Q03

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

For the 3rd year in a row, no major milestones to report.

My daughter S started school last week. It's major, but too soon to know the effects.

My grandmothers both turned 80! It's awesome to see them so spunky at 80. It is challenging to see my grandmothers getting old.

Now being totally without any family has made me be more grateful for the friends I have now.

3 Bnai Mitzvah's over the summer. Children and family are what make you rich. I'm glad I listened to my mother and married. Jewish girl.

I am grateful for my renewed relationship with my sister. Unexpected, but wonderful! It was born out of recognizing my true need of her in my life.

I don't think that there's been a major milestone in my family in the past year. The year before there were two, but not from Sept '11 - Sept '12.

My daughter went away to college and I've been proud that I haven't clinged - that I've allowed the separation to be a positive one for both her and me.

My children's book was published last October. My husband is so proud for me, and I'm proud of myself. Friends and family have celebrated my success, and this has kept me very humble.

The milestone was Pauline's successful battle with her Cancer and the rallying of all of us around thst. Showing us the clear priorities.

My middle son went to college. It was really hard letting go for me & my husband but probably the best thing for him. He is more independent & learned how to take care of himself.

My half sister and her family moved much closer to my family. For some very strange reason, I thought that having her nearer would impact on my relationship with my father but in retrospect that was just so silly!

My daughter started high school this year. It has meant that we see a lot less of her, and have had to relinquish our (illusion of) control over her life. I know that this is a necessary stage of our growth, but I miss her a lot,

I am no longer talking to my older sister. She has done something to another sister that I just can't abide by. My family has been torn apart by this. I miss her. I dream about her. I don't know if we will ever speak to each other again. It crushes me.

We moved, and it was like moving physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It has been one of the best decisions of my life.

Illness in the family and how this makes you consider whats important. Other than the health of you and your family, not much else is so important. Yet we often lose the forest for the trees.,

2 weeks ago I started living with my brother and cousin, this I know I'll always remember with a smile I'm sure....

My brother got his degree. Things will soon have to change in his life and I hope this will pull my family together. He's been so distant in the last few years, maybe it's time for a change.

jesus christ you dont even know in two words my sister in three more her suicide attempt fucking a how hasnt this affected me uh well i dont fucking lseep all i tihnk about is everything all the time fuck

We adopted a dog. I love him. I think he helped me express love and have more confidence.

As the first anniversary of my wife’s passing on our family has began to accept and adjust. While I have been spiritual for some time I have very recently taken up meditation and began to view the world in a much different light.

I got married! I worked really hard to grow up and shift my focus from a need to please my parents to putting my energy into my relationship with my husband. Now that we are across the world, we are building a new family together. I am slowly finding my own needs and voice and learning how to interact with my parents in a new way.

Unfortunately this year my two uncles fell out, and my cousin too. It wsa all over money and business. One of them was trying to get more money out of the other, and not by very honest means. This selfishness put my Nan in a difficult position. But she also infuriated me by not stepping in and helping to resolve the situation. Instead, things are irrepairable. It affected me as when it came to my daughter's christening this year, not everyone could be invited and come without worrying it would descend into an argument - the feelings are that strong between my two uncles. I'm glad that the people I'm closest to were able to come - but I feel awkward more than anything about my relationship with my cousin. We were reasonably close, having had our children around the same time and I can't help but things are a little more difficult now. It's a shame - but she has made it like that rather than me. I invited her and wanted her to come, but she declined to make a stand. Family arguments are the worst, particularly when they are over money.

I lost one third of my family when I left Dan. Now I only have one other person in my family and I feel scared, lonely and exposed.

Husband's job turned sour and he resigned to begin a new project. I'm glad. It means that there is a little pressure on me to keep some things rolling while he's getting started. Getting started has taken longer than we wished, but at least the start is being made. It could still be 'in the wings' had he not made the decision to pull the plug. We are both expanding skills and opportunities.

My Grandpa died this year. That was pretty epic. He wasn't in our life that much in the past few years but he left behind so much fame and now all that anyone knows is that he is famous and no one knows my grandpa they way he was for me. That makes me so sad. No one will know and understand a person the way they are to you personally. Now that he is gone, I feel a little bit more alone. Also upset that he spent the last years of his life on tour and not with his family.

my daughter had her final break-up with her abusive father...after years of hoping to establish a good relationship with the "daddy from when i was a young girl," she finally has shut the door on his outrageous emotional abuse...i could not do it for her and for the years she struggled and was distraught with his outrageous behavior, yet hopeful it would all turn out okay, i could not do anything but pray for her emotional well-being and be here to hold her up when she was falling down. i learned that she has an incredible amount of strength and resilience, something that i did not have at her age. i now take comfort in that, i know that she will never, ever be the me i was at her age but the me that i am today. there is an overall sense of peace in our home now and she and i have an incredible relationship and that is bound by unconditional love and encouragement.

I don't have a family in a traditional sense. I have my wife, and my dog; that is my family. I have my brother, whom I love, but don't really have a strong, interactive relationship with him. So, no "family", as that term is generically used. I have 2 children, but they do not want to have a relationship with me, and do not speak with me. I have a mother, but after I told her 10 years ago that I could no longer support her financially, she does not speak to me. I have a sister, but 5 years ago, after she and her husband begged me to assist them, they sued me. So, no relationship there, obviously. So my major milestone regarding family is this: Because I have no traditional family, I have the wonderful opportunity to enjoy the holiday season every year, without the stress, bitching, family politics that many "normal" families get to endure. I spend my holiday season in the snow in a mountain retreat, and Thanksgiving through New Years is my favorite time of year. I am blessed...

Determined to make sure that the challenges, changes, choices and resulting consequences are not in vain. It's not what you say but what you do that will be your ultimate judgement.

My grandparents moved into an assisted living facility. Usually things like that happen when im not around so it rarely affects me directly. This time though, I was elbows deep in the mess of the packing, the moving, and all the emotional turmoil surrounding it. It was exhausting to put it simply. The physical labor wasn't tiring but all the emotions spinning in the air around my family was. Tempers that were usually long were then cut short. The people I thought were the strongest turned out to be the weakest. Im still exhausted from the event and its been almost 5 months since we started the moving process. I haven't really gotten a chance to analyze my feelings about all that's happened because its all still so raw and present. Ask me again next year and I might be able to tell you better how I feel about how everything went down.

My daughter graduated. I am relieved and extremely happy for her! She came home for 2 months before going off to college and I could see how much she grew up and matured. It was FUN to have her home as an adult!

My husband died on July 1, and I am still reeling. I shock myself with not being as upset as I feel I should be. I feel like it should weigh on me every moment. And yet, it doesn't. I think it was because he had been ill for so long, that in a way, it was liberating for both of us. Since his passing, I have made some big decisions in my life - I am going to work to live, and not the other way around. I gave my notice at my job, and plan to pursue a graduate school education, but not before a trip around the world.

Moved all the kids to a new school. Wow, what a huge shift. It was brewing for some time, and was quite the journey to reach the decision. But all the questions and uncertainty have vanished. Our kids are blossoming in a creative supportive space. We are witness to them becoming the people they truly are and see that empowering this sense of self is more important than any learn by wrote education. An unexpected outcome has been meeting and becoming part of the school community.

Moving to Florida after 17 years in NaperWorld, new grandson in 2011, Sarah/Jay return from ChIna after 7 years abroad and get married. Major milestones galore that have helped me out of pure necessity to lI've 1 day at a time. Also has increased my gratitude quotient astronomically! Lastly, Charlotte & I exchanged vows at the Beach after 40 years of marriage & love & blessings out the wazoo. All you need is love. On an outside "the world can be an amazing place" note: I was raised in the Jim Crow South where my Dad ( Rest his wonderful soul) told me once to turn Bob Dylan off because he can't sing and I should know better. This year a black POTUS gave Mr Zimmerman the Medal of Freedom! If that doesn't show me change can happen, what does ?

Daughter is pregnant...expecting first grandchild in January. Hard to think of being a grandparent as I used to think of my grandparents as being really old. I don't feel old. This next stage of parenting ... I want to be available to my daughter and son in law and let them experience this wondrous joy!

Ambivalent, unsure and anxious.

Peter's stepfather died and left him a considerable inheritance, which was totally unexpected. It will enable us to live and breathe a bit easier. It has been a positive event because now we can afford to move and be closer to do the things we want to do.

My mom passed away from a major disease last Sept. at age 69. I do not take anything for granted and as there are no guarentees in life, I am doing the things that I want to do, especially my passions.

Two friends died and we had the vacation from heck-discussed in answers to previous questions. Other than that, I can't think of milestones that happened to our family in this past year. No real significant birthdays or anniversaries that can be considered "major" and, other than our friends, no relatives have died. The only major milestone was a great nephew's bar mitzvah. As with his brother, I was permitted to read Torah which I enjoyed enormously. I didn't enjoy the party since, after the pressure, my niece and her family cut loose, enjoyed themselves, but were not the best host/hostess in the world. The party was too big and splashy, too. Still, it was a cause for celebration. However, I'm still unable to get past the deaths and the "vacation."

We made Aliyah and moved to Israel! Everything, and I do mean everything, has changed for the better. We are happy here, we have affordable and professional healthcare, we are learning Hebrew, and we live next to the sea in the most beautiful city I have ever lived in. I am healthier, happier, and better employed than I have been in more than twenty years.

Again, my mother's death. This resulted in a changed relationship with my father,and many other family members and a different sense of myself in the world. Sometimes I still catch myself forgetting that she is not dead.

This year Mom chose to die of cancer, my husband suffered a heart attack, and I had heart surgery to fix a birth defect at age 58. My adopted grandchildren did very well all things considered. My grandson with PTSD and ADHD started High School and for the first time seems to be on top of his game not behind the eight ball. My eldest granddaughter at 15 has stepped into young womenhood and plays varsity sports, tries out for the school play and works hard to keep her marks up. My youngest is discovering she is not quite a little kid anymore and that 5th grade is hard but she is doing it in advanced math and english. I am proud of this family which works hard and comes through everything with flying colors.

Last year's milestone was my fathers bypass surgery, this year's milestone was Marissa's wedding in Chicago. Seeing my Dad back out on the dance floor brought tears to my eyes. Having Adam there as well. 3 generations. Very special.

My youngest son, Liam(16) began seriously dating a girl and it made me realize how mature he has become, physically if not emotionally. We semi-seriously teased them about their "making out" sessions this summer on our couch or in the bedroom watching TV (DOOR OPEN!). Ron felt very uncomfortable with their behavior, I was more relaxed but still a little concerned. We have been continuing the "sex talk" with him, but I realize how teens will be teens. Alec was not like this! Now, we just went through an episode where Maureen threatened suicide because of a fight with her dad. Liam was the one who called the police who then felt it was credible enough to send her to the hospital. I worry so much that he is going to be hurt either by having to deal with serious depression or serious manipulation with this young girl. I cannot protect him as if he were a child, yet I do not want to leave him to deal with this alone. Its hard to find the right balance. I continue to monitor his texts - I dare you to say I'm snooping!

I experienced death for the first time, in two different ways. My Grandad died and the last time anyone I knew died I was only 7 so I don't remember it and I wasn't sure how I would react. I only cried at his funeral and mainly only because my mum was so sad, I love my grandad dearly but I know he is happier were he is now, this life was no longer for him. I doubt I will feel the same when it's my own parents, but that is different. I also experienced death as in the death of the little family unit we had created and along with it, all my hopes and dreams. But from this I have learnt that I can cope regardless and all I need is Me and Elliott

My sister got married and changed her name. The event was very difficult for me. It stimulated a great deal of grief both over the reminder that I have not found anyone to love me and over the idea that our family name now will probably die out, since I doubt I will ever have children and her children will have her new name.

My mother was just diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Prior to last week's diagnosis, she had been in the hospital for a week due to nodules on her kidneys and her pancreas and around it. My mother was also hospitalized less than 6 months ago for gall bladder issues and surgery. My mother's help has really taken a toll on both her and my family, physically and mentally. Both my parents are retired, and both are having issues with health, including breathing, blood pressure, diabetes, and now cancer. They live alone, my father feels that he has to be at the hospital all day long, but he obsesses over the health issues and his anxiety is contagious, to my mother and my brother and I. I want my mother to be positive, but having my father around, a functional alcoholic, does not help the situation at all because he makes it hard. I'm going to do the best I can to be there for them in this time of need, but I need to be conscious of my own boundaries. We aren't very close although I have a tendency to take on the responsibility of other people's emotions. I believe this milestone of cancer the second time (my mother already beat breast cancer) will allow me to get closer to my parents, spend time with them, and make them feel better while they are going through this. It will teach me patience and how to control my own anxiety.

My mom got laid off her job and my dad was the only one working so i had to work at a period of time. This affected me by having to go to school and then head to work right away so it was a hassle.

My parents celebrated 50 years of marriage this year. It was beautiful to see how committed they have both been to one another - in good times and bad - for such a long time. It was also the first time all of us have been together in many years as a family. It really inspired me and it also reminded me how much I love and miss being around my beautiful family. Sadly, it also reminded me that my parents are not spring chickens anymore. It gave me the feeling of wanting to spend as much time as I can with them.

The Bar Mitzvah of my nephew Ben. I tutored him and say him develop into a young man capable of leading the Shabbat service, chanting Torah and Haftorah and giving an inspiring Bar Mitzvah speech.

I don't know if there was a major milestone this year. No one was born. No one died. No one moved. No tragedy struck anyone. I am grateful for our continued lives in peace and happiness.

My sister had a baby and her name is emanhi. We love her dearly and glad my sister had a child however, I didnt know how much your life can change with having a baby. Your not the most important person any more your child is and by putting your child first makes you a great parent.

Our daughter completed a year of college after returning from a year in India. She spent the summer at home studying and has now moved back to college to complete her senior year. I feel fulfilled that we have done a fairly good job raising her.

Harry and I finally seem to be on the right track in our relationship. It feels lasting, healthy, and growing. After 8 years, I'm still amazed how deeply I love Harry and that he returns my love in the same way! I am happy for the first time in a very long time and am at peace.

My son has transformed from a helpless baby into an assertive toddler, telling me he can "do" it all himself.

My dad got a stent in his heart. No biggie, but this time the doctors said he can't get any more. He might be around for years, but his diet and exercise regimes aren't improving. I fear that he's not long for this earth & I feel like every hug goodbye might end up being our last. I feel like there's no more time for petty bickering and everybody needs to learn how to answer their own money & life problems & stop looking to Dad.

Our daughter started kindergarten—no more kids at home during the day! I haven't really felt the full impact yet.

To a certain extent, with kids my kids' ages it feels like there are a lot of smaller milestones--starting 2nd and 5th grade feels like a big deal. Someone losing a tooth. Someone becoming a strong reader. I turned 39 and am really going gray. Nothing "major" but seems like there are minor milestones all the time.

Both children were hired full time. I am proud of them both in this very difficult economy. I don't think either one is doing what they want to do for the rest of their lives but they understand the importance of working and taking responsibility. They are hard workers. And I am very proud of their accomplishments.

Well my uncle got cancer again but is better now. It hasn't really affected me that much but I am now on the bone marrow registery

My daughter and her husband decided to split after 22 years. With two mature daughters having nearly reached adulthood, it was time. He has been an autocratic brute (not in a physical way, but psychologically and financially) for many years, and my daughter will have a better life without him — even though her level of economic comfort will be reduced for a while.

My son and his wife had a baby daughter this year, a first grandchild for my husband and me. This has made me appreciate the importance of passing on our cultural and religious Jewish heritage to a new generation. I'm daunted by the difficulties, since many miles separate us, but I am praying that we will seize the opportunities to do this as they present themselves to us. I came to Alabama to help make a Rosh Hashanah dinner -- round challot, apples and honey, pluot for shehechiyanu -- and to take Greer to hear the shofar at a children's service. So, mission accomplished to the best of my ability this year;

Guy flew to New Zealand. He has always been around for me. I am pleased he has the confidence tho'

My father's passing was undoubtedly the most significant event that occurred this past year. It affects me different ways on different days, but my immediate family is more consistently in the front of my mind than before. Although we have always been close, I feel that this experience has really strengthened the bond we have with each other. I love my brothers and my sister with my full heart, and my mother is a shining pillar of strength that I would be happy to emulate throughout the rest of my life. She is an absolutely amazing woman.

One of the major milestones that has happened this year with regard to my family has been a conversation that happened recently between my parents and my husband. My husband called them - independent of me - and asked them to work on some issues we've been having as a family. He told me afterwards that at the end of the day, family is what continues to affect us day in and day out (whether we mean for it to or not). This was a brave milestone for both my parents and my husband - to come together to solve problems and to figure out better ways to communicating.

Phil has started semi retirement, and goes to Staunton 2 days a week to work for pay. This was somewhat spurred by the economic slow down and the fact that his office really cannot provide him with enough work. They would keep him on anyway, but he just had to while away the days. Being home has been an adjustment for both of us, and we really didn't discuss it ahead of time or plan for it. Just routines and traffic patterns, particularly at the computer and in the kitchen, have required attention. This had led to some amount of irritation, although I think that we are doing OK with it now. It was a surprise to me that Phil did not see this extra time as an opportunity to pitch in more with domestic chores, but as a time to pursue his own interests. Sometimes I have trouble with that: since when are domestic chores of particular interest to me? But I am more attached, so there you are, and in fairness, he does do laundry. I have enjoyed his grilling, which is cooking on his terms. I don't know how the money part is going to work out yet. It could get touchy.

I separated from my husband this year after 20 years of marriage. Although the last ten years were pretty bad, being finally out of the marriage helped me to realize how good the first ten years were, and enabled me to finally start to really grieve for what I lost. Also, it made me feel very alone in the world, despite having three children and a number of friends.

My two nephews were born. They have brought a new level of love and closeness into my family and made me realize just how important family is to me. This has also affected our decision to move back to Michigan when the time comes for us to have kids.

The yartzeit period for my mother passed and now i am coming to the reality that I do not have living parents any longer. It has made me stand up for myself more, but also left me hanging and lonely for a parent's love. Also, my 19 year old son with Down syndrome had his Bar Mitzvah. We are all so proud of him and now see him more as an adult.

A close relative was moved into a skilled nursing facility. This has caused major stress with the whole family. It's where she needs to be, but she doesn't want to be there and is making life miserable for everyone. My mother (90 years old) can't seem to let go of the need to "make her last days happy" and is killing herself. Not a good time in our lives.

My parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, and it was the first time since 1978 since my entire family has been together at one location. My oldest brother and sister have had some sort of falling out (the rest of us don't know what it is) and they can't seem to get past their anger. Neither one of them said a kind word to the other. How sad.

I think the milestone for this year is that Matt and I are really settling into being married to each other. We have a strong partnership and we support each other. We rarely fight and we can make adjustments to our relationship through easy conversation. We will be married for 4 years in April. We are also both doing a much better job of taking care of our individual health and needs which has taken a lot of pressure off of our relationship. I think we used to think that we had to be more dependent on one another for many things, but we are learning what we can ask from the other person and what we need to provide for ourselves.

In the past year, I went back to work after staying home with my daughter. I did not want to, but had to. My husband is no longer working due to illness. I am overwhelmed and feel like I'm not giving all that I can to home life and work life. I hope that in the next year I'm better able to balance these things out.

I had a child. That changed everything about my family - its size, how we relate to one another, how I see the world. Becoming a mother has made me simultaneously more patient (no choice) and grounded (some things are more important than my work), and frustrated and resentful at times (no time to get things done, feeling as though there is an unequal distribution of labor in our home). I've learned to try to step back from the day to day a bit and try to focus on what is really important to me, not letting myself get caught up too much in the rest. What is important also changes for me day to day - and I have learned in the past year to remember that and become more flexible (I hope).

My aunt continues to drag down my mom's entire side of the family. She does nothing to help herself and moves from one crisis to another. She has always been lazy, unmotivated, and self-centered. She relies on her young children for support, so basically they are parenting their parent. She has a medical condition but many others with that condition work and lead productive lives. I know that this is judgmental but she is killing my grandparents with all of the stress she is placing on them. They have aged horribly in the last couple of years and they both cry a lot. This is issue at the center of our family this year. Every family event is tense and a few events have been cancelled because of some drama in my aunt's life.

Our daughter finally was able to land a paying position in her field: Museum Studies. She is now working at the Maritime Museum in Havre de Grace, MD. We are all tremendously excited, and she loves the position. How does affect me? Lizz is already beoming more self-sufficient (something she has desired for a long time). We are getting more involved in the community and have become members of the museum. She is happy and we are happy.

My mom turned 80 last November. While 80 seems old, my mom is so vibrant and full of life that I find it hard to believe she's really 80. I went back to MN to visit her for the weekend and we had a great dinner party for her girlfriends and then a nice dinner out with my brothers and their wives. It was a great weekend. It's been four years since my dad passed away and while my mom loved him dearly, she has really grown and is finally having more chances to do what she wants when she wants to do it. I love the opportunity I'm getting to watch my mom grow and become more her ownself. The joy she has and brings to others is incredible.

My major milestone was not so much a single event as much as a realization that my divorce from from husband of more than 20 years was an amazing blessing. Really, no matter what happens, I know I wasn't happy in my marriage. he wasn't happy. And though things seemed fine on the surface, life merits so much more than fine. It's been a tough road to reach this conclusion, not because I had doubts about the need for the marriage to end, but because of how it has turned my life completely upside down. I will never be the same. I don't look, think, or feel the same. I'm like a newborn, having to re-learn so many things from scratch. Sometimes that feels overwhelming, but I have the opportuntiy to really live out my ideal that life happens just once and you shouldn't waste a minute.

I can't think of a major milestone....didn't visit England this year and my daughter has been pretty stable...actually, not having any drama with family has left me to focus on my own dreams so guess this has affected me. Finally, I'm focusing on me, instead of 'them'.

The decline of my parents, with the death of my Father. Coupled with the struggles in the non-profit for which I work, the year has been difficult. Everyday has been a struggle on the above mentioned fronts, however, I have much for which to be grateful and my goal is to move toward the positives in my life.

Poppa passed away. Im more worried about grandma E now, and I think she is starting to slip away from us now that she doesnt have to take care of him anymore. I went from 4 to 2 really quickly. Even though this doesnt affect me on a regular basis because he was a grandparents, it has really affected my parents and they are always tearing up over the loss of their fathers. It's hard to see my parents so vulnerable over this.

My son became homeless in lieu of obtaining help for addiction mental health issues. I've had to surrender to the fact that he is the author of his life and he is strong enough to be on the path he is on. I'm growing my faith daily to be able to leave him in God's hands and trust that the outcome will be exactly what serves him best. The impact on the family is that we're both relieved from the daily stress of focusing on his issues and guilty that we haven't been able to help him heal.

My husband and I launched our business! We've been working on it since last summer and it has been so exciting to see the idea finally come to life. It has made me feel very anxious, scared of failure, but also excited at the same time. With enough hard work and energy, we can really control our destiny.

After a lot of discussion, my partner took a year's leave from her position as a family practice physician to pursue a sleep medicine fellowship. I have had to pick up a whole lot more kid duty, which at times is fun and others not so much. I now work reduced hours at my new job to meet the increased homefront demands. We also have a lot less money as a result of her residency pay and my 30-hour-per-week pay. All in all I am having a pretty good time, though.

My brother-in-law died this year after a long four year bout with liver cancer. My sister worked full-time while caring for him. She has lived with the knowledge of losing him for so long and has struggled, but now she is free to start over and begin focusing on herself and her son. It's been a long road and there are hard times ahead, but now she is where he would want her to be - in a happier place.

My husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary and our marriage simply gets better and better. The trust and the connection that I have with him is something that I have never experienced before. It is incredibly exciting to think about what is possible in relationships that you continually work on and help grow. I love that I become more confident as our relationship deepens and I am proud that we are not simply settling for a good marriage but working to make a great one.

My husband stopped drinking. I feel safe with him again. I have hope. I feel like I might be able to stop indulging the addictive behaviors that compel me to overeat.

My oldest daughter moved out of the house. My husband and I began living together with just the two of us. We are much closer now--more like when we first lived together, but now with many years of shared history.

While this hasn't happened yet, my youngest sister is graduating from college this year. She's the last one. My parents sacrificed the money they were going to use for their wedding in the Philippines to come to America so that their kids could have a better future. We grew up one bedroom of a family friend's house and now my parents have put 3 kids through college. This coming May, they'll be the proud owners of an Entertainment Publicist, a Graphic Designer, and last but not least, a Nurse. After 25 years, I'd consider this a successful American Dream. Thanks Mom and Dad.

My grown up children having babies of their own.Being grandmother and seeing my girls manage life as parents finally brings it home that we all have to take responsibility for our own decisions and the consiquences. And to be a good example is the best way to give guidence, all the advice in the world doesn't have the same impact as, "If I can do it, you can do it to"!

Biggest and best one: my daughter told her mom she wanted to live with me and start High School here. This was a huge thing for all of us, mainly for her. Her older sister stayed in their town to finish college, but will visit as much as they used to, and we'll visit her, but it's really the first time they've lived apart. Throughout the divorce and its aftermath, their bond helped them stay centered and focused and just plain keep it together, but now it's time to see how everyone does with some new living arrangements. Feels really good so far!

Wow. Just seeing my family, especially my parents was huge for me. Seeing my mom was good but stressful & a bit discouraging. I was more nervous about seeing my dad, but that visit was amazing. We seemed to reconnect instantly. Seeing everyone was overall good, but stressful.

My brother-in-law passed away from Lung Cancer this past summer, after only being diagnosed for 3 months. When you see someone you care about slipping away in that manner, it puts you in touch with your own mortality like never before. I had made a commitment to getting myself healthier by this time, but added to that was a need to make myself happy, and enjoy what life has to offer at all times. I may not always remember to do that, but I think loving your family and friends and your life cannot be overstated.

this past year has been a quiet one with my family. We shared a High School and family reunion that was fun. Everyones a year older, smarter and seems to be doing the right thing. Wow am I blessed or what????

My grandma passed away. I realized the importance of family and would like to cherish the moment I have with them. My cousin got married and had a child and I felt happy for him. I realized the impermanence of life, of family, and of self.

There have been a couple of major milestones this year. I moved to Boston to start my life away from my home, carving out a new home for myself and the beginning of my career as a Medical Anthropologist. My brother recently graduated with his degrees from Penn State and my Mum graduated with her Master's in Nursing Education from Moravian College. Her boyfriend also moved into our home, and they began the next step in their journey together. Looking back, this year calls forth a lot of emotional conflict. Anger, bittersweet sadness, happiness, joy, excitement, and anxiousness. I feel anger and bittersweet sadness because it is another year without my Dad and he is unable to see how far my Mum, brother, and I have come. I am filled with happiness and joy because we have accomplished these goals and strove forward after our loss in order to either cope or enjoy life the best way possible. Also, because we are starting out another chapter in our lives. And I am anxious and excited because it is a new chapter; a new chapter of life filled with hope and the promise of love; a new chapter in a new city where I am able to become a successful being and influence others for the better. I just hope my Dad is up there looking down on me and that I am making him proud.

I have family for the first time in a long time. The fact that I know that even as I go out into the world and take on a new chapter in life, I will have family here in california if I ever want to come back is amazing. I hit that place we all hit in our twenties where home is a lost idea. I know what it should feel like. I know where I keep my stuff, but home? I lost that sense a long time ago. It's time to make my own home now, and God has set me on the path to make that a reality. I'm turning everything over to Him, and the blessings are overwhelming. I'm so thankful as an adult I can choose my family like I never could as a child.

That would easily be the birth of my son. How has it affected me? Well, I don't sleep as much as I used to, any sense of privacy I had is pretty much shot, my nerves are shot too... and I couldn't be happier.

My brother(65) began to exhibit symptoms of a degenerative disease that can only result in disability and death, and I as his older sister accepted the task of alerting him to what I and other family members feared was so. I was fairly certain he would ignore his condition and continue on a self-destructive path he has followed for years. To my great relief he has treated the news as a wake-up call and done many things to put the business of his life in order that should have been accomplished years ago. I now see that my despair (perhaps all despair) was premature and only sapped my energy. Far better to have faith that the best can happen as one gazes with open-hearted steady vision into the face of the true reality that approaches as we walk steadily toward it. This understanding has been inspiring me to confront my too easy pessimism and negativity in many areas of my own life and in the public life of my nation and the world.

My little sister broke up with her high school boyfriend. I was happy to hear that she wasn't moving as quickly towards a serious, more-permanent solution with him, but I was also sad for her, because I remember how it feels to walk away from something that almost feels more like 'home' than home does. I think this has just been a big year for my sister, and its really brought some things home for me when it comes to my own thoughts about our relationship, her relationship with others, my skills as a sister, my potential skills as a parent, and just...everything.

My grandmother was recently in the hospital, and she is now at home, getting care from aides. As much as I realize she is 87 years old, and fragile, I never really think of her in this way. It makes me realize I can't take her for granted, and that I should spend more time with her while I can.

My grandmother passed away after 4+ years with dementia. The strain it put on the family was immense and we're all breathing much easier now. :/

My twin sister got engaged and my sister had another baby. I have learned a lot about successful relationships by listening to them talk about their relationships and just observing. It has put a little pressure on me to settle down, especially with many of my friends also getting engaged. But it has also affirmed that there are so many things I want to do before I settle down, and that I have to wait for the right person, and the right moment--and not get swept up in how everyone else's lives are moving.

Over the past year, I've more fully realized how the way my mom talks about food and her own body has influenced me and my sister. Through this realization, I have been able to filter the things she says and does to keep them from impacting my self-image (most of the time), but I can't keep them from impacting my sister. I think that's the struggle for this upcoming year: make my mom see that the way she talks can be damaging to the people around her.

It seems like we either have major milestones...or I'm more and more isolated from life. I think, in part, it's because of these major milestones and the stress they provide. Today we have an appointment with our lawyer to deal with yet more fall-out from our business closing. The stress is, seriously, more than I can bear sometimes...

It's hard to say how this separation has affected me. I wish I had kept a journal. I spent so many years being angry and resentful. Even now, living at Kimberly's, I have to practice being aware of petty feelings. A lot of the anger and resenent that I felt for so long disapated starting January 2012 when we made the decision to split. But that alone was not why life seemed better, freeer, HOPEful. I know that Gavin's medical trauma put life in true perspective. 2012 was my luckiest year ever. I can't even imagine life without him. Anyhow, I was affected by the split, but it's only been a month and a half. I feel like I'm still getting my wits about me. JUST learning to rely on my own intuition and motivation. One thing I do know is that I'm generally more happy, despite not knowing where I will live or how I will pay for it ( keep practing visualization self). My goal is to move by oct 31. A place for just Avon Seth and I to live happily. Where friends and family are invited to hang out and spend time. Cant wait to reflect on all the amazing changes that will happen over the next year. Now, I'm off to finish my walk at Yorba regional after I dropped the boys at school, and before I head off to work in 1 hour. Peace out and hang in there.

My daughter completed her first year of working toward her MSW. She graduated 3 years ag and had worked fr three years. She has nging health issues and aged off my insurace s that part was difficult but it was inspiring to see her decide on her career path. It is diffcult because she has shares never feeling 100% or like she can totally enjy being a young adult Seeing her wrk thrugh all this makes me proud.

My Dad died at age 89 on September 3, 2012. He had lived with us for 4 years (us being my 13 year old daughter and me, single mom). We took care of him, and he helped us by paying a stipend. Having him here allowed me to work just 24 hours per week instead of 40, which was fantastic b/c I then had time to cook, clean, shop, do laundry, yard and garden maintenance without being totally wiped out at the end of every day. It worked well most of the time, but I did start to resent it when opportunities presented themselves such as being invited away for the weekend by friends, staying later at a gathering, etc. were not possible because we needed to be home for him. I had to keep reminding myself that if it weren't for him, I would be working way more, and harder besides. Towards the end, he got very ill and needed much more care and close supervision. Even working only 24 hours per week, I was exhausted every night and hardly slept, especially because he'd attempt to get out of bed during the night and fell several times. However, I'm glad to say that we were able to keep him home until the very end. It's understandable that children think they can't care for an older loved one because of their busy lives, but the rewards are great. I miss him every day.

We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We've now been married twice as long as we were single and still have a friendship as well as a rich family history together.

This year my brother and I both became parents, and my parents became grandparents. This experience has been seamless in some ways and life-changing in others.

My son started kindergarten. Pretty big deal in that real school has begun, and a new stage of his life is underway. Every time he is excited about going to school I am thrilled!

My dad landed in jail and I found out why. It made me realize whether he every really loved me. If I could ever love him. And if I'd end up like that too. I guess I just don't know what to think any more. Even now.

When you're raising a family, it feels like every day is a milestone. My eldest just went into Middle School, my youngest is reading for pleasure, we've gone on trips and learned about ourselves. Burning Man was my biggest milestone for my wife and I, opening me up to possibilities of self-expression. Leaving the Boy Scouts for reasons of personal ethics was a big milestone for me and my family, and we move closer towards authenticity with the desire to create an alternative for ourselves and others with high ethical standards of inclusiveness.

My father , landing in the hospital again, must again work through his difficulties alone ultimately. I have finally let go knowing I can not control medical choices with him or my aging mother or fix them in any other way. Their happiness is not my responsibility. They have made their choices and I have mine to make. I will always love them as they do me, but I am now free.

My mom is now retired, it's a surprise, i thought it will be a lesser change in her (and my) life. My girlfriend is going to finish University and become a doctor. Sigh.

During the past year we found out that my sister has had Chromes all of her life. When she was going to doctors three times a week, trying to get a diagnosis, I was barely told any of the results due to my focus in school and SATs and AP tests. However, finally, in June, my family found out that she has a disease which is perfectly treatable. My family has become a lot closer since we found out about this, since we all realized that we are supported each other. It also brought my relationship with my sister a lot closer, since she has been leaning on my to curb her stress.

My husband died unexpectedly after spending 4 months in the hospital and receiving 2 liver transplants. We were all devestated. I am adrift.

Il mio rapporto con mio padre mi rende insicura su ogni cosa che devo fare, perchè la mia paura di fallire è tutta rivolta alla paura di deluderlo.

My grandmother was diagnosed with inoperable cancer this year. We've always been a fairly close family, but our communication is not great--Nana is one of those old-school Texan types...strong and silent. The day we found out, my mom came home and told my brother and I, and she cried while we held her and then we went to my grandparents' house for dinner, as planned. Nana had made it clear that she wanted dinner to be "normal". It was...went off without a hitch, and nobody mentioned cancer, death, or dying, but a few minutes before we were getting ready to leave, I watched my grandfather, five years her senior, 93 years old, veteran of WWII, self-made businessman, philanthropist, and possibly the bravest man I've ever known, put his head down and weep. I'll never forget that moment. I feel utterly powerless about everything, not only because I obviously AM powerless in the face of death, but because I was moving to the East coast just as the news came, so now I am a time-zone away while everyone else is wrapped up in handling her affairs...I'm on the sideline. I've been trying to come up with the courage to tell both of them how I really feel...I had no problem with this when I was younger, but as I've aged I've grown into a much different person than them, but my love and admiration for both of them still holds strong, though it isn't nearly often as elegantly expressed. To put a terrible cherry on the whole thing, my mother called me last night with some "strange questions", as she put it. Both my grandparents are wealthy, having invested in oil and natural gas property rights back before the great depression. As I knew was inevitable, the subject of inheritance came up, and they are giving each five grandchildren a large...very large...sum of money. I'm a struggling, recent college graduate with a degree in a creative field. I've been trying to become independent for years, and this is certainly an amazing gift and blessing, but at what cost? If it meant I'd still have my grandmother, or maybe more accurately, if my mom would still have her mother, I'd give it back in a second.

My mother has faced major surgery, and faces yet more to come. I am now quite aware that I want to remain active into my elderly years, and to do that, I need to change my lifestyle now. Another milestone - learning to be me, stand my ground and not fall to pressure - has allowed me to peel away another layer of negativity. I'm going to live my story, not be a bit character in someone else's.

My sister, and her son, moved back to the city. It's been fantastic! It has allowed/ helped/facilitated my ability to purchase a home of my own --- that's beautiful. It has given me the person w/ whom I laugh the hardest, right downstairs! And it has brought my delicious, fantastic, hilarious nephew into my life on an almost daily basis. What enrichment is that?!

My little sister graduated from high school! I think it finally made me realize that she's not a baby anymore, and that that is the starting point of life. Since graduating high school, I've gained a better understanding of who I am and of the world in which we live. I hope the same will come to her. She's now in Israel doing the same gap year program that I and my older brother did several years ago. This also makes me a bit nervous. When I think about all the crazy things I did in Israel.....Oy, I just hope she stays safe!

