding that whatever their opinions of me might be, my opinion of myself remains solid. I learned, as I have in so many life situations, that things are never like you think they will be like.

The birth of Yael was our milestone. Everything changed and needed to readjust. I feel it really took a full year to feel like I have a grasp on it.

My sister became a bat mitzvah this past year, in February. This was a very exciting time and I'm very proud of how much she has grown up in the last year and a half or so (since I left for college). That is not exactly what I am writing about, though. While my dad's side of our family was up here from southern California for the ceremony, Papa got very sick and had to go to the hospital. He ended up staying here for at least a month. He's really not doing well and I'm not sure how much longer he's going to be with us. I feel this urgency suddenly to go down to southern California and spend as much time as possible with him. I also feel regret because I have not done enough in maintaining that relationship in the last few years. Hopefully my family will be able to go down there and visit over Thanksgiving, and if not, I will take Rylan and Emily down there at the beginning of winter break to visit. I just want to spend as much time with him as I can.

i think it was alex getting married. it sort of put us all into the category of grown ups. and it showed that just bc you're the parents it doesn't mean you are the ones best able to handle everything.

My children switched schools. It gave me new faith in their abilities to be strong in new situations. I am so proud of them and hope I will always appreciate how incredible they are and can be.

My family has celebrated both holidays (shabbat and other christian holidays) which is a big deal for my family because we are all jewish but my mom so it was important for us to include her.

I visited my parents for four months this winter. It's the longest we've spent together, I think, since I left home for college. It was good to get the time together, and good to be reminded that our lifestyles are very different now. I've changed so much, and when I'm around them again I feel trapped in old patterns of living that don't suit me at all anymore. But they still love and support me, and I still love and care for them, even though we've all become different people.

I had my first baby in July. It's turned my life completely upside down. My daily routine now begins 3am when she needs a feed and it doesn't stop until 10pm when she goes down to sleep. It's a very long and challenging day keeping her fed, entertained and clean. I love it more than anything and cannot wait to have more children. I never imagined having children outside of marriage or before I was 30. I'm really glad I did and hope to have another by the time I'm 31 at least. I did joke that I wanted 18 children the day after my daughter was born but I think I've left it a little late to have that many now!

a major milestone is hard to measure this year. The last time my immediate family was altogether was in July 2010 to celebrate my mothers 80th birthday. Since then I have noticed that my brothers and sisters still sigh when we talk politics or other controversial topics, but they have accepted that their little sister is different. I realize that my family (immediate and in-laws) still do not understand why I choose to live in Colorado, especially now that 11 years have passed since I became a widow. However, they have finally accepted that this is where I belong and despite their feelings that I am weird (and stubborn and liberal), they love me anyway. This acceptance gives me a sense of peace where before I felt guilty and most times, misunderstood. Acceptance is good.

My breakup was the biggest family milestone that happened this past year. My partner was my family in San Francisco and when that dissolved I felt like I had nobody. The presence of so many amazing people in my life was revealed during this difficult time. My friends and parents provided a loving net of support that let me know even when I felt most alone I was not alone.

both of my parents retired and the relationship i have with them has changed. i can see them becoming older, and with both me and my sister away at uni i can see that we are becoming more and more independent, and that they are starting to need us. its very scary to be in this position- especially as i desperately want my parents to be there when i have kids as i know it is so important to my mum. in a very strange way it is making me feel more and more that i want to settle down soon, even though i'm only 20.

My mom got re-married to my now step-dad. I really love him and I like seeing her so happy. It reminds me that happiness is key and so crucial in life.

My sister had her second daughter. It brought my family even closer than we previously had been.

The grandfather proved he's bulletproof. He had a pacemaker put in, 8 inches of his intestine removed, and start chemo all in a three or four month span. I was never close to my grandfather, but I am starting to understand why he is amazing.

My brother went on his first deployment and returned this May. 7 months was a long time but it went by quick. When he came back, I had a renewed love and respect for him. I've always looked up to my big brother, but being reminded how awesome it is to hang out as a whole family, the joy and laughter and stories and perspective he brings when he's around. I'm so grateful for my family - and am super blessed that he's not only my brother but my friend. I'm excited to continue growing up with him.

Both my sister and I graduated- her from high school, me from college. It's strange to think of my younger sister going off to college because she'll always be my little sister. But this has left my parents as empty nesters! It was strange to come home and realize how much things have changed. (Apparently my sister eats A LOT more than I realized! The fridge was almost empty.) We're growing up- it's scary and exciting.

My oldest son started high school. He's starting to be more his own person. I'm starting to feel "empty nest" anxiety, but also enjoy having more time to myself. Raising children is a monumental, life-altering experience that has given me a perspective on humanity I wouldn't have had otherwise.

My grandmother killed herself. I wish I knew how to feel about this. My grandmother was a sociopath, a person born without the capacity for love, empathy, regret, compassion, happiness. She destroyed lives wherever she went. She abandoned her children, abused her husbands and friends, never lost an opportunity to be cruel, never said a kind word to anyone. And yet her death was sad. I was sad for my mother, who never stopped trying to show her love. I was sad for my uncle, who will never be the same. I was even sad for her, that she couldn't feel all the love that people wanted to give her. In a way, I think it made me grateful that I can feel, that I can love, that my mother never abandoned me, that I have so much love in my life, from my friends, from my beloved, from my families.

My sister moving away to college has been huge- my parents have kind of been devastated, and have taken it really rough, from what I can see. It's definitely affected me- I miss her a lot, but I think that I've begun to definitely see that she is the favorite of the family.

The birth of my daughter was our most important family milestone this year. She is my mother's first grandchild, and I was apprehensive about how things would go. Would my mother meddle too much? Would she disapprove of my choices or my performance as a parent? It turns out that our family has been brought closer together. My mom has visited twice and has not been critical; she just wants to build a healthy relationship with her granddaughter. I've included my stepparents as part of the family, which is something that my stepsister did NOT do for my mother. She refused to let her children call my mother Grandma, saying they would get too confused. My mother has found common ground and patched up a previously rocky relationship with her sister, who also had her first grandchild this year. The only downside is that my father-in-law has not seemed as interested in our daughter as the other grandparents have. He is coming around, but only through extraordinary effort on my husband's part. I hope that by this time next year, he'll take the initiative in building a relationship with his grandchild.

I got engaged and we are creating a new family. Whoa. We did pre-marital counseling classes at American Jewish University at the very beginning of the year. My interest in establishing family traditions and presenting ourselves as a "unit" became a lot clearer to me.

My family now has to deal with my being out of the house, officially. I think they are taking it well. I need to connect more with my father and brother, both of whom I barely communicate with, even though both of them have been good examples for me to learn from to allow myself the opportunity for personal growth.

My daughter started 2nd grade. I can't believe I have this living breathing thing that calls me Daddy.

i became engaged 9.18.2011. at 26, i am finally starting to feel like an adult....scary!

There haven't been any huge family milestones. In the household, the death of Clio -- my feline companion of many years -- was a major shock. She wasn't all that old and until she was hit with an aggressive leukemia had never had any problems at all. I was seriously depressed for several months. But, somehow, I managed to make the most of that one. I decided to get myself un-depressed. Got a bit of help, began focusing on my own well-being and eventually even got another girl-cat to keep my boy-cat happy. Not sure how any of this would have worked out had it not been for that horrible November last year.

Celebrated 40th wedding anniversay. Seems like this is a long time, but also seems like very short as well

My parents revealed to us that they were/are considering a divorce. It's been a very difficult, but in some ways illuminating, time for our family. We always knew as kids that they fought, but ultimately loved each other. While that is still true, I think that all of the things that affect a marriage during their time of life (my mom becoming more of her own person in the absence of children to raise, my father's somewhat cliche midlife crisis) have very much magnified the problems that have always existed in how they function as a couple. It's really hard to hear details of how they have hurt/wronged each other over the years, but in some ways I think it's good. While both my parents always told us that being married is hard work, I never really knew what that meant. I think hearing these details has started to change my expectations of my own relationships.

ive had a pretty rough year with my family. i feel like i have changed so much, become so much more at peace, relaxed. when i go home it's very tense and i dont know how to relate.

My uncle got married. I'm so happy for the two of them, they're great. I've always viewed he and I as the same, we're both the youngest of 3, same sense of humor, kind of loners. So it was kind of like a personal achievement.

The recent wedding of my stepdaughter once again reminded me of all the love in our family, and how grateful I am for that and the family I am part of, in general. We are very lucky.

My sister Tracy's death (46). Unexpected. Much healing from it, as well as better family connections. I am maturing too - less bothered by the small stuff. Lindsay heading off on a gap year, Ally maturing. Realising some of my children are adults and acknowledging the changes in our relationships - for the better xx

My parents divorce is finally finalized and my grandpa passed away in May. I still haven't mourned either and I just don't know why.

Finally decided to propose to my girlfriend when the time is right. She's been a fixture in my life and I really don't want to be with anyone else.

This is the year my husband cross adopted my three kids - whom I also originally adopted although they were my grandchildren. I guess I thought when that happened we would all be able to give a sigh of relief. They are safer now. They are able to face the world the rest of their lives with 2 parents on their legal paperwork. But somehow I dont think they really care or realize any of it. Or our reasons for it. Being grandparents we will probably die long before they appreciate us.

My sister decided to attend and started rabbinical school. I honestly don't entirely know yet how this has and will affect me but I think it will pretty significantly. For right now, it means that we're sadly not in the same place and going to have to work hard again to maintain good contact over a further distance but it also brought us closer as I've remained an ally and support to her in making this big decision. Also, I enjoyed getting to know her further through her process of applying and being inspired by her courage, bravery, persistence and bold pursuit of her dreams, while staying so true to herself.

Out of the blue, my sister attended a meeting of an organization that I never thought she would. This simple-seeming act of her showing interest gave me hope that she accepts me and my life. I am optimistic that, bit by bit, she will come around and become more comfortable with people who are outside of her normal comfort zone.

My little brother moved to Canada with his wife, which leaves just my older brother back home and the only one of us that is around to help my mom out. Mom's getting older and actually easier to get along with, so it actually makes me want to be closer or at least go home and visit / check up on her more often.

I went on a family Holiday this year with my parents to Beijing for 10 days ... It's been ages since it's just the 3 of us. At the beginning there were the usual family squabbling on a trip and my horrible impatience with my parents but as the days passed I tried to be more patient to my deserving parents. I also learn that my parents are really such cool easy going down to earth and somewhat adventurous sorts ESP my mom... They were great travel companions always happy to see new things try new food explore and never ever complaining I also will remember fondly my dad buying the local yoghurt for me and my mom every morning for bfast I really treasured the days I spent with them in Beijing And I am looking forward to traveling with them again

Both of my parents are now retired, while this hasn't affected me directly, it does mean that I can now spend more time with them and are able to see them more frequently.

My brother and his wife had their second child and my two best friends got married. I'm still too weirded out to hold babies so when I visit my nieces, it's awkward because this Auntie does not want to play! Seeing my friends get married reminded me of what love should look like and how alone and lacking my relationship is.

I made it to one year healthy and that is something that had a great impact on myself and I believe the relief I felt brought mored of a calm feeling to my family.

My dad came over to visit in the summer, as he often does. My relationship with him has been strained and full of very mixed emotions, for the last 30 years. But for some reason, things were much easier this year. It felt more relaxed and we had a good time catching up, before he left to go back to Italy. This is something I never thought would happen, and I am very grateful for.

The death of my uncle was a major milestone and it made my family very unhappy and in pain for a long time. We are still in pain and this feeling will never go away because someone dearest to us died and we can't deny it. On another hand, I have to say that on the same side of the family someone got married and that was a wonderful event. My first cousin got married and this was something that we all celebrated. So, we had the bad and the good all packed in one year!

My little sister graduated - the last in our immediate family to do so. It's made me feel very old!

My husband has been cancer-free for almost four years. Each three month test brings us renewed faith that he is going to survive this terrible disease. This experience has made me focus on those who are not or who have not been so successful with their treatment programs and how much more needs to be done in cancer research. We are much closer than we have ever been in our relationship. I didn't think that was possible, but when faced with life and death struggles and uncertainties about your prognosis, you find yourself embracing each other much more often and appreciating each other far beyond mere words.

Every year I feel luckier and luckier to have such a kind and loving family. We all support each other in our own special way and it works as a unit. If it weren't for my family the challenges of the past year may have had the better of me and for this I am truly grateful. I know many challenges lie in the year ahead, having such a supportive family gives me courage and knowledge that I will overcome them.

Nothing major happened to our family, because right now we aren't really a family. My parents are no longer in the same book, let alone the same page, and neither thinks they are in the wrong so they won't talk about their problems.

The biggest milestone I can think of is that my daughter moved from Florida to Chicago with her husband to start law school. However that really doesn't effect me other than the fact that I will be unable to really see her for longer periods of time. For me personally I think it would be the fact that I met a man and almost immediately broke my right ankle. We can together for almost a month and what I learned about myself in that month was amazing. I need my space, I want to date and not live with someone and I want someone with an attitude of abundance not lack!!!

Major milestone? None.

Unfortunately what was supposed to be a joyous occasion, my wedding, was a process that involved a lot of disappointment in some of my family members. Even though it is expected that there will be tension, I still feel hurt by my own parents and their behaviour, and feel that we've grown apart instead of closer. It's unfortunate and I hope we can mend our relationship despite the physical distance between us.

While it may have been more than a year ago, my family has recently moved houses and have become completely Kosher, shomer Shabbat and festivals. This has only recently started taking more of an affect on me because I do not fully understand my families reasoning behind this massive change.

My brother and his girlfriend had a baby. I think it's mellowed him a bit, he's not drinking or doing drugs like he did because he has two women in his life that he is responsible for. It's brought me closer to him because he's grown up. I'm so proud of him and I really hope this all works out. His girlfriend's parents seems to think he is some sort of drug dealer just because he got stalked by some autistic boy. I hope his in-laws being wankers doesn't screw up their chance to be a happy family.

My son flunked out of school. I question everything about him now. Why doesn't he try? What did I do wrong? How can I help him be successful? Is he going to be "that guy" who works at Game Stop when he's 35? As a Jewish mother, this is one of the most tragic events for me. When I'm constantly asked "how's your son?" I continue to come up with creative answers. No one expects - "oh he flunked out of college and is living at home now."

My wife is pregnant with our 3rd child and our first girl. We are so happy. The new baby will and new energy in our house is going to change things for sure.

My mother turned 80. I assumed responsibility for organizing the big party my father wanted for her and, in doing so, saw more clearly than ever the family dynamics I dislike being part of. The luncheon was lovely for my mother, but it was also marked a point of departure for me, the start of transitioning from the role I've always played in my family to the one I choose to play now. The resulting mix of freedom and regret is taking some getting used to.

As a family we haven't reach a major milestone that I can recall, but as of about a month ago there are no longer and "kids" in our house, only "teenagers". Both my sister and I are now in high school and are both crazy busy and achieving new heights every day. She is growing up and maturing, fitting into the high school swing, playing competitive softball at new and higher levels. I am now an upper class man, driving, looking at colleges and gap year programs, becoming more independent and finding myself and who I really am. All these things together represent mini-milestones for our family and impactfull moments in our life.

My family moved away. I've never had family that lived farther than a car ride before, and the knowledge that they were leaving made me realize how disconnected with them I had been. I really made an effort in those last few months to become closer to them. And now that they're gone, I am making an effort (I hope) to stay closer. I struggle with my siblings in that way, since they're much younger, and not really comfortable on the phone. But my dad and I are doing well, better than in a long time. This year, I will be connected to my family, even when I don't feel like I need to be.

My sister moved country with her husband and baby. This meant that all three of my sisters and more poignantly all three of my mothers daughters were now living in another country, along with her 6 grandchildren. This has firstly affected my mother greatly as being very close to all her children this is noticeably difficult for her and at times she must feel alone. It has affected me as Ive noticed how important I am in one of my sisters life and unfortunately believe this is the case as she doesn't receive certain comforts and support from her husband and so feels she gets them from me. I fear for their marriage and my sisters long term happiness. She is the most caring and considerate person I know and deserves the same towards her....

The biggest family milestone was my wife finally joining me in our new home after 6 months apart. It's been wonderful to be together again & the time apart was a learning experience for both of us.

The actual family milestones happened in the summer last year - before the Holy Days... My son got married. He has now been accepted into Engineering school - a boy who hated school and hated to read. His sister got her Masters degree in Teaching during a time period when there are no jobs in her area. My sweetie and I bought a business - see answer 1... The children's gains fill me with pride and love. The business gives us good lessons, as well as reasons to give thanks for what we have.

We've been in our home for ten years. Despite all our previous talks about moving, I've come to realize that we're not going to move. This has helped me truly commit to being here, to accepting and appreciating the stability of that decision, and to stop looking for the "perfect" house. I've also realized that if we don't go ahead and renovate our kitchen now, it's never going to happen, because I've already lived 10 years with this kitchen. Which could tell me I could live more with it, but since I've hated our kitchen from the start, why shouldn't I upgrade it?

My dad was diagnosed with cancer. He has been so strong and is just now starting treatment. So I hope in one year from now we will be celebrating his full recovery!

This year's been one with breakthrough in my family. I thank God He used me as His way of bridging ties in the family. I'm a lot closer to my sisters and my parents than I was previously. My mum would share with me about her life and things pretty deep we didn't share about before. And my elder sisters, probably cos now that they're older, they're always on the look out for me, helping me and guiding me. Treating me to meals too! I am really glad about this and I'm excited about what lies ahead! I definitely hope that I'll grow closer to my dad too!!

This year marks 29 years since my father passed. It's made me want to cherish my family even more and celebrate his anniversary together which hasn't happened in over 20 years. I'm looking forward to being with them and honoring my Dad!

I became engaged to the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. While it wasn't the engagement I wished it had been, I am so deliriously happy every time I wake up next to him and know that we're going to get married.

My sister moved to Florida and is in touch with my mom's estranged family. More importantly, I moved in with my 'dayglo friends' and out of it I got a dad and a step-mom. I never thought that would happen. It feels great.

My sister had her third child, her first son. I am a very proud uncle. I think about the fact that I don't have a wife and children. And at times, that makes me sad.

It's not actually that much of a milestone, but my grandparents celebrated their 50 year anniversary just a couple of weeks ago, and we had the most amazing day. My uncle wrote some songs for them that left us laughing, smiling and crying all at the same time, and in the process of writing these songs, I learned a lot about my family's history. I love my family more then ever before, and I really feel very close to all of them.

I got a Laminectomy on T-11 and T-12. It has made a huge difference already, and the surgery was just over a week ago. My muscle weakness is almost entirely gone, and the cramps that kept me up at night *are* entirely gone. I'm still in pain, and I'll probably always have pain, but this surgery has changed everything for me. Spinal surgery is always this successful, so I'm very lucky.

My mother got committed to a mental hospital after being found wandering the streets of Miami. She's now in a secure ALF. Finally, she's getting the treatment she needs to stop her dementia from progressing and her personality disorder has been diagnosed. One side effect is that it has stirred up the resentment my wife has towards her and made her angry that I spent money on lawyers to obtain guardianship. Fucking hypocrite, she'd do the same for her mother.

Josie learned to swim! It makes life so much easier now that I can actually swim at the beach or in the pool. And that's big for us.

Last year, my grandmother died. This has majorly affected the way that I view my place in the world. I have tried to incorporate the things about her that I miss into my life so that I can keep her alive with me forever.

After moving back across the country to be near my family, my mom took a job on the west coast and left 3 days after I arrived...with my brother and sister in tow. I never realized how much I'd miss my family until they were 3,000 miles away.

My godfather's parents both passed away within a month of each other. They both were like other grandparents to me, but yet, when they died, I didn't feel anything because it was expected and they were old and sick for so long. It made me realize that they're at peace with where they are.

My mum turned 80. I worry about my mum getting older, but she's still full of life and I need to enjoy the time with her instead of worrying.

The major milestone for my family this year was my mother coming to visit my husband's family in Africa. It was an eye-opening experience for her to see another part of the world - a world without Starbucks, and without many of the comforts she was used to. I think it brought us closer together, and made me happy to see that she could be so open minded even as she gets older.

My cousin got engaged. She's had trouble with guys in the past so it's great to see her with someone who makes her so happy and obviously adores her so much.

Well, we finally moved from the two bedroom apartment into a four bedroom house. It's the first real house that my kids or myself has ever lived in. It seems unreal most days...when I drive by and see the house and finally remember that I live there. My kids love having their own rooms. I love that I can give them that. It means so much to me to see them growing up, and having a space that's all their own to become their own individual.

My mother started playing music again. Music has always been a focus in my family, in high school my friends called us the Von Trapps because the four of us- my mother, father, brother, and I, would just sit around and sing and play together. My brother died in a car accident in 2009 and the music stopped in my house. Now, music gets played in the morning on the radio, and occasionally my mother will sing and play with us (she stopped singing for three full years). Little by little.

Both of my kids are now in school. It broke my heart and made me happy all at once. They are 3 and 7, but seem so much bigger. I feel like I have come a long way from being someone with an infant at home. I look at my kids and feel really proud that my husband and I have spent so much time with them and give them as much love as we do.

Logan began driving. He's done fairly well, but he certainly has caused us all the expected white knuckles and invisible brake stomps from time to time. It's been tough to get him to understand all the nuances of driving. He feels like he knows how to drive already.

Every day that my parents are alive is a major milestone. I am blessed with their love and support and it is not something to take lightly.

I can honestly say there have been no major milestones in my family this year. Perhaps the biggest change has been that I have become less a member of the family and more of an obligation, the girl that my parents are currently taking pity on.

I've spent a lot more quality time with my dad -- going to photography exhibits, exploring different parts of the city, walking home from work together. Every day I realize even more what a great relationship we have, what a good person he is, and that I want to find a guy just like him.

I moved so now we all live in the same state again. We can easily all get together on holidays, birthdays, and weekend visits now. It's wonderful to be so close!

I realized that although we can't have children in our lives -- we are blessed with the knowledge that we would have been good parents. We were given the opportunity to ``parent'' our teen aged exchange student.

My father got sick and ended up in the hospital/rehabilitation center for several weeks. My dad is 83, doesn't take good care of himself and everything is starting to fail. Not only is it stressful to worry about him and what the future holds but it also is a stark reminder that if I live to be his age my decision not to have children may seriously impact how I am cared for. At the same time, who knows? And also - people should not be having children just so they can have caretakers when they get old.

I broke off from the schedule of traveling back and forth between my two moms' houses. Finally straying from the schedule that we had used for years was a nice breath of freedom, but it also meant that i spent less time in the house...

Other than the birth of my grandson which I have commented on before, the other milestone in our family is that our youngest son is going to be moving out soon. He's been made permanent where he works and is now looking for a flat. The house will be very quiet with just hubby and me rattling about. On the other hand we do gain the bedrooms back that my son uses. One to sleep in, one used as his cinema room and the other one is used as his office!

My grandfather passed and while a total debacle, it did re-introduce certain family members back into my life.

My sister moved out of the house and into the city. Its been extremely weird without her here since I completely look up to her. My brother also was offered a job. I feel like I'm an only child, and I really don't like it. I miss my siblings.

Years that end in one are 5's-and-zeros in my family. I turned 40 and Aaron 45, my mom hit 65 and my dad is now 70, which terrifies him. I think he felt better about it yesterday when the rabbi reminded us that at 70 you start counting over again - he's again a "baby boy" - and he can have another bar mitzvah in 13 years. I guess I feel 40? I'm planning for my 20th college reunion - my mom's was the year I got into Penn - planning a bar mitzvah for Harry, doing good work for my clients, trying to balance everything and hoping I'm doing it well. Isn't that what 40 should be? But I'm still going to fancons and going out drinking with my friends on party weekends and making fanvids and playing in a way that I can't imagine my mom did at 40. But then again, I don't think she did at 20 or 25 or 30 either - we're just different people that way. I want to wear short skirts and full skirts and tulle and feathers in my hair and glittery mascara, so I am still going to, 40 or not.

My brother's Bar Mitzvah - we are so close and so proud. We care about him SO much and that was extremely evident throughout the event. We are so proud of him (and he was even proud of himself)! I feel so lucky to be a part of my family.

I bought, with my partner, our own summer house at the lake, retaining my ownership interest in our family house on the same lake, but not the problems of sharing the place with my sister & family. It was a long overdue but very good move for all!

My younger son moved into his first appartment at the university this summer. We are one step closer to being empty nesters! Kevin always added such fun and life to our house that I knew his departure would be sad. Howver, this opportunity to live in Lincoln Park on his own and manage all aspects of life while being in school is so ciritical to his future success in life! He is doing everyting for himself and growing up so nicely! I am very proud of how he handles things! We are truly celebrating his independence! Observing his approach to life gives me a warm and satisfying feeling. He cares that his living space has order (he has been a very messy boy in the past) and is grocery shopping for the first time ever - and using a budget! He even invites us down for brunch and to just hang out! That is every mother's dream! While I miss him - I am happier that he is experiencing the real side of life!

My eldest daughter, Jessica's, Bat Mitzvah - the first known Bat Mitzvah in the family. It was the happiest day of my life.

I guress it's only the build-up to the major milestone, but David's Bar Mitzvah is now five weeks away. This past year has been a whole lot of work - directly with David, along with meeting and working with at having a retreat with other patents and kids on the same path. I have really enjoyed being a part of this process, and getting to know other interesting parents and kids. A great group. I'm really proud of David, and the young man he's turning out to be. I'm excited to see how the whole event progresses, but right now, I have pride, and lots of anticipation (and occasional panic).

I dont think there were any major milestones reached last year family-wise. it was all even keel with everyone staying where they are.

My brother's job in NYC definitely shook things up. Now, he's not at home. However, it's actually been good. I love going to visit him and my sister and their home in the city is like my second home.

Me and my dad went on the cruise. First ever, for both of us. And my mom let us! It changed me, him and mom for the positive, I think. My family split up - Brian, Smith and Jada moved to Twinsburg. Although *very* sad, it was ncessary and has change me and Brian for the MUCH better. And the cats like not dealing with Dante (Much less Cez!).

We moved from the East Coast to the West Coast. It's not as bad as it could have been - I found a job, our son goes to a nice school. Still, I feel like my entire life is uprooted - I don't know anyone here and I can't find the things I am used to having readily available. I also don't like having to drive everywhere. I miss living in a small area of a big city.

My wife had a miscarriage. We were very disappointed and sad. But in retrospect it gave us a number of months to work on our relationship. And then she got pregnant last month. It was so sweet.

I moved back to my parents' house for the summer after finishing university. It was a strange step because I felt very much like I was moving backwards in terms of life progress. Having spent much of the last four years not seeing the rest of my family very much, here I was back at home where I had left off as a 19-year-old. Despite the frustration I felt at being away from the city that has come to feel like home, and at not really *doing* anything until I start my Masters degree, I have found my time off at home a sort of mellowing experience. I have reconnected a bit with my youngest sister, who felt rather distant this time last year. It has been difficult at times - for example, when I've felt that my father has spoken to me as if I were much younger than I am, but I think I feel a little more centred in a lot of little almost-imperceptible ways - more at peace with the things that happened before I left for university, and with a stronger sense of continuity. I will be very glad to re-embrace my independent life in a few days' time, however.

This is hard to answer, because the first thing I think of is the surrogacy, but that was technically the year before. The only milestone I can think of is my youngest daughter finishing kindergarten. I really prefer older kids, so I rejoice everytime we cross another threshhold like this-- I'm definitely not sappy or senitmental about their childhoods slipping away. Proud of both of my girls for the interesting, well-rounded people they are-- every year reveals a little more of what makes them unique and I love that.

After living by himself for over a year, dad finally got to move home in March, when an old employer contacted him to come back to his old job. It was such a huge blessing to have him come home where he belongs. Unfortunately, dad just lost that job, but i have no doubt that the Lord will provide for us and will give my dad an opportunity when the right time comes.

There has been no major family milestone except that I didn't hate spending time with them at my uncles wedding. Maybe I've grown into myself and don't need to avoid my family the way I thought I did.

My sister and her family finally moved here to my wonderful town. I've been secretly wishing this for years, not wanting to push her too hard into a decision that was personally bias. But, I am thrilled. Not only will this area provide 100 times more opportunity for her and her family, but it will positively impact my life as well. I've lived apart from my family for 10 years, and feel I've lost that connection. Now, I have the opportunity to get to know my sister once again, to become close to her and rekindle those family bonds. I will also be able to become a part of my nephews' lives on a daily basis. It's made me completely change my focus and priorities. Life is all about these little things. These important things. The people I love dearly in this world are all that matter to me now.

Back in April I finally became pregnant after 8months of trying, sadly a week later I lost the baby at 5 weeks. This made me immensely sad and angry, but also I felt I'd lost my innocence. I always thought the problem would be getting pregnant, not staying pregnant. I then researched more and realised how high the rate of miscarriage is, this made me feel helpless and didn't make me feel better at all though it was meant too. I then had a second miscarriage in July. The only good thing is I've "met" some good people on the internet because of my losses.

Over the past year, my dad's father - my grandfather - has gotten very sick. He had a serious operation that has left him not fully himself. In that time, my grandmother has also declined because she is taking care of him all the time. It has made me realize how important family is, how important that one 5 minute phone call is to make sure that your family is OK, and what it means to them to hear your voice.

My youngest son graduated and went to college. He spread his wings, has flown the nest, and never looked back. On one hand I am so proud of him, he's doing so well - but on the other hand, I miss him dearly. But as life progresses, he's where he's supposed to be. I'm glad he has the underpinnings of a good home life to carry him into the future. Sometimes it's hard on me .... but for him, it's perfect.

My first born graduated, got a job, and moved out. It was really a very special moment. Definitely a life milestone, mostly happy, although a few moments when I realized he would never fully move home again. . . I wish him many things; that he finds his passions, that he lives an upright good life and that he finds love.

My cousins got married. It made me tremendously happy, and filled me with the desire to share in the kind of respect and love that I see in them, that I saw in their relationship, and that I will come to know in their marriage.

During a family vacation this summer, I realized that my father has become so fraigle and old. He will not be here with me, much longer and it is so much easier to hold on to all that is good and positive when I am with him, and let all the rest wash over me. I have spent our time together harvesting good memories.

My baby girl starting preschool. She's only ever not been without both of us four other times in her life and for her to be apart from us on a regular basis was a major thing. She did wonderfully the first day. No tears. There are some days where she's not over keen on going but picking her up she always has an amazing big smile for me and always comes running up to give me a hug.

My grandfather was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer as well as congestive heart failure. We were told he wouldn't last the summer. My siblings have gone for their goodbyes preferring to see him alive rather than at a funeral. I made the choice not to go. I don't want my 3 year old daughter to form a relationship with a man who molested 5 of his 6 daughters. I feel sad about my choice, but I think it might be the right decision. My family doesn't understand why I won't go visit now.

Our daughter received her Master's degree in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins in May. This is tremendously exciting in and of itself. On top of that though, her group from this class won a MUSE Gold Award from the American Association of Museums for a series of videos they created as part of their studies. She ended up traveling to Houston on a moment's notice to be part of the group accepting the award. We are so happy, proud, and excited for her. Being recognized for your work on a national level is quite an achievement. She is quite a woman!

I forgave my brothers for the ugly way they treated me over my handling of our parents estate 3 years ago. Whether they feel that the things they said and did where wrong is not of any consequence to me now. I am free of the pain.

My brother got engaged. This instantly made me feel like the outsider, because I doubt I will ever get married. And suddenly my brother, and this girl who will now be a part of my family always, now seem to make the family more of a unit than I do. I have images of being the crazy cat lady in NYC who misses all the family times back home.

I believe that I've fully evolved into my own person and have achieved a sense of having a new family with my partner. I love my parents and my sister and my extended family, I call them, celebrate holidays with them... but I do not share their worldview and system of beliefs. I do have a wonderful partner with whom I share many of those things -- a commitment to our health and personal well-being, a sense that we can change what we do not like (including things about ourselves), a faith that things will get better if we want them to be... these are my "family" values now. It has been a difficult journey toward figuring out how I still belong with my birth family but embracing the sort of family that I want to create.

Major milestone ... maybe Nebraska joining the Big 10. This means that every Thanksgiving me and my immediate family will be against my entire extended family in the Iowa vs. Nebraska game. GBR

My sister had a baby! Talk about perspective. It's incredible to have a new niece and godchild in the family, and has brought us all closer together which is a quite a bonus.

My grandmother (my dad's mom) died. I was not close with her at all, but I've never seen my mom do such a 180; she was not close with my grandmother at all, prior to her illness, but, when she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in September, my mom would call her every day, send her emails more than once a day, and was always trying to make her feel better. My dad also became kind of the leader of his mom's side of the family, being the middleman for our family and her doctors. I respect both of my parents a lot. I respect them both even more. I never cried over her death because she and I weren't close and I know she'll be happier not being sick in Heaven. The only thing that hit me was, two days before she died, my dad crying in the bathroom. We have very thin wall in our house; he thought I was asleep; my mom was asleep and she didn't hear him, but I did. He never came off as really loving his mom openly until then. It made him more human and made me feel more connected to him, even though he doesn't know that I heard him crying and he won't ever know that.

My family? Hmm... I would say the biggest change came after I went home early from the Pie Ranch trip to spend the rest of spring break with my family. For context, I had signed up for a hillel trip back when Ilana and I were together and decided to go even after we had broken up. It was a miserable experience and after a few days I asked the staff to take me to the airport. Going home, my family was able to comfort me more than they ever had before, and I was more receptive to their support than I had been in a long time. I felt like they understood me and cared about me in a way no one I knew at Berkeley did, and that they would be there for me forever. I realized that they were incredibly important people to me and that I should make these relationships a much much higher priority in my life. Since then I've tried to stay in touch with them more and keep them more involved in my life.

It was my uncle's 80th birthday. While I am not close with him at all, the significance of it has made me realize how fragile we all are. We all age, we all move on in life, whether we like it or not. At 80 if I am able to look back and feel like in each moment I did my best to enjoy myself and surrounded myself with the people I love, then I will be happy.

My grandfather fell and badly injured his brain. For awhile we didn't know if he was going to make it. My elderly dog developed a lump under her leg. It's made me deal with mortality and realize that no one is here forever, not even me.

I finally finished my PhD program and the stress that has been taken off our family because of that has been amazing. We are all happier, more calm, and in general less worried about things. :)

I made a decision to be completely financially independent (at age 40 - ha!) even though I know I can ask my parents for money at any point. I did not tell them, or make a big deal of it, but it has enabled me to have a cleaner, clearer and more loving and easeful relationship with them. No more strings. I think they can feel it too.

My daughter, Melissa is getting married tomorrow, October first. We have been planning for this day for the past 9 months. The moment I met my daughter, face to face, the day she was born, my wish for her, was to be loved and to be able to give love. Tomorrow I will witness her pledging that love to her "soul" mate. The planning has been quite hectic, but a wonderful experience and adventure shared with my daughter. The family is so looking forward to this celebration and joining of two families. Life is so precious. Each day is a gift. Never take for granted..No matter what challenges are faced..and boy I have faced some significant challenges. All I can say, is that I am here to face them and have G-D~~~my faith.

It looks like my brothers non-Jewish girlfriend is beginning the conversion process. And I think my father is coming around to it, one very small step at a time. I'm still worried about how it's going to affect my parents relationship though.

My daughter was staying with my mother in law and her mother four nights a week while she went to school in NYC. My daughter isn't the most pleasant person, nor is she the neatest. My mother in law and her mother can best be described as neurotic, and so obsessed with comfort and superficial cleanliness that in retrospect, the pairing of my daughter and her grand mother and great grandmother was doomed from the start. The night before my daughter's 19th birthday, her grandmother and great grandmother became highly offended when my daughter told them she "wasn't in the best mood and would rather not talk." They viciously attacked her, even stating that my mother in law had buried two of her three children, she could ,"bury the third." So at 2am, in the early morning of her birthday she came home. That would be the last time she, and I, spoke to them. I don't think I am holding a grudge. I am waiting for them to apologize. By their own account of what happened (to my husband), my daughter didn't say or do anythign wrong. They said some reprehensible things to her. Until they right that, they have no place in my life. The amazing thing is that this has not affected me. I never realized what a distant, weak connect we had with them until they disappeared and I failed to notice. My daughter feels the same way. My husband goes to see his mother and grandmother, they ask how his family, including their only grandchild, is. He tells them briefly, succinctly, and then it isn't mentioned again. When I think about it, it puzzles me. What makes a family, family?

My partner and I had a pretty big blow up at the end of last Summer. I was having some health issues that I believe really scared him. I immediately retreated into victim mode (familiar territory for me) and it didn't help. What became clear is that I need to be more of the man that the world sees me to be and not the frightened child that I often believe I am. I pray to god to help me grow up and be able to see things from others' perspective and not simply my own.

My Mom turned 80 and she looks great for her age!

A major milestone that has affected my family is the fact that I am going to college next year. The college process is very family oriented and has brought us together.

I had a breakthrough with my niece and nephew. I see them differently now; not as the little children that they once were, but as the adults they are becoming. I've realized that an approach that focuses on asking them questions fosters better communication than telling them "how things are."

My brothers built a new home that my parents moved into thus leaving the home my father built 40 years ago and where I was raised. I should've felt a greater loss, sentiment or nostalgia about selling the family home, but I didn't. It will be strange not to return there yet I'm still surprised about my lack of nostalgia about the place. I guess that's the ambivalence I have about the idea of "Home". I don't feel at home in the city I live, nor do I feel like I've come home when I go to place where I grew up. It's like I still don't know where I belong.

My sister nearly died...but I used that for a prior question, so already described that affect on me, and that wasn't exactly a milestone, but more of an event. As far as milestones go, I turned 50. It wasn't as hard as turning 40 was...much better, actually. Nobody thinks I'm 50, so that's sort of fun. I am getting used to thinking of myself as an older woman.

My niece is coming into her own at the age of 20, and she has moved out already and is capable of doing it again. She has looked to me for guidance in ways she never had before. it makes me feel like there might be a chance for our family to be closer in the future, in a different configuration. I want to have influence on her life and help her be successful at whatever she wants to do and in the past my influence was not as welcomed.

This year was pretty uneventful, in a good way. One milestone was that my son started high school. This made me nostalgic for high school. It also made me into something of a tiger mother, because the high-stakes nature of high school today clashes a bit with my son's relatively laid-back attitude about his studies. I started checking his grades online daily and questioning him about every little blip I noticed. It's not that he does lousy in school without my riding him mercilessly, but he'd be happy with all Bs and maybe even a C or two, when he is capable of As. I'm trying to give him more space to make his own mistakes and be in charge of his workload, but it's not easy with all the pressure about getting into college that's been heaped on the students and parents. I'd never been too focused on his grades or schoolwork in middle school, so this was a change.

My neice graduated from college and nephew gradutated from high school. I wish I would have been able to spend more time with Laura while she was in college, and so thankful that I made the trip down to see John graduate. With mom becoming more "home-centered", I realize that I am representing much more than me at family functions. And how important those relationships are in our lives.

I turned 70 this year. This coupled with daughters death makes one think of your own mortality. My wife and I are now re-evaluating our priorities and plannning for next 5 year segment.

I can think of two possible milestones that occurred this year. One, my grandfather passed away. I wasn't really close with him, but I also did not facilitate that when I could have been responsible with that. My mother has a type of detachment for her parents because in her assessment, they were not good parents. She knows they did the best with what they had, but she's an old soul and knows what it means to truly treat family well. Funerals are now the way my entire family comes together nowadays. It used to be the holidays, but everybody's got their own families, and sometimes several branches of them. Of course, I have no ill-will towards my grandfather, I love him simply because he's family. I hope, and maybe even could go so far as to say I trust, that in his next step in consciousness, he will evolve. The other event was my cousin Rick got married. Now, after two kids, some may think that a wedding isn't that important. Rick and Kellie, who share a relatively good relationship, tied the knot in August and I enjoyed seeing two people who love each other share in the ceremony of being formally joined. Rick asked me to be his best man and I was so happy he did. By blood he's my cousin, by all other measures, he's my brother. In all seriousness, this event affected me financially. I wouldn't change how I did it, but I gave more than I think I had and I'm feeling the pressure of it. That pressure will go away in another month or two, but it's tight. Would I create that same situation for myself again? If the person is important enough, without a second thought. I think this event also affected me in the way where I was looking at my own relationship. At one point of our trajectory, we would have already been married by the time Rick and Kellie got married. Shelly had a lot to drink that night and she had spaces that night where she was vocal about the definitiveness of our relationship by referring to me as her fiancee. It was nice to hear that, but the action speaks louder than words. I wouldn't be surprised if the events of Rick and Kellie's wedding along with Kyle and Grace's and Shelly's brother's wedding, that I have more of a desire to be on that path with Shelly and a deeper knowing that she wants it too. Currently, I am observing our relationship and evaluating whether or not she can really pull the trigger on this one. A little patience is warranted though, quite a few life changes have happened for her at this point.

My parent's restaurant lost most of it's main staff. Head chef, manager, wine director. When I got home from college for the summer, we all circled the wagons and divided the work among who could and was able to do it. We worked side by side all summer. They really recognized how much I devoted to the business and I was able to see just how much they work themselves to the bones. It has brought us closer in a whole new way.

My grandfather died in November. He is the first major family member to pass away. Since we're all young generations, it hit us all really hard, especially because it was an accident. It made me continue to think a lot about my own mortality, the shortness of life, and having children - - how we're all just part of the always-churning, always-changing cycle of life. It's mind-boggling.

My sister came back from living abroad for 18 months. It has affected me because I am really happy to have her back in the US and only living 2 hours away. I also realized how much I had grown in the time she was gone, but she has accepted me for who I am and did not expect me to stay exactly the same.

My mother has moved in with her boyfriend. All I can say about this is that there are no ways in which the move has positively affected my life, and several ways it has proved horrible. No blessing will be given by me here! Also, my Grandmother got engaged, so that's a pretty big deal, but I still don't know how I feel about that!

The major milestone for the family this year was the passing of my two AUnts within nine days of each other. My mother's sisters, the last surviving matriarchs of a large family having immigrated from Lithuania prior to the Nazi's take over of that country. It was an end to an era for me personally. I appreciate, so much more, how precious our time is here.

My oldest Sister is engaged. She announced it the last tiem she came to visit, in January, and we couldn't be more happy for her! Well, except that my extended family didn't take it too well... In an case, we're very excited to have a new member of the family join us!

This year for Passover we gathered parents, siblings, spouses, and kids at my sister's home in El Paso, Texas. Being in the desert for Passover where many people are seeking to escape their own Mitzrayim by crossing a treacherous border made us all pause and appreciate the relative safety and privilege we have as American Jews in this time and place. It was also the first year that we had a next full generation. My wife and I are "The Aunties from LA." We now have 2 nieces in El Paso and a nephew in Rochester. We have decided this annual Passover gathering in El Paso will become our next family tradition.

My mother survived a very serious illness; I believe it made us all more aware of our mortality and to be more loving to each other.

My only living daughter graduated college this year and is making her way in the world with decreasing amounts of financial support from us--not all the way there yet, but working on it! This has made both of us (her father and I) think a lot about how the world, and we, were when we were embarking on our adult lives.

It's a bad milestone-my grandma had a stroke and is no longer as independent as she was before. This signified kind of the beginning of the end, so I'm doing what I can to really enjoy her while she's still around - albeit from 2,500 miles away.

I've begun to understand that my daughter truly is her own person, and that success has to be on her own terms, not on mine. I'm beginning to take my ego out of the picture, and focus on who she is, and how much I love her for exactly that. And she is much more loving toward me, which makes me very, very happy.

It's not so much a milestone as a trial-by-fire all year long. They were both in recovery from surgeries and unemployed. Talk about a scary time. But they've always been amazing at being frugal and aware of their consumption, and us kids did our best to help them too. And now my mom has two signed contracts (not a full-time job, but still it's better for her health-wise this way anyway) and this week my dad finally got a job offer, after about a hundred interviews! Knock on wood, things are finally starting to look up for them, and nobody deserves it more.

I don't know of any milestones, but I think my sister and I have grown closer. We do a lot more stuff together. I'm proud of her. She's getting out of the house more to do fun things and she's finding get freedom. I think it's great.

My Granddaughter had her first son. It's like having a Grandson again, and viewing the continuation of life. We have to meditate about what we are leaving to them in this world.

I'm really feeling discontented with the status quo. All my life, I barely try, with anything. I do the bare minimum and I get by. I guess the stuff with my sisters made me realize I HAVE TO TRY. I want more. I don't want to end up in 10 years, trying to kill myself. I AM IN CHARGE OF MY HAPPINESS.

Adam completed his first Triathalon! And then did another one! He inspires me to push myself both physically and mentally, to take advantage of this amazing human body and to set your mind to something and conquer anything.

My mother was laid off from a job for the first time, just a few years from her retirement age. This made me realize that the time is soon coming when I'll need to be financially secure enough to help her out.

Our dads died within a month of each other, both deaths unexpected. We are now, suddenly, the elders. We are more aware of our own mortality. We are more aware of all the things, great and small, that our parents did for us and gave to us. I am especially aware of how much unresolved anger there was between my dad and me. We loved each other, but neither of us knew how to express that love in a way the other would understand and appreciate. There were too many encysted wounds that were never treated by the fresh air and light of apology and forgiveness. It is a lot to let go of, but I'm working on it. Hard as it is to forgive some things, it is even harder to figure out how to be forgiven now that the opportunity to ask for that gift is gone.

My sister finally left the nest! I think this has affected everyone in our family equally. It's obviously a big move for my sister because she's finally living on her own for the first time, paying bills and managing life. She'll still get a lot of support from my parents but this is a big step for her. I hope she can figure it out.

I feel like going to hawaii with my parents, my aunt and her partner saved our family in some way. I was so depressed before we left and we would see each other a lot but there wasn't a deep connection between all of us. The trip allowed me to get outside of my cloud of sadness. It also allowed us to just have fun together. We got to better know my aunt's partner and I really feel she is part of my family. I learned to trust in them and to get more personal with what I share. Before it was like oh yea everything is good but now it's like this is good, this is bad, and why. We still relive the trip via inside jokes and reminiscing about some funny things that happened. I feel like my grandma is now living in our connection. It is what she always wanted, for us to be closer and to take care of each other in more meaningful ways.

My mom was diagnosed with a tumor in her small intestine and had surgery in early April. This is the first time that my mom was truly weak and needed help - she is always the one who is helping, not seeking help. I went back and forth from Cleveland to Chicago, leaving two small kids with my husband to take care of; quit my job; interviewed for a new one, and ultimately, took some time off. Mom getting sick shook me to my core - you never think your parents will get old so quickly. It has made me rethink what i want to do, how i want to spend my time, and how i want my own nuclear family to function.

Really we had no serious bumps in the road this last year. But I believe that has affected us most of all. We'd become accustomed to the horrors of daily life and this past year has given us something to appreciate and attempt to re-create. This year, in our own way, I believe we found the end of the rainbow, and it was nice.

My mother passed away suddenly. And that has made me value my time with my family members more highly. I feel more committed to being fully present and happy to spend each minute with my (adopted) family here at home. And I'm enjoying staying more in touch each week with my birth family out of state.

My oldest son lost his first tooth. To enjoy the wonder and fantasy of the tooth fairy brought us all down to earth. It was a family affair to rally all the tooth fairies from Chevy Chase to New Orleans back to Silver Spring. Everyone came through and captured the imagination of a wise-beyond-his-years little boy who was heading toward cynicism quickly.

My dad retired, my grandpa passed away, and my grandma sold their house of 52 years and moved into an independent living facility. It's such a poignant life-stage shift... I remember when my grandparents retired, when my great-grandma moved into a nursing home... more than anything, it makes feel behind in my own life-stage development and makes me eager to have kids. I want them to know my dad and grandma well. I also want to feel like my family is getting younger as well as older.

Moving house. I only remember living in my old house, so having to get used to new surrounding and new house. Enjoying the change, and hoping it will focus me on making more changes where I need to.

The event itself hasn't yet occurred, but we decided to plan a family vacation, coming up in November. It's a milestone because we're recognizing that with my youngest turning six, the kids are now old enough to survive a bit of travel and all get something out of the destination (and the journey, hopefully). It's a new phase of our interaction with the world, as a family unit.

My dad was orphaned. My last living grandparent died at the ripe old age of 92! although sad, we were all somewhat happy she finally got her wish to join the love of her life, whom she missed dearly. her house was sold, no longer will the family have an excuse to meet. we will have to force ourselves to keep in touch with aunts, uncles, cousins. i know some will be easier to keep close and some i will be happy to let go....

Cousin got married in April. It was the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended. I helped with the planning and decorations. I wanted to try to become close with her. The weekend made me realize that the family - my family and her family - had changed. This realization had been coming to me gradually, but this event crystallized it. My cousins Dylan and Seth - it felt they were completely estranged from me. They were surrounded by their friends and their words to me were almost pro-forma. I felt unimportant. While talking with one of Dylan's friends, he saw someone else - someone he preferred to talk with - and excused himself. I saw how close Anelisa's family was; how filled with love. It struck me that my family would never be that way. My sister, with her new boyfriend, made a hurtful comment to me. I was sick with polymyalgia but did not know it. I was fatigued and in pain. I cried the entire way home, on the phone with Matt. I was depressed for days. My birthday was the Monday after. I felt suicidal. I couldn't stand my feelings and cut my hand on glass. My neighbors came up and helped. Drew brought me to the ER. WHen I came back, Adriana had placed fresh flowers in a cup by my bed. I felt loved. Two weeks later I "met" Dodd. I had no idea I could start a relationship and fall in love.

My sister moved out, lied and said she was moving in with a girl but really moved in with her drug dealer boyfriend. She started skipping school and smoking weed all day. She quit caring about everything and everybody. She quit cheerleading, started hating school, having a terrible attitude, and looking like crap all the time. She's been moving around from one craphole to another, she threw away all her college scholarships, and her boyfriend almost got thrown in jail. She's excited that she just got a crappy job at McAllisters. She is doing nothing with her life and my sister and I never even speak to her. She broke my parents heart and now they always feel guilty and brokenhearted because they feel like they have failed as parents. I have just cut her out of my life because the sister I had no longer exists. She is a stranger that I don't know and so it doesn't hurt me that we don't talk because I don't know that person. It is weird to live in the same room with someone for 18 years who suddenly stops existing.

We reconnected with cousins on my dad's side we had not seen in 30 years. We had a wonderful visit and now our tiny family is that much bigger and better. I also went to visit my sister's home for the first time in 25 years. It was a huge step.

Daughter Michelle was hired as the new program director for Jeremiah Fellowship, her accomplishments are too AMAZING to list. Daughter Kim is pregnant and VERY excited as we all are. Daughter Tandy is looking forward to upgrading to CAPTAIN good news, moving to Chicago, not so much. Bill finally TRIMMED his beard, although I still hate it and we finally caught up on the past-due mortgage and, for the moment, out of a very deep, dark hole...starting to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel and it's NOT New Jersey!

Elizabeth moved in to her own apartment with two other young ladies. As she steps along her own life path, we are growing along with her.

The milestone was the anniversary of my dad's passing. His absence has not made my family closer; it has punctuated our separateness. It encouraged my immediate family to take a few family vacations (including Washington D.C. Disney World! and Colorado) because time really is precious and the experiences I can provide for my children, the history, the learning, the memories are going to last or at least contribute to their development.

There were two. First, our son moved home in order to search for a job and enter the working world. I have loved having his positive presence. It has been a wonderful time for me, and a saving grace for our daughter... The second major event this year was the death of my daughter's boyfriend. He died of a meningitis infection at 22 years of age. The loss of this positive, athletic young man was crushing for us all. Ultimately it is a message to live fully every day you wake up and fill your life with love. Give openly to the world and remember that every single day is a gift.

My sister is currently going through a very difficult time due to a traumatic experience with a teacher who harassed her. She has lost her job and is having difficulty continuing going to school, and her emotional well being is threatened. The family is doing our best to support her and help her through it. It is difficult because everybody has opinions on how to handle it and what she needs. I am doing my best to be there for her also. It is difficult to deal with things that I am personally dealing with at the same time, but I know that my own stuff doesn['t compare. So in a way, it is helping me to put myself aside and focus on something bigger and more significant.

I'm not sure if this is truly a milestone, but I started my senior year in high school, and my brother started his freshman year in high school. He and I have gotten so much closer; we never fight anymore, and we actually talk all the time. Also, Jeremy has matured a lot, and it's very impressive to everyone how grown up we are.

My grandfather's passing affected us all a LOT. It forced us to take a good, hard look at ourselves. I learned that I need to let go of hurt and anger and be open to... well, everything. This also spurred me on to have a full blood work-up done, which resulted in the peace of mind that only a clean bill of health can give.

My nan died. I've never seen my mum so upset or my dad so concerned for her. I've never had so much support from my family and my friends before.

My dad just lost his job this week. 9/28/11. Being in college and pretty much independent, I'm not sure how much this will influence me. But I guess we'll find out.

My brother got engaged. It has definitely made me think more about my future relationships and how I do have a goal of finding someone to love and getting married one day. It also has made me think about how you need to get to know someone very deeply before you think about getting married. I am concerned that he is compromising too much for her and she is not doing enough. Of course, I am an outsider and don't know.

It may have been mid-November 2010 but I think it still counts! My daughter's birth was far and away the greatest thing I've ever experienced. It's added a great deal of stress to my daily life and marriage. However, I can't begin to imagine life without her.

ALL of my cousins are getting married! (not really all, but 4 of them just this year) I wasn't even really wanting to go to any of the weddings because of the time and especially the expense involved, but I made it out for Helen's and of course had a great time and was glad I did. It makes me wish I lived close to all of them, but I definitely don't want to live on the east coast after visiting again. It's kind of fun to visit, but seems like a terrible and depressing place to live, especially if you're into the outdoors (guess I'm not a city person). I'm very happy to live in Colorado.

My father-in-law died. I wish I could be of more comfort to my spouse.

We may have found out Nezzis mysterious health concern.. Thyroid.. This is good because it isolates the issue so that we can better combat it. Also, my Sister had a Son, Josiah. Nezzi is reading more about Judaism, she said we should observe Shabbat more often, and how meaningful it is - I've read about it and though I didn't say anything, I was very happy to hear her say this.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. My wife has been unable to work due to a debilitating and unpredictable illness that causes serious pain and fatigue. Instead of forcing her to go to work and risk her illness getting worse, we decided to change the standard way of doing things. She now stays at home and does all of the tasks and chores that keeping a household and family requires. Froom cooking and packing lunch to laundry and drycleaning, groceries and house cleaning..she covers it all, with mastery. The result: a fantastic work/home life balance and a very happy and fulfilled family!

Over the past year my parents got separated. Although it's been very rough on me, my parents and my brother, the separation and fighting has created an unbelievably close bond with my brother that I am very thankful for.

Lots of milestones this year good and bad: lots of death in the family (dad and papa)- showed me how fragile life is and how I should cherish every moment I have with people; Graduation from college and starting a full time job- showed me that I can accomplish anything and that hard work pays off; Traci leaving for college- my mom has to learn how to live by herself for the first time ever. Reminds me how much the world has changed for young women from the 70s to today.

I think the most obvious major milestone is the joining of our two families through our wedding. It has been interesting to see how the different families interact, and how those interactions affect me and my husband. Although there have been frustrations, on the whole, we have become a happy family.

No major milestones...family is as disfunctional as ever. I traveled to TX to go to a large family reunion on my mother's side of the family...flew out before the reunion. Just didn't have the strength post-cancer to deal with all the disfunction and emotional turmoil. I had a meltdown the day before the reunion and flew out that day. I wish my mother would stop closing her eyes to the damage that has been done by my brother Peter. How he has hurt so many in the family by not talking to us for the last 25 years or so. She still thinks he walks on water. *sigh*

My son went into recovery - admitting his addiction problems for the very first time. It was a very dark and scary time for him and for me. It affected me in a positive way - finally feeling that things make sense (hindsight IS 20-20) and feeling that he will be okay once again. It actually took stress away from me to know that he was taking responsibility for himself and his actions, and reaching for health and well-being.

For this question I am going to write with regards to my family (mom and dad). My mom retired a year ago, and since then most everything has been different. In her retirement they decided to buy a huge "lodge" and sell their other two cabins, one which they built by hand. Alternatively, the extra time that mom has had has not been good for her emotional/mental stability, which has always been iffy. This summer she had a total breakdown, which was so incredibly difficult on my dad and I. At one point we thought she might try to kill herself. This pattern isn't too new, but it was so much worse since she stopped working. Between them trying to set up their lodge and mom's instability, I have been pushed out of our "family" and I feel so much more distant from them than ever before. My dad and I have have to talk in secret, because mom would flip if she knew we were talking. It has been difficult and I wonder if anything will ever be close to the same as it was.

On little sister got married and the other little sister got engaged. These two events have made me really reflect on my age and where I am in respect to an overall life plan. I'm older than both of them, but they are much further along the path to starting their own family than I am.

Dad consented to getting hearing aids that he will actually wear. It is amazing how much he can hear now! It's much easier to converse with him, and I can sit in the living room while he's watching TV without feeling like I'm at rock concert. Dad and I talk more now, and he's able to offer actual insight and wisdom rather than just smiling and nodding at me. Now if we could just get Mom to the point where she hears correctly...

I turned 50. My daughter started college. My father is planning to retire. All changes that show time is moving on, but are, g-d willing, full of potential.

My great-grandma died. It's been weird going to florida and not visiting her.

This year? I'm starting to feel boring answering these questions. There is literally nothing that happened in my three person let's watch TV all day family this year. Except for things that involve ME and have to do with ME. But we already know I went to college etc. so that's immaterial.

My sister will be getting married two weeks from tomorrow. Getting to know her fiance this past year has been such a blessing to our family. We are a family who really just has each other--most of our extended family has gone or is just not that close, and so we are pretty close knit as an immediate family. It was hard to really let Greg in as a true part of our family, even though he's been dating Christine for over 2 years. I think that this summer we really had some great times and have opened our family to him, which was hard for me especially as I have never had to share my sister before.

I realized how tenuous our grip on normalcy truly is. It also really brought home how disconnected I am from day-to-day routines, now that I live away from home.

My sister's mental illness has taken a major tax on all of us. The result is my mother's house is being run by a terrorist threat that if the smallest thing goes wrong, the kid goes off. It's made me resent my mother a little, for throwing up her hands about many aspects of parenting, but mostly my sister. She and I are grappling with the same issues, and the way she uses hers to manipulate everyone offends me, since I'm trying so hard not to be a burden. Her stunt in March, a very weak suicide attempt while I was home for the campaign and she wasn't getting all the attention, really epitomizes the whole problem.

This summer, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. It made me realize how much in life I take for granted subconsciously. This experience has helped me mature, and also made me realize how much my parents have done for me.

My second grandchild, Charlotte, was born. And I found out a third grandchild is on the way soon. I am so happy to have grandchildren. On one hand, it makes me realize that I'm now much closer to the end of my life than I'd like to be. However, having grandchildren gives me new impetus to take better care of myself. I want them to be able to remember me.

My sister had baby #2. My oldest friend had baby#1 My other friend got pregnant again with baby #2. I still have no baby and not much financial security. I have a boyfriend. Time seems to be ticking away. All these babies... My sister's baby is cute and I can never begrudge her anything. My best friend having a baby has put a real roadblock inside our friendship. I think I feel a deep jealousy and anger and frustration and instead of facing that, I've chosen to stay away a lot using the excuse that I am very busy...which I am, but not THAT busy. This past year, my best friend having a child has made me feel like we're less best friends. I hope it's a phase. I wish I could be a stronger person...a better person. I'm trying, but wondering if maybe I also have the right to protect myself? Hopefully these things will become more clear this year.

Moved from a place we have lived for 10 years. This was a quick move with no real planning, other then the city we waned to move to. From little city to big city. Still trying to adjust.

I went to college. I'm not really sure how well the rest of the family is taking it, but I know that the added responsibility of taking care of myself without mom or dad's help is starting to hit me. I think that eventually we'll all be perfectly happy, but I have to think that my mom misses me during the daytime.

That's difficult. The only 2 things that changed within my family the past year were that my sister got a boyfriend and my father moved to Georgia. My sister changed a lot since she has Nils, not always in a positive way. But I'm happy for my father that he's back at working and also has fun to do it. Better than being here in Germany and always complaining, isn't it?

My grandad has started having really serious health issues. I mean, he's had health issues before, but he's started to really deteriorate. It's sad. It's really taking a toll on my mom. It seems like she's about to lose both her parents. It hasn't seemed to affect me so much. Honestly, I was closer to my grandmother. My grandad, is kind of extended to me. And especially since I don't see him on a regular basis... But my mom's trouble makes me concerned.

A milestone in my family. I'm pretty sure my parents celebrated their 35 year wedding anniversary, but there wasn't much fanfare. I recall being out of town (or maybe they went to the lake) and I definitely didn't get them a gift. Yay. You're still married. Congrats on not killing eachother yet? Congrats on being complacent enough to stay together, but not brave enough to ask for what you want, fight for what you need, or have some type of memory of what is looks like to be in love? But maybe that's what love is after 35 years? Making dinner for someone you resent? Wanting to spend quality time together when it really just means you're sitting side by side watching separate laptops? My brother bought a house. That was epic. It's a good lesson in struggle for him. I don't think he's ever had to make such a large quantity of consecutive decisions. Carpets, colours, wood, window treatments, plus all of the other random fuckups that got in the way. Rotten windows, broken porch, slow tile worker (my uncle) in the bathroom. It makes me realize I'm pretty good at that stuff already. And that I can spread my wings. Well rather, I have spread them, I came home, and to be honest, don't need to wait around any longer. If however, I invest in some real estate, I don't think I'd appreciate suburbia. Only unless my 9-7 day was SO full and immersive that I actually did want to escape reality to a cookie cutter subdivision. Beyond that, I have no use for a miniature backyard with a deck large enough for a 2 person patio party, or a living room that require special models of sofas because it's actually the size of a play house. I use inconvenience of travel as an alibi to isolate myself, and I don't think living far away would be healthy. I'd spend even more time living in my own head. It's a bit destructive.

The divorce has hit everyone in my family in different ways. It may be years before my kids can truly understand what happened. It made me deeply appreciate my friends and family, how much they have my back. And it finally removes what was such a big hurdle in my life. Now I must confront myself--my strengths and weaknesses, my independence and need for accomplishments and love. It is all out there.

For the first time in 3 years, my brother and sister both attended a family event at the same time. They didn't speak or even look at each other, but it's a step in the right direction. Since their falling out, it's been pretty hard to go home to visit -- "family dinners" haven't existed. Hopefully they can continue to take the right steps for the next year so they can stand at the altar with us on our wedding day!

This year was full of changes. My daughter's father finally found a woman that makes him happy. I got married to my childhood sweetheart and we had a baby. I think these are all milestones. Its given us a lot to get used to and grow from. I've also been giving my older child more attention because she's faced the most change in her life. Its been hardest on her. We try to have a special day for her every weekend.

My sister started going to therapy. I told her if she needs to never speak to my parents again, I'm with her. I mean it.

mmm, I guess the mayor milestone to my family is that they don't support me anymore, so no more economical help. Affected me, mmm, it's tough, I've always been supported and cared, it's been hard feeling that I can't really ask for help to them, I wish the effect was more empowering and positive but it is not, I wish I could help my mum, but right now I can hardly support myself. Maybe next year

I stopped believing that how my parents treat me or how they think of me is a reflection of who I really am. I grieved a LOT this year for the loss of what I needed, and in turn sought the tools to give to myself what I need! Lonely yet rewarding quest when you them realize you aren't alone after all, and there are so many people willing to be present with you in the capacity that nurtures! YAY!

Last weekend, my brother told me he and his wife are expecting a baby! It's really early in the pregnancy and they are waiting to tell the rest of the family but this will have SUCH an amazing impact on our families. I once told my brother he had to wait until I was more financially-secure to have a kid so I could spoil it properly. I have 7 months to prepare and I'm so excited!

I very clearly remember the conversation I had with my mom when she said she understood my decision to move. I know she nags me because she loves me and I realized that I don't give her credit nearly enough. She's so smart, especially when it comes to life, and I think I need to treat her better to show her I appreciate that. I am so fortunate to have so much support and love from her.

I got engaged! I am so glad that I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. We have become quite the family and I have so enjoyed bonding and becoming close with his parents and siblings. I feel like I have gained so much by being allowed into this amazing family. I am one lucky girl, that's for sure. I can't wait until August when we finally get to share a last name.

Organized our first family reunion in VT, with my parents, bro & 3 of our 6 nieces. Bro wife & I had never met one of the nieces, and my mom had never met one of the others. I have been committed for 20 years to healing this fracture in our family. It was a gorgeous, funny, wonderful wknd: 3 representatives each from our 3 living generations. Yes, there were awkward moments, but they held no weight compared to the beauty. It was also bittersweet, touched w/the sadness for the years of absence. Present also was The Ghost: Son, Brother, Father. Physically absent, he was so there. Seen in the blood, our shared genetics clearly visible on our faces. I have found some measure of forgiveness for the destruction & pain he has caused our family. For without him these 6 beautiful, smart, funny, strong young women would not be.

My husband got a new job, and we bought a house and moved as a result. Prior to this, he had a temporary position at my university, which had him grossly under-placed, under-appreciated, an underpaid. The new job is still not a permanent fix for our "two-body problem," but at least it has him much happier in his work for the time being. The job is a really great fit and, while still technically an under-placement, at least has greatly increased the appreciation and pay that he receives. This has affected me in numerous ways. First, it has changed where we live, which is fabulous. It is so amazing to be living in our own home, and to be so close to my sister and her family -- not to mention, living in an area that we both feel most at home in. I'm adjusting to the commuting that this entails for me, but all together it is so, so worth it. More importantly, it has changed my relationship to my university and my colleagues. It means I no longer feel like I'm constantly scrambling to get him a better position at my university. It also means I no longer take offense whenever people who I think are on "my side" aren't working as hard to do the same so that I can stay in my position. And I don't have to take offense on his behalf when his work goes unrecognized. The main drawback is that this is the first time in our entire relationship that we don't work/study at the same institution (save for one year when he was employed and I was home with our son and attempting to write my dissertation). We no longer get to have lunch in the middle of the day or share workplace camaraderie. But this is a small price to pay for his happiness.

My dad got laid off for the third time in a year. This makes me realize that my parents aren't invincible in terms of financial stability, and that i'm more of an equal than ever before....that i have an obligation to return all of the help they've provided for me over the years.

I think that me graduating from college and getting a real working job has been the biggest milestone. As the baby of the family, it is a big deal to finally know what I'm going to be doing with the rest of my life.

I became fully responsible for my aging grandfather this year. He'd been living independently since my grandmother passed two years ago, but dimentia set in. It's been hard making all the decisions alone. He's in a home now where he is very well taken care of and seems happy. Dealing with all of his bills and his house seem overwhelming at times. But, I do feel better since we moved him about his well being and opportunities to socialize. I hope my kids take good care of me in my old age!

My daughter moved back in. We were initially a bit skeptical, but she has been balanced and pleasant, showing much more insight and flexibility than I had imagined possible. When she is around she is terrific companhy and conversation. I feel like a bit less of a failure as a parent when I see and interact with her and speak with her about her evolving and very impressive educational and professional plans. I feel so much better thanbefore she came back from living with her boyfriend.

My son is in his last year of college 6 hours away. As a single parent we have a very close relationship but I decided this year that I will not call him, allow him to call me when he chooses. We are both developing independence. That doesn't mean we don't love each other ... it's just time. So last week he called me with an emergency. "Mom, how do you defrost chicken?" This is an emergency?

My mom retired from teaching after 37 years. She's finally free to do whatever she wants which is great...but a teachers salary plus my father's poor business decisions is going to limit her from perusing things she put off to raise a family. I've made a decision to try as much as I can before my time, energy, and money is tied up in responsibilities.

Which family? Can't be Adlers. Maybe Weiners. Aunt Helen died and Aunt Pearl is getting older though at 93 that's not really major. Family of choice? Sue seems to have deserted me and I haven't spoken to Sherry for months. At lease part of the responsibility is mine. I keep think I will call Sue particularly because Jean's birthday is approaching and I should check in regardless of the fact I have not heard from her virtually since I moved to my new "abode". Barry is in love and I'm very happy for him. Donna is very nice and I hope their relationship grows and endures. He has not been as attentive to me which is understandable but he also hurt my feelings. I moved in with him temporarily after the fire but started feeling intrusive rather quickly. Truth be told I probably would have felt the same way or worse if the roles were reversed. I do feel abandoned but my choice to be left alone kind of explains that. Also my negativity hasn't helped.

My grandparents live right next door to me and they have been involved in my life for as long as i can remember. A couple of months ago, I found out that my grandmother has dimensia and that has had a really horrible impact on my family. This has affected my family because I am extremely appreciative of my family now since i know i don't have much more time with them. My family has grown closer because of this and I hope we can get through this together.

My mom and I had a pretty rough summer. We went on the cruise which I mostly enjoyed but I really felt like she was disappointed and didn't like it much and then we got back and spent the rest of the time I was home barely speaking. We eventually made up but it was definitely the biggest disagreement we ever had and I really did lose a lot of trust in her. I never thought se would say some of the things she did and it really changed our relationship for me. I don't think I can depend on her anymore the way I use to.

My Mom passed away from cancer. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to go through in my whole entire life. I never thought I could feel such heartbreak. I wish I had gotten to spend more time with her before she passed but I know she's watching down on me, forever and always.

Our 15th wedding anniversary - more than ever I appreciate commitment, and commit to it!

My parents both went off the deep end. Actually, maybe that already happened, but I found out about it his year. Sucks.

My 92 year old grandmother got extremely ill this year and was in the hospital for over a month. My father flew from Israel (where he lives), to Brooklyn to help get her out of the hospital and take care of her. During that time, I went to New York to visit them. It was a profound turning point in my relationship with my father. It was the closest and happiest we have been with each other since before my parents divorced... it's also probably the most time we've spent just the two of us in over a decade. We really bonded. We went to the Guggenheim. We walked around Central park. We would talk late into the night about science, art, religion, and life; while my grandmother slept peacefully in the next room. We started over. He really took care of my grandmother and rehabilitated her from near death, and in turn, I was able to be there for him while he was dealing with the issues of potentially losing his last living parent. That time together in New York changed everything for us; and those changes were reflected positively in other aspects of my life.

We became Jewish, and it's been wonderful.

First, my daughter went to university. I hope this will have a positive effect on her, and on our relationship. It does make me feel old though, even though I'm still in my 30's! I also feel a new confidence in her, that she got there and hopefully she'll stick it out and really enjoy herself. Secondly, I started to home educate my youngest children. It's given me a new sense of purpose, a feeling of achievement, and a confidence in my decision making that I didn't have before. It makes me consider the way people view our family, and the way they view me too. I hope that I'll be able to be a positive influence on other people to take the same path. It's also made me think about the decisions I jump to about other people's way of life and beliefs; I always thought that home educators were nutters and just dismissed the whole idea even though I'd never researched it or put much thought into it. It makes me more aware of the other ways I may show intolerance in all kinds of areas. You can have a belief for so long that you never question, and that those around you never question, and yet it can be totally wrong. This goes from beliefs about God, to those about mundanities. Now I think that many things (but not all) are all about where you are viewing them from. There are less absolutes.

My youngest daughter and her family bought a house. That gave me some peace of mind about their living situation. My partner got a promotion at work after ten years. The increase in income is small but helpful, but the sense of recognition for her work gave her a nice boost in self-confidence. My oldest granddaughter graduated from U.C. Davis in June. This makes me very proud. We adopted three new cats. They have disturbed the peace of the house greatly, but increased the amount of love and entertainment exponentially.

My life partner's oldest child had a daughter... the first girl grandchild. It has allowed me to see that my biological family and his are separate and will not really be closely involved with each other. I participate but not actually as family. I feel the same old exclusion and otherness with that situation. So it has finally become clear to me that it is ok to be other and I can allow myself to just accept how these extended families work. It feels good to open my heart to everyone with no expectations. After all it is not all about me, it is all about all of us.

My aunt died in late August. Personally, it made me terrified for when my grandmother and mom died. The night I found at I laid in bed forcing my cat to stay with me because I was so freaked out. And it emphasized for me how much I truly dislike and cannot relate to virtually all of my extended family.

My uncle moved in with my family - and for that reason my parents put a lot of work into the house. We will never get the investment back (we really should have just moved to a larger house). It caused my entire family a lot of stress. My sister was a terror. My brother didn't know what to do. My dad yelled at my mom constantly. And my mom complained to me - while I was finishing up my senior year of college. The entire experience has made me see that my parents do practice what they preach - they do believe that family comes before everything. My uncle moving in with us probably saved his life. I am very proud to say that I am their daughter.

Both my parents having cancer has readjusted my life to the point that it could be called a milestone. I now find myself blessed with the chance to take care of them in the way I have best to offer. Surprisingly, or maybe not, I feel happier, clearer, and simpler all the time. The milestone I guess is stepping directly toward happiness instead of second guessing that that is what god wants for me.

The mile stone was we learned how to communicate with one another. Before we would constantly fight and not have a normal conversation but now we can separate our thoughts from our emotions . This affected me positively and helped me deal with my stress now that home was more peaceful.

A major milestone in my family this year is that my dearest sister, Annette, had her second baby! I am so happy for her and I can't wait to have my first baby soon!!

I realised Dad is a cunt and Mum is a wuss and that it has affected my life up to this point very negatively. Realising this has led me to consider all manner of things in a new light; my fears and desires are made too important by trying to escape the past. I'm using CBT to try and clarrify this problem and resolve it.

I came out to my father. I feel more honest and open with him, deepening our relationship. He was very accepting and I believe he loves me completely and unconditionally. Its truly a special bond that has flourished over a lifetime.

My dad got engaged and decided to move from North Jersey to Allentown, PA where his fiance's daughter lives. His health isn't great, and he's been retired for over a decade. He needs his family and friends for help and for sanity. I'm afraid this move is going to put a great deal of strain on his relationships with other family members and his friends. At the same time, I recognize the two of them are trying to start a new life together and they are very happy together, so I understand his motivations for doing this. It's going to be hard.

When my brother decied to join the military.. the decision has made our family and myself proud, scared, and excited for him! he's amazing and he'll do well in whatever fe does!

There have been several milestones that all sort of point to one thing, at least for me. Nady and I got our dog Luna and are living together in a house. It's all really starting to feel like a home. Over that last couple of months we've been to two weddings. In both cases the couples were our friends we've known since high school or college. Both couples have have been living together for a while now, respectively. But now they are each a husband and wife team. Kids are next I guess. In my family, my dad's health has been getting worse. He has a harder and harder time walking around, but he still has to go to work. All of this just reinforces that extended adolescence is over and it really is adult hood time. My parents won't be around forever meanwhile our friends and to some degree Nady and I are starting our own families.

My husband, at my urging, quit his job to be able to focus full-time on our dream of owning our business. We had about a 4-month window that this was feasible. This meant I had to give up my control of the spreadsheets and the phone calls and the planning and just let him do it and update me when I got home from work. It was incredibly hard at first, then it was incredibly rewarding to let go. I'm so proud of him and the work he did for our future. I'm excited to start this new venture with him.

My niece's decisions have splintered what little is left of my family. It has made me feel very alone in this world. It has forced me to remember that loving myself is more important than anything and reflects how the world sees me.

my cousin's wedding was a big milestone for the family. It feels as though is set into motion the next generation, our generation, growing up and moving on. While I'm most likely not getting married any time soon, it still feels like it started a sort of a next life phase for all of us

Us going to Europe. Me and Jess being at the age we are, this trip really helped to draw us together as a family, to really rely on and trust each other in a strange country. It's crazy to think how, just two years ago, I thought I hated my family. I remember being at Ashram, yelling at my father that I hated him. Sure, you could chalk it up to 16 year old melo-dramaticness, but even now, I am ashamed of the way I let the devil into my heart that way. This year, more than ever, I've come to realize that my family will always be my best friends, and no one loves me like they do.

My son's Bar Mitzvah. How well he did, the positive effect it had on our family and friends, on him.

My parents reunited this year, after being divorced for 30 years!!! My dad had a stroke about 6 months ago and had nowhere to live after because his then girlfriend had Alzheimer's and was about to be moved into a special home. (He had lived with her in her house prior to all of this.) My mother offered that my dad could "come stay with" her and my brother in Los Angeles. The situation became very mushy and romantic, especially for my dad!! He even asked my mom to remarry him. She said no and said it was not necessary, yet they are living together, spending all their time together and seem very happy. This entire experience has renewed my faith in love and in a higher power.

My mom passed away this year. I'm not quite sure how it has affected me as it keeps on affecting me. Every day in a new way. It has brought me closer to my husband, brothers and sisters-in-law, but because of the way my dad is handling it, it has sent me further away from him. And this hurts almost as much as the death itself.

Peleg went to the IDF Realise that noone is on my karma any more - everyone is independent. I am feeling free and love the children and it dunt matter to me their decisions...of course I care and like to hear them talk and justify but it dunt affect me Pelelg is doing so well - finally a framework! Quite amazing to think I have now 3 soldiers!

My sister is getting a divorce from a man who is mentally unstable and abusive. This has made for much drama in our family and many concerns about her and her son's safety. We all are waiting and watching carefully to insure she is safe. I moved to Kentucky and become engaged. This is my first marriage so it's a huge milestone for me at age 42. I'm finally happy with the man of my dreams. It's a good year.

Two deaths and the knowledge that being an only child,unmarried, no kids--I have no next of kin when I die.

A major milestone in my family would probably be my brothers's move into college. They both made great accomplishments in order to make it to where they are now. They are both equally enjoying their school's and taking full advantage of its potential. I am extremely proud of them and hope only for the best! They deserve it.

My sister continues to struggle in her life, and i have watched her move further and further away into a turmoil that i cannot understand. It is hard to watch, and i have watched myself struggle with my relationship with her, and finally completely understand that she is so distant from herself, and so afraid of being happy that i cannot force any other sort of relationship with her. I watch myself distancing myself from her even more, and it makes me sad...the part of me that wants to help her, and the part that just wants to be able to love her unconditionally....it is so challenging for me.

The last member of my father's family of origin died (my uncle), making me aware of my mortality and the fact that I am now the oldest of that line.

Mi papá fue demandado por ser ante la ley el propietario de un vehículo que se vendió hace 3 años y que resultó involucrado en un accidente. Esto se salió de nuestros planes y vino a provocar preocupación pero al mismo tiempo lo hemos tomado como una decisión de fe y saber que saldremos avantes y al mismo tiempo recordar los momentos en donde hemos pasado pruebas, hemos confiado y creido como familia y hemos salido avantes. Esta vez, con la ayuda de Dios también vamos a dar testimonio de ello.

The decrease in salary is one to talk about, but more profound is the change in dynamic with my brother and father. There is constant arguing and as a senior in high school my brother is no longer a child,and is more of an adult than in past years. It has changed my outlook on how our family behaviors and given me the unfortunate displeasure is seeing certain sides of my father that I would rather of not seen.

This year my daughter started kindergarten. It was such a scary transition for all of us. She's out in the world, being her own person. I have found it really humbling. She's not me and she's not my possession. My wife and I created a whole new person, and now we've let her loose on the world. I know that she's going to be amazing and fabulous. She's a natural leader and I think she's destined to set the world on fire. But, damn, it's hard to watch her taking hold of the matches!

My middle daughter became bat mitzvah. It made me realize how fleeting childhood is.

My mum and I have a better relationship. I now understand why she is the person she is and that I am different. I am not a loser, I am different and she loves me.

No major milestone for this year. Another year at a job I dislike but provides a source of income for me. Reaching my 13th anniversary and look forward to many, many, more. Turned 51 this year, and again my extended family on my husband's side failed to acknowledge, except for my sister-in-law Carrie.

this past year, i learned to appreciate my parents and all they do for me much more. Through these tough times i had to change my lifestyle and how I act. In addition to the small quarrel with my family about marriage and it regrew the love in the home.

Mommy divorcing my dad. Sad/ embarrassed at first, but so relived. We can finally move on with our lives.

40 th wedding anniversary. Trip to Israel. Much to be grateful for. Much to be not grateful for. Jared is ill today.

We added a third child to our family! Obviously, this has brought more chaos and more love into our family - even when we thought we couldn't handle more chaos and that it wasn't possible to have more love.

My nephew started college. It seems so odd that he's in college, it doesn't seem like this should be happening already! I wish my brother could see how his son has turned out so far- so very smart, very involved in things (but is a typical 18 year old right now, which is his job- he is 18). My niece started high school in a school that she really wanted to go to and, like her brother, is also amazingly smart and has access to a great very well rounded education and a good support network of great friends. What an amazing human. (both of them) My father and stepmother went to Santorini on a photography excursion. They loved it and I am so happy they went. My stepmother is very involved in the Arts council in their town and they just had their best art fair to date. This was only the 3rd or 4th (I think) and she was instrumental in getting this going, so I am really happy/excited that it is going so well!! My sister has started grad school and is doing well, despite the heavy load AND working full time. yay! My little brother left the Navy and hasn't found a job yet which is distressing, but since he moved back home he is helping out there a lot. I am happy with where my family is right now, this is a relief for me so that I can focus on where my life is going since moving to a new state, job, etc.

My eldest Nephew turned 13. I came back to NYC to assist his mom in raising him. He has no stable male figures in his life on my side of the family as my brother is useless. About a week after his Bday I took him to dinner to have "the talk". I fretted and worried exactly how I was going to phrase what I wanted to say.... then I realized that this was not going to be or should be one talk.... but a series of conversations. Then I realized how much I am looking forward to these conversations with the baby I held in my arms as he grows into adulthood and beyond. This prospect has made me look at my life a bit differently... now I have stories to tell about myself that I can pass on... not all of them good. But the point is to pass on my experience - and he has the options to learn or dismiss... But I am looking forward to the journey.

My sister's second wedding and first pregnancy have been the largest milestones for me. I am concerned, but very hopeful, that this marriage will last unlike the last one. I want my sister to know that it will take a lot of hard work and dedication, especially now that she will be adding a child to the mix. It has been an interesting year: spending it single has afforded me a lot of time to evaluate other people's relationships, for better or for worse. I hope my new brother in law learns quickly that there are times and places to be selfish, and now that he's made a commitment to a family and a life with my sister, he needs to recognize those times and realize that things have changed. I can't wait for the baby, too - I think that will change everything!

After a long year and a half, B and I are finally living in the same country again! We moved in together. It isn't always easy, but it was definitely a step in the right direction for ourselves and our future family.

Wuth my wife in school working on her Doctorate and beginning the research phase, I have decided to start a Masters. This has brought some financial stress, some emotional stress, and a bit of turmoil in the house.

This was the 20th anniversary of my mothers heart transplant. Her whole journey has effected our family. I gave up a good portion of my life to take care of her as a young man and it has caused suffering later in life, but I would do it again because she is my mom.

My grandpa passed away this summer. When I found out he was sick, I didn't think much of it. He's had cancer multiple times before, but has always overcome it. Why would this time be any different? I got a call at ILTC from my parents saying they were picking me up for a few days so I could say goodbye. I was devastated and couldn't stop crying. A few weeks later, we got the call that he had passed away. My dad wasn't that upset since my grandma died. It was heartbreaking. The funeral was crushing and full of customs I wasn't used to, and it brought the Vecchio family closer together. Now I don't have an excuse to see them anymore but we got closer to the Unger-Exner's which I'm happy about. I know Papa Vin will always be with me, love you <3

My dad and I are much closer now that I'm not living under his house and his rules. My sister and I are much closer because she just went away to college. I've learned that you need to spend some time away from your loved ones to really appreciate them.

My sister left for college. She's the youngest in our family, so now it's just my parents in our big house at home. It makes me sad to think of, so I make sure to call and e-mail my mother as often as possible, to make sure she knows she's loved and appreciated.

A major milestone that happened in my family was that I went to college last fall and my brother went this fall. These big steps of both of us being away from home has made me appreciate the time I spend with my family a lot more. I realize how hard my parents have worked to be able to send both of us to the colleges we wanted to go to and how proud they are. I want to live up to their expectations they have for me and be able to give something back to them in the future.

My niece, Victoria, had a baby. This led to me seeing more of the family, and to connecting more strongly- and also makes me feel like an elder. I struggle with accepting the fact of having aged.

I started taking anti-depressants, which inspired my dad to do the same. Everyone is a lot happier now; the change in my dad is incredible. He's just easier to live with, for the most part. Mom still has trouble, but I'm his favourite so it's been a pleasant change for me.

My Dad was recognized for his decades of successful work as a lawyer in front of 350 of his colleagues at a grand event in New York City. The immediate family all attended the program. I was very nervous about seeing my sister and her family because we haven't enjoyed a very good relationship in the last several years. However, since the event was about my Dad, with the exception of my brother-in-law who is quite a snarky SOB, we put our differences aside for a few hours and actually ended up having a wonderful time. It set the stage for future meetings. Later in the year we all vacationed together. Again, my BIL was a Class A putz, but I really connected with my sister and her children for the first time in a very long time. I can't help but wonder if our strained relationship is turning a corner and we're both ready to be mature and be sisters instead of adversaries. Few things could please me more.

My great grand mother passed away in January. I was out with my co worker that night after work and I wasn't going to pick up my mom's phone call but I did. Turns out my great grand mother had just passed away in my house holding my grandmother's hand. It really sucked that she finally passed away but then again, she was 94 so it's ok in my opinion. The house I think has a little less tension and my grandmother can relax to some extent. But it kinda got me closer to other family members, cousins that I only see at funerals lol. Now I have them on facebook and I'm planning on having a lunch with them some time soon.