David turned 18. He started driving and is applying to colleges - and for dates with girls. Seeing him blossom both fills me with pride and scares me at the same time.

I began to enjoy my sister and her husband for the interesting people they are. The hurts of the past have been transformed. Now, if I could only do that with my husband.

WE ARE HAVING A BABY!!! Holy shit. We're having a baby. Crap, I have to stop saying shit. Jesus, will the baby like me? What if it is like me? I mean, if it's like Jaci, that's fine; but if it's like me... Jesus. I need it to be ok and healthy. I don't know if I'm strong enough to handle it not being. We aren't going to find out the gender until it's born. My mother and sister are 100% sure it's a boy. Jaci thinks it is going to be a girl, I think. I don't know-- I don't care, really. Either way it gets robots. Poor kid. It probably deserves a dad that knows what he is doing. At least I know to stop saying shit. Shit! ...

Of my family, there is not a whole lot to be said. We've been stable, financially, and have gotten along well enough so that we may be called happy. If I am to be counted among this, I would say my major milestone is not my work, for that is only a small stepping stone, but meeting my girlfriend. In a short space of time, we have grown inexplicably close and are very much in love. She's the best thing to ever have happened to me.

I did not like the way I have been thinking about and speaking to my father. That voice was resentful, begrudging and venal: not the way I see myself or the way I treat my friends. I turned to the words that John Friend uses when he teaches yoga: Be your Highest Self. For the last year, I have changed my attitude and opened myself up to my father. It feels so much better and it finally started to feel real, not an exercise I had imposed upon myself. Now I look forward to phoning him and I really listen to him without judgment. I know that when he dies I will have had some good years with him and feel that we had a loving relationship. That was all I ever wanted anyway.

My granddaughter graduated from middle school in May of this year. It reminded me of how fast time flies, and that I want to go to as many events as possible in which my grand kids are involved. I want those to be my free time activities.

My little brother got married this year...at 22 his new wife is only 18. I worry about them almost all the time, they live with my parents and are now expecting a baby.

Our eldest son was promoted to middle school, leading to all sorts of changes: improving his personal outlook and drive, increasing his independence, and leading to a stronger sense of self. His growth has, in turn, affected the rest of us, altering our landscape, for the better.

I got pregnant. (I think this is going to be the major theme for every question this year.) Finally! My husband is so excited. I knew he would be, but seeing him work so hard to take care of me and to get everything ready for this baby reinforces how lucky I was to marry him and how enormously I love him. I'm so looking forward to getting to know this kiddo and learning alongside my husband how to navigate our new relationship with our child and with each other.

was diagnosed with cancer. It made me feel lucky to have medicine and treatment so easily available.

I became engaged to a man a met only a few months before. My family was shocked and completely taken aback. It so is not like me to jump into huge decisions like this, but from the very beginning I knew he was the one I was going to marry. I'm proud of myself for not caving, for choosing what I wanted and having the guts to stick with my decision.

It has shown me Life is Too Short And this is not a small world afterall

I left the home and relationship I created with my partner of four years. It was exceptionally hard and emotional but I feel consistently happier and less constrained than I did. It is positive for both of us and we can be better friends now. We are still trying to find the right place for each other in our lives. Through subsequent experiences I have learned that I can create satisfying relationships with others, due to emotional growth, not just due to our inherent compatibility. But I have also been reminded that maybe my life will be more complete without marriage.

This past June listening to my daughter inform me of her grades for her Freshman year of college with a 3.65 and being so proud of her. Doing all that I had dreamed of but was never supported or given the opportunity to try. Proud that she's also appreciative of the sacrfices we as a family have endured to fulfill all for my children. I can do without.

I finally got him out of the house! My depressed angry soon to be ex-spouse is finally accepting that we are getting divorced. I've gotten the house repainted, and new energy is seeping in all around me!

My grandmother died of cancer this past winter. It has changed every aspect of our whole family and honestly, I still struggle with it almost every day. She was the glue that held us all together and it seems like our family has now crumbled. I feel like a traitor to her for turning to my faith, but how else could I cope? No one is willing to listen to how much you miss your grandmother.

My two daughters got to meet their only surviving great-grandparent, their great-grandmother on my mother's side. I was conflicted about our whole family detouring to France to visit her because she has dementia. I thought I was being sentimental and forcing a potentially awkward meeting. I'm so happy we went, my oldest daughter still speaks about feeding soup to her elder and the giant menorah outside of the old folks home. It is ok to be sentimental, connecting the generations was a huge motivation to even have children...

Our eldest son moved out. It gave us a spare room!

I have reached out and increased the communications I have with my niece and nephew since their mother passed and it has given me a stronger sense of family.

My older son got married two weeks ago. I am thrilled to have a daughter-in-law. We are fortunate that we get along well with her and her family, and look forward to having a new extended family. It is a big shift, though, because we have to be more considerate of many factors in order to get together, celebrate, continue or change our family traditions. All in all, I feel it is a most positive and wonderful milestone, and I don't think I could be any happier with the newlyweds.

My cousin got married and all of my Uncles and Aunt were in the same room together a few times. This is a rare occurance. On the same trip, my longtime boyfriend and his son got to meet all of my family. All of my favorite people in one room together. It made me love my quirky family even more. I am usually the photographer and family historian, but at one point I just put the camera down and soaked it all up. The jokes, the banter, the love. Being in the moment was fantastic.

My sister moved out of her home. She has decided not to live with her husband and two college-aged boys. I am very sad to hear that after 30 years of marriage, she feels she can no longer be with her husband, who is a great guy. He is a member of our family and almost like a brother to me. But she hasn't decided to divorce him... yet. I know my sister is in pain and turmoil, but she seems unable to make a decision about her marital status. There are also other issues -- I have heard she has had multiple infidelities over the years. She also seems completely lost and untethered. She does not want my input or advice. In fact she's made it clear she wants me to butt out of her life. It's quite painful to me since we were once close, and we've always had a pretty good relationship. Now I feel I've lost her.

My daughter graduated college and moved across the country. This affects me in that I am learning to live my life separately from her, while staying connected, and needing to accept that she is now grown, and can be independent in ways she never was before. I'm very proud of her.

My grandfather turned 89 this year, and I was not able to be at the birthday celebration, but I was able to see him at the family reunion. There was four generations of family at the reunion, including my great-aunt, who is 95. It was great to see my family all together.

The birth of my daughter. I now feel I have a greater appreciation of the little things. I watch her absorb her surroundings like a sponge. She pauses to study even the tiniest speck of fuzz on the carpet. It's ALL new to her. I also have a greater awareness of how fast time flies. It makes me a bit sad. It also reminds me to appreciate the small moments with my little girl. She is changing so fast.

My son graduated from Columbia University, I was overwhelmed with joy and emotion.

We are celebrating our 10 year anniversary - not everything has worked out as planned, but in 10 years we have 2 extraordinary children, a wonderful extended family and blessings beyond comprehension. Not to say it has been easy, but it has made me the man I am today, and for that I am grateful.

No major milestones. Just dragging myself through every difficult day.

My brother had a baby, the first grandchild. It is strange something like that makes you so happy and also seems to creates division. The more love there is the more possession there appears to be. I think there are cracks beginning to show with my family that were never there before, i hope it is a blip. It also strangely made me realise children are definately not for me. I love my neice to bits, but the time and effort kids need they should have someone who really, really wants them and is not just trying to fill a gap in their lives or be another me too.

Rich and I both went back to work. It has added some stress and our hours of just hanging out together are very small.I realized that retirement - if we could afford it - is something I really want. I never thought I would want to stop working, but the 18 months I had off allowed me to reconnect with people and engage in lots of things I cherish - hiking the hills - trail running - dancing - cooking. The stress of both us working is affecting my sleep, exercise and my eating/drinking habits - all to the negative.

Both my brother and sister leaving home - it meant that I had to do a lot more to help and made me realize how much they do for me.

Divorce....I am finding my place....I am rejecting lables. Wondering who I am in my new role

My nephew Stuart broke up with his girlfriend Audrey and moved back in with his parents, temporarily. I was worried he would get comfortable with living with his parents, but he is eager to move out again and move on.

My nephew got engaged to a really lovely woman. He had a rough childhood and I'm so happy to see him choose such a sane, kind person with whom to share his life.

Fortunately or unfortunately there haven't been any major milestones in my family in the past year. The only two things that come to mind are my mom breaking her elbow and our family reunion. Both of these things changed my view of what's important in life. Family first.

My cousin got married this summer. It made me and my boyfriend think about the future with our relationship.

I've never liked to show vulnerability in life but these past couple of years have exposed me to have to show it. From financial reasons, relationship and business breakdowns to eventually a physical failure (only a broken bone). On the back of this I had to put myself out there and ask for help from family and I got more than the support I would have expected. It's great that sometimes these adverse conditions are what result in us feeling more secure and in return gives us the enhanced strength to turn things around. Very grateful :-)

We have bought a cat and a dog. It's brought us closer together I think. The kids love them and it's great to see them playing together.

My only child went to college and it affected me more strongly than I anticipated. It brought me back to my freshmen year and all the angst, fears and freedom that it entailed.

My dad has taken his final steps away from Judaism, and I have followed him, leaving my mom behind in a way. I wish she would give it up as well so that we could have unity within the family.

My stepbrother recently moved to Germany for a two-year fellowship! While we've never been particualrly good at staying in close touch, I care about him a great deal; I'm excited for him in this exciting chapter in his journey, but also a bit sad to think that he's so far away. The bright side of this is that I'll get to visit him soon!

Robert's death. How has it affected me? In so very many ways. Witnessing the love between him and Mom was extraordinary and humbling and heartbreaking and heart-expanding. My love for him washed over me again and again. During Christmas on my last day there when I went in to the home and walked right on past the nurse station when they told me I'd best stay away due to the stomach virus going around. Then he breathed his infected, stale breath on me and I just stayed and held onto him. He woke up a little and asked what I was up to. I told him I was heading back to LA, and then I told him about Lee. That brought the biggest smile to his face. He said--"Oh, that makes me happy. Cheers me up!" Those were the last words he said to me. I love that man so very very much. And I always will. Also, being with Mom through this process--through the end and now through her grieving, watching her bravery and her suffering. It is profound and beautiful and hard and will doubtlessly be a long, long road...

To name just one milestone wouldn't do justice to the events that have occurred in my family over the past year. My grandfather passed away, my brother-in-law returned safely from active duty in Iraq, my middle sister had twin boys, and I was accepted to HUC's rabbinical program. My family is growing by leaps and bounds, and it is encompassing my life in only the best ways. Life is a bright round laid out before my siblings and me. We have so much to travel that I can't help but be excited. I am most worried about not paying attention as it will surely go by quickly. As Ferris Bueller once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." I hope all the new milestones my family will share in the coming year will be positive and will only bring us closer together.

Lots of things, incredibly, in one year!!! My dad turned 95 and, as usual, he planned his own party... rented the restaurant, determined the menu, sent out invitations. It was a great day. My husband and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary with a party in Costa Rica, where we have a beach house. The party was great, about 30 people came, both local friends and from the US. Some disappointments that certain people chose not to come, such as my sister. A week later, she went to Nicaragua with a friend. Also, no one from my husband's family showed up, and I actually let some of them know how disappointed I was. My husband is retiring this year and we are now in the process of selling his store and hope that escrow goes fairly smoothly and his employees, who are not happy about the change, can deal with the new owner whom we think is great and will do great things for the store. Lots of Milestones... still little contact with my sister. Another milestone, so to speak, and the biggest of all, my husband's diagnosis with Parkinsons. That is a change that will affect us forever. The others are memories.

My parents moved to the states after living overseas almost continuously since 1985. It only happened recently, so I'm not sure of the full impact yet. My mom seems lonely already; they moved to an old town, not near family, people they know, or a community that has a lot of transplants. She's going to have to work hard to find her place there. I hope they're able to find their footing and some happiness there. I find it puts a strain on my relationship with my mother when she leans too much on me for things, because I am incapable of saying no to anyone for anything--classic middle child.

The answer to this could be the same as that of Q1, but recently we've had better, hopefully more impact-ful news. A close relative of mine finished her novel, a substantial work of science fiction. The biggest part of the news though is that the novel was accepted by a publisher! It will be published very soon and I cannot wait to read it... How has this affected me? I am immensely proud of her and eager to read the book. But I am also spurred on to finish my own work of fiction. And I feel like my family has been through a lot of hard times so positive accomplishments must be focused on that much more.

This year? With my family? Well, Danny and Sabrina both got married. Danny and Kristi are great, Sabrina and Chad are bland. John is getting supper skinny -- or at least a lot skinnier than he used to be. Also more stressed, though. My cousins are still annoying marshmallow weirdos. There were no major milestones, just lots of little things. My brother and my dad continue to be my favorite people. I love when my brother does impersonations of Bane from Batman. Makes me laugh. And he and Dad managed to get my queen-sized IKEA bed up to my third-story apartment this past weekend. Nonna is just bitchy because I can't pay back my student loans right now, and Nonno turned awful in a second when I angry-tearfully insisted I bring my bed to San Francisco. I got my way. I don't want to really think about all my family right now. I'm good.

My daughter and husbabnd had a baby boy in March! Besides trying hard NOT to feel really OLD as a grandmother, it's pretty cool. Will be a lot more fun or at least a lot more interesting when he becomes a real person in 10 or 15 years!

My daughter was born. She is the first grandchild for my side of the family and the fourth for my husband's. In an odd way, I think it has isolated me more from my family than before. I realize that my parents' way of parenting is not what I want for my daughter - and this is difficult to handle and process. There are times when I am so frustrated with the situation that I withdraw into myself and want to cry. I see the noticeable rift it has caused with my relationship with my parents, and I'm not sure what (if anything) can repair that.

My daughter had a baby girl and it changed my life, I am thinking about this child all the time and it put smile on my face.

My parents' 50th anniversary. WE got the opportunity to spend time together as a family. I got closer to my nephew. I got more worried for my brother. I am sad that I don't have a family of my own creation to leave a legacy to.

My sister's engagement was probably the biggest family milestone. Now, we're all involved in planning the wedding. It's all really exciting and since I'm a bridesmaid, I'm taking more trips to NYC to go dress shopping and plan with her!

I believe every day with my family is a milestone. Despite our various stages in life we are able to coexist with great success in an unorthodox setting. It's a fantastic privledge that countless others also benefit from.

Lyonel got bigger and became a real little person! Our family feels done. I've been with my husband for 10 years now. I became a more powerful confident person within my family, less of a loose end.

My wife and I became empty nesters. Two kids in college (which is weird, because, although we've been together for 32 years, we're only in our late 20s!). Anyway...it is extraordinary having back so much time. My wife got a new job in February, our daughter is a junior in college, our son is a freshman. Wings are spreading. Everyone is on a new adventure - so I WANT A NEW ADVENTURE, TOO! I quit my full time teaching position. Took a couple of part time jobs and trying to take some classes in computer programming. No time like the present. Let's see where this is NEXT year...

The birth of my daughter last August was quite possibly the best thing to ever happen to me.

My daughter was born this past year, and I took a year off from work to spend time with her. I feel so blessed that we both had that gift of time together. It was a scary choice career-wise, but just yesterday I started a new part time position that I think will be perfect for this new stage of life. It was a big reminder that I need to trust my heart in making decisions and if I'm true to myself then everything will ultimately work out.

My first thought was that I don't feel like I have a family anymore, now that my parents are gone, and I don't have much to do with my sister. But then I started to remember my cousins and aunts and uncle ... but not a major milestone. My aunt passed away -- my father's brother's wife. She was a difficult woman, and I don't think I felt much grief when she went. It's also hard to imagine her children would feel much grief, but of course I understand that they must. How does all this affect me? I realize that although I've been together with someone for 10 years, I don't think of us as family.

My brother moved to Australia. This has made me realise more than ever that they are few excuses left not to leave this country

I can't think of any, spiritually or in my life (or family). This year was not a year of milestones. There have been good things and bad things; there have been big things and small things. No milestones, as I define them. Next year!

I began to accept that my parents are a part of me, even though I don't understand them all the time. I love them so much and just as my happiness affects their happiness, their happiness with my decisions affects my happiness. I have made peace with how interconnected we are.

I came out to my dad. I was so scared, but he told me he'd always love me.

My Dad got depression & had a bit of a nervous breakdown ending up on anti depressants and my mum had a problem with her kidney's & I worried it may be serious. I felt helpless & wasn't ready to loose my mum & dad to whatever was coming along, but it also helped me to let go a little & accept that they aren't getting any younger & prepared me to accept changes that will occur with them through different stages of their lives x :) my dad got alot better & so did my mum to my relief! <3

I realized that I have real problems controlling my tongue. I felt really terrible about how I seemed able to advocate for myself only by being hurtful. I am really glad to be practicing mindfulness and meditation and learning healthy ways to take care of myself

Death of my Aunt Bobbie. Arrest of my second cousin for murder. The events and the aftermath made me feel sad, frustrated and somewhat ashamed of my family. I wish we were better but realize that my second family isn't a substitute but a compliment. Have to hang in there with them because they are me even if our paths and destinies are very different.

My dad and I never had the best relationship. Over the summer, when I was away, I decided that I wanted to put more effort into making our relationship better. I decided to write him a letter to tell him how I felt. That letter has brought us so much closer. Even though our relationship, hasn't been fully repaired, it's getting better day by day.

I got engaged in January, which has been an interesting experience. All of my issues with independence and stuff have been coming to the forefront. It's been 8 months and we still haven't set a date, or decided on size or location of the wedding, or anything. It's been interesting seeing my little sister (engaged a month before us, married a few weeks ago) handle the process with maturity and grace.

Me and my brother went to college. We're the last ones, and it's nice to see that my mom will be able to focus on her dream of being an interior designer. My sister was the first one in our family to graduate from college, and now I'm the last. It's interesting.

After not having any mutual contact with my sister since my father died in 2003, I saw her unexpectedly and was able to talk briefly with her. It was a major milestone for us to talk again after 9 years. I have hoped for a reconciliation, but she expressed that she would only talk with me in depth with a counselor present, IF EVER. I have thought for years that we would need a counselor present in order talk about what happened. I have continued to see in my mind the barely controlled and overwhelming rage in her face when I asked if she would be willing to talk with me. It has become clear to me that she may NEVER talk with me again because of the people involved and the painful nature of the circumstances that led to our estrangement. I am saddened by this family pattern of estrangements that continue until death. It has shown up in many generations in my family.

I spent the year struggling with a migraine disorder and medication side effects. I learned that no matter how hard you work and plan, anything you least expect can throw you completely off course. It's humbling. I lost a year. I'm feeling better now and it seems to be under control. I think I'm more flexible now, because I really never know what might happen tomorrow.

We added Greg to our family when he married Christine. I love having him to play fun games with and talk sports with and talk math with, but I also love how happy he makes Christine. I look up to their relationship so much and it's helped me to figure out my goals for a relationship and my future. I know I can always count on them. It's great to finally have a brother!!!

My brother began to get jobs. This is the first time I've seen him become independent and start to work for things on his own. I am so proud of him and hopeful this will continue - I can't think of anything better for him than beginning to find his own life.

My mom moved to the states after 46 years over seas ... every single relationship I have has been impacted. My sister and I no longer spend time discussing our husbands and kids, only my mother. Her needs, physically and emotionally, take up all our time/energy. Since my mom spends almost every weekend with us and expects us to entertain her on some level. I am always torn between my commitment to my husband and children and my commitment to her.... It is exhausting. But it is improving. And that gives me hope.

I felt the need to put some distance bt myself and my mom. I didn't do it in a nice way and I hurt her. I feel badly about it but we have moved on.

My mother retired, and now she's home all the time. It hasn't been that bad, since she's an active woman, and actually, we eat a lot better than we used to. We have our own garden, now and eat organic food. We had all been afraid of her retiring, but it wasn't such a bad thing after all.

The milestone was my little brother getting his dream job. It's been rough on us all but I am so proud of him.

I already discussed this in the first answer, but my new family is going through a divorce. My experience has been that this word is always associated with such a negative connotation. Everyone has their own ideas about what it means about a relationship and people who have never experienced it always try to project their own stereotypes on it. For me it has been mixed emotions. I am sad that the partnership we declared for each other is no longer tenable for either party. That said, the marriage was rushed. As a young couple, we were captured by the mantra that you must take the next step in your relationship, that things must progress and marriage was next. The whole ordeal was more than either of us bargained for. Like divorce, everyone has their own idea about what a marriage and wedding should be, and that was heavily projected on us by our parents. I don't blame them for this, we should have been more introspective about what we wanted and whether marriage was really good for us. I am happy to say that although the marriage has dissolved, the friendship and companionship is still thriving. She remains one of my closest confidants and I hope to continue this as long as both of us see a benefit from the relationship. Her honesty and open communication have transformed the way I think about relationships for the better and I believe we are both walking away from the experience as better people.

I made myself a family. And I accepted it as just as good as anyone else’s. Sure we’re not related by blood, but I have to remind myself that that doesn’t matter. I have great girlfriends that are like sisters, and a great guy friend that’s like a brother. I have older friends that help me learn about life in a way a parent might. My friend has a kid I adore more than anything. The synagogue is my extended family, complete with matriarchs that insist on things their way, crazy uncles that are a little creepy, and plenty of wise women and men that teach me how to be a good Jew. We might not get along, in fact, we argue about a lot, just like a family related by blood. I’ve also come to realize that I want my own family. I want to find a man to marry and have my own kids with. I think this might be the first year in which I’ve really wanted it badly. I’m terrified, of course, scared I’ll screw up a marriage and a kid, that I won’t choose the right partner and not be able to afford a home or a kid, but I kind of sense that we’ll make it work, that the love would be worth it. I’m also kinda scared to the point that I might not want my own, that I’ll love this created family and not risk what I’m not sure of.

I don't know that this happened this past year, but it has been a process. I'm continually growing up - maybe a late bloomer - and realizing that my parents are imperfect and lovely human beings. My brother and my dad had a bit of a falling out/tension in their relationship. My father disappointed me in his thoughts/actions. He was controlling, grudge holding and refused to be able to see how his actions were hurting my brother because he was too focused on his own feelings. It reminds me of my tendency to get too sensitive, and how hard that is on the people around me. I never want anyone to feel guilt. It is a good reminder that we are all responsible for our own feelings and to not give that power to anyone else.

I became a grandmother in January! Carter makes me smile, he's a happy little guy. I wish I lived closer, so that I could spend a little more time with him. I like to think that in spite of ups and downs of life, a happy new baby is living proof that God is not finished with the human race just yet.

The Syrian war has affected my family. My father currently lives in Kuwait but insists upon returning to Syria once a month to visit his mother which puts a lot of stress on our family. I worry that if something happened to him, how would we ever find out the truth? Also, I don't know how I would spend my life knowing that I lost my father to such a filthy dictator.

My grandfather's funeral was this friday. My mother, who has been emotionally preoccupied and distressed for the past four months, was a light at the funeral service. My mother approached the bima with confidence and began to read her eulogy. Her words lifted the air of grief that just moments ago blanketed the room. She honored her father by sharing stories of love, courage and humor. My sisters and I were united by pride for our mother, which I admit is a rare sensation shared simultaneously amongst us. I believe this pride will bring new character to the upcoming year.

Our daughter, the younger of two children, moved entirely out of the house to start nursing school a few hundred miles away. During college we saw her almost every weekend, so this was the real beginning of empty nest time. Turns out I still like my wife's company a lot; that wasn't so obvious after more than thirty years of sharing it with the kids. So I'm happy with this new life. It feels a lot less important than being a parent; all I'm responsible for now is my job, which just isn't in the same league with the kids.Also makes me feel old; but most days, and so far, I'm even OK with that.

My oldest brother moved out of the house and into his own condo with his girlfriend. We all missed him around the house, but now it is a special treat to get to see him and I think the time apart makes us closer when we are together again. We will always love him and he will always love us.

A major milestone in our family over the past year seems to be, learning to deal with hardship. We expected to have a new grandchild, but that pregnancy ended in sorrow when the developing baby stopped breathing for some reason. We really don't know why. It was heart breaking because their 1st ended in miscarriage. They are just now starting to try again. My son-in-law was unemployed for 10 mos. or so, and recently joined the Air Force Reserves. The family is now separated from him for approximately 6 months. We were unable to travel and did not see our grandsons in Indiana for nearly a year! This was unheard of before my husband was again unemployed from July 2011-April 2012. We did not take a family vacation because no one had any money. In all this, I think we all learned to work through hardship and we are still family. Lastly, my husband & I celebrated 40 years of marriage. We did not have a party and actually just went out to dinner together, which we do about once a week anyway. We are happy, we just haven't had money and we're not big party throwing people. I just want life to run a little more smoothly for awhile!

My grandmother passed away. It didn't change a lot about my everyday, but it meant that one set of grandparents was now gone. The family will never be in that house again, the drawing factor for all of it's to come together changed. We now must be more creative and thoughtful to ensure we still see each other, even though we live far apart.

The kiddos started preschool this year. I hadn't anticipated it yet as they turned 3 before the school year and just became potty trained. Hopefully school will bring Freddie out of his shell and help petunia dial it back. Both kids seem to love school and race to the classroom when i drop them off. Maybe the biggest adjustment is me! For the first time in over 3 years I have a few hours of quiet during the week. The first week of school I didn't know what to do with myself and the silence of the house was overwhelming. Now I'm looking forward to using that time to go to the gym, the store and even puttering around the house.

Jojo stopped drinking - more than 6 months sober as of this writing. The strength and willpower he has shown is so impressive. Our relationship was being tested and our behavior was literally criminal. We were on the brink of some serious repercussions. My drinking was not as frequent or as significant, but I was an emotional mess. So now he is present and I am really in control. It was a little tough in the beginning - now what do we do if we don't go out drinking? Gulp. But we've survived - from family events and vacations to Wednesday night trivia. It's truly liberating.

My daughter is out of college, and starting to make her way in the world -- somewhat fitfully, in that she mostly has been living under our roof. It's all been positive, except for the expected banging-of-heads when adults share a living space. I love her, I know I'll miss her terribly when she finally moves away permanently. But I think the gradual transition suits us all -- me, my wife and my daughter. We'll see. I KNOW that the usual bullshit one-size-fits-all advice I keep reading is awry -- one size NEVER fits all, and "toss them out of the nest so they'll be ready for the big, bad world" has so much social and political baggage (almost all of which I disagree with) that it's pretty easy to ignore.

Selling the house was a major milestone in our lives. And it represents both good and bad. It was hard because it was really our home filled with so many memories. Also it was a perfect fit for our family and allowed us to live comfortably. it was the only home Eden knew up to that point and was a source of stability and comfort for everyone. On the other hand the house was a source of stress. It needed significant upgrades from delayed maintenance and was very expensive to maintain. The power bills in the winter equaled most people's monthly rent! Selling it freed our family to make new choices in where we wanted to live. While we were happy in Winthrop- I do not believe we were living to our full potential. I always felt removed from "real life". Since we are raising kids to succeed in the real world it makes sense that we expose them to it early and help them build the skills necessary to succeed. So while I miss the peaceful serenity and absolute beauty of the Wolf Creek property I believe that selling was the right thing to do.

My little sister traveled all over the world this year. It's provided her a global perspective and encouraged her to question lots of things inherent and engrained in our family and shared upbringing: religion, culture, politics, social justice, community, etc. It's nice to know I'm no longer the "black sheep" of the family who questions authority, searches for truth and defends those who are different than I am. Although there's 12 years between us, we have so much more in common now.

Grandson Joey graduates from pre-school and enters Kindergarten and we now have him every day when he leaves the school bus and, with his sister Katie, spends the latter half of the afternoon with us until a parent collects them. Being with him seems to be bringing out some of the little boy in me that I had not known was there. We have a relationship that is close, warm and, to an extent, secret from others. We have become friends and that is truly marvelous.

My move from a major metropolitan area to a small town in another state is probably the biggest thing that has happened, family-wise. No other births, deaths, divorces, moves that have had a big personal impact. It's been disorienting, but has the potential to be really good.

My mom's mom died. Three inter-related thoughts: 1) It's only been as an adult that I've seen my mom's family as my own family. They're quite different from my dad's family, where I grew up. Now, I can see parts of who I am- my commitment to hospitality, my sense of humor, my restlessness and desire for adventure, my storytelling- as things I inherited from my mom. I cherish the time I spent with my grandparents when I could, but wish I had invested more. They contributed more than I ever realized to the person that I am now. 2) I participated in the funeral, as a minister. My name was in the obituary and everything. It was strange to sit up front and see my family grieving without me. It took me a few weeks to cry over her death, and I was surprised at how many of those tears were over having missed the chance to grieve along with my family. I wouldn't change anything, if I could go back, because getting family and friends to tell stories about Grandma was the biggest gift I could give. It was lonely, though. 3) I'm more aware of family being something I have to create. Genetics won't go away, but if I choose not to stay in touch, the relationships will dissolve. I have no particular reason to ever be in the geographic area where most of my mom's family lives. If those relationships matter to me, and I want to keep them, then I have to decide to show up. This being so clearly my choice is intimidating. Am I a failure, if I decide that other relationships matter more to me?

I'm not sure whether this constitutes a milestone, but my grandma passed away this summer. She was my last living grandparent & was in her late 80s. It affected me more thinking about how it must have felt for my dad than anything--I didn't have many memories of her--but recently I found a card I intended to send her for Christmas but never did, knowing I would regret it. I did, of course, when I found it, & a flood gate of emotion was opened. It's still tough for me to deal with because I feel as though I didn't know her very well as an adult myself, & I feel guilty for that for some reason. At least I saw her in January, though, & she gave me a sweet smile despite her health issues.

I have, because of a mistake and misjudgement, lost my job and challenged my firing resulting in a temporary reinstatement and a three pannel Hearing six months later and yet I am still getting paid waiting for a decision. Meanwhile my house repairs starts ti pile up and I decided to sell my house a month after my Hearing. I needed to get rid of two-thirds of all my belongings including a few of my prized books. Because of all the soul searching, early job search preparations, getting rid all excess belongings and moving to someone elses house accross town. I have felt some loss and a cleanseing of my inner soul with a new awareness of my feelings and environment.

Both of my sons went away to college at this time last year. It was the first time in my life that I lived alone. I was always someone's daughter, someone's roommate, someone's niece, someone's wife, someone's mother. This past year I was just me. It made me find a life. Living alone forced me out of my comfort zone and into a world where I had to make friends, join activities, get involved. I found that I like myself for who I was becoming. I found a voice and people listened and liked me too. It was liberating. I learned to be brave and not fearful of change. I love the roles that I play in other people's lives, but I love the life that I have made for myself. Being alone is never lonely.

My sister got married. I think committing a life sentence with someone is not something I want.

A major milestone that has happened over the past year is that we lost my grandmother. She passed away in April. I have mixed emotions about this. I never told her I was gay and in love. I wish I had. I wish I had given her the chance to see me happy with my partner. Now I can't - it's too late. I also wish that I made a bigger effort to stay in touch with her. I have a hard time connecting with people, including family, and that gets in the way of my love for others. I hate that about me.

Briana moved out, to go live with Frank, her dad. I'm happy that she is finally focusing on her schoolwork, but sad that she's gone.

I was able to complete researching my family tree and was able to re-connect with a favorite childhood Aunt that I had lost contact with when she emmigrated to Australia from England. She passed away shortly afterwards at 93. It was very comforting to have had a chance to catch up with her before she died.

My son turned one. I guess I just felt fortunate that we made it through the first year. We had heard lots about that milestone, and it felt like a major accomplishment

I found out that my Mom had tried to leave my dad on many occasions when we were younger. In fact she'd even gone to a battered women's shelter at one point. But he always found her and eventually she just gave up trying to run away. She said that it is something she wished she could do over again - to keep running until he couldn't find her. I have always had a chip on my shoulder against her because I thought she wouldn't leave him even if it would have been better for us. When she told me that little piece, one that she's been holding onto for a very long time, I realized I couldn't hold it against her. All that pent up animosity fell away. I could see her as vulnerable. Trying to be strong and failing over and over again. It made me look at her in a completely different way. Knowing that she at least TRIED, even if she failed makes all the difference. We still don't have the best relationship, you can't heal anything overnight but for the first time I feel like maybe we can find a way back to ok.

Our office moved in June. For the first time, in 13 years we moved to a not very nice neighborhood. It has made me quite depressed and I can't wait to leave the area.

I think the major milestone is that we survived the previous year which included our 15 year old having neurosurgery to remove a benign skull tumor, our 11 year old's hospitalization, diagnosis of Autism, and placement in residential treatment program In Utah, and my father in law's death, the discovery & betrayal of our Rabbi's mental breakdown and misappropriation of temple funds, becoming financially destitute, all while strengthening my relationship with my husband and keeping my faith. From it I emerged with a fortitude I didn't know I had, and a strength that comes from knowing I'm the best advocate my kids could ever have and that time is to be sacred and gratitude can be found everywhere.

My parents are getting old! Both in ways that they're growing and getting better and enjoying life more, and also in those unfortunate ways like becoming a bit senile and less mobile. Some of my older friends, and even some my age, are starting to have to deal with this and it's scary because I know I'm next, whether it's a year or ten years from now.

My parents moved to a retirement community. They love it, and I am thrilled that they are retaining their independence. They dropped some worries off their list and allowed themselves to relax and enjoy their lives, with new activities and friends and community. I know that they were nervous about this move, and what it meant about them getting old, but I think they have been relieved to find that they still feel as young as they did, but now they -- and we! -- have less to worry about. They are an amazing example, and I hope that I will have the good sense to follow their lead.

Silas was born... I am kind of surprised by how little it has changed our family. I had spent so much of my pregnancy worrying about what would be different, and then I find that he just fell right in to our family, like he's been here the whole time. Amazing.

I was about to say there have been no major milestones when I realised that my grandmother passed away. It didn't greatly affect me as I've had little to no relationship with her for at least ten years. My family is weird that way and it makes me so sad. Now that I am older I wish that I had made more effort myself, I am starting to have questions about my heritage that never occurred to me when I was young. Of course it is too late now. I cannot imagine my children not knowing my mum and dad. I really hope they grow up with them in their lives and that when my parents die, it means something to them.

I had cancer. The biggest impact has been the recognition that it's all random. I did everything right and I still got cancer. I used to think that if I took care of myself -- ate right, exercised, got enough sleep, meditated, that I'd be fine.

My son-in-law had a heart attack. It was a shock! I have always liked that he is part of the family. He and my daughter are so good together, and so happy, that they make the rest of the family happy, too. Everything worked out well, and I am relieved to know that.

My mother-in-law was diagnosed with rectal cancer so the holidays were consumed with so much worry, concern, and real pain (felt by many of us emotionally, and for her profoundly physically), but I do know that the experience has been a wake-up call to quit kvetching and over-reacting to the small stuff of life and really cherish each other and embrace the happy things we might have missed in the past when our lenses on life were considerably more grouchy and grumbly.

My sister and I are clearing out my mom's apartment in preparation for selling it. Going through her belongings, family photographs, letters and papers has been emotionally trying but also a powerful shared experience for us. I feel an overwhelming love for my sister, and gratitude that we can support each other through this.

My father was diagnosed with PTSD which forced the dynamics within my family to change, especially between my father and sister. This has been re-examine how my family interacts with each other and where I stand amongst those interactions.

My daughter had her first baby, my first grandchild, and I dropped my then-life to create a new one centered around being daycare and living (finally, after 12 years!) near my daughter and her family! We'd always talked about doing this, and now we've made it happen. It's like a dream come true!

My brother moved from NY to LA. He also got sober and his outlook on life has been so much more positive. I think, in a way, it's made us all a little happier. It was tough knowing that he was in so much pain and that he was getting in his own way. I think everyone was relieved when they found out he wanted to get sober and followed through with it. It's been a year and he's doing better than we could have ever hoped for.

My grandmother got really sick this year. No cancer or anything demonstrative, thank goodness. But her age has really begun to take a toll on her. I remember mid-summer when she opened the door and she was so tiny, so shrunken and cocoon shaped, so frail and meek. It scared me and makes me feel sick still to think of her like that. Dad will call me and tell me stories about how she doesn't respond in english anymore or can't hear anything he's saying. It got me thinking about my parents and age and death. For a long time, I had pushed death out of my mind. Sure Greg and Dan and all of these deaths that happen took a toll on how I viewed things but to me those seemed to be radical cases. As for my parents, you don't think of them through the eyes of death. They are a constant in your life, the two people you can always turn to and never have to worry about what they'll say in response--at least for me, I know that I am very lucky indeed. However, my dad will soon by sixty, my mother shortly after. And that manifested in my mind, thinking about what will happen to them over the next ten years, where I will be without, how I will cope alone with their deaths. It's a very morbid topic that I ofter shut out of my mind. But it has highlighted the love that I share for them and really made me aware of how important they are to me. Everyday I think about them and hope that they know how much their efforts have been appreciated

I had a family last year and mistakenly decided to destroy it. I ended wonderful relationship, this was the easiest escape route. Escape to what? I was too lazy to work out and admit the problems we had together with Marta. Now I wish I appreciated more what we had and I wish I listened to her, because she was right. There still is a chance for us to be together! Yes! Lets be together!!!