My parents have started being more open minded to updating me on my brother if he is not doing well. He has been struggling with anxiety for a few years now, but I feel I can trust them to tell me what is going on at home.

My husband's continuing health issues and hospitalizations has brought us closer together. It is also teaching me to live in the present even in small ways. As I type this I am experiencing my fingers and nails touching the computer keyboard, the sound of the dishwasher washing. I realize that I have retained the capacity to learn how to do things better even though I am in my 70s now. I try to tap into that when I am facing a challenge.

Grandma Betty and Aunt Min turned 100! Centennial twins. Grandma Betty taught me that every day is a blessing.

A major milestone that happened with my family this year was my sister and her daughter moving out. This has really allowed me to rediscover myself as my own person, not as an aunt or a little sister.

My mom assumed a new, important role in her work and it made me realize how amazing both of my parents are. They are incredible leaders in the Jewish community and this year I have begun to appreciate how lucky I am to have them as role models, teachers, friends, and inspirations. Now that I don't live at home, I am struggling with my own Jewish identity and having them to support and guide me is something I hope never to take for granted.

My sister went to college, and my parents became empty nesters. It made me re-evaluate my position as the eldest child, and what my role is, now that we are a family of adults. It also made me re-evaluate my relationship with my sister, and how I can be there for her when college becomes less fun, and more stressful and nerve-wracking, as it was for me after sophomore year. It also made me realize how strong I am as person, having faced obstacles and finally being treated as an adult by my parents, and regarded as such by my younger siblings. I felt proud when my sister told me that she navigated the T "like a boss" like me.

My grandfather died this year. The event didn't affect me much at all directly. I didn't see him much and wasn't that fond of him. The way it did affect me was to think about why people were not fond of him, so that I didn't make the same mistakes. He was always sour, always right, abusive to his children, and selfish. By the time he tried to have a relationship with his children, most of them had stopped thinking much about him. Even my grandmother is just as happy to have him out of the house. The fate of this man is scary. What kind of life is it when you only think of yourself and then nobody misses you? It reminds me to be thankful for friends and family, just for who they are.

No real milestones for me this year. Next year, however, I will turn fifty. I am not looking forward to that. I am expecting a serious depression, hopefully not.

This has been the first relatively calm year in my house since 7th grade. Apart from my mother getting cancer (and being successfully treated), no major arguing has gone on. The peace and quiet has been more than welcome.

With my family? We got together for vacation, all of us, for the 3rd time annually. This was more of a sacrifice and challenge than past years. We brought our daughter down from Indiana and took her home early or she wouldn't have been able to come. We disagreed on where to go and finally settled on Gatlinburg. We all stay together and there are 12 of us now, for a whole week. That is a challenge in itself. We've done it now 3X, although this was the FIRST time we've ALL been there. 1st year, Table Rock state park SC, my husband just started a job & couldn't come. 2nd year, Ocean Isle NC beach house, our oldest son & wife didn't come. 3rd year: this year, all 12 of us, including the grandkids ages 14,10, 5 & 1. This makes me very happy.

My father-in-law's wife has been moved to a care facility for Altzheimer patients. This journey has effected me in many ways; making me realize how kind words and a soft touch can mean so much. I have realized I don't want my children to be visiting and worrying about my body if my mind is gone-I won't know them, so it won't matter if they come and go. I have realized how this has consumed my life for the last three years as we are the closest "children"-and that I need to slowly become involved with the world again. But most importantly, I have realized that getting old, and sick, is no fun for the patient or the family. Like cancer, Altzheimer's doesn't affect just the patient; the ripples go out for miles.

no major milestones

Birth of a grandchild. Incredible change in my daughter. From party girl to responsible young woman.

I lost my job in May and am still unemployed - it has taught me a very quick lesson in what I really need vs what I want. As of this writing, unemployment is under review so don't have any income at this point in time. Am very discouraged as there are no jobs in this area... keep applying and hoping something will turn up.

We moved recently. I feel unsettled and unsatisfied. Taylin and I have to travel from Groton to Salem daily for school. It is a long trip and I can't seem to escape the stress of it all. I hope the dust settles soon. I like my ruts, and I need to wear some new grooves.

We moved to Benicia, CA. And our life has never been better, more peaceful, full of ease grace and beauty.

I guess the major milestone in my family is that my grandson, whom I've raised has gone to college. This means that for the first time in more than 35 years I do not have a child at home. While he often comes home on weekends, most of my time is now my own. The house is quieter, and it seems larger and tidier. Sometimes, I'm a little lonley, realizing that I've not used my voice for a very long time. But, I am also experiencing great freedom. Do I want to cook a real dinner, or get take out or just make a salad or sandwich? My choice. This may not seem like a big change, but I raised 5 children, usually with extras in the house for sleepovers. Our numbers swelled when we hosted exchange students and foster children. My hours are filled each day with more on my to do list than there is time for. I have friends and activities in good number. What I have finally discovered is the time to just "be". I spent a wonderful summer in the garden, but also took time to recline in a lounge chair on the patio watching birds, and just staring at the sky. And, yes, sometimes dozing. I have fewer responsibilities and revel in it. A former teacher, sometimes I crave the company of young children and consider volunteering at a nearby elementary school, but then I think "committment". Yikes! I'll think about it a little longer. This is a milestone. I'm still finding my way.

The birth of my first child has been an amazing journey so far. I feel like I've grown so much as an individual and in my relationships with my husband and mother especially. I have been so grateful and pleased with how wonderful this life passage has been so far and how it's bonded me to people around me. Also, I had two new nephews born about 2 months after my daughter so our sense of family has expanded exponentially and the idea of "l'dor v'dor" has new meaning.

My brother graduated from high school (the same one I graduated from six years ago). It made me feel old...

My father has finally decided to sell the family home. This is all good news. The stress of upkeep for the family, particularly my sister will go away. My heart is full of gratitude to my very generous brother who will buy the house, making it easier for my father to part with it, knowing that it will stay in the family.

Andrew was born! I love being an aunt.

My grandmother died. I decided to live in my life. My husband is threatening divorce. My son is a hormone driven teenager. Stress? Got it.

This was a big year in many ways. I lost my job; our friend Martin died; my husband started working 12 hour days every Monday and Friday and being on call every weekend; our daughter changed schools and started kindergarten; I graduated with my MBA; I started my own college counseling business; my daughter made the local swim team as a 5 year old; we stopped sending my daughter to aftercare as she swims 4 nights a week and I'm at home to meet her from the bus at 3pm. Every one of these "milestones" changed me - most for the better. The only one that continues to be hard is the amount of time my husband works and how little time the three of us have together. I pray that when I read this response next year, my business has become successful enough that he has returned to a regular work schedule again.

I think my grandmother being 100% trusting with me about problems in my family has been a major milestone. She is not afraid to come to me to just simply express how she feels now. We have not yet arrived at a solution to how to deal with a major issue in our lives as a family, but just knowing my grandmother can come to me and share (and listen to my advice) shows she finally sees me as a capable adult who is willing to work on family issues.

I got divorced from my wife.of 25 years. This was my choice. My x was devastef and my 20ish children surprised. Living without true live for years drained my soul. I i was a broken man. No passion. No feeling. I've now met a wonderful woman. passion...love..desire. Is back. The best change I've ever made. My advice. Don't continue to live a lie Make the change today.

One of my dearest friends from high school has cancer. This is her second battle against the disease which she won 18 years ago. It has made me realize how short life is and how precious our friends and family are and we should tell them so - often and unabashedly!

I continue to have a complicated relationship with my parents. Not much really changed in that regard over the past year.

My mom left a boyfriend that took advantage of her kindness. She also lost a boyfriend/love to a car wreck. Both really hurt her I think, and more so the former. I believe for her to get where she wants to be, she needs to get her life back on track. Also, my sister and I are both Seniors this year. Kind of a big moment for both of us.

We became friends with all of the families from Weston. The bernsteins wassermans and such. I feel grateful for an escape from the norm with them. How it can help to just be with other friends

this past year, my youngest child went to Kindergarten. This has opened up my schedule to (there's a theme to my answers) be able to have a more regular schedule to be able to grow my own business. Also, it's helped us financially because no more preschool tuition. I also had to mourn the fact that I don't have a baby anymore. This is sad and makes me feel old, but I also feel reinvigorated and hopeful for all of us.

For the first time in a long time, I had stood up for myself to my daughters and immediate family I will not accept their bad behavior or their critical judgment of me and my choices. I have restored my self respect by setting healthy boundaries. This journey has only started!

The divorce became final and we started family counseling. Not all of my children are involved in the counseling process and they should be. It is painful for me and my kids. They are still living in two worlds - one of denial, and the other of honesty. It's very difficult for all of us to navigate. There are times I feel overwhelmed and like I should just give up the fight, but I never do. I can't. They are my children.

My relationship with my sister has been adversely affected in a major way. I don't know if this will last or not, but right now it feels permanent.

A major milestone that happened in my family is that for the first time in almost 3 years, my dad has been living at home. He moved back from the base in Texas in 2010 tehnically, but we've mostly been adjusting to this positive change this year. It's been great having him home after so long. It was rough having him in Iraq, but I know it was the hardest on him. This is the first time he's ever worked 9-5 since I can remember. The first time in my life that we can have family dinners. Thr first time he's had weekends off. Now he's even taking Friday's off. It's been an amazing adjustment. I say adjustment because no one is used to it. Oh, Dad's home! Oh, hey, Dad can come. Suddenly I'm busier than he is. Whoa! But it's been wonderful having him really back in my everyday life and I feel very blessed.

I moved! I had been so bogged down in the mess of my apartment, and completely felt like it was unfixable. But then I had to move, and so I dealt with it. The new place isn't perfect, and I still have a lot of unpacking to do, (absurd, since I've lived there since July) but I'm really proud of myself for not letting everything dissolve immediately and trying to make it better this time.

Our major milestone was that we moved and it has been more challenging than we anticipated. I am really having a rough time balancing everything and feel I am not succeeding. In the long run, it will be good; however we need to get more money coming into our household. In the meantime, I am trying to stay positive.

My uncle - who lived his life dedicated to his wife and children, who built a business so he could spend as much time as possible with family - died this Elul. While we never agreed on politics, I find myself in admiration of his familial commitment and hope I have those blessings in my future.

This week marked the 20th anniversary of my father's yahrzeit. I called his dearest friend who happened to be at his gravesite. I continue to imagine we would have become closer had he come into his old age and me nearer to mine.

We realized over the 4th of July that the state we live in will never be home. Since then we've both been working hard to get the state that we love and miss!

A major milestone this past year is Luke and Guinevere doing so well coping with the divorce. They are awesome.

My brother, Miles graduated from college a semester before he thought he would. In the same year, my brother Ben decided to come home from his college. My parents had to readjust to filling their once empty nests. The transitions were difficult for them, but ultimately I think it was healthy. For me, it felt like a relief that I knew they were both on track, doing what they were supposed to be doing in the safe environments of my parents' houses.

My brother died and I realized that I am now the "head" of the family. My parents generation is gone. My cousins scattered around the world and not connected. I am no longer someones child, someones sister. But I am blessed to be wife, mother, grandmother and friend.

The biggest milestone is the oldest grandchild going off to college. We're proud, but it's made us reevaluate the whole "getting older" concept.

My brothers Bar Mitvah has effected me in a very mild, yet profound way. I have learned more about myself and how i was by watching him. Turns out i was an asshole at age 12. figures

We helped my great aunt move into her new apartment. she's 97 years old and so full of energy it was sort of inspiring!! I got to know her a little better during the move and learned new details about her life that I didn't know before. Despite some grueling work she put me through I was glad for the experience.

One of my nephews finally got married at the age of 38. It was a long time coming and he married a fine woman. Our family made a concerted effort to get his grandmother (my mother) who is unable to walk unassisted to the wedding. I truly enjoyed myself and feel that this happy occasion has done much to heal an open wound left after my nephew's father (my brother) committed suicide two years ago.

My son started high school. I am learning to let go while still giving him love and support. It is an exciting process to see glimpses of the adult he will one day become. It is scary to resist the deep seated urge to solve every problem, or prevent every hurt but rewarding when he rises to the occasion as he so often does and fixes things on his own.

My dad lost his job this year and I feel like my family's entire dynamic has changed. As horrible as it is to say, I have days where I resent my dad for not finding another job, instead of trying to start up his own business. I feel so terrible when these thoughts run through my head, but my mother has been holding our family up for the last 9 months and it kills me that she works so hard for so little. We can't afford things like we did before, and I feel like things are always so tense at home. The holidays are going to be hard and I just hope and pray that everything will be okay. To my future self: I hope you helped out mom more when you did go home. Try to forgive dad too; he is trying.

This year, I got engaged. This was a huge milestone for our family, since I am the first one in our immediate family to get married, and the first grandchild, as well. It's been a challenge dealing with all the different wedding logistics together--different opinions, budgets, taste levels. But overall everyone is really excited about the wedding and about welcoming my fiance into our family. It's been incredibly heart-warming see how supportive everyone has been to us--both our families, as well as all of our friends.

Well it is for sure the birth of my son and my embarking on parenthood. It has been all encompassing. At times the hardest thing I have ever done, and also the most rewarding. This has definitely changed me forever-physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

Our daughter started preschool. She's a bright, happy girl that just needs to learn some socializaton. It's already been great for her and I know she'll be more than ready for Kindergarten when the time comes.

We moved into our newly renovated home earlier this year and for the first time in 16 years, I feel rooted to LA. This is a good thing as I have not felt centered in this city. I feel more grounded and stable. My friendships have deepened with people and my husband and I are getting along fantastically.

My son left university this year came home for 4 months then applied to another university and another program. When the dust finally settled it meant another year of school beyond the year he had left and the associated costs for leaving one school, joining another plus additional tuition and living expenses. It has stretched the money we set aside fr his education past the breaking point; such that he will have to fund the final additional year totally on his own.

We ALL came together on July 4. There were 14 of us here. Reconciliation is beginning to take place. Everyone seemed to get along okay, and I think they even had a good time visiting. My mom was tickled pink; so was I!

I don't think we had any traditional milestones this last year -- no graduations, bar mitzvahs, major life-status changes. I suppose the closest thing we had was that my almost-ex husband and I entered mediation to prepare the legal documents for divorce. I'm no longer unhappy about it, but it was painful nonetheless. It's still going on because he hasn't had the money to pay the mediator and I don't even know how many sessions it will take to resolve the very few issues we have left. I didn't learn anything there that I didn't know already -- whether about money we each spend, possessions and our individual attachments thereto, or psychological information, though there were a few moments which crystallized our situation rather poignantly. He believes I spend too much and that he is a wonderful provider and that the past burdens of having been such a wonderful provider exempt him from any future obligations if he can no longer afford them. I know how careful I've been with money, and am pained by his attitude that I contributed to his unhappiness over the years. Those two opinions won't ever be reconciled in spite of his knowledge that my family supported us through many rough spots, including paying for our children's education, and my knowledge that I probably do go out to lunch and dinner too much for my financial situation. I think the milestone is probably that I've learned to live with the fact that our feelings in these areas will remain disparate no matter what evidence either of us brings to bear.

My sister finally left her abusive husband after almost 6 years of marriage. Things haven't been easy since she moved back home but even though she is struggling financially and emotionally I know that she made the right decision and will be better off because of it. It's been a huge sigh of relief for me to know that she is out of that toxic environment. It's also made the two of closer and I am incredibily greatful for that. My sister is amazing and someone I had always looked up to and I am happy and proud to call her not only my sister but my best friend.

My great grandmother passed away this spring and it really brought my family together and kind of tore us apart as well. My grandfather and his brother get along but his brother never vista and the rest of my family doesn't particularly like him. The funeral made my family hate him more because he didnt really do anything at all and my grandfather did everything. I just love her and am glad she's not in pain anymore.

My grandmother passed away last October - leaving everyone devastated, though we knew it was inevitable due to her mental and physical deterioration. I realized as I kissed her goodbye that I needed to step up and become the "glue" in our family that my grandmom always acted as. In a world that revolves around constant motion and separation - I would need to be the person in our family who brings us back together and keeps us connected, regardless of our very busy lives in different places. My grandmother's death opened my eyes to the more important things in life. Things like love, happiness, and loyalty - and it begins and ends with family.

Almost at the same time, my sisters and I all moved far away from each other--and from my hometown and mom. It taught me how much I rely on having my sisters there for me, and in the same time zone. I realize more than ever, now that we're all away doing our same thing, how connected we are.

My son Colin was recruited by a major marketing company in a position that will allow him to move further in his own aspirations for a successful career. This gives me nachos as every parent gets when they see their child progressing with his purpose in life.

This year my father-in-law passed away. Born in Paris, Texas and died on Bastille Day. While his health had been deteriorating for the last couple years, no one thought he was anywhere near his final days. So when he passed in the middle of the night from a stroke, his unexpected passing was all the more painful and confusing. I knew how close my wife was to her father, but I really had no idea how foundational his presence was to her. I mean, I knew but I didn't really know. I drive my wife to and from work every day and many of the days she either cries or stares blankly into space. It's as if she's trying to locate the vaccuum his passing has left in the universe. A good friend mentioned today that the space he left will be filled by what we grow to be together as a family. It will be filled with our love, dreams and aspirations and what we realize together as a family. We will find the space he left within ourselves over time.

I have two: One, I GOT ENGAGED!!!!! yayyyy, I found my soulmate and he is truly amazing. It was affected me because I moved to Winston-Salem to be with him and its worth every penny/minute to come home to him. Two, I HAVE A LITTLE NIECE!!! Her name is Avery and she is the greatest thing. I am so amazed at home beautiful,smart, and sweet she already is at six months. She has affected me because I have so much love for her and I make time to drive to Atlanta to see her!!! I love both of my new milestones that have happened. I love you Uncle Ross :)

My husband's grandparents had their 50th anniversary (they had previously been married to others). I decided it would be a great idea for the family to get together to celebrate. I ended up coordinating the event. In the end it went fine and the grandparents were so happy to get together with their family. Most everyone attended. I learned a lot about my husband's family through the process of coordinating the event. They are like herding cats. I learned that I have to just make a decision and anyone who wants to show up will. It irritates me, but if I can recognize this behavior and be willing to be the one to be flexible, I can gain a lot.

Actually, we had no major milestones this year. Now, my extended family (meaning my partner) and I moved in together. It was the best decision I've ever made.

My son started walking in February. I remember his first halting steps, how he would "cruise" around the living room. Now he runs and climbs and jumps and his first sentence was "we go?" His emergence into this new physicality has been a huge change. I love watching his horizons open up.

We had a baby! I've already addressed how this affected me personally, but in terms of how it has affected us as a family.....the change is profound! We are no longer a couple: we are a family. While I felt strongly connected to my husband before, now I feel like we are fully cemented to each other. And we have this perfect little person who is the glue. We all love each other more than ever.

My mom's and my relationship crumbled to teeny bits and pieces. I feel like I dont have any parental support.

A milestone this year was getting to see my great grandparents. Even though they are super old and we dont get to see or talk to them often, it was really a lift of spirits and was a lot of fun. We dont show them how much we appreciate them too often so this was a nice change. It gave me better insight. I got to learn more abotu my past and about my immediate family as well. I learned that they really loved me and that feld really nice. I was moved, and I really grew from the experience.

This past year my father had one of his most serious health scares. Just past 11 one more at work, I had a call that he would be having emergency heart surgery. Mum, Laura and I rushed to the Framingham hospital. We thought the scare would be enough to convince to eat right and to stop abusing his medication, but from February to now, nearly October, he hasn't reformed. I think the 3 of us have severely lowered our expectations of him.

My younger brother reached out to me over our recent estrangement and we reconnected. He has gotten back into therapy and is more open to being honest and real in communicating with me, which I greatly appreciate. We have always been close since we were kids, and his wife's negation of me has caused our relationship to have serious problems, because I imagine he feels torn between us at times. Our problems have deepened my compassion and tenderness toward him.

My relationship with my uncle pretty much ended. He doesn't approve of my husband because he is Jewish. (My uncle's xenophobia is not reserved for Jews only, just FYI). The really hard part is that he live with my grandmother who is 91 and probably doesn't have many more years with us. I can't go over there with him - because of Zaven - or without him - because he's my husband. The hub of family gatherings - casual and momentous - was that house. Which I now go to rarely. My grandmother is slipping away - weirdly, that's the only comfort - because she is not really able to comprehend much anymore. What I mean is - I miss her, but I would miss her even if I could see her. I miss my family. But I have my own to start now. Change is hard. This has only made it harder.

My cousin's daughter will be entering the army. We grew up across the street from each other in NYC. Now we're in separate continents. I have noticed her on Facebook a lot more, and I finally joined SKYPE to be able to chat with her-- and its been a catalyst for me gathering more frequently with her siblings -- also my first cousins. My aunt and uncle passed away -- and so we cousins have had to work harder at keeping our family ties strong.

We had two major milestones in our family this year. The first was the birth of our first grandson, Wyatt. Every other grandparent I know told me this would be a life changer and I generally made the "yeah, sure" kind of response. After all, I had a very complete life, grown daughters, a college professor husband, a great job, a home I loved and lots of outside activities. This baby would be just the icing on the cake, albeit a cake that lived 2000 miles away. Once he was born, however, my world view took a dramatic shift and I started thinking about things very differently. I started imagining the future in which Wyatt would live. Things before that had seemed incredibly important were revealed to be miniscule in the overall scheme of things. I felt the wheel of life coming full circle. It was very mindblowing to see my baby, my Jamie, be the momma to some other baby. She and her husband Jeff are excellent parents and I am finding it extremely painful to see them suffer some of the consequences of raising children, working jobs, trying to have a relationship with each other and trying to get a good night's sleep. But they appear to be on track and have a great support system, including us who send checks monthly! The second big event was the marriage of our youngest daughter, just 6 months after her nephew was born. It was a lovely wedding and reception, a time of family and friends, lots of smiles and tears. Most significant about the occasion to me was my daughter's reaction to the toast I made to her and Todd at the reception. She was the baby I wanted so desperately and got by gile out of her father, my husband at that time, who was not as enthusiastic about a second child as I was. When we divorced, it was very hard on Becky, who was 9 at the time. I truly believe she did not forgive me for the divorce until a few years ago, 15 or so years after. We had a history of anger and (I think she would say) betrayal and there were many years when she did not want to speak to me, let alone be with me. Those years were over long before the wedding but I have always felt the difference in her relationship with me versus her relationship with her father, whom she adores. My toast talked about reconciliation and loving in spite of everything, loving anyway. It was not Hemingway or Twain, but people laughed and people cried, including Becky, who guffawed and sobbed. Fortunately, the photographer got it on film. I love both of my daughters so much, but this determined child, this independent young woman is so special to me. I knew at that moment, all of it, the pain and the laughter had come to a conclusion and was all worth it. It was both a triumphal and humble moment. The hug we gave each other after the toast was the most genuine moment of affection with Becky I can remember. I am so glad I had the chance to say the hard things and tell her that despite everything, I think she is the most wonderful person and I love her dearly.

A year ago, my uncle went into a coma and later passed away. This was a horrible time for all of us, especially my mom's brother. Though we are all now learning to cope with his death, its still unbelievable to think that he's gone. He was a big part of all of our lives and I will miss him dearly.

Wow, so many. Aunt Mary Rita's passing, which I've already mentioned, is recent and therefore fresh in memory. We miss her. And my boy turned NINE! Somehow this is crossing a bridge into Grownupness... not the final bridge, of course, but a real milestone on the road from Little Kid to Big Kid.

My dad quit smoking after almost 60 years! He's tried many times before, with every "cure" you can think of. But he landed in the hospital earlier this year with an upper respiratory infection (on top of his already diminished lung capactiy) and decided the didn't want to die like that, gasping for air. Of course he wasn't allowed to smoke while he was in the hospital, but he quit cold turkey and that was about 4 months ago now. It's so inspiring to see him make that commitment. I wish he'd done it a long time ago so his health was better, but you have to accept people where they are and now he's not smoking, so we're happy with that.

My oldest brother came to visit me for the first time ever this summer. He never visited when I was married, and I only found out after i got divorced that he really hated my husband, and that's why he never visited. He came for a week, and I cried buckets when he left... that's when i recognized that I haven't seen him for more than a day or two at a time since i was a little girl. That time together was so precious. I saw how similar we are, and how out of touch we have been. that shook me up.

Getting the isreali emmassary Inbar to come live with us for six months. It made my family really happy to host Inbar.I love Inbar like a sister. The other milestone me and my family faced is having more honesty with me. I am always close with my family

Well my brother got married, so I inherited a new sister-in-law that I adore. And we have been spending the past year working on FORSAKEN Haunted House. It has become our life, as well as our friends and families. So many people have helped out and become involved. Its not only good to know we are doing something for ourselves, but also something that the people around us enjoy doing. And hopefully in a few hours (it's opening night) the community will enjoy it too.

Moving again, was a huge milestone. It's opened doors for me as far as meeting new people, new college opportunities as well which is always a plus!

I was unable to attend a Bar Mitzvah back east due to my health and I am constantly reminded of the frailty of the human body--I do want do dance at all the weddings and now I can't....

Kathy had 2 years clean this year, and she gives all the credit to Jesus. I learned this year that I am still here to stand in the gap for Merle with Kathy and Savannah. Now I know that I have to take care of myself and keep that commitment. That is, I believe, Yah's will for me.

The milestone was my parents meeting my boyfriend. The experience has shown me the depth of my relationship with my family, and how much more it can still grow. I am pleased with how I've continued, and am so proud of my parents.

This past year my stepdad said something extremely disrespectful to me and my mom said nothing to defend me. After a few days of pretending nothing happened, I finally told my mom how angry and sad I was that she didn't say anything in my defense. That lead to us talking about other things that were bothering me such as her hiding that I am a cardholder for one of her credit cards from him. Luckily, we haven't had to test whether she would have my back since that day and I hope we never do. Overall, it was good to get feelings off my chest that I had bottled up for years. When I consider my family, I think of my mom and I. So, did this situation improve my relationship with my stepfather? Absolutely not and I don't mind. I don't care to start a relationship because he isn’t my family. He is my mother’s husband and nothing more.

When Uncle Angelo passed away, it was like the rock which held our family together had disappeared. He wasn't even related to us, but the father of my dad's business partner had been more of a grandfather to me than anyone else for my entire life, and when he passed away, tears were the only thing we could offer each other. That day, that warm fall day, we hugged and held hands and tried to find consolation in each other... We came together on that day, in honor of Uncle Angelo and his love.

my dad died. maybe the milestone is that we are all doing okay. somehow.

My 22 y.o. step-son (who has learning and social disabilities) started his senior year at college and celebrated 2 years with his first girlfriend. Both events seemed impossible not so very long ago. I am humbled by how often we limit ourselves and others by our expectations, and I am so very, very proud of him.

I can't think of any milestones... no births... no deaths... no illness... no sicknesses... I'm affected by this because I really, really value the peace in my life as a result of NOT having significant milestones... I'm not a huge fan of change to begin with... why can't everything stay the same sometimes?

Well there were n0 deaths, births, illnesses, marriages, etc, so I guess that leaves me with my son moving out of the house. I'm glad to see him happy with his girlfriend and happy to be able to go in the pool naked again.

One of my good friends has a crumbling relationship with her parents -- seeing the way they act towards each other and hearing her animosity towards them makes me realize how much I love my parents for always supporting me and loving me unconditionally. I saw that maybe being a parent isn't easy, but my parents only make it look that way!

There were two, actually: our son got married and our daughter had a baby. Of the two roles--in-laws for the second time and becoming grandparents--the latter will produce the greater impact: geographically (because our daughter and son-in-law live here, whereas our son and daughter-in-law are on the West Coast), but also emotionally. For both milestones I dearly wished my parents were still alive, but our grandson has caused me to rethink what really matters.

My son continued looking for work, he was hired by a company then let go because he didn't make any sales. He had a number of large orders in the pipe line but they were not interested. Since, I am supporting both of us I was really upset. Financially I am strapped!

Three ... My elder son turned 25. It got me thinking deeply about the first quarter century of my life ...and how different his life is from mine ...and how grateful I am that he has chosen such a delightful, creative path for himself. My younger son turns 23 tomorrow. I always feel the clock more definitely when he has a birthday. I remember the chaotic day he was born, the beauty of holding him in my arms, the perfect baby-ness of him ...and I suddenly feel my own age. Where did that time go? The anniversary of our daughter's death. I feel as if I'm slowly waking up from a nightmare of sadness, loss and pain. Yet, I marvel at how seamlessly life has gone on ...and I am grateful that I've been able to continue to appreciate the beauty of life, even as I grieved deeply the loss of my child.

My little brother flunked out of college. It reminded me that I needed to be more engaged with my family even if I'm not living at home. His failure was a reflection of my failure as an older sibling to stay connected and reach out to him when he needed help.

I have found a way to start working part time and go to college full time. This is the sacriest thing I will ever do.

This past year my grandma moved away from my mom and I which has affected our ability to care for her as well as her health

We lost my grandmother to Alzheimer's. It made me realize that I let her go long before she died. Once the funeral arrived I mourned more completely. I am now more appreciative of the little things in life and try to keep my mind sharp with better diet, more exercise and cognative challenges.

My sister and niece moved to Florida and my brother moved to Arizona. No more children in Massachusetts for my dad. It has made me feel a little more disconnected with my family and wish that we all lived closer together.

My mother had a second stroke that left her more debilitated than the last which she suffered 5 years ago. After her first stroke, she made amazing progress and a miraculous recovery, recapturing many of the skills and abilities she had initially lost. After some time, she was driving again and playing golf. Cognitively, she was virtually 100%. This second stroke has left her profoundly debilitated, without vision in her left eye, unable to walk without assistance and with diminished cognitive awareness. I feel like I am losing pieces of her each day. I have had a hard time with accepting that she isn't really going to get a lot better. No longer will she be the "major domo" of the household. No longer will she be calling me on an almost daily basis just to chat. She is quite removed from reality. Sometimes I feel guilty that my life is going on and that I need to be with her more. But, then I remind myself that guilt is an unproductive emotion. I know that she wants me to live life to its fullest. She has, truth be told. I feel that a cloud, stained with some darkness, has descended upon my life. It is hard to be joyful, knowing that she lives in this compromised life. I am grateful that I do try to stay in the reality of what is going on. I am her advocate, trying to insure that she remains safe, able to share with my father life's daily ministrations. I am constantly thinking about ways to engage her. What I have realized is that no matter what I do, she will die and that I can't prevent that from happening. I pray for the willingness to go forth in my life and not compromise my own engagement because my mother's life has been diminished.

Mom got cancer. It was small and turned out to be curable but it scared me. I think I'm probably closer to her because of it - realizing the mortality of your parents is never fun, but if you're lucky, it can teach you to call and write them more often, resulting in a stronger bond than you had before.

My youngest daughter graduated elementary school and started high school. This was a turning point in my life for just me myself, and for my relationship with my husband and for my relationship with my other two daughters. While it was an ending for one stage of my life, it is also the beginning of a new one. One that I am excited about and embracing.

I left Emma! Currently the kids are with me 7 days out of 14. half my time. Still can;t believe I did it and still can;t believe I was brave and cruel enough to do it! It breaks my heart picturing the kids when I told them. Truly it does! But seeing them now...Her with her Pauls Boutique bag and him with his umteenth skateboard, they both seem happy. Happy to be with me! Sad that mum and dad are not together, but liking time with both their mum and dad. The effect on me has been cronic! Very distressing and at this moment in time, with nothing to show for it. I'm alone and Emma is not an option. Am I happy? No! Michelle was to be the one but she is now more. I'm missing her so mucha and this whole process would be totally worthwhile if she was with me now and fully content to be so. I'd love to chase her and win her back but without her total desire to be with me, it won;t work for me. I am lonely and need a partner!

My dad got a new job. This was a major concern in my family for awhile because we didn't know what we were going to do with only one income coming in and we were nervous for a while but my dad got a new job thankfully from one of his friends and he likes this job because it's more of what he does and he's good at it. while, we have lose a lot of money because this job does not pay as well we aren't scared of what might have happened.

My sister is pregnant! I experience various emotions that have run from shock, to sadness based on the distance, to excitement, to concern, to joy!

My brother has already retired but this year my sister-in-law stepped down from her director's job to assist her replacement. I see that "we" are slowing down. They are seven years ahead of me in age, but seven years is not long until the traditional retirement age! (And I have a friend who has decided to take her Social Security early, which I discovered this week.) Are we really here? I have long said I wanted to follow in my mother's footsteps and work until I'm seventy, not only because I need the money but because I enjoy the interaction with a wide variety of people and the feeling of order, structure and accomplishment that it gives my life. I think that's why convents and other communities have always appealed to me. I can easily envision living and working at a retreat center. (A church...not so much.) But I have never imagined sitting in a room with counseling clients, one after another. It's one reason I returned to Divinity School to complete my degree. I'm hopeful that I have another career ahead of me, and with the credentials and networking of the next few years, I trust that doors I don't yet know about will open.

My husband received an invitation to be the director of his hospital. I got very proud of him

It seems like I've written about this for every question so far, but the house burning down, the house burning down, the house burning down. How do you escape that? It brought my mom, dad, sister, and I closer together because we knew that we could survive anything. And even after the annoyance of living in that small hotel suite together for two weeks, I was glad to find that once we moved in to the apartment, we kept spending time in common rooms together, instead of dispersing throughout the house in our own rooms. We need each other, and the fire reinforced that. At the same time, it reinforced my disdain for my extended family. Family is supposed to take care of you, right? They didn't. If something happened to me here in New Orleans, my mom would be on her way immediately. After the fire, we didn't get a visit or help from my grandparents, or any of my aunts and uncles. No money, no clothes, no nothing. Our needs were met, but by friends, not by family. I used to feel guilty when I said I didn't feel close to my extended family, and I didn't like most of them, but now I think those feelings are completely justified. They let us down... not because we needed their stuff, but in a time when you're hurting and things are hard, you need to know that people care about you. They didn't show that.

My brother confessed to me that he has no intention of allowing our dad into his life again. Their relationship has been strained for years but now we're all beginning to realize how really fractured our family is. They're both so set in their ways I don't know how they will ever reconcile. It's really taking a toll on our mother and my sister-in-law.

My maternal grandmother's health suffered a major blow and she was moved to Virginia to be close to the rest of our family. It has been difficult to see mom under the additional stress of caring for a woman that has never cared for her as a mother should.

I'm not sure if you consider this a milestone or not but my dad has been diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis which is a flaring up of the lung tissue which inhibits his breathing and causes his body to lose oxygen. This is a losing battle and despite the closeness we have as a family there are still times when emotions run high and stress is evident in every wrinkle. This has affected me greatly because I am extremely close with my dad, well, as close as he lets anyone get. Facing my father's mortality was something that triggered an emotional breakdown. I'm still not sure of how to handle his illness. I live day-to-day when it comes to my father. I'm not sure if this has made me a stronger person or just vulnerable. I guess I just have to wait and see.

I got married. It's been difficult and rewarding, mostly rewarding.

My mum got pregnant! I'm not entirely sure how it's affected me. I'm obviously happy for her - she's absolutely ecstatic and has been since she found out - but there's a huge part of me that is finding it hard to be entirely happy about the situation. I know I'm gaining a baby sister, but I keep thinking of the daughter I lost. It's tough.

My parents got divorced. I have know this was going to happen for years now and I have come to the realization that I actually wanted it to happen. I am happy with this decision overall, but not with the stree and tension that there is now between me and my family. Good things though have come out of it, I have started to have an actual relationship with my dad and bother and I couldnt be happier, but this has made me and my moms relationship which never really was there in the first place, even worse. But I am happy wit myself and glad that the divorce happened.

Two members of my family had surgery. It made me realize how much inner strength they both had and how much stregth it takes to be the caretaker.

My estranged sister (she "divorced" the family about 20 years ago) wrote me a letter. Eight months later I wrote her a letter. I don't really feel like this has been communication, since our lives are so different we might as well be speaking different languages. And I never felt close to her so losing her 20 years ago (well, kind of losing her, she lives 30 miles away) never felt like much of a loss. I don't know how I feel about all this. I feel like I'm supposed to feel something but I don't. I haven't forgiven her for the pain she caused my parents by divorcing us back then. Neither of us mentioned that but just getting a letter from her reminded me of that painful time.

My oldest brother, Noah, got married on September 27th, to Anne Gibson. The whole family and I adore Anne, and Noah of course, and their wedding was absolutely beautiful. My aunt Carolyn described seeing loved ones getting married as feeling like your heart is exploding, and that's exactly how it felt. Noah got a little weepy at the alter, Anne was a little weepy going down the isle, until all of us were crying with joy. It was a great party, a great night. Leading up to it was slightly stressful, understandably. This was the first wedding in my immediate family, but it felt like the right time and the right people were involved. Noah, who has been a patriarch of my siblings, has always shown me and my middle brother Benjamin how "it's done" whatever it is, be it school musical production, college, apartment living. And now he's shown us how to find the right person and marry that person. I hope someday to follow in his footsteps. I love my family so much.

My family decided to be on a more strict budget as they want to really retire sooner than later. It affected me and forced me to be better with managing my money as well as more independent from them. All good things.

Stephen and I got married on July 17, 2011 ... so far, it feels WONDERFUL to know that we are officially family, will increase the size of this family with our children, and will see each other through everything yet to know. It was so nice to celebrate our wedding with each of our families -- now joined as one -- and I look forward to experiencing everything that marriage has to offer ... even that which I can only imagine at this point!!

My parents moved to a new city this summer. I wasn't even there for the actual moving, I just ended up going to a new house with all my stuff in it. It was a little surreal, and even now after spending a month at home then going back to college, I'm still not really sure where I'm "from." It's a bit of an identity crisis, I guess.

My mom started building us a home eNgcobo, it was a very exciting project and I contributed a lot to make it a reality. I felt very proud of both of us.

My husband had several serious health events, a TIA, a bout of pneumonia, then a more serious bout of pneumonia and three strep infections, all in less than a year. This was extremely stressful for all of us but also made me aware that my children and my friends are very caring toward both of us and willing to help, as are people from my religious community. This has been extremely heartwarming to both of us. He is much better now, for which we are very grateful.

I turned 40 just two weeks ago and I'm growing to love even that fact of my life. I hope that accepting my age helps me be more accepting, period.

It's been a really quiet year for my family. No new births, deaths, marriages... No kids heading off to school for the first time, or finishing school. My Dad is beginning to retire, but he's not a person who will actually stop working, or learn to relax. He's the 'bring the laptop on vacation' type. I'm much the same way. I suppose it's been a year of realizing we're at a 'new normal'.

This past year, our family has decided to sell the house we grew up in. It's been a long time coming - we've been dealing with family issues regarding money, and we're finally at the conclusion that it would be in everyone's best interest to sell the house. I feel sad in many ways that it had to come down to this. Even though it's the right decision, I can't help but think that in a perfect world, we could keep our house and things would be fine. I've long since moved out, but that is my home that my grandfather built with his own two hands. Never forgotten, but always missed.

We're building a huge additon onto the back of our house. The stress my parents are goin through is afectin the general atmosphere of our hosuehold, and everyone is pretty highstrung. Also, my sister is getting ready to apply to Universities, so trying to ge all the classes sh needs, as well as all the work thhose classes have has made her even more irritable than usual. I seem to be the only mellow one in our house. I've kinda placed the job of keeping everyone happy on my own shoulders, which is hard to do sometimes. My mum appreciates my efforts and they usually work for her, but my sister is not so fond ~ she's always telling me to "grow up and act your age".

My daughter turned 20. It made me feel pretty old to think that I had a child who is no longer a teenager. Also making me feel older is the fact that my son started his last year of high school and the empty nest is looming.

My sister ended her long term kvetch. It stopped me from having to spend a huge amount of time listening to her complain and do little to fix the situation

My brother- and sister-in-law are moving to Australia at the end of November. It's made me realize that I'm going to see them even less than I do now and that I'm going to have to get a lot better with technology if I want to keep in touch them (and that it will probably be up to me to do so).

I got engaged!!! It has made me realize that I'm finally an adult who will be forming my own family, and its own culture, instead of relying entirely on my parents.

Being diagnosed with anxiety helped me get closer to my family. I understand the base for a lot of my angst and they better understand how to help me. It has also helped me to understand my mother better, I understand now how hard it is to be anxious and what I can do to help her

Family for me are my friends. I became much closer to one friend this past year and that has had the effect of "softening" me. I continue to deepen my connection with my partner and it is amazing that after ten years of being together, I am still thrilled each day to see his face.

This past year my family hasn't endured any life threatening illnesses, deaths, marriages or divorces so I'd call it an ordinary year. And, I think an ordinary year is just great! Too many potentially bad/sad things can happen to family members - this is life. Also, many happy and gleeful things can happen to family members, making these things extraordinary, special, wonderful. I see nothing wrong with liking ordinary days and ordinary years; we're all alive, healthy and those who are married, happy. This is great!

My stepfather was diagnosed with dementia and it has made me more compassionate towards my mother. I need to really be there for her and support her through this tough process.

I decided to stop being a victim. After many many years of feeling this way. I let it all go

Grandpy needed open heart surgery. Although it was considered minimal, for open heart surgery, it was the first time I realized the mortality of my grandparents.

My brother had twins, but I don't think that it affected me much, sadly.

Last year, I switched chapters in BBYO. It was a tough decision; I had been in my old chapter for two and a half years previously. However, when I tried to make a difference in my community through my chapter, rather than being encouraged to take up a leadership role and inspire the other chapter members I found myself in a power struggle. It was difficult, but I eventually asserted my independence by leaving the chapter in which some of the leadership board constantly placed barrier after barrier in my path. I have a position in my new chapter. I'm invited to stand up and make a difference in my region, and in my community. I think that through my experience, I've learned that sometimes you must stand up for yourself and assert your rights, rather than remain complacent to those who are only interested in wielding power over others.

My daughter started preschool! I am now a stay at home mom with some time to work!!! Except not really.

In my family, I discovered that i had anxiety, and depression. It was hard for my family to face. But, because of them and my friends, the struggle is much easier, and the mountain does not seem as steep.

My parents were finally able to buy a house. This milestone was unfortunately made possible by my grandmother passing away earlier this year. However, I think she would be very happy to know that her inheritance went to a great cause, and I know my family thinks of her constantly. Her presence is imbedded in the dream house my parents built and will live on. It has been lovely to watch my parents finally able to afford property. After twenty years of living in New York, they can feel settled and have the huge kitchen they always wanted. Although "stuff" will never outweigh the happiness provided by family and friends, I know this house means so much more than just monetary stability and ownership. It is the next step my parents are taking together.