My brother got a promotion is now a Real-Estate Director while simultaneously getting his Executive MBA. My sister and her boyfriend broke up, causing her to take a step back from her extreme religiousness. This experience brought our whole family together, especially me and my sister. She constantly would call me when upset and used me as an outlet and it truly showed how we are there for each other. My parents celebrated their 30th anniversary. I'm so happy they are still madly in love with each other. I ended things with my long-distance boyfriend because I realized I deserved to be treated better than how he was treating me. Something I never would have done a year ago.

My son gave his highschool the chance to lift him up, stopped smoking and made to The university of his choice. It is a new life for our family. I miss his ethical remarks and his original way of approaching old dilemmas, but knowing that he is spreading his wings to new heights and winds gives me a deep feeling of fulfillment . Our younger son is having an interesting adaptation time to this new family life, discovering himself in a new role, just like we, his parents, are. Both are a font of fresh inspiration for us. I am happy to have witnessed it.

I reconnected with my Dad. I told him how I really felt, how some days I cry about him. He is trying to be better with me, emailing me random ramblings, trying to stay in touch. I think that I won't put so much on all my other relationships if he continues to be a persistent force in my life. And I also realize you can't coerce that. I tried for a while to shut him out of my life, I've spent time being angry and heartbroken and maybe it is time to take only what he can give me. To hope for only what he can give me. At least now I know I have told him my truths about our relationship. I've worked through a tremendous amount of things related to him this year. Being a semi-parent has really brought that need on full-force for me.

Celebrating our 30th anniversary has shown me that our efforts over the years to work on our marriage have paid off. Love doesn't come with out pain and anger at times but the joys and wonder of it outshine any negatives. We are a good example to our daughters of what a good marriage is and should be and I hope and pray that they each also experience one marriage for at least 30 years! Our daughters' efforts to celebrate our 30 years by making a scrapbook and DVD of our years together as husband and wife and as a family show me how much having a strong marriage and family mean to them and that my husband and I (with God's help) have done well.

I bought a house! My little white dream house on 21 Encinitas has been the balm to soothe the ragged edges of the last few years and it has anchored my confidence about my ability to take deep loving care of my kids and myself. "You did good, mom," Spencer murmured at Christmas time. Yes, it is good to be home.

I came to my dream college even though its a stretch for my family financially. I always had my heart set on this place but chickened out of early decision because of the price. When I got in (regular decision) I was ecstatic, but was still troubled daily with the thought that my family couldn't afford to pay for it. One of the most aggravating parts was that since we're well-off but not rich, there was no "need-based" financial aid. It really felt like a big fuck you from the colleges of the whole country saying "oh, you make just enough to pay for your house and bills and food? well you can EASILY take on $200,000 for the four years of college!" but here I am because my family values education.

Papa moved offices. This took a toll as far as stress and finances go for him--and our family. Moreso this took a toll on Mom, who needs more time with P and more time away from the office (physically and conversationally). Undoubtedly this has impacted and added to tensions within their marriage and in our family. Maybe I'm just more aware of it, but the past few years seem to have added lingering clouds over family get-togethers. Maybe that's just the way life is.

My siblings and are at a point where we are all in our late twenties and thirties. It puts an interesting twist on things becuase no longer are we kids. I get the opportunity to get to know my siblings as adults, which is always very interesting.

My eldest son moved to Los Angeles good. He may not stay there, but as long as he has work, he will never live in our home again. It made me very sad, but very happy for him.

My son has chosen to extend his time living in Ireland where he has been working for over a year. As a result, my wife and I have had to make bi-monthly visits to Dublin to spend time with our 2 1/2 year old grandsons.

My granddaughter is in her second year of college and had some issues last year and is doing great this year.

In the epitome of ironic situations, my mother was diagnosed with skin cancer the same day that I got my first tattoo. I have a bull's head tattooed on my left wrist. For me, it is a symbol of my strength and my will to fight hard no matter the situation and the odds. I must say that even though it is ironic, it couldn't be more fitting that both occurred the same day, for we both needed the reiteration that we are damn strong women. We have never been so close, and once again, I am in awe of the capacity of our love for each other.

We lost power at our house for a week during the big storms in the Northeast. We stayed in a couple of different hotels and had our whole life upended for several days. It taught me that no matter what life throws at us, we can handle it together as a family. We have the ability to be flexible and accommodating when we need to be. And we should do more of that without needing a crisis.

My grandfather passed away. It was very sad obviously and everyone dealt with it differently. But it was eyes-opening to me how very removed I am from my family. They all live very close to one another and their lives are entangled, but I live farther away and have been for some time. I just never realized how far removed I was until this event. I of course was sad, but I realized I didn't have a close relationship with my pop-pop, which was painfully clear while listening to my sister speak about him during the funeral. My sister, and everyone else, had stories and memories that I just didn't have - it was a different kind of sadness, of what I didn't have and no longer have the chance to have.

My aunt (my mom's oldest sister) came to visit. No one from that side [except for my uncle (twice, before he had kids)] ever comes out here (or there, since I'm not there) and it was pretty cool actually. Maybe more of my relatives will come out sometime now that they know that we're not martians or something. It's given me hope, goddammit.

Our granddaughter graduated college at the end of April. It made me see her as transitioning to adulthood, with a life independant of her mother and me. She is ready to make her own choices, and while I can offer advice and support, I have to accept that these are now her decisions to make.

The biggest milestone was the birth of my third grandchild, Gracie.

My sister graduated NYU. It was an amazing experience because I had all of my closest family with me in NY (coming from Sweden, Serbia and LA). It made me feel very thankful of my parents, proud of my sister and excited for my upcoming graduation next year. My grandmother was even there and the only thing missing was my grandfather. he would have love to be there. that thought made me very sad.

being told that the place where i work is being sold - but my job is safe - still quite worrying though

My son turned 16. On top of the fact that he has had to deal with his dad and I separating, he has had his first serious relationship with a girl, his first tattoo, his first drunken call to me at 3am to pick him up and his first set of exams at school. I have begun to realise that he is growing up and that he is slowly pulling away from me. I am losing sight of the little boy that he used to be and seeing the man he might be. I feel a sense of loss at this and am scared at what the future might hold for him, as well as a sense of urgency that he make the right choices based on what i know (even though he is a lot more together and mature than I ever was at 16) A key moment in all this however was him sobbing on my shoulder in the middle of the night when he plit with this girl. My huge gangly son sobbing and holding me. Scary but wonderful times.

Both my sister and my brother have now been married for five years. While this may not seem like a huge accomplishment, given that they are both decent, sane, loving individuals, it does make me think about how much time has passed. I can barely remember life without my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, and absolutely adore and respect both of them. They got married within two months of each other, and I fondly remember the craziness of planning the two weddings while working and raising three young children. This milestone helps me reflect upon how good my life really is to have such love and support in my corner.

Many milestones this year with my middle son graduating from college and my youngest graduating from high school. What this means is that I'm an empty nester, but with with the added perk of having my middle son moved back here (definitely softened the blow). Mainly I was proud. Proud of my middle who won a big fellowship for travel (hence he's only here til spring) and proud of my youngest for whom school has always been something that provides him with a social life. And now he's off at college which really is a challenge -- another thing I'm proud of him for taking on... (I don't want to leave out my eldest who hasn't had any ceremonial-type milestones, but has been working very hard and being very responsible...) So yes, I'm proud.

My Husband changed jobs. I moved into my own Bedroom...it's gotten me closer to being whole within myself.

My sister has been sober for a full year now. Instead of an embarrassing secret, she is now a close friend, and roommate! I feel like I have a new support link, someone who will be there for me. I feel like I have a sister now, who I can be proud of.

I stopped speaking to my father. I could no longer allow him to treat me like shit. I can no longer forgive him just because he is my father.

Probably the biggest would be sister's second pregnancy. To be honest I was a bit concerned at first and maybe even upset with her the and the brother-in-law because the first delivery had been so difficult and I wasn't sure it was a good idea. But the doctors don't seem to have a real issue and everybody else seems to be happy and excited, and honestly I've come around to be so too.

I honestly can't think of a milestone for my family this past year. Maybe I should try harder to be aware of what's happening with them.

My brother got out of prison and went to live w/ my mother. Things started out well and he was doing good- trying to get his life on track, working and then, he walked out of the door and didn't come back. My partner, mother and myself were hopeful to rekindle the relationship we had given up on and, again, my brother chose the worst path. I am saddened by his behavior but take comfort in knowing that I did the right thing, as his sister and have strong enough boundaries to not completely open myself up for hurt.

I don't know. I'm not really close with any members of my family that aren't immediate. It's me and my two boys; outside of that, there's not really much there.

On Rosh Hashana ths year Ive lsitened to my Rabbis (Eli Feldman) speach and realised that things Ive been asking Hashem, to find my besheret didnt happen and all my other prayeres were heard. The reason might be that I am not ready and it might be that I don't appreciate my family and take things for granted, so my resolution is to be more patient with my mom and be closer to my exsistant family in order to learn how to create and mantain a family, take example from the Rebbe,( he walked everyday to his moms house and had a cup of tea every day!)

I can't really think about anything really important that has happened to my family last year what effected me of the rest of the family. My gut tells me there is something about to happen and probably it has something to do with my grandmother. During the last couple of years she's getting worse. first she fell of the stair, tearing of her cruciate ligament, and bruising some bones and ribs, then she shattered a lumbar vertebra lifting a small go-card and now she's getting senile. I don't think she'll live another year, too bad!! Just hope my feeling is lieing to me!

I guess telling my family when my best friend was raped was a big deal, i don't usually speak about anything involving emotions with them. Telling them how much it had affected me and how i felt like everything would be different now.

I love my mom unconditionally and even though we are in different states we talk on a regular basis. This past year she turned 60 and during a recent conversation mom said she would be happy to only live until 80. We basically see one another twice a year... if she lives until she's 80 then I will only see her 40 more times in her life time. It's so painful to think in terms of visits and it's motivated me to make more money to be able to fly out to see her more often.

I don't know if this is a milestone, but It has some relevance. This year my grandmother passed away. I really loved her. After she passed I knew things would get kinda hard, and there would be less family interaction. And that was true. But it allowed me to become closer with my Uncle Ant who is also gay and it gave someone who could help me out since grandma was no longer here. I thought I was gonna be on my own, but I wasnt.

my cousin jj who was only 20 died in a motorcycle accident. it has made me appreaciate life in a new light espically beacue of our closness in age. It's been very diffucult to get over.

My brother got married. This was an intensely stressful event with all the disagreements and fights. There were issues surrounding the location and date, guest list (too big or too small), food (kosher or non-kosher), DJ, who was sitting with whom, and so on. I am still not convinced the relationships between my brother and new sister-in-law and us will ever be truly fixed. I hope things get back to how they were but do not have much hope.

My twin brother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. It has opened my thinking more of the fragility of life. I do more appreciate life, family and the health I have.

My husband and I bought a house. It's funny because it wasn't something we set out to do. We were quite happy renting, except our apartment was farther from work/school than we liked, it only had one bedroom, and if we ever got serious about buying an electric or plug-in hybrid car there would be nowhere to charge it. It was actually discussing this last point that prompted my husband to say, "if we really want an electric car, it's probably easier to buy a house and put solar panels on it than it would be to convince our apartment complex to install a charging station." So, several months later, we are happily moved into a renovated 2-bedroom townhouse with solar panels in a much more convenient location. Our ancient minivan is still running strong, though, so we don't need a new vehicle yet. The hard part will be deciding what to do when we leave this town in a few years (because we are NOT staying here after I finish my PhD) - sell or rent? Time will tell.

The big move across town took place. Everyone is pretty satisfied with the set up. I feel there are pros and cons. Pro - I like the new house, I'm glad to be out from under my x's control. Con - It is very snug for the 3 of us. We will definitely learn to work things through.

My mom, who has always been completely independent, broke her pelvis and is still partially incapacitated. It made me realize that she truly is getting up there in years, and this could happen again. And I'm not so young any more either, so...

My father, my 45 year old brother in law and great aunt all passed away this year. I have always felt family and friends important to me but now cherish my family and community even more so.

My sister's return from Germany and my leaving from university has made me realise how hard things must have been/are for my dad to look after us and live on his own whilst we're away. I count our family very lucky that we have so many great and loving family friends so that he's not always in the house on his own when we are away.

My grandpa died this year in August after being very sick since April. His passing has been overwhelming, despite how long and drawn-out the process was. It's hard to prepare yourself for the loss of a loved one, even one who is elderly and sick. This death has been very difficult because it has made me consider death and the death of everyone I love a lot more. It's hard, but it also makes you appreciate the ones you love all the more. I'm also especially grateful that my grandpa got to be at my wedding. It was the last major event he was part of. I treasure the photos of us from that day.

This year more than ever my step-father has been more of a father to me than my dad has ever been or ever will be.

My parents celebrated their 50 th wedding anniversary in April. We never thought they would make it that long. It has impacted my belief that through good and bad,sickness and health, rich and poor, a marriage takes a lot of hard work and effort and totally worth it.

Our weekend cabin/house was broken into and vandalized. My kids were a witness to the damage and the graffiti in the aftermath when we walked in - long after it occurred. Nothing permanent for damage except a kicked in window. We feel lucky it wasn't worse. I've cleaned up the mess so there is no visual evidence of it ever happening. However, our kids are now very scared about many things. Lights on at night, scared to go to the bathroom alone, etc. It was fairly recent, so perhaps it will become more manageable, but for now, it breaks my heart to see them so scared of the world around them because of a couple of stupid people.

My little sister graduated from college. I can't believe she is so grown up.

I moved back in with my mom. It has been good to connect on a new level and make sure she is ok. It has also made me go crazy. I am young, living with an old lady is hard.

A milestone is not maybe the right word for this. My grandpa died and so did my dad's best friend. It was really hard but brought our family closer together. I saw both my mom and dad cry and it really started my path of appreciation. I definitley hadn't been thankful or understanding enough of my parents, but I'm getting to be closer with them and extremely more thankful.

Here's a major thing...Betty has made exercise a science, and runs for fun...recently completing a 1/2 marathon. Where does it leave me? My aunt called recently to wish me a happy new year...and she encouraged me to catch up with Betty. That's a big job. No doubt, I've got to rev up, or even re-engage an exercise program. But...our bodies, having been sort of more similar, are now more different. An action plan isn't in place...but I'd like my action to change on this. I'd like a plan that has sustainability. This is my reaction to question #3.

My parents sold their house in NYC and moved to Orlando. I encouraged this move but now that it has happened it has greatly affected me. I now realize I will probably never again be able to drive to see them. No quick trips. It's harder for them to see my dg who they love very much. Also, I think about when I have kids how they won't be close by to see them grow up. As I have gotten older I realize how much I love being with family. I envy those who still live in their home town. Can go visit family randomly. I just love that close big family environment. I hope that when I get married this is something I have with my husband. It makes me sad to think about it and possibly int seeing my parents twice a week.

We had a wonderful surprise party for my sister. It's not easy to give her anything really meaningful in the way of gifts and we wanted the celebration for her 65th b'day to be special. I always worry about her health since she has MS. She was VERY surprised and obviously very touched by the effort and the party. Growing up our relationship wasn't a good one, and it's so rewarding to see how far we've come.

My step-dad's father died in May. It was a fairly difficult time for him, and I made sure I was home for it, even though I really couldn't afford it, and while speeding back to the airport at the end of the 3 day trip I got hit with a speeding ticket and court case to defend against it that cost me hundreds of dollars I didn't have. It was much harder for him than it was for me, or any of the rest of my immediate family I think, but I was glad to see we all came together to support the man who raised us and provided for us for years. It made me feel pretty good to know that the family unit is still there to catch one of us when we need it. Living so far away from the rest of them for years now, it was easy to forget that.

We passed the one year mark since my Mom's passing. It was a really rough day but it was also very healing to be able to Facetime with my family and cry together. I think crying is so beneficial to the healing process. Anyway, it was crazy to think how fast a year flew by. My family continues to get stronger though and it reminds me how blessed I am to have them--and my Mom watching over me.

Tuesday September 18, 2012 My parents are thinking about moving to Vermont. I think that it's a cool idea but that would involve making completely new friends and having to be the new girl for a few months. I like the idea of starting over but the thing is, I would only be there for 2 year before college so is it really worth moving?

My daughter went to live in the USA bringing my 2 lovely Grandsons. I miss her so much and my 2 boys. I used to mind them 2 days a week.

After a year+ with my parent's house on the market, they were finally able to sell it and purchase the house that they had been looking for (more my mom). We lived in the first house for 19 years and it was the place I essentially grew up. It affected me because I had to accept the fact that my childhood home was disappearing from my life and that I'd never actually see it again (save from the outside when I decided to drive by....not the same). I am happy to see my parents happy, but it is still an adjustment coming "home" to a house that isn't really mine, that is far away/not as conveniently located to things I had grown used to patronizing and having to use my GPS to know where I am going.

My mom finished chemo and radiation. Her cancer diagnosis really put life into perspective in a way that without it, I don't know if I would appreciate family as much as I do now. We've all grown so much closer - her long-time boyfriend and his teenage daughter are now my true family and it's terribly sweet after so many years of it just being me and my mom to now have a bigger family of people by choice and by love, not necessarily by blood. As we all move forward, I find that my focus in life is more about the people I love and less about my career (though it's still important), money or ambitious achievements. I now measure my idea of success and happiness by the quality of my relationships. And as I prepare to have my first child, the timing couldn't be more perfect.

My children and I all started new full-time positions working for organizations that we feel will better us as people and make our lives feel more valuable. We are all happier (and a little more stressed) but we all also started seeing a therapist to keep us on track and lessen our anxieties. I'm really proud of us!

My father in law passed away. It has made my mother in law much more dependant on me and my husband and I have had to learn to be much more patient and compassionate.

My daughter was born! Because of her I've seen the rest of my family more often this year too.

Anya and Michael set a date and accepted work in Los Angeles and that set into motion all the logistical work of producing a wedding, but also all the inside work of letting go, of ending one chapter and turning the page. Fresh Beginnings are not possible without the work of ending.

Over this past year, the relationship between my family and I has drastically improved and has become more cohesive than it has ever been. Prior to this change in my familial relationship, I would be the constant source of stress, tension, anxiety and anger. My unstable state of mind not only affected me, but my mom, dad, brother and sister as well. When I was in that state of mind, I didn't believe that I was the cause of such stress and anger. I couldn't understand why my brother and sister were afraid I me. I couldn't understand why everyone was on edge all of the time. I blamed the tension on everyone else, especially my mom. I was convinced that I was the victim. But as the new year of 2012 began, I started on a path of being more considerate and aware of myself and how I affect my surroundings. I realized over the course of this year that I truly was the major source of tension, stress and anxiety in my household. Once I realized this and started to take control of my unstable mind, the tension and stress levels in myself and the rest of my family dropped dramatically. No longer is the household full of angry and scared emotions, it has become a place of near peace and relaxation. Of course it's not peaceful one hundred percent of the time, but it's a whole hell of a lot better than how it was. This major milestone in my life affected my family and me in a greatly positive way and I plan to continue building upon and improving this new family dynamic.

My 60-year-old mom was in the hospital unexpectedly and spent all of May and part of June either very ill or recuperating. As she's the one in the family that takes care of us (and especially my dad), it was an upsetting time - not only because we were worried for her, but it just brought to the forefront for all of us how much we take good health for granted. My dad has been the one with health problems and so this was quite a switch. But we all worked together and supported each other and, I think, grew closer. She's better now, but we lost a good part of the spring/summer.

The birth of our first grandchild. I did not realize what an emotional impact his birth would have on me. He is in my thoughts and prayers every day. Just thinking about him brings a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. Seeing the love and devotion of my daughter-in-law and son for their child is most amazing.

My grandfather passed away. It made me realize that I have to show my mother I care about her more often. Even in little ways.

My husband is eating a LITTLE healthier along with me after many years of asking and hoping he would.

My oldest daughter finished high school and started doing her National Service (sherut leumi) in 5772. She also started driving. Watching her start to spread her wings has been very exciting for me. I'm trying to give her the space she needs to learn things--sometimes finding it difficult keep my mouth shut. I'm nervous about her finding her way in this world and praying all the time that we will be able to provide her with a solid education (formal) and guidance (informal) that will give her the tools to succeed in this world.

My nephew got married and it kind of made me happy and sad. His mother passed away when he was 15, so I became very close to him. However, I did not feel like part of the wedding because his father had a girlfriend who acted like the mother of the groom. However, I am very happy for my nephew and hope that they have a wonderful life together.

I became a step-grandmother, but because I don't have any real connection with my step-daughter I think my grandson is cute and adorable but I don't feel any more of a real connection with him. I just feel bad that his father doesn't really want anything to do with him and his mother is blind to that.

I've struggled for years with my younger brother's domination by his wife, who decided 15 years ago that she didn't want to have a relationship with me. Over the years, I've sought to maintain a connection with my brother, but his fear of losing her has warped our relationship as he has internalized her fear of me. Of course, this makes me sad, as we have always been close, but this year I was finally able to accept that I need to stop trying as he has a very distorted picture of me which has happened because of the situation with his wife. I am open to any overtures on his part and I forgive him for everything, but it's too painful for me to always be the one reaching out and not having a lasting connection. I'm at peace for the situation after many, many years of turmoil, and that's a relief.

My mom has beatin cancer.

The birth of my 1st great grandchild. To feel a joy in that adorable smile brings me hope for the future.

Our oldest son got bar mitzvahed. It relieved a certain degree of tension, because many members of my husband's extended family traveled all the way from the East Coast to LA for the event, and had a fantastic time while they were out here. They really embraced us, Judaism and all, even though they are Catholic and very observant. I think my husband finally realized that he does not have to apologize for the choice he made to join me in raising Jewish children, and that he can, in fact, be proud of what we all have accomplished together. It was a wonderful time for our family!

A new granddaughter! What could possibly be better than that??

Within the last month or so, my parents have decided to get a divorce. This was my mom's first marriage, but second baby daddy. She was never married to my dad. Its been about 18 years that they have been married. For the most part, I wasn't sure how to feel...I want my mom to be happy and my step dad has never really been a real dad to me. I was upset at first but I don't really care much anymore. What makes my mom happiest is what is most imp0rtant to me. They don't have the funds to officially divorce yet but they're planning on it within a year.

A few major milestones...friend moved back in during a low point in his life. This is the 2nd time he's lived with me and the hubby. It's been great because his daughter and ours get along great, and we are helping out someone in need. Plus, he cleans so I don't have to! :) Another one is that we are getting a mortgage on our house, which will build our credit, pay off some debts (both ours and the in-laws) and get us able to do some needed house repairs.

My wife's myasthenia gravis returned after being dormant or in remission for 30 years and she was hospitalized twice. I have had to think about what is really important in life.

My son was born! Obviously this affected me and my husband every minute of every day. In the past almost 8 months we are amazed by how he has grown from a little lump of needs to a person with wants and a distinct personality. It has also been a true pleasure to see the others in my family fill their new roles. My father in particular is so thrilled to be Grandpa. My mother is more pragmatic, but she still loves to be Grandma. And my in-laws are growing. Even my extended family is so proud.

A major milestone was the death of my sister. I am now the only surviving member of the core family. I am still processing the regrets. Am comforted by the memories of shared laughs and familiarity. Oddly, I don't think it has increased my mortality issues. I am still finding ways to be connected to her children.

Our daughter had been wanting her own apartment for a long time and always saying she would save her money toward it. She never did. We had a blow-up that was bad enough for my husband to insist we move her out and pay the rent. She immediately had her boyfriend move in. He didn't work for several months, so we were paying rent and my daughter was paying all other expenses. (Finally, he is also working.) It's been a huge adjustment to support something that goes against my values, yet the need to have her gone was so intense; my husband lobbied for any sacrifice or compromise being worth the peace and quiet at home. Ironically, she calls multiple times a day and comes over to just hang out in her spare time. I have re-learned "never say never."

My daughter got married and it has been a true eye opener that not only is she getting older and now completely self-sufficient, I'm getting older too and need to re-evaluate my future goals and dreams without considering my children's needs because they don't really need me as much any more. Most of my life has been lived with the assumption or based on the fact that my children need me. I know they'll always need me but they don't require as much time and attention as they have in the past and I need to shift my focus.

My younger brother turned twenty this past January, and will turn twenty one in a few months. He was three months premature and wasn't supposed to live at all, and now he's almost twenty one, he walks, talks, bathes and feeds and toilets himself, he volunteers, he graduated from high school and did a year of college and is considering going back... There are so many little things that other people take for granted, that he has had to fight to have and do. But he's had and done them, anyway.

There are so many milestones this year! Getting engaged, converting to Judaism, B finishing school and taking the bar, B's sister having a baby, N graduating and going to college, moving in with B''s parents. I feel like it has been a whirlwind year and it will only continue from here. I feel like with everything happening in my family, B's family and creating our own little family life is going to get crazier! All the milestones have been good ones, which really makes me think about how lucky I am, even if during the madness I get stressed, afterward it is all worth it. Sometimes I need to be able to be joyful in the moment, not resentful that I am not the one having a baby or that we aren't the one's moving across the country for a great job opportunity.

My sister moved from Florida to California to be with her boyfriend. The whole family was excited that she had found a passion, was re-enrolled in school and was doing fabulously. Now she is jobless and out of school so he can follow his "passion". I just want her to be happy and have the kind of life she envisions for herself.

The biggest event in our family this year has been the birth of my nephew, my brother's first child. He's the first grandchild for both sets of grandparents, my first nephew, and his arrival has changed the structure and dynamic of our whole family. Before, we were two generations; now we are three. My brother and I, both in our 30s, are no longer the "kids," and our parents have moved from the "parent" generation to become grandparents. We shift, we expand, we make room. I think finding out that my sister-in-law was pregnant was one of the catalysts for my change of heart regarding having kids of my own. Having children became more than a hypothetical or philosophical discussion about overpopulation or future financial security. I went from not wanting kids to realizing that I, too, wanted to contribute to the next generation of our family. I secretly (ok, not-so-secretly, but without tempting fate) hope that by next year the major milestone will be the impending arrival of my own first child.

My sister and I have gotten so much closer over the past few years, but this year, I think we had a break through. She's never been so open and direct with me. We had one of the most honest conversations of our entire relationship and it has probably saved my life.

I am fortunate nothing happened that was life changing.it was a good year BH.

Another new arrival into the family with Jasper to join his big brother Henry. I've been constantly amazed at the differences between them both - from different favourite toys to different temperaments. Together, a total joy but jolly hard work :)

My son graduated from college, and I feel lighter and freer. Something huge has been accomplished by all of us!

My dad's death brought me closer to my sister.

My grandmother got sick and was in and out of hospitals and rehab centers for 6+ weeks. Less of a milestone than a real test for everyone. I lost and regained and lost and regained faith in my parents' ability to get through this tough time and support each other.

My parent lost everything in a fire. It was really hard, but it made us closer together. The fire might have gotten our things but it gave us a closeness no one or nothing can ever take away. :-)

It was one year from the car accident. I survived. And I feel...okay. I had underestimated how rattled I had been by being hit by a car and finding out the next day that my significant other had been cheating (no better time, right?), but a year later, I'm alive; I'm healthy; he's gone; I'm better for the struggle. I've survived. Survival is the beginning of thriving, I think. I am ready to thrive.

This past year my husband lost his job and I lost my business. Things have been tight and tough. Through it all what keeps me going is having a loving relationship with my husband and my children. I don't think I could go though these hard times without them. We all support each other.

My grandfather (mom's dad) moved into an assisted living facility, making it easier to see him, finally. His wife is still ridiculous and never lets his own daughters, sister, and grandchildren visit him, but now that he's out of her house we've been able to visit him more often even though it means his health has declined. He doesn't remember who I am and it's sad, but I am happy that he is getting the help he needs. My cousins keep popping out kids and getting married, also, it's fun to keep the family growing!

The divorce of my husband has been the biggest change to the family. It has affected me in the obvious ways, but I'm surprised by how much it has affected my 4 year old niece. She doesn't understand the concept and we just had to explain that her uncle wouldn't be visiting anymore. She's dealt well, but still brings up his name, which indicates a lengthy discussion is coming in the next few years when she can comprehend such things.

OMG so many milestones! I got engaged at this time last year, and the very next day learned that my parents were getting divorced. The subsequent divorce process has caused me to question myself in ways that I thought might tear away every last shred of fragile self-esteem that I have, but I have watched myself, and my sisters, and my mother, slowly but carefully climb through the ruins and stand up to it. It continues even today -- my Dad's crazy girlfriend emailed the entire family a 200-page attack letter full of hatred and disdain for all of us. To go through the scary process of getting married, making a lifelong commitment to someone else with all of that going on caused me to reach deep in myself and search for strength that up until that point I really took for granted. It was a test and it's still going on and I don't think I passed every single moment of it but I learned how to pass in the future. But then, with my new marriage, came my new role as stepmom to two really wonderful kids. I had a crash course in parenting this past year, going to school functions, helping them find and explore their interests, referring sibling rivalry, making mistakes and asking for forgiveness, answering tough questions about sexuality, puberty, helping young minds to grapple with the adult issues that are constantly in all of our faces. It has been beautiful and full of more meaning than almost anything else I have ever done, just to tell them about life and help them make their own decisions. It has also caused me little heartbreaks, especially since I know that one thing I can never really be to them is Mom. That is really important, no one can ever stand in the shoes of your mother. I can be a great thing to them, a bonus parent, but it will not be that primal thing. I definitely accept that and acknowledge it, and that helps me to really enhance what I CAN be to them, focus on all the good I do have the power to enact in their lives. But there is that small sadness. And I wonder will I ever be Mom to someone? Do I even want that? Then there's the fact that the show that supported our lives, employing both me and my husband, closed, leaving us to reogranize our finances and lives. We've never known each other without the show. This new life, right now, is only three weeks old. I wonder will I ever have a performing job again? If not, what will I do? Will we stay long in this city (we don't want to, but as of now the kids' mom is based here and unwilling to move)? I don't know how many more volatile ways my life could have changed! And it seems inevitable that by this time next year there will be a lot of things that are different. I spent a lot of time kind of dreading the show closing, but now that it's happened I look forward to the changes to come. I cannot guess what they will be!

This year, at the age of 90, my mother depleted her retirement savings, which leaves her supplementary support up to me and my sibs. As we struggle with our own family finances, we are faced with supporting a parent, too. We don't begrudge that responsibility but it's certainly a cautionary tale for our own retirements.

My dad was diagnosed with and was treated for prostate cancer. He is now in remission. It makes you think about how fleeting life is and how to make every day count.

My mom had her first long term relationship since she and Matt broke up. I did not like him much, but it really showed me how damaged she is that the idea of an actual committed relationship bugged her. It made me wonder if this played on my desire to never engage in a relationship of any sort.

I got pregnant for the first time. It has affected the way in which my husband and I discuss our future. All of our decisions, be they travel, medical, financial, or even the way that we arrange the furniture, are influenced by the fact that we will soon we parents, and that it will no longer be just the two of us. We have another person's well-being to consider above ours. It has also impacted the way that our families view and treat us. Everyone is constantly asking if there is anything they can do to help, and asking questions about the progress. It feels, simulteaneously, like we are finally an "adult" and autonomous family, and yet, like we are also viewed as childish and naive, entering a new phase in our lives that we have yet to experience and learn from. There is a lot of excitement and also a lot of mystery around this time in our lives, and I cannot wait to see how we continue to grow and change for the better as a family once our child arrives.

I think the major milestone for me was going out on disability and retiring after twenty years of county service. I then purged my home and life basically and moved from California to New York. My family has been so supportive and encouraging, embracing my decision and wondering why I didn't do it sooner. I feel like a whole new person with s great big world out there waiting g for me to make my next move. I look forward to discovering what the future has in store for me.

My dad got sick. Not deathbed sick but sick enough that he went into hospital and was there for almost a week. Sick enough to realize that he was getting old - that both my parents are - and that they are not going to be around forever. It made me think a lot about death and dying and mortality and age. It made me value my family and spending time with them. And it made us talk about stuff - stuff that we don't normally say. And it made me feel alone and realize that I have my family and my sister but I don't have a partner. So I suppose I learned what is really important in life and it's not work - it's loving people and telling them that you love them. Often.

Our oldest daughter got married and it was a chance to reflect on my values and how milestones are a chance to re-examine these values, when to let go of what my own desires are and when to voice certain bottom lines.

I broke up with my girlfriend, my grandmother got extremely ill and my step grandmother passed away. It made me realize how important my family is and that I want to be closer to them

I turned 50 this week. I feel better about myself as a person and my life as a whole. Even if we are facing some difficult times ahead, I know we are surrounded by love and support from some amazing people and a larger community. I was not in a place, mentally, to plan a celebration. My friends took it upon themselves to show me how much I am loved - it was everything I could have wished for. At one point, everyone toasted me with a word that described what each person valued most about me and/or our friendship. Each one chose words that I had always hoped would be attributed to me. I feel I am becoming the me I want to be in this world.

the most major milestone was my diagnosis of breast cancer. made me more assertive about taking care of my own needs! speaking up when I want to. asking for closeness from kids and grandkids. being more vulnerable.

I don't know that we have had any major milestones this past year... Things have been pretty stagnant, which is a shame.

I was able to tell my parents I was mad at them. As expected, they reacted poorly, but I finally realized that the problem lay with them and not with me. We have not become closer--but I feel better about our relationship and am hoping to learn how to cope with the better. I also realized how this dynamic (being afraid of telling them things) plays out in my other relationships. I hope we can all benefit from that incident even though it was frustrating and painful at the time.

My mother turned 80. She has been awful to me my whole life -- rejecting, cold, cruel. I decided to attend the celebration, knowing full well how she would treat me and my spouse and children. She did not surprise. What did surprise me is that I am no longer hopeful that I might finally receive her love. I am trying to finish the work of separation.

I really already answered this. My grandma died. It's awful. I feel so lonely and so alone and I don't know what to do about it.

It looks like I may have a family of my own. Not my own children but his. I want my own family, my own little network of love...

My grandmother has been very sick. It has been stressful on my mom.

My grandma passed away in June. She was the oldest living grandparent I had. At 94, she had gone through the depression, had an alcoholic husband, and grew a farm in her back yard. She was an amazing woman who will be missed.

I outearned my husband for the first time in our relationship. I didn't outearn him by a small margin, either. I am impressed as to how little this changed the power dynamic between us--he never lorded over me his earning power, and I could never have gotten to where I am without his help. I do feel more confident about financial decisions these days because of it, though.

my dad almost died and jonah grew up. i felt what it feels like to be giving and have that nourish me as well as what if feels like to be giving and have it deplete me. i am not making enough time to reflect and i don't think i know yet what affect this has had on me. but i found out, much to my surprise, that renewing a practice in judaism is tremendously helpful for me.

Our first nephew has gone off to college. I have a picture of him as a three-year-old and can remember him at that age at our wedding. It's amazing to see time go so quickly and it makes me try to treasure my sons each day because I know they'll be gone to college before I know it.

My husband turned 50 and I turned 49. We were very nervous and depressed as the dates approached and now it is a huge relief. The anxiety leading up to the birthdays were much worse than the actual dates. We had a small celebration for his birthday and celebrated big by taking our family vacation which was great. Now I am looking forward to celebrating my birthday.

My grandparents are growing very frail, yet they still, in their 90s, are fiercely independent. My parents have been spending a lot of time and energy on them, and have had less time for me as a result.

A few months ago, we found out that my husband Dave's brother Mike and his wife Renee would be getting a divorce. We found out that Renee had been unfaithful. All of us were shocked. Dave's parents went through anger and protective feelings for Mike and his daughters Becca and Rachel. I felt like I wanted to hold on tighter to Dave. I kept telling him not to forget that marriage is still "cool." Since the split up, we have reached out to Mike and the girls. I am inspired to cling together as a family and continue to set healthy boundaries as a couple to protect our marriage.

The death of my mother in law on the same weekend my daughter graduated--both major milestones. So proud of my daughter and so grateful to have had my mother-in-law in my life for so long. I feel as sense of new beginning, a second chance. I'm careful to be grateful for all that I have in my life every day.

My beautiful sweet niece was born. I love her so much.

My sister husband was in a accident. I saw how much my sister tries to do her self and for the first time saw her breakdown and cry. I don't know how much the experience helped her learn that it is ok to ask for help, but I hope she knows I will be there when she needs it.

We used to get together for a mixed holiday celebration: Christmas/Hannukah for our blended families---as the family grew, tensions did too and it became an unpleasant and negative emotion packed time---my kids suggested I spend the actual Christmas day apart as my discomfort was adding to the general negative feelings---at first I was hurt, but it workedd out beautifully and we visit and enjoy each other at more mellow , less heightened times....

The birth of my niece Meredith! She is absolutely the love of my life and she isn't even mine. I had no idea I was capable of feeling such immense love for this little bundle- with all the potential of a whole person already packed inside her- until I saw her minutes after her birth. For a few years now, I have known that having children ranks high on my life's list, but after meeting my little niece I am certain that I want a child of my own, regardless of how all the other choices in my life pan out in the coming years.

both of my elderly godmothers passed away... one was a beloved family friend and one was a cranky old aunt. made me think of my own temperament and how i'll be remembered after i'm gone.

My wife and I no longer communicate, and are living in a loveless, and financially necessary relationship

My husband's kids finally started to public school (instead of the faith-based private school they had always attended). We are thrilled!

Finally married the my soulmate, Sandra, after ten and a bit years... The day was perfect in every way.

My father coming more and more to terms with who I am as a devotee and bramacari, and his being proud of me.

My older daughter started middle school this year. She is becoming a teenager, and I will need to start both letting her go and trusting her, and also thinking more about how to do that, as she has less supervision now than before.

My husband's first yahrzeit. It was a time for my son and I to "move on" and think "what's next"?

My parents faced serious job insecurity for the first time. My dad lost one of his jobs, which he had held for about fifteen years, and my mom had many of her hours transferred to other responsibilities. As a result of these changes, and also as a result of my finally being an "adult" in the family, I have started to see and recognize financial insecurity in my family for the first time in my life.

I live overseas and have raised my children away from their family. This year I took my teen-aged daughter back to my home city for my mother's milestone birthday. Being among relatives, both my daughter and I experienced a strong sense of belonging and relaxedness -- something that I hadn't felt in a long long time.

Thanks to my mother, we were able to buy a new (for us) house. This happened just in the nick of time since the house that we were living in was on the verge of falling apart -- bad roof and when it rained, the electricity was starting to short out on the circuit that controlled the heater. Although the new house has not solved all of our problems, it is wonderful to be living in a place that is structurally sound,

Getting pregnant - we banded together!

My boyfriend and I went through a tumultuous period in our relationship. He was battling an addiction, which almost tore us apart. Communication and compassion are two very important lessons that I have learned this year. Now patience... I am still working on it! ;)

My brother got married in October. That was pretty huge. He was the first of us kids to get married and he got married to someone so wonderful. I'm so glad to call her my sister. I think it has really brought my family closer together in many ways. At the same time it has made my family much more aware of the way we function as a family. I think we lucked out with our first set of in laws. I'm truly happy for him.

My sister got a full-time job and moved from our home in Bloomington, MN to Austin, TX just 5 month after graduating from college. She wasn't sure what she wanted to do at all, and it just happened to work out that Dad found out about this job, she applied, and she got it over tons of other applicants. It's crazy that she's living in Austin now, and has been for almost a year. She knows that she doesn't want to live there forever, but she has a pretty good system figured out so far. She even got to move departments, which upped her pay a little bit. Mom is sad that she didn't get to stay at home for a lot longer, since she wasn't sure what her next move was going to be. Overall, I think it was a good thing, just very weird to have the first child grown up and moved out of the house, as well as the state.

My son's girlfriend got pregnant. She's much younger than him, and she's very immature. There's so much unhappiness between them; it makes me sad, but there's nothing I can do except try to give him a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear.

Our 10th wedding anniversary was earlier this month. Definitely felt like we have grown closer again after a difficult coupe of years, with disagreements on family matters. Love my wife even more now. Reconciled to not agreeing on everything. Don't change your partner, work with them.

Me going to college. It has affected me by appreciating what i had and how i have to cope without them near by. I dont know how it has affected them though, and that is what I worry about.

My wife lost her job and we learned a lot about what we really want in life. Sanity above all else. In the end, this will be an important juncture in our lives.

our daughter starting preschool- with grace & humor & confidence. my/mama's adjustment was hard- realizing how fast she is growing up & that a certain part of her babyhood has past. the passing of gram/ruth, really rocked both our micro family and the bigger family. she was a tremendously important & beautiful force

I stopped being a stay at home mom after three and a half years. After taking so much time off from working I was really worried I'd never be able to land a job again especially in this economy. I felt like staying home I was taking a risk with my future, at least in the carrer sense, and i felt like putting my kids in a daycare at 6 weeks was taking a risk with their future, in the total sense, and so I made the sacrifice for three and a half lonely, boring, overwhelming years. Right now the kids are in daycare almost nine hours a day five days a week which is longer than I ever dreamed of them spending at daycare but they are doing really well there. Better than when they were with me honestly. It made me feel upset how well they were doing, but I tell myself that they are happy and so successful there because they have a good foundation that I helped them build while they were at home with me. Now that they are in daycare, I'm a better mom. I rarely get burned out and I make each minute count as opposed to trying to make time pass until I could get a break. Little luxuries like being able to take care of yourself when your sick is now possible. I can't tell you how much I love being able to go home sick and only have to worry about me! I feel like a more balanced person now that I'm working and I think my kids and family are better off for it too!

My grandma passed away in June, my dad's mom. She was an incredibly generous and loving person with a snarky sense of humor. She got sick in January. I think she was 86, and I saw her in what have been her best spirits over the last few years in December 2011. We went to her house around Christmas, and I felt like I was just getting to know her, especially her sense of humor. She made a number of hilarious comments to me and also teased me which seemed unusual for her, but I now realize was probably pretty regular! At her funeral, my dad talked about how she was a non-traditional woman, and I think she was. My interactions with her in December taught me that, but again, I felt like I was just getting to know that side of her. Growing up, she had seemed like a traditional housewife, serving tea to my grandpa and listening to all his problems. I didn't know that behind that was a sharp, sassy lady with a lot of jokes! My grandma was sick for several months before she died. That was very stressful for my parents and all of us. It kept seeming like she was about to die, then she would bounce back. I think it brought me closer to my dad and my sister because we checked in whenever things got hard, and my sister and I coordinated to be there for my father after my grandma died. Watching my dad and his siblings interact also taught me a lot about how family can be there for each other even with a lot of history and even when it is hard. The family came together around my grandma's illness, and while they are still dealing with the consequences of it, they've maintained a good sense of humor throughout the whole ordeal.

My uncle -- Dad's brother -- has been seriously ill for the past two weeks. Visiting him and my aunt and cousins in the hospital has made me appreciate them in a new way. Dad died 41 years ago, and Mom's been gone for over 3.5 years. Family matters.

We were finally sealed in the Draper temple. I am so glad we were able to make it to the temple! I am happy that we are now a forever family, but mostly I am happy that we have been sealed and don't have to worry about it anymore. And by worry about it, I mean I don't have to listen to my mom/family harp on me about it anymore. It's also nice to be able to attend the temple and to feel like lessons about temples apply to me. And to not feel guilty when I hear about someone getting married in the temple.

My brother and sister in law and their sons have learned to deal with the grief of their loss of family members. It has affected me in that I do not feel so inclined to always need to be there, to "help" them .. to try to "fix" or relieve their pain.

I turned 70 and the family gathered to celebrate ~ I live in New York, my son, also a New Yorker, was editing a film in Los Angeles, and my two daughters and four grandchildren live in Chicago, which is where we're all originally from. When I turned 60 some friends and family threw a huge party for 60 of my nearest & dearest in NYC. But this year, partially because of a leg injury and the fact that I hadn't been to Chicago in some time, I decided that I wasn't up for a big party (it's not easy to navigate a crowd with a cane) so I went to Chicago where I celebrated, in this order: with my daughters & sister at a lunch, a trip to Lakeside Michigan with my daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren to visit dear extended-family friends. My son and the woman he’s in a relationship with joined us and we all relaxed, played, ate wonderful meals and enjoyed our time together. After our return to Chicago, there was one more gathering of the grown-ups for a celebratory toast and a great meal. It was a lovely birthday. I was very moved by the gift of family and friends, felt blessed beyond all expectation and am so grateful and appreciative of the life I am privilaged to live. I intend to live the rest of it with the same gusto I have experienced thus far so that I will continue to know that ot's a life well spent.

Of course. My divorce has to be the most significant milestone. There were birthdays, Christmas, holiday in Lanzarote. Fortunately no bereavements of personal note. The divorce was a true milestone, but in the end, when it was pronounced, all the change had already happened. So the final bit of paper was a bit of a damp squib. I don;t even think the kids noticed! My relationship with Emma is still strained. No communication. I'm hopeful that one day she'll look at me without all that hatred. To be able to exchange niceties, to even share birthday celebrations. But for now, I'm sure she still hates me with a passion. She needs to get over it!!!!! I guess a family holiday abroad was the big milestone for the kids. Glad it happened and hope to be able to go somewhere foreign again next year. South Africa has to be the dream someday!!!!!!

I got married. And it seems to fundamentally change my relationship with my family, my wife's family, and pretty much everyone in my life. In theory I got to showcase my best self. We'll see if it plays out in practice.

My grandmother had heart surgery to correct a fatal condition. This brought us all back to the fear of additional losses in the family. After losing an aunt and a cousin, hearing that my grandmother had a possible imminent death was quite upsetting. Thi correlates with getting older and more aware of my family's and my mortality. With heart disease in my family, I have been spending more time at the gym doing cardio and have spent more time seeing my grandma or on the phone with her.

Tom graduated. He's now in Manchester looking for work. I didn't go to see his final show which I'm feel quite guilty about and would have enjoyed it.

Both of my brothers and their wives had their first children. I am now an Aunt to the most precious neice and nephew in the world. My brother are fathers for the first time and my parents are grandparents for the first time. It's the best feeling in the world with one exception - Corey doesn't get to hold them or know them. Colin and Emily will never really get to know what their Uncle Corey was truly like. I know that I will do everything in my power to teach them about what a unique, kind, and gentle person he was - but it's never the same as getting to experience being around him. He brought such an innocence that can never be replicated nor fully expressed with words. Regardless, their births have been the most exciting experience of my life. I love them with all of my heart and just relish the opportunity to watch them grow.

My brother had a hard 7th grade, and was recently diagnosed with major anxiety. It was hard to deal with at first because we had to accommodate for him and filter our words in order to keep him calm and easy-minded. He'd worry over everything, and it was hard to watch for me and my parents. He started going to a psychiatrist who has become a trustworthy mentor to him and he's taking medication to control his anxiety. It's been hard to see him in such a fragile state, but he's really grown and is the coolest, happiest, most normal 13 year old you ever saw!

My youngest child became and adult. I feel like I am at a cross roads, needing to decide what to do with the rest of my life.

My partner got an executive job in the arts - I was naturally very supportive and it was great to see him enjoying his work. But I think in many ways the stress and politics affected our relationship adversely... in that regard it was an exhausting year. Im happy he's left the position to focus on his business. He's got more time for himself, our relationship and is less brittle at the end of the day. I think the whole experience made me realise how important it is to work a little bit each day on helping each other along in life.

The birth of our twins was a major milestone, obviously. More than love, I feel fear. Anxiety that something bad will happen to them. Yes they are cute and sweet and mine, but I thought that I'd be more bowled over by those lovey dovey feelings. Instead I'm so worried about the world happening to them that I'm contemplating becoming one of those homeschooling weirdos.

My uncle and aunt had an open and frank discussion with me about LGBT rights, and about people in my family who were gay. Their support is amazing and it makes me wish I were courageous enough to come out to the rest of my family.

My sister got married. The weeks leading up to it were insane, but it ended in a spectacular event where all the cousins realized how long it's been since we've all gotten together. We'll be trying to plan another reunion soon.

A major milestone for myself this year with my family was that I enjoyed being with them for a whole weekend without needing to take a break. I have accepted most of their weakness upon what I felt were and not allow myself to give my powers way. Through out the year, as soon as I felt a shift in them treating me in a different way, I would state I needed to go. I have enjoyed their company and have wanted to be with them. I am also starting to see my father and other males for what they are rather my own negative perspectives of men. It has affected my life tremendously as I have gotten to meet a goal of my own. Harvest what I have been working for a better life and relationships with those important with me. I guess part of my life could of taken me away from them to be who I wanted to be, but I knew it was important for me make it right with them. Share a relationship and deal with each other. Or at least that I could handle myself as a interdependent person with them.

My sister's graduation. It has not had an effect yet, but it has potential to change our family since she might be going abroad soon. It is nice to think about how my family is now composed of three profesional, working woman... This is not to say I don't miss my dad, but it is reasuring to think we will be able to do it on our own

My mother admitted after years of denial that she is depressed. I have tried to get her to seek help, but she continues to ignore my pleas because of my negative experiences with depression and suicide attempts. She has slowly been opening up to me though and she has gotten so much better about expressing her needs and feelings. I just hope that she can continue to make some progress and find what makes her truly happy in life. I don't know what I would do without her.

Published the book, http://ow.ly/dkyzk, and it's going well. It's put a thought in my mind: How much to focus on what's been DONE vs. what I have yet to DO?

My dad moved in with his girlfriend. It's odd and something I'm not used to despite the fact that my parents divorced over 4 years ago.

In the past year it feels like my mom has lost being an independent person. It makes me closer to my brother as we strategize together for her care, but it also make me think about when the quality of life is diminished to the point that life shouldn't be prolonged - ie should I take her to have her pacemaker replaced

I broke up with my 'partner' of three years, however, once he moved in, there was very little teamwork going on. For 18 months I blamed my unhappiness on other external factors, even though I was aware I wasn't happy with the relationship. Anyway, short story, I finally asserted myself. A number of times prior I said some of what I wasn't happy with, but he just didn't get it. I am much happier now and hoping I learn from this and don't repeat it again! Also, my uncle died, and although I wasn't close to him, he was the last of my mothers family. I feel sad for her and it is also a reminder of our mortality and I have more empathy with my parents now and call them more often.

I don't know if I would call it a milestone, but my dad already met someone that he wants to marry after my mother's recent death. That shocked all of us. It devastated me. I'm dealing with it a little better as time goes on because I know he needs to be with someone who makes him happy after all the loss he has experienced. I'm trying to make peace with it.

This year I found the courage to tell my mother and the people that I'm closest to that I was sexually molested at 17. There are no words to describe how good it feels to not carry around the burden of pain and guilt that really wasn't mine to carry in the first place. One of my dear friends suggested that I go to counseling and I did...it was probably the best thing I could've done for myself and definitely the reason I am doing as well as I am. I would be lying if I said there aren't days that I don't struggle, but lucky for me I have a huge support system that believes in me and overwhelms me with love and with grace. This year has been a year I will never forget! I'm FREE!!

We held a family history scavenger hunt, bringing 15 of us together to explore 8 sites -- schools, churches,, places of employment, homes and neighborhoods -- that were significant in the preceding 4 generations. This may become a family tradition every other year or so. It helped the kids and the grandparents connect. It made me appreciate how rich our family history is. Seeing the places where people lived, worked, worshiped and studied helped bring to life some of the stories I grew up listening to. I now want to dig a little deeper and to begin a serious effort at documenting our recent history.

Yes, my Brother and his Wife are having a baby. I am so happy for them, I cannot even say. I am a little jealous, as I wouldn't want my son to lose any of his special status with his grandparents, or his Aunt (My Sister) and her husband. He has been the only grandchild since he was born almost 3 years ago, and the first child in our family since my brother, who is 31. Also, I learned my Sister-In-Law does not approve of how we are raising our son and has made a number of comments about to my mom and sister. Since I find their pre-baby choices to be very naive, especially after having a kid, I have a certain superiority complex. They have no idea what they are in for. All the books don't even come close to how it really is to raise a kid.

My relationship with my father has changed significantly because of the way I have seen him cope with my step-sister who has Asperger's. He is no longer the strong, compassionate man I always looked up to and that has been really hard. It has also been really hard to see him unemployed and struggling with no longer being the 'boss'. I have had to renegotiate whether I am his daughter or his therapist at times which has been tricky.

I feel as though my Father gained more respect for me this year. This has been a wonderful feeling but also scary, as I realize that it means a deeper commitment to myself and i dont want him to ever lose that respect for me.

i moved out of home! this was a huge adjustment for my mom, and was the start of a new chapter in my life. it has been the best thing for me, it has given me the room the find my feet and allowed me to breathe on my own. Even though my family is still very much apart of my life, it has given me the distance and perspective to grow as an individual, showing me that 'i can do it'!

My husband's mother celebrated her 100th birthday in August. She cannot care for herself and rarely knows who we are. In light of my husband's increasing disability, I continually struggle with how to plan for the future.

My family structure dramatically changed after the death of my great aunt and my divorce. I have lost family members, but have truly realized who are the most special people in my life.

The second and youngest child of Nancy, my loving mate, has gone off to college. What a change it has been here! Zack is a gregarious person who loves to have friends around, and here was where he and his friends were welcome and safe. It is so nice to have the house to ourselves without the constant stream of teenagers in and out at all hours of the day and night. And yet, we miss the entertainment factor provided by a bunch of youngsters who have their own perspective on the world.

My cousin passed away from cancer earlier this year. It was the first death of a grandchild and hit my grandmother pretty hard. I don't really recall seeing her cry before.

My dad died 3 months ago. He has been the centerpiece of my life for so long. The caregiving and always considering him since my mom died. It is both a relief to be free from the caregiving and a terrible loss to not have hi in my life. Every day there I things that happen that I want to share with him.

My daughter Laura moved to NYC. I miss her a lot. I also enjoy having my house just for my husband and me most of the time.

Rachel went to college. I feel a big emptiness where she used to be. I miss her company a lot. I know it will never be the same again.

my nephew started college; my niece started high school; my father had a big photography show; my brother bought a house; my sister got a promotion; my stepmother went to a big workshop for a week; we all survived another year after my brother died. I am very happy/proud for all! :-)

The birth of my first grandson; amazing the way things happen & the circle of life continues.

I turned 75 and had a series of great celebrations. In retrospect the lasting feature was a "book" Niki assembled and then I got others to add comments about me. It really brought me great joy to visit family and friends in Florida, San Francisco, Mount Shasta CA, Minneapolis and of course with the special little charmers in Winnipeg. And the photographic and "book' memories are exciting to continue to review.

My son's surgeries, yet again. I almost lost him, and couldn't be with him. I am much more grateful for my children now.

Finding out that my Dad's two brothers were gay became pretty significant in the long run. I have always been a HUGE supporter of gay rights, and this tipped the scale for me and made me want to turn the word "supporter" into the word "advocate." It's something I want to continue to work towards. Knowing that I have friends AND family members who are gay has opened my eyes to how bigoted our society is. This has made me want to fight harder, and sometimes it seems that the harder I fight, the worse of a backlash I get. But I won't give up. I know that there's so much I can do. I hope to continue my remaining seated during the Pledge of Allegiance to remind myself that there is not "liberty and justice for all," and I really want to to participate in Day of Silence this year. I will keep fighting until I know that my friends and family live in a place where they are free to embrace who they are.

I can't think of any "milestone" to speak of. I'm turning 65 in a few weeks, but that will be after the high holidays. My daughter finished college and is looking for a job. My son and other daughter are doing fine. My Dad turned 94 and still is healthy and sane. It's been a good year, but without any large milestones this time.

my dad may lose his job soon. it's hard to think that he might have to start over and it is scary to think that at nearly 50, he might have to figure out a way to create himself so he can work for the next 20 years. i think a lot of the family changes in my life could be happening right now. i think the thing i've realized over the past year is that my dad (and mom) were just kids when they had me and now we're all just a bunch of adults trying to figure out how to be adults together. it's strange and weird and i think that might be the biggest milestone of the year. i think i'll look back a year from now and have a better sense of whether that's true or not.

My oldest left for college and my youngest started high school. This was great all around because it feels more and more like my kids are where they need to be and are moving to more and more happiness and I feel lighter and able to start thinking about the next phase of my life and what I want to do. But the other side of that is that my Dad now has dementia. It's less a mile stone and part of an ongoing decline (in his health) that I have to keep from overwhelming the positives like my own children's accomplishments.

The birth of my niece (OK, technically last year ....) makes me want to be closer to my brother and his family and not lose touch because of distance and our busy lives.

My mother turned 90 this spring, and although her health is generally good, she is finding everyday things difficult and has had to give up some of the things she has always done. She is almost the only one of her peers still living, which saddens her, I have realized also that she knows a lot of historic information that will go with her if we don't record it, which is partly the incentive behind my masters research project on the German immigrants to our area.

I think in general the fact that both of my parents have been able to both get jobs and keep them has been amazing. In no way does this imply that they are bad at what they do or it's completely their fault. With this economy you can be sure of how long something will last. My dad got a job that he's meant to do; be a leader. My mom is a teacher now and its an amazing thing for her. I love seeing them happy and we haven't have major financial crisis' over the last year. It sometimes feels tense with having to pay bills but we've managed to stay above water. The fact that my family was able to pay for some of my college and to get my brother the contacts he's needed for years is remarkable. For my family...this past year has been such a blessing.

My son was born and we sold our house and bought a new one. I feel excited, scared anxious and proud all at the same time.

My mom finally became fed up with being a part time teacher and she started taking online classes and studying for the CPA exam. She is now interning at an accounting firm in addition to teaching which brings in more income for my family and I. Everyone has had to learn how to accommodate the extra work and it has been a stressful yet hopefully rewarding change to our family.

My daughter got married. She was 18. He was 24. They are perfect together. I was in the middle of a divorce. She was married 4 days before we signed the papers. I am thankful that I can see young love and not be cynical.

My husband getting his first job as an attorney. He feels so much better about himself, is happy, confident and secure. It has made him happy which has made our entire family happier. We also don't have to worry every month about money.

Not to be a broken record but learning we will have a child this year (and working towards that goal all last year) was a major milestone I will never forget and am so grateful for and excited to change again from! My child "implanted" on the anniversary of when my father passed away. I know his spirit is here in me and am so moved and grateful every minute of every day. I also am losing my beloved paternal grandmother to an alzheimer's like condition and her related moving away to be near my uncle (her son). I miss her so much more than i thought i would and though we are blessed to have already been able to visit, there is a hole in my heart because i can't even share this blessed news about the baby we'll be having, that I know she helped and prayed for me too, or would if she could. she is such a huge part of my Jewish identity, my sense of family, TRADITION. I think of her when I make dinner, fold blankets and when i think of doing those things for a child someday (soon?!) . She paid me the biggest compliment of my life when she made it to thanksgiving dinner i cooked a few years ago and said "to do what you do, at home, with all you do outside, in the world, it's something!" (she probably said it better but the sentiment has touched me, stayed with me...)

Buying our dream home - having it finally coming to pass.

No family, no milestones. Sometimes being alone is a wonderful thing!

My brother's recent change of attitude has affected his entire personality and made the household a lot more livable. He gets along with my mother now which is a huge relief and an improvement from me having to worry about living them alone in times where there was high tension. He is nicer, less aggressive and actually human. This has made life so much easier and me, a much more relaxed person at home compared to when I used to dread coming home because I knew he'd be there.

Paul and Claire got engaged and are having a baby. I think it really marked the passage of time for me. It is also amazing because I never thought of Paul giving me more nieces and nephews. I'm also thrilled at how close Claire and I have become and how much the family love her.

We are still experiencing fallout from my husband's fall 15 feet off of the ladder onto the driveway last year. We're still trying to get along. Compassion is difficult to feel for this long. So, I have started taking the Living Waters class to help deal with the difficulties. For if he won't get emotional healing, I need to. I got an iPad I guess that's a major milestone. Through the My Fitness app, I have gotten better control over my eating. It feels good to be thinner and stronger because I'm exercising six days a week. If I'm not in yoga, I am walking, or doing the elliptical at the gym and lifting weights. I'm not losing as much or as fast as I'd like to, but I am much happier because I'm not talking negative self talk anymore. I also love using Instagram. It has given me more appreciation for God's creation by capturing it in pictures. I'm always looking up at the sky, or at a flower, or at the sunset thinking how I can get a shot of it. With Mark not pooping in his pants very much anymore it has made for less tension in the house. Mia has started sharing the bathroom. But she still won't use the toilet only the shower and the sink. But hey it's great start!

Milestones for the family. Well, mine was learning where home is, when to say goodbye, and when to let go. My fathers, probably realizing he can't do it alone. My mothers, probably that sometimes money isn't everything and that being where her heart is and where her mind can be free is just as important if not more. My brothers, a new addition with so many complications but so much beauty.I think learning how to bend otherwise we break.

We bought a house. It was quite an ordeal as the first lender we used was dishonest with us and led us on for months. We were living out of boxes, paying large daily rent fees, and it was incredibly stressful. We are in the new house now, after switching lenders, and are finally ready to get on with our lives. This experience told us all a lot about how we each handle stress and how we treat others when we are stressed.

Twin boys graduated from High School and started college. The house is empty. It's great. The boys have matured tremendously between camp and starting school. We are a family of adults.

The birth of Joelle! I think she has filled me with wonder & a feeling that I cannot do enough for her and her parents.

My daughter spent the summer working in a different city. Not only did we all survive but it helped our relationship. Wonderful to see her maturing and developing into a strong, beautiful woman.

A major milestone that happened was opening my own business with a friend. I never realized how brave I was nor the support that was available to me. My husband gave me so much strength and support that it almost felt that I would be letting him down if I didn't try. My business partner is amazing and has enough faith in us for the both of us. Opening this business has made me so happy and has rejuvenated my spirit. It has helped me to refocus my energy on my family again. It has also allowed me to be happy again with the profession I have chosen.

My father-in-law had open heart surgery and my mother-in law was ill. It made me realize that we are all getting older, and that life is fragile

My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. All my life, my parents have been rocks for my sisters and myself. They are now in their early seventies. I was struck by how fast time goes by, and how little time we have left with them. I don't feel morbid or sad about losing yhem. When i think about their long life together and our amazing, healthy family life. I feel grateful and I know they've given us the gift of "carrying on".

Over Christmas break last year, my grandparents financed a ticket to Panama for me. I was incredibly excited to at last meet that part of the family, especially now that I (finally) know Spanish. One evening, my tia Lizty had me call my father and my grandparents. Aside: I've always loved my grandparents, but most of all harbored a deep admiration for my grandfather. He's what people here in Nicaragua might call "callado," as in, a reticent type. My grandmother fits the role of crazy loud Latin abuelita to a T. Anyway, I get on the phone with my grandmother first, and she's like crying with joy since I (finally) know her mother tongue and am finally meeting and hanging out with her family, etc. Then she passes the phone to my grandfather, and he starts speaking to me in Spanish. The words were pouring out of him like I've never heard before, and I just sat and soaked up this new connection that I had with him, listening to him describe the village he grew up in (Nata, which I later visited), stories from his childhood, and general small talk. This conversation is one I will never forget because this was the first time that I was able to communicate with my grandfather on such a personal basis. I've been to my grandparent's house hundreds of times and have never had a conversation that long with him in person. It was like I found a key to a partially locked box that I had been struggling to open for my entire life, and the lock finally broke. If I get nothing else out of my Peace Corps service, it will be that I learned Spanish, and that I was able to have that conversation with my grandfather in his language.

No major milestones in my immediate family this year, unless you count me being laid off for three months, and weathering that. My best friend's daughter, whom I call my niece, is pregnant, and she is made to be a mother. We're all very excited, and it was timed for her husband to get his doctorate, but now that is delayed another 3 - 6 months. It will all work out - they have lots of support.

Our oldest son lived away from home for the year after graduating High School. It was a living lesson in letting go. It allowed us to appreciate who he is becoming from afar. It allowed us to bond even more with our younger 17 year old. It created a reason for the brothers to reach out to each other and realize they want to stay connected even when they don't live in the same house! All in all....pretty awesome.

Within the last year the most major milestone that occurred was the birth of my youngest nephew, Dovid Yisroel. Our whole family was able to come together for the Brit, which was very nice. Further, I was accepted into graduate school at NYU-Poly, moving my residence to Brooklyn. Fortunately, Aaryn lives in the Bronx, and this allows my family to fly into NY and visit us both instead of having to plan two trips to different places - thereby maximizing their efficiency.

My nephew was born. Heaven. He's a special soul.

My daughter moved from Florida to California. While I was happy and felt so proud of her that she felt able to pick up and move into a new phase of her life and have an adventure, I feel so sad about her now being twice as far away from me as she already had been.

My son graduated from college. It it a new phase of live to have him living out on his own. New for him and for his parents.

Both my children became mothers. It has been delightful to see them grow and mature with this experience. It has positively impacted my own happiness, because I had hoped I had raised my children to be be great parents, and they have surpassed my every expectation.

My mother and I finally are making steps to understand why we fight the way we do. I realized that she is expecting me to behave or act a certain way and is always on the defensive side waiting for a moment to pick a fight. I realized that I will not tolerate the negatively speaking about my father and my family. We both have deep scars from experiences that make us sensitive but it is important to be able to take each moment separately and look at it objectively. We also realized that our "love languages" are opposites. Mine is gifts which is last on hers and hers is words of affirmation which is second on my list. Very interesting revelation indeed!

I became eligible for Medicare/ Social Security. Although I don't feel different I have a different mindset. I am thinking how can I contribute to the the greater community, my family, and myself. I am trying to figure out if I am "old" and what does that mean anyway? I remember going to the bank to cash my Bubbe's check? (that wouldn't happen today--with direct deposit.) It was a privilege that I was able to help her out. Truth be told I never thought I would live to collect my share because of family history. I am grateful .

Both kids moving up to the next level of schooling. Makes Me feel old, but also proud. Has also resulted in more free time for my husband and I, since the kids don't need or want us all of the time.

A major milestone this year is that Nicky (oldest sister) got married and stayed in Israel. She has definitely abandoned me in a big way. Although she is trying to make up for it by coming here in the Summers, and I really appreciate that immensely, it will always feel like she is spreading herself too thin. And every time I deal with Maka's craziness and Dad's neediness I will resent that she has left us (Danny, David, Mark and I) to deal with it on our own. We'll see, maybe this Summer will prove different. She's smart, I'm sure it will.

I had to tell my children that the baby that was born to their cousin has down syndrome. When I had hear the news, I was so sad for this young family and the challenges they will be facing. Both of my daughters, who have children of their own, react very differently from me--but very similarly to each other though I told them each separately. They said of course there's a time of mourning for the child that might have been--but we have all faced challenges with our children...some have ADD, ADHD, Bipolar, etc it's how you LIVE with cards you've been dealt that's important. And besides mom, downs syndrome children are sweet and loving with the potential to live full lives.

This year my mother and sister had probably the largest argument they've ever had. I thought they were done for good. I sat down with each of them individually, trying to find ways, concrete actions, that they could take to save and improve their relationship. They're taking small steps, though sometimes those steps are backwards, toward a healthier relationship. I'll do my best to keep the three of us together, happy and strong.

My sister had a baby! He's my kids' first cousin, and we're all so thrilled to have him. It's been great seeing my sister become a mom, and I finally get to be an aunt :)

I learned how much I love my dad. He has always been a good provider, loves my mom so much and has been so good to us girls. My teen years with him were turbulent because he didn't understand me. Everything about me is counter-cultural and my dad is super traditional. But this year, I realized what an amazing husband and dad he is, how much he loves me and how proud he is of me. I was always afraid that I would end up with a guy like him and I avoided guys who reminded me of him but now, I hope my husband has all his amazing qualities.

My daughter was married. I am so proud of her, although I am a pathetic empty nest crone. For eighteen years, it was her and I; I never allowed another into our little family circle. When I say 'never allowed' I truthfully mean that I never allowed a man to breach the relationship my daughter and I shared. I lived a celibate life (except for 2 brief, secret sexual affairs.) Wholeheartedly I loved being a mom. I believe children should have wings and be independent but know that they have love and roots and validation as individuals. But this letting go; it is SO easier said than done. I have fallen in love with a man who lives 800 miles away and that I met 30 years ago. I plan on moving to be with him: can I really go?

After several years of financial difficulty, my mother has bought a house to live in for the rest of her life. I'm proud of her, and I'm pleased that she'll be happier.

My going off to college was definitely tough on my family. I know they're missing me a lot, but the summer before I left I definitely got a lot closer to them. I know my sister will be more independent and for my parents it'll be an adjustment not to have me around all the time. It's a huge change for everyone, but we'll get through it.

I had major surgery for the first time in my life and I had to accept help from friends and family. I'm usually the one giving, not receiving. It was a little difficult, but I embraced it and was surprised at the help that arrived in the form of friends that I thought were just acquaintances. It was a very touching experience.

My nephew skipped a grade and is now in high school. Where did the time go. I know it was my choice to move away and only visit a few times a year, but it's gone by so fast. Children really do make you feel older.

A personal milestone that happened with my step father in August could be considered a milestone because it was the first time I had a real conversation with him despite how intoxicated he was at the time. Having grown up scared of talking to him or asking questions, this was amazing and awkward and completely blew me away. He was ashamed for his behavior the next day, but I think that that moment was needed in order for me to see more clearly to who this man is.

My father's decline makes me realize that he is mortal.

A major milestone that happened this past year, in that after visiting Israel, I realized how much I didn't appreciate them. Now I try.

Dad getting cancer. It got me thinking about life and how flippant it is, what I was doing with my own. Being there for my Dad while my other siblings are away has bettered our relationship even more. I can see the pride in his eyes when he looks at me, like he is in wonder at this bizarre creation of his. Also it gave me a legitimate reason to cry instead of my own silly 5-year affair with depression. It probably helped me to peel away from that, at least I hope I have left it behind.

It has affected me in a positive way and I'm glad this happened to me and my family

My daughter started pre-school and potty trained at the same time. Now that was a major milestone!

I have felt a change in the relationship between my partner and I. We have been apart for the last year as she has taken the kids and gone to the UK to look after her family. I have been flying between Australia and the UK every 2-3 months. The separation from the family has been difficult but it has made me appreciate my partner more. It has also made me keenly aware that I need to be with my family - hence I decided to give up a job I love and move to the UK. I feel no remorse. It's the right thing to do. I will miss Australia and the lifestyle here but my family is my top priority.

Seung-yen and I broke up and got back together. I've grown in so many ways since then, both through how I struggled through the past half year and because I gave myself the chance to meet Nika. Life works in funny ways.

My Dad started doing yoga and I was so proud of him for that. He is always so stressed and never takes the time to slow down. Seeing him enjoy it and reap the benefits of it makes me admire him even more for making time in his schedule for himself. He tends to put other things in front of himself first.

My sister disclosed to me that she is struggling with depression and has been seeing a counselor. I already knew about the depression, but I weeped with joy when she confessed that she had been going to counseling sessions. I think she was relieved to share the dirt in her life, after fear of being judged or turned on. It's brought us much closer, and she is coping much better now.

The wedding was obviously the biggest event in my life this year, but perhaps the most meaningful part was that my siblings were there together. Last year, they sat at the same table for the first time in years; this year, they've been to multiple parties and events. Their kids play regularly and my in-laws are speaking. I'm glad to at least have the semblance of a family again, but it's made me really reconsider living here! I miss my nieces and nephew more than anything, and I know my "forever friends" are all back home... but my life is here now.

My wife and I celebrated our 50th Anniversary! I a cerebral way , it makes you think about time and where it has gone and have I used it in the best way that I could have and or should have. It has encouraged me to examine even further the spiritual side of me and understand how I can be a better husband, father, grandfather and friend. Every day can be a new beginning!

I moved back home after living abroad for four years and realized just how arrested my development has been. At the same time, I have become more pragmatic even if I haven't racked up many accomplishments. I also became aware how much better my relationship with my family is, how much more respective, understanding and communicative we all are.

Unfortunately, my family has not gone through a major milestone. In the past year, my family has grown apart. I now finally realized that my brother hates my guts and my parents care more about my brother. I'm more alone than ever.

My brother got married. He has wanted to get married for the past 10 years and he finally met someone who is wonderful, and completely in love with him, and smart and is going to be the mom of his kids! It let me know that love is possible - just on its own timeline. Gave me a lot of hope.