We've adjusted to me being at college. I guess that really has been a major adjustment - maybe more for them more than for me. I've learned to be so much more independent. The nature of our relationship has probably changed a little bit too. I don't look to them for everything. I can make decisions on my own now.

When my cousin got married this past January, I had the opportunity to be an adult with all my cousins for the first time. We've all grown up so much and this wedding really allowed us to be adults with each other, without a rubric imposed by our parents and aunts/uncles. It meant we got to know the real person behind each cousin's childhood facade -- sometimes it wasn't pretty, sometimes it was wonderful. Overall it was real, and that was massively significant for all of us.

Our eldest daughter finished culinary school and left home to begin her internship. New and calmer family dynamics with her leaving the household. Mixed personal feelings. Sad that a chick has left the nest but excited that the younger two are coming into their own with older sister gone.

Not much on the home front. I reconnected with my half-sister after a 9-year break. Her son (my nephew) just moved to LA and is staying with me. It's amazing to see the similarities between us. The blood-ties are obvious.

My eldest started walking to school alone. After begging us for years, we finally said, "when you are in grade 3." Well grade three finally arrived. He was so proud of himself and us of him. He has a new sense of independence and it has made him a stronger and more confident person. We still have our moments of fear, but allowing him to achieve this great milestone has done more for him than any private school, shrink or sport program.

I wouldn't say there are milestones, but this year certain continuous ongoing changes have reached a point when I suddenly realize very sharply--the passage of time has aged us, and we're no longer the same. Most noticeable are my grandmother, turning 90 in November, and my cousin, turned 16 this summer. I still call him my "little cousin" on instinct, then correct myself. Came back from Chicago this summer (parents, aunts, uncle, cousin, grandmother are all in NYC) and my cousin's voice had changed, and he was taller than his parents. When he played the piano it clearly was no longer a "kid's" performance. He's starting 11th grade, thinking about college, doing biology research. My grandmother was slower, maybe a little quieter. She still lives alone and takes care of herself (and of one of my aunts who is ill!), but for the first time she spoke of being afraid of falling, of wanting to use a cane or maybe a walker to feel safe. The aunt who is ill seems no better or worse, but I want to be around to support whoever has to take on more of that burden as time goes on (though my family urges me not to get involved directly.) My parents and other aunt and uncle seem the same as always, aside from some special diets to prevent health problems. My Dad seems if anything energized by this, enthusiastically explaining the chemical processes underlying the health benefits of everything from blueberries to dark chocolate. Still, Dad pointed out that these coming years may be some of the last that he and my mother are at full-energy, able to go around and enjoy all the things we've always done together. It has all made me to decide that it's time to go home. I think these next few years with all of them would be especially precious, and I'd regret it for the rest of my life if I stayed in Chicago and missed sharing them with all of them.

I can't remember if it was this past year, but my big brother has been kicked out of my parents' house. He was becoming obnoxious. He came round one time and smashed a whole load of things up. The sad thing is, so many things have happened with him that this sort of thing doesn't seem like a major milestone anymore, just one in a list of many bad incidents over the past 12 years. I can't even remember their chronology, which is partly because I've been so distant from them and never directly affected (thank goodness).

Actually there were a couple...fist my Dad had a kindey removed because they thought it was cancerous and thankfully it turned out not to be. The thing that struck me was how helpless and scared he looked before he went in for the surgery. Then of course he was stoic and bossy afterwards...lol. Then in October my mother had both knees replaced and again my father needed my help and I dropped everything to help cook and have meals made in the fridge so he could just pop something in the oven. That didn't go over so well because I hadn't made what he wanted to eat. Anyway..I then helped with Thanksgiving and that is when I told my husband to stop me next time I am about to offer to help out. I was glad to be there for them but overall it almost wasn't worth the pressure I was under to perform for them. I ultimately felt like I had failed even though my mother told me afterwards that she really appreciated the help. Very strange.

My second niece being born. Feeling so much love and pride just looking at the innocence thinking you could never feel prouder then seeing her older sister holding her and seeing the love she has for her and having those feelings just tens times more!

i started a new ob ans i live at my mom's home, and we came more intimate. Finally, aftER R50 YRS

My father moved into a care home.

Once again, it comes back to the death of my father-in-law. My poor husband is really still suffering from it. He misses Dad--they talked on the phone several times a week, and now that it's football season, he really feels the absence of Dad's smart-assed comments on their favorite team. I feel for Spouse, and I'm angry at his sister, and I have more sympathy than I used to for his brother who lives across the country and was saddled with the executorship. I guess for me personally, what this all revealed was how little I belong to Spouse's family. When Dad took his last turn for the worst, Spouse's phone had turned itself off without his knowledge. For eight hours they tried to reach him and failed. Not one person ever thought to call me to see if I could get hold of him. We've been married twenty years, and I never crossed their minds.

My mom broke her arm and her hip, and passed her 75th year. I used to think that she just has pain, but she'll be fine again. Now I no longer think that, and I don't think my dad thinks that either. I think she is on a downward spiral, and I feel sad watching both my parents.

We have decided to rent what will (hopefully) be the home in which we retire until we are ready to retire. Which means no weekend trips there, since someone else will be living there. Although it saddens me, it feels like the responsible thing to do in these tight economic times.

Both Dave (my husband) and I turned 40. It has affected me in that it feels weird to be "middle aged" - I don't really feel any different than I did at 20 or 30 -- maybe wiser, more mature, or something like that, but not "different." It has really made me stop and take stock. I am finding myself more aware of my mortality, more aware of enjoying the present moment, not sweating the small stuff as much, and it is easier to extend Grace to others. Oh, and there are more aches and pains.

My son started 6th grade, middle school. It reminds me of how bittersweet parenting truly is. It is our goal to parent our children into independent contributing members of a community. But when they start achieving their independence and our parenting is working, it is so very sad to lose our sweet babies. Our greatest success and our greatest defeat.

A major milestone was the loss of our family's last grandparent/ parent. Moving up a place in the chain of generations (my sister having just given birth to the youngest), I feel a new responsibility to create the kind of family culture that I have always wanted, and uphold all of the good things that have been present from the start. The word that comes to mind is cultivation: a fruitful labor.

Married 3 years, together for 4 years, 4 months, separated 3 months. I didn't realize how much of me was a part of this relationship. He was my best friend and usually the first person I thought of in the morning and before I went to bed. Now we're both forging our own paths. If someone said I'd be in this position 4 years ago I would have laughed. But even now, I still feel really blessed!

My grandson is in remission from leukemia. Praise G-d! He continues to do well. It is always on my heart and in the back of my mind. We need to reach 5 years to say he is completely healed. Please, G-d?

We potty trained our son! It has been wonderful for both us and him. The first week was hell but after that, it clicked. He is so grown up now and I am so proud of him (and grateful that I don't have to change diapers any more!) My grandparents celebrated their 50th anniversary over the summer and it was a wonderful thing to see. They've had trials and struggles, but they stuck them out and it's a wonderful thing to see.

We adopted a new puppy, Lola. It was a little too soon for me after Streakie's death, but I'm ultimately glad we did. She is awake and alive in a way that only a puppy can be and she reminds me of how amazing and in the moment a newly born being is.

My daughter battled a drug addiction. This has been an ongoing situation except that this time, she surrendered to a program to get help. I felt helpless and had moods awash with anger and sadness from the hurts, trials and distances it has created. But greater than all that, I felt grateful. I understood gratitude better than I ever would have otherwise.

My parents moved out of Fremont, and left behind a lifetime of memories and a broken down old house that my sister and I grew up in. I thought I would miss the old house, but I really don't. I'm just glad my parents are in a place that is safer, more affordable and more comfortable than what they've been surviving with for the last 40 years.

Our tenth anniversary. My husband shared that he was afraid he didn't love me anymore. Broke my heart but got me thinking about the growing distance between us. Got me developing a closer relationship with God as I searched for answers to this problem. Made me realize I need Him and my husband to be strong leaders in my life. Also brought me to realize how much I love, cherish, and adore my husband. Together, we're getting closer in Christ.

My husband's younger brother died suddenly. The sorrow was unspeakable. My husband has grown closer the one of his other brothers. I have seen that life is so fragile. We must thank G-d everyday for this blessings.

I'm an only child - so pretty much whatever goes on with my parents affects me, too. My dad is 59 years old and was diagnosed with toxic dementia four years ago. Toxic dementia basically means that he got it from chemicals. He was a pest control operator for 20+ years. At the time, my parents were divorced and I had to deal with it mostly on my own. Well, I didn't HAVE to - but I didn't feel like my mom really wanted to. So I did. This December they will have been married for the 2nd time for three years. They've been together for over 30. I just see how my mom takes care of him (and I get to have my own life yay!) and I look up to her and admire her because she takes on so much. I try to be there for her when she just needs someone to talk to because I know that Dad isn't always super interactive. He'll listen - but he doesn't spark up conversations a whole lot. Nothing super big has happened in the last year - aside from my coming out - and that has turned out wonderful. My parents are accepting and they really are getting to know my girlfriend and accepting her into the family. That, to me, is awesome. :)

This is potentially a milestone: my sister (18 months younger than me) and I decided to go seek family counseling together. In some ways we are very close but in other ways there are significant dysfunctions in our relationship. She recently moved nearby me after living across the country for 10 years, and this is the first time in our lives that we are going to be exploring ways to make our relationship more sustainable.

I have more capacity for deep emotion than I thought I had left

My grandparents had their 50th wedding anniversary. Aside from making me feel terrible because I forgot to send a card, it also has made me think about a lot of things. First, it's so bizarre to imagine being married to someone for 50 WHOLE YEARS. But also, it makes me realize how old they are and how fragile their lives really are. My grandfather died ten years ago, and since then, I haven't lost another grandparent. I always have an ominous feeling that it could happen any day now, and I wouldn't be surprised if one is gone by this time next year.

My stepdad and I got along at a family holiday. Several, even. It shocked everyone, especially when I was the one going "Are we doing something for father's day?" But it was good. Things aren't great between us, maybe never will be. But it's no longer as tense. We're learning how to make it work. And our family doesn't need any more walls or burnt bridges.

My father's death was a major milestone. It brought some members of the family much closer, and it distanced others. I was surprised at the bitterness felt by one brother. He ended up not coming to the funeral. I am not sure what our relationship will be like in the future.

My husband and I celebrated 21 years of marriage and 12 years of living in our current house, surrounded by our community. Even when annoyed at my husband, I'm reminded he is (still) my best friend and lover, my favorite relative, and the man without whom life would be much less colorful. Also, we live in a small community now, having moved from one much larger. It is a pleasure to shop in stores and greet people we know as well as to respond, with waves, the people who honk their horns to greet me on the street. Glad I married my husband; glad we moved to our current community.

My dad was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (the red line under the word proves that it is not even in the dictionary. some people don't believe that it is a real disease. this makes me sad because i see how much he is suffering from all of the pain in his body, and I know that his disease his actually just as important as something like diabetes, or cancer).

I haven't noted any real "milestones" in my family.

Our dog got really sick when I was away at school. This event has made my dad even more protective of him and concerned for his well-being, so much so, that travel plans are more difficult.

During this past year my only child graduated from high school. That is such a bitter sweet milestone for me as a parent. On the one hand it’s an exciting and happy time to see them transition from children to adulthood, living in a more day to day fashion to planning for their future but on the other it’s sad to see them gradually turn away from the wonder and silliness of life without much responsibility.

My family was in trouble with ur mortgage, but this year they had all of this extra money left around after my mother got another job. Our life is so much happier now

Mason got back in touch with us. I don't know what to think yet. He's been gone for a long fucking time. We'll see how it goes. Also, Baylor is no longer living with us. I hope he grows up one day.

My youngest child started junior high this year and I turned 60. After 28 years of active child raising that phase of my life is slowly drawing to a close. Watching my youngest grow, stumble, and push on toward independence and responsibility I realize how ready I am for new challenges and transition in my own life.

The Yartzeit of my father-in-law, our last living parent, affected me deeply. He was a wonderful man who raised the wonderful son I married, and who was a beloved grandfather to our daughter. Celebrating his life as we dedicated his gravestone brought the realization of how much he contributed to us. It also made me realize how we...my husband and I...are now the eldest generation, the ones looked to for guidance and wisdom, and what an amazing and awesome...and scary...opportunity this is. And how important it is to step up, and into this role.

Honestly, I can't think of a major milestone for the family. Perhaps it would be that we have lived in NZ for 4 years in November. Doesn't feel like a huge milestone but it has brought up all sort of issues about prioritizing my happiness and the best environment for my children and husband over those of my Mom and Brothers in the US. I continue to struggle with their pain.

My father died. I don't know yet how it has affected me.

I went back to see my parents this year. As per usual, I never seem to age---eternally 14, in their eyes. But the one major thing---they accepted me as Jewish. I know because there were four books waiting for me when I arrived, including a siddur and chumash. Thank G-d.

We had a huge span of illness affect our family that lasted 2 months with the children and is still affecting me. I am beginning to have a profound gratitude for my seemingly boundless energy of years past and realizing how lucky I've been. Fighting the exhaustion or even giving in to it is, well, exhausting and depleting and depressing. I'm trying to hold on to my dignity while living a life that I don't really recognize.

Day 3 Major milestone Deciding to move away from the Bay Area. How has that affected the family? I don't think it has affected Jim's family much other than Jay and Mikki say they will visit more often. I think it has affect Penny most of all. First getting the chickens which she loved and then having to give them up because Stefan doesn't like the noise. But more than that, I think that while she doesn't want to visit very much, she does like to visit easily and far more often than if we live in Grass Valley. (I see that already, only a day after broaching the idea with Kathie, I am saying "if" we move to Grass Valley. I do think that move would present a very different lifestyle and one I'd like to explore, but also one I am not sure is a good idea at68. That's about the age that Barbara was when she moved to Friar Tuck, but since Jim hasn't really shown a lot of interest in working outside, I wonder if I will end up doing all the work or we will have to hire a lot done. As far as the community is concerned, I think we'd really like it there and I think the kind of entertainment that there will be more appealing. Still I have my doubts about it and hopes that it will be the perfect location.) (Staying in Berkeley has it's challenges. I am really tired of the hustle and bustle and the students and the building and the snouty neighbors. The house -- I love the refurbished house and I'd love getting the chickens back. Since Kelly is likely to be here more if Dustin stays at Berkeley, that would be a great added benefit. I think Jim's break with PME would be good for him -- he gets so devoted to doing what's in front of him and since PME put more and more in front, his (our) time was eaten up with the PME schedule.) So, the move decision. It seemed to come fairly naturally as the bills for the renovation mounted up. For me, it was a hopeful idea. I might find a compatible and nearby community who looked at health the same way I do and that challenged me to take all my training more seriously. That is a big draw to the Grass Valley/Nevada City area. I love the idea of living in Sherwood Forest and across the street from Larry and Nadine. I love Barbara's house (even if we don't have money for the renovations I envision. I think the gardens will be fabulous for my connection to the earth. I don't think I'll regret the distance from the Bay Area, although I will miss the frequent but short visits with Penny. I suspect that I'll like the infrequent but more centered visits. And I think I might see as much of Kelly or more than I have since Rudy died and Kelly got more ensconced in Portland. The decision to move has given Jim and I more chances to discuss what we want for the rest of our lives. I am disappointed that he isn't able to go deeper in his assessment of what he wants and I am very sad that he doesn't really seem to want anything of substance. He wants to not be uncomfortable. I am afraid I will end up being a nag about helping out since the Friar Tuck house will have far more need for physical labor than any house we've lived in other than the Log House.  So this decision process has been amicable for us as a couple. Many people marvel at our ability to make decisions. It could be that Jim is seething underneath, but I don't think so. I certainly am at peace with our options because I know I can make whatever I want out of whatever community I live in. What I know for sure is that if I stay in Berkeley, I will make changes in the way I live in the community. I will no longer have only PME friends and I will find or create a community who think of health as I do!

My first relationship since the divorce ended and it has made me realize both how lucky I was to find someone, and that I do really want to find that someone special to partner with.

Again, my sister's death. It has saddened me, made me realize how little family I have left.

After much trial and error, I got married. While at first I thought that nothing was going to change my relationship of five years with my husband, I realized over the subsequent four or five months that I was committing my life to one man. I think that instilled a greater work effort in me on some level, because I know that families and spouses fight but we're forging a life together and we have to ultimately make it all work.

I got drunk with my brother for the first time. And we shared relationship secrets. We are truly grown up.

Well, there was the birth of my daughter, Lila. She's AMAZING. That was pretty major. It has definitely changed ALL of my priorities. In some ways, becoming a mom has turned me into a person I don't entirely recognize - one who would rather stay home and hang out with my daughter than do just about anything else. In other ways, it's made me an even more complete version of myself. Also, the months - 11 months! - of sleep deprivation had to have affected me and I'm just starting to understand how, after four weeks of full-sleep for our family!

A couple of tough things happened to my family members just recently that shook my world. My nephew's young marriage unexpectedly broke up. For my brother-in-law, a critical, life-threatening health issue reared its ugly head. With far-away cousins, continued family drama with adult children saps our the energy and patience. Because I believe that through the pain of life comes the beauty and peace we each deserve, I hope and pray that my loved ones heal--emotionally and physically--and that their pain and fear eases with each day. I hold onto the wonderful moments in life and hope that they can find their moments of joy, of clarity, of peace.

My mom has worked so hard to keep us safe and happy. she has her own drama but she is quite a hero

My sister got a kidney transplant last Thanksgiving after 3 years on the list. The call came on Thanksgiving night and we were all trembling with relief, shock and tearful delight! I had to wait an hour to join her at the hospital so I could drive safely. Since then I have watched her bloom open like a flower with delight in her newfound future. All the money she scrimped and saved to cover her diminishing ability to work, and thus have health care in her doomed end-life is now being put to wonderful use giving her the ability to go and see and do all the things she has denied herself all these years. And she has been generous with herself, sharing experiences with family members and has released the happy joyful person within. It's been a joy for me to see and share.

My brother in law was diagnosed with ALS. It has been awesome to see him navigate this disease with joy and courage...and to see the love and devotion of friends and family and my sister's strength. It gave me faith in humankind.

My uncle died of cancer. It was sad, but he was 84 and suffering. I suppose it made me understand my mortality. It also affirmed my advocacy for medical marijuana, making his last days not as bad

We lost my Mom to cancer, April 27, 2011. We had all been with her for days and she didn't suffer long- a blessing. She was the best and we miss her. My sister had a brain hemorrhage in February and survived. She's almost 100% recovered- another blessing. I'm happy to be alive, sharing time with my Dad and sister, Jan.

We adopted a little Shih tzu from the animal rescue and she has added so much joy to our lives!

My wife and I celebrated our 40th anniversary in May . We decided to take a vacation to Italy for three weeks. We had a wonderful time .But more importantly the love we have for each other has grown over the years. We have a great relationship and marriage.

Our daughter's graduation from high school was certainly a major milestone -- we celebrated with grandparents, her brother, and friends -- it was such a happy time in our lives, to focus on such a major accomplishment for her!

A bunch of things happened this past year - not so positive. 1) Dad died (well, that was more than a year ago now), 2) I contracted Breast Cancer, 3) Mark and Debi got divorced, 4) Mom has a new boyfriend. Now, in looking at all three in a positive light is tough - Dad dying was the toughest. I miss him every day. The positive thing about this is that he's no longer in treatment himself, he left this world with the people he loved the most around him, and he left with dignity, holding Mom's hand. My cancer has been about as easy as it could be. I never was sick, was able to nap when needed. I had and have so much love and encouragement around me - from some I've never met before, and other old, dear friends. Debi turned out to be a gold-digger. I hope I never run into her again....I'd be afraid of what I might say to her. Mark though, is now dating a terrific woman, Jennifer, whom everyone seems to like. He's happy, and that's all that matters. Mom's boyfriend, Gordon, is a 180 from Dad. He's nice, but very quiet and mellow. Mom seems happy too. Again, that's all that matters. Could it be that my milestone is that I've figured out that I'm loved and cared for, and that perhaps it's not all up to me to make it or break it? Maybe being able to lean upon friends and family sometimes is the best thing? I believe prayer has also worked in my healing.

Sometimes can't think of major ones, but definitely smaller ones, just like a child who goes through developmental stages. My husband and I have grown closer, the relationship with my kids is more relaxed and my relationship with my mother is more honest.

We visited Bali and it was a great experience and it bonded our family. I had my big birthday in Israel and it was special

My Dad finally got re-married. I wasn't sure what to expect as my little sister was entirely opposed top the whole thing, but it went surprisingly well! It still hasn't entirely sunk in that I actually have a step-mom and step-siblings but really it has all been for the best. Despite the struggles we went through and those that are yet to come, I am fairly certain at this point that it is all for the better.

Just over a year ago my family lost an amazing person who was strong, caring and very honest. My uncle Patrick committed suicide just after Easter 2010. It was one of the most surprising and horrific phone calls I'd ever gotten. I was called by my aunt at 8:30 in the morning which was very unusual so I knew something was up when she called because she usually waits to talk to me until the evening. My family says "I love you" more now and we try to make as much time for each other as possible. My family is still grieving but it gets a little easier each day and instead of being sad we are happy that my uncle isn't hurting anymore. He was a war veteran and was really struggling for a while. I wish we would have noticed it more so we could have helped him more.

my parents are getting divorced. this sucks.

My brother moved to Madrid. Even though it was only a few weeks ago and so far i've talked to him more in two weeks then when he lived a mere few cities away, it's already so different. I'm used to my sister being gone, and then coming home every few weeks. I'm used to my dad being gone and coming home at least once a month. I'm used to Daniel being gone and not even coming home that often. But the fact that if I did want to see him, he was only a hours drive away was reassuring. Now he's two long plane rides away, and I won't see him for at least 4 months. At most 10.

My cousin had a child. This is wonderful because my family has been shrinking over the last several years due to death and divorce. She got married last year and now this is the first baby born since my cousin Ashley, who is now 13 years old! It's been sad watching the family get smaller and now, with my marriage this Decemeber, we'll be growing again.

My brother's Bar Mitzvah was this year. He is officially "a man," even though he may not seem even the least more mature. It had, in fact, made me break up with my boyfriend - which affected me in a good way. It was a very fun night for all of us, and the two weeks previous to it as well. I loved spending time with my family - cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmas and fam friends - it was the best two weeks of my life, along with ILTC. I got to bond with my cousins, though i hadn't seen them in a year, and we truly became a happier family. It has overall affected me in the sense that i now know that family is family, and there are no barriers that should keep you from them.

My son has gone away on his own with his mates to Melbourne for 5 days. first time away from home without parental supervision. Makes me feel proud, but a bit melancholy that time is flying by so quickly

My mother has finally been diagnosed with a mental disorder. I have known this for years, so that was simply more a relief than a surprise. The surprise has been how my husband hasa reacted. In the past he held on to the belief that things would get better, I simply had to try harder. Now, he seems to at least accept that the way things are may be the best they will be. We fight about this a whole lot less.

We hired a realtor. As I type this, about 7 months later, we are awaiting a response to a final counter offer on our second formal negotiation. There is a house we are dreaming of buying and renovating. It's scary. It's 100 years old and bendy but we could pay cash if this deal goes through. Pie is babysitting. She sent an SMS saying that her stomach was upset. So is mine. Hed is trying to finish up her high school classes. Mom took a shot of Nyquil and went to bed. It's nothing but the three generations of women left and adventure ahead.

I can admit to myself and believe it when I say I like my family. I have seen them in a new light, where there is dark and light and in between. I look at them with a less critical eye and see their goodness. I realized and FEEL I have been loved unconditionally. I also moved in with Robert these last two months of the year. Right now I am not sure how to feel because I realize how much I am hiding from others and myself. I watch movies about love and connection and right now I am not feeling it, but I guess I realize that is part of the relationship part of it. Things will not be all rosey but as long as I can count on him for what I truly need, and desire for my life in the long run its worth the work. And once I remember to hear my voice and shut off societies voice about what relationships are about and even its negativity about men. I get really upset when I think about how my relationship is not like others, but at the same time, I feel its also leading me towards a Road less traveled where I truly would like to go. I am scared, I feel very vulnerable and learning to think for the best and respond with respect for myself.

I don't think there have been many specific milestones. My MIL was diagnosed with MS, but at the moment is not "sick" and is dong pretty well Last June/July I left my old job of 4 yes, I did not take jobs in Oklahoma or Colorado. That meant a lot, and I feel was a good move.. The have been no big milestones ( as I already spoke about getting married)' but there were a number of i decisions I, and my wife and I made this year. So far al is well.

Both sons are away at college. So far it hasn't had a huge effect as it as only been 2 weeks and Michael is home this weekend. I think the biggest change will be the decrease in cash flow for me as I send more money to Michael. Hopefully it will be offset by the decrease in groceries.

Besides having a baby, we also bought our first apartment. On one hand it gives us stability in our life, and on the other, worries about our mortgage. But overall we are very happy that we were able to buy it.

My aunt's husband and best friend died within a couple of days of each other. It made me really think about her a lot and see her as a real person with feelings. I felt a great deal of compassion and sympathy and I feel like I want to contact her more now. It's also made me aware that having a husband who is 17 years old than me may mean that I will be in her shoes someday and that makes me feel sad but I'm rooting for her to do well and be happy. I really want her to be happy both for her and as a role model for me.

It's actually been a year and a half, but it feels more recent, since my FIL died. Some things have shifted as a result. Watching my MIL struggle with widowhood, I am sympathetic, proud of her, surprised, frustrated, scared, everything.

My son started pre-school and my daughter started kindergarten. I know this answer seems lame to many, but to me, it meant that my kids were no longer babies. I also turned 40 this year. A bit too much reality in one year for me! I am trying to do what others suggest, which is to enjoy every day with these kids. But time is flying. For the first time ever, I feel I would like to stop the clock.

My brother graduated university, and I graduated high school. They were both really important events for us, and made me reflect upon how fast time actually passes. It also made me think about the achievements my brother and I have both accomplished. I'm proud of us

My younger brother was able to marry his same-sex partner of 31 years this past July, because the State of Illinois finally passed a law legalizing Civil Unions. (So, that makes my brother and his partner "Civilly United" rather than "married" but it's pretty close) It affected me positively because I was able to attend the "after party" and inspired me to bring a beautiful wedding-type cake, though he strictly forbade me to bring one with two grooms on top. The part was nice and it was deeply moving to return to Chicago to visit family and friends. I've visited previous summers, but this time was different.

My son moved out into his own place after living with me since he was 16, he also turned 21 this year. I had many mixed feelings when he left and in the run up to him leaving. Letting go of him helped me to remember how much I love him. And I felt relief to get rid of the old sofa he used to lie on and to reclaim my living room.

Yesterday's answer better fits today's question. The story of my life. But, I got a new deep fat fryer for my birthday. This undoubtedly will end up testing whether my wife truly loves me for my mind.

My mother's breast cancer. I always thought breast cancer happened to "other people" - I never considered that it would happen to my mom or anyone I love. Watching her lose her breast and struggle with treatment has been at times tragic, scary and illuminating. It's made us really come together as a family to figure out how to support her around the clock, while also keeping our own lives going. This experience has accelerated the urgency I feel to "figure out my life". My mom talks about wanting to live long enough to "hold her grandbabies" and I feel a lot of pressure to start a family soon. I don't feel ready even though I know at 37 I don't have much time left. I guess that's it - her cancer has made me realize how short life can be and I feel like I'm running out of time.

The love of my life and I affirmed our love with our family present this past summer. We got married and my 90 year Dad was so happy mainly since my partner and I had already been together 8 years and he especially was hoping to see the day his daughter and her boyfriend formalized their vows - in marriage... especially to such an incredible man. I believe it brought him greater inner peace. My husband went far beyond my wildest dreams to make the day special. The day offered me a greater sense of inner peace,joy and clarity too.

My father died aftr a long illness. My brother, sister, and I spent a week at my parents' home. It was the first time in years. It was incredibly comforting.

Finally accepting my brother's death and dealing with the pain. During this time, learning to forgive my mother and accept my father. Since this, I don't feel so emotionally frustrated. Saying things that I use to regret saying before, does not have such a hard impact on my conscious. Feels good to let it out and not worry about. I learned in the end, I'm actually a cool person after all is said and done and I'm accepting of this! I mean, who wouldn't be?

My dad's partner of over twenty years pleaded guilty of embezzlement. This happened the day before Rosh Hashanah. The experience of learning that his partner had been stealing from their clients and from their business was so so hard for my dad, who is the most ethical person I know. He trusted his partner so completely and I don't think he had ever experienced such a deep betrayal. While I am so sad for his partner's family and the trauma they must be going through, I am so happy that my dad finally has some closure and that this very difficult experience is finally coming to an end for him.

This is a tough question! Within my immediate family, I can't think of a major milestone that happened. However, this year marked 10 years since my grandmother passed away, and I miss her all the time. I always think about how life might be different if she were alive, and I hope she would be proud of the choices I've made in my life.

On Mother's Day, my grandmother had a stroke. She fell to the floor, and fortunately my father was there to call for help. Unfortunately, due to complications from the stroke and problems with her diabetes, she never recovered and past away in late May. While this event was sad for all of my family, it was especially sad for me. You see, over the past 10 years, I was just establishing a relationship with my grandmother. The eldest of three, I was raised by my mother and her family. In my eyes, it was unclear why my father/father's family were not involved with us. I graduated from college in Spring 2001 and was eager to start graduate school in Queens in the Fall. That sunny, warm, September morning felt like any other Fall day. I prepared my coffee, got into my car and drove across the Verrazano bridge, except I am suppose to tell you that the Manhattan Skyline looked beautiful underneath the sun. However, the sky was clear enough to see that Manhattan skyline was a little smoky. It appeared like there was smoke at the World Trade Center, but given my vantage point, I wasn't sure what it was. By the time I reached the university I heard that two planes hit the World Trade Center. Wanting to get back to my family in Staten Island, I returned to my car and drove West on the Belt Parkway. As a result of the chaos in Manhattan all the bridges were closed and I couldn't get back to Staten Island. I called my dad and he said just go to Grandma's house (who happen to live in Borough Park). When I arrived there, grandma was waiting for me. She asked me about my experience that morning, and if I was ok. Then, we watched the news together. We were shocked, afraid, and really sad that this was happening (why was this happening?...). As a result of this a tragic event, I got a chance to bond with the grandmother I never knew. As the years passed, we got a chance to know each other, and even, love each other. Heck, there were times when I had the pleasure of having her teach me how to cook some Italian dishes, and in turn, show her some of my pictures from my trips to Italy. Over time, I really enjoyed spending time and talking with her. She really listened to me, and looked forward to my visits. I was amazed that she was still so smart even though she was in her 80's. I could have an educated conversation with her or talk to her youth, or Italy, or growing up in Brooklyn, or just about anything. She thought of me, and frequently told my dad so. The 10th anniversary of September 11 was really tough. I could remember so many of my college classmates being affected by the disaster and so many people in my home city not coming home that day. And through this tragedy, I remember being with and bonding with my grandmother. I'm so sad that she is gone. I miss her.

Grandpa and Cindy got a divorce/separation. It was kind of hectic but it made me realize that you need to choose your wife carefully.

Unfortunately, I have no family & the only milestone I've hit this year is the 3 year mark on being unemployed, a few days ago. Feels like shit.

One of my stepsisters got married and another had her only child. This has helped me to get closer to my family so that we feel closer.

My brother got married. I gained a sister in law. My parents met a couple guys I've dated. My parents finally joined the community I've been part of for five years. My community feels more integrated, less separated. I've become more honest with my family. My brother has been there for me in times when I've needed it most, when I haven't had the spiritual strength to gain perspective, when I've been frightened, where my stability has been threatened, he's been consistently there for me. Even with him being married, he still shows up for me when I've needed it-- when it's not so convenient for his life. We've shown each other that we are adults, that there are ways in which we carry ourselves in our lives, that make us less angelic than we'd like to be. I admitted to my brother I had been taking birth control pills, after a panic attack which I had feared was provoked by my having taken the pill at too late a time; and I saw the package that looked similar to my own, sitting in a walgreens bag in my brothers car. I've confronted the idea that my brother will at some point be a father. I have grown close to my dad in new ways because of his illness. I've spent hours each day caring and thinking of him, when in reality the best moments are when he is not coddled or feeling or bring perceived as sick, and talks his old talk, and laughs his own laugh. I discovered that my dad has been meditating--his version of meditation--- for 40 years. I've sat on a couch with my immediate family, speaking as though we were saying our final goodbyes. I've listened to my dad ask one thing for me--his request being that my mother and I get along. That seems to be his most constant plea. I've witnessed my parents say "I love you," to each other, for the first time in my presence. I've seen my parents kiss each other on the lips for the first time. I've seen my dad cry. I've watched my father wear his wedding band for the first time in my life--- for the first time in 35 years, and has not once taken it off since. I've gone to the emergency room with family members three times. I've seen my dad in a vulnerable light. I saw my aunt, after 8 years, on her way to the elevator after seeing my dad for the first time in 8 years, after he'd finally called her up to tell her he had cancer and wanted to make peace with her. I saw a young rabbi from my community voluntarily attending my grandmothers funeral, without my knowing he was to attend, providing breath and light to an otherwise depressing funeral service led by the orthodox rabbi my aunt had requested. I saw my family speak with people in my life, therefore making their existence real. I've seen my mothers dedication to my father. I've witnessed vulnerability as a general state of being, and vulnerability being a different kind of strength, not a weakness. I've seen the comfort of friends and family who have stepped forward in the midst of crisis. I've admitted to my parents that I went to the emergency room last Friday night, after having had a panic attack, and saw no judgment in their eyes, but rather, complete understanding. I've seen love display itself in ways I hadn't ever seen before. I've seen my family truly treat---truly--- some days as if they were their last. I've seen desperation, fear, and surrender.

my mom getting her new job. She is making more money but i never get to see her anymore

This year has been filled with many milestones, not easily achieved and life altering. I have learned to be open to new opportunities, that persisting at what you believe pays off and that my children have powerful feelings that can move them forward or shut them down and then they rise again. I have learned that change can renew you in unexpected ways. I have felt extreme sorrow, compassion and joy this year because of family events.

a rift between my brother and father. it took a lot to be suportive without trying to fix it for them, or taking it on. i'm learning more about how to know what boundaries feel right to me and how to stick to them.

The major milestone this year was the birth of our son, River Jalen Feinberg. The impact is intense and awesome- I feel more balanced and more family oriented, more committed, more grounded, more protective and more full of love. I am also nervous and scared, and worried about financial position more than I ever have been before. I also feel, personally, that there is a new need to relearn who I am, and quickly, so I can be strong, and confident, and full of love and energy for my son. I realize that these past two years of working in the environment that I do have taken their toll on my self-perception and self-confidence. I look forward to being a better and more well rounded me for my son.

My nephew was sent to Afghanistan with his army unit. It makes me much more aware of what is going on there. Every time a soldier is killed I remember him and say a prayer.

I have grown closer to both of my parents and the lines of communication are always open. My grandparents are healthy and for the first time, I visited my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins in Chicago alone and had a fantastic time. I exposed my vulnerabilities to my family members and they were supportive and loving of my feelings and choices.

Our son spent four months on the Training Ship Golden Bear and now he is in the home stretch, senior year at CMA. He graduates on April 28th. It was hard not seeing him for that long but we are immensely proud of him. The other milestone was my 2nd Bat Mitzvah on June 18th. The only downside was that Coleman was in the middle of the ocean and he couldn't share the day with us.

I think my parents have started to realize that their children are going to grow up and live their own lives- not that our parents aren't part of our lives, but just that we also have our own lives separate and apart from them. They have not been taking that well, but I'm hoping they adjust.

Realizing that my 19 year old son has his own life. I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about it. I know he is not a child anymore....but I still see the little boy in him. Do moms ever accept that their baby boys have become men?

My dad got married the day after Yom Kippur last year. My mother's life and death clearly and significantly impacted us, and I can honestly say that I am happy that my dad has found love and companionship. At the same time, I struggle with conceptions of family - his wife is a very nice woman, but she does not feel like my family, but rather my dad's wife. Similarly, I feel like a guest at their house - I do not feel at home. I do not know how to balance my nostalgia for the past and sincere desire to feel connected as a family with the sense of change and unfamiliarity.

1. My daughter is a mom and employed using her degree. 2. My son-in-law finished cantorial school and found full time employment in a synogogue. 3. But most importantly my granddaughter turned 1. What a wonderful gift, a grandchild!

My daughter graduated college, and has mostly moved back in with us. She worked at a not-terribly demanding summer job, and is getting ready to attend a very demanding language school. I worry that we are sheltering her too much, but then I really cannot think of a good reason NOT to, other than ideology.

I feel bad, I can't even think of a major milestone for my family, either of them.

I guess it's still under a year so it still counts...My sister had her bat mitzvah. I actually had the most amazing time there. Not because the party was out of this world, but because me and my sisters all took part in the service and it made it so beautiful. My sister was absolutely flawless in Shacharit and her Torah, I was truly in awe

My grandma's funeral and my family talking to my mom about the issues that we've had with her. Talking to my mom and learning more about ourselves has made us a closer family. She has changed and so have I. My sister has been really good at mediating all of us, haha For the funeral, most of the family was able to get together and that made me feel how precious family is, and that no matter how far you are, family sticks together. My half sister got married too so that was awesome :)

It's been interesting to watch our family enter a new phase. Now that Grandma Carol has passed away and both Devon and I have started our careers and truly began to come into our own as adults, we've been re-calibrating. My Dad talks about retirement now, my Mom complains that my brother doesn't call enough, my brother and I struggle to keep a close relationship along with careers. We all miss Grandma. I wish Devon would open up more about his recent break-ups and relationships, he probably wishes I would be less of a workaholic... Everything seems in flux.

Three years after separation and divorce, my ex and I are finally able to spend time together with our family. I am so happy to be able to participate in my children and grand children's birthdays and holidays.

This wasn't a huge milestone year. Unfortunately we lost 2 pets. We lost my beloved horse at the very very old age of 31...& I lost a kitty friend of the last couple of years. Prayers for the sweet pets.

I got married. Although we have lived together for two years, being married has made our relationship stronger and more meaningful.

I think the biggest milestone for us has simply been the passage of time. Having two teenagers now just makes me realize how precious the time we have is and how quickly it is moving. I want to make sure I am enjoying my kids as much as I can and not dwell in conflict, because before I know it, one and then the other will be off at college and beginning their own adult lives.

I left. To live in Japan. I have only seen my sister for a short time in Thailand while she was there for work and I had some time off. I will see my dad, Lynn and my brother for the first time in 10 months this Dec. I don't know the next time I will see my sister, maybe next August again in Thailand? I think since I was the last kid to leave my dad got the empty nest syndrome but his girlfriend was there and she had gone through that phase a long time ago. I e-mail regularly but we don't have any other contact. I wonder what being home will feel like?

This year my parents had their second anniversary. My family has grown a lit bigger and a lot closer since they got married. I am so happy that they are together and Ian thankful for a mom that will be in my life.

The Bar Mitzvah of my son Gabriel was a major milestone for us. We learned that how important friends and family are to us and we were glad to celebrate with them!

Shortly after her 3rd birthday in January, my not-so-Baby Mireya started preschool at Firefly Autism Center. It is amazing to think that she's grown up enough to spend 3 hours a day out of my mom's watchful supervision and makes me scared that I haven't been as much a part of her life and upbringing as I wish I could have been because I've been living in other places. She is progressing by leaps and bounds with her teachers and peers at the school. She's potty-trained (mostly) now and signs to communicate things to us, which is huge considering the fact that she still doesn't speak. We've found out that she has a touch of OCD in addition to her autism, but our family has really come together along with a star team of therapists and teachers to help bring Miri out of her shell and into our world. I want so badly to be there for her and to be a part of her every day routine, but I know that it's important for me to establish my own life as an adult. I try hard to go home as often as I can because I know my mom needs me and my help, but I can't commit to going back there full time yet. It is great though to see how far Mireya progesses during the weeks I'm not home. I love that little girl so much!

My brother-in-law was killed while bicycling. I flew down and we drove from south Florida to Phoenix. We stopped to pick up Bob's stuff including his bike which I helped get into the car but my sister has still not seen. It was an intense trip. I have become much closer to my sister. Six months after Bob's death, we continue to connect on a much deeper level. On another note, he was killed by a driver who had dropped his cell phone, went to pick it up and drifted onto the shoulder and hit Bob. I no longer drive distracted.

Kerry organised photos of the family for everyone. It helped me feel a part of the family!

my brother and i got our license. i have become more independent

Once again, my husband's diagnosis of cancer. My husband is the first of my generation on both sides to have a major illness. He's the first of my generation to have a major illness. It's been interesting to see how everyone reacts. Everyone has been sympathetic, supportive. I've found wells of strength and pragmatism that I didn't know I had. I have questioned my values and life goals because of the new responsibilities that we've had this past year. I question what brought us to this moment. I question the prayers I've said, the life I've lead, and if any of it makes a difference for what comes next.

My grandson became a Bar Mitzva. His complete participation in this milestone filled me with immense pride, not only in him but the entire family. It is a wonderful feeling to see that you have had a part in investing in the future of Judaism. The light shines and gives me reason to believe that I need to continue my efforts to help the light shine brighter in my own Jewish community. ON WITH THE WORK with gentler hands.

Three of my grandparents turned 80 years old this year. They are incredible people and I'm so fortunate to have them each in my life. I hope I live as long and as beautiful a life as they have.

My daughter has been suffering with depression related issues. Since she has been on medication she has had multiple suicide attempts. With therapy and our support she is now off the meds and doing much better. She has made some lifestyle changes and also changed some social contacts that created issues. It's taken a while for her to realize what is important to her and how her life affects all the members of the family.

My mother and my youngest niece both had major health problems. It has made me more interested in protecting my own health and more compassionate as a care giver.

Probably the major milestone with my family is my daughter moving away to college. She wanted to attend a school in Southern California and she got it. I'm very proud of her because she was able to do something that I couldn't bring myself to as I was accepted to one of the nation's best universities when I was younger but didn't attend due to fear, fear of the unknown. I'm proud of that she did it and will be successful. As I told her, "We are proud of you, make yourself proud" and she will.

We moved! On Rosh Hashanah! Hopefully this will lead to my mom getting a new job. It is home now: )

Unfortunately I dont know that to write here for I am so distant from my family. Perhaps a milestone is my 'Differentiation of Self' research which is allowing me to find out information about my family in the hope of better understanding myself and the system that is my family.

My aunt had quite a scare with her health and she is trying to stop smoking, which may help a little, but I think it is far too late. I had to make some decisions for her and take care of some things for a bit. She's better now, but for how long.... I don't know.