This year, my sister spent the year in Israel, and when she came home, both of us moved out, her for college and me to live on my own. Our family dynamic has changed a lot this year, because growing up it was marked by family dinners every night and lots of togetherness. Now, we're all still very close, because we want to and we make an effort to be friends as well as family.

Lisa and I reached our 10 year anniversary. All but lost in the day to day bustle of our lives, we realized how easy it is to become disconnected. Don't get me wrong, we love and enjoy the day to day, but it is easy to forget the big picture -- and the need for "us" time. Later in the year, we did celebrate. A week-long trip to Paris provided a mechanism for us to step out of our daily lives and spend time on ourselves and us. It is a reminder that 'us' time is essential for our well being.

Well, I finally told my parents that i was still smoking pot, i told them i quite about 2 years ago but proceeded to smoke with out them knowing. I finally told them that i was still doing it and they were a lot more accepting about it.

My son was born. My wife and I didn't plan on having a child so early, but now, we can't imagine life without him. He's absolutely amazing and adorable, the greatest gift we have.

I got approved for disability! Finally we'll have enough money to pay for my medicine and medical bills. My mom cried when she found out. It was a long process but it had to be done and its better for all of us.

Really, I feel like I found my family this year! I went to a HAI workshop in May and have since felt like I've found my tribe... Love, support, community!

Sierra and I finally reached 10 years together. I honestly don't think that it has changed a ton for our relationship. We've been feeling great and are just very proud that we have continued to love eachother a passionately and fully as ever. We continue to communicate openly and work together to support eachother. It's nice to say we've been doing this for a decade!

My grandfather died, and this has changed the dynamics of our family tremendously. We bonded over his passing, and I became closer with aunts, uncles and a cousin that I never really knew before. My father became the patriarch, and I became the repository of our Jewish heritage. It's been a deeply moving and profound experience.

Moved to a new community...now I have to make new friends and learn what there is for me to live a fulfilling life here. I think I am happy here but still lost and some what confused.

Dave got a new job, finally. I am proud of him. He deserves to not work so hard every day.

My nephew became a father and got married. This forced me to look at him in a different light- a growing young man who is trying his best to BE A MAN. All this has also resulted in lots of discussion in my own little family about becoming a parent at a young age. The flip side is his sister who left the state to pursue an advanced degree. Again, this has resulted in lots of talk around the dinner table with my own teenager.

We moved houses and we have been living in this house for almost a year now I believe. It has been a bonding moment for our family because I have been off finishing high school while the house was being built and it was like nurturing a baby. They were there for all of it and I can call it home but it feels strange being a part of something that you are rarely around to call it home. We had lived in the old house for 14 years and now when I am off at college and I am slowly adjusting here and not at my new home all the time feels funny. It is also not the same without our dog, Troi. He died at the rental house just before we moved into the new house. This in a sense also affected our family because we truly felt that not all the family is at our new house because of our dog was no longer with us.

The game my husband helped design was the number one game in the country this past year. He loves making kids happy, and I love seeing him succeed. Plus I'm glad he doesn't work on any of those violent video games out there.

My mom's dementia got worse, necessitating her move into "memory care" and not longer after, the geriatric psych ward of the local hospital to deal with the profound depression and anxiety that set off in her. I have been deeply conflicted: It's so hard to see someone disappear bit by bit, and to be unable to do anything to help; to have her no longer remember her life, my life, dad's life; and yet, on some level, this is how she lived her life -- with little attention, little introspection, little awareness of how her actions (or inactions) affected others -- and it does seem somehow appropriate that this is how her life is ending. I'm trying not to judge her, and to just love her the best I can.

My brother and I have moved in together. It is the greatest thing, since it brings our family closer together. I hope that all of us will be in the same area/region again in the future. He is so much of what makes me great. I wouldn't be who I am today without him, and I love him with all of my heart. It is so nice to share a home with people you love...I didn't realize how long it has been since I've been able to say that.

We had a few major milestones, my husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary with the entire family in Costa Rica, our middle daughter had a new baby and our youngest daughter got married. All our children are married now and although I might miss the excitement of planning a family wedding...it is very fulfilling that they have found good partners, they are all Jewish and more than that- kind and interesting people. It is challenging to make sure we don't live through them, although they are central to our life.

One major milestone was my daughter graduated from high school. I am very proud of the young woman she has become. It means that our relationship is shifting from one where she is a child to one where I appreciate her as a young adult.

My grandmother passed away. Though she had cancer and it was expected, the timing of it couldn't have been weirder, I knew from the moment that i was getting texts from my brother about it that it had happened, my parents were on holiday in south Africa, I was on a week extend period in Canada, my passport had been seized, backup plan after backup plan was falling through. I had no idea what I was going to do... Then she passed, and it was clear what was supposed to happen. It's weird that I don't get affected by death as much as I feel I should, and to be honest, Lainey's death, while incredibly sad, was not devastating to me, she was old, she had cancer, it was time for her not to suffer anymore... But what was really crazy was the way that the even of her death directly changed the course of my life, coming back to Australia for an extended amount of time, reconnecting old relationships and friendships, and most importantly really connecting with my mum, Really reassessing what I'm up to and how far I've come. Thoug it's still not clear yet and I'm still ultra confused and working through it. I feel like Lainey passing was the biggest piece of guidance she ever gave me.

Again, the birth of my grandson, he brought a torn family back together. Sadly, my son and his fiance are again, no longer speaking to us, but for a while my precious grandson brought us back together as a family.

My sister-in-law is dying of cancer as I write this, whether in her last minutes, hours or days. Her death is the first in our generation in our extended family. It makes me feel my age more, both in terms of being thankful to be alive and well at 61 and in terms of feeling vulnerable and mortal. I hope I continue to use a heightened sense of the mortality of all of us to better nurture relationships.

My family life has been quite limited this past year. I notice more and more that I have less in common with them than I used to, and our distance has been a bit of a strain on our relationship. I miss them, but I don't feel particular sad about not seeing or being in contact with them on a constant basis. However, I do feel guilty that I don't share my life as much with them as I used to, as I think they wish I did so more.

We went from a two car adult driver only family to a three car adult and teen driver family. It affected me by making me realize that time is speeding up and made me feel really vulnerable as we began letting him experience his new freedom and I have dealt with the fear and anxiety that comes with his driving.

Having an almost atheltic family. Having the motivation to run my first 5K with the inspiration of my son. Hope to continue running and hoping to complete more races, maybe a 10 K someday.

My son began college, and we visited him. It was the first time he has lived away from home, and the first time I felt like a visitor in his life. "His life": just saying that feels as strange as when he was a newborn and my husband said "his hat." This tiny person already owned his own hat. And now, my son has his own life separate from us now, and that is remarkable. My other son began high school. My baby was now so grown up and suddenly I feel on the short end of active motherhood. Sure, my babies will always be my babies, but for the first time I am beginning to think about my own life without the daily responsibilities of motherhood, or the identity of "mom." It feels sad, and weird, and also full of possibility.

Becoming a parent has completely changed how I think about my parents and how they raised me, how I think about other parents, and how I think of myself as a parent. I have never appreciate my parents so much - how hard it is to be a parent and how little credit and appreciate parents get. My first mother's day as a mom really drove that home for me as I celebrated my mother in a completely new light.

my cousin had a baby boy and she was only 18. her parents were really mad at her because they wanted her to go off to college and do what she dreamt of doing. it took a couple months for them to forgive her, now we all love the new baby and life isn't the same. we became more of a loving family<3

My sister got Bat Mitzvahed this year and it struck me that it would be the last major family event before my cousins and I would most likely be showing up with spouses and children of our own. The day was phenomenal but we were all already going so many different direction that there were many missing faces. I guess we are entering a new stage in our lives.

My mom stopped talking to me. again. this one started in april, and was official when i called on mother's day, only for her to drop the phone on the floor. Part of me is wildly hurt and angry, and part of me is better able to see how unhealthy such treatment that is. If she wants to be in my life, she's going to have to do so in a way that is kind and loving.

My son was deployed to Afghanistan and returned safely after ten months with a special operations unit. Living with a loved one in a war zone is not like anything we could have understood. With no illusion of control, we chose patience and let go of worry. We appreciate gift of our American democracy where civil discource and choice are part of the fabric of our lives.

My parents moved to the same city that we live in. This is the first time I have lived in the same city as my parents in 24 years. I was very apprehensive about the whole thing, but it has turned out well so far. They have been supportive of myself, my husband and my kids. They have not tried to interfere with my life - only supportive. I hope this is wonderful for my children - to have grandparents in town that they can grow closer and closer to.

My sister went to college and I started high school. There was so many changes but all of them have made things so much better.

My mother getting cancer and going through the whole process- surgery, chemo, radiation, and now remission. Her way of going through this process taught me many valuable lessons- to be proactive about ones life, to do everything in ones power to get better, but also to release what is beyond ones power. To ask for help, directly, not in a round about way. And the real value of having a large family, where there are so many people to lean on.

It took me forever to think of a milestone, yet many came to mind, so I'll write about a few: 1) My little sister became "girly". Sounds weird. her whole life she wore basketball shorts, sweats, etc. and we never thought we'd see her wear Justice clothes and "look cute". Even though her style, whether or not she wears makeup, and her hobbies don't really matter to me- it has made a difference and brought us closer that we have some of the same interests 2) My family adopted another dog, Anya. She is so sweet, but doesn't let me pet her much. It's been getting better though. I love having 3 dogs around the house again. 3) My mom and I have gotten way closer. I'm not sure what it is or why. I think I've just matured a lot and started appreciating things more and being more patient, etc. 4) I got my lisensce! It certaintly effected my mom, haha.

I would think Hazel's death...even though technically Hazel is not 'family' (my sisters exhusband's mother), she was like a mom to some and like a grandma to me. We had kind of a mini-reunion, some of us hadn't seen each other for over twenty years....so that was huge! But it was sad to lose her, she lived to be 98 and was one of the most selfless people I have ever known. Spent a life in service, and not because she read a book, she was just a loving and giving person. One thing she told me that I will never forget "don't stir the shit or it will stink"..meaning, quit dwelling on stuff. I am quite the ruminator so this is something I have to constantly battle, and I've read many essays on this, but Hazel summed it up into 7 short and easy to understand words. miss you, Hazel, thanks.

I think this year has been a massive year for better family cohesion in my family. It has also been a time of change with two sisters now living out of home (me being the only one left), especially as one now lives interstate for work. Its major to think that after many many years of being in a full house- it's now down to me and my parents. The dynamics change and since we're all older and with our own lives, its harder to keep in contact all the time. In saying that, we're older and we're becoming closer because of it. There still exists the stupid fights and anger towards each other but then, whose families aren't like that? Its great to feel more linked in and close than ever before

My niece is pregnant with her second child. I realized that I no longer disliked her. I'm happy that she is happily married and will have a new baby soon.

My grandmother was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. She's recovering nicely--fiercely even--but it was a pretty stark reminder that when she passes I'll be devastated. No way in hell I'm ready for that. She just turned eighty; luckily she's going to, as she say, live to 101.

I am noticing how my father is aging. The shift from the young energetic constantly doing something man to a more reflective slower approach to life who finds the city moving too fast and prefers his country lifestyle. The shift that I am now that young energetic man constantly doing something, living in the city and longing to be with nature. We each reflect something of each other in these times of aging.

I think having my sister and her family home from Brazil has been a milestone. I love her, but in some ways, it is like she never did come home from overseas. I see her randomly and I know deep down we are not close. And likely we never will be. I wish this weren't the case, but I do not know how to change our relationship. And I am not sure that she would want to change anything at all when it comes to me. She is due with baby no. 2 soon. I am happy for her and her family. I will get to be an aunt to a baby girl and I am greatful for this.

My son, age 22, moved back home in May and will stay through his college graduation in December. He's a wonderful person, but he struggles with depression and ADHD that has only recently been diagnosed. I'm afraid that I enable his sometimes irresponsible behavior - he saved exactly $0 from his summer job and has no career plans. His father thinks he needs 'a kick in the ass' and it's caused struggles between us. Things feel like they're changing as he starts with a therapist this week.

I turned 65..medicare..feeling my mortality..but still feeling that life is good.

My parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this spring. I tend to take a slightly negative view towards marriage - I think it's a good thing and I'd like to get married, but sometimes I feel like the odds are against success in marriage. But my parents are an inspiration for me. Their partnership is one that I hope I can emulate one day. And it is so amazing to see how in love they still are. None of the stereotype of a long-time married couple just tolerating each other. They have mutual respect; they look for activities they can do together; they seem to genuinely like each other. It's not all flowers and sunshine, but the bad times never overshadow the good. Their success gives me renewed hope that marriage can be more than a 50/50 crap shoot. It can be something that really makes your life better and fuller. Hopefully this is what I can have one day with my partner in life.

Major milestone? I don't know that there have been any for a little while for my family. I could talk about my grandfather's death, which reunited some of us and some of my mum's family. I could talk about my sister's graduation... which came after a long, tiresome and scary (for her) process waiting to see if Cambridge would give her her degree after a silly fiasco to do with British prejudices and her poor school habits. I think probably the most significant though - at least for my parents - was when they left their church... the church my sister and I grew up in. Their main reason was supposedly because of the new pastor we got, who they felt was "not a good leader," as well as other leadership issues they had with the elders in general. I think this hit me hard and the ugliness of both sides were a surprise to me. It wasn't quite the church I knew, nor was my parents' response what I expected. It kind of redefined what we call "church"... for me especially after going to HPU... and I don't think we realised how much it affected us all, but I am feeling it now since I've been looking for a church.

My father has had several health crises in the last year. Made it to ICU three times. He is in a nursing home now, with hospice care and a DNR order. It's effect on me has been that of dealing with feelings of wanting to assault him for what he did to me in childhood esp when he is so helpless. The first time he was in critical care he shook so badly he could not eat unless someone fed him. I did this, fed him eggs in the morning. Part of me wanted to stick the fork in his eye and another part of me felt released from a bondage of fear of him and another part of me felt compassion for this old man who looks back on his life with what seems to be regret. I felt stressed while dealing with this. I wanted to take care of my sisters; it is my historic role. My friends' feedback was not helpful because so much of ran along the lines of how can you feed him after what he did to you. I felt very lonely for a while. I think I have seen him the last I need to see him. I also know that no matter how much I think I'm ready to deal with his death that it won't be as simple or easy as I'd like.

My mother was so brave and then passed away on June 3, 2012. It was, initially, a relief that she was no longer having to live in a way that was so contradictory to who she was as her human self. But, of course, it was a total disaster for our entire community and circle of friends and the primary family.

FOR ROSH HASHANAH, I WAS WITH MY AUNT & UNCLE WHO HAD BEEN ESTRANGED FOR OVER 15 YEARS. IT WAS A BLESSING BEYOND WORDS. I GAVE A TOAST.

Just growing older and gaining more understanding about our own mortality has been effective enough to bring us all together...January 2012 was the one year anniversary of my grandmother's death. Her death had all made us closer to begin with but hitting the one year mark was scary and surreal--especially to those of us who had been quietly denying the reality of it all...

My sister got remarried. My husband and I flew across the country with our three kids (two boys from my previous marriage and a girl from his) to go to her wedding reception. I can sincerely say it was the trip of a lifetime, and part of what I mean by that is that I never, ever want to fly with kids again. Not because of my kids -- they were troopers -- but because flying itself has become so unpleasant. I'd take a three-day road trip in comfort in exchange for the anxiety of worrying whether I get to sit next to my six-year-old on a four-hour flight. So, next time, we'll allot extra time for driving or we won't go. I guess to generalize, it's just about coming to terms with having a family of a certain size. I love having three kids, but it requires adjustment. That sounds negative, but it's not; it's just learning.

My brother moved out, and I moved back to my home state. Watching my parents adjust through this transition and seeing them as real people with real problems was eye opening. Nothing is perfect, but that's ok.

eli's bar mitzvah was charm! everyone thought he'd mess up somehow, and he was brilliant. so nice to see the young man growing, even with his struggles. also, glad for him to have some time with his coisins mira and sadie.

I got married 6 months ago and we moved across the country to a new city 6 days ago. Rosh Hashanah popped up just days after we moved into our new apartment. The weather is nice and the people are nice but it feels like we are on a vacation and not at home. It also doesn't really feel like the new year even though everything about my life right now is now. Last week our family put down our dog. She was 16 years old and she was the best dog a family could ever had. She loved unconditionally, she brought our family closer together, and she was always a source of comic relief. I will always be thankful that my parents got us a dog and took care of her even after my brother and I left home. I think the loss will impact our parents the most since she was the only "baby" at home.

My wife had a midlife crisis, assuming she will live to be 96. She decided that 33 year's of teaching mutant fifth graders was enough, and we needed to move to Denver. So we did something totally insane and totally right for us, Something most people have considered but were to frightened to do, We sold the cars, sold the house, packed our stuff into PODS and got the H**L out of LA.

I feel that i'm becoming closer with my family, especially this past summer. It's still a work in progress but i'm making progress and that's what counts

A major milestone that happened with my family this year is that my parents finally acknowledged the fact that I am bipolar. I've been diagnosed for a few years now and my diagnosis has always been dealt with as "if we don't discuss it, then it must not exist". Anytime I would discuss anything remotely related to bipolar, the topic would be avoided or promptly redirected. This year, I went through a terrible depression followed by an uncontrollable mania. For the first time, my parents acknowledged the seriousness of my diagnosis and for the first time, were open to conversation. This milestone has been somewhat of a double-edged sword: true, it opened the line of communication within my family. But it also greatly stigmatized me. My parents and I have conversations pertaining to my being bipolar, but they are shallow and uncomfortable. Lacking understanding and quickly favoring the option of medication. Even if they can't understand that I'm not, and never will be, their ideal daughter they are trying. I have to give them credit for trying. I'm content having a family that loves and supports me, even if they'll never understand or want to learn about what it is to be bipolar.

A major milestone for the family was me becoming distant from my parents on the issue of my gf, Shilpa,and my opinions of supporting logic. A milestone in the sense that their thoughts about me have been altered, I dunno if for the good or worse, but yes, that stopped unnecessary interference and idioticism.  Well, this incidence actually brought me more closer to Shilpa. As it led to me considering only her, the person who will be close to me forever. It also disturbed me a lot leading to confusion and loss in interest and concentration, which was bound to happen as I have emotions. My attitude towards my parents hasn't changed, although I know I need to mellow up and give them a second chance. I will.. Reconciliation on the way..

Our son's bar mitzvah was early this year. It was an extraordinary event for so many reasons. He worked so hard, evolved as a young man and a scholar and deep thinker in such a profound way. I was stunned and moved and impressed and inspired by his ability to read torah, by his interpretation in his drash, and by his accumen as a host. To see him go from shy, awkward boy to confident and compelling young man is beyond rewarding. And the party was, by far, the best I've ever been to! He is my stepson. We had a slow start to our relationship as he is very close to his mother. She read torah on the day which meant so much to him. And he was grateful and gracious about all his father and I had done to prepare him for the day. It truly felt like a united front.

Past family milstones....my Grandpa turned 75 this year. I love him and all and he's a completely independent person but he's getting older and it's weird to see the people who took care of you all of your life getting older and struggling a bit. It makes you eerily aware nothing lasts forever and that things are out of your hands and all you can do is arrive to everyday and deal with all the changes and not fight them.

My cousin had had a miscarriage, but now gave birth to a healthy baby boy. As I'm in a similar position, it had filled me with trepidation about the fragility of life and birth. But now I'm just so happy for them.

It affected me in both a good way and a bad way. My parents separated and it was one of the hardest thing I have had to go through. My mother put my in a lot of difficult positions. Still, I learned that I wasn't the only one hurting. I am able to sympathize with the people around me more. I have learned to be strong, and that one set back is not the end of the world if I don't let it be.

Well, my grandmother died. This was the last of my grandparents to die. I guess maybe it has affected me in that I feel like I personally have to do more to ensure that my family stays in touch and meets regularly. My parents aren't really the ones "in charge" anymore, and so we have to take more familial responsibility. This has made me more deeply feel a desire to personally make sure that our family stays close and grows closer.

My parents became empty-nesters when my youngest sister left for college. Both my younger brother and sister are no more than 30 minutes from home, but with my parents divorced, they will be completely alone except for their boyfriend/girlfriend. It makes me feel even farther away in San Francisco. I wish they weren't alone. Maybe they are happy with it, but I don't think they would led on too much if they were really unhappy.

My grandfather died (my mom's dad). hasn't affected me, yet

My nephew graduated from high school... That's really the only milestone I can think of from this year. I realized how much time has passed, how old he is, how old I am.

My godfather was diagnosed with cancer, the kind that does not get cured. He was sick for months and months without any answers before getting the news. I think about him often. I wonder how our family will be changed by his passing. I don't reach out to him enough.

My little brother got kicked out of my dads house, and is now living full time with my mum. It all happened because of a simple misunderstanding between my dad and my step mum (you can see how this relates to my brother right). During all this, my dad asked ME to send an apology email to my step mum? I haven't lived at home for over two years, I still don't understand what part I had to play in all of this. This has affected me in the way that I don't want to go home. Not for extended periods of time anyway. I don't want to have to go to that household, where my brother and I are apparently in the wrong over a miscommunication between two adults. I can't look at them the same way ever - and its led me to realise that when it comes to my dads partner, my brother and I come in second. To realise that if I need anything of my dad (even just support like a skype call), it will have to go through 'her' and it will not happen.

My sister turned 11, she is very cute.

My dad turned 70. It signaled a new era: My parents are Old. They are amazing and active and involved in tons of stuff, but still, he has such frailty now, in a way that does not at all jibe with the image I have of him. I hate that everyone is getting older. It feels like the next generation is lining up to be brought down. I hate it. I find myself eulogizing them, which is a little terrifying. I'm not at peace with this reality.

No real milestones this year. I called my brother for his birthday. It's the first time we've talked in a year. I wish our relationship was better. I miss having him in my life.

my mother's illness. when they found that lump on her kidney I didn't know what to do with myself. I realized the fleeting nature of life and i realized how much i truly treasure those so near to me. When they realized it was benign I was overjoyed. I cried in sheer relief. I know I haven't done a good enough job in the 8 months following to remind everyone I love just how important they are to me but it has certainly made me make a greater effort. Just picking up the phone or dropping in for a cup of tea makes more of a difference than I ever realized. How do people really ever no that you care if you don't remember to tell them?

My sister learning how to drive and getting a job. Although this may sound minor, the drama that has ensued from it has somehow brought the family a little closer in terms of communication. I've been able to talk to my parents about things that bother me and rant to them when I'm feeling down, which is awesome. I feel like I'm able to appreciate how wonderful my parents are and am grateful for them being more open in communication.

A major milestone that happened with my family is my sister and her husband's decision to move to another state. I do not fully grasp yet the complete implications of this since I keep finding new things to realize will be different for me, like not having her right here to call every day; what to do with Thanksgiving and what we may want to do for Christmas this year. Who will I talk to when I see something funny, hear something outrageous. I know she'll still be there but it won't be the same. Right now she knows the people I know and does similar work in the same area, with many of the same families, even though we don't discuss this part (confidentiality). I will miss her dearly.

I finally know what it feels like to lose a family member that was very close to me. I know what its like not to see y parents for more than a week. I know how hard it is to go to school, work, and be a father at the same time. I know how annoying teenagers can be.

My father had a stroke. His health hadn't been good for quite a while, and as he got older, it reached a whole new level. Thankfully, he is okay, but he is a different person now. It's completely changed the dynamic of our family, and because it only happened a few weeks ago, we're still adjusting to the new situation.

A major mile stone for my family has been being able to convince them that there is a better life outside of New Zealand. They have now considered moving over. I think it is obvious how it could affect me.

Well, major and major, but my mom met a guy who she actually got engaged to, which is not usual. It has affected me in that way that I feel that she has someone who takes care of her and making her happy, which is exactly what I wish for. Unfortunately it's harder to spend time with only her now, it's always the two of them, which I like a little bit less. But as long as she's happy, I'm happy.

This past year my little sister Tegan and I moved into an apartment together! This has to be the biggest milestone for my family, in my opinion, because we really deserve to be closer. I have been longing to have a stronger relationship with my family for eons it seems and finally the time has come. We have finally normed out and are having so much fun. It's a dream come true to get a second shot at being the sister I always wanted to be, after a decade of madness. I'm learning to respect and love her for who she is. I am so happy that we are together and that we are both being supportive friends and allies at this great stage in our lives! I love that she invites me to go on runs with her. I can't believe it, but because of her girly influence, I've gotten out in the sun more than any summer since childhood - and just look, I became tanner than her. I never thought I could have a golden glow. We love to watch tv shows together and cook meals to share. I am so blessed that she and I get along respectfully. I am so happy that we value the same things. I am pleased with our differences because I am certainly growing into a cooperative, considerate, patient and fun person because of her influence. I really am happy most because of our talks, because she's here for me, and that she always loved me no matter what. I love her so much.

I can't think of any major milestones this past year, but I think the biggest family moment for me was how super supportive my parents were throughout my many months of unemployment. They understood my need to pursue my goals and dreams and backed me up emotionally throughout the long process. They never once urged me to just find any job I could or to try to go back to my engineering career. Their support helped me get through this difficult time and helped me cope with some of my friends who were less supportive.

The aforesaid theft has been the major impact on my family life. My brother's interference in my life--even to calling my wife and drawing her into his campaign against me--has been a major issue as well. I am well aware of how crazy and paranoid all this sounds, but I am also aware of how true it all is. I am less functional than heretofore because of all this.

I turn 60 and I was very lucky to have my parents with me my daughters and granddaughters 4 generation of woman toghether is a defeat to what Hitler wanted for us the Jews . I feel so happy to have had the opportunity to have a party surrounded by family and friens

Just this week we are completing the purchase of a flat for me and my brothers. Mum is helping set us up and we're pooling our savings to make up the rest. It feels like the family coming together to invest in our future, which makes me feel incredibly lucky, privileged and more grown up. I will be living with my brother, who is closest in age to me, so we will see how it affects our relationship.

First of all, my whole family all went to a family wedding together for the first time in June. We had attended weddings in the past, but never as a whole family. This was moving because we are now transitioning into a phase where marriages are going to be more frequent. It also has made me and my boyfriend think of our own.

I decided to FINALLY make Aliyah to Israel. I've wanted to since 2005, and finally, I made my life about me instead of always about others. It's been very refreshing to live and focus my days on what I feel is best for me. And I am so happy to be making my move on October 15th. It's going to be a great 5773.

My son started preschool and has gone from being a baby to a little boy. He is a real boy and it has been challenging for me because he has pushed me away lot. I try to get close to him but he doesn't respond to my attempts that often and just wants to do his own thing. I have found it very frustrating and at times quite upsetting. I try to remember that he is busy becoming his own little person and that it is not because I am an inadequate mother.

My mom decided, at 90, to simplify and downsize her life, leave her community with its 60 years of friendship and connections, to move close to me. I've dreaded this possibility for years, fearing her dependence, her criticism, and her intrusiveness. Instead I'm surprised to be looking forward to her impending move, wanting to be able to include her in the small events that make up family life, provide her an opportunity for connection with my adult children. Life has softened us all.

My dad was always the person I went to for emotional support. When he died 5 years ago, I felt that a rug had been pulled from under me, and I have felt very unbalanced since. I remember at the time feeling very concerned that without him I had no one, because my relationship with my mum and my sister has never been very close. This year I turned to my sister for help when I was feeling at my lowest. Her support surprised me, and I feel more stable, and closer to her as a result.

There were none. The only thing I have been affected by is my own growth and transformation. Which has been absolutely stunning!

My mother is giving up certain parts of her independence as she ages. She continues to do this in a humble and graceful way. I am happy that I am in a position that I can help and realize that this will be my top priority in the near future. She continues to teach and I continue to learn. It is such a blessing.

My wife and I decided that it was time my dad (a widower for 8 years) found himself a new companion. So we went out and bought him a Beagleir puppy and presented it to him just after his birthday. The look on his face was priceless and he immediately formed a bond with his new little friend, which he called Eric (After Eric Clapton). His demeanour and outlook on life has change dramatically since that day and he is a lot more positive and pleasant to be around. I'm just glad that he has turned a corner and has found someone to talk to that will listen to his every word and not repeat any of it.

My niece, Thea, was born. She joined the beautiful niece and nephew that my sister had already, and she's just gorgeous. Still very much a baby, but so smiley and cuddly and really just gorgeous, she won us all over from the first minute. I think Libby's just about done now with being fruitful and multiplying, but I love them all a huge amount, and it's so nice to be around while they grow up. As I'm moving away this year to uni, I do want to make sure that I can try and foster the lovely relationship I have been so lucky to have with Megan and Eli (watching them grow so much - Megan's 6 today!), with Thea too.

My sister had a major medical issue, and we thought she would never be able to have children again. This year, she was able to get pregnant and is due in a few weeks. It was a great relief, and renewed a lot of hope in our family after a lot of sadness.

My girlfriend and her son moved to NYC! We had been in a long-distance relationship for over a year, and she found a great job and a great apartment and was able to move. It was a very challenging transition -- I wish I had been more supportive. I was so focused on logistical support, such as helping to pack and look at apartments that I forgot to be emotionally supportive. Having her son move here also has its challenges -- we hadn't spent very much time together and navigating how to ease in to a step-parent role is challenging!

My son in law and daughter both found great jobs in New York, and my son found a great new job in Osaka Japan. I'm grateful that my children are doing well and for our relationship with them. I realize that they are independent adults and that they need our love and support, but not necessarily our guidance.

My sister decided to go back to Towson. I was so proud.

We had gone through a family outburst, where my pregnant sister was kicked out of the house by my mother. I didn't like looking at my mother, but I felt it was my fault, since I sided with my mom in my mind when I was already mad at her, but when things got to the serious point of my mother kicking her out, I felt it was too late for me to do anything, and I felt disappointed in myself for ever going against my sister, even if I didn't show it. When my sister finally gave birth, things came together, and we felt like a closer family after, and I felt my sister is living a better life now than she did when she was living with my mom.

Wow. My husband's boss was accused of a sexual offense involving a minor which, in addition to harming the victim (s) and his own family, really affected the company and rocked my husband's already rocky psyche. And when he is rockin' it is hard for the sea on which our family floats to remain smooth.

It hasn't happened yet, but it is imminent: moving. we are emptying our house, trying to sell it, and preparing in every way to uproot the family from the only home the children remember, and the only state we have lived in as adults. I am terrified.

Mom dying was my sisters and my milestone. It felt so weird that the parents above you are gone. And now my sisters and I are the heads of our own families. We are orphans....lol. The beauty of mom passing 1 yr And 7 months after dad was that it threw my sisters and I together, it renewed our love for each other. it's wonderful how everything that happens to me brings me to "being" present.

My definition of the word "family" has changed. Instead of seeing family as just the immediate three people than I have grown up with, I see family as the extended group of people that I have chosen to be close with. This definition has given me a great deal of happiness and security, as I was not always happy with who my immediate family was while growing up. I learned that if I don't feel I am getting the love or care I need from my immediate family, there are other relationships that are very fulfilling.

A new family member was born, our grand daughter Evelyn. It makes me happy!

The birth of my first child, a son. Nothing else compares.

My son learned to read. This is amazing. Seeing him understand new words every day by READING them -- an amazing feeling. I can see him growing up, literally, in front of me. Also, leaving the preschool that my kids had been at for 5 years (5!) was hard this year, but now they are in the same school (Grades 1 and Pre-K), and it's sweet to see them walk in together every day. Pickup and dropoff are much easier! And my daughter is doing so much more -- I wouldn't be surprised if she learned to read by the end of this new year, either!

My niece Lucy was born about a year ago. She's the pride and joy of our family. Sandi goes over to Gina and Lowell's once a week, and I've gotten closer with Gina and the chance to help raise Lucy.

My husband started his graduate program and we became pregnant! Both things have brought us a lot of joy and some stress but I think overall we are just very lucky and happy to be doing what we are doing now. I am so proud of my husband for going back to school and pursuing his dreams - he is so happy in the academic environment and it makes me happy to see him thrive that way. More than anything he impresses me everyday with his drive and ambition and perseverance- he is not satisfied "just" being in school he is also working tons of side jobs so that our lives can continue running smoothly and without much change based purely on economic things. He is amazing and he makes me want to be better every day.

I think the engagement (and our upcoming wedding) is the big milestone for my family this year. It's definitely brought me closer to my future in-laws - and I can see our relationship filling out in loving and caring ways.

My mother had 2 strokes...

Compared to the past years of uncertainty and turmoil, this year has been...quiet. Other people are going through things--not me. I have resettled into my role as the person who can be a support for others--and this is how I prefer it. Leaning on others showed me how wonderful they can be--but felt weird. I'd much rather be on the giving side--for me that is receiving.

The first grandchild arrived in my family, my sister's son, and everything on my side of the family now revolves around him. I am ecstatic about this and absolutely adore him, but it's been interesting to see how quickly life can flip from being about the adults to the children if you let it.

My sister was diagnosed with cancer. It threw us all for a loop. Although she has had it removed and is totally fine, it put some fear in all of us when it hit so close to home.

My daughter had an intense illness that scared the crap out of me. It made me realize that every single day is precious, and that maybe I should have done less for her and made her do more for herself so that she would have been stronger.

My brother decided to cut my dad out of his life, much like I already had. It was heartbreaking to see him so upset, I had been through the same emotions a year earlier. However, it brought our own little family of my brother, my mom and me closer together. Now, when we talk about our family, we know that the three of us are there for each other and can no longer be hurt by my father.

I realized that my daughter is no more a little girl and should start considering her as a little adult.

Adapting through a major relocation, to a predominantly white, xian, southern location, with three kids and a husband who travels so much, he had and has no idea what the four of us (myself and the kids) have been through or how difficult it is. It caused us to lose touch with eachother in our marriage even more (I love him despite his lack of natural empathy, but the fact is, he has no ability to 'put himself in another's shoes). While I went through getting to know ppl who were utterly foreign to me and I to them, finding my way around, finding doctors and schools for the kids and helping them cope with the change, the lack of family, ...the lonliness, he has no idea how hard it's been (he works among the same coworkers who are predominatly latin american as is he, and is gone 80% of the time) and how very much my children have needed me, even more than usual. Now that we are settled, he will, once or twice a month, tell me he has been contcted by a head hunter, would I be willing to move to XYZ location, and since he has been absent from our struggle he doesn't understand how this afftects me and why my answer is consistently 'no'. It has been bad, it has been good, but primarily, it has been FRUSTRATING and brought the aforementioned lack of empathy into a very precise focus in my mind which I must attempt to not dwell on lest it do irrepairable harm. No amount of counseling, can instill empathy in a human who lacks it by nature and I must finally accept it. This year has shown me that.

A major milestone that has happened this year is that my oldest sister got married and pregnant, which not only makes me a sister-in-law to a brother I love but also a soon-to-be auntie! This has brought endless joy to my family and relieved alot of stress and anxiety!

As I graduated from college, moved across the country, and became pretty serious with my boyfriend, I learned that my parents are dealing with delayed empty nest syndrome. I suppose as an undergrad even though I didn't live at home I still came and visited over breaks. Now my boyfriend is the one I call for comfort or to tell exciting news, and I have to be careful not to leave my parents out. I love them dearly and I learned I shouldn't interpret their overbearing as a bad thing, rather it is how they are able to express their love for me during this transition.

My mom finally understood and supported my psychological condition. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and she refused to believe me until one day she heard this radio show that discussed the condition. I think this is the year where I got to learn more about my family and I manage to seek solace in their support especially when I was having a career crisis.

its weird im not sure i can think of any one "event" but i had a personal milestone. going home can be hard for me because some of my family has very differnet opinions and thoughts on things than i do. and some love drama. but this year i have really been working hard at staying neutral, not letting others unhappiness affect my life and my personal journey. so at a fmaily party where people pushed my buttons of differnet issues becasue they know how to rile me up, i excused myself, and forgave them. and did not let it affect me!

It showed me how committed my husband is to our future.

All 3 kids started new schools. This has relieved some financial strain, as well as academic pressure. For my younger son, I'm dealing with new, worsening behavior issues.

The biggest milestone is my sister leaving for law school. She is my eldest sister and going from a house with 5 girls to four may not sound like a big change, but her presence is definitely missed. On the bright side, it's one less sister to fight over clothing with :)

My cousin was not diagnosed with Asperger's as I have for years believed he had. Apparently he's only a spoiled brat - great! It's making me really conscious of how I could possibly raise children I have because it's so ridiculous that being spoiled could possibly make you into a person like that. Even though, I would bet money the shrink is wrong.

A milestone or a millstone? Again, it's hard to escape my brother's death, the weight of which still presses down on all of us.

There hasn't been one. We are all still alive and healthy and living our lives. I'm glad I have gotten to see my sister so often this year.