My daughter had a very emotionally disturbing time after my divorce where her anxieties were so oppressively crippling that she was unable to function. I needed to re prioritize my choices and devote myself more fully to her fragile mental health. I had to reach out to my faith family and ask for help to find a Bible centered therapist for her

My father passed out, and I was the first one to get to him. I had someone call 911, and then watched him taken away in an ambulance. I realized I am not ready to deal with the heavy health issues that aging may bring. But I guess no one ever is. One positive outcome is that my dad has finally started taking better care of himself and taking his diabetes seriously. I am thankful that we get another chance at this.

I grew up. Again. I decided it was time to live MY life and so I moved away from everything I knew -- my comfort zone and just 'went for it'. It was probably the gutsiest things I have ever done and I do not regret one second of it. I am so looking forward to living my new life and meeting new friends.

My brother Larry died. His passing has caused me to look at how he lived his life and how I live mine. There is nothing that will adjust ones perspective like the passing of a loved one. More love, more laughter, less seriousness ... if I can just remember that.

My family and I got through my brother moving off to college and me now being an only child. It's lonely and quiet sometimes but I definitely have a newfound appreciation for my parents and have become a lot closer with them!

My mother turned 90. And I discovered that she had been shamelessly lying about her age for my entire life. This milestone has helped me to see even more strongly how lucky I am to have the mother I have. She is, despite her age, amazingly "low-maintenance" and while her self-care has been mostly (an appropriately) motivated by her own desire for good health and comfort, it has been an enormous gift to me. After spending far too many years of my life focusing on my mother's many flaws (in my eyes, anyway) and feeling cheated out of the sort of mother I wanted and "deserved," I am pleased that some years ago, I finally and belatedly (for me) accepted my mother for who and what she is, and realized how very special and cherished my mother really is. We spent many years in regular and painful conflict; I am so pleased that we have not really had any serious arguments in a very long time. I have changed my expectations of her, and accepted my responsibility to be a loving, caring, unconditionally supportive son, in gratitude for her being here on this earth, and in such good form.

We got through the first year of our adoption, so now we are parents of two boys. A wild year. A wonderful year. A very hard as hell eye-opening year. It has affected me by teaching me more patience and compassion. It has taught me to find ways to be more loving with my children even though I often want to strangle them. It has taught me that I can choose happiness. I can choose to be grateful for what I do have, and I have learned that lovingkindness (metta) is the greatest gift I can give, because it all comes back to me. I also learned that by focusing on experiencing the joy my children naturally offer in life, I am a better happier person.

My son turned 18 (and me 50). It forced me to acknowledge the changes in myself and in him, that we both are moving forward and maturing - fortunately both of us well and successfully, though still it is hard to let go of what was and submit to what is and shall be. This is clearly the increasing task before me, and I pray to do so with grace and without fighting too much!

My daughter "graduated" from elementary school and started middle school this year. Switching buildings means leaving the place behind where her father brought her to kindergarten (and first grade) for the first day. He died during first grade, and would have loved to see her as a confident, happy, secure fifth grader who is convinced of her personal coolness factor and is comfortable with her self-esteem. She wears a brassiere every day now and giggles about body changes with her friends in the gifted and talented program -- I am blessed that most days, she wants to tell me everything, and begs to cuddle and spend time together. Sometimes I need to say no and have some personal space -- but most of the time I recognize that these together moments may be fleeting as she takes the next steps forward to stretch her wings. So proud of her and the way she is growing up -- and derivatively of me as well, because I think I'm giving her solid, mindful parenting and a strong foundation from which to grow. xoxo

We had a fire in our garage this summer. It was really big and kinda surreal. I was the only one home, along with my housekeeper, and when I called my parents, I don't know how I kept it together. It made me feel like my family was there for me no matter what.

I went with my husband to a medical specialist. We did not really learn anything new medically, but it created a major attitude adjustment. This doctor spent quality time speaking with us, sharing information, questioning and treating the encounter as a time for active communication without watching the clock. Total listening is a gift. One individual can make a difference.

The deterioration of my Aunt Bobbie. My aunt Kitty went into rest home.

I introduced my mother to a raw food diet and she fully embraced it! It helps to have family doing the same thing as you are when it comes to changing lifestyle.

I can not think of anything my family has done that could be considered a milestone.

My only sister had her first child. Becoming an aunt has been a tremendous joy in my life, and my niece's arrival has also given new shape to family dynamics. It is wonderful watching my sister and brother in law blossom as parents, and watching my mother the happiest I can remember in her new role as grandma. In terms of the impact on me, I so deeply want to be there for this child, and form a special relationship with her, and this desire has given new meaning to my life.

I don't rely on my family. I've been continually let down by my siblings. My mother and I are close--but when I think about family---I feel like I don't have one anymore. My best friend is the closest I have to a sister. I think it will be a long time before I'll ever have a "family"--unless I make one on my own.

I'm alone, so really, it hasn't affected me at all.

I learned that after years of hard work, my parents are still at the mercy of other people. After being deceived by business partners, my stepfather had to completely restart his business. As a result, my mother had to delay her retirement from teaching elementray school to help maintain fiscal balance. My sister and brother-in-law considered buying a pharmacy. Holy shit! Alas, they decided that the risk wasn't worth the possibility of putting their two kids in a homeless shelter if it failed. I've started my own business, and while my my family is supportive, they have no idea what I do. Funny thing is... I kinda still just want them to be proud of me.

This year one of my siblings had a breaking point. It has caused a lot of stress on my parents and of course it ended up trickling down to me. It has caused a lot of fighting and tears, but I couldn't be happier that it is finally starting to get better.

I-BIL got engaged! Yeah for finally having a house to ourselves this upcoming May! K-three years of homeownership Opa turned 90 and got a new gf! Yeah for getting rid of the evil gf he had for 27 years!

Emma's wedding. Deaths of dear ones, Ruth, Mike, Betty Visit to NY to see Ray and Lee, and Sidney All life changing, very glad to be alive.

Dad passed away. I am the same I used to be, but quite more sad.

My boyfriend and I have been through hell and back. And we still come out on top. He is my everything. I wouldn't be me without him. <3

I lost too many family members this past year. Charles moved out almost a year ago, to live with his father. I lost my cousin Noah, Great Grandma Kelsey, Aunt Jackie, best friend Bill, And more people I can't even remember right now. It has made me feel like I'm losing big parts of my life that will never come back again. It's sad.

I realized that my parents will truly do anything for me, and that with this great blessing comes great responsibility (for instance, to not ask too much of them or make them worry needlessly). I also discovered that my parents are very welcoming towards those I care about about, but that this openness also comes with sacrifice. For instance, I had my girlfriend at the time stay with my family over Christmas, buy they told me later that although they were happy to have her there, it spoiled a bit of the holiday family-time for them.

We had our gorgeous baby boy this year. He has opened up our world in so many ways. I really didn't know I could love on such a deep level. We are getting ready to celebrate his upcoming birthday, but he is truly our greatest gift.

Umm...actually I can think of nothing...

This past year, my brother's company was acquired by GE. His dream has been to work in energy, and here he is working for one of hte most powerful corporations in the United States. I am so very happy for him, and am excited to think of what our lives can be like together as we grow into adults. I know that he will always be financially successful, and that I have also been a big part of helping to get him to where he wanted to be. I hope that a new sense of security will be present for him, and that I may be able to lean on him in times when I am feeling less secure. It was also very comforating when he called me before a big presentation to ask for my advice. It feels good to see your family members succeed and become the person that you always saw in them. I have always looked up to my brother, and I am happy to see him fulfilling his best potential. Seeing him find his path is inspirational to me. I want to find my path, and be in a place where I feel confident and can excel and grow with the career that I have always wanted.

My sister turned 30 this year and got married to my sister in-law. This has inspired me and makes me want to find "the one" for me by age 30 as well.

My father went through a major transformation in his relationship with our family. He took responsibility for his hurtful behavior my whole life growing up and made an effort to reach out. At first I actually found it hard, because I had not healed my own pain from how he had treated us. It forced me to confront what I needed to heal, for my own sake, to be able to be open to him fully again to build a new kind of relationship.

My great grandmother passed away. It was a little longer than a year ago now but I still find it interesting to think about how my family reacted. It was devastating for everyone, of course, to lose someone who had been around for as long as any of us could remember. But the day of the funeral revealed some stuff about people in my family that still shocks me - the ability of human beings to be so incredibly selfish and narrow-minded, even in the face of a familial tragedy. I know that everyone mourns in their own way but I just wish that we all could have been together in that moment, rather than the event separating us all even further. That, along with other things, has really highlighted the divisions that exist within my family. I still hope that one day we will all be able to be together, but I doubt this will happen. God willing, when I get married and start my own family, these divisions won't exist.

I moved my little sister to Oregon for her first year away from home at college. My parents are empty nesters. It has involved a lot of lengthy phone therapy between all of us. My mom asked me to move home, so they'd have some family nearby. I gave it a long thought, then suggested that, though the time for me to look after them would come, I didn't think this was that time. This is the time for them to rebuild their relationship with each other and to rediscover themselves. I anticipate that in the next year, they will develop such interesting personal lives that they won't have time to call me! I am looking forward to that for them. I'm also interested to see where my sister will be in a year. Klamath Falls is going to be a big challenge for that island girl!

My parents split up over 5 years ago. But this year, when my brother went to Costa Rica and then returned. My dad allowed my mom to come to his home so that they both could see my brother and then they called me on skype so the 4 of us could be together. I feel so blessed to have such love in my life.

My brother got a job in advertising in New York City, and has moved there for an undisclosed amount of time. I am very proud of him, and it shows just how skilled he is, to be hired as a foreign worker, above American citizens. I miss him, but it definitely shows me how much we're growing up

This is a tough one. It feels like I haven't accomplished anything. I discovered I have (or have developed?) generalized anxiety disorder. I'm trying to learn how to triage stressful situations, to manage my phobophobia. This year unexpected expenses have wiped what little money I'd managed to save. Car problems, medical bills, a daughter relocating to a new city for college, hail storms that destroyed my roof, car and garden, a new furnace have scared the crap out of me. I guess my milestone is I'm still standing. I have a great job and a home and that's a helluva lot more than a lot of people have. I am grateful and still hopeful.

My brother's divorce officially went through and he is planning on proposing to a very nice girl who is great with his kids. On one hand, I am very happy for him and his kids. Alycia is a very nice girl and will make an excellent addition to our extended and his immediate family. On the other, being the older brother, it's a little depressing to see him planning his second marriage while I haven't even a partner.

My sister got marries! It's very exciting and it makes me happy to see her happy with her new husband. I love her and im glad he's part of the family now!

I think the greatest effect on me is that I feel so very alone. I moved with my family to a city far from home. We moved for my partners work. It's a great move really, but I feel like an "also ran". I know that in time I'll find my stride, but it feel like I have very little to do here aside from take care of other peoples needs. I feel pretty lost.

My family expanded this year. After many years living as just me and my blood relatives, I now have a partner, and his friends and relatives have become a part of my life, too. It affected me because I've had to change the way I think about myself and my plans for the future to consider another person (and the other people he considers). It also raised the idea of having children as a real possibility for the first time, which still needs a lot of thought.

My daughter finally started dating a nice guy. We haven't met him yet -- don't want to scare him off by introducing the parents too soon. Simultaneously she's gotten more serious about her college studies. She's started making plans and studying for a future career as a teacher. We overjoyed that she's finally becoming independent. And my husband and I are really enjoying having the house to ourselves!

We have moved a lot closer to my parents and lived with them for 4 months. Although it's been good to spend time with them, the move has also taken it's toll on our relationship. My father and I no longer speak to each other, which is ironic considering that during the years when we hardly saw each other, we spoke twice a week.

I married into a family that has been less than accepting and the adjustment has been very difficult at times.

Last year was my first year at college, so a major milestone would be the adjustment to the separation. I didn't realize how much I relied on the comfort of my parents before, and I really came to look forward to talking to them on the phone; I ended up talking to them pretty much every day. It helped me understand how lucky I am to have both of my parents in my life, and made me feel closer to them even though we are physically further away from each other.

In the past year we have lost Adam, a siblings, lost the family home, and seen the family fall apart again. despite it all my brother and I have become closer and I have made friends with his roommates/friends while he has made friends with mine

My family finally renovated our house. My mother has been wanting to renovate our house. Now that I am going to graduate and my brother is working, my mother felt that it was the right time to renovate. I feel that the renovation signal a time for me to grow up and let my parents enjoy their.

I came out to my family. My mom has known for bout a year now but my dad just learned recently. I personally don't care but he loves it. It makes him feel connected to me and I guess that's worth something. Now I need to come out to my aunt by december, or pretend to be a woman. Also my long-distance boyfriend moved in with me after a solid year of dating. It's been the best idea ever and I hope in a year when I read this, I agree with that statement.

I could not get through this without God's great mercy and love. He sustained me! He was my companion as as I lay alone at night wondering what would happen, as I rode the train from the remote parking garage to the hospital, as I walked the long halls everyday to my husband's room, as I struggled to help a man who doesn't think he needs any, as I tried to balance time with him at the hospital and time with my kids overdosing on videogames at home without me. Things I discovered: Caring Bridge.org was a great website to help get the word out on how our family was doing--we got a few thousand hits on our site that month alone. I love blogging! Since V came home, I've started a blog. It less about my husband's injuries and more about life afterwards. http://karenrenee-sweetsojourn.blogspot.com/ I can take care of everyone and everything with God's help. I am not as helpless as I thought I was before. I found part of myself which had been hidden a few years. Though you cannot help a person who does not want it... My kids can do so much more if they want to! My daughter found him, called 911, helped stop the bleeding with towels. My son called me; he is more sensitive, like me. I am so proud of them. Even when you think you can love no more, God comes in and gives you more to give away. That's what it's for, isn't it?

My oldest Grandchild turned 10, double digets. It made me realize how much time has passed and how old I am getting. I am having thoughts about not being around to see her turn 20.

My grandpa has been surviving like he has since he was a boy. But, his spark seems to be gone. I miss him. I miss him. I miss him. I wish we were playing cards right now with a bowl of cantaloupe and some donald duck orange juice.

I guess Henry's death and the odd aftermath of somehow getting closer to Matt and family. An odd detente. Living with the pain of Henry's loss and all that it means for me. Learning how to live with it. Learning how to not think about it all the time, how to have a different story to tell.

My sister had her 4th child and it made me realise how special it is to have a family I am close to. It also made me realise how hard it is to be so far away from them! I thought all over again about how great my own parents are and how much they have supported all of us.

My cousins agreed to come to my wedding next year. I'm pleased that despite the nature of our family, they are happy to attend.

Exactly one year ago today my mom, at age 81, had major heart surgery. 8 months later she had a total knee replacement. I took care of her for awhile after the heart surgery and I was moved by watching her strength and courage. Now she has her energy and mobility back and is feeling great. It was amazing to see what could be done to improve her health.

HAHAHA. I found out I was a bastard child. As in, my parents only got married one random day at school... when I was in 5th grade. So, in a sense, they were newlyweds - together for more than 20 years, but married for 6. Well, it was certainly a bombshell. It was fucking mind-blowing. I don't come from a typical liberal family; my mother used to drag me to church that emphasized the importance of marriage before sex, yadda yadda yadda. I have always considered my mother as the living example of that fact. Well, that belief was sure shattered to bits. But I'm totally over it now. I don't think this changes anything. My parents love me all the same, and I them. Sometimes they hide things for legitimate reasons; if I was younger, I would've had a really hard time accepting it.

All three of my brothers seemed to come up against big struggles this year: one was laid off, another flooded out of his home and another hospitalized and lost his business. I'm 3,000 miles away and starting a new job and trying to figure out how to be helpful from a distance...it's been difficult. I think of each of them everyday and send them love and prayers. I look forward to the day when my brothers and I no longer need struggle to feel close and connected...

The fallout between my sister and I had a pretty significant impact on my family. There was a period of time when she and I didn't speak and I know it was hard for my parents. Ultimately, my parents understood that our relationship was unhealthy, especially when living together, and finally stepped in to say it couldn't happen again. Siblings simply shouldn't live together... While my sister and I were living together, she brought home a puppy. I was so resistant to the idea of having a dog. I, instead, wanted freedom and to not be obligated to care for another. He was what caused the fallout because I fell in love with him and, as his primary caretaker, felt that he belonged to me. Puppy has really changed my life in many positive ways. At 26 years old, my parents and sister are still my family, of course. But puppy and I are a new family. He is who I come home to every day and the number one priority in my life. So, this past year, I became my own family -- that's pretty significant.

My grandson turned one. He has made me appreciate everything I see with new eyes, especially him and my daughter. I am so proud of my daughter, and I am in love with my grandson.

When I read this question the first thing I think is: who is family? Is it me? Me & my cats and dog? Is it my blood family who are not a part of my daily life? Is it friends? And then the next question I have is: what is a major milestone? Whichever way I choose to define family, I cannot think of anything that is a major milestone.

We moved into a nice neighborhood, into a bigger house with more room for us. All five of us seem to still share the same two bedrooms, but we are happy here. Even having a garage has made me happy. I don't have to carry two sleeping children in at once. We gave up a few extras to do this. It's all stuff we are better off without (Starbucks, restaurants, impulse toy purchases). I think the discipline has been good for us. We have wonderful guys staying at our old house, and I am grateful for this. They seem to love the house and the block.

My sister got married. I am 7 years older and single, and it did make me reflect on my choices with regards to relationships. I'm realizing I'm different from most people and coming to terms with it, at the same time I'm so very happy for my sister.

My daughter started Middle School which has been rocky to say the least. It is a difficult time for your "average" kid but she has Asbergers, ADD, and Anxiety issues which makes it even more of a challenge. Homework & socializing are two of the biggest hurdles for her but I am not looking for her to get straight As. She is involved with Girl Scouts, Chorus, Drama and other afeterschool clubs that interest her. I am proud of the fact that she has made some friends and is trying despite her special needs. I love her the way she is & I can't imagine my life without her in it. I will fight though to make sure she does not fall through the cracks at her large school. I see already that the flip side of inclusion classes is that she is the round peg in the square hole already. Trying my best to see that her school day is filled with successes & positives rather than on what she was not able to do compared to her peers.

I've been battling some undiagnosed (until just now) illness this whole year. I've truly learned what "chronic" means and have come to understand the difficulties and courage of those who have to live with such conditions. I've learned how to live a very diminished life -- this I hate. But I've also learned how to keep going, sometimes with tears, even when things seem very dark. With a diagnosis and a probable treatment on the horizon now, I 'm allowing myself to imagine a renewed future, from playing the piano and going out dancing to attending concerts and even movies that I've simply been too exhausted and in too much pain to be part of any more. Wouldn't a return to normal be wonderful?

We made the decision not to have another child. I know it's for the best (both financially and medically), but when I see my friends with their new babies I do have a moment of baby envy.

A major milestone that has happened to my family last year was going from a married couple to becoming a family. We had some children. That definitely affected us in a very positive way.

There are good milestones and bad milestones, my parents are in the middle of a divorce, and I've learned that neither of them are as perfect as I thought they were. The good milestones were Guy having his gorgeous son Ted, and Paul and Mel getting engaged.

My parents finally got the stereotypical retirement RV. Now, they say, they can travel anywhere they like-whenever they want. And they have made a few trips in it, but I wait for the day when they will really make one of those HUGE trips that you see retired couples in movies and on TV make.

My mom turned 50, My siblings turned 21, I turned 17, and my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Everyone is growing and maturing and uncontroleable rates and it's scary to think I'm doing to be a grown-up before I know it.

I'm not sure if this is a "milestone" but members of our family are deteriorating. Dave has early onset Alzheimers, and Aaron thinks that Gerson may also be experiencing Alzheimers symptoms. This has affected me in a couple ways. Firstly, it's upsetting to me to see these family members who had been figures of wisdom and strength become confused and frustrated. In particular, I worry about Dave, who has no children to take care of him, whose partner has his own health complications, and whose mother and siblings have their own worries. I worry that I don't have the time or resources to take care of him either. Secondly, of course I worry about my own chances of disease, as well as Aaron's chance of disease. Neither of us had parents with Alzheimers, but we have both had family members with Alzheimers. And parents with lymphoma . . . and my mother has Parkinsons . . .. . I hope that I can care for my family members with love and without so much worry.

I now have financial power of attorney for both parents, means another layer or responsibility.

I'm worried about my parents growing older - but I'm very excited about my partner and I deciding to open our relationship.

In the past year I turned 55 and was appointed to my dream job. I love feeling enlivened by the work I do, the people I work with and the organization I work for.

My cousin has had many health problems, financial problems and she's the same age as I am. A few months ago my mom and I went to the hospital to show her our support for surgery she needed for breast cancer. It was good to see her dad & stepmom, and her mother, as well as meeting all of her wonderful friends. My cousin came out alright after surgery, but emotionally I'm sure she was shining after seeing all of the love and support around her. I saw a glimpse of hope for her life ahead.

My soul sister got pregnant. Even if I am deeply happy for her and I am going to be the baby's Godmother, I cannot help but think it should have been me. I feel this year should have been my year. I feel now it has been one of the worst years in my whole life.

My husband and I started talking about starting a family. This had made me think much more about the future and what kind of parent I want to be. It has made me have to think more concretely about planning out my life and become more organized. It has also gotten us talking to eachother more.

We got married! Just last weekend! It was a major part of what we thought about and worked on all year, and it was amazing to see it all finally come together. I do not know how, if at all, it will affect us in our day to day lives. But it was really wonderful to be surrounded by everyone we love and to know that they support us as we continue our lives together.

My Family and i connected under a new roof in a new city. We Share and learn together and enjoy each others company as much as possible. I don't focus on my personal successes much as i feel i've been entirely self centered based on the events of my life up until early in the year.

I've had several major milestones this year. My husband and I retook management of our riding stable. That's been both good and bad. We are working harder than ever but there's a whole lot less stress and barn drama! Another major milestone was the death of my husband's mother. For me it was like losing a mother and family - sad & lonely. For my husband, I think he has finally faced his own mortality and has slowed down a bit - stopping to smell the roses as it were. Two of my oldest horses passed away this year. It seems like two more nails in the coffin of our farm.

I resumed communications with my mother recently. I'm wary, But I had to forgive and move on. Carrying the weight of anger was doing my head in. Forgiveness doesn't mean saying "Do it again" . Forgiveness is not dealing from a position of weakness. Forgiveness is abandoning all hope of a better past and moving on with one's life.

This year I started my first year of high school. My parents have been pretty strict in the past about going on with friends, having a facebook, etc.. So I wasn't sure how they would take this change. They actually took it very well and have been very supportive of my social life as long as I keep up my grades and other important aspects. I really feel like I can trust my parents and that they understand what I am going through.

My little niece broke her leg this year. The doctors had never seen such a terrible injury on someone so young before and although she was in terrible pain and had countless operations, she kept smiling. I love her more than I thought I could ever love anyone.

Grandma's death. It was in many ways the last and best illustration that an era is finished, and that holding on to the tatters of those old structures and traditions is about as nourishing as the monkey clinging to its wire-mother. If I want a social and family network that's worth something, and that gives me what I need, I'm going to have to build it myself, from the ground up.

A major milestone is that Sara entered middle school! Wow! Where is my little baby? She has been replaced by a great kid, (sometime) mature tween, and fun friend. Baruch HaSh-m for her health and joy!

This year the first of my cousins got married. While I am very happy for him, many aspects of the actual day were hurtful to the family as a whole. What should have been a joyful day for everyone was filled with frustration, resentment and anxiety. Thankfully, my cousin and his bride seemed blissfully unaware of any problems and by all accounts enjoyed the day.

My Aunt Katie had to sell her house. In a way it's a milestone, because she was forced to sell it per the terms of her divorce: she had to ditch it as soon as Kenny turned 18. In the same time period, Katie lost her job. It felt very strange for me, knowing that I, at 25 years old, had a better job, lifestyle, etc. than a 50-year-old adult in my family. Does this mean I kick ass, or that I'm just a lucky little snot?

We moved out of our own home and were forced to move into a 2 bedroom apartment. Throughout the past 9 months we have grown so much closer, and we are such a family.

As weird as this may sound, the passing of my best friend has had an huge effect on my family dynamic. My family has gotten so close because we have felt the need to come together as a family and support each other in this time of need. We have always been a very close, united family, but right now, we need each other most, it's evident, and we all have come together.

I turned 55 this year. I was hoping for a spur of the moment trip to Paris to celebrate since I didn't make it there for my 50th. It didn't work out (again) so I emailed my circle of girlfriends and explained the situation. I wrote "Happy Birthday" in french on the note and asked them to either cut and paste the words or send me a picture of Paris on my birthday. I was proud to have asked for acknowledgement and learned alot about my friends. I have never had a circle of friends that I felt comfortable with enough to be myself with and it feels wonderful to know that I am loved by these women who love life like I do.

When my mother died the whole world shifted and I am working on understanding this new world and my place in it. Navigating is very hard because so much territory is left unmapped.

My daughter entered Preschool and my son started talking. My kids are growing up so fast. I hope they are making memories that will last their whole lifetime.

My husband and I were both diagnosed with cancer this past year, and we both had procedures which removed the disease. It made me realize that life is precious and we should appreciate it more.

My daughter turned 18. We now face on a daily basis the argument of how much she is free to do because she is 18 vs. what we can request, expect, require because she is still living under our roof and enjoying the privileges of all we provide and do for her. She is even more naive than many and thinks/thought that turning 18 would work some sort of magic and make life perfect. We are the target for her disillusionment.

Both my sons have made big moves in their lives. A lot of realizations about themselves. That is good, but I feel less connection than ever. I'm just not required any more. That's good, but it still makes me feel sad- good that they have grown up, and my job is done, but sad because I know I'm just in the way now.

My family found out I cut for a SECOND time. This time on their own, instead of friend telling the school guidance counselor. It made me realize that if I'm still going to do it, I need to be more careful. I wish it would have made them realize that I still need help. Serious help. And I still do. Help me, please.

My dad was diagnosed with some serious lung problems and it's always a scary thing to face a loved one's mortality. It's a strange feeling to need to think rationally about a parent's potential death. It's a feeling you can never prepare for. However, it did make me take inventory of my own life. Where I am, where I want to be, what I want to do. It begged the question, if I'm diagnosed with death tomorrow, what would I leave behind unfinished? It's been kind of surreal for me to think about my dad being sick. I can't imagine him not being here, but being forced to think about it makes me appreciate him and our relationship that I'm not sure I did before. My hopes are pinned are the medical field, the universe and my dad's feistiness to see him through. Ideally, next year, I'll get to write about his fight and victory.

My sister retired. This got me thinking a lot about my retirement and what that looks like for me. Lots of questions and no answers, yet. The big one being, "Do I stay living in America or do I move back to the UK or another part of Europe?" I'm thinking that I'll move back to Europe, probably England but nothing is certain, yet.

The birth of my sisters baby had a really big impact on me.To be frank,my sister is a whore.she fucks a lot of guys.She was that way during her pregnancy,and started that again 2 weeks after Skyla was born.I really thought the fact that she had a baby, and was responsible for another life would make her mature a bit.It didnt.i wish she had some sort of wake up call,but she is coddled so much that she thinks that being a stupid slut is okay.its not

This year a major milestone is that since I got engaged my very splintered family had to come together as a unit. Thry are trying in their own way but they are still in shock of themselves

I think the biggest milestone for my family this year was me and my cousin going off to college. Were the oldest on my dads side of the family and I'm also the oldest on my moms side. This is a huge event for me, but I also am trying to keep in mind how it affects my family.

One of the best milestones was that my sister came to visit. She hadn't been home since 2006 or 2007, and it was wonderful to be able to share parts of my life with her and Matt. Also, my mother distanced herself from my grandmother and her family. While that had hurt a lot of people, it has made my mother and I closer. I have been able to tolerate her for a longer period of time and talk with her more openly. I don't know if we'll ever get a typical mother-daughter relationship back, but I appreciate what we are able to have now. She stayed with me and took care of me for a whole week after my knee surgery, and it was a wonderful time. I thought I was going to go nuts, but I've begun to appreciate her more, and she has become more mother0like.

My step-mother's death brought me closer to my father and sister. I don't feel so alone anymore - I feel like I belong to a family again.

My father's death in December and the subsequent division of his estate has dominated my life this year. I have been stressed and irritated with the process but I am also proud of how well I have handled this all.

My daughter went on a one year student's exchange to the US. I haven't thought that I'm gonna miss her that much. I knew I'd miss her, but not with that kindof intensity and despair.

A major milestone that occurred this year is the loss of our mother, Joan. though not a happy milestone. In my life, I now have to be able to turn to myself and ask myself the questions that I would have asked my mother and come up with the answers to my questions. This still brings me sadness when I want to call her but also in retrospect I have also grown to know that I can make my own decisions and learn from my mistakes.

We have now two boys in the army and that is a big thing for us. Apart from the fact that we have to live with the fact that they are in the army with all of the implications and the concerns that come with it, I think that it makes us all appreciate the family that we have since they are only home sometimes for weekends and on those comparatively rare occasions when all six of us are together the feeling is excellent more often than not. The growing up years were often challenging as I am sure they are for most parents and I wouldn't wax over sentimental and say that all is roses every time we are all together but more often than not things really are good. Everyone is growing up and that's a wonderful feeling. Please God they should all be safe for ever.

Similar to last answer on Day 2. Got married and we have all been getting used to living as a family. It has been really good.

It didn't happen this past year, but it's happening right now as we speak. My grandma, at the young age of 88, has decided that after over 60 years of living in the same apartment, she will be moving down 5 minutes away from us. She visited the place, and loved it. This was definitely a big milestone in our life.

We went out west to visit my mom's family. My mom's family is rather disfunctional, they all live in the same city but they don't really talk to each other. And they never come visit us. This affected me in a rather large way- I know who they are now, they're not people who yeah, they're my aunts, uncles, and cousins but I've got no clue who they are. I know them, and they know me. If any of us die, it will mean something to the others. It won't be like the way a felt (or didn't feel) when my grandmother died.

My first child was born in March, a beautiful little girl. Previously, I had been very competitive professionally. But now I'm not as aggressive - I just want to be a great dad.

My father died. It made me more aware of how transient we are, especially my mother. I am closer to her and I know she needs me more now.

Last child graduated jighschool. Gave me a strange sense of freedom and sadness

My parents continue to amaze me. Not only were they the biggest supporters of our PanAm trip, but they have visited us for two extended periods and are planning the 3rd. They believe strongly that I am capable of anything and their constant affirmation of that idea has ingrained it in my conscious.

There haven't really been any major milestones in my family this year.

The death of my uncle, it made me realise how fragile family is without one important member.

Losing Guinness was obviously the biggest thing to happen in my family (in my opinion, of course). He was my best friend, and the thought of losing him always terrified me—in much the same way that thinking of losing my parents terrifies me—but I handled it. I miss him terribly, but I handled it, and that is huge. His loss left a rather large gap in our lives, so Finnegan and I got a new kitten. d'Artagnan doesn't replaced Guinness, but he is a wonderful addition.

We moved my grandfather into an assisted living residence, and thank goodness. I don't know that he would be here with us if it weren't for that. I appreciate the hard work he put in to raise a family and provide for them. The opportunities that are available to me now exist because his dedication and work ethic.

I wouldn't describe my family as having reached a major milestone. We have survived. We have faced physical and mental illnesses and still we struggle. My father, at the age of 83, lost his pension from General Motors. If he were not covered under my mother's health plan, he would have no health insurance. The cost of medicine is becoming almost prohibitive, even though they/my parents pay only a co-payment. I, at the age of 62, began receiving a pension of $500.00 a month. I still am without health insurance. I try not to get sick. I wonder how I will manage one day to pay property taxes with the pension that I am getting now. For that matter, I wonder if I will always have even this small amount of money. Life is not what we thought it would be when we got older in America.

A major milestone, well, I wrote about Chris' job loss in question 4, so I'm a bit backwards here....but.... Let's go with Chris' aging parents. His father is now sneak-drinking and is officially a nasty alcoholic. The visit this past summer was so awful I can't imagine seeing these awful people again. And since they are in their 80's, I can't see this going on for more than 5 more years. And sick as it is, I feel a sense of relief. I know that it will be hard on my husband, but I can't escape the fact that they are not nice people. And his dad is so nasty, his mom so, well, unlikable, that I just hate going there. This past visit, I spoke openly about the elephant in the room. I confronted them both about Robert's drinking and nasty behavior. I refused to get in the car when he had been drinking and I forced my husband to step up and take a more active part in protecting me. Robert resents me because I don't take his crap lying down. I call him on it. And it's not healthy for my son to witness it. Even though there are aspects that are good for my son (they have lots of hidden treasures of history...big readers and lots of knowledge to tap and they are generous with my boy), I have to really play that up to prevent my son from completely losing it. The fact that I talked to Marilyn about it (my best friend in NY) turned our relationship around. For the first time in years, she reached out and said that we need to be closer. She even apologized for being out of touch. Having lost an important friendship, getting Marilyn back was a wonderful surprise. I love her and trust her. A rare thing. And she understands me, given that we've known each other for over 30 years, it makes me feel proud to be her friend.

Most major milestone has to be my oldest graduating high school and starting college. In addition to making me feel older than ever, it's also made me feel like her mom and I have made the very best out of a bad situation, and have not let our divorce negatively impact her or her younger sister more than it has. I am very proud of her, and her sister, and of myself and her mom for that.

My brother played football for the first time this year and just a few games in he had a pretty bad accident. Now, he is out for the year. The doctor says that he will fully recover and he is already on the mend, but it was a shock because he is always the one who doesn't get hurt in the family. In a way it made me feel a bit closer to him, because now he knows some of what I have gone through and while I wish he didn't have to know I think it has brought us closer together.

I got married! My family of origin is very happy as they respect my husband and know that he is the right match for me. I believe this union has brought us all closer. I'm content, more content than I've ver been, knowing that this was such a beautiful decision. My parents are very proud and feel that they can "die in peace" now without worrying about me! :)

Same answer as Q1 - leaving my wife, which was necessary, but painful.

My younger sister started high school at Debakey, which focuses on health and medicine. This is the start of having the entire family working in medicine. I'm going off to college next year to major in biology, my older sister is in her 2nd year of med school, both my parents work at a cancer hospital, and now my younger sister is going to a health professional school. This makes me wonder if my future kids will follow the same path.

My family's biggest milestone this year was my trips to therapy with my dad and, preceding that, the stresses and issues that led us there after my parents' divorce. Although it didn't change anything, it was the hardest thing I've ever done and I feel proud of myself that I gave it a shot.

my biological dad got married. to made me realize that i cant git rid of her., and i need to start trying to be happy there.

Our daughter got married. I view her as more independent from our family.

My brother got engaged and I'm so happy to see him in a loving relationship. While there are challenges with every couple, I hope that he will only continue to grow in his relationship. It also reminds me how lucky I am to have my husband.

I began my 7th year working at my present job, which is the longest I have ever stayed in one position in the almost 30 years I've been in this profession. This is a milestone, because it means I have settled in to one place and will probably not move until retirement. It has created a sense of comfort and belonging that I have not known before. It also means that I will be separated from my family for a long time.

We had several milestones over the past three years...getting married, losing my grandfather, losing my aunt...we had decided to get together and vacation as a family. Unfortunately Hurricane Irene decided to vacation in the same place, so I guess our milestone was that we were denied the opportunity to be together. As we are a fractious family I have been wondering if this wasn't for the best. Who knows what kind of arguments could have exploded while we were all in such close quarters like that without a major event like a wedding or funeral to temper our tempers?

Already mentioned for day1 - had a third daughter. Affected me by further reducing my sleep and effective functioning, but renewing and expanding my love and apprecitaion of my wife and children.

I became an adult this year, culminating with me moving away to go to university. I wish I hadn't cut them out as much, especially my brother.

My uncle Brian died this year. He was the older brother of my father. My father died of cancer when he was 56 and I was 26- over 20 years ago. My father and I were very much alike and I miss the relationship we could have had. We loved my uncle very much- he was witty, charming, sophisticated, salty and very irresponsible in terms of his own care. My mother and brother were not willing to care for him in the end which disappointed me deeply. I couldn't understand how they could turn their backs to the situation. The experience made me stronger, more capable and also gave me a deeper understanding of the limitations we can carry. I did my best to be his advocate , caretaker and to be there with him even though he was on the other side of the country. I did it for my father as much as for my uncle and myself. I can rest knowing I was present during a difficult time.

Getting over the loss of Daddy, continued into this year. Affected me mainly through my mother, who still finds it very difficult to cope. Affected me, in that I have an opportunity to support her, but is not always easy living t home alone with her. Cannot replace my father. On another level, I became more religious, and all outsiders would ascribe this to my father's loss, but I think the causality is more complex, though it certainly was an element. It was an element in that I want to keep the yiddishkeit, but cannot do it the way my father did (having grown up in Belgium, working mainly with non-jews), and that I feel more confident exploring my identity free of constraints of what outsiders think, because you have seen death in the face, you do not fear things any more (or as much).

I honestly can't think of anything that's a milestone for anyone else but me. Rather un-milestoney year. A lot of shit has happened, but not in the milestone category.

I fought a lot with my parents this year and it actually resulted in us strengthening our relationships. I'm really thankful that it happened because I'm now tremendously close with my parents, but it's also making me miss them lot in college.

My stepbrother got engaged and I have become very close to his fiance...

my sister's bat mitzvah- everyone was just SO happy and it made me feel greatttt(: i loved it. everything was perfect and my parents looked like they were in love again.

My brother decided to stop going to school. We're not sure if he's going to go back, or if he will ever get his degree and if he will indeed go to culinary school. For now, he's still living in Milwaukee and trying to make that work. I hope that whatever he's struggling with to find himself in a positive way works in his favor and that if he reaches out to me, I can be there for him. Also, my dad came back to Philadelphia to visit after leaving in 2007. He came for my surgery, stayed in my and Matt's house and it was amazing. I hope that getting over that hump of coming to visit, he will come back more frequently. I loved having him here.

This year we have our first baby. It was also the first grandchild for but my parents and my wife's parents. She was born very premature and dealing with the implications and possibilities and the reality of the early days of unknown outcome were tough. Travelling to the hospital every day for three months also took a toll of our lives. But now that she's home and, so far, doing well, life is good but extrememly different. There's always someone to look after and someone who can fall asleep on you at any time. I can look at her for hours without getting bored. And even when she spits up all over me, I can't to anything but forgive her and love her. It's different being that responsible for someone, but I love it.

No major milestones this year. Just regular marks along the journey of life.

My brother and sister-law are pregnant and will be having a baby in less than 2 months. This has been incredibly exciting for our family. She will be the first grandchild, and my first niece. I am very happy for my brother and his wife and I cannot wait to spoil her!

Grey turned 8, and Maggie May turned 1. I have thoroughly enjoyed the past year as I have been able to spend so much time with my children. I am so grateful. I hope to always be near them. Love is the answer

My family learned my grandfather, on my mother's side, has been suffering severe mental issues, such as forgetting important information and falling, causing himself injury. He has been a heavy drinker for most of his life and we fear it may be getting to him finally. Although he wasn't exactly a great parent to my mother, it is still rather distressing to learn that one's father is in sucha deplorable situation.

My husband retired for the second time, but more permanently than his first retirement. He continued to work after the first; this time he is working, but much less. I am so very happy for him! He is the light of my and my son's lives. He brings energy, enthusiasm and joy into most everything he does and into our lives. He is physically active as a master swimmer; he is tri-lingual and studying French for a trip to Normandy next summer; there is not a task that he cannot get done efficiently ~ he is my hero! The only downside is the lack of financial clout ~ we cannot afford to take as many financial risks. However, we are more fortunate than most and we have a wonderful life with the resources we have.

Finally moving house after 2 and half years of living in a real cramped apartment where we kept postponing moving due to the place being in the proximity of the children's school.

This year, by brother graduated college and moved on to the next stage of life by getting a job. From how fast time went by to the adjustments that he has made, this milestones leaves me in a state of fascination. Though I miss him because we see each other less often, I'm really excited for how he'll evolve in the coming months, as well as how our relationship will change as we have new things to talk about in new places, such as Dallas, TX, where he now lives.

My Aunt Paz died of Cancer. She meant a lot to my entire family, she was always so joyful, so encouraging, so full of love towards everyone and anyone. Her loss was a big thing, but it brought us closer together, just as she used to do when she was with us. I know she is in a better place, finally resting, I just hope someday I can be half as good person as she has been.

No milestones. My mother hates me and wishes I were dead. She's going to get her wish.

We all got together this year for my cousin's wedding. At the party I saw my grandma, who I hadn't seen for a year, and approached her to give her a kiss but she blanked me and walked straight past me. Normally these things don't affect me, and I didn't think about it until later that evening, when everything came to a head in my mind. I don't understand love that well. I don't love easily. For years I had no idea whether I loved my sisters or not. And I suddenly realised that I had no connection with my grandmother at all, nothing at all, which was shocking and painful. It was really a cathartic moment and a lot of tears were shed that night. One month later I haven't gone back on my feelings - unusual, as I am normally very quick to forgive. I just cannot get past the fact that I have no feelings for here and don't really care about her at all. It is almost as if I had been ignoring everything up till the last straw, when everything came out all at once.

My brother-in-law moved home. Shabbat dinners and holiday visits on that side are so irritating, because he's always trying to prove that he knows something, and to put the Chabad mindset into us. I should feel kinder -- he spent years and years away from his family, surrounded only by the comforts and welcoming arms of Chabad. But it is so irritating for him to proclaim and pretend that he is teaching us something. Meanwhile I have an advanced degree in Midrash and scriptural interpretation, and I have spent my whole life in the synagogue. But I'm a woman (read: girl) and have no business interrupting, contributing, or summarizing.

My brother went to college. He had been my best friend for my entire life, whenever I had anything on my mind or just needed to sit with someone and listen to music, he was always there. It's been a hard adjustment to living without him, but I've slowly come to accept it.

My mom celebrated her 60th birthday in style, thanks to my dad planning a wonderful surprise party for her, including singing to her one of their wedding songs. The reason why this is so meaningful, is that my parent's marriage hasn't always been so joyful. I remember having to hear a lot of closed-door fights growing up, and later in college, found out my father had an affair. But my parents were able to work past it, and now are happier than ever. I'm proud of them for working through their problems, and is something I will strive for when I get married.

Our daughter experienced her first loss of a loved one--our family's Golden Retriever. It's made both me and my partner more cognizant of our own attitudes toward life and loss.

Planning our wedding has wreaked havoc on my family. Hopefully the tides will Change.

My great grandmother turned 100 over the summer. This went from the usual family reunion to finding out that there's a whole OTHER side of the family that my grandmother didn't even know existed.

I found out I'm becoming a dad. I keep daydreaming about future moments where I am showing my child the world or making my child laugh through telling stupid dad jokes. But most of all I daydream about hearing them say I love you daddy.

The house being stopped really affected everyone. I chose to isolate myself as I didn't know how else to react. The isolation made me less understanding and more judgemental. I didn't connect and I didn't support. This caused great guilt and also the isolation hurt. When I connected again, there was a lot of latent pain and anger, and like a kid, I chose to blame others rather than myself. I should probably grow the f*** up.