Grandparent are now all in various homes. It has had much more effect on my parents than me. Thinking about it makes me sad, getting old seems even more scary than before!!! Better for nana as she doesn't really know what is going on and is generally happy, worse for the others, they are pretty mentall sound, bodies letting them down. Worry about mam and dad...lot of stress. Hope will improve as not caring for them alone now.

My family's support through my flare-up of PTSD last fall still amazes me. I made the decision to withdraw from school so that I could spend three weeks in a full-time trauma treatment center, and I was worried that issues of money would make the process more complicated -- tuition from school, living expenses while I no longer had an internship, the copays from the hospital... but those were never an issue compared to my need to get better. I did finally overcome the flashbacks and panic attacks and am living a relatively normal life now; knowing how much the rape impacted my entire family, I know my recovery is a big relief to all of us.

David and Rachel got married. It was such a joyous situation and really pulled the family (particularly my brother and I) together. During the wedding, I mouthed to him that I loved him, and he mouthed back that he loved me, too. It was a really beautiful and special moment, and it was so great to have Rachel join the family.

My daughter was married in August. I understood the depth of my attachment to her and recognized the need to let go ( or at least act as if I was letting go) so she could form her primary attachment to her husband.

Major milestones: my father's death (discussed in Q1), my hysterectomy, and our son's transition to kindergarten. Also my husband's grandmother's death - she was the matriarch and the last one of her generation. All of these issues have been so big - I think I'll be working out how I feel about them for some time to come. These are the end of a series of huge issues that have been going on for 2.5 years, so I'm actually relieved that the big issues (seem to) have come to an end and I can actually process them. So relief - that's how I feel right now. Relief.

Being promoted to my biggest hotel and largest staff that I've managed so far. Also, it's the furthest I've ever moved away from home. My family has been used to having me around to help, but now other people had had to step up. I'm happy for the opportunity, by miss my family immensely and cannot wait to return home.

My grandfather is very sick, and my youngest cousin started school this year. Obviously my grandpa being sick is very hard, but my cousins are doing so much to help take care of him and that makes me very proud. There's a lot of fighting between some of them and it's reassuring to see that they can put that aside when they need to. That ties into my youngest cousin starting school because we weren't sure if he would get to see that, and he has. I remember when she was born and how I couldn't imagine that she'd be four by the time I graduated high school and now she'll be six this year and I feel very old.

No major milestones. All of us are retired or employed now, so that is good. Not having a job this past year since I was working on the Civil Grand Jury messed up my finances a little, but my goal is to get a temp job and pay off credit card debt and save up for a trip to France.

I finally got to meet my niece's live-in boyfriend. I'm very relieved that he is indeed a very nice guy who loves, respects, and supports her in all ways.

My husband turned 50. He celebrated by choosing to run a marathon, which inspired me to work on getting in better shape. I am so proud of him for turning this milestone into an opportunity to prove that he is getting better and better with age.

It has dawned on me the age of my father (69 this year) he always seems so young and I guess it's a reminder that he and my mother won't be around forever. I need to cherish the time.

Coming to a deeper understanding of the issues our children face has, consequently, given us a deeper understanding of ourselves.

My husband had his 70th birthday party, hosted by our daughter and son-in-law. We had everyone we cared most about around us on a beautiful hillside with tiny white lights, great food, lots of wine and toasts. It makes me realize the speed of a lifetime (mach 1!) and how important the village is that makes it all worthwhile.

Our son learned to read fairly early on. We can't fool him anymore (menu items such as, say, chocolate shake, and so on...) But we are beyond proud and happy for him and this continuous thirst for knowledge.

My Grandma Stefa died. It was just over a month ago and it meant she never got to go to my wedding. However, Dad was doubtful she would have been in condition to go anyway, and she was really deteriorating. My grandfather was deeply affected as one can imagine. Personally, my relationship with her had declined. I think the impact will hit me in the longer run, with the upcoming events in my life she will never get to share with me. I think my memory of her will settle on my view of her when I was a young girl: as a polish-accented, card-playing, snitzel and soup -cooking escape from my parents.

Both of my kids had a good first week back to school. Last year was so awful that I was prepared for the worst. But so far this year it seems okay. Fingers crossed!

This is a sad question. My parents are dead and I've not talked to my family in several years because I'm too much of a weenie and I let them make me feel bad about myself. I am much more at peace without them, but I so so so wish I had the strength to take the good and ignore the bad. On rare occasions when I allow myself to think of them, I remember fun times I've had with them and wish things were different. Maybe one day, but I have a lot of work to do on myself before that can happen.

My sister married her long time boyfriend, granting me a brother. It affected me by granting me the opportunity to reflect on what I want for my own wedding, and really changed my outlook on how much I valued tradition.

Wife survived to surgeries. She feels better than before, but does not have same energy. She doesnt help with the kids as much, I feel overwhelmed.

My husband was just made foreman at his job, which had huge implications for him and for us. It means he really is not only good at the work, he also has the managerial skills necessary to help others succeed at their work. I am immensely proud of him for that. It also means he is now earning enough money that I can consider dropping from full time to part time. The more I think about it, the more I want it: I want to be home when our daughter comes home from school. I want to be able to be the primary caregiver for her, for our home, for our extended families. And I want desperately to do what I'm truly called to instead of the grind of a job I stumbled into 10 years ago and can't seem to escape. The flip side of the pride and the possible change to my worklife is feeling very intensely how much closer we are now to "the 1%". We are politically and socially tied to "the 99%" - we are blue collar, we are renters, we are unfancy people - and yet we are getting to the point where we earn more than most of our friends. It's awkward and makes me feel like I should be giving more to others.

The major milestone in our family was that we got our new dog, Cody. He is awesome and helps bring much joy to me and the family.

It's been a year and a couple of months since Mom had her breakdown and because of the hospitalization, stopped smoking. She's healthier and doing well. I'm happy about that. Better late than never!

Nana turned 90. Both my grandmothers are still alive and have their cognitive abilities intact. One more reason I want to be healthy for the long run. 43 looking at 90 means another 47 years. Holy smokes!

My mother die and that situation changes many things in my family like the relationship with them. But I think thats the way it have to be. I just taking in the good way and living my life in happiness and freedom.

My brother-in-law got married in June to a sweet girl that his parents don't like. All the gossip, slander & nastiness that has come out of my husband's family this past year has really tainted my view of them. I honestly had no idea some of them could be so vicious.

We are settled in our new home and living in complete abundance, serenity and happiness. I never realized a separation from part of my family would have such a wonderful, positive experience.

I think my sister becoming pregnant was a major milestone (for the second time). It has put into perspective a lot of the questions I feel I'm facing personally at this time. It has rallied my family to act more like a dignified family - we had our first summer reunion this year in Syracuse and it's nice watching my brother step into the role of uncle to my sister's firstborn, Felix. It has also made me step back and reevaluate am I on the path I want to be on? It's hard to tell at the moment. On the life meaning level, most definitely. On the financially self-reliant making, absolutely not. Talking with Sadaf about all of this has been enlightening hugely though. He says many of what I want is possible - like having a family and pursuing a career I love at the same time. But other things, like buying a house may not be possible if I want to avoid going back to work full time at a hedge fund that will take up all my time and likely crush my soul in the long run. I'm learning slowly but surely, life is all about doing what you need to do to light a fire under your ass. One year that may mean working in finance. The next year that may mean going to film school. The year after, than may be biting your pride and taking freelance jobs that pay beans but allow you time and flexibility to continue the creative work you have just begun making. I pray whatever inspiring source has brought me here continues guiding me to make choices allowing me to create in the years to come.

I have lived at home with my parents and brother for the entire year. This is the first time I've lived at home so long since I graduated from high school in 2003. Living at home--especially after living elsewhere for over a year--has shown me how much I still need my parents. I have a lot of growing up to do.

My mom finally divorced my dad, and my family couldn't be happier! We got rid of all the negativity in the house, all of the feelings of not wanting to sit in the same room. We're a family again, without my dad. The way it should be.

My father threatened to leave. That was scary and a real wake-up call.

On the eve of beginning hormone patches for our first round of IVF, my wife learned she was pregnant. The pregnancy is healthy (although she is pukey as all hell) and is now long past the hurdles on which the previous two fell. My happiness is growing slowly and steadily as it appears more and more real. I've felt ready to become a father for several years, and we've been trying since shortly after our wedding, almost four years now. But this has thrown into sharp relief my uncertainty and anxiety around my career. I need to find my way, and the clock is ticking.

As I said on Day 1, the discovery of my cat's illness has had a significant impact on all of us. We're all dealing with it in our own way. I know that before we found out just how severe his condition was, I was trying to remain optimistic (something which my mother and brother found annoying and foolhardy). Now, I mostly deal with it by not thinking about it. It's easier to do that when you're away at school and have to focus on other things.

A huge milestone that happened with my family this year was sneeze leaving for college. It is bitter-sweet. We miss him lots and we were all pretty sad when he first left but we are learning to manage without the boy. I think Rey and I will get closer because of it. This weekend bunny boy came home for Rosh Hashanah and it felt really "right". It was as if he had not left. It was hard saying bye to him but it was so good to see that he is still the sneezey we love. I thought sneezey leaving (and all of the seniors) would be really hard for me but I have managed really well. I know they still love me but they had to move on eventually. They couldn't stay hur forever but it is sad to not have them here. I realize now how much I have learned from all of them.

My father almost died from a botched surgery. The experience made me evaluate our relationship, appreciate it for what it is, including its limitations, and just accept that we are both doing the best we can.

My brother moved out of my parents house and got a job on his own. This has been significant for my parents, my brother, and myself. We've had a lot of distance and disagreement in years past. My father and I had nearly given up on him and my mother struggled with never letting him go and learn. I think he has learned a lot from being on his own and now the 4 of us have been much better at communicating and loving each other.

My husband's grandmother passed away. She had been suffering from Alzheimer disease and watching her deteriorate was very painful. It made me appreciate everything we have and reminded me how important it was to take the time to be with the ones you love.

The first day of this year -- New Year's 2012, I saw recent photos of my father online for the first time in 10 years. Since then, God has blessed us with forgiveness, with breaking down walls of bitterness, confusion, pride and hurt, and allowed me and my sis to start talking to dad more frequently again. It's amazing how much a few small digital photos can hurt and impact you... and spark a conversation you would be too reticent to take on otherwise. Now, he gives us little pieces of advice on life -- sparingly, as he is comfortable to do -- and he pays for my sister's extracurriculars. Little things - unexpectedly blossoming into the things that change a life.

My husband got tenure this year as a professor. I am extremely happy and proud of him, as he handled the stress of the process admirably well and managed to succeed without overtaxing himself. His new job security represents a financial relief that is encouraging! Another side benefit was that, seeing his parents being totally unable to celebrate his achievement (despite being academics), I finally realized (after 20 years) that they cannot be pleased! So I now feel blessedly free of their judgment--a huge milestone in my life, that will hopefully have positive effects for my husband as well.

Anna was born. She changed my relationship with Mikey.

As it happens, I don't have an actual family to speak of. That said, I felt more at ease with the reality of my isolation this year. I have deeper love for those I connect with through choice and circumstance.

My sister and I have always had a close, but weird relationship. If we weren't related, we wouldn't be friends. We probably wouldn't even travel in circles where we would meet. That said, we have always found a way to stay extremely close. This year, we butted heads over our relationship with a former stepmother. I still have one and she doesn't. Confronting the idea that maintaining my relationship with a former step parent might end my relationship with my sister was alarming to me that it forced me to look at a lot of decisions I had been/have been making in my life. Moving across the country away from my family, losing touch with long time friends- what are my values at all? What is important to me?

There really wasn't a major milestone for my family this year. It was just a year filled with both blessings and sadness.

My oldest son went to overnight camp for the first time. He's a changed person since: taking more responsibility, showing more maturity. I can't say enough good things about it.

I'm coming to the end of my thirties, and my boyfriend is now mid forties. I've realized that we are the adults now, and my parents who I've always looked to as the strong ones who'll always be there for me are coming to the end of that time and it will be my turn to be there for them. I'm glad that I still have them both and am a bit scared of what's likely to happen to them over the next 5 years.

A year of unemployment has made it hard for us, not so much financially as emotionally. When you love your work and define yourself partially with your career, there is a real loss when it is not part of your life.

My Mom passed away in March after a 16 year battle with ALS and it has affected us all in very different ways. My eldest sibling and I bonded emotionally and the middle child has drifted away. My Dad has become a new man, eager to experience the world through the lens of a religious awakening. It's made me realize just how much my Mom glued us all together and how much she worked to make us a unit. Initially I thought I lost my mother in March, but I now I feel as though I lost my family too.

There are a lot of family things that have come up in the past year, including my mom's cancer (and all the emotional stuff that came with it), helping Aaron financially and emotionally, and my decision to rediscover distant relatives via old letters (and then internet searches). They're all important but are not necessarily milestones. I look at milestones as changes or accomplishments, and none of the above qualifies. The decision to try to have kids, and the decision to take a break from trying to have kids are my family milestones. Both those decisions reflect a lot of thought, and reinforce the separation and choice involved in creating my own family versus the family I was born into.

Both of my teenage daughters had the opportunity to go to Israel on very meaningful trips. I feel they understand the experience that I myself had in Israel ( although different) and that it has become something we can share and talk about together.

This past year my oldest sister graduated from MICA, an art school in Maryland. We were all used to seeing my sister on breaks, holidays, and some weekends throughout the year but since she has graduated and is now living full time in Baltimore she comes home much less. We are all so proud of her accomplishments but it is different knowing that we may not see her for months at a time in some cases.

Not with my immediate family, but part of my "extended" family, the mishpucha... a dear friend was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer actually a year ago today. She got a clean bill of health in June after months of treatments and surgeries and is still dealing with some of the aftermath. But in her grace and strength I've been constantly inspired--and also woken up to how precious it all is and how quickly it can all change. She's my age, maybe a year older (35), and I quickly realized how there really is no age requirement for major life change or health scare.

The recent birth of my first child has been a wonderful recentering of gravity for my family. She is the first grandchild for both my and my wife's parents, and the first niece for my siblings and siblings-in-law, so we've gotten closer in our focus on her.

My grandma has stopped being able to take care of herself, and now has aides coming in every day. This has affected me by making my mom really sad and stressed out, which also stresses me. I also am seeing the cycle of life and how aging and dying fits into the picture, and thinking about my own parents getting older which makes me so scared too.

My parents have the empty nest syndrome....so I am begining to have empathy and understand how someday I will see my own children leave. If any. I am proud of my brothers because I see how they have grown up to be good men who care about others and study hard.

major in the sense of getting along. i travelled to paris with my parents for a weekend in december. we've grown to a point where we get along as friends. it's kinda cool.

Undoubtedly, the major milestone was the fire on the morning of June 29, which set us on a series of hotel stays, now stretching into its third month. We shall probably never be the same again.

My return to work full time after a slow ramp up after the second baby's birth. It confounds me. How am I supposed to do it all and also take care of myself? I wish I knew everyone else's secret.

The only milestone I can think of is the first anniversary of Mom's death. I went down to Orange to stay with Dad for that week. We went out to the cemetery and put flowers on her grave. We didn't about it, but when I left he thanked me for being there. I brought him one of my cats - Kiki - for companionship. He is having new floors put in. I took that as a sign that he plans to be there for a while. It had been a long time since they had done any non-hurricane-related repairs. I am not sure how it affected me. It just is.

I wouldn't say there's been a standout milestone, but we've been there for each other more than perhaps we usually have - just making more of an effort with phone calls and empathy and willingness to lend a hand. We all live quite far apart and have quite different values and priorities, but it feels like we've inched towards being better partners in the "team". A little.

What has happened in my family this past year has taught me to restrain myself from insisting everything has to be perfect. You can not have everything you want to be happened at the same time. God is fair. God lets things happen according to your needs & not your wants to prevent you from being snob and to teach to be patient, grateful for all the things you have, and to cherish everything you have in the present moment. So despite all the imperfect things I have in my life, I still feel grateful that I have a solid & happy family who support and always be there for me in my difficult times, and I also have friends with whom I can share good and bad times. I also feel grateful for being healthy and have a job to do on the weekdays. I am grateful to be me. :)

My sisters and the girls got through being really sick. I'm so relieved that they are all healthy. And I got engaged to Eric. Hooray! At first, I was excited by the proposal as an idea, then terrified to my very core about actually getting married and being married again, and so afraid I could fail at it a second time. And then...I got excited about it for real. I love Eric in a way that's not familiar to me. I'm not looking for him to be better than who he is or offer me more with my life. I love him as he is now and how we work together. It's good. So good it's surprising.

We moved houses. The move was significant in itself, and it also moved us away (only 20 minutes, but 4 x our old distance) from my parents. We no longer see them as often as we did and I no longer am able to commute with my dad. I miss that time with him and I know he misses it too. My kids miss my parents being around so much, although we make a point to see them at least once a week.

There have been no major milestones. Really. None. Which in itself is a bit sad. I went to Israel and got to know some cousins I hadn't seen in almost twenty years... but it's not quite milestone material.

The end of my 29 year marriage, the departure of my last child to college and the departure of my last child who lived at home. I think that's more than enough said.

There are too many to name just one; Maurice became potty trained, and came into his own, with his own distinct personality. Margaux is talking and talking and talking. Markus started kindergarten and goes on a school bus! my niece Mina and my nephew Jake graduated high school Those are the last two Yavneh academy graduates. All of these events have made me very, very happy! I am grateful for the blessings.

My son "graduated" from preschool. Leaving this school, and no longer having any preschoolers in the family was very emotional for our whole family. He started kindergarten last week, and lost his first tooth. It's hard to let your youngest grow up.

Gosh.. A million things. My Wendy left, my Taylor left, My dad left.... It taught me to be resilient and that.. Life goes on. Its never the end of the world, and yeah, change hurts and its hard but its gunna be okay! I cant believe that my sister gone for college, and that.. i have to take care of myself now. It was a huge realization for me.

I turned 65 and was able to semi-retire. This gives me more freedom to do things that I want and/or need to do.

This past year I began the process of consciously choosing who I want my family to be. Although I have a birth family I have always believed that a family is of our own choosing. Up until this point the families that I have chosen have led me to meaningful experiences within my Jewish communities, LGBT communities, Healing communities and now I am truly ready to build one with distinct intention and love. We will see what happens this next year. To love and intention!

My family is changing. Everyone is moving houses and locations. College is over for me, on to a job. My sister is going to college for the first time. And my brother is starting High School. I don't like change all that much, but I'm still excited for the future.

This year has been such a blur. The milestone that sticks out in my mind immediately is the year anniversary of my father passing. It was a very long stressful year. We did a lot leading up to the day we last him. We spread his ashes in Canada in a secluded spot where my uncle's ashes were taken when he passed. We also participated in a relay for life the weekend after the year of his passing. It was a great way to honor him and remember the loss. We were all very weary and tired from the stress of losing him. Tensions were high and still are. It's left me feeling very wrecked and worn. Personally I'd spent the year as the administrator and it was hard. From all the calls that needed to be made and the paperwork. I also dealt with how the decisions affected family members. I felt abused at times. There were hard feelings and things that I never thought would happen did happen. I feel as though it's made me a pessimist. I hate that it has. But I'd be lying if I said it didn't. I feel I've grown closer to my brothers in some ways. My sister's on the other hand I feel as though they don't trust me. I feel estranged from them in some ways. I'd like a lot of it to be other. I'd like to be able to move on some. I'm going to do what I need to do get it done until it's done. That's all I can do.

I guess my parents moving to the country and seeing how hard it has been for them and a growing concern for their health and fear of their mortality. But at the same time being comforted that they are near my brother so they have someone nearby. Also how amazing my Uncle Johnny has been helping them, truly selfless and not sure that's something that would've ever occured to me before. Also going to visit my Uncle Rick and Janna, I never really got to spend time with them or my cousin and it was pretty awesome getting to know them and just rediscovering how amazing and accepting my family is.

Being away from my family last year made me really learn to appreciate their presence in my life. I always knew that I loved them, but I never realized how much I NEEDED them. I learned absence truly makes the heart grow fonder!

My father turned 85, and in the true Sid spirit, with encouragement from my mother, almost the entire family came to cheer him on when he went parasailing. He hooted and hollared and was given the ride of a lifetime. It was a lesson in living life to the fullest, and celebrating these moments. Joy, unadulterated joy and appreciation in who he is, and how our family loves and celebrates. All through my ife my father has taught me how to live. I need to thank him more for that.

Merav going in to the army, esp. basic training, learning how to shoot a rifle, protecting a base of 1,000 people 1 week later. It was a wild feeling for me to have my daughter going through her first experience that I had NEVER been through myself. And it was something important, defending the country she and I love so much.

Our son started a sudy abroad program. It demonstrated our son's ability to do good work.

Becoming divorced after 29 years of marriage ... I have rediscovered myself, realizing there were major aspects of myself I had suppressed in order to remain married while raising our now-grown children. I am a MUCH happier person, and I pray my ex will be as well. Even though our children, in their 20's now, are having to adjust to mom and dad being divorced, I believe we showed them it is possible to divorce without blaming the other person, to acknowledge one another's good points, and to remain civil and cooperative with one another (largely aided by the collaborative divorce process).

When my brother left his 3rd wife, I reached out to his 1st, with whom I am very close. She reached out in turn to this devastated young woman, bc who better to know how she was feeling than one who'd been thru the exact same thing. Reweaving the rents in the family fabric, that my brother caused, is the desire of my heart. Each time I enable a connection to happen, I see a little more healing, more joy.

My family is insane. I love them, but also love living 5 states away from them. My 37 year old sister, brother in law and their 4 kids got evicted from their rental house and moved in with my mom and dad for 3 months. My sister had her 5th baby (!) in June while her oldest child graduated high school and went off to college in August... My mom's alcoholism is deteriorating. She will sometimes drink more than her usual 1 bottle of wine. On 1.5 bottle days, she would be in bed before 8pm. Threats of divorce from my dad didn't phase her. The fact that I stopped talking to her for 4 weeks didn't phase her either. She's down to 116 pounds because she doesnt eat dinner - drinks instead. She won't quit smoking, though she has tried for years. I guess the major milestone in my family is really about me. I realize I can't change them. I can't control them. I can't make them want a different life than they have. Everyone has the life they want. And since I'm always trying to better myself, that makes me profoundly sad.

My cousin died in August. Out of everyone in our immediate family, it was the most difficult on my mom and myself. I think it made us appreciate our extended family. We don't see them unless there is a marriage, birth or death in the family. It has made us reach out to each other more and try to have a relationship with them.

It's not quite a 'milestone' in the conventional sense, but it has been transformative for me nonetheless. I have grown closer to my family, and I also sense that my parents are enjoying each other more than I recall in the past. I imagine these two things are linked. I feel closer to my siblings, and to my parents, and I feel stronger as a result of these relationships. It gives me faith in the capacity for close relationships with those outside of my family as well.

My sister had major surgery. This has made me realized how different my life would be without her. She is doing well, but the thought of losing her in the future makes me very sad.

My nephew became bar mitzvah and it was a truly wonderful experience. Reminded me that my own son will be having his bar mitzvah in just a few years and things will have to be started soon. Wow.

This year, my wife died of breast cancer at age 42 leaving 4 children, ages 11, 8, 5, 3. She fought bravely until the end, but the cancer won. I never imagined that she would not survive the diagnosis, but I learned that doctors don't have all the ammunition they need to fight aggressive tumors. It has affected our family in different ways, including a lot of anger at the "unfairness," of the situation. But through a lot of support from a wide network of friends and strangers, I have learned to be strong and move forward. It is what she would have wanted, and I am trying to ensure that her legacy is remembered by her children.

My brother got married last year and it dawned on me how quickly we have all grown up. Sometimes it feels like time moves so slowly, but watching him during the first dance with his new wife made me realize that time moves faster than we think; time waits for no one. I'm happy to say I can look back on my life so far and feel satisfied with all I have experienced and I know I have many more exciting experiences ahead of me...I am ready for the journey to continue.

I'm currently on a trip right now with my dad in Uruguay. It's our first father-daughter trip. This will be the longest trip we've ever gone on together in my entire life, and the longest time we've spent one-on-one together since I was a junior in high school (about 8 years ago). Last night was the very first time I've ever talked to him about my boyfriend and being in a relationship. It was an amazing breakthrough for the both of us because I'm no longer a child, and being able to talk about adult conversation topics was a good indicator that he no longer views me as one either. I'm daddy's little girl... the youngest of 3... and I'll always be daddy's little girl, but on the day-to-day basis, I'm now a young woman. Different ball game, different level of respect, different intensity and topics of conversation, but still a father-daughter relationship. We both referred to our significant others as our partners over dinner last night and I couldn't help but smile. He and my mom have been happily married for more than 30 years. Hearing him talk about my mother last night the same way he did when we were kids warmed my heart. They're still so very deep in love. A large smile also followed because I thought about how I view my relationship today, and I couldn't be happier or feel more confident with him. Having an amazing partner in life really does open your eyes. Every day is better and happier, and I am a much better person overall because of him.

My brother's engagement. It has been a happy time for my family, but also marred with sadness because his fiance's father died shortly after they got engaged. It has also been a little challenging for me in some regards, because I think I am a little bit jealous of all the attention they are receiving and wish that I was in a similar position. But my day will come!

Leo is becoming a big boy! I absolutely love it. We are so proud of how he gets along so well with everyone else, and is so clever.

2012 did not bring any major milestones...the only thing that has affected me is the change from 2011 continued along it's same unfortunate path. Although as I sit here in this immediate moment, I sense a thawing of that particular relationship.

For the first time ever, I passed over that exercise hump (that oh-god-I-want-to-kill-myself feeling) to the feeling people have long described to me of feeling energized, excited, endorphines pumping. It's an amazing feeling.

My wife and mother in law have not spoken civilly to each other in more than a year. I have tried to remain neutral and encourage our kids to visit their grandmother, but the relationship has put a damper on holidays and family events, because my mother in law refuses to have anything to do with us. The only way we see her is if we drop by unannounced. The whole situation saddens me, because it bothers my wife, and my kids barely have a relationship with their grandmother, who lives in the same town.

My daughter's first birthday was a key milestone for me. We went through a lot to have her, and even during her first year, it felt surreal at times that we had a child. But now, as she is continuing to grow and develop as a person, she feels very real and present! I think I've settled in more into my identity as a mother

Getting pregnant. So exciting, so scary and change forever in our lives. It has also caused some changes in my daily life, having to take it easier, relying more ony husband, better diet etc.

I told my mother I appreciated all the love and support she has provided to me during my lifetime. I couldn't have imagined a better life. We were not rich - but well off. I had everything I could possibly need or want and I know regardless of mothers health and my fathers absence I couldn't have been happier. I've appreciate my mother more and know that she did her best. It's affected me because I know when I do get upset her, I tend to reflect on her goodness not what might be cause of a momentary lapse of judgment.

2, actually. First our daughter in college moved off campus into an apartment and is progressively showing signs of being better able to fend for herself, still maintaining a close relationship with the rest of the family while living apart from us. Our son achieved the Scout rank of Eagle comfortably ahead of his 18th. birthday and has been progressively making other significant achievements with his academics and service activities. This has brought me a greater sense of peace that our children will be alright and able to make their own way in a world where it has not generally been easy for many younger adults who have been trying to do that.

For the first time ever I have been in constant contact with my three sisters. It's not that we don't get along we get along great but I made a decision to make sure I talk to each one of them at least once a week. It is has helped me become a better person and it has reassured me that I will always have at least three people cheering in my corner. I love them all so much and feel very lucky to have them in my life. Each one has helped me in their own way and not everyone can say that about their family.

i think this year has marked the first year that i know true, unalloyed love for my wife, and that is after 30 years of marriage. that sounds awful perhaps, but i understand, perhaps deeply and thoroughly, that time eventually runs out, there is sand running through the hourglass and the perfection of this day, this person, is something to behold NOW. how i wish i could have realized that 30 years ago but i think time as the denominator of life is impossible to understand when you are young. and in a marriage, particularly with children, there are endless distractions that have kept me from clearly seeing this person at my side. but i see it now. yes, regrets that i haven't had this full heart earlier but grateful that i have it at least now.

My mom turned 84 and it became apparent that she is really consumed with planning for her ultimate transition. It seems so young to be worrying about that. She has stopped walking or driving --- I don't understand on one level, and on another level I feel really sad with her. My son went to college and did not come home during the summer so I had my first summer as an empty nester --- no lover, and no kids --- it was lonely and also full.... in an odd way.

My oldest child turned 21. It doesn't make me feel any older, but it does remind strongly of how quickly time passes.

my grandma flo died, she it represented a major generational shift in the dynamic of our family, and changed a lot of the things we do in day to day life. it made me realize how short time really is.

My husband's 60th birthday; I'm just so grateful to be honored to share his life journey with him.

My son graduated from college. In any calculation, it's a major achievement for him. But it also felt like a milestone for me, an opportunity to exhale, to feel that all the thinking and planning and support and cajoling and organizing and watching and disciplining and praising had in fact got us to our goal, to a completion not only in this part of his education, but of that phase of our relationship. He will still need me and depend on me, and I hope he goes on to continue his education, but all the terms are different. He is fully his own driver.

Recent years have had easier to identify milestones: the marriage of our daughter, the marriage of our son, the birth of our grandson. But I suppose my 60th birthday qualifies. Although it definitely has a greater impact on me--and one which is more psychological than physical--my attitude doesn't leave the rest of the family untouched. Whether they know it or not, my reluctant acceptance that my remaining years on earth are fewer than those which I've already been granted, makes me all the more eager to make the best use of my time.

My parents both turned 80 this year - and coincidentally, each seemed to age 10 years in only one year. Even as our family gathered to celebrate each of their lives, I found that I was holding some sadness with the joy. I feel grateful for the gifts of the moment, and recognize how precious these moments are.

My mother would have been 100 years old this September. I have spent a lot of time remembering her. She died over 14 years ago and I wasn't thinking of her as often but she is always, always with me.

My sister became financially stable and independent. This has made a huge change in our already awesome relationship. It has begun to flourish. I am so unbelievable grateful for Tracy. Every day with her makes my life infinitely better. I value her friendship tremendously and am so glad she is doing so great with her finances.

For me and my parents it was opening the conversation about building romantic relationships with people outside of our culture (started with Sam). I was disheartened to feel the wrath and disappointment of my parents, especially dad, seeing that they don't want me dating outside our race and ideally not our religion either. Now, nearly a year later, I am dating a Nicaraguan guy. They have not reacted harshly, only showing signs of caring for my safety and wellbeing. Either they are letting up on the tension of their leash, or letting me live and learn as I please. Regardless, I am happy that they are accepting or least respectful of my decisions (mostly). I have learned they respect my honestly.

Funny - I'm about to turn 50 in November, but that may not count. It has me thinking about aging, though - that, and coming to terms with bulging discs, which are caused in part by aging. (And doctors have used the dreaded arthritis word in discussing them.) So I guess passing over into an alte kacker (old kay, as Aunt Frances used to say, qualifies.) Plus, my son is about to turn 13 - teenagerdom! That is in some ways a scarier milestone than my own aging. But he is such a good kid, I don't have too many real fears. Except that we have to get on the stick and pick a high school - maybe by the time I look at this next year.

THE BAR WAS COMPLETED! My family had been building a new bar room in our house and the project went on for almost a whole year. When we finally finished it we had a huge pig roast with pretty much everyone we know. The affect it had on my family was that the damn thing was finally finished.

Robert entering high school. I'm a bit freaked out! He'll be driving in a few short years and then graduating....... where has the time gone!!!!!!

My eldest daughter started middle school. Literally, in the weeks after her 5th grade graduation, she threw out "all her childish things." It's as if a switch was turned on inside her that it was time to be more mature. And frankly, she's truly been living up to that behavior -- doing more around the house, taking more responsibility for her things, behaving better with her sister. I'm really proud of how far she has come.

Just one!? I think the thing that I will remember most this year about my family is my changing relationship with my mother. As I prepare to become a mother myself, our interactions have noticeably shifted. She just has a different way of talking to me, sharing with me, and creating space and distance (in a good way).

I graduated from college and am moving to Minneapolis, my sister transferred to school in Asheville and my parents moved to Ft. Worth. In general we are transitioning from child/parents relationships to adult-children/parents relationships. It will be interesting to see how those evolve now that we are all finding new homes in new places.

I've started college now. It's just one step closer to my goal of going to medical school and eventually becoming a doctor. I'm away from my family most of the time now so I wonder whether my pets feel like I've abandoned them and how my friends are changing. I'm slowly learning to be independent and trying to enjoy every college moment possible.

Of course, It affected to me strongly. I cannot see my family, my real family (my sons) since then. At end, I was able to talk clearly, sincerly, it was great.

Mum finally moved away from three monthly scans. I think this was a huge relief for her, and also for us. Now we just have to help her try to reclaim her life again.

In the past year, my wife completed treatment for breast cancer and received the "all clear for now." I found that only from the perspective of this year could I look back at her "year of cancer" and see all the fear, pain and humiliation that it brought. I also see the grace and humility with which she approached the trial. It's trite to say that the experience gave us all a renewed lust for life, but it is certainly true that we learned how to pull together and get through a difficult time and out the other side to life.

In March, my parents sat me down and told me that they wanted to (and were able to) pay for my top surgery as a birthday present. I was blown away and so grateful. It is incredible that my parents have gotten to this point, after we struggled so much when I first came out as transgender. I feel unbelievably lucky. My sister graduated from college, which means it feels even more like we're both adults and less like she's my "little" sister. I hope we can continue to get closer. A passed away in February. While he wasn't part of my bio family, I realized how instrumental (no pun inteded...) he had been in my adolescence and how much of a relationship we had built since he had been coming to our house every week for about ten years. Meeting his other loved ones showed me what an amazing chosen family he was able to create for himself. I hope to live my life the way he lived his in so many ways.

My mother's memory and presence is failing her. It's weird to interact w/her and not really have "her" there with me. I'm learning to just go with the flow when dealing with her. It's far easier and more pleasant for the both of us.

This past year I commuted between Boston and Pittsburgh to go to Cantorial school. This has been a huge change for my family. We have had to parent our sons with even "wider arms". At 14 and 20, many of the ways I have parented by solving problems for them in the past no longer serve. Being farther away physically and needing to allow them to be more in charge of their lives, while at the same time being an available and responsible parent has taken a lot of learning and rebalancing. It has made me sad to not be needed in the same ways as when they were little. It has made me fiercely proud of them. I hope to continue learning how to hold them close without holding too tight.

My daughter graduated from university this May summa cum laude, phi beta kappa, with department honors. She is preparing for publication in science journals two research projects she conducted as an undergraduate. She's the first in my immediate family to graduate from high school; the first to continue on to college and graduate at a "traditional" age. And she is funny, free-spirited, adventurous, and level-headed.... I'm very proud of her. How has this affected me? I'm thinking on this.... I'll get back to this question. I think the significance of this goes back to my upbringing. I was raised in a cult and removed from a world that wsa perceived as alien and dangerous. My father beat my mother and they separated when I was 8 years old. I lived in dangerous places, was sexually abused as a child, then raped when I was 16, caught on the street by two strangers. I missed out on a lot of my early schooling so by the time I reached 9th grade, I just couldn't hack it. A legacy of emotional abuse and mental illness complicated my ability to cope in the world outside the world I grew up in. I used drugs and alcohol as a way to experience myself in a differetn way; not fearful, but exciting and unique (or so I thought). I nearly died from this and my doctor at the time made a pact with me, and after I left the hospital for the third time this year, I chose a different path. I found yoga, became a yoga teacher, tried my hand at an acting career. I married as a way to slow myself down to stop my wild sexual forays; then I had a child, I worked hard to change the legacy that had been passed to me. I worked hard to get an education and after 12 years of undergraduate work, some of it spent in a series of junior colleges I attended along the way, I graduated just after my 40th birthday from a prestigious small liberal arts college with department honors, phi beta kapa, magna cum laude and am now a high school teacher. I bought a house for my 50th birthday. And I helped support my child through her college education. My daughter will carry a different legacy forward. She doesn't hold the traumas I and my siblings struggle still to overcome. I was able to pull myself together to ensure that she has a different life. I am proud how her father and I, divorced when she was just entering kindergarten, worked together and shieled her from our own conflicts so she has a strong relationship with both of us. We did it! And it's now her job to forge forward in her own life while we step back and let her go free into the world.

My brother came from out of state to help me pack to move. We've grown further and further apart, and that was his way of trying to bring us back together. It was sweet.

We got to spend Christmas together for the first time in, I don't know, it must be more than a decade. I was unemployed and had even been cut off my unemployment checks. I was freaked out. My parents paid for my husband and I to fly there, gave us their bedroom and the use of their car and even gave us money to spend on Christmas gifts. I spent time with my brother and his wife, my aunt and uncle, my bachelor uncle, my cousin and several others. I felt warm, safe, and protected. I had always thought that I could never take anything of value from my family- like money- because if I did they'd decide that I wasn't worth the money or trouble and quit loving me. Going through that experience let me know that they really do value and love me- even more than money. Weird, huh? I am valued, loved and wanted by my family and I didn't know or believe it until I was 40 years old. That was the best gift ever. I'm still sorting out what it feels like to be love and wanted. It feels good though, like my feet are on solid ground.

Our son left home to go away to college! It created a sense of open space/possibility for my husband and I to begin to launch this next chapter of life...the concept of time...what to do with my time, how do I take care of myself, my career, my needs and those of my husband are taking center stage for the first time in a long time...

I realized that it's time to fully embrace the idea that my family and my relatives are not the same. My family is the woman I'm engaged to marry, her relatives who love me, the friends who are the first people I turn to in any crisis. It's been completely freeing--now I can take the energy I've been pouring into wretched relationships "because I believe in family" and direct it to my real family. I can give more and the love just seems to keep growing.

My daughter came back home after being forced to live with her father for 6 years. I love being able to take care of her and teach her how to stand on her own 2 feet.

My son is creating his first major motion picture, written by him and his partner. It should be finished early 2013 and could take the world by storm. It's called "Proper Binge" and is about an alcoholic trying to find his way to sobriety. I am praying for him to be satisfied with the effort and satisfied that he saw it through. He needs to get back to his wife and children. The movie is something he has wanted to do all his life and I'm proud that he has taken the bull by the horns.

My brother and I have found each other after 30 years. THis has profoundly affected me and has made me realise that you can forgive and forget and move to a new level, discover a person you did not know. as person whom I appreciate a lot when I have got to know him.But it demands humbleness and patience.

I reconnected with my Aunt and it was a great blessing and feel that my spiritual work has given me a reward

My daughter had a child, my oldest son changed jobs, and my youngest realized he wasn't happy in his marriage. My family is not together any longer. Everyone is going their seperate ways and I am not included.

My little brother got into Oxford. Watching him buy all his new stuff, and seeing my family get excited about him starting as a fresher made me feel a little bit sad that I only have a year left at Cambridge, and it hasn't quite been the incredible experience I hoped for. But it also made me determined to make this last year better.

I turned 50 and we are getting ready to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. I am happy and appreciative of what we have together and where our journey may lead us in the future.

It made me reflect about how deep I trust that we ain't gonna be separated ever again, no matter how, we'll reach anything as long as we stay together, and that's a confortable feeling, a lovable and sweet security. I've never been so happy like in this past three years, walking with God by my side!

Again, the engagement. It's making me realize all the serious life things that I don't have in order, and that I want to have in order before I am legally partnered with someone else forever. I just want to be in as good a place as I can be as an individual before we're married. I think it's important to our future well being. And also I walk on clouds 30% of the time when I'm actively thinking about marrying him.

My paternal grandfather reached his 80th birthday. My family and I attended his party, consisting of many relatives I hadn't seen since I was a child. At first, I was saddened by my lack of relationships with family members, but later realized that I only think I should value these connections because my culture tells me to. Just because someone was born by my dads uncles daughter doesn't mean we have anything in common or should have a closer bond with each other than with anyone else. We shouldn't be expected to support each other more than we should support anyone else.

Our kid graduated college! I am in absolute awe.

I had a heartbreaking moment when I had to choose between my brother's college graduation (for which he struggled for, being at the wrong university for him) and fulfilling a very important responsibility and honor at my own school halfway across the country. My first response to this dilemma was that it sucks I was going to have to miss my brother's graduation. But then I realized how sad it was that I didn't even think about being there for him instead of being there for myself. In the end, after a very emotional conversation with my parents in which I realized that my brother actually really cared that I was not there, I found a way to compromise my own responsibilities (while not completely giving them up) to be there for my brother. I realized that my actions affect my family more than I ever thought possible and that I am closer to my brother than it seems on the surface.

My brother didn't get into the University of Texas his first try out of high school. He had to go to a sister school and take a year there. This year he got into UT and he is now going there. The whole time he was at the sister school he constantly had this thought that he WILL get into UT. After a year of waiting he finally got into UT. Moving him in showed me that long term goals can be accomplished. He set his mind to it and he achieved it, and it showed me is I try I can succeed.

Did not move and uproot family with evil man in N.Y . Affected me in a good way . I was soooooo close to destroying my life and it would have hurt my kids . Never want that , No man is worth that .

I guess maybe the biggest milestone was the 5 days I spent with my sister in September? It's really the first time we've had extended alone time together... it affected me a lot. I started to see how messed up my family, including siblings and extended family, really is. I always knew that my parents caused a lot of problems for me, but I'm finally starting to see all the work that needs to be done around the rest of my family. It also made me really look at myself and the way I treat those "closest" to me.

This isn't exactly a milestone, but my grandparents got one year older. It has just made me think about growing older and how in a few years, they might not be around anymore... It's scary to think about. On the other hand, people are getting married, having babies, graduating from college... It's bittersweet because with growth also come loss.

Our youngest daughter turned 30. It struck me how fast time flies. There is no time to wait to pursue dreams.

I reached 20 years of service with the State, with enough annual leave to take me to my 63rd birthday. I am much less worried about losing my job, and much more confident in my approach to my career and financial decisions.

It's not really a milestone, but it's a big event that happened to my family. My sister was in a car accident in NYC while coming home from work at midnight in a cab. My parents found out right away as my mother was on the phone with my sister when it happened. I found out the following morning around 8:00 a.m. This incident was traumatic for my family. We don't have the best track record with "accidents," remembering back to 1998 when my grandparents were killed in a plane crash. My sister spent several hours in the hospital and left with 10 stitches, a fractured cheek/sinus bone, a completely blood shot left eye, a seriously swollen face, a neckbrace and banged up knees. Not to mention the emotional pain she was feeling. I spent most of Thursday trying to get work done but wondering every minute if I should drive up to NYC just to be with her. We determined as a family that I should stay put and then quickly recognized that we were scheduled to leave for a family wedding in California on Saturday morning. We decided, again as a family, that the best thing for Maggie would be to attend this wedding and be surrounded by those who love her most. (The alternative was to sit on the couch all weekend and cry.) When we all arrived in California, I realized that this was my time to step up and be the "big sister." I kept Maggie close by my side during all wedding events... I held her hand when she felt weak... I acknowledged and accepted her vulnerability (a rarely seen trait in her)... and I otherwise made sure she was well taken care of. I really felt like I needed to protect her. As it is now a few weeks since the accident, Maggie still needs me. I speak with her via phone, text, g-chat or email every single day and we are working together, as a family, to get her back to 100% Maggie.

My cousin got divorced from a man she married a year before, who had been a part of our lives since childhood. He betrayed her. This caused much hurt, anger and confusion for everyone in my closeknit family. Since the initial shock and pain, I think that we're all closer from facing the truth. Even though it hurt, I feel liberated by the truth. No life is perfect. My cousin is now free to find her besheret, and I'm so proud of and inspired by her strength.

Levi is potty training, so no more diapers for the kids. My babies are going up so fast.

We transitioned our oldest from home school to public school. Less tension at home and with each other. I think we both benefit from the space. It's hard to know when and where to let go sometimes. Growing pains.

My daughter got married. I planned and pulled off a really beautiful wedding that everyone enjoyed. I felt proud.

My father had a stroke during surgery at the beginning of the year, and has not completely recovered yet from either. It is hard on him, and on the family, and appears to be a change that will not reverse in many ways. It seems so sad, as if it's a step down a ladder that none of us are ready or willing to make.

For the first time in as long as I can remember, my brother and I finally had a break through and we began to develop a relationship where we were not just arguing and fighting. We still have a tendency to get on each other's nerves, but at least we are getting to know one another for the first time as people.

We get along SO much better now that we don't live together anymore.

My husband admitted that he doesn't want to have any children with me. This broke my heart, kids have always been important part of my future. Although I have one darling step-daughter who calls me mummy I know that people (including myself) never see me as a real mum.

I feel like all my answers are the same, but the milestone was facing down the largest challenge my marriage has ever faced. We lived a part for 6 months and have come back together with a renewed love and a sense for both of us that this is where we want to be. In the end I am grateful and I hope to never take our love for granted again

My grandpa died back in April. We were there visiting him and I could see how upset my dad had become. We all really stuck together and grew together as a family during that time. Now, I also don't keep big secrets from them, because they didn't deserve to be treated the way I treated them last summer.

Well ups and downs almost every week. My sister came a went wherever she wanted, and hurt us (not physically though) several times. This made me have a different attitude against somethings done in the house. Practically 3 of us live in the same roof, but not on the same home....

It has made me proud to be a mother!

We suffered a major family tragedy. My daughter's first child was still born. None of us will ever be the same. The pain we each suffer is virtually unbearable. The pain Emily and Rene suffer is more than "virtually"unbearable.

Dad's apparent (still not clear) diagnosis with Parkinsons. I think we're all still in denial.

Bad health has clouded everything this year. It has been a complete distraction, overshadowing every part of my life. It has exhausted me, and in many ways, broken me down. I have let a lot of responsibilities slide and need to get back on track and take care of everything. G-d-willing healing will happen. I'm ready for a change!

Scott and Caroline got married!!! This was an amazing day (despite the hairdresser fiasco!) which brought all the family together. So much happiness <3

We lost a loved one. I never had to deal with death until last year. It made me realize how fragile life really is. And the aftermath of emotions and feelings and thoughts that a death can bring.

My dad turned 90. I look at him and hope that I live to be his age with his health; I look at him and think oh my goodness I could live to be his age *without* his pension and hope I don't outlive my money.

I'm pregnant! Conceiving something my husband and I have contemplated attempting for a while and something that we had tried to do before, but it didn't work out (last time, I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks). After waiting a year and a half to make sure we were ready we conceived while I was ovulating this past July and now I am almost 13 weeks pregnant! To say that this has affected me profoundly is pretty accurate, I think. The physical changes I am going through have been and continue to be quite incredible. I am looking forward to being further along in my pregnancy - I have been pretty lethargic and anxious throughout the early months and I am hoping to feel more like myself sometime soon. But this question was really about my family wasn't it? This child will certainly change the dynamics of my family in a variety I ways. My husband and I will go from a two-person household to a three-person household. We will have someone to think about other than ourselves for the first time ever, really. This is exciting - the way we were previously living our lives was starting to feel inadequate and empty. So we are excited as we slowly prepare our home and our lives for a child. Dan and I will be linked together through this child for the rest of our lives. It is a daunting task, but a beautiful thing. This will be the first grandchild for both sets of our parents and the first niece/nephew for all three of our sisters. A new generation will be introduced into the family. Amazing. I felt a bit of pressure from my parents to have a child - Dan and I seem to be the only "breeders" on my branch of the family tree. I am happy and relieved that the birth of the net generation seems to be underway.

Well, my uncle has basically disowned me because I married someone Jewish. This has had a huge affect on my family life - as he is the main caretaker of my grandmother (my only living parent or grandparent) and all family get-togethers happen at their house. My husband isn't welcome there - and neither am I really. So, I feel really cut off from the only family I have known - esp. since my mother died in 2003 - after which, me and her brothers and sister became close. That was my family for 10 years. And it isn't the same anymore. It's very sad. Now that we are having twins, it's even sadder. I know my grandmother will get to meet her great-grandchildren. It's just not the same as it was. There can be no in-tact family feeling while my uncle continues to bar me and my husband from the house.

My Aunt Martha died a couple weeks ago. It is a milestone, because it is the first aunt/uncle of that generation on my mother's side to pass away. I believe that for their generation and mine, it is a milestone. I feel deeply for her husband, who is my favorite uncle, Bobby, my mother's brother. I really cry when I think about it, because he loved her so much, and he took such good care of her. I want them all to still feel happy and hopeful about the lives that they live, but I imagine as their closest companions die, that must be very difficult.

My great Aunt turned 100. I'm not totally sure how to name how this has affected me, but it's evoked a mix of admiration and respect for her, and older people in general, and reflection on the passage of time, how society and people change over time, and aging. It's been both impressive to see how well she's aged, and sad to see her recently seeming more ready to die - referencing this, facing increasing bodily strains, and becoming increasingly paranoid and negative. And yet, she remains steadfast in valuing family and her personal values. She's an amazingly strong woman and especially given my not having any living grandparents, I value her presence. I hope as my life settles, that I make the time to see her more in the next year. Time is precious.

My sister finished her training program and got the job she wanted.

Going on a family ski trip!! Unfortunately my sister wasn't there but it was amazing to have the family together. It really showed me what I miss when I'm in Albury but reminds me that I am loved. I understand the financial side of the holiday was exorbitant and everyone still came. I am appreciative of my parents for attempting to ski for me. They are above and beyond amazing. I just really love my family.

My mother has now been in a nursing home for 2 years. Its made me wonder how good a daughter I've been. Also, as I watched my father attending to my mother and I am single, it has made me wonder when my time comes how will I handle it by myself?

I have become closer to my grandchildren this past year and welcome their affection so very much. They are now approaching adulthood and have become terrific young people. It ia nice to see how they are increasingly able to stand on their own feet and express opinions that are mature and thoughtful. The baton passes!

In August 2012, I finally moved out. I've realized just how much I took my mom for granted: her support, her companionship, her love. And the same goes for Adam. Living without them is quite lonely in comparison. I'm glad Aaron has been around to help the transition... but now that he's in Bangkok for three months, it's even clearer how much I miss home.

Family has been shifting from biological relatives to brothers and sisters who are awake and loving and embracing of all experience. It's not always easy to have so much love and not always have people physically close to share it with. Learning to share love in person is a challenge too but more than worth it. This is making me realize how wonderful it is to live.

I graduated from my education/arts degree. Since finding work I've begun to be overwhelmed by my mediocrity. I can only hope that I will become an exceptional teacher with practice and experience.

My parents and I have learned to find the balance of me being at college and them being, in a sense, "empty nesters". They've found their own activities and I've learned to stand on my own emotionally. I don't feel the need to run crying to them if something goes slightly array. I'm learning to handle things on my own. I definitely realize how lucky I am to be at Emerson. I also realize how fortunate I am to be close to home. This helps a lot with that balance; we know we're only an hour away and being together isn't a colossal investment, burden, or hassle.

What a Question! I've been thrown out of my whole life: home, relationship, commitments... I've been affected gravely. But I've also found deep friendships and great kindness and generosity. I'm definitely humbled.

Ears: My husband has decided to quit teaching because he can no longer distinguish the speach of small children. Fortunately Uncle Sam is providing the latest apparatus, but the problem remains. I have consequantly become maternal toward my own hearing aids after having lost three of them in two years. Teeth: My husband has decided to get his cleaned twice a year after having several capped recently. I have had one fron tooth replaced and a prognosis of another in danger. I have consequently begun brushing hygienically at least twice a day after years of ignoring the whole thing. It's turning into a religious duty.

Can't think of any milestones. We all made it through!

My younger son was finally able to enter into detox, followed by rehab and has been clean so far for five months as of today. This has had a very positive effect on me and him, but the prior year was sheerest hell. He returned "home" for the first time in many years - supposedly to help me (I've become physically disabled). However, as it turned out, he had become an addict from early on in his absence (living with his negligent father ) so discovering this was a great shock. Living with an "active addict/alcoholic" was also catastrophic for me - caused a deterioration in my disabilities and the condition of the house. He'd ostensibly come to help me get it in order, as I have long become unable to care for it. Learning about and his addiction, and subsequently going through the rejoicing of his "getting clean" (however provisionally) has been a life-changing experience - from the abyss to the mountain top. Or at least, on the "Mountain path" with much progress.

We bought a house and had our second child in the span of three weeks. I feel like our family is finally complete, and we have at last settled into a permanent (or at least more permanent) home. I could die happy right now knowing that I have completed all that I truly want to achieve in life (although I hope to stick around for the bulk of my kids' lives!). At the same time, though, it scares me to think of how relatively young I am, and how there's plenty of time for things to go wrong. I don't want to think that way, but the uncertainty of the future worries me more than ever.

No major milestones this year.

BLESSED! Better than ever! Feeling so passionate about the possibilites! And so loved now.....so supported!

Just a little over a year ago my parents separated, and I did not deal with it well at all, but I am proud to say that I have almost fully come to terms with our situation, and I have started to be alright with it all. I have never been so close to my brother and sister, and I have learnt to love my dad again.

In mid-September, I moved out of my parents' place, having spent a couple of years back with them, in my childhood home. Feelings of freedom, space, and autonomy, if some worries about financial sustainability. Early days, but we'll see how it goes.

The birth of my half-brother. Our life totally changed, our freedom is very limited and I am often really exhausted, let alone my mother. But he gives us so much without any hidden agenda, this weighs everything up.

I had an early miscarriage in June. I got over it pretty quickly, considering how much pressure I felt to get pregnant fast (I am 36 and would love to have two more children, so the clock's tick is louder and louder). But it was incomplete, and I had to go back to the hospital every week for "expectant monitoring". Every week, I went in bring told that if it wasn't back to normal, they would do a D&C and that would be it, every week I came back out with nothing, because my levels were "so close to normal, we don't usually do a D&C at this point". It lasted two months like that. Two long, emotional, insanely frustrating months. But strangely, I think the effect it had on me, this long war of attrition, was to get me to the point where I had to face the fact that I may not get pregnant quickly. I may face other miscarriages, I may even, God forbid, lose a child at birth, or to SID. All the stories I heard in return when sharing mine were by far worse than what I felt ready to handle, but I had to basically face my worst fears. So now, I hope to get pregnant again soon, but I am aware of the fact that it may be an uphill battle. Of course, it may also go well, go the way I want with all my heart for it to go. But if it doesn't, there is not much I can do. The strange part is that there is a certain serenity in that acceptance. Giving up was hard. There were tears and pleading and plan B's and all. But now I feel much lighter. I am not optimistic yet, but I am not panicked either.

The biggest family milestone was my brother's marriage. This has vastly changed the make-up of my extended family. I have been building a relationship w/ my sister-in-law. In addition, she has a large family that she is very close to, so there are several other families that i am now connected to. And my son suddenly has 4 cousins close to his age. It is sometimes tricky to negotiate, bcs they are used to a lot of togetherness, and i am used to my social life being outside the family. Also, my family until now has been much smaller. The also have a different family culture in many ways (e.g. getting each other extravagant gifts for every b-day). But I am basically happy to have this new branch of the family tree, and they have been incredibly welcoming to me and my son.

Getting married has been the biggest milestone. Moving in together has made me re-learn again and again that just because something is different from what I'm used to, that doesn't mean it's bad or wrong.

Dad retired from work. It has made realise that the time is coming soon when I will not be able to rely on my parents as much as I have in the past. It is another step towards "growing up".

I got pregnant for the first time! For the most part, it's been a very, very happy time for me and my husband. I don't know if it's hormones or what, but I have really enjoyed having a little person inside me. I feel contented in a way I never have before.

My sister is getting married in December. This major milestone hasn't happened yet, but I'm happy to sort of be a part of it. I live far away from her and the rest of the family so I feel a little left out. I know it's about her but I do wish she would make the effort to involve me.

My best friend, who is really more like my brother, had a baby boy. I could not have been happier for them, even though I've been desperate to have a child of my own for years. I am going to be the best auntie there ever has been, and I am trying to spend as much time with them as humanly possible.

My brother got married a few months ago. Before I felt a vague, general nagging that I should be married, but my brother's wedding made the problem a lot more acute. In the short term I'm still not ready to be married, which is frustrating. But I've done some important self-help work since that time, and I feel like I'm making real progress, so that's good. I still feel completely unready to set a deadline, even a tentative one, as to when I should be married by. Sigh.

My nephew couldn't get a job, despite a brilliant First and an MSc (which should have been vocational). I couldn't do a thing and was sad to be helpless. So many wonderful young people have been suffering like this. He has finally just got a job - what a relief. Just hope it goes OK.

My family is not limited to blood, but to the friends I consider family. One of my best friends from the time we were 16 moved across the country and in with me. It was a bit of a gamble, how living together would effect us, but five months later we are still living it up.

My grandmother turned 91. Both my mother and father turned 65. My brother turned 35. My dog passed away at the age of 8. I believe losing my dog, Boris, had the greatest impact. I had the opportunity to absorb as much of his life and consequently, my life, that I could over a span of 4-5 months. I learned a great deal about letting go and realizing there is no life or death, just energy changing forms constantly. We are all cosmic dust... My challenge to myself is to continue to learn and grow and improve my ability to be in the moment and nothing else.

Monica and I bought a new house, not in the ghetto. Or not as much in the ghetto. This feels like a real grown-up house, not something we're waiting out. It feels good. Feels like life is moving someplace. Although moving, by itself, doesn't solve everything, it's a stupid to say it doesn't solve anything. It can solve a great deal if you use the opportunity to make changes, to re-engineer habits. And I have been doing an okay job at seizing this moment.

A major milestone in my family this past year was my 80 year old grandmother getting married for the third time. She went away on a cruise in January and a month later told us she had a new boyfriend- a British man named George. A month or two later, they decided to get married. She's definitely crazy so the family decided she can do what she wants as long as George is a good person. And he is! We were all really surprised. He is a legitimate English gentleman. (Who doesn't like tea, but I'm going to ignore that.) I don't know that it's affected me a lot yet- we had a huge family reunion/wedding celebration, she's living in England now, but I don't see her a lot anyway. She has mentioned going to Israel to visit me, but hopefully that won't happen. :S I don't think I could handle that.

My dad became eternal. I imagine his hugs. My mom has been so close to him that I wish one of my hugs can take away her pain. Deep down I feel he's still there with us but it would take time for us to embrace this change of presence.

My daughter got married (even though they've insisted on keeping it a secret until we have the 'big' wedding ceremony in about 22 months) and I've grown to really love my son-in-law. I love spending time with them (even though it's been less often than I'd like because of the dissertation), being able to help her with her design decisions (renovating their house), bringing them food/goodies or making them things ... or conversely eating dinners they've prepared at their house. I'm sitting in their new family room right now listening to them talking about landscaping their front yard (and joking around with each other) and enjoying every minute of being here. :)

It has made me appreciate how we care for, and think about, the elderly.

My grandmother had a stroke. It has changed her completely and how we all interact with her.

Which family? Niece got married -- nephew and family got deployed to England. Was fun being with Debra and being one of the 'aunties' helping with the wedding .. and am sad I didn't visit the nephew and family in Georgia before they left.

For some reason the major milestone I want to share is my own marriage -- I got married. I got engaged and married all in this past year. It feels good and scary and fantastically comforting.

Well, my brother's prison time went from being more in front to more behind. I will be picking him up on his release this Friday. As the time left hit 99 days I started to get excited about his imminent exit, his return to life and love and the real world. The 90s and 80s (of days left) went by quickly, then the 70s bogged down, seemed like they took forever. Then the rest have started to accelerate, and now it is five days to go. Five days. I feel lighter, more able to be happy, to enjoy the good things in life. The background weight of my brother being "inside" is giving way to a new perception, of him at last moving to ward a new life, a time of rebuilding, of liberty, of self-determination.

my BB went to live with her dad life sucks

Marrying my husband was the most significant event for me this past year. It joined my family together - no more questions, no more doubts. Everyone put the past and their feelings behind them, and we were finally able and allowed to celebrate our love. It meant having the respect and status that comes from calling someone a husband -- not a boyfriend, or a lover. It means that I am connected to him all things...in all decisions. It means he will be my partner for the rest of my life.

Marriages and births. It's so wonderful being able to share in these moments with my family.

Well, my sister got accepted into nursing school, which didn't come as much of a surprise. I am so incredibly proud of her, but also so incredibly jealous. I haven't gotten my school work in check until recently, and I wish my parents would be as proud of me academically as they are of her.

I can't think of one milestone. Isn't that sad? My daughter is in her 4th year of college-- she's next years' milestone. :-) My "Army" son is going to be deployed to Afghanistan in November. This is his third deployment, first time to Afghanistan. He's EOD-- think Hurt Locker. My other son is, in many ways, a mystery to me. He's so like me (but without the anxiety), but in other ways, so different. He's married, seems happy in his couple-hood and trying to start a family. We're more than 900 miles apart and distance does take its toll. My sister's mental health is spiraling out of control and there's nothing that can be done. She won't admit there's a problem and her life has been one catastrophe after another. Her grandsons live with her and they've never experienced stability. It's all history repeating. I guess I feel helpless and gloomy.

Major milestones. Well, my mom moved from Monte Vista to Denver a couple of months ago. This was a huge change for all of us because that it who I've been staying with when I go back home to Monte Vista for the last 15 years. I've basically raised my son in her home and now she isn't there. So, now I get to do it from my dad's house. The feel is definitely different and lying under his roof has felt..... well, I guess there is a comfort and an opportunity to heal the wounds from the past with my dad and being raised in that home until the time I was 16. I asked for there to be healing between me and my dad. I thought that meant him changing, but instead it's been a force of us coming together due to the circumstances. I didn't really feel like I had a choice. My dad also relapsed from him being "sober" - aka dry (no program) for 18 months. While it heavily affected me when I found out, I had to come to realization that the only person that I can control is me and not to worry about his side of the street. It's made things a lot easier. Christa got married this June. My brother, Christa, and Brittaney are all married. I'm 32 and have still never been married. I take a deep sigh and realize that all things will happen in their own time. Diondre got his license. I can't believe that my son is growing up and almost going to be 17. I remember thinking of what it would be like when I was this age and he was his. I now wonder what it will be like in the next 10 years.

The milestone was my turning 70. It drove me nuts, with depression and jealousy until medicine and therapy brought me out of it. I believe that it has changed me for the better. I think I understand that I am rich, with much beauty and sufficient wealth and great family and friends. I think I am much less angry than I have ever been, and I understand my circumstances and the way I must interact with the world and what I need accept much better.

My parents celebrated their 23rd Anniversary. While I'm happy for them, I still feel like it's never going to happen for me. I'm just not the marrying type. Too awkward, I can't meet people, people never like me.

The biggest milestone is that we have Lu. She is our last child. It is clear that we cannot expand any more energy. We just don't have it in us. But we are so happy that she is here. It's hard to imagine life without her. She completes our family.

Figuring out what was causing my Dad's stroke-like symptoms and finding out that it was instead a problem with his liver. A biopsy is scheduled but with the right medication additions and changes, things are definitely looking up. Now the major hurdle is also keeping him on his diet.

In this past year my brother has learned to forgive my mother. This is a major thing for me as it is a step towards my family coming together to be whole again as well as it is one step closer to me not being in the middle anymore.

Talk about work-life balance! There's nothing that pulls you to presence than children.

I can't really think of any major milestones this year. We had enough in the past few years that God realized we must need a break.

My grandfather's suicide. The last one that made my immediate family make sense to me is gone, and before I could show him the man I could be, and before my children could know him enough to respect him. But I understand why.

My son Phillip graduated and moved away from home. We miss him and worry sometimes about him, but know he's doing what he needs to do (and not on my couch!) be independent and deal with this tough economy.

I can't think of a major milestone for my family. Maybe that speaks to the face that I'm sort of distanced from them, not only physically but in other ways also.

My brother got engaged. He is happy. It makes me feel good that he is taken care of. But I can't help to think that I will never meet a partner. Successful relationships and marriage tend to make others reflect about their own relationships. I have none. ha. Makes me want one.

My sister moved to germany. I feel great loneliness and loss.

My husband's kids and grandkids came for a visit after 3 years and in November my daughter and her family will come after 3 years. Very joyous to have family in your home. It makes it very hard when they leave because it reminds you how much you miss every day.

Nothing major this year, just continued good fortune for which I'm very grateful.

No major milestones for my family this year. Maybe my brother breaking up with his girlfriend but that was a long time coming and all in all a good thing really.

My step son has just left for University to study music production. I'm going to miss him and I'm a little envious of the breadth of his potentials

Two milestones: I finished my MFA at a semi-advanced age (58), and we were made aware that our adult child is suffering from serious, and probably life-long depression. We had known that they had other difficulties, but this past week we have been made aware of the severity of their condition. Going forward into the next year is now a big question mark for us on all kinds of levels. We are afraid, and sad, but I am also determined to support my child, because their life has meaning and value despite everything.

I hit 60 today, 29,915 days since I appeared on the planet. Although I still do the work of two people in my profession, and do most of our home improvements and rehab, today I feel very, very old. Is 60 really the new 50? I'll let you know in a year or so...

We have moved from a 3 bedroom house, to a small flat for a short period while waiting to move into our six bedroom house. For us this was a major mile stone, affording each child their own bedroom - (we have 5 children still living at home) The peace of kids not sharing rooms - the bliss of less fights - the space, the beauty, the garden, the pool! A blessing from God.

My uncle passed away in a tragic waterskiing accident and it completely shook our family as he was one of the most generous, loving, capable men I know. It also brought pieces of our family a little closer. Grateful for the time we did have and I am trying to use it as a reminder to be in the moment with everyone.

My first grandson went to a different college and is enjoying the course much more than the last one, is working and is much happier. I don't see him but I'm really glad about it.

I fell in love with the most incredible man, whom I have known for six years. I had long since given up and surrendered the hope that I would find someone that compliments me so profoundly. I had also given up the idea of marriage, and children. Now I find myself so deeply grounded and joyful in the fact that I might just get it all, and I am so incredibly humbled and blessed by his love. I can't wait to spend forever with him. The outpouring of love and support despite the drama of his ex has been almost as much of a blessing, and my hope is that it can bless them as well, and give them hope.

My sister-in-law (SIL) is pregnant and due in March 2013. I was sort of taken by surprise when they told me because I didn't expect them to try to have a baby for another couple of years. My SIL has been struggling with mental illness for several years and although she has it under control and is in a good place, I still thought they were going to wait for her to be stable for longer. So when they announced the pregnancy, my first thought was of slight concern. Perhaps a little selfishly, I don't want my niece or nephew to be born into an unstable environment. I had every confidence that my brother is ready and will be a wonderful father, but I still had reservations about my SIL. Is she mentally ready? Is she mature enough? Will her mental illness be passed down to her child? I would never say any of this to her of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if other members of my family at least dabbled with such concerns. Now having lived with this news for several weeks, I am gaining confidence that she is ready for this huge responsibility and that she will grow into a wonderful mother. She also has 9 months to prepare herself. I have no choice but to trust that they made this decision after a lot of thought and that as a team they will do the best they can with the love and support of their family.

I took my father to Israel and introduced him to my people and while I'm not certain I'll ever know what he thought about the experience, I learned so much! Not just about him, but about my relationship with him and how other people see it. I'm pretty damned lucky in my father.

Aunty Stella beating bowel cancer. I realised the strength in our family and that mum has lots of strength too.

This is probably the easiest one to answer at the moment. On a smaller level, i still find the aging that every one is undergoing startling. But the biggest thing to happen is clearly Chaya's death just over a week ago. While she was sick for awhile leading up to her death, it still came as a shock when she died. It certainly has been very sad for me, but not as powerfully sad as i would have anticipated. I really wish i would have gotten to know more about her, and not to have just discovered all these things about her that i had no idea of until her death.

My mother got out of her previously shitty teaching job and got a much better teaching job. This has helped my family with bills and has meant my parents can start paying me back which has helped with my finances.

My sister really looks up to me, and I've kinda blown that off in the past because I'm a stupid teenager with my stupid teenage problems, but now I'm making an effort to be there for her, 'cuz I know how hard late elementary school/middle school can be.

All three of my children are settled in life in good neighborhoods, good homes, good marriages, good families, good values, great faith, and contentment with their lot in life. This is remarkable and I praise God.

My youngest daughter has graduated from college. She has her first job and I am terribly proud of her. Even though she lives with us, she is paying rent and starting to take on added responsibilities. She is being launched.

My brother has been separated and it looks like they're heading for divorce. I personally feel it's better for each of them but I do want my brother to take care of himself and learn to live on his own a bit without need of another person to fill his emptiness.

My aunt passed away. It was sad but also a great way to celebrate a beautifully accomplished woman. It showed me how vulnerable we all are.

Well, my cousin got married -- leaving me as the oldest unmarried grandchild -- and I finally moved out of home. Both of these things have been very positive. My relationship with my parents and my brother and sister improved substantially when we stopped being in each others' faces constantly. Meanwhile, having my cousin's husband around makes family functions a little more bearable. Good year overall.

My cousin and his girlfriend (who have a child together - unexpectedly) separated. My boyfriend's brother and now wife, went to Hawaii "on vacation" and got secretly married - keeping it from anyone for a month. The break-up of my cousin felt like breaking up a part of the family, and the union of my potential future brother and sister in law felt equally destructive. It was malicious and selfish for them to keep it a secret. If they wanted to get married just the two of them, that's fine, but they gave everyone in the family a huge slap in the face with their disrespect of keeping it a secret. I found out before my boyfriend and had to tell him, it was awful. I suppose in both these cases it felt as if people who were close to me were just not using good judgement and not realizing the consequences of their actions. To cousins: USE BIRTH CONTROL! To the other two: DON'T DISRESPECT YOUR FAMILY! Both cases have put a lot of pressure on me to keep my relationship in tact and not get pregnant when I can't financially handle/want a child as well as to be the model couple for my boyfriend's family and friend group - and to have a large wedding (his mother has already talked to me about it).

I talked with my parents about changing residency to North Carolina this summer. I think it was the first time I really expressed to them my desire not to live near them in Florida. I think the conversation went very well, and knowing that my parents are behind my decisions to explore more of the world makes me less hesitant about coming home for periods of time, because I know I can leave when I want to.

My mom turned 90. I am so grateful that she is still around and pretty healthy. She's also happy and enjoys life. You can't ask for more than that!

I was handfasted to my girlfriend with a crowd of 50 friends to help us celebrate our union. Of course this was significant on a personal level, but as a woman who is already married to a wonderful man, it is also a reflection of changing ideas about marriage, sexuality, and what it means to be a family. I am grateful for the abundant support I have in my life as well as hopeful that society's views on issues like gay marriage and alternative relationships will continue to be more open and loving.

My brother went to court for a drug charge. He was charged with two high level felonies. We were terrified he would go to jail, but in the end the judge dropped one felony and the other he dropped to a lower level felony. My brother never had to serve time. Thank G-d. He didn't get off scott free of course, but I know jail time would have torn my family apart. The whole situation was terrifying for me. Especially because before he got arrested my other brother and I tried to get him to stop, but we were to late. It was devastating, but I am so relieved that he did not go to jail. My life would have changed drastically if that had happened.

My sister got a scary diagnosis with fibroids, one on her ovary, and has to see an oncologist this week, and has to have surgery. jeez.

My daughter came back home from Florida and is currently living on property. I guess I'm mostly waiting for her to decide to leave again. That's hard. I think my husband really loves having her here. Only time will tell how it all works out.

El haber conseguido un trabajo. Mis papás se sienten orgullosos, y aliviados al mismo tiempo ya que aunque poco, podré contribuir económicamente al sostén de mi familia.

The arrival of our baby son was a major milestone. It really hasn't turned my life upside down, like everybody said it would. It's more like - it has expanded my idea of who I am. It has allowed me to be more than I was.

IT WAS THE FIRST TIME IN MY MOTHER'S LIFE WHEN SHE FELT ILL ENOUGH TO CHECK INTO THE HOSPITAL SHE IS ELDERLY NOW SO WHEN SHE FEELS LIKE SHE HAS TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL IT IS USUALLY FOR A MAJOR, SIGNIFICANT REASON. THIS EVENT THREW MY MOM'S LIFE EXPECTENCY INTO MY FACE. I HAD NEVER WORRIED BEFORE BECAUSE SHE HAS ALWAYS BEEN SUCH A STRONG, VITAL WOMAN. NOW, I AM VERY AWARE OF HER AGE, 87, AND THAT EVERY DAY IS PRECIOUS.

I can't tell you. I've managed to be fairly estranged from them. My mom helped me buy the car. I didn't think there was a chance in hell that would happen. Primarily because on the few occasions that I've asked for help with things to improve my credit she's flat out said no. So now I'm 26 and in a massive hole. She at least lowered me a bucket of lotion. The other thing came just the other day when I heard a passing comment on you tube that my little brother might finally be aware that he's an alcoholic. I hope that gets better before it gets worse.

My wife and I have begun to take a serious look toward the ends of careers. We are now making plans for eventual retirement. It will be good to rest.