There are been no major milestones in our family. One day is pretty much the same as the next.

Learning to set boundaries and interacting with eachother in the here and now and not from unhealed scars in the past has made a world of difference. We are now interacting on an equals basis and that made it pleasant to interact rather than a chore to be tolerated.

My grandfather had a mild seizure while driving at the beginning of the year. He's fine, but it made me realize how dear life is and how quickly everything can turn upside-down. Thank God, I've never really had to deal with the loss of a loved one, but that was about the closest I've come.

My family is trying to come to terms with the abuse that happened in our midst and heal the pain in our ancestral lineage. It scares me and unearths my hopelessness but ultimately gives me a sense of possibility and connection. we have worked hard as a family this year.

The birth of Diego. It affected all of us, my dad, my mum, my brother. My son smiles and everybody smiles with him. He's a blessing and I'm incredibly grateful. However, it was not easy at the beginning, I was a little girl for my dad and He couldn't believe I was pregnant. But Diego was born, and came to fix our worlds.

My aunt passed away. Although she was elderly and in ill health, it was still very sad to attend her memorial service.

We bought our first house! We were so excited how all things seemed to be going our way! It was so nice to be able to buy it all by ourselves. And only the 2nd owners in 50 years! It is a house that felt loved when we saw it empty and now exudes love through every brick!

My younger brother got his MA, and my younger sister got her BA. I think that made me feel less "ahead."

I am leaving my house to live in Europe. In a good sense, Im looking forward to my independence and experiences that will lead me to be a better and more mature being.

I think that the biggest milestone was knowing and learning that I didn't have to take of my parents yet. Oh, life would be so much harder if I had to take care of them now.

Both my mother and i are doing well one year behind us both having major health challenges last year. i've noticed the changes in both of us that we have had to embrace on an individual basis and how no matter what...we continue to breathe and move on.

My mother in law is slipping away at an ever increasing pace. Irenen is making poor choices in so many areas that I cannot go there. I do not want to see her, smell her, hear her, talk to her. Irene is hurting lots of people. John's denial of the true seriousness of this situation is not helping. I dred her visit in Feb

I realized how I am such a parent to mum my ins was directly influenced by this and I am in such conflict about it

My family didn't have a major milestone this year. But I suppose I could call it a "major milestone" that I found out in May that I have HepatitisC. Apparently I've had it since 1968 when I lived in the Haight-Ashbury---when everyone had Hep---& it was diagnosed as "nonA/nonB", since they didn't know about C back then. I've been pretty much on hold since the diagnosis, waiting to get into studies for the new treatment protocols in October. I didn't know if I'd be too sick from the treatment to be able to do much for 6 months, but now I've found out that this new treatment doesn't have the adverse side effects that Interferon did. I'm looking forward to getting on with the treatment, & being able to go forward with my life.

Well, If we are talking about my (nontraditional) family, I would count my daughter learning to ride her bike as a major milestone. I had bought her a bike a size too big (at the time, several sizes too big) for her a couple of years ago and the last 2 summers it has sat in my parents garage. After a tense moment outside where I accidentally let slip to the other children she was playing with that she had training wheels on her bike back home and hadn't even tried the one in the garage. The amazement of the other kids finally pushed her to get the bike, brave the fear and within minutes, she was riding all over. I am so proud of her.

A major milestone, again, would be my grandparents death. This has affected so much of our lives, even today and it happened months ago. it affect my dad mostly out of all of us because e has to take care to who gets what. But emotionally, its amazing we are all one piece after this event. It has effected my home life for so long, but now its sort a usual thing (although that sounds sorta bad..) We just sort of accepted the fact and how it will affect our everyday lives.

My dad has completely turned his life around. He has lost almost 50 pounds so far, and continues to do great.

My immediate family is spread all around the world. This year I visited my much older sister and spent more time with her than I ever have before. It started off well but during the middle of the visit, everything (and I mean years of miscommunications and inaccurate assumptions) came to a head and for the first time ever we acted like sisters. We screamed, shouted, said things we didn't mean, stormed off, reunited, spoke openly and honestly and hugged it out. Although that didn't solve everything, I now know that there is a bond between us and for all our faults and history, I have an ally in my sister who will be there for me when the going gets tough.

My father and I finally both got jobs after being out of work for two years.

We have come to realize the necessity to take ownership of our financial situation. We no longer act as though some solution will present itself in the days ahead, and try to think of ways to live within our means today so that tomorrow when things improve we will be prepared and capable of not getting into trouble again. It was very difficult to admit to myself and my family that I had made some errors, but I learned that they were less upset at me than I was upset at myself for letting us get in this situation.

The family milestone is the amazing relationship I have with my daughter, the rebuilding of the relationship between me and my mother and knowing how much my Dad loves me. I know deep in my heart that I am loved. I know that my parents did the very best for me that they could and I love and understand them for that. I no longer question their feelings or their love. I am at peace and I feel loved and I feel great!

Less than a year ago (Oct 24, 2010 - today is Oct 1, 2011), Brian died. I'm sure this question was about Jan-now, but that "milestone" is really still hitting us. I don't feel it as much these days as Mom and Pop-Pop, but it really hit us hard. (I'm having a hard time writing.) We didn't expect it, of course, and in some ways it brought us closer together, but like they say on "Nine-Eleven," we will never forget and I'm forgetting more every day. I'm happy that Mom is doing this for Pop-Pop, but I feel guilty when she talks about it because I haven't been doing anything and have been just dealing with my own stuff, which is mainly my health. I thought it would affect my recovery more than it has, but like I said, I'm forgetting... Not sure how I feel right now... Just ick.

My son started walking and my stepdaughter had her first period. The first of these has meant a whole different kind of tired. The second is mostly a warning of a whole new stage to come.

We took a vacation and went away. We have done this before, but I felt like we committed to a vacation and really stepped into it. We laughed, cried, sang, danced and adored each other.

My sister announced that she's pregnant with her second child. This makes me happy for her and incredibly sad for myself, knowing that my husband and I are not able to have more children due to the chemo and radiation he's undergone in treating his Leukemia.

Dad went on a few dates, which scared me a lot but also made me realise that he deserves to be truly happy. I wonder if that's possible despite Mum being gone, he needs it.

This year, my mother turned 50. That is a major milestone because it makes me think about the future so much more. While I am sure that turning 50 has been a bigger impact on her than on me, I see what wonderful things she has done with her life, and how successful she is, and I only hope I can do as much with my life as she has by the time I turn 50.

My ex-sister-in-law died suddenly, and it has been much harder than I would have expected. She left behind three children who are coping with incredible loss, and although I have not been close to them, I find myself wanting to take care of them, and yet living far away and not being sure what to say or do to be of genuine help.

A major milestone has been allowing my 2nd grade son to walk to school. We've had our mishaps and he's done okay and not been late yet. But it has been a huge step for me to realize that he's growing up. Sometimes I'm not ready to let my baby go.

Nothing happened this year, but in 2009 my father died. I was with hom and knew he had peace of mind and heart. He was a Christain, but he was for Israel .

There were no major milestones in my immediate family, but I did propose to Elizabeth, thereby making her very large family more officially "my family." That change -- from an only child with a rather fractured and small extended family to a member of a large, tight-knit family -- is significant. I find it as exciting and happy a development as I do an intimidating one!

I don't think we've had any major milestones...

MY MOM OPENED HER BUSINESS. omg. that's so exciting. we lovelovelove the studio!! We also went to California. and that was FUCKING GREAT. We're all really happy. I also got into that big fight with my dad. Even though that was awful and sucked, I'm so much closer and happier with him now.

My sister-in-law getting leukemia... completely out of the blue. She went from completely full of energy to down, but not out. We're hoping her bone marrow transplant is successful. One day at a time and hopefully she will be able to get out for a few hours tomorrow. Life really can change overnight.

My oldest daughter began learning to drive. This led to a serious crash. No one was hurt. Then my wife crashed. Again, no one was hurt. But we've now had our insurance hit twice with increases. I'm driving so carefully I feel like I'm constantly taking a driving test myself! And that gets tiring. I've been driving for over 20 years, gone hundreds of thousands of miles, and have had some bad habits sneak in there, so I suppose this is a good thing. Training a new, female driver is not like teaching an experienced male how to transition from car skills to truck skills. It's WAY HARDER!! For one thing, I never ever had a man cry in my truck. For another, I've never had a man push the throttle to try stop!

this year my grandpa turned 88 years old and at the time he was very ill. as a holocaust survivour and myself recently returning from march of the living i was terrified that his story wouldnt live on. he is now thankfully health and happy and i will continue to learn his story

I realized how frail both my mom and my dad are--and how much I rely on their help. I want to both help them (and *quickly* get over our issues, or learn to deal with them) (is this possible?) and figure out how to be self-sufficient. I worry I won't learn either thing in time.

New kid - overwhelmed in every regard

My brother got married at the end of last year, we were once really close but ever since he has been married, we hardly ever speak, he will come over for dinner on sundays and have dinner but then take off again like they are too good for us, which makes me mad.

There really hasn't been a major milestone in my family this past year. My Dad turns 75 next year and my youngest niece graduates from high school next year, but this year, not so much.

It has taught me how to be a mature human being capable of being real and aware and true.

My parents and I hiked the Grand Canyon, from top to bottom, then bottom to top. It was a difficult hike, but we made it together. We all encouraged each other and made it through as a family. It was an amazing bonding experience as well as an incredible hike with an unbelievable view. It was a great two days that brought me even closer, especially to my dad. I could never forget such an outrageous time.

This, thankfully, has been a quiet year. I think we really hit our "groove" this year. We vacationed together -- but stayed close to home. The kids are old enough to help around the house and garden more than ever before. There might have been drama, but I can't remember it at the moment. I feel like we hit our stride this year. This has allowed me to feel more at peace than ever before. I'm going to need it -- as it's fairly clear at this point, that the coming year won't be such smooth sailing.

Our step-daughter Charlotte moved in with us -- this has affected my life for the better in every possible way. If there was wound left in me from being childless, it is now utterly healed. Charlotte, too, is thriving and becoming her own person, and she is healed. Chuck, my husband, redeems at least in part the time missed with her, and he is healed. Praise Ha Shem!

My nan going into the nursing home. It was a huge blow for the family. Just a huge adjustment for everyone involved. Such an independent person, who at 94 had to give that independence up. Despite the difficulty, I think it made our whole family stronger as a result.

I learned how to communicate more effectively with my family of origin - without anger present. This felt empowering, and it made me feel more in control of myself. I felt I gain real respect from my mother. I am still working on my sister. My father is another. I need to stop being scared and intimidated by him.

I started working finally with my dad. I have gained so much more respect, admiration, and understanding of him not that I see how he works. We have gotten a million times closer, closer than we'd ever been, and spending more time together than we ever had. The business is actually very exciting, especially with the combination of paper and real estate.

My mum got engaged, soon after my Uncle, her brother, died. Although she and her fiance argue quite a lot, I've never seen her so happy, even my nanny said the same. I'm so pleased she could find happiness after such a difficult month or so with her brother.

Retirement--It made me reflect on how I want to spend my time. What is meaningful to me? What contribution can I make to my community? What friends do I want to spend more time with? There is no excuse of "not enough time," so who do I want to be now that I've "grown up"?

My grandma's sister was diagnosed Alzeimers 3 years ago but just last year she moved in to live with my mom's. it's not an easy task cause my mom has to be there for her 24 hours a day.. my mom never came to visit me, and my friends moms they all do come for them, I suppose I feel kind of lonely.

The arrival of grandchild # 5 . This child yet again reorders the relationship between my daughter and I. This is her first child and makes a special perspective to seeing my "baby" having her own baby. Another step in watching her grow.

By committing to spend one week each month with my 96 YO old mother, I have truly been able to love her unconditionally for the first time in her life, and she me. She was difficult when in her so-called right mind; anxious, tense, brooding over the imagined slights of the past and problems of the future. But her altered brain has released past and future and now she swims in the timeless stream of the present. And, other than moments when she is tired or in physical pain, the moment is pure love. The gratitude and appreciation she now feels, now just for me but for for her life, life itself, her caregiver, her cat, a good meal, a dish of Ben & Jerry;s coffee heath bar crunch, a sunflower brought from my garden, anything, almost, is joyful and remarkable. While it is true that spending 1/4 time away from my business & partner is a major disruption in tyhe present, the rewards are so vast, and have made a lifelong shift for me, and, I think, her. That this could be resolved --- that we both lived long enough to do so --- fills me with wonder.

somehow every year, everyone seems to get a little older. thank god there have been no major deaths in my family. my grandmother got sick this year. i can see my parents getting older. the weirdest thing was missing the last bnei mitzvah in the family because i was in israel. it was certainly sad to be away. and yet a sign of the fact that i am starting my own life and have to make sacrifices.

Spending more time at home, keeping in touch with my sister and spending time with my partner has helped realign my priorities.

All of us going on holiday to croatia last august. It was interesting having the intensity of it all. The dynamics within the big group of us. It was fun. But difficult at the same time.

This has been a scary year for my family: my mother had a breast cancer scare, and my sister's pregnancy began with a complication. Thankfully, all of them are okay, but I've never been so frightened. I try remind myself of how lucky we are every day.

Amber and Stuart both moved out finally and it's affected all of us differently, but I'm glad they have both gone - it means more space for my stuff :P

We've been able to get through another year of living from paycheck to paycheck, and not declaring bankruptcy. We have been struggling financially for over 2 years, and we no longer use credit. I've had to let go of my ideas about what it means to be "poor" and been able to let go of the meaning I attached to a credit score. We are working towards paying off all of our debt, and I will NEVER be in debt again. I think this experience will help my kids not make the same mistakes we made.

My grandma asked me to make the honey cakes. At 86, I suppose it's about time, but it represented a scary sign of old-age in the wonderful, strong matriach of our family. As it happened, she did make one just in case I got it wrong (which I kind of did... it sunk... but tasted fine!), but next year I suppose it really will be my responsibility. Also, my brother got married. She's an unbelievably lovely woman, and they are so happy together. She's not Jewish, so my parents are a bit miffed, but they're truly in love and she's the most amazing person we could possibly hope to welcome in to our family, so I don't think we can really complain.

I have a fortunate situation in that I live in a house that my father bought. It was an agreement that I pay for a share of the house and that one day I may buy it from him. Unfortunately his business has taken a downturn in the past 2 years and he is putting my home up for sale. I am completely grateful for my living situation and I also understand the reasons he came to this decision. However I am enraged by how he is handling the sale of the house and what it means to me. How he's handling this seams so flippant and it is poisoning my feelings towards him and I've noticed I'm having a hard time looking him in the eye as I feel anger boiling up just under the surface. I know deep down that he wants what's best for me and he doesn't like doing this, but he doesn't show it and that's where my issues lie.

My ex moving in with his boyfriend gave me an opportunity to see my ego in action. More fear uncovered and replaced with love, I hope we shall see...

We have had a few. We got pregnant for the first, second, third, and now fourth times. The first three losses were more difficult than I will ever be able to put into words. I have a new understanding of the pain, grief, and guilt that comes with miscarriage. And I also have hope that this pregnancy will be the one that will be carried to term and we will have a baby at the end of it to hold in our arms and not just in our hearts.

Two cousins have had babies and another was recently engaged. Being so far away during all this has just confirmed for me how important family really is and how much I miss everybody. I never want to live this far away from them again.

My niece had a family Thanksgiving dinner in her new home. Even though most of the attendees were people I hadn't met before, I felt like part of a family for the first time in years.

I experienced how important my family my children and my grandchildren are to me. I want to find more ways to be with them and get to know them on a daily basis. I also recognized how I resist connecting with my son's in laws and with my ex. I did not bargain for such close contact with. Living on different coasts, when there are events, we have too much family. I have found ways to limit the contacts.

We went on a great vacation with our kids and their partners, for the first time everyone was adult and had their best friend with them. What a great time to be the elders so proud of our clan, great kids and their partners are great too. It was a new phase that I am going to enjoy a lot, Gd willing we will all be healthy and able to have more times like this.

A family member chose to make a sudden life change that shook me up a lot more than I anticipated. It ultimately was a good change and I'm glad to see where it's taken them. It's certainly influenced the way I look at individual members of my family and understand more who they are as people. So, I guess ultimately that's affected my understanding of my family as I relate to them and as I understand them to be.

The only milestone I can think of relates to everyone beginning to finally move on with their lives. I got hired as an ATC, Bubba began the Seminary and became a youth minister at a local church, and dad's going to retire about a week after I get to ZME. Other than being transplanted 800 miles away for a while, the only real effect I've noticed is that I see my family very little. :)

I can't say we've had any real major milestones this past year. I have spent less time with them than before due to my schedule and various other things, but no major events, deaths or otherwise, except my aunt's house flooding in early Sept, but that's hardly a milestone. My brother moved out west, again. We miss him at all the family stuff we'd do when he was nearby.

Hunter was born this year. New life. Green leaves off what appeared to be a "dead branch." Kelly's first child will be born next year, so there's a passing of the torch from one generation to the next. We've needed to rethink where we're doing our vacations, and I did much less yoga on vacation than usual (as Julie was out of the yoga picture).

This year was the first time in 14 years that our family has been without our loyal companion Flash. He died a year ago.His death made me realize that I like dogs and animals in general more than people.I miss his attention and love.So does everyone else.I can tell that the rest of my family feels the emptiness in the house as well.I want another dog but, I'm not ready for the commitment.I'm selfish but, not quite that much.

I have become a lot closer with my Mom and Dad this year. We have gone through a rough time with my sister and we seemed to bond more over that. They make me feel better when she acts up

Anne's brother Henry died. His death made me realize how little we understood of his life, how ill he had been and that what we took to be manipulation and deceit was the illness taking over his life. It make me more compassionate, and made me realize that there's so little one can do when dealing with someone who's reality is so different from your own. And it made me grateful for my own mental stability.

Alicia was married and it bought the family together for a day to reconnect with each other. It made me very happy and I enjoyed many opportunities for laughter and bonding.

I have no family, no intimate relationship, but my dog makes me smile and laugh every day, and I am praying for the right person to enter my life as I become all the qualities that I am looking for in another.

The family home of myself and siblings, and my parents (for 45 years) was sold and ripped down. Mostly a reminder of the fact that change happens!

Husband's job crisis and "winning" because another company saw the value of having my husband come on board.

My dog, Chance has been getting older and older really fast and was diagnosed with diabetes and needs incline every morning and night. Whenever he gets worse and we (my family and I) think something may happen,but out of no-where he gets better. This affected me because I love him soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much, and I just can't imagine him not being here. When my brother 1st got him I was in 6th grade and now i'm in 11th (and I don't care who thinks this is weird), but I would sit down, and sometimes I still do, and pet him and tell him everything that happened either that day or that week. He always knows that was going on in my life. And I really do think he understands at least some of it.

My dad turned 94 and my mom will be 91. I live across country from them,so I am not as in touch with their daily activities as I could have been had I lived closer. My sister sees them more often and although she supports my dad in his driving (which he still does) and my mom in her health issues, I have different viewpoints than she does. This continues to affect our relationship and I wonder what will happen when they die. I am going to Florida for T'giving and will see her then.

I moved out again, but this time around my mother is treating it more like an adult move out. She is learning to invite me to thing s and not just assuming I will be around. We've all moved out and my parents are actually empty nesting and it's weird that we've only moved out now, but I think we're learning to be a family of grown ups. It's exciting.I think it's changing my relationship with my parents and my siblings. I'm appreciating with them.all my parents have done and how to communicate as an adult with them. It's also changed how my brothers see me and in turn how I am with them.were maturing as a family.

My mom's cousin got married and is now pregnant. Also, my Grandma is selling her house and coming to live closer to us in Maryland. It made me realize that people are getting older and may not be in our lives pretty soon... but at the same time, lives are continuing and growing.

This year was the one year anniversary that I was re-connected with my biological mother. I'm still working on not hating her and trying to gain a little bit of respect for the woman. Come back to me in another year and I'll let you know how I've done...

My brother visited Cuba on the 50th anniversary of mom and tia's refugee rescue flight. No one in my family had been back since they immigrated. Looking at his pictures, hearing stories about the places, and thinking about what they went through to escape communism is incredible. It makes me wonder how I would handle that situation and where I would be if they hadn't done that. I am fully aware of how lucky I am to have the life I do.

This year we lost Matt's mom to breast cancer. I also lost Lester. We also lost a baby to miscarriage. I can't pick one, but these triple losses have left me heartbroken. I have trouble having sympathy for those who complain about work or school. I think I have more sympathy for others experiencing deep loss though. We won't "get over" these loses. We'll keep moving, but they will always be with us. I think of Lester and Janet daily and every time I see a woman with a full belly I remember that I was once pregnant and hope that someday I'll have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

My older daughter started preschool, and I became a full-time mom. This is a huge shift for our family, as I had been the primary breadwinner (and was not winning nearly enough bread). The great thing about this is that I can spend most of my time with my daughters and not feel guilty about the work that's not getting done; there's no alternative. But as my mom points out, I still have to keep plugging away, both for my own sake and for the extra income, which we still need. So while I enjoy my new role, and try to get up to speed so that I have the right things in the diaper bag and don't run the kids ragged, I have to also become more efficient with the work-time that I do have.

This past year my grandfather went into the hospital for the second time in 6 years. I don't want to get into the details of what led to him being in the Hospital but I will say this...... I feel like I last sense of my youth and I was thrown face first into the cold reality of life. There was a point in my life where I was so depressed that I didn't feel like living anymore. My family was falling apart and I was tired of living in a struggle which I felt I would never overcome. It took quite awhile for me to get past my sadness and stand up again. When I was in my darkest hour, the only thing that kept me going was a belief that I had: Struggle - Gods way of showing you he loves you. Today I look back at it all and realize that there was a purpose to my struggle. I feel sometimes like I'm ahead of my peers. It's not because I think I'm better, it's because I see life from a different aspect than most people. Through it all, I'm happy where I'm going and I'm even more grateful to have such great people riding with me through the journey of life! :)

My father being sick and me being away was a real test. Instead of running back home i held firm and he made a full recovery without my support.

My stepfather and my brother's partner both overcame severe OCD and depression. They both reached the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Knowing what they have come through has given me strength... and it has also lifted a huge weight from the shoulders of my family. We all feel lighter :)

There was no major milestone, but I'm a lot closer with my parents, my mom in particular, and actually feel I can talk to them about some things. We're pretty open now.

October 30th, Grandma Carol died. I was a the Jon Stewart/ Stephen Colbert Rally when my dad told me over the phone. I could barely hear. I was sad, but not devastated. We'd been expecting it for a while. He told me to have a good time-- that's what she would have wanted. I knew that wasn't true. She'd have wanted me to drop everything and come down to Pasadena. That was the Grandma Carol I knew, but I think I knew a different Carol than he did. My dad was sad, we've been dealing with the aftermath of going through all of her possessions. It's been a big job for him and Emily. I can't imagine how many things we'll have to go through for him and my mom. Chas v' shalom. My dad also had brain surgery. The Jewish community really pulled through for my family, both at school but mostly at home. Bringing food and comfort to my mom and sister, as well as my dad. That is the purpose of religion.

My family grew significantly when I got married. My husband and I already had good relationships with our respective future in-laws, but our two families hadn't interacted much. At the wedding, everybody got along splendidly, and there was next to no drama! After our honeymoon, we spent Memorial Day weekend with both of our immediate families at beautiful, remote spot in Canada. The logistics of it all came together beautifully and we ate lots of fish, drank lots of wine, and enjoyed one another's company with the nuances of throwing a wedding behind us. I look forward to the next time we all gather again. I only wish my mom was still alive to experience all of this with me. Weddings are all about family, and her absence did not go unnoticed. But, seeing everybody so full of life and celebration, I know she couldn't have dreamed for anything better! Neither could I.

My younger brother turned 21 and to celebrate, my brother, sister, mum, dad, my wife and i all went to Australia for a holiday. We had an amazing time, with loads of laughs and good memories. It reminded me how much doing things with people and making memories, builds relationship. I want to continue to do things and make memories with those close to me.

Kate is in Grade 10 and Laura in Grade 7 -- big milestones for them and certainly a reinforcement for me that they will be leaving home all too soon. It's good, and a little sad, at the same time.

We actually became a family. This has made me realize the value in a family, which I didn't truly understand until this past year.

Nothing really comes to mind, except for maybe the car accident that my sister in law got into. I am so grateful that she is physically okay, but I was scared for her, and wished I could do more to support her, but she’s pretty strong, so I don’t really know how. – I also was deeply affected by the loss of one of my parent’s family friends, Andy. He has young children, he was brilliant, and vibrant, and I saw him on Pesach. When my parents told me that he passed, I was filled with sadness. I know I can’t live in fear of lifecycle events, and of what could happen, but I hope my parents know how much they mean to me and how grateful I am for what they have taught me. I just hope they know that I have so much more to learn.

My dad got a job after being unemployed for almost three years, my sister graduated from college and my mother's store celebrated its tenth anniversary this fall. These are obviously all huge milestones but I think that the biggest milestone is that we have gotten through some tough times and made it out the other side, completely intact. This is what I am most proud of. The four of us are all extremely happy and content and frankly life is good. These milestones have eased up life a bit and they have allowed for less overall stress but mostly that have made me grateful for all that I have and for my family.

I graduated high school. Robert graduated high school. I started college. Justin started grad school. All of us siblings began new parts of our life, everything is exciting and scary at the same time. It has all been a positive experience so far and I hope it remains that way.

I am now the oldest unmarried grandchild. I'm very happy for my cousin.

I think I've come to realize that as an adult I have a lot more responsibility within my family. I feel like it is my responsibility to take care of everybody, and I feel I have to make sure everyone is happy - specifically my mom. I realize I don't live in the perfect little world I once thought I did. I do think my brother and I have become a lot closer these past few years and we look at each other as peers rather than the "older sister" and "little brother." I love that he's my friend now, and I can call him up and just to talk to him about anything.

My grandma's alzheimer's became apparent, and it's been hard on all of us, especially my mom. I think I'd kind of been in denial about her mental deficits, but learning to accept them has been a challenge.

My sister got engaged just a couple of weeks ago. She told me via text message. I can't tell right now if all of the rotten feelings I have about it are jealousy or still fall out from hearing in such a casual, off-hand manner. I tried to tell her how much it hurt my feelings to hear it that way, and got a load of resentment back from her. It seemed easier to just pretend it didn't matter that much that she hadn't felt the need to call me and tell me personally. It's hard to be excited about it now, even though I love her and I love the guy she's marrying. My little brother is also talking about proposing, and I'm going to be the maiden aunt all alone with my cats and my parents, and that thought depresses the fuck out of me.

My sister started College at the University of London this year. Moving halfway around the world from both my parents (who live in India) and I (on the East Coast) is going to be a really dramatic experience for all of us.

In April my 31 year old sister and her two year old daughter moved in with my parents and I. This was obviously a huge adjustment for many reasons, including the fact that we had to adjust to having a two year old in the house and because my sister had to adjust to living with parents again. In addition, my house is not very big so space was a big issue. Although this was very difficult, it was awesome having my sister and my niece in the house and it brought a special connection among everyone.

My mom's one year of sobriety. It shows me how far my mom and I have come. Sure, we still fight and sure, I may never show it but somewhere deep down inside, I'm proud and happy.

My eldest daughter graduated from college. She was the same age that I was when I became a mother only she had infinitely more opportunites. It made me feel very proud of her, and of myself for having helped her reach this milestone.

Milestones? Let's see... Here's one that is fairly lengthy. My wife and I, having graduated from college in the past five years, and being in our mid-twenties, had been feeling the pinch of credit card balances and minimum payments for some time. We finally decided to take control of our fiscal situation and took out a loan to consolidate our debt and it has made our lives so much more relaxed. We don't have to worry about mounting interest rates or late payments. We should be completely out of credit card debt by the end of next year! We will hopefully be debt-free by the end of 2012 with the exception of our mortgage.

My brother started dating the woman he is now engaged to. It made me think that there is hope for our family after the death of my younger brother and that there is hope for people even after divorce and being single long-term. I wish him every happiness because he deserves it.

I shacked up with my second partner. He challenges me constantly to be a better person. He is like a little tan Oprah that way. And often times I am difficult because I feel inadequate, but I think in time we will just help one another grow as people.

Both my family's patriarch and I changed religions. His conversion brought the family into religious unity. Mine made me feel complete but distanced me from my family.

Major milestones would I guess be my nieces and nephews making strides into adulthood, two nephews got married, two nieces graduated, and also my parents moved out to the country. It's affected me in that I realize how jaded I am, but also how great my family is, they are flawed as all families are, but I love them and how they all pitch in to help whatever the cause.

My sister gave birth to her 5th child - a boy - and I was right there with her in the room as she gave birth to him. It was one of the most amazing and special things I could have witnessed and shared with her. My father-in-law passed away. Although tragic, since he was fairly young, it has taught me the true meaning of what a marriage should be, and it showed me how strong my marriage is. I was completely there for my husband and his family and still am and it never once feels like a chore. I am so grateful to have them in my life. I got pregnant. I was never the type to say that by a certain age I had to have a baby, but now that I'm pregnant I can't imagine anything else. Knowing that there is something inside of me that I am completely responsible for has made me totally re-examine and change the way I think about my body towards a more positive light.

The birth of a grandchild. It has made me appreciate more fully the joy my grandmother takes in me (and all her grandchildren), the joy my parents take in my niece. It has also helped me reframe my relationship with my son and daughter-in-law.

My dad being diagnosed with a severe brain tumor. It showed exactly how each member of my family reacts to trauma. Also shows how many people 1 person/family can touch as there were so many people who were effected by the news and so many people who cared!

My auntie has lung cancer...I guess it's made me reflect on what I can do to live a more fulfilling life. I also changed jobs and started a new one..Twice...the key here is that life is short and gets shorter the older you get so enjoy it because it doesn't last forever.

Our daughter is spending the semester in Vienna, studying music. I thought I would miss her terribly since I wouldn't be able to visit like we do here, going to her college to see her and listen to her concerts. But we have been skyping so much that we are actually talking more than we do when she's at home! I feel very connected with her and I'm very proud of the way she's handling things on her own. We are going to visit her in Vienna next month.

A major milestone was our trip to Europe. It was a big. In many ways. A big long trip. Big experiences. Most great, some not so great. Meeting friends, family... Seeing great art, architecture, shows, sacred places. Good food. A massive experience with quite profound effects. On many levels.

My son graduated from college and now has his first job. I am trying to let go financially so that I can have more money for myself and so that he can learn to be a responsible adult.

My partner moved in with my daughter and I. This is the first time, since she was born, that we have added someone to our family. I am so thankful to have Michael in our lives, but this change has not been easy. I am learning how much sharing and compromise a relationship takes,and how many my my own attachments I need to release to make this work.

My brother started his first year of college this year. He is at the Colorado School of Mines, which is a very good school. My mom has been very emotional. He and I were never close, and I really don't feel like it's taken much of a toll on me.

Our family keeps rolling along. We continue to be faced with challenges that seem out of proportion with those faced by our peers. But we persevere. Adjusting to change as it comes has become our mantra. I am reminded of my favorite quotes by WInston Churchill- when you are going through hell....keep going.....

My mom was diagnosed with cancer, upending the typical relationships with all hold and our expectations for the future. But at the same time, it's amazing how nothing has changed -- I still love and hate her in the same ways, and now that she's done with treatment for the time being, I almost forget that it's happened and that's why I've moved back to where I'm from. I think it really remains to be seen how this will affect me, in the long term.

My mom got remarried. I wasn't AS miserable as when he first moved in, but it was still not a pleasant experience. The initial move in had completely cut off all communication between the two of us. I think that the marriage had a similar effect, but not as horrific. Luckily, about half way through the year, I think she realized that I was leaving for college soon and she tried reconnecting before she would only see me every 3 months. I miss what I used to have with her. I hope she's happier now.

divorce. it affected me in ten million ways. i am stronger, calmer, and me. i learned a lot about myself and how i got into the marriage i left. i learned about how motherhood changed me. and how much i want to have another child, if the opportunity presents itself.

A wonderful thing that my family and I experienced this past year maybe when my father becomes more patient than he was before. It is a huge change, at least for me, because his every actions & decisions has a huge impact on me & my sisters. We (my sisters and I) often argued with him, because at first we thought he is too perfectionist and selfish. Nowadays I realize that as a man he just want to make sure that everything is under control: his households is fulfilled financially and domestically, his children is well-bred and well-educated, etc. After all we’ve been through, all I can see is that his deepest need is for everything to be managed well. So instead of arguing against his orders, I try to see the underlying message of his words and then respond to it accordingly in a way I think more effective than disobey him.

My brother got out of jail for a DUI, and put into a hospital an then into a halfway house, because he is an alcoholic. I watched him struggle, tried to help him, and struggled myself with not knowing how to handle his problems. I worried about him constantly, and continue to do so, though I know that there is no one who can pull him out of the hole he has been in but himself. I was very disappointed when my sister said that he had relapsed and she kicked him out of her home a few months ago. I really wish my brother did not have this addiction, and I also wish that he chose to deal with it proactively rather than pretending like he doesn't have a problem and refusing to go to A.A. meetings. It has affected me a great deal, because I have felt very lost as to how to help him, knowing that there is really nothing I can do, but experiencing guilt at the same time, because there is nothing I can do. I have spoken to him about it, but he gets very angry and resentful if I bring it up.

We finally went on our honeymoon and it was amazing! Well worth the wait.

I thank God that this has been a year of flowering and blooming, a continuation of growth processes both physical and spiritual that were initiated in previous years. My life has been enriched and my awareness intensified. I’m as happy as I’ve ever been.

My son is applying to college! We are all working together to make sure that he gets his applications in on time. I am pleased that I am letting him go and fulfill himself, even though I will be terribly sad to say goodbye to him next fall.

We moved to NYC! So excited! It's been a total culture change but it's been an adventure.

We got a roommate for a couple of months. It made me realize I can have someone else in my space and be okay with it. I always thought I was too private of a person to do it. We may get another one!

There haven't exactly been any huge milestones. I was the first in my family to attend university, and that's basically it.

My youngest sister moved out of the house. My parents are finally free! Now all they do is work. It feels like we are all on the same page now - fending for ourselves in the world. I am so excited to all be together, we have finally all grown up.

When my family found out I was converting to judaism, and their support made me realize how great they are.

My mom separated from my dad. It was a cause of relief since it's something I've always wanted my mom to do. She feels better about herself now.

I turned 40 - I was not happy about it. I have always not cared about my age or what others thought of me or anything so seemingly trivial as those. But for some reason, I was so unhappy with my life at the time I turned 40, it really hit me hard. I felt like I'd hit "midlife" and have not accomplished any personal goals I thought I would have by this time. I became despondent and started to really shirk my responsibilities whenever possibilities, just feeling sorry for myself. Seven months later, I have joined a gym and developed a nutrition plan, organized my work schedule, and have begun shedding unnecessary things in my life. I vow to do something I am extremely proud of before I am 41. I don't know what it will be, but I'll make something happen.

My father had a hip replacement surgery and complications developed. He had to have two revisions. It makes me worry for his health and happiness. I don't fear the possibility of him dying or anyone else for that matter, (myself included), I just don't want him to suffer. I don't want my mother to suffer being his caregiver.

I've backed off trying to change my parents. I thought I was doing it for their sake, but it was for mine. I feel freeer to deal with breaking out of my own box of limitations instead of having to feel responsible for breaking them out of theirs.

My grandpa got in a car accident this summer which was rather scary. It made me realize that life is short, and that i need to appreciate my time with him more. Sometimes we take forgranted how lucky we are to be healthy and well and when we do, we lose perpective of how fragile life is. It really opened my eyes and made me care more about living my life freely.

My dad has been diagnosed with dementia. We've seen this coming for some time, but he didn't actually get in to see a doctor until August. It's terrifying, especially since his own father died of Alzheimer's. And now he and I both see this monstrous thing coming down the road headed for us... My mother has struggled, too. It's so hard for her to see this brilliant and witty man struggle to find words. It's made me feel my age unlike anything else has so far.

The major milestone is that my grandmother passed away, it caused a lot of grief. Through this time I have seperated myself from my mom. I need to learn compassion and love, I need to learn that people are people no matter what they do to others. My Gran was a person and I never truly got to know her.

my divorce was the catalyst for a massive healing between me and my mother and for the first time i can actually ever remember it was a joy to go visit my parents and let my mother host a book event for me.

My youngest daughter went through a lot of changes and was much on my mind this past year. She's not out of the woods yet, but she's getting there!

My brother got engaged. The way in which this has affected me, is that I realise how happy this has made them both - and that I will do my best to help them with their wedding - even if this doesn't include our family as much as I feel it should, I now what it is like to feel pressure from family & friends, and I do not want them to have the upset we did with our wedding, so I will support them in all their decisions, and help try to keep everyone happy, while still helping them have THEIR day as they want it!

I'm single and nearing 45. I haven't met the right partner (yet!) so have been on the journey of IVF for the last 5 years. It's been tough in every respect - emotionally, physically, mentally and financially. After 9 attempts I was told my eggs were just too old and I needed an egg donor. My incredibly wonderful sister volunteered without hesitation. I am in awe of her generosity and her amazing attitude - she put things into another perspective for me. While everyone I've ever discussed this with takes the stance of giving someone else their child for my sister she argued she was giving a life creating cell in the same way she would give me a kidney if I needed one. She has shown me her incredible strength cloaked in a softness, love and sensitivity that is rare.

We are all realising how quickly nanna is deteriortating, which started with her fall before I went away. It has brought us all closer in a way, because I think we are all worrying about her. Even though she isnt sick or anything terrible, it is hard to watch her become slower and more fragile. I am trying to be more patient with her, and not become frustrated with her because I want to cherish every second I have with her.

I finally cut off all contact with my deadbeat father and told him I never wanted to see his pathetic face again. When he dies I probably won't even know and it's given me such a sense of freedom. It was something I'd wanted to happen for years and finally I did it and broke off from him.

I think the biggest milestone of this last year was a happy one: my stepsister got married in August! I was absolutely thrilled and flattered that she asked me to be a bridesmaid. Despite some lackadaisical organisation, the day turned out to be pretty wonderful in the end! The effect of this was just that it made me happy and grateful for the small but lovely family I have. This has been a pretty steady year for my family in general: my brother and his fiancee seem the happiest they have for a long time, my stepsister and her husband are content and doing well, my mother and stepfather are pottering along quite nicely and are reasonably healthy right now. The only other one that springs to mind is the twinge of strangeness - not regret, not guilt but still not indifference - that I had at the beginning of December. I could have been having a baby then, you know. I think this has affected me surprisingly little but it was still noted, still thought of. Right now I could have a ten month old baby. (A boy. I think it was a boy.)

I have stopped having sex with my wife because it no longer satisfies me and because I don't think that it satisfies her either. We have grown apart - she wants to hurry and get it over with quickly whereas I want to have it in a more tantric style with foreplay, massage etc... I now pay for sex and feel more satisfied in both sex and, interestingly enough, in the marriage. The marriage no longer has this unfulfilled expectation and we now argue less and get on with life better.

My vehicle died and I had to purchase a different one. This has put me back a bit in trying to get my debts cleared up and I am going to have a difficult road ahead. I know that I will make it and things will work out it is just a bit difficult and embarrassing at times.

My niece was declared clinically sterile when she was 16. When she got married, she and her husband knew all of this and had decided they would adopt as the posibilities to conceive were almost null. My niece got pregnant and inspite of 7 months in bed ... she delivered a healthy, beautiful 9 pound baby!!!

I can't think of a major milestone this past year. Living away from home is still helping me become closer to my family (paradoxically) and appreciate them more.

My Grandpa Irving died. I cann0t think of a larger milestone then that this year. In many ways, he was not the same man that I knew as a kid, and his passing was as much mercy as it was sad. If he was more aware, he wouldn't have been happy with who he had become. He came to this country at 6 years old, made himself an American Success, raised a family, had 7 grandchildren and 1 great grand child. His second great grandchild was born 3 months after his death. He wasn't a complicated man but he had hidden depths. There was no one more street smart then he was. He may have never gone past the 6th grade but he was one of the smartest men I ever met. I am glad he got to meet my son and I am sad that he won't be there to watch him grow up. I am saddest that my son won't get to meet him.

We have all survived - no major bumps in the road. We have all had the occassional up and down. Since I am not married - nor have any children and an only child, the question moves to my extended family. I thrilled that so many of my aunts and uncles are still around to share their lives with me. I feel - I hope - that this gift has and will continue to teach me to appreciate the special things we have in life and so frequently ignore.

Grandma passing away. Sad, to say the least. I pray that she will make it to heaven for I have not been making an active effort in reaching out to my family and relatives.

I paid off all my credit card debt! We read in Proverbs that "the borower is slave to the lender". It's true. I feel a greater sense of freedom not worrying about so many bills.

I moved to NY and finally saw my cousins for the first time in a few years. It makes me feel closer to my family.

My daughter got her first full time job out of college. It's been good for her and she seems to be doing a good job. She stuck up for what she needed and didn't let them bully her into just taking what they offered. Also, my son seems to have become more responsible. What a relief! I am so proud of both of my kids. They are doing interesting things and moving ahead in a good way.

We sent our daughter to sleep away camp. It was a milestone but I really wasn't worried about it. I think it showed me that I am ok with my kids growing up. My wife also quit work. At a time when people are lucky to have jobs, we walked away from the income so we could have more normal lives, not keep our kids in daycare all day, take them to more extracurricular stuff. I'm proud that I have not freaked out about it...yet.

Shira's Babi died. It has brought the family (even) a little closer together, and my relationship to her, which was rich although brief, has a real continuity through thinking of her and missing her - both for myself and for Shira and her family. Dad's PSA is up again and he needs some treatment - maybe surgery. I am almost unreactive so far - just waiting, I guess. But worried - it should've gone away.

My Uncle died of a brain tumour (the same thing killed my grandad) and I was struck by how debilitating it can feel when you're unable to change things. I was caught in a 10 hour traffic jam in the snow trying to reach my dad for what I felt was one of the few times he might need me and it was most humbling

My 2nd cousin, Lionel, got married in July. This was the first wedding of this generation and the first time in at least 7 years that the entire family was together in the same place. It was wonderful spending time with family and celebrating a Simcha, but also sad to think about how Grandma did not make it to this event. This event really marks a transition to adulthood, we've moved past Bar Mitzvahs and now have lots of weddings to look forward to.

This year was the first anniversary of my father's passing. Needless to say that it has changed the dynamics within my family. Many highs and lows when a family member is suddenly no longer here. It's like a still lake suddenly stirred by the throwing of a rock. It takes some time for it to be still again. Now I feel I am my own person. Now I see the world differently. Now I'm still learning from my father, though not in the way I thought I'd be. Now I don't have the same view of death as I did before.

Getting pregnant! It has helped our priorities come together and as helped us grow as a family even though we're only half way there. It has given me greater clarity in many ways, even though I'm sure there is a whole new world ahead.

My brothers and I have been more honest with each other than we have been in many years. This is helping me be more honest with myself about my life, my beliefs and my interpersonal relationships. If we can continue this new honesty, I believe it can change all of our lives for the better.

My Nana passed away this year. Actually, a month ago today. It was an incredibly emotional experience because we were all heartbroken that she passed away, but after an increasingly painful bout of cancer, we were relieved to know that she was in a better place without the constant pain and fear. She was one of the most amazing women I ever met - strong, brilliant, feisty, and completely in love with her family. And that's the part that makes me grateful - I was lucky to have her as my one and only Nana and I had her for an unbelievable 25 years. I miss her all the time but I keep her with me wherever I go and whatever I do.

My sister went to college and I was involved int he process. I am so very proud of her and I hope she can achieve remarkable things.

My sister got engaged. I'm not sure what to think about it because sometimes she calls me complaining and other times I see them together and I've never seen her so happy. I guess it's a relationship. And it's made me realize that I've never really been in a relationship. I'm 23-years-old and I've never been in a real relationship. I guess my time will come, but it's kind of depressing to think about.

Mama moved back to Texas, which is WONDERFUL! She loves it, I love it, and I can't wait to see her new house. I'm really, really bummed about not seeing Pike's Peak out the window every winter. That was SO......SUPER......COOL!!!! I'll be able to recreate that again one day.

That's hard. I think I might say Aurora being born. That changed a lot. I know my uncle's death was also big and hurtful for my mom, just as my aunt getting cancer was and still is. We haven't done anything drastic this year except maybe my parents allowing me to come to DePaul. This was a surprisingly quiet year for me family, which I am not complaining about.

My son seems to have taken a great leap in maturity over this summer. His grades, his attitude, his confidence, his sense of values have all vastly improved. I think this is due in large part to my husband. I am very grateful!

My dad lost his job in December and ever since then my parents have been struggling to pay catch up. He was able to find a job within a month or so but it still has left a giant burden and stress on my family

Both of my sons are completely launched now, with full-time jobs/careers and living out of the home. I miss them both, but on the other hand, enjoy this time in my life now too.

Sadly, I can't think of any major milestones that have happened within my family, we're kind of a shambles.

My youngest son moved out. He lived at home briefly after college, then moved out, then returned. So now my husband and I have the empty nest thing to deal with all over again. Somehow this time around the house seems even bigger, and my thoughts are turning to downsizing and moving, which was not the case before. Then, I liked having so much space, now I think it's unnecessary and financially wasteful. But oy, moving will be so difficult; so much "stuff" to deal with.

My father turned 80. My strongest memories of my parents come from when they were thirty to forty. I remember feeling strange when I turned forty; now I was older than my parents. In many ways I've felt more and more of the same age as them, since always I was remembering them and thinking of them as considerably younger than they were. But in the past year or two my father has come to seem significantly older: not just troubled by some stiffness and a bit of gray, but more seriously limited in what he can do. That's sad and difficult for him, and a bit frightening; just as I was getting used to feeling close to the same age as him, he has begun to be seriously affected by age. But we had a good birthday celebration together; despite all the problems he faces and the disagreements between us, there is a lot of love.

same as 1. two sons in two cities far away from me. calls from grocery stores feel really good, but I do miss them

My family is expanding. I am going to have a child. A beautiful, wonderful, fragile, perfect little daughter. I am straying from my mother and father's friendships, and becoming my partners best friend. Naturally progressing this way has made me so thankful and greatful that I am who I am and have such special people in my life.

this is upcoming. matt and i are driving to montauk to meet my sister and her kids. together we will scatter my dads ashes. i anticipate this giving me a real sense of peace and a closer relationship with my sister.

My son turning ten was a huge milestone. It affects me because I really need to let go and allow him some (appropriate) independence. So I started by letting him choose his own hairstyle. That was relatively painless.

My son started Kindergarten. It is so cliche to say that it was like yesterday he was a baby... but he was! And now he's a "Big Kid." We are all going through Kindergarten "newness" with him -- as parents, we're new to the school and the expectations of families. He's new to everything! On the flip side, he's EXHAUSTED all the time from no nap at school, so he goes to bed by 7 PM. Which is also nice! It's made me excited for all his next grades and to see him grow up even more.

I just found out my mom is going to be living here. I am happy that she and Doug will be in the area, but I am also feeling anxiety about it. I am very happy for them.

Lee is getting older and turning into more of a little boy. It is bringing me closer to him as there are more things we can do an interact about. Lauren is growing and becoming a little tween, and that has also brought me closer to her as I realize more completely that my time with her as a kid is limited. Sophie too is growing, and becoming a great little kid. None of these are milestones, but they are things that have affected me.

My mother retired. She taught for 32 years. I, ostensibly, have about thirty more years of professional life ahead of me. I've already had four jobs since I left college in 2004. It has given me pause to consider being so dedicated to a single profession. She was such a brilliant and committed educator. I wonder if I will ever find a singular path that keeps me inspired and engaged.

Well my sister got divorced and married in teh same year. This was a freeing effect on everyone in the family especially her. No longer was she held down and she has lifted herself out of the hole he put her in to find her prince who only lifts her up. It has made me see my sister in a different light.

I got divorced. I have to start from scratch.

Wow. My grandmother had a stroke. Aside from the effects on her ability to walk and use the left side of her body effectively, and some minor debilitation in her mental capacity, there have been some effects on me as well. First of all, I had to move so that she could move in. It's also harder to have conversations with her and fully connect with her now. It's difficult to see her so infantilized as a result of not being able to do anything on her own. The biggest effects have been on my mom, who has become almost a full time caretaker in addition to her day job. It's very draining and I try to help her cope, but she succumbs to easily to her need to help people.

No major milestone has occurred with my family and I this past year.

My mother got a job after being unemployed for the last 3 years. I think she may be upset that I now make more money than she does.

Nephew getting posted to Georgia, USA instead of Afghanistan. Goddaughter's boyfriend being killed in an accident. Glad for my nephew and relieved for his family ... so sad for my Goddaughter and her Mother who's my dear friend.

My grandmother, my father's mother, died almost exactly a year ago. This has been hard on my family in a number of ways. We all agree that she did not want to draw out her frailty and illness and that her swift decline was exactly as she wanted it, so it's not really about feeling sorry for her. My dad has struggled with the idea that they are becoming the oldest generation and in some ways "are next," which can be terrifying. For my own part, I've grown to appreciate my grandmother more for all the amazing aspects of her that I never fully knew and acknowledged as a child. I wish I could have learned more from her while she was alive and let her know how much I have gained from having her in my life and having her set such a wonderful example for me of how to live a meaningful, altruistic life.

This year I moved away for college. I see now that I should have savored more of the time I had with my siblings while I was there. It was only after I left that I realized they would be four years older by the time I really got to see them again.

I introduced my children to him. He introduced his son to me. We are spending a little more time all together, and getting to know each other's beautiful boys. I have always had hope for a bright future, and assumed it would be on my own. 20+ years after our first kiss, and 18+ years after the last time I saw him, I have grown a different hope. And I'm so glad it's him.

Mom died. That is the only milestone I can think of. It has not really affected me except that I have some work to do as executor. I know she is just somewhere else and she does not hurt any more. I may just be in denial and it may hit me hard at any time but for now, my life goes on as usual.

This year we drove half way across the country with our two small children, and nothing terrible happened. I hope to do more things this coming year that I would have previously dismissed as undo-able given the number of very short people sharing my home.

My daughter became a senior in high school. I am aware that this is the last year she will be a "child." It amazes me that time has past so quickly. I am developing a new "adult" relationship with my daughter and it is exciting as well as sad for me that she is no longer a little girl.

My husband died, suddenly and unexpectedly, in February. It has totally rocked my world, my children's world, and his family's world. In losing him I also lost friends who I thought we were better friends, but I have gained new and deeper friendships out of it as well. It is amazing the extra losses and surprising gains that come from the loss of a loved one.

My "family" is my dog and I...and my best friend who used to be married to my brother. I would have to say taking action to get a new knee. I dared to leave work for 6 weeks and risk retribution from a new, very difficult supervisor. So far, I have triumphed and can walk!

Becoming part of the transition movement has had an effect on how we use and think of scarce resources in a much more powerful way. It has been really great trying to be as self sufficient as possible. The joy we have from growing most of our salad stuff has been fantastic. As we try to reduce our carbon footprint, we have cut back on purchases.

My son celebrated his bar mitzvah and I became the parent of two teenagers (his sister is 15). I realized how my relationship with my kids is changing and will continue to change. I suppose this is what has pushed me to pursue an "encore career" and follow my passion.

My grandmother passed away from Alzheimer's. In a way, it was a blessing as she had been ill for many years, and I hated seeing her in a nursing home, where life was dull, impersonal and monotonous. I saw it as such a waste of life. It was a relief that she no longer lives there, but I miss her deeply. It also changed my relationship with and feelings of preciousness about my mother.

There were multiple major milestones last year. One was the sale of our family home. Devastating at the time, and still aching. The good thing is-- Denny rented the house next door, so Zoe was been able to stay in the same neighborhood. If you ask her, she will tell you it is terrible to look over the fence into what used to be your old yard... but, I guess living with me 15 minutes out the canyon by bus must have felt worse; in February she chose to live with Denny. Spence leaving for college completed the "end of the world as we know it," as the song goes. Going from the family home to an empty nest in a record five months...not the way I expected motherhood to go. Another milestone/rolling stone/boulder!... Also, Hugh committed suicide last year at this time. Dorri's death had brought us closer to him-- we spent Christmas together in 2009? and gobs of time going through the house in Irvine. His loss is like a moving shadow that you see out of the corner of your eye-- here one minute, gone the next. The sum total of direct and indirect losses over the past two years has been staggering. Here's to what happens next, "it can all change on a dime," as my dad used to say. And it did.

I worked hard to accept and not blame my sister for everything. I picked less at her and started to accept the here and now. This has allowed me to move on with my life, by adjusting to 'what is,' rather than trying to force things to be 'just as i want them to be.'

My grandmother moved close to my parents because she couldn't take care of herself anymore. It's changed my parents lives drastically, and mine tangentially. It has been a really hard year, but also very rewarding. We are so lucky to be a part of her life in this way, and our new memories with her will last forever.

I hinted to my sister that I was mildly suicidal. The concern and fear, but most importantly the Strength in her voice as she inspired me to hold on changed my life, it gave my life more context and gave me more perspective. It gave us a special bond. I let her know my "full crazy" and she stepped up to calm me down. She was there for me when I was afraid to show myself to others. We hadn't even been friends until about 5 years ago and now she's one of my best friends. We talk multiple times weekly and I know my life is richer because of her.

We had a wonderful holiday with most of my family and some dear friends. It's taught me about simple pleasures (somehow these are more obvious when you're out of your normal routing and environment...)

The family supported me in my trip to Israel, surprising me greatly.

We moved house after 14 years in the same place. To a new suburb - sort of a sea change and further away from our old haunts but it has a nice feel.... the house and the area. It feels a bit like we are on our holidays and I like that.

My brother graduated college. So far, it hasn't had a direct effect on me but hopefully this will help to further his maturity and ultimately bring us closer as friends.

I reached 60 years of age. I realized that I had more years behind me than ahead of me. I want to experience peace and harmony more than being "right" or the most successful. I am more cognizant of my potential legacy.

My parents got divorced (after 26 years). I'm honestly glad that they did, it was a long time coming and I think it's best for everyone, especially them. If anything, it's at least made me much closer with my dad than before.

My paternal grandmother passed away. She is the first grandparent I have lost. Her widower has Alzheimer's and can barely remember his own children. I began seeing these grandparents less and less once we moved to Nebraska, but I saw my grandma about 2 months before she died. She was still sharp, but he body was tired from natural aging in addition to years spent as a smoker. My grandpa with Alzheimer's has CVD and had a bypass surgery earlier in his life. My studies have led me to believe that these diseases are all ultimately triggered and expressed through a variety of dietary factors. Seeing my grandparents diminish from autonomous self-determining human beings to helpless people incapable of caring from themselves has been a sad experience for me. Especially since I feel like their poor quality of life was at least partially influenced by dietary/environmental decisions earlier in their lives.

In a way, they are milestones of sorts - my mom got very sick and had to have emergency heart surgery, just before I was due to give birth. My eldest dog also became very ill and also needed to have major surgery. These are not milestones that one looks forward to, but that are bound to happen - our friends, family, and we age, and our bodies eventually begin to fail. I have always been aware of my own mortality, and that of my family and friends, but these events made me acutely, keenly aware of just how fragile and tenuous is our connection to life.

Our son celebrated his 17th birthday and successful completiong of his driver's license exam. Having only happened in mid-September, it's impact is yet to be felt. Perhaps I'll be able to reflect on its significance when I write next year.

My closest sister Heather tried to make a baby but was unsuccessful - makes you realize more poignantly limits of our desires in striving for fulfillment of our hopes and dreams ... accepting possibility of diminished expectations

I feel having a granddaughter, has shown me how many people in my family are so supportive of her, and love her as much as I do.

We lost our calico cat Phoebe when she was way too young. We were both sad, especially Tery. We went to the no-kill shelter to get another adult cat to be friends with our remaining cat Murr, and to provide Tery with somebody a little more people-focused. We wanted an adult female for Murr, non-calico (since they're such willful, naughty cats). We came back with two kittens, one male, one calico. Currently known as Dimples and Smush, but we're not settled on names yet. Now Tery laughs every day, which pleases me greatly. I laugh every day too, and smile lots. They're playful, affectionate, and hilarious.

I cant think of any major milestones that have happened to my family this year. They are all just ploddin along. The only thing I can thinkof it that m Aunt and Uncle finally separted and my Uncle bought my Yaiyai's old flat (which used to be jointly owned by all of her children) This has affected me superfcially in that I cannot stay in that appartment anymore. But also think seeing what my uncle and aunt are going through has encouredmy parents to work out a way to stay together. I knowif they separated it woud ffect greatly and both my parents would become more dependent on me.

my daughter is beginning middle school in the big city. i feel so lucky to be unemployed and able to be a supporting part of her transition. she is doing really well and feels able to be a more "bold" version of herself.

Ani died this year. This is the first time I have profoundly missed someone. There's a hole in the fabric where she used to be. She also left in order to give me a huge gift. I know what love is. I am not sure I really did before. Thank you, Ani. I love you.

No major milestones this year. At all, absolutely none. Next year my daughter will graduate from high school. This year my son started high school. Nope, no weddings, deaths, engagements, new jobs, nothing. How has this affected me, well thinking about it, its been relaxing to NOT go through any but there's always something waiting.

1) Last thanksgiving was a very hard time for my family. Not a good day with family. 2) This event made me realize how important family is.

Coco went into eating disorder treatment. I went up to Dallas for her 21st birthday and saw that she had hit bottom. She stopped bingeing and started rebuilding. It has been a long haul--her recovery was not mine and when she moved home our relationship imploded. But I think it was something that had to happen and I know I had to do what I did. I wish I could trust her more. I wish I were a better mom.

Family problems make know which direction you ought to take, and that has made me reason and think of many things that can help me avoid what I despise.

Obviously, the answer to the first question takes the prize for this one too, but I'm gonna go ahead and mention the one good thing that developed after that tragedy. My oldest sister Angie and I have gotten incredibly close after Annette's death, realizing that we've only got each other now.

The major milestone is that my father is currently dying from end-stage colon cancer. Friends (his and ours) have stepped up in unexpected ways, we all seem to be handling things as well as can be expected; and I can't even conceive of how life will be when he's not here. As annoying as he can be, he's also given so much to his daughters and grandchildren and all of his family of friends. Besides my sister and I, I don't know how my stepmother will make it though this 6 months from now - we worry she'll eat herself to death and die of a heart attack. They're the center of family gatherings, and we'll have to figure out how to go forward without my dad - and, if something happens to our stepmother, how to go forward without the family gathering structure they've put in place for the last umpteen years. When he goes, things will be missing from our family lives, not just our individual ones, and I think grieving this will take a long, long time.

My 84 year old father had a syncopal episode and fractured his ankle, severely limiting his already compromised walking, and my stepmother, who was in a home with dementia and metastatic breast cancer died 3 months after. Supporting him emotionally and at times physically and medically has been some extra demand in my life, and it has been the first year that I have really felt worried about my father and seen signs of pending deterioration and discouragement in him. He really is such a survivor of spirit and life, as was his mother before him, more so than I see myself. At some times it is more difficult to be with him since the limitations are greater on what we can do, and the conversations are repetitive. But other conversations are at a new level of connection, and I feel closer than ever.

In the past year our family has grown from one child, t 2 and another on the way. This has been challenging and rewarding. We have a beautiful family who we adore and we love, at the same time I have had to accept my own limitiations as a woman. I have had to accept that I can only be a mother to these young kids right now if I give up work for a short period of time, a few years, until they are all at some level of schooling. I have been a working mother up until now - I have always had a strong sense of indentity based on my work and my success out of the home as much as in the home, my identity is going to be different in the next few years. I am not going to contribute financially, I am more dependent and I have more people depending on me. This is all going to take some time to get used to but I hope the next year will allow me to spend the time enjoying my kids, watching them grow and that they will benefit from my new complete focus on them.

I went away to boarding school and that has really tested my relationship with my parents and brother. It shows that we are super lucky to have a good relationship and i know i always have family to fall back on. I know later in life I will always have family there for me and it was a wake up call. I know I can help others because i want others to have a family just like i do.

My mom met my partner. I'm gay. She's a born again Christian. It actually went very well.

J and A are struggling with losing jobs, homes, children moving. At times difficult to see the bigger picture, but then knowing that this is all for the good, ultimately. What is work, really? What are we here for? Praying, praying, praying... for their burdens to be light and their pain to be minimal.

My friend, Ann, has had such a challenging year. I am so glad I get a chance to support her for once.

There haven't really been any major milestones this year. My Grandad has been really ill, and I talked about that in an earlier question but it affected me harder than I expected as I was tearful all the time rather than "getting on with it" and keeping a strong face on for everyone. It made me want to spend more time with my grandparents and to cherish every moment I have with them both.

We were finally honest. Now I can move on.

I met my future husband. Living 2,345 miles apart has made me practice patience in a way I never experienced before.

I moved in with my wonderful boyfriend to start a whole new family with us and my children. My oldest daughter also went to University and moved to the other side of the country, this has left me having to juggle my need to keep constantly in touch with her and her need to do things on her own and not tell me all about everything she's up to.

The biggest one, the one that looms impossibly large, is my wife leaving me. It has torn me apart emotionally and spiritually. It has made me question my faith and my judgment. I am financially less stable and professionally keeping my head above water, if only barely. I have tried to remain as positive as I can, but inside I am slowly dying.

Rosa is a senior. Soon I will be an empty nester. How is it affecting me? I am trying to respond with more equanimity, to find companionship and support in other places.

Can'tthink of any major milestone. although the family seems to be getting smaller every year

There hasn't really been a significant milestone.

My sister moved to California for school at the end of this past summer, and moved out of our New Jersey home last year. It's incredible to have family near me to give me a sanctuary and support system. I also am tenuously waiting to see what will occur with the once faltering relationship between my parents. I hope this strengthens their love and respect now that there is more quiet, more space, more time, to devote to each other, and fewer distractions abdicating their responsibility to maintain a connection. Sometimes I think they would be happier apart, but if not that, I hope they can find happiness together.

My and SO's fortieth wedding anniversary. Affected? Proud that we made it to here.

My brother married a woman who I *adore* and my other brother had a baby with his wife who I don't adore. Sigh... I feel like I take it for granted that I have this new woman in my family who I adore, and I spend too much time lamenting over the fact that the other woman is so blah. I'm always learning how to get close to people.. and this is a great opportunity - certainly with the sister-in-law who I adore. Maybe next year I'll try to conquer the one I don't connect with.

Recently my favorite uncle passed away, and rather unexpectedly, too. I haven't even had the time or space to grieve adequately! I think that going home later this month and seeing my family and having his memorial service will help make it feel real. For now, I hope to remember to cherish everyday moments of beauty and joy, as well as to stand up for myself and my beliefs. Uncle Jim was feisty as hell, and I'll continue being my feisty self-- it's the best way I can honor him, and myself, at the same time.

Our major milestone just happened. My oldest son, Zachary, turned 18 this year and went abroad for the year. Most days I am so very proud of him and how he turned out. He is a real person that you can talk to! I miss him but dont miss him in regards to what he adds to the family dynamics. Hopefully when he returns things will be better.

We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. While I never, ever, envisioned getting divorced, it still is a really long time to spend with someone. Funny thing though, the older I get, the more I love Joan. I can't imagine life without her.

After over 30 years at the same job, my dad changed positions this year. On the one hand, I'm really proud of the work he's doing. On the other hand, it's frustrating that all he does is complain, which is what he did before the change.

My daughter turned one. I am awestruck by how quickly time passes.

In the last few years, I've worked very hard to always recognize everything my family does for me, especially my mother, and to show my appreciation. This year, I realized how truly supportive they are of me. I've never felt more grateful to every one of them, in-laws included, then I do now. And I have worked hard this year, to support them the way they have supported me.

My mother turned 70. I worked on a memory book for her and received beautifully written pieces about her from friends far and near, from school, from her current life, etc. It made me appreciate her more deeply and feel proud that she is my mom.

My wife's sister had a pace maker placed inside her body to help her heart, and were the same age, and she is doing great even tho she has her days, she is the light that shines this family. It brought me closer to share thanks on a daily bases and allow myself to receive thanks.

My nephew's first birthday. This has made me realize how much I want to be present for family events even though I am far from home.

The major milestone with my family was my graduation from university and move back to my house from the country I had been living in for three years. I've had to adjust to living under my parents' rules again, and my family has had to adjust to having me back home. It's been stressful for a time, but I'm hopeful that we're getting everything sorted again.

Having all the kids and grandkids come together for my birthday was really wonderful. Seeing my stepson about to go through a divorce with two little babies is very sad.

My brother was diagnosed with two very serious problems one after the other. Although he received treatment and is now well, I was reminded that there aren't many of us left and that family connections shouldn't be neglected or taken for granted.

My grandparents moved into independent/assisted living, moving out of their home in Banning. It reminded me of how important they are to me and how amazing their stories are, and how we have to hear and remember them, or else they will be lost. Also I learned that before they were my grandparents or even parents, they were passionate independent young people, little rebels.

My son's bar mitzvah was in June. He is a great kid, and really knocked it out of the park. He deserved all the accolades he received, because he worked very hard to accomplish what he did. He went well beyond expectations, and made us very proud.

My father's health and quality of life really deteriorated. Surgery that was supposed to make it easier for him to walk did not have this effect. I have had to provide a lot more support to my poor aging mother who bears the burden of most of my father's care.

My gentleman friend and I (well, mostly I) bought a house (well, half of a house). I still catch myself referring to the mortgage payment as "rent," so I don't know how much it's affected my life overall. The purchase process obviously caused a great deal of stress, which affected me negatively, but that's over with now. I do enjoy painting and small DIY projects, which is a positive. Mostly, I'm just more broke.

My amazing niece was born. I took off work/school/internship to drive and see her. As soon as I realized I could MAKE time for what was important-seeing her- I felt so much better about the world and all I needed to do in it.

This year has been pretty steady, which is just fine with me since the last 10 have been fairly turbulent due to a divorce.

My boyfriend's father passed away. Don't take people for granted, they may not always be around.

My parents have decided to move into an independent living retirement community. I know it is the right decision, but all of the work to help them get there is time-consuming and very stressful for all of us.

Separation. Working toward Being, not Reacting. Choosing the Unknown over the Known. Charting unfamiliar waters. Following the heart's path, not the safe path.... I've chickened out on that in the past. no more. didn't realize how choked and bleak i'd become. i'm scared as all get-out, on my own. but it's worth it. it's real. honest. no net.

No major milestones. One estranged sister lost her job.

My grandfather came back to my family. I realize that everyone can make mistakes, and that I have a responsibility to show him he made the right choice.

We all gathered together for my grandma's birthday, which I suppose can be considered a milestone. Everyone was together (with the exception of my brother, who lived in Argentina at the time) which was a bit tense, seeing as how my uncle had some words with my dad, accusing him of things that were completely untrue. The situation between my uncle & my grandma is a bit tense because he's angry at her from things that happened to him years & years ago, & rather than let these things go, he still sort of holds it against her. This anger was taken out on my dad, who HAS let it go, & who is such a gracious person. Anyway, it was nice to see everyone together, but made me think about how people really are & how important conflict resolution is.

Our major milestone was this big move. My husband supported me and was really positive, even while I was not, and it was for my job. Our son entered first grade and adjusted to a new school. Big changes this fall and I am slowly looking at the bright side.

Devastating! Both kids leaving home and my father in law dying. Emotionally exhausting year.

My family has been having financial problems for years at this point. My father is a performer and my mom hasn't worked since I was born. We've had ups and downs for the past few years. This year started out good (after being absolutely awful) and mostly went downhill from there. At this point we scrape together whatever money we can to pay the bills each month. I am at college. The State of California paid for my tuition and room and board, and I took out loans to get my computer and books. And I got a credit card and have been using my own money for things. I feel like being here is helping the financial situation because they don't have to pay for me anymore. Me being at college has been a big adjustment for me and my family. I miss them, but I don't miss everything about being at home. I don't miss worrying about money all the time, and I don't miss hearing my mom get in arguments with my gramma on the phone. And I don't miss getting into arguments with my gramma. I don't miss my gramma at all.

my sister got into american university, and i got to take over her car since she cant have it in school and mine died on me.

My retirement -- how it is affecting me and my family -- it has made me want to take care of and improve myself for them.

I stopped breastfeeding my youngest child. I fed him for about 10 months - so he was connected to my body for the same amount of time on the outside as he had been on the inside. I probably won't have any more children or breastfeed again. My periods returned and I went back to the mikvah (a comparatively new habit for me). I'm finding it hard to let go of the reproductive chapter of my life but I think it's time to get a coil fitted and put my baby-having/raising years behind me. I feel like I've just hit my stride, got really good at it. And now I'm stopping forever. That also means I'm getting old (I'll be 40 this coming year). I My pregnancy and the few weeks after the birth were emotional, stressful, and fairly hectic, though he was a very wanted baby. I also found that I got a bit bored on maternity leave (as I did with my other two children). Now it's time to enjoy the children I have and not fret about whether or not to try for another.

Moving away... and my parents taking on a big job in africa. We all are doing something different this year and just the willingness to all separate and leap into the unknown is a big thing for us! We are all moving a very positive direction! I am proud

My mom and I fought a lot this past summer, more than we ever have. We overcame it, though, and now we finally live in a place that we're not renting. This is our home now. We have a car, my mom is starting to dress up more and be active again. It's like a Cinderella story for her and for me.

I don't want to think about that.

My mom found love and my sister had a baby. I am an uncle, I love my little neph and I really really want to have a family of my own

My brother had a baby! I wrote this last time, but my goodness has that little being just become the light of our lives. I don't see her enough, but it makes me so happy to think about how I can be a positive force in her life--for soccer, for school and for a non-hippy influence in her cherished life. I think it has opened me up to the possibility of having children again, an idea I talked myself out of while with my last boyfriend. I know it is far off, and I still feel like I couldn't do it unless I acquired a trust fund because they are so spence, but the pure joy and goofiness and earthiness of it all is awe inspiring.

My first child became a teenager. It is sad. makes me think about what kind of relationship we have now compared to 10 yrs ago. Makes me look at my current little one and wonder when she will start hating me too.

my mom told me she doesn't want to have second night chag because she's 'getting old'. it felt like a changing of the guard. it makes me scared. it makes me feel responsible.

Dad's 29th death anniversary and my divorce being final. Huge steps! Freedom, srtrength, optimism, courage, love and support!

My brother and his wife moved from San Diego to Washington (somewhere around the Seattle area), but we haven't been in touch for awhile. Joel has grown rather strange in the last few years. I'm not sure what accounts for it. I've heard rumors from others that he was suspected of physically abusing his wife, but evidently his wife has completely denied it. She's not a meek and meager woman either and I doubt that she would put up with it. But then again, Joel didn't have the greatest role model in our dad growing up and the last time I saw him I got to see his temper first hand, which even my dad had to admit was all too similar to his own. Joel has two kids now, Blake and Avery. I've only seen Blake once and I've never seen Avery. I have a feeling the next I see or hear from Joel will be when something happens to my dad again, which is why I saw him the last time I did. That ended in him losing his temper, packing up his family on the spot and driving 10 hours home at night. I was upset about our fight, which came out of nowhere as far as I’m concerned, and tried very hard to mend things, which in the past was easy enough to do when we would get into little arguments, but not this time. He didn't call me or write me back and he even "de-freinded" me on Facebook. He has since "re-friended" me at my own insistence, but our relationship is just non-existent at this point. At this point, I’ve decided not to put any more effort into it. It’s too weird and I doubt I’ll ever get the whole story as to the odd change in him.

A teenage daughter driving - kind of fun to see her grow up. She's kind of a scary driver Ran a marathon, was nice to see that i could commit to something uncomfortable like this and accomplish it. Approached another party as a possible business partner. Gave some relief. Cleaned the house and had a garage sale.

My brother and his wife had a baby. It was an amazing gift to be able to hold my nephew just hours after he was born, and be with my sister in law in the hospital while she recovered. the seven weeks they still lived close to me were a blessing, and he is just the right addition to our family.

Our son decided he wanted play Little League baseball. This may seem trivial, but his lack of baseball skills has tested every fiber of our parenting abilities (or inabilities). Motivating him to keep trying, to take extra lessons, to not be afraid of the ball, to be OK with being the worst player on the field (for now) has been extremely challenging. He loves everything about baseball, loves putting on his uniform and being part of the team, proud to wear it. This has really sent us through the highs and lows of parenthood - getting to the championship game, losing the championship game, not getting a hit, getting hit by pitches, wanting to him (him or us?). I've realized that his baseball is all about parenting in a small package. But he keeps trying, and we can't ask for anything more.

All 3 boys are now in college. Getting my youngest ready for U of Mich was bittersweet. Aug. was particularly busy with moving them in. My middle one is now a junior and we moved him into a house. My oldest started late and is on his own but was still affected by the whole thing. All mostly good for me. I get more quiet time, less laundry and less cooking and shopping.

I can't think of any family milestones for the year

I "celebrated" my 70th birthday in the midst of crisis...dead grand child, financial turmoil, physical complications of aging, memory issues, self esteem highs and lows. Every pharmaceutical commercial is directed to previously ignored symptoms. If my health care plan was better and the side effects not worse than the disease or its cure, I would take everything. Realization is thatI am going to die one of these years or days. Great love and pride in my family. I have done a pretty fair job in this regard.

Conquered my depression. I am a far stonger person now and has given me the confidence to try anything.

My sister deployed to Afghanistan, from her home base in Germany. We have been seeing each other more frequently when she lived in Europe, than we did when she first joined the military and went off to Ohio. Heck, we see each other more as adults than at any time since I went off for college. Now she is off in a war zone, and not just endangered by being on flights all the time, it's funny how much it's the same and how much it's different. I miss her random calls saying "hey, I'm in DC, let's have dinner." And I worry about her safety. But mostly she's still my kid sister, and when she does call it's always when it's inconvenient- but how do you not pick up the phone when it's your sister calling from Afghanistan? I guess her deployment has just brought into sharp relief how much I love her, and still get immediately frustrated by her.

My family has become more divided than ever. I mean, my sister, my brother, myself, and our families. It has brought much sadness. I realize that no matter how much you try to hold relationships together, sometimes the actions of others can cause you to become disconnected. Sometimes you can only wait patiently for others to find their paths.

My last cousin (out of 16 or so) got engaged. I am thrilled for him and LOVE his fiance'. But, selfishly, it depresses me. I am 6 years older than him, still single, and find little hope for ever finding someone. Though I'm vey socially active, involved in many wonderful activities, and pay attention to appearance, and I have never yet had a serious relationship (I'm in my 40's). Watching my extended family grow, and multiply while I stay the same is very painful. It makes me feel ugly and unloveable-lonely-left out and ignored by God.

There have been a lot of major milestones this year, but I think my grandmother being diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer was the most profound. It was terrifying, at first, and frustrating to see how weak family dynamics seem to become amplified in these kinds of situations. I was, and am still, disappointed in how my father, particularly, has handled the situation - his denial, not facing reality, and allowing my grandmother to intimidate him. She is not getting the care she needs, and she very well may die because of it. Which, frankly, will be her fault because she is so cruel when she wants to get her way, and, right now, she doesn't know what's best for her. I love her so much, I can't imagine my life without her in it, my children not getting to know her. It makes me very sad. But also appreciative that we have had such a close relationship.

I discovered the truth that my ex is having an affair which allowed me the peace of mind knowing I could trust my instincts again.

We experienced a house fire in December and were forced to live in a townhouse for 5 months while repairs were done. It was a struggle being uprooted, having to give up two of the dogs, and it's been hard getting everything done and settled now that we are finally back home. I think we're all still trying to establish our new routines.

My family is slowly but steadily realizing my fathers struggle with alcoholism. My mother is in denial and my brother is angry and trying to change him by changing himself. I have accepted it. And I'm allowing them to accept it to. This is difficult to watch everyone in a different place and not feel the need to comment or become involved but life lessons have taught me to be patient. I stare at him and wonder when the tipping point will be. I worry that it won't come before it's too late.

My older daughter was married this summer. I have never been as excited, exhilirated, happy and moved as I was during the planning( and through to the day of ) the wedding -- with the exception of the day each of my daughters was born. Seeing my daughter so in love, so happy, mature, and giving allowed me to realize that despite the many mistakes that I made as a parent, my mothering was successful and that I (and of course my husband!) was able to raise a child who grew into a beautiful, secure and loving woman.

My sister-in-law gave birth to the first grandchild in my family which has taken some of the pressure off my having children.

I got married! My family doubled overnight. It taught me how to try to understand everyone's needs better and not just focus on myself. It made me realized how blessed I am to have my immediate family and how grateful I was for them all to be there to celebrate with me. It made me realize how much I miss my grandparents who I never met. And my relationship with husband feels like a gift of an extra family member I get to see all the time. It's a beautiful feeling.

My family has been fairly status quo this last year. I wish I could spend more time with my nephew to see all of his milestones.

My nephew's girlfriend tried to prevent any contact between their daughter and him or his family. It was a devastating situation for everyone involved, but working together as a family has proven to bring us strength and positive results. Now, he has visitation rights and we were able to finally celebrate her 1st birthday together. His daughter is the splitting image of my nephew and has many of his wonderful characteristics + mannerisms. This makes me hopeful that his daughter will become more + more like him, an open-minded, creative, adventurous soul. Initially I felt very helpless and depressed, but writing a letter to the legal guardian on this case made me feel empowered and getting the results we were hoping for makes me feel hopeful again.

I felt like I grew less tolerant of my parents. It makes me feel out of touch with my roots. It's like I am being less tolerant of myself.

I love my parents, I know that when they are mad at me they are just trying to help me. A major milestone that happened with my family is probably the holidays. The holidays is normally thrown at our house with a bunch of friends and we all have to help out for that to happen. I feel this makes us closer.

My parents recently started seeing a marriage counselor. One may think that I would be unsettled by this, but I am hoping that it will help to ease the conflicts in the home and in public. The counselor comes highly recommended and I am relatively confident that it is for the best and will work out to fix their marriage, stop the fights at home, change my parents' demeanors, and may the home a happier place. I would like some "Shalom in the Home".

My youngest son started high school this fall. It's hard to believe that all this time has passed since he was born. I have two older sons that have already graduated but this feels the most bittersweet.

My sister and I finally both "got" that we deserve more in relationships and started to figure out how to go about dating and meeting men who could be in the kind of relationship we each want and that anyone deserves. I think this has made both of us more relaxed, happier, more confident and more able to understand what a healthy relationship is supposed to be like. Neither of us is out of the woods yet, though, as each of our relationships are starting to show signs of potential collapse...so we may have learned a lot, but we may still need to apply that learning in new relationships. I think this upcoming year will reveal which it will be for each of us.

My Mom will be 75 and my step-father will be 60. They have been an incredible couple. I'm so very proud of them. I have watched them grow and grow and continue to grow. I love you both!

Leo really began to be an independent person. It's made me really happy, and made me realize how much I want to be a good example for him, in addition to being a loving parent.

My granddad was diagnosed with lung cancer. This was tough for me. I never admitted it to anyone but as i like him was a smoker i realised it's not worth the risk at all. So i decided to try and quit. I wouldn't say it was easy, i definitely won't say i stuck to it because i didn't on occasions. Not only was it because of this did i quit however. My girlfriend hates the thought of me suffering when i'm older due to a disgusting, expensive and ultimately dangerous habit and it's not fair for her to worry so much over it so i've managed to quit. I have had the odd one every now and again but i have stopped doing it.

It's funny that this question comes up now as my first response is my answer to the major event in my life which I explained in the first question, but I've got something else up my sleeve. This year my family expanded. I realized that family is both an expandable and a collapsible term. Your family can be as big as you want it to be or as small as you want it to be. This past year, my family grew. I was truly able to develop friendships with people who I could call my family. Additionally, my brother, sister, and I all graduated in June. Needless to say it was a momentous and mind-blowing experience. You don't realize how old you are until the baby brother you held when he came home from the hospital is starting middle school.

After two miscarriages, my sister in law gave birth to a healthy baby girl in March. This impacted me on a couple of levels - firstly, it showed that despite dark times there WILL be a light at the end of the tunnel, confirming my views that everything Hashem does is for the best. Secondly, not only did I become a proud Auntie, but I also became a G-dmother, making my role extra special. :)

The birth of my daughter. She has brought pure joy to our house. My wife can be a mom again. She is a fantastic baby, almost sensing that were not in the condition to handle rotten baby. She's all smiles and naps.

My dad's passing, obviously. Mostly, in addition to being sad, I'm worried about my mom and how she's coping. Or not coping.

Yonatan stopped nursing at age 2.5 - I have so many mixed emotions. On the one had it means that I no longer have a "baby" at home - both boys are now more independent, I can sleep through the night, and it's so exciting to watch them grow and develop. There is also a sense that parenting is getting just a little easier. On the other hand, I really miss nursing. It is such a special way to bond with a child and I am sad that it is something I will likely never do again. I never really took the time to acknowledge all of these mixed emotions.

My lesbian partner and I officially married. It is only a big deal because we are now contractually bound in the eyes of our jurisdiction. We will still have to prove our relationship to those who have any control over defining family and associated benefits (i.e. healthcare coverage). I am beyond frustrated to have lived through so many civil rights battles, to enjoy whatever advances have been made, only to find that we are now in a political environment with leaders and wannabe leaders who so desperately want to turn back the clock on those advances. What should have been an unbridled joyous event should not even be tainted with a hint of political concern.

My sister and I both got engaged. A realization to my family that the two youngest are grown up enough.

The last of my grandparents - my grandfather - passed away. I feel extremely lucky that I had 30 years with three of my grandparents, much longer than many people get. But it does feel like there is a hole in my life now. I was especially close to my paternal grandmother, and I miss her every day. She had dementia, we watched the wonderful lady full of warmth of laughter fold into herself, the laughter stopped and she became like a little broken bird we didn't recognise. For a long time I couldn't get past those images and remember the happy times we shared together. But they are coming back now as I learn not to feel guilty for not being able to help her more. Myself & my brother and our parents have always had a strong relationship, we live in different parts of the country but love to get together. I think we might have all become just that little bit more affectionate towards each other, and a bit more concious of making sure each other is ok. It's also made me more aware that my parents are getting older, and made me think more seriously about when we will start a family so that my children get to experience the love and affection of their grandparents for as long as possible.

Not sure on this one. My family has continued to expand as I get closer with my cousins from Florida, which is a blessing, but there hasn't been a lot of activity. I continue to get to know my parents as human beings which is amazing.

The major milestone that happened with me this year is opening up to bein loved. I learned to love myself and foiund someone who truly adores me for the person I am. I can dance around the living room, acting silly or be completely bitchy and he loves me just the same (okay, so it's harder when I'm cranky-but I know he's not going anywhere). Moving in together was the single best decision I made this year. The second best decision I made was moving to Keller Williams. Too many people knew too much about me at Coldwelll Banker and I just needed to start anew. So far, it's completely boosted my business and I have a renewed pride and confidence in my abilities.

My Uncle Kenny died. My mom was devastated but it didn't really... affect me. Nothing in my life changed. I didn't know him very well.

On a daily basis, I am incredibly proud of my parents and siblings. I am proud of where they are, the choices they've made, and the visions they have for the future. I feel so luck to be in the family I'm in. My grandparents are one year older- 86, 91, & 93- and its noticeable.

My sister's openness about her decision to go to Therapy this year lead to my family (little by little) talking more openly about anxiety, depression and general mental health issues in the family. It's a hard topic to bring up, especially in my family where even small-talk conversations can some times be strained. This new openness, and discovering more about my family's mental health history, encouraged me to see a Therapist as well, something I had wanted to do for years but couldn't manage to take action. I now know that I have Attention Deficit issues that were the cause my self doubt, my anxiety and a lot of my struggles in my day-to-day life. I am gradually understanding how my mind works, and now that I know more I am taking steps to be more in control, more self accountable, and it has helped me to see and rearrange priorities in my life. Seeing how much these changes are impacting me and my sister is encouraging the rest of my family to deal with things they have been suppressing. My families' lives are being changed by this new openness.

Loss, anger, hatred...Loss. I lost my best friend, which lead to a lot if self reflection...I saw that I had hurt all those around me. I've made some people angry, and other hate me (or completely forget me; "The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference"). I've hurt emotionally, and physically. I was horrible. Once again, GUILT, the stuff floods my life. Some people I will never be able to mend things with, and that is the hardest part. Others have forgiven, but that does not mean they can forget. Finally, a finite few...they forgive, and are trying to get back to how it used to be with me. I have a lot of work to do to get back the life I had, before I lost track of the important things...I think it all starts with finding and loving myself. Then maybe I can truly be the friend, and man that those around me deserve to have in their lives. "If you realize you are losing your soul, you've still got a soul to lose."

We lost a very important member of our family, Hoover. He succumbed to heart failure on April 13, and I was the one to send him off, as it were. It was very hard. I still get choked up thinking about the "old man." But my memories are rich and of a fond nature.

None that I can think of.

I guess the major milestone that happened was having to retire & take my social security. When that happened, my husband lost his SSI & his Medicade. He was able to keep the Medicare & the social security. We are not sure yet how this has affected our finances. We were used to having his checks come in at the first of the month & then I was paid weekly. So it has been a major adjustment so far. They also sent his SSI in August so now we are having to pay that back to the tune of $35 a month out of his check. We were used to walking into his doctors appointments & walking out - now we have to pay the copays. So far the steepest has been $20 but haven't seen the big one yet.

I am not sure how much of a milestone it was ... but this year both my father and grandfather fell very ill around the same time. Both are doing incredibly well (especially grandpa who celebrates his 95th birthday this week), but it just showed how precious life is and how time with our loved ones are short. Work comes and goes, what is important is family.

My family had to deal with the stress of my aunt going to through surgery and having issues with blood clotting afterwards and everything else that goes along with it. Also, my cousin moved back to La Crosse. She has Stage IV breast cancer, so we as a family have been struggling to keep it together and help her out whenever she needs it.

I gained a family member who is not my favorite person. It has been a real struggle for me as I've wrestled with not liking him and what that can mean (and has meant) for my relationships with my other family members.

I realized that I really like spending time with my family and cousins and everything. This isn't an aha moment that I've never known before or anything, but its nice to keep in mind.

I went mountain biking with my uncle. While a small adventure, far from grand, sweeping family drama, this rekindled my confidence in just "doing things" for their own sake, and awakened my conviction that resistance to action is always there; afterwards, we are almost universally glad we said "yes" to the adventure. Life is too short to sit around thinking and analyzing all the time.

I've grown closer to my mom when I realized she has unwavering enthusiasm for everything. I love her strange (and earnest!) care packages and am starting to realize how damn lucky I've been to have such a supportive mamabear.

My Father's open-heart surgery at the end of August. Big bonding with my t & parents. What an education and opportunity to show up as a significant force--it was the official passing of the baton where now I'm handling and taking care of my parents. I feel really adult in their eyes, although I'm still their baby!

My father had a major medical scare. It scared me to death and made me realize that their health and safety is more important than anything else. I feel more worried, but also more empowered to do everything I can to take care of them when they are healthy AND when they are sick.

My sister became a bat mitzvah. It helped me reconnect to my Jewish roots.

I lost my sister last year to cancer. She is my closest friend and still feel her presence every day.

This is a difficult question to answer. It may seem ridiculous to say so, but I can't think of anything really significant that has happened to my family in the past year. I'll use this: my brother beginning his college applications. It is really amazing how quickly we all grow up. But it is even more amazing when it's your younger sibling. For years, they are your punching bag, brother in arms, comrade, playmate, then slowly they are JUST your roommate, and then you move out and they become your friend. And then, HEY, they're all grown up and headed off to become adults. And you truly know that YOU no longer have a connection to your youth. Because as they pass out of youth, your link to the shared youth you had is severed. So it's another sign that you are entering a truly "adult" phase of your life. So that's how it makes me feel. I also sometimes am jealous of the fantastic social life my brother has enjoyed in high school that I did not. I am also terribly proud of who he is and who I know he's going to become. So I look forward to his future with admiration, and joy.

My husband finally stood up to his family surrounding the way they treat our son. I was very proud of him to speak up, even though it caused some fall out. I think overall, it was a good thing that happened!

I believe that one major milestone that happened for my family in the past year was me starting High school and devon starting middle school. Both were such big adjustments!

Cooper -- brought joy beyon belief

My parents are still building a house and my grandparents are still old and sick. They are all getting much worse, but we are learning compassion more and more.

As I lost my parents in the years before, I got more contact with my forefathers and -mothers. On a spiritual basis. Some of them I understand more or better, now, than I or my parents did when they were alive. this gives me more sense in my own life.

We are moving, a whole new life is opening itself to us.

My entire family has decided to move away next year, I've decided to stay behind. When I read this next, they may be gone. I don't know what I'll think, or what I'll do without them.

Not so much a major milestones but...my sister is pregnant again and my parents are traveling a lot---these are two wonderful things.

We bought a wonderful new home in a downtown area with a fabulous garden. Every time I’ve moved, my mother has come to help with decorating, planting, etc. I am always so proud to show off my gardens and seek her creative eye with hanging pictures, etc. She turned 80 this year and with her health is declining is no longer able to fly this far. While I visit her and send photos and video of my new abode and the blooming Rose of Sharon she sent, I still can’t believe she won’t ever be here. It saddens me terribly, though I’m thankful she’s still on this Earth!

We filed for bankruptcy, which entailed both our cars and our house going back to their respective lien holders. It was a real wake-up call, not just on a macro level about letting go of attachments to things, but on a micro level as well. We have so much stuff! Seven months after moving out of our house, we're still sorting through boxes and giving things away.

I got married this year. My parents have been very supportive of my relationship with my husband, and that has brought all of us closer together.

My grandfather died this year. He was my dad's father and after my dad died four years ago, we have had a strained relationship. I never got over the divide. Part of me mourns him, but so much of my ability to mourn has been absorbed by my dad's death that I have no space.

This was the year that my friends became my family. Far enough in time removed from living at home, and far enough in space from home to be forced to make a new family, we have. It became very clear at our wedding - the distinction that we place between friends and family was gone. There are friends you love even when they drive you crazy sometimes. You know these people will always have a place in your life.

Nada paso... pero es deprimente saber que mi abuelita usa silla de ruedas, y al otra casi no puede andar del dolor. La verdad las cosas familiares esste año han sido deprimentes.

My mother started dating someone seriously. I am so happy that she is finding happiness now, so many years after my fathers' passing. But if I am completely honest, I know that while my head is ready for her to be with someone new who makes her happy, emotionally I haven't yet caught up.

I finally realized that my family situation is not normal. We are not like everyone else. I had millions of problems with my dad, learned to hate my stepmom, and loathed spending time with their kids. However, one day I won't have to deal with the embarrassment of having baby brothers and a stepmom as close to my age as she is to my dad's.

One of the major things that happened during this past year was our realization that our eldest son wasn't getting the kind of education we wanted him to have. He was just "phoning it in" and barely engaged in his schoolwork or class experience. We didn't realize this until close to the end of the school year, but once we did, it really helped clarify a major life lesson for me, one that I'm still struggling to embody and one which I really want my children to learn: that we get the most joy and satisfaction from full engagement with life, and that you and only you are responsible for your engagement with this life. I also want them to learn that with the right attitude, you can turn any situation into your own engaging learning experience. You have to want it (and do it), though--engagement can be encouraged, but not done at or for you. I do know that the more you know about what you like and what you're passionate about, the easier it is to engage and stay engaged.

My sister graduated from college. And got a full time job to practice her profession. It just makes me realize that we are really getting older and taking on new responsibilities in life, and that (oh my) I am abpout to go through the same thing in the coming year and it's just crazy to think how different everything is going to be with life after school.

there have not been any

My husband has decided to retire, which I consider major. I am a bit anxious as to how it will affect me, but I can't yet say what it will do to my life. It will just be a big change.

Mom went to Turkey. It was her first trip abroad since Dad was in the Navy in the early 60s. It made me happy to see her do something bold and extravagant for herself.

My cousin got pregnant at 19. At first everyone was shocked and appalled and called for her to get an abortion, but she stuck with it and there's a new baby in the family that everyone can't seem to get enough of. I can't wait to meet her when I get home.

My husband's aunt celebrated her 101st birthday in July. I'm not sure how she did it, but she has her mind, her sense of humor, her eyesight! Yes, she is amazing. It's made me think about my own mortality, especially how long I might live given the pounding my body has taken in the last decade. My health has been a considerable concern off and on for the last 8 years since CO poisoning did physical and emotional damage. And I often wonder if I'll be able to enjoy the things I love as time goes on. Maybe spending more time with Aunt L would help. I'll have what she's having!

A young boy and his father, two members of our church, were murdered this past summer. It really made my entire family look at the lives we live and how easily life can be taken away, and it brought both my immediate family and our church family closer for it.

Our foster daughters moved in, and 8 months later moved out. The 8 month milestone of parenting in our 60s -- something we started in our 50s -- allowed us to give in particular ways we hadn't before, and to dance together in particular ways we hadn't before. And I, for one, have greater understanding of and empathy for the way most people live: that is, as parents. And these 2 teens expanded our lives beyond measure.

I distanced myself from one of my half sisters this year. She is fairly new to my life and I tried very hard to make a connection but it didn't happen because of her deceitful nature. I've always been taught to value family -- no matter how much blood you share -- but in order to move forward with my life I had to leave her behind.

My brother was stabbed by a white supremacist and I didn't learn of it until days later. The fact of the delay underscored my geographical distance from my family: I couldn't have gotten there in much less than a day in any case, and though I strongly considered flying out, I knew there wasn't really anything I could do to help and I concluded that I would just have been trying to make myself feel better without necessarily helping him. It brought home the fact that freak occurrences happen all the time and that I have no guarantee of having more time with him, or anyone else I love, ever. Again, trite and cliché, but that's because it's true. As that sinks in, I think of my brother, my favorite uncle and my grandparents, all of whom live within a few hours of each other on the opposite side of the country, and I wonder, given my love of the area where they live and the opportunities that it could theoretically present me, whether I'm following a foolish path or living someone else's life while overlooking my own by continuing to live out my days on the opposite side of the country from them.

my husband saying he wants to seperate because of his mother. it was out of the blue. we were perfectly happy and everything was going well till his mother created all these misunderstandings. my family tried talking to him but his mother is just full of ego and pride and thinks very highly of herself. i have never met such evil,conniving, and malicious woman. my family is very devastated because nobody expected this from my husband. how does someone change over 2 weeks and a complete 180 turn?

About a week ago, I attended my grandfather's unveiling. It was only a year after he had passed away and it was just a small gathering of our close family. But it wasn't a sad occasion. Above all else, it was a joyous one as we were there to celebrate the life of a great man. We all shared our close memories of him and his many quotes, and the family really grew closer together because of it. His tombstone was one of the most beautiful things I've seen; with a trumpet etched in the top right hand corner and his final words "I did it my way" etched towards the bottom. He truly lived life on his own terms. And now I can only hope I live my life the same way.

My daughter found her fiance, Adair. It makes me happy for her in one way and scared for her in another. I truly hope he will contribute to their financial resources or she will get a good enough job that he doesn't have to. Happy and scared is how it affected me.

My cousin died from undiagnosed colon cancer at age 60. He didn't have health insurance, he didn't have a great life in many ways and we were not close. Yet I find myself thinking about his death, and more, his life. It is a reminder to not allow other people's vision of who you are to define you, to enjoy what you have instead of expecting your parents to support you in a style that you would like to become accustomed. And not to be flip, but I also learned to get a colonscopy.

I moved out. It's affected me because I'm more free to do what I want and make the choices I want. I'm not under their thumb anymore. While that's been good it's always got negatives. The positives are that I can stay up late, leave and come back whenever I want, and just chill in the den. And it's smaller so it's more homey. I don't want a big house. It's negative is the freedom I have. I'm able to drink a lot. And I sleep a lot. But all in all, I've grown closer to my sister and my parents now that I'm not resenting the world.

Our youngest daughter has really grown in maturity this year and has become a great advocate for herself. It's made me feel really hopeful about things in general, and in some ways, more secure. When I first became a parent I thought a lot about my values, and how I wanted to raise my daughters. We've been a blended family and throughout the years I've tried to remain consistent about what's important and in letting each of the girls develop their own sense of self, as well as inner motivation and drive. I never wanted them to be good students or kind, thoughtful individuals because I wanted them to be that way, but because they wanted it. As the last child gets ready to apply to college and make her own way in the world, it's a huge relief to me that my instincts were on target.

My father died. Through the month he deteriorated and shiva I realized how strong our family and my relationships are. I am so grateful and hope that I can maintain that appreciation in the year to come.

wow. where to begin? my grandmother died, my brother died, my marriage ended. it's affected every cell in my body. i feel like a different person in an alternate reality. on a good note, my other brother stepped outside his world and changed his life for the better. i hope this time next year his life is filled with good things.

I found a way to help my son get support with learning how to read with a well developed and studied program. I am grateful that I was able to have the tenacity to force my ex to also invest in this program. It ahs helped our son to beleive that he is capable of learning difficult things and that he does not have to try to hide or escape. I am proud of the fact the I fought to make this happen.

We are moving to a new home - where we able to host our extended family and not be on top of each other. Plus entertain more, particularly gatherings related to our spiritual and nonprofit endeavors and writing. Close of escrow slated for Nov 8. Fingers crossed the mortgage lender keeps up their end of the deal. We are moving with some mixed feelings as we've lived in the greenest little home in the US for the past 3 years. Emphasis on little - 1480 square feet for a family of four may be green but it's creating more conflict with one tween, a noise-sensitive husband and a spirited 6-year-old. 1.5 bathrooms won't cut for much longer.

After four years of being a widow, my mom stopped wearing her wedding ring. At the age of 61 she's ready to find a new partner for the next stage of her life. I'm freaked out by this, but still proud, and I hope she's truly happy. I've learned to see my mom as more than a wife and mother, but as a human being working through some of the same issues I deal with every day.

This year Carol had a scare with her health. That was really scary. I think it was the first time that I really got scared of her situation and started to wonder what if things dont go the right way. Thank G-D that everything is ok now, not only ok, but excellent now, and she is doing well. I guess also where she was going with her life affected our family greatly, as we all wanted to guide her to the best path.

My mother's serious car accident from which she was lucky to walk away crystalized a lot about how much she means to me. It has helped strip away a lot of the petty animus I had perpetuated between us, whether warranted or not. This was not the way I wanted to resolve the conflict, but sometimes the universe has a way of giving you a good kick in the ass. They may be tough sometimes, but they are the only parents I have, and they won't be around much longer. On a happier note, the mini-family reunion we had in Santa Barbara prior to the accident reminded me how important it is to maintain familial bonds as we get older. It was such a wonderful, meaningful time that I hope we repeat every year.

As a family we hit the 4 year mark of my sister being cancer free. This is a milestone in the sense that its relieving to know that she's still healthy and that we're moving towards a time where she's healthy enough to start having a family. Each day she's healthy is a blessing and each year that we get makes it more possible to feel almost "normal" and secure.

My blood family is mostly gone. I have created a stronger relationship with my step daughter. My family of choice seems bigger now. I am happier to interact with people and less worried about what they think of me. I just work on spreading the love as I can.

At some point this year, I realized that my wife really is the person who loves me the most in this world and is the most reliable and trustworthy person in my life. I am very grateful for this in a world filled with people who aren't reallygreat friends or relatives or who are basically indifferent toward me. This makes me want to treat my wife better in the hope that we can deepen our relationship.

My dad retired. He is more relaxed. He can spend more time with mum. It's easier for me to spend time with both of them now. Before my weird holidays made it difficult to have good family time.

My sister's husband died. She and I have not been close in many years, and we have even less in common since she moved to Florida. With John's death, I feel a certain obligation to reach out to her regularly, to let her know I'm thinking about her, but I can't get beyond my issues with her.

I turned 40, and my mother turned 70. Also, her cancer returned. Though (of course) it's been coming for a while, this really brought home the shift to the phase in life when your parents need your care. Given the circumstances, this is a hard, hard transition to make.

my sister and her family moved closer to my parents and brother. This move made us all see each other more than we have in many years and it's made our relationships closer but also a little more intense or apparent. The move was a very positive change in my sister and family's life and it's good to be able to get closer to her and her children and give them more support than in the past.

My sister got a real job. No more pizza delivery, working in a bar, or going from one short-term thing to another. She is now full-time, has benefits, and responsibility for people other this herself. She's now really an adult...I'm so proud of her and theres no way I'll be ever to put that into words.

The milestone was my Mom's death. We knew it was coming but we were not ready. That last night I was sitting by her side (with Fran and Cheri and maya in the bed with her)giving her medication. I talked to her at about 4 am and I said to her "Mom we keep telling you it is ok to go yet you are holding on. Maybe you are afraid to die in front of me and think that it will be scary for me. It won't I want to be here with you when you die, I don't want you to die alone" A moment later after having regular breathing despite being unconscious her breathing changed completely. I said "your listening to me Mom!" She made a sound like she wanted to say something, I hope it was "I love you too"I leaned over and told her I loved her and said "I need to go get Dad". I got my Dad and said "Dad you need to come now". He came in and kneeled down next to her and told her "he loved her" and she took one more breath and died. She was being my Mom to the last minute protecting me. I told her before in a letter I read to her a week before that I would miss her everyday and that there were no boundaries to my love for her not in time and not in space. That has proved to be true. I will love you forever Mom.

My daughter moved in with her boyfriend and got engaged. Although this caused some friction at the time (the moving in, not the engagement) I think it brought on a lot of conversations that resulted in our drawing closer as a family.

Mom's accident and eventual death. It brought us sisters closer together; as Mom's estate is about to start 'being settled', I hope all goes well and that there are no bad feelings.

I visited my eldest daughter in London who I hadn't seen for 12 years. Also strengthened my relationship with my middle daughter. It has made me ever more aware of how children need two parents committed to their relationship and children.

I have honestly not been very close with my family this past year. There are changes from my father's heart surgery in January 2010 to which I still have to adapt. He has better control over his anger and his memory. And it seems like my parents may end up staying together for the foreseeable future. I'm not sure how it all makes me feel. After years of seeing my father one way, it is very difficult to accept that he has changed.

My parents decided to move back to our native country. I'm kind of happy that I don't have to worry so much about them anymore. They're with their family and friends, and they can speak their native language, which boosts their self esteem. And my mom can be with my grandma, whose health is deteriorating.

Oh my, can't think of any major milestone with my family this past year! No one, married, no babies, no divorces. I'm the only one that moved and that was more than a year ago. I guess, I would say that my Mom visiting Austin was a major milestone, especially since she stayed with me. That's never happened before and it's unlikely that it'll ever happen again since she'll be 90 yrs old this coming June. She says it was her last journey, yet we all know that her biggest journey is yet to come! It really affected me wonderfully that she stayed with me. It's given me confidence since I always thought she didn't really like me. We had a good time, though.

suster is getting married. it is all that the family can talk about. my other sister was voted school captain, and i pr captain

Pat died on June 23rd from advanced bladder cancer. It has made me examine my life, who I am, what is my place in the world. At this point I am devastated and don't know any of the answers to any of these questions. My life is changing. I don't know what I will be able to make of it. :-(

My sister and I went to Turkey together this year. I think that really helped bring us closer together. I realize how much I enjoy spending time with her and how important it is that I talk to her and get advice from her. I'm really glad we got to spend that time together and I hope we get to do more of that this year.

Well... I am becoming a guy. That's significant. I adopted a new godson. I hope that will last. I will have another church godson next month. That is exciting. I was confirmed in the Anglican church. I will be moving to an apartment by myself soon. I visited my cousin. All that is important. I changed my name. I'm so glad about that. Oh, and I have a cemetery plot by my grandmother. That's pretty amazing too.

There haven't been any major family milestones this year. Just more of the same, which has been nice.

I think this is the year that I was the most distant with my family. This is a milestone, but not an achievement.

A major milestone in my family this year was the support I received after having a near breakdown in August. I've always felt my parents and brother never understood me, but they really showed how much they cared.

My dad turned 80. We haven't seen each other much for the last 35 years. We sent pictures from our lives, so he can know his grandchildren a little. His gift to us is this life. It has taken so long for us to understand each other, but this feels like a good way to celebrate his milestone -- to take the time to reach across what separates us.

My sister had surgery on her knee, my mom on her shoulder (was it 2010 or 11?) My family almost lost the house once again. My sister was to come visit me in Japan till the earthquake came, and in the same week she was let go from her job, so the trip ended up being cancelled. In the end it was for the best, but none of my family members have visited me in the past 10 years that I've lived here. So I'm beginning to think it was fate.

My grandparents have had their 50th anniversary on their marriage. I love them so much!

Allison's divorce was finalized and we're finally able to be a couple. A real couple. Not just the one that we know we are, but a public couple. Her parents even seem to be okay with me! The major milestone that I am thinking of though is getting engaged. Never in my life did I ever believe that life could be this amazing with someone. She truly is my other half - my missing piece.

My husband finally went back to school (while working full time.) It sucks, but it's necessary.

My daughter feeling less theatened and more safe. And feeling that her Mama loves her.

My mum and my uncle walked extremely close to the veil and both managed to turn away with dramatic recoveries. Im now quite worried for my own health and that of my children.

I had a Bat Mitzvah at age 57 in my hometown congregation (due to my mother being in a nursing home). I did it in a way that was very meaningful to me and lead to wonderful conversations. The actual event was wonderful, including that my mother was able to attend. However, I was disappointed and made to feel lonely at the lack of people I know who did not attend the follow-up reading at my own congregation.

nothing major has happened in this past year with my family, i feel though i can talk to my mum more as a friend now that i have gone to uni, we definitely are closer because of that

My niece lost her baby a few days before it was due. It was heartbreaking for all and reminded me of the loses I have experienced and how personal the process of grieving is, but the support that sprang up for her from all directions was inspiring to witness. I felt helpless to do anything for her and my heart has ached thru every painful moment she has struggled with and shared this past year. We all have done what we could to support her but realize there is nothing we can do to take away the pain. On a happier note, that loss brought her mother (sister) and I closer together than we've been in a long time.

This year, my sister had her first year of college. It was shocking not having her around the household anymore, and while she never got along with my parents, they made a new effort to stay in touch and keep their relationship more positive. It's brought our family closer together, and I think that as I get older, I will connect much more with my sister.

I realized how much my parents care about my future and their infinite love for me. My parents want to seize all the opportunities I have that my father feels he never had which may have hindered his success. This has brought me closer to my parents and made me realize no matter what they will always be there no matter what. I love them back with so much love.

Aaron and I decided that we are buying our plane tickets with our next tax check. That way, we have a definite deadline to work with. It's given me some hope and motivation that we are actually going to go through with the move back Home. <3

Whew. My husband survived a burst aneurysm in February. Is this a milestone? What is a milestone? My daughter's new pulmonary valve is working really well. How about that? Is that a milestone? One son transferred to his 3rd college in 3 years, and now he's very satisfied with his choice. He's living at home while he attends this 3rd school. I'm very happy to have him here. Is this a milestone? I'm not sure what a milestone is. Maybe reaching MA + 60 on the salary track at my school is a milestone, but I was taught that financial achievements don't matter in life. My parents were wrong. Without a modest amount of financial stability the health crises that rocked our family this year could have ended middle class survival as we know it. Perhaps that's the milestone. My son can continue in college because I have a stable, sufficient income. Is that petty?

Mom and Ian almost split up over his gambling issue. This messed me up but I can't fully process it. It just brought up alot of the old stuff I haven't worked out since I was a kid. I worried for mom alot. Ian too. I was angry. I feel like maybe there's alot still buried in me but maybe I'm over-thinking things.

My father-in-law passed away and I saw a deep emotional side of my husband. Having been through the death of a parent, I was able to be there for him and help him through this process. I fell in love with him all over again.

I don't know if this is really a milestone, but I think I'm learning how to stand up to my mom. Now I am able to see that she really overreacts to things and worries way too much, and I myself am doing these things less and less. I wish I could help her see the light!

My girlfriend and I are engaged. It was not a surprise for either of us that I would ask and that she would say yes. We had been talking about buying a house and raising kids together for almost a year by the time I found the right ring. She is the most important person in my life. She is unlike anyone I’ve ever known and I love her more than my life. There’s a part of me that wishes the customs of marriage were more expedient or that I’d simply proposed earlier. We’re so ready to move on with our lives together, we’re tempted to skip the ceremony and go straight to the county clerk’s office. If it weren’t for her parents’ generosity, we might do just that.

Merrick (and Layne) going off to college. I'm thrilled to see them be freed into creativity, exploration and adulthood with out their mothers dictating their actions. They are both incredible kids - that I've watched grow from babies. And I'm very excited to see how they blossom into their twenties.

I have had many difficult times with my parents; we have lots of trouble understanding each other. I am trying harder and harder to listen to and understand them, because many times, they are correct in the end in some sort of way. This will be a lifelong struggle for us, but there are always conflicts in relationships, and that's what makes relationships thrive.

The illness of Nomi brought the family together to provided her with support and love. I know that everything I said and did was not perfect, but considering the extent of the illness- I think we did pretty well. This also put us all into contact with mental illness and the extent that it impacts on an entire family.My sister-in-laws death hit me in a very profound way and I continue to try to cherish my life and not take it for granted.

I mean, I don't know that anything that significant happened this year. It was a pretty quiet year on the family front. However, Matt and I did start talking about starting a family, and have a goal date for doing that. To me, that is a huge milestone because we both knew that eventually we would want kids, but we didn't know when we'd be ready. We're still definitely NOT ready, but.... we've taken a step towards being ready. When that day finally comes, it will be a significant milestone, but we can't get there without this milestone. How has this affected me? To think about having a baby makes me feel overwhelmed, excited, frustrated, confused, I don't know! I know I want to do this, but....I can't imagine balancing it with our lives right now. I don't know if I'm ready to share Matt so completely with another person. I know that when the time comes, our love will just grow and adapt. But I really like where we are right now, just the 2 of us. We will have to make some big changes. I need to be done with school, and we need to pay off a lot more debt. Maybe if that stuff was done, it would be easier to imagine. Until then, it makes me happy but scared! Lots of mixed emotions. This is the year that I saw the picture of Matt with baby Jason, both wearing their microscope shirts, and I felt a real tug of want for that. I want us to have our own little one to wear a microscope shirt with Matt.

My Father had his 90th birthday. My first grandchild was born. Whoopee!

My dad took some significant steps toward retirement. This made me think a lot about mortality and made me so sad that I don't have any kids and probably won't. As if I'm not doing anything to carry on the lineage. Now, I'm trying to get him to write out stories he told me when I was a kid, so we can collaborate...and have something to pass on together. Still it's tough.

We learned that my mom would have to give up our house. Now, this might sound like a bad thing, but I don't think it is. And it's not like we're broke or anything. But with my sister going to college next year and me (hopefully) going to grad school, the house was just too much for my mom. I think this will give me the final push I need to move out and be on my own for once!

not much, i'm so far away from my family. i want to try to spend more time with them next year

My son had his second child, another bay. They dried to have children for 10 years, and bang had two in a row. They are only 18 months apart. I think he has a better understanding what it means to be a parent and can relate to my parenting on a completely different basis.

We haven't had much happen, honestly. Other than the constant bickering, there wasn't much going on. It's tough to not have my father around, but I did realize that he's on my side, and he does the things he does in order to help me. I'm thankful for them, despite the billions of issues on which we disagree.

Mother's passing, end of an era.

A major milestone was my family finally accepting Grandma's diagnosis of dementia and her moving into Assisted Living. This has made me appreciate time we spend together as a family and an appreciation for the past.

My nephew JUST turned two. It is completely unbelievable to me how he has come this far. From the first two months of his life being in the hospital to being on meds for the first year. He is thriving & is just like any 2 year old boy. He is our pride & joy. I've always seen him almost as my own. This gets me emotional like a mother would. I have been there through every step up until recently when I moved. But to hear him ask for me at his birthday party "My Sammi? My Sammi?" is something that makes me so so so sooo happy that I never thought I would feel this good,

Having my sister move out to college really hit us this year. It was an adjustment for all of us and I believe it hit me the hardest. It sparked my depression and made me feel worthless since I felt that I should have done it first. I'm the first born and couldn't be the smart one and independent one.

My brother decided to drop out of school. So that puts the situation like this: my father is retired, my mother has been laid-off (and not making a good faith effort at looking for a job) for five years, and my brother is a high-school drop out at age nineteen, still living at home. I go to school full time, work in a research lab, and work a retail job part time. I have not had a single day off in three months. This dichotomy throws my anger and shame into stark contrast. I have adopted a "bootstraps" mentality when dealing with them, which is very atypical for me. I am usually quick to sympathize with the plights of others, but knowing of the inner working of their torpor does not soften my heart. It just makes me want to shake them.

I think making it past our one year anniversary of marriage was a huge milestone. Marriage is a bumpy road, and having that one year behind us provides me with a sense of comfort.

My sister had emergency heart surgery & I realised how vulnerable we all are & need each other's support

Parents' 40th Anniversary. Husband's 40th birthday. Dad's 80th birthday. Realizing that life is short and precious and I should grab it by the horns and get it. Easier said than done.

My wonderful father-in-law, Vernon, passed away this August. He was the first person in my husband's family to make me feel welcomed into the family. He was always there for me & I was closer to him than my own father. This was the first death in the family that my children experienced (20 & 18 yrs. old). I was torn between my own grief, worry for my children, and sympathy for my husband, empathy for my mother-in-law, and gratitude for my husband's brother & sister. Now, I find myself using a lot of his "Vernie-isms" in my daily conversations at home & work as a way to keep him with me still.

My nephew -- my parents' first grandchild -- had his first birthday in May. He's an endless source of amazement and joy for all of us, and I love him and all my family so, so very much, but seeing how my parents are with him and how happy my sister and brother-in-law are has made my own inability to get pregnant a little more painful.

All four of us passed some challenging exams; I completed my DTEELLS, Tanya did her CIMA, Tahi her A levels and Toni her GCSEs. This marked the beginning of 4 new journeys, me as a fully qualified teacher within the FE sector, Tanya as a Chartered Accountant, Tahi is beginning a working life, and Toni walked into Esher College to begin her A levels.

We made the decision to move my daughter to a charter school. We were very concerned with how it would effect her since she had a lot of close friends at her old school. Thankfully she had several friends move with her and she has really blossomed. It has taken some adjusting on all of our parts, but it has been a good decision.

I don't know if I like the word 'milestone' coz to me a milestone is something to be acheived and it's usually positive. This year I lost my Grandma. 10 days after my 19th birthday, May 14 2011. She had a stroke in her sleep. She is the first of any of my Grandparents to pass. I've never had to deal with this before. I'll never forget that moment when my Mum told me. It was awful. I can still remember what she said and what her voice sounded like. I don't think I'll ever forget. Grandma was such a nuturer and such a giver. I'll never forget that about her. It's where my Mum get sit and I'd like to think that I've got a wee bit of it too. She gave us a lot of good memories to keep with us. Though there were quite a few negatives associated with her death. She was due to come up to Christchurch at the end of the week for a wedding. Her and Grandad had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in April. Her and Mum were meant to share their 50th and 70th birthdays together next year. Their birthdays are a day apart and I think it's something that's always linked them together. She also hadn't yet received her mother's day present. Though I suppose even with all the negatives there are some positives. She had 5 children and 12 grandchildren. She was a well known and respected member of the community. She survived lung cancer when she was 50. Mum told me they thought they were going to lose her then and that they'd thrown a surprise party for her 50th. She also survived a stroke about 5 years ago. So in someways, we got 18 more years with her. I remember the last time I saw her was at a family wedding on March 19. I don't remember the last words she said to me but no doubt it would've been something like "Oh well, see you next time." Coz she always said that to us. So even though her death was a huge blow to the family and we'll always miss her I guess you could say that a major milestone for my family was coping with her death and staying together as a family unit. She was always good at keeping us together.

We 'lost' the car we'd been borrowing for the past two years. Not only did it create difficulty in doing errands, it caused SC embarrassment with some of her 'friends'. But, I learned my friends are tops for helping out, as both S & T let me borrow their cars every week to go grocery shopping, etc. They were extraordinarily generous. I feel very lucky to have them in our lives.

My son finished medical school and graduated as physician. He and all of us were so happy with it, especially since there had been some difficulties along the way. It was a wonderful milestone to celebrate. Also that there were 2 grandchildren on their way but both pregnancies bacame miscarriages so that was strange. My youngest sister became 40 yrs old and we siblings did a good job celebrating with her

We didn't really have any milestones other than we made it through as a family having our daughter live with her father and stepmother and step sister. We still need to see how it will go on completing her Senior year.

I have considered Sandra to be my family for a long time, and I feel proud that we finally got engaged. I am very happy about this, and I cannot wait to be able to tie the knot finally with her.

First grandchild. I think it's brought me closer to my parents. They are so thrilled. It's given my mom a chance to make good on a past conflict we had when I'd asked (long ago) if she'd support me / my decision if I decided to have a child on my own. I think it's bittersweet for my brother, who would like to have kids himself but isn't in a relationship and is starting to age out of dating women of childbearing age. I feel happy to have given my parents such joy (after they'd thought they might not / probably wouldn't become grandparents) and concerned / sorry for my brother feeling left out.

My brothers - one got married and the other had a baby, the first grandchild. The baby has affected me the most - it's made me more comfortable with babies - ie. I'm starting to get to the same "zone" that I have when I interact with animals, where I'm very natural and just "know" what to do and how to interact with them - I'm starting to feel that same way with the baby. Usually I'm stiff and awkward when interacting with them, like I don't "naturally" know what to do or how to connect with them.

We realized that the cancer has spread and even though I am trying to remain optimistic it is very scary.

My husband and I separated due to his infidelity but continue to be a couple. It was something I never wanted to happen for my son. The entire experience has been full of personal growth, regret, and sadness. I have become the mother/parent I never wanted to be: a parent who could not give her child stability in regard to their parents' relationship. It makes me feel horrible.

I just got engaged a few days ago. Nothing tangible has changed yet, but I can already sense some alterations coming soon. My fiancé has finally done something without help or permission from his parents, which is an issue we've had in our relationship. But now there will be new challenges to balance. I will have to learn how to handle planning a wedding with my mother and my fiancé's mother. I will have to try hard not to get frustrated with my own mother when she becomes hard-headed about something. On the other hand, I'll have to learn to pick my battles when it comes to my future mother-in-law. Besides that, I have to accept an altered relationship with my fiancé's brother. He has never been very respectful to me and has called me some pretty awful names behind my back. Now I need to deal with him being in the wedding party even though I really didn't want him to be a major part of the wedding. But he's important to my fiancé so I must find a way to handle things.

My brother tried to commit suicide this summer. It terrified all of us, and made my parents tiptoe around him quite a bit. I did no tiptoeing, but I cried like it was breathing for a while. During his time in the hospital, my parents and i became quite a bit closer but farther apart at the same time. It was the first time something had happened that i knew i could deal with the emotional stress of completely on my own.

My children lost their home to foreclosure. I really resent the banks.

birth of my son. enhanced my life. Happy to name my son after my father. Still amazed that I'm a father.

Traveling with my family this summer was such an amazing experience. We were together non-stop for longer than we ever have been or probably ever will be in the future. It was such a wonderful experience and I'm so happy we were able to have that.

My cousin was married this year. To see how much he loves his wife and how hard they work on their relationship is inspiring and motivating. I hope to one day find that person who is my soulmate.

another sibling dead... my brother's wife, shari's brother, wyatt dropped dead without warning on his treadmill in the morning before work... 55 years old... august 1, 2011. i got this news while in berlin after having been at my first ZEGG summer camp. my first time in germany... facing the energy in my body of 'how can people do these things... how? referring to the betrayal of a man and his supposed best friend woman i was involved with for five years. not realizing that through the betrayal & abuse (emotional & physical) of that relationship, i had been brought to look at the energy i was carrying of the holocaust... of man's inhumanity to man. i am still unpacking this. do we know hurt and pain because we have also caused it at some point... is this human. and a family lineage: i cried upon entering the jewish museum... i visited the concentration camps' headquarters about an hour and half outside berlin... sachsenhausen. i cried a lot... i videotaped and documented. we are forgiven as we forgive ourselves.

The biggest milestone in my family (which was, thank God anti-climatic) was that my father had a bunch of health issues hit him at the same time. The scariest one was that some preliminary tests revealed he needed a biopsy, which made us all nervous for a while. Thankfully, it came back negative but the realization of my parents' mortality was pretty intense.

I think about riding down the hill to my "just me" place after Grace's first horse show. I think about Angela and my Mom engineering my Mom's visit without me in the loop (and never blinking twice when I wonder about it). I think about Angela forgetting my birthday. That one truly hurt. Things are changing. I don't know how these things will affect me. I know the changes are deep...

We're having a baby! It's our first pregnancy, and we're still in the first trimester. It's terrifying and thrilling at the same time! We hope it works out but know that nature and the universe will do what's best. Fingers crossed!

We became 'the 99 percent." Our always upwardly mobile family became a victim of the economic crisis. My husband lost his job and my salary was slashed. I am working 24/7 to keep us all above water and the pressure is unlike anything I've ever known or experienced. I am angry, resentful and anxiety-ridden all the time. I have not been there at all to emotionally support my husband because I guess I blame him in some way. I saw it coming--he says he did not. We have had to alter our entire life to make ends meet and this was the last thing I ever thought would happen in middle age. Instead of looking forward to a future of relaxation, travel and the opportunity to pursue interests I've never had time for, I'm working 4x harder than I've ever worked in my life and my future is uncertain.

This summer was kind of difficult, living with my dad and step mom full time. I love my dad and we never fight, but there was huge disagreement at the beginning of the summer and I'm still hurt by some of the things he said. They took away my freedom this summer, and it's just made me more eager to go all out as soon as possible. All of the situations like this have made me appreciate my close friends and the good times so much more though.

This year I lost my grandfather. While most of the loss from that is from missing him, a little bit is recognizing some of his missed opportunities. I wish that he had left more direction to his family, an ethical will, a living testament, something, so that his wife and children would have a better idea of his wishes.

Everyone grew up and moved on. I didn't.

Major milestone... Really, nothing major has happened with my family. Maybe the most major thing has been the month spent living back at my parents while searching for my own apartment. It made me realise the many good things living alone, and I think my parents have similar feelings, too.

My wife went back to school and started to work. This has completely changed the dynamic of what we can all expect my wife to get accomplished and what we need to now pitch in and do. I have found that some of the things that we all took completely for granted, now just don't get done unless we all pitch in. This has been a complete eye opener in that I realize how much I was taking things for granted, and how much my wife has really been doing for the family. I think my kids will be better off for it as well. We have a new saying in our house - "we don't have a house-elf". I think that sums it up - we used to act like we had one.

We are buying a new house in a quiet neighborhood in Dewitt. After living in the same house for 21 years, this is a huge change. All of the kids except Noel grew up here, and even Noel probably doesn't remember the old apartment. In spite of the stress of having to move, every day I think of things I will not miss or am looking forward to in the new house. I'd have to say that I feel somewhat of a long time burden now gone. We will not have to deal with the problem neighbors/neighborhood any more. It's almost as if we are being given the chance to start over again. Especially since we only have three kids still at home, so space is not an issue as it has been here.

My sister got married and is about to have her first baby, a little girl I cannot wait to meet.

We finally took the family vacation that we have been deserving and needing. It grounded us and brought my siblings together who have been separated for years and years. Now as my whole family lives in different parts of the world, to be in one place at the same time having the same experience reminded us what it used to feel like!

It was another year filled with simchas and blessings for my family all around, B"H. Four babies were born to my cousins on my mother's side this past year; one of my Israeli cousins was married and I had the pleasure of attending his wedding; and I turned 21 as my dad's side of the family gave me the long-awaited "Roast" I'd been desiring for years. I'm very thankful for all these moments of happiness my family has been afforded, because God knows, we've experienced many moments of dispair. But through it all, my family's become especially important to me over the years, because no matter what happens and no matter how dysfunctional things may become, they're always there and they're always mine.

My sister finished her engineering studies and got settled with a fantastic job. I could say it's a dream job for anyone. How time flies! The baby I have seen from the day she was born, is finally earning by herself. It's exciting to know that one of the huge companies is being dependent on that baby in some way! This gives me a sigh of relief, as I had always worried about her future. Now she has a job, I am sure she will make her way to perfect life we always wanted for her.

My parents 30th wedding anniversary. They show me every day how you need to work at a marriage, that after the wedding things don't just happen. I also want to find the guy out there that is right for me for the long term, not in the short term.

My Nana had a heart attack about a year ago, and has been having more and more health problems. Today my Mom told me that Nana was scared (specifically of not being able to get over the ledge in her bath tub). It's hard for my to think of my Nana as afraid of anything, she's always been such a strong person. I'm beginning to realize that she will not be around forever. She will probably be gone in the next 5 years, maybe even sooner, maybe even by the next time I read this. I hope to get to visit her a a lot more before this happens.

Mom's cancer. Sister's wedding. LIFECYCLE. Happy.Sad.Optimistic. EXHAUSTED

My second niece was born this past year. She is so cute and precious and we are so grateful to have her in our lives. It is a big changing point for my brother and his wife as well, with her being their first child.

My first cousin died in his 50s. He was the first of my cousins -- my contemporary family in my generation, to pass. I am reminded not only of my own mortality, but that as an adult without kids, in order for me to HAVE family, I must BE family. I have not done that very well with my generation or the nextgen kids. I try to keep in touch with my aunts and uncles but they are now in their 80s and 90s.

My Brother Moved to Arizona - I felt like the proudest sister in the world ( even though I cried a lot). I like to think my encouragement and unconditional love gave him a foundation to jump off of and fly. I love him more than anything and know he will continue to blossom into the greatness of who he is.

I moved home from college. There is nothing that tests a family more than having your 23 year old daughter moving back home after being away for 5 years. It is both amazing and painful. I love my family to pieces, but my mother and I stress each other out. It has been 5 months now, though, and things are fairly good! The most fun thing as a family is that we joined a CSA garden. It has taught me to love the earth more, learn new recipes and learn random fun facts about vegetables.

It was my parents' 30th wedding anniversary this year. Its made me want to get married to my fiancee even more now. To see them still happy and working together after this many years has shown me that it really is possible and I can't wait til its us.

I used to think I was already fairly grown up as I slide from my late 40's into my 50's. I realized as my immediate family and I moved through our milestone that I was growing up more and more as each Life Cycle event comes and goes. I am encouraged by my ability to recognize, reflect and integrate as each transition presents itself.

There was no major event with my family this year - just the usual ups and downs. I guess I am still learning that it's possible to love my family and sometimes be at odds with them. It's a huge challenge to carry mixed emotions about my family members, but knowing that I love them, no matter what, gives me some sense of stability amidst the chaos of feelings.

I think a milestone would be that we still have our house. My parents are going through bankruptcy and other hardships, and we are definitely still surviving to do what we need to do.

My husband turned 50 and torched our life together. It may be the best thing or the worst thing that's happened to me in my life, it's too soon to tell. What I know is that much is different and much is the same. Mitchell had not wanted to share his life w/ me for a long time AND Mitchell no longer respected me as a partner. Mitchell doesn't respect any of his partners (me, jeff, courtney, jeff wolfram)... I don't know if he knows how to respect other people's contributions to his life as he's so tied up in blaming everyone else's short comings as the thing that holding him back. So his milestone, his face to face w/ his mortality has brought me face to face with mine. I see that there are things about my life that I like (entertaining for people, good calm nights with my kids when we're able to get home work done, dinner on the table and getting to bed on time, fundraising for causes I care about, helping friends amplify their projects, taking time out to be creative, finding my center, giving the best of myself to the people around me, quiet time), and there are things about my life I don't like (isolating myself, taking on too much and feeling overwhelmed, unrealistic expectations, spinning on what mitchell is up to or if he's seeing someone, getting lost in my sadness and/or anxiety). Next year I turn 45, I hope it's a more positive birthday. I hope I'm getting my mid-life crisis in early, that I'm reconciling some of my big issues now, so that I can get more fulfilled and happier as I get older.