My mother turned 90, healthy and happy and we gathered family and friends to celebrate

About a year ago I found out that my older sister is my half-sister. My parents had known this for twenty years but neither me nor my sister, Kerri, knew. It was tough to find out about this because I was scared Kerri would feel differently about me. After discovering this, we looked into who her biological father was on Facebook. Then we found out that she had another sister and had gone to high school with her. Kerri and I always had a turbulent relationship and this discovery gave me some solace about our differences. However, even though we were not close before I do believe it has made her feel more distant.

A major milestone that happened with my family this past year was their actions. My parents always say I am welcome to stay for as long as I want. I am a believer that talk is cheap. However, my parents proved me wrong. They both encouraged me to leave ACS so that I could focus on my master's program and work part-time on campus. They have never made me feel guilty about living at home and have been helping me financially. It proves how much both of them really care for me and the goals I am trying to achieve. This past year has taught me that their actions speak louder than words. I am forever grateful for the chances they are giving me to succeed.

The loss of my grandparents will shift the dynamic of my family in as yet unknown ways. It will be harder to hold the whole together.

This summer after I had my bunionectomy, Eric came to stay at the house for a few days, knowing he would have to interact with my parents. He didn't express any discomfort or hesitation about spending time at home, showing at the very least an to the potential awkwardness or a resolve to get past the anger and hate placed towards my family over the past few years. In fact, Eric interacted pleasantly enough with my father, spending a number of hours in the same room watching movies, and even explaining some complex stories with patience. His presence was a great help to me and a boon to my father, who had not seen him in years. A week later, Eric came back to help me yet again, and this time my mom was back from Israel. He spent an hour talking with her in about his career goals and his current job, and shmoozed with family friends very pleasantly. It brought such joy to my parents and to me to see that the healing process, however slow, had begun.

For one our daughter decided to take a gap year exploring Central and South America instead of college. It's been a love/hate reaction.

Becoming a mother has opened my eyes to the amount of love that can be shared with a child.It has made me more grateful than ever to be alive and to be there for my child. It has also made me love and appreciate my husband more, although at times I feel he doesn't do enough to support me.

No births, no weddings, no funerals (thank G-d!) We just found out yesterday that Suzanne has bladder cancer. I was surprised at how deeply I am affected. I feel so terrible for her, and I am very worried about her survival. Every time I see a quilt or scrapbook, I think of her. I pray to G-d that her health is restored so she may live a long happy life to enjoy her children and grandchildren.

One of my grandsons started at a private school. He has adjusted well and now we see if his brothers join him in the future.

The major milestone of the year would be the passing of my mother in February 2012. She was 89 years old and had been in declining health for the past 5 years. I think the main affect on me has been the realization that I need to have more get togethers with family and friends and to add as much fun into my life as I can. As time passes it speeds up - everyone knows that - and we need to enjoy every minute that is available to us.

My Vanilla Ice Cream Man has passed. The Fournier Family has entered into a big change. I am sad, but still working on the day to day things to take care of Mom.

My sister went to live by herself in the city. I'm very, very proud of her and I miss her a lot. But I'm also proud of how my parents handled the situation and supported her in every way. It has made me appreciate my family maybe even more. We are so blessed.

My sister decided to help my brother move from up north to Ottawa; his wife died the year previously, and he was struggling there alone. It has not been an easy transition--we are not similar in our views, etc., but I'm trying to help him and be a positive influence. On the down side, I find his choices anger me (drinking, smoking) so I have to work hard on how I respond to this.

Sister's new job. My parents would have been so proud of her. I'm just a little jealous that shestill has so much professional eneregy. ...

I cannot think of any milestones, major or otherwise.

I travelled with Kathy and Devin to Boston and my daughter and goddaughter began to form a bond. It made me very happy and I felt content. It means something to me that my daughter feel connected to people I love and that my goddaughter feel part of my "new" family.

I have left my last lover and so has my sister. If anything, it has shown me just how resilient we are as women. We no longer have to stay in relationships that are abusive...my sister & I have houses in our names...no man required! My lovers now have to treat me the way I should have been treated all along or else hasta la vista baby!

The family went away for two weeks without tv, videos, game machines, etc. I was only there for part of it and had to work during part of my time there. Seeing the kids so happy and free was the best.

This year has been quite marked by death. The lover, the cat, the aunt and the 99 and a half year old best friend of my nana. I've found that there is a path to togetherness in all of this. I had a conspiratorial moment with my aunt with whom I'd been less close in recent years. I got in my visit with the nearly centurian "auntie" 2 weeks before she died. I was there the moment my cat died and very present in the two days before her death when she made difficult effort to be together. My lover's old girlfriend and I became close when we hadn't even known eachother before his demise. TOGETHER with all of you I am growing, even in the wake of your deaths and your dying.

Grandma Vicky left her body behind just before the new year of 2012. For one thing, the mental knowledge of her deteriorating state and perceived suffering were put to rest. I felt this in myself and in others, particularly my parents. It must be pretty sobering for them, to be becoming the eldest generation. And for me, becoming the second eldest generation and already seeing the rise of the third... May love and compassion fill the land.

The milestone came in two parts - no need to repeat them. Like I'd ever forget. The first part? Well it will always be devastating. There will never be a day that I don't miss you, gorgeous. But I can look back at you and smile more now than I could five months ago, to say the least. The second part? Also devastating. But we made it out together. Lifelong battles are just that - lifelong. Bumps along the road cannot determine the outcome, and we proved that by being strong, and loving/supporting the one who needed our love/support. Pretty standard for the 3 Musketeers.

My brother has finished his degree this year which means he has come home. I was worried about it to be honest, I wasnt sure how it would affect the balance of the house, not that I didn't want him back at all, but just because I am expected to do a lot even though I work full time so I wasnt sure how this would work. Luckily it has worked out really well. He has really changed for the better. He helps out around the house and we actually talk now which is really nice. We went to the cinema together recently which is something we haven't done for a long time. I hope we will do it more. Having him home has made me feel more supported and respected which is lovely.

My love partner came out to herself as loving another woman (me). She came out to her family, her congregation, her closest friends. I've met lots of them, and we are now able to be open about our relationship. That's a major milestone. It has been beyond wonderful.

My mother was not well. It made me realize my parents are not immortal. Yet I sometimes resent them for many things. I don't want to do that. I want to forgive them. I know what they did was the best they could do for their children. I want to get over bad memories of my childhood.

My husband + I both did a cleansing diet for a month to detox our bodies from photography chemistry, pollution, pesticides, you name it. The end result was a greater outcome than we expected. We both lost a significant amount of weight 15 - 20 lbs + we felt lighter, more energetic + realized that we could eat less + not be hungry. I think that accomplishing this goal together, working as a team, supporting one another through the more difficult times brought us closer together. We also feel better about ourselves as well.

my brother and sister and cousin are all on their way to two kids and i'm getting my second divorce. i want our kids to grow up together. this is time, passing me by for reals. it's not too late yet but it's getting closer.

That would be just this week. First my brother moved to Texas. It was sudden, and I still haven't gotten used to the idea. Then I had surgery and my mom took excellent care of me. I never got along with her, so this was an unexpected surprise. I don't know what any of these changes mean yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it all plays out over the next year.

My cousin got engaged and will be married next year at this time. I am so thrilled for him, but feel pressured to find a wonderful man to make a part of our family as well.

Getting a house together with my boyfriend after 1,5 year of living on my dormroom. It has made me a more relaxed and loving person.

My parents finished their house which means less stress for them. I moved to NY which means I don't see my family as much. In the end I've been able to focus on myself and my career much more than worrying always about everyone else. I miss them, but it's nice to have my time

My parents started fighting like they had when I was a kid. I was transported back into my fourteen year old role of playing mediator. It ripped me up inside. So far they are still together. I think that plus being laid off contributed to a depressive episode over the summer, and thus, the last thing I wanted to do was be in shul around people asking "how are you?" My rabbi encouraged me to come back, and things have improved.

I went on vacation with my cousins to their home in Florida. This is the first time since we were little kids that we actually hung out together. My sister, my cousin and I flew down there to meet them together. This made us a lot closer and more connected than we ever were in the past and it feels good to be close with family like that.

Milestones are rare in my family. I guess my Grandparents finally showed a different attitude towards me. I was never the favourite, and didn't care to be, but there has been a thaw in the way we communicate at least. I go round there now with Sara. That was unthinkable a year ago. It hasn't really affected me hugely because quite honestly I can live either way but it's been good to form a relationship with my Grandfather who is a man I admire and respect on many levels. He's someone I want to know everything about because we're very similar in tastes and outlooks. He's also getting quite old and that's a worry. I don't want to be the guy who never knew his Grandfather. As for my Grandmother, that'll never be loving but at least we're not shouting at each other.

I believe my family is progressing but we are constantly stuck with trials an tribulations. Both of my grandparents are sick and my mom is stuck in a never ending cycle of complacently. Living in this environment has inspired my to make more critical decisions in my life.

We celebrated my father's 85th birthday on July 31st in my new apartment. The celebration was the first time in over 30 years that I was able to celebrate my Dad's birthday in person with him and the rest of the family. I took a video of my Dad blowing out his candles. He was happy as a kid! His face was beaming and he was delighted by all that was going on around him. Dad suffers from dementia and is always worried about where he is and what's going on around him. He doesn't recognize any of us much any more. We have to tell him who we are. If he is not home, he always wants to go home. It breaks my heart to see this weak and vulnerable man who used to be so vibrant and vital. But not this time. Not this day. Dad was happy being where he was and doing what he was doing. It seems the he tables have turned. I am now the adult taking care of my father and making sure he feels safe. I am the protector that my father had once been for me. I am glad I decided to move back home. I am grateful for this time I have with my Pop. I love him so. And as we are in the process of finding long term care for him, I only hope by this time next year, he will still be with us and settled and satisfied with his new surroundings.

The blending of 2 families. So happy to be engaged to a wonderful man and have super supportive future in laws. I feel like I have a permanent family in NJ as well as MD.

I am not close enough to my family. I feel closer to them this year than I have in a long time but I am still just an outsider looking in. I am a little ashamed to not know a major milestone. Is it possible that they don't have one? Absolutely not. Jonny got out of treatment at Christmas time but has been struggling since. That will be a lifelong struggle. Dan is in Junior High, still umping. Jake started his job as a truck driver and has a new girlfriend. I think her name is Jessica. Mom is a warrior. She kicks ass at being a mom but doesn't get any recognition. Dad has a new boss and is very unhappy. I wish I knew what I could do. Grandma might do partial retirement. I hope she visits me in China next year, but she's afraid of flying and there's nothing I can do about that. I need to pay more attention. I need to be more involved. These are my main goals for next year.

My husband has finally been permanently laid off from his beloved steel mill job. Having him around so much has been quite an adjustment, probably for both of us. It makes me remember when we were young and couldn't spend enough time together. The situation is somewhat different now, which is rather depressing. I anticipate a year of creating a new relationship.

We are halfway out of debt. That is mostly my husbands doing. Though I tell him often, I still don't think he realizes how amazing that is. He is a hard working, brilliant man. To be honest, I don't think our financial stability has sunk in yet. I live in fear of poverty. I hope that evens out with the fear subsiding, but us still making wise financial decisions as long as we live.

Our family finally reconnected and moved into the same household after 10 months of trying to get my husband a new job in the area we wanted to live. It brought about many feelings including resentment, anger, and confusion while we were fighting so hard to start over in a new city. I know that this was the right decision for our family now we just need to learn to live together again step by step.

I bought a house & moved in with my boyfriend. We started seriously talking about the future. It's scary and exciting and confusing to be planning and projecting in this way - because I've always lived a life accepting that nothing is certain, especially in the future. And now I come to a point of realizing that for next steps to occur, I have to rely on faith.

Uncle Eddie died and Uncle Marty was in the accident. Both are painful to my mother, deeply so, and underscore to me how emotionally distant I can be.

It's been just over a year since my nephew was born, eight weeks early. He has brought so much joy to all of us. I adore him, but so often wish that I lived nearer to him and wonder how I'll build a relationship with him as he grows up. I am also a bit sad, as I want a family of my own so desperately and that goal feels quite far-off.

My son becoming a bar mitzvah was definitely a major milestone for our family. The most amazing thing for me was witnessing my son be so very confident on his big day. Even when I'm comfortable with people, public speaking terrifies me. It was amazing to see him smiling up on the bimah as he led the service. One of the most fascinating (and difficult) things about parenting is witnessing how your children are different than you- truly their own people. I think seeing my children truly being themselves, and not just extensions of me, allows me to let go of my own past fears and regrets.

My brother had his 3rd baby, my niece, and shortly thereafter cheated on his wife. It blew up during a family gathering, which resulted in me blowing up at my family about how I didn't want to be in a relationship because I didn't ever want to be treated like that, or like any example of relationship that I'd grown up with. yikes. trust issues...right here

I've started to understand just how important it is that my family offers me a place to stay and they feed me and everything. I know that because I have a job I am able to support myself, but that also makes me understand just how lucky I am to have parents that support me as much as my parents do.

My girlfriend and I got two cats. Having them has really made us feel like a family. I can so easily imagine us as parents, and it looks good.

This past year, my brother went through a couple of traumatic events. He went through a divorce and also got into a severe car accident that changed his life. My entire family and I had a hard time dealing with this. This has definitely affected the way I look at situations. I sometimes even question if there is a God, then why do these bad things happen to such good people? On the other hand, even though what happened to my brother was completely undeserving, I believe it brought us all closer together as a family. We were all there together for each other, even through this tough time in our lives. This has certainly made me appreciate my family so much more, and especially has made me realize how much I really do love my brother.

A major milestone would be that my family has bonded together, united by love for tyler, my darling nephew.

A major milestone is my grandmother surviving a major illness. My family didn't handle it 100% perfect but I think that we were all there for my grandmother and it helped in her recovery and happiness now.

We sold my grandparents' house....not exactly against my wishes, but certainly not my first choice. I am so very sad, it is one of the last things connecting me and my mom, and me and my grandparents. It feels like that whole side of my family is disappearing anyway and this seals it. I also realized just this past weekend as we sold it, that what I miss is the memory of what that house *used* to be, not what that house now is. And selling it won't make the memories leave and keeping it won't bring them back to life.

My sister graduated from college in May, leaving me the last child of the family still in college. It is a weird feeling that my three older siblings, and myself, are turning into adults. My sister, my best friend, now lives on the other side of the country in LA. One brother lives in Israel and the other in Chicago. I'm in school in New York, and my parents are back home in Ohio. We have the whole world covered! We are slowly figuring out who we want to be in the world and it is an exciting, yet terrifying feeling. The comfort is, of course, that when we all get together, we don't feel very adult at all.

There was a moment when I realised how incredibly strong and resilient my parent's relationship is. Looking around at how many friends have parents who have separated, and even a friend contemplating divorce herself, I have a renewed respect and awe for their ability to pour effort and love into their relationship - a commitment that will celebrate 30 years of marriage next year. Dad has had a number of health scares this last year which is also a chilling reminder of my parent's mortality. It has prompted me to take as many opportunities, particularly Friday nights and late night talks to get to know them, their family histories and their perspectives on life. They have so much wisdom and experience and I am humbled by how much I can learn from them.

My mother-in-law, Phil struggled with chemo therapy. I watched my husband struggle with the fact of his mother's illness and the likely hood of her dying. It has affected me in a positive way although it has been so sad. I have been kinder to Michael. I have tried to be gentle and caring of him. I've seen his fragile side and all I wanted to do was protect him. I needed to be reminded of this man's sensitivity.

My sister got her first REAL job within her field. I feel a great sense of relief and am coming to realize that she will be ok.

As far as milestones in my family go those are very few and far between. My family is probably one of the most boring families on the face of this earth so I never anticipate anything exciting or good ever happening to us. I dunno I just feel as if my whole family has been a mistake.....my parents getting married was a mistake.....my parents having my brothers was a big mistake, but most of all my parents having me was the biggest mistake. I think that might've been the milestone in fact....me finally realizing that I was actually a mistake and that my parents never truelly expected to have me. I don't know if you can quite call that a milestone but it was quite the revelation for me. It kind of made me see that my whole life has been bullshit and that my whole upbringing was always half-assed and not whole-hearted. __________________ A great source of iron, which helps the blood transport oxygen to tissues and cells.but most of all my parents having me was the biggest mistake.

My brother left his marriage after more than 30 years together. I feel relief that he will finally start to live and find a real lover and partner at last. And I feel sad because he was the last one of we four siblings that was still married to his first partner. Now we have all been divorced and only my other brother is still with his second wife. And he is not happy at all.

My dog and best-friend of 13 years died this past April. I knew I loved her deeply, but I had no idea what an impact her death would have on me. I feel so untethered without her. I don't know when I will get over this loss, but I just keep moving towards my grief.

My son got on his feet, after a fall down the rabbit hole... thank you.. thank you thank you

My grandma got married in April to Tony, my cousin came out to us (on the same day) and another cousin got engaged. None of them have amounted to much of anything in terms of a reaction, but it's a progression in the life of all of them, and it's making me feel like I am getting to an age where I should be thinking about my future long term.

My sisterinlaw was diagnosed with cancer and I love her and care about her. She lives out of town and while we have spent time together many times over these 10+ years, I have rarely initiated contact with my partner's family. I am completely accepted as "family" yet somehow I still feel like I'm not entitled to have direct contact. I think I am just making up a reason to hide; I have forgotten how to initiate and proactively reach out to share love and support. I'm sure she would love to hear from me and I need to reach out.

My cousin, who is in undergrad, started calling me for guidance on his career search. I love that I get to help him. I am so inspired by his attitude and dedication after he's been through a tough road. He was arrested only weeks before graduating high school. While he got off, his parents would not support him going to the school where he planned to start that Fall - U of M - until he went through rehabilitation. Now he is working harder than ever to prove himself, make up for lost time, at a good school, but not U of M. He finally feels that he has found what drives him in his career and life goals, and I am so grateful that he looks to me for support. It makes me feel connected to my extended family in a way I never have been. I can't wait to see how things go for him and to hold his hand along the way.

Lucy came into our lives last November. She is my brother Jamie and his wife Susan's little girl. She was born six months prior, on my sister Katie's birthday. She has been a complete joy. I'm also very happy for Jamie and Susan. For a long time they were uncertain about adoption - interested but not moving forward. Then when they started the process they had some heartbreaks and bumps along the way, but now it has all worked out. They are loving and wonderful parents.

My granddaughter started high school at Duke Ellington School for the Arts. I am so happy and proud. She worked hard to get there and is finally happy to be going to school. I am so very happy for her.

After my dad's death, now two years ago, all of us were affected deeply in different ways. It's taken some of us a really long time to recover and some of us have been thinking a lot more about our own mortality. This year in particular seems to be when everything has been coming together. Brother 1 is more in touch with his kids, brother 2 is healthier than he's ever been and trying to get his wife pregnant. I've dealt with some past issues I had with my dad and my sister is now recovering, has changed her career and is facing some exciting challenges ahead. My mom is now looking at changing her health for the first time and my step-mom is also back at work full time and coming out of the grief fog.

My mom finally got to officially retire! And I left her to come overseas. I still feel pretty guilty about leaving her alone and I miss her more than I even thought I would. I mean I'm happy here, don't get me wrong....but when I think about how lonely she is some days when she doesn't see anyone but the pets I feel really bad. I also now that I'm not keeping in touch as well as I should, but I just feel so busy that it's hard to check in as often as I'd like even.

My sister tried to kill herself last year. I'm working on forgiving her for all the heartache it caused my parents.

We became a family, and thus I finally found myself, after 40+ years of searching.

My parents had their 25 year of marriage anniversary. It made me realise this is special because a lot of people divorce these days

My brother had to serve national service in our "home" land, after being given the false hope that he could forgo his citizenship and not be required for conscription. I miss him and I live with this intermittent paranoia that something is going to go wrong in the camp.

My sisters have been very supportive during my recovery. I feel cared about.

Nick started college, Joan's dad withdrew from living, Amanda's dad died. Having just Max and Erin home is different in a not very desirable way. Max I think likes the attention whenever he wants it, but he misses his brother too. Nick is adjusting fine to college, as we all knew he would. Joan's dad is a huge mental and emotional challenge for Joan. She feels she promised her mom that she would take care of her dad, and he doesn't want to engage in living any longer. That's so hard. Amanda's dad dying will forever change Amanda and our relationship with her as she, at 23, becomes a full time mom to an 11 year old and a 9 year old.

My partner's son had a baby. This event made me question my relationship with her in many ways. I felt caught up in a whirlwind of people who I might never have interacted with as we were so very different and lived in different societal worlds based on class and education. I observed the extreme worst of my partner and how she reacts at times to her children and events that she cannot control. I also watched her son and his girlfriend grow up quickly as they now had a child to think about. It was nice to see the change from the youthful party mentality to a more grown up approach to living.

A major milestone that happened with my family was: Indigo getting engaged to Sean and then getting pregnant! So so so happy and excited for them both. I cannot believe that I'm going to be an Aunty to a little boy or girl (possibly with red hair). Indi and mum are both really excited too of course. I've been thinking of all the cute little things I can make for the baby, as well as thinking of ideas for the wedding. so excited!!!

This has be a relatively calm year for my family, so I'd say my graduation was a big milestone. This event officially forced me into adulthood and gave me complete autonomy from my parents. Also, I adopted Scooter from the shelter and he's thrown a fun wrench in my life.

My eldest child applied to, got accepted by, and is now attending the college of his choice. I am thrilled for him and am enjoying watching him spread his wings and leave the nest. His palpable joy about being in a place that stimulates his intellect and in which he has found peers makes me feel incredibly proud and happy. I also miss him. I am happy to see the ways our relationship is growing, though, both in terms of more communication and less communication... I like that he wants to talk with me and I like that he is building a life of his own in which he doesn't just have me to talk to. It's kind of cool watching my kid become a man.

I've connected with my cousins this year more-so than I have before. It's created a relationship that I respect and enjoy having.

My mother moved here to LA and it has completely changed our relationship...for the better. We communicate and support one another on a level that we haven't since I was in high school. Also, seeing her develop a relationship with my daughter - seeing that little girl's face light up when Grandma arrives - is one of the most special things I've ever experienced.

I think my move to Brazil was big. I feel almost more distant to my family here. Maybe its because im in the phase where my mom lives in the US, but somehow it seemed easier to communicate while i was there. Since i have moved, ive spoken to my sister maybe once, i do see my dad a little more often, and thats one of the things that was really important to me. I need to find a way to bridge the distance.

When my abuela Sara Z''l passaed away, it had an immense impact on my and my family. I felt like for the first time, i failed my family in not being there, especially for my little cousin Nicole who is like a sister to me. I felt helpless from far away and did not know how to be present yet not there.

One thing that has affected me is my mum's worsening arthritis. It's really heart breaking to see her put up with the pain. she hobbles along, eyes dazed, posture rigid, mumbles to herself - totally unlike herself. I felt like she could leave us any moment, and that made me cherish her presence more. the only thing about our family, is we don't express love, so it wasn't easy at all. sometimes I feel like my dad thinks its an obligation for him to take care of my mum, but I tell myself not to think about it

Honestly, I can't think of any. I'm sure there has been a few major milestones but none spring to mind. I guess I've just been so wrapped up in finishing my degree, going after what I want and sorting out my head, there's just no room for anything else. My head...it's what I'd call fuzzy. Full of static. A well oiled machine that's gone rusty. Makes me sad coz I know how much I'm capable of but I can't seem to produce the results or make things happen. If anything major has happened with my family I guess it could even be me. And my head.

There were a few. We moved into a new house, and my youngest daughter moved to India for a year. This leaves us with only one of our six kids at home now. We've had at least two at home for 22 years. I feel like I've entered a new stage of my life. Kind of like the empty nest syndrome, but actually in a positive way. The neighborhood we're in is so quiet it's almost like living in a hotel suite. I'm more relaxed, less stressed about life, and actually feel on top of things for the first time in years. Plus, having moved everything has allowed me to go through all of our possessions and decide what to keep, what to sell, and what to throw/give away. Going through things that had personal meaning for me, but no one else; I've decided to throw a lot of it away. There's no reason to keep anything that reminds me of bad things from my past. It's been an interesting exercise letting go of my old life.

My brother failed to complete his masters degree on the timeline that he set out to do it on. While this was a disappointment to myself and my parents, I think it also taught him and myself a lesson: not everything has to go as planned. Because he didn't get his degree, he now is working full time and finishing his school part time. I know this is a pain to him, but I think it's really showing him that when plans go awry, there is always a way to get them back on track.

It helped me to learn that I am capable of forgiving and not resenting.

Everything happening with Dad. February 6 was one of the worst days of my life and I felt out of control. My sister and I got closer because of this, but it also put a strain on our relationship. I cried a lot, I was angry, I still am angry, but I'm slowly adjusting to this new life and new reality.

My grandfather died. It made me realize how much I don't want to reveal my emotions to my family, but also helped reveal how amazing my grandfather really was, and how incredible his legacy still is. I love you, Grandpa.

My sister is in Cuba this fall semester, and I think I finally realized the full extent of the woman that she's become. It's hard letting go of the image of her that I have from childhood/teenage years - selfish, twerpy, shallow. But she's spent the last two summers canvassing for non-profits and has really delved into unions and workers' rights and she's in Cuba writing a thesis on workers' rights in single party, socialist states. I am so damn proud of her. And I love that feeling.

My dad retired. My parents are suddenly finding themselves in more debt than anticipated so now they are trying to sell their house. Then it came out that my dad actually quit his job as a teacher because he couldn't keep up with all of the work, and my parents are telling everyone that he retired a little early. His health is declining. Ironically, it feels like we are all more distant as a family than ever before.

Two milestones 1. My daughter graduated from high school, selected a college and formed a plan for the coming year. Observing and assisting with this process was as difficult as giving birth again. I'm still struggling to define my role & my feelings in her life as a young adult. 2. My parents have moved from their home of 43 years (my home since I was 12 years old). The work of watching and helping them grow old has been painful, both physically and emotionally. It is not yet over, though my brothers & I will probably complete the clean-up and sale during the coming year. I have reached a certain level of acceptance, though, and that makes the job much easier.

A major milestone for our family this year was our son deciding he was ready for sleep away camp this summer. I've already talked about the fact that I had breast cancer. I've also just talked about the fact that I have something wrong with my back. But to be honest these aren't milestones in comparison to how my son is flourishing. Our summer revolved around David's going away to sleep away camp. He went to music camp for two weeks and had a wonderful time! This reminded me so much of my wonderful summer that I met Maryiln. I also felt great when he went away to Jewish camp for a week. All of these times that he was away gave my husband and I and I a chance to connect, really connect, go places together do things together, we had a wonderful time as a couple. and we didn't worry about where we were going it wasn't such a big deal if we didn't leave and go some place like Hawaii. We chose places to go away around town we went to we went to timber Cove ,half moon bay , Gurneville ...we spent time at the beach we had a blissful experience together. We went to Armstrong forest,And I was active and able to climb and walk around and do tons of stuff tidepools finding the fairy forest walking through huge redwood trees and all of that was together really together. Best of all we also went away a couple of times together as a family and took the dog with us for the first time both of those experiences were really rich to an something that we didn't do in previous summers and I want to do again.

Hmmm, a major milestone. There is a new glimmer on the horizon for our family. And it has made me really happy, and excited. I am glad we waited for "the right time." May it be His will.

We continue to celebrate my mother's survival, against the odds, she is two years into living with stage 4 lung cancer. I couldnt be more happy that she is still with me, but also it serves as a constant reminder of how important that relationship is - and Im still afraid of the future without her.

Two new babies were born! Maya Virginia was born to my mother's cousin Anna and her husband Josh in August, and Hannah was born to my aunt Heidi and her husband Rick in March. They are so adorable and I can't wait to get to know them!

The major milestone was getting a good paying job with decent benefits. This had a great positive effect on my wife, who had been very depressed about our financial future. She has become more positive since I've passed my probationary period. My outlook has become more positive and I have more of a can do attitude, and a real sense that I need to do whatever it takes to succeed. Small obstacles don't bog me down like they used to. I'm enjoying traveling and meeting clients and seeing new cities for the time being. I want to be able to continue this life style by performing well for the company.

I have moved in with my niece (who's 2). She reminds me that life is full of wonder and excitement. And no matter what happens when she lays her head on my shoulder and say "I love you" it's all worth it.

My aunt has cancer. My cousin is always getting sick. My sister is trying to get her life on track. My dad and mom are working hard. Nothings really significant. It's all just so droll.

I had the kids to myself for the weekend for the first time since they've been born -- 4 years! It was AMAZING! I felt so self-sufficient, capable, not micromanaged, and free. It cemented my hunch that I could handle it all on my own while giving them what they need and also having a great time doing it! I can't wait to do it again!!!!

Talia moved back east. Naomi came to visit from Israel with her boyfriend., David B. got his first job post college. Mikey Rudin got engaged to Alex, and Sophia turned 4 and Liam 2. The kids are all growing up, moving on, creating their own adult life. It's fun to hear about and watch the developments. Of course, the thought of maybe Naomi and Mikey getting married in the near future is super exciting for everyone. At the same time, I realize how quickly time passes, and how it doesn't seem so long ago when they were kids, babies. We have so much time, and then, not enough. Our lifespan is so short.

My grandmother's death. not only did it change my own thinking, but seeing how my family has been changing because of it was a little freaky. sad and a bit scary.

In August 2012, my father participated in the Honor Flight for WWII Veterans. Our family had an opportunity to connect with him around a part of his life that never spoke of. My father’s participation in this event made WWII even more significant and horrible because clearly we have so many more ways to express hate and kill today than ever before. A few weeks later, when I was in DC, I saw a veteran from the Wounded Warrior Project being pushed in his wheelchair by his sister. I stopped to thank him for his service and we had an amazing conversation. I told him about my father and how my uncle survived being a ball-turret gunner. He told me how he was wounded by a suicide-bomber. His sister told me he was the only survivor amongst his peers. We talked heart-to-heart, held hands, and hugged because we were connecting from that deeply passionate place of citizenship and love of country that go beyond party lines. I learned that he, like my father, is now vehemently opposed to war and it reminded me that another way we need to honor veterans is to advocate for peace and invite their voices to speak not only about their willingness to fight but also their willingness seek peaceful solutions even when peace seems impossible.

My deaf and blind brother has started to paint! His paintings are absolutely gorgeous. Thank god he has something to give him joy in life. I am feeling better about his isolation... the isolation he wants and fiercely protects... as it means independence to him.

University prospects has put a strain on our family and everyone is a little bit fraught. I feel that they over-estimate me slightly, but only because they love me.

This august marks 12 years that welve been in our home in North County. We have had fights, struggles, saddnes, and happy moments. We have had death, birth, and anything in between. I was skeptical about moving here, bit I am finding that I have much more appreciation of the things my family went thorugh to get us here, and hat I appreciate the kind of work that I am about to go into. After twelve years. I am happy to say that being in our home has helped us grow stronger as a family.

Major milestone again, was job related.

I’ve begun to talk more with my parents on a day-to-day basis. Before, I dreaded speaking to my mother because I hated to hear her drunk. But she’s either drinking less than before, or getting better at hiding it. Alternatively, my mom has been in the hospital twice this year. First for a broken ankle, and the second for something I’m not even sure yet. I worry about my parents getting older and their bodies and minds becoming more frail.

My little brother started high school! I feel super old but I'm so proud of him and everything that he has - and will continue to - accomplish.

Actually, it was a year without major milestones. Zack had gone to college, and Jake has yet to go. But the maturing of those boys is major. It makes me proud of them, but makes me realize how quickly we all change, and how life moves on. Really need to appreciate and spend time with children before they grow up and have their own lives. Really need to "carpe diem"!

The milestones with my family may only be that I am closer with my parents than I have been in many years and my relationship with my daughter continues to blossom as she is my pride and joy ! I think all this does is make me feel better and happier and more loved so therefore that comes out more in who I am on a daily basis.

I became pregnant. My husband and I will be the first couple on both sides of our family who will have children, G-d willing. It is scary but wonderful all at once and I am glad to be embarking on this journey together with my husband.

Me and my brother have grown closer. It reassures me. I was always scared that our only bond is our parents, but I don't think it is. We always held each others back. Perhaps out of obligation. But truth be told, we were never that close. It bugged me. However I feel since we were on holiday this summer there's a better understanding. The fact that he asked for my help a few days ago, and dared to cry when doing so, showed that he trusts me. I hope we can build on it.

My father passed away one year ago. I have worked for him for the past 20 years and managed his business, but there were many parts that I did not deal with before that I became aware of after his passing. Those things are now my responsibility. I have uncovered them and dealt with them one by one. It has been very difficult; not the work itself, but working with my father's notes, seeing his handwriting, realizing that he wrote instructions for me to follow while he knew he would pass away. That has been one of the most difficult things I have dealt with. In some ways it has made me feel closer, and in other ways it has made me feel like I am replacing him, with each paper that I discard that's no longer needed. It's very painful.

I was engaged this year. It's reminded how lucky I am, how hard relationships are, how worth it they are for the good moments, and how much better this journey is with someone else to share it with.

Aaron told us that he was smoking pot and was caught smoking pot at school. It was so sad and frustrating. My dad and mom said that they are distancing themselves from him and would not hang out with them when I asked them too. My husband is giving up on him and I give up at times and at times I tell myself to hang on, he will pull it together. I am so lost as a parent.

I have grown to really appreciate my parents and accept them for who they are. My brother continues to cut himself off from the family and that's still saddening. I hope to reconcile with him before Yom Kippur but he refuses to respond to my emails or telephone calls

My son graduated from high school and started his freshman year. I haven't had the best of relationships with my children since divorcing their mother 13 years ago. It seems, though, that my kids, particularly my son, and I are closer now that he has started college.

This year my father has finally come to a different understanding of the facts that I am Jewish and queer. The queer part came in the summer when I went to go visit him and, prior to my visit, emailed him definitively once and for all telling him about my family and my life. He was not excited and it has definitely created even more distance than already existed between us (didn't even know that could happen, but I did). I cannot control his reaction, but I can control my actions and reflect on my responses to him. I feel good that I have now been as clear as absolutely possible. The Jewish part came with much less drama and circumstance during a phone call last week in which I said something about going to Tilden Park to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Rosh HaShanah, to which he responded to by asking if I am Jewish and if I converted, both of which I affirmed, and we left it at that. I wish he would engage in, and celebrate, my life as much as he does my straight brother's life but I know that will never be the case and so I choose to put my energy into relationships that do delight and support and satisfy me. He is getting older, of course, and someday he will die and it is now clear to me that we will never be as close as I'd hoped we might be. I try to recognize and understand this as being part of the experiences in my life that have made me who I am, and I try to learn from this as I go forward in loving my partner and raising my own family.

S became a little girl...and the twins were born. It was a reminder about how much I love them...and how much i want to be a huge part of their lives.

While I was living in Israel for the first time I was close to my extended family. It made me so happy and grateful to know how many aunts uncles and cousins I had that truly cared about me and always called me just to check up. My Grandma is a whole different story but thank god that this opportunity came when it did because the chance to get close with her will not exist for much longer. I love her so so so much.

My dad has been ill again. He's been in and out of hospital a number of times due to the after effects of his kidney transplant on 4 July 2009. One time I went home only to learn that he'd been taken to hospital. I was looking forward to a weekend together - a family reunion - but he was in hospital, so I went to visit him a few times. My mum sometimes doesn't tell me when things are bad or when he's ill. I suppose I don't need to know, but I'd like to be able to send him my thoughts. I think I deal with it quite well. It helps being somewhat removed in Oxford when they are in Bristol. I don't worry about it. I just hope that if it is serious, they let me know in time.

My dad, well both parents really have started to dwindle health wise. It's terrifying growing older and seeing them growing old.

I left for eight months, came back, felt like a stranger in my own home, clicked back in, and then felt like a stranger to myself. Haven't found myself yet.

Grandma died. It was a sad time for everyone but it brought the family together. We miss her. I miss her.

It's a milestone that we decided to postpone -- my younger son is taking an extra year of nursery school, and it is the best decision we could have made for him. We transferred him to a Jewish nursery school and he is thriving. His sweetness is really coming through, and he is developing an interest in Judaism that before now had been completely absent.

My sister graduated college, my mom is getting some new jobs, my brother got a girlfriend...so I guess a lot has happened this year and we have all stayed strong together and are growing as a family, which I am really excited about.

The milestone wasn't within my family. A nurse that I met at work and have crossed paths with over the last twenty seven years announced he is retiring at the end of the month. I already feel the void. Even though I didn't talk to regularly, I knew he was there and if I had a problem with one of his patients, I could call and ask a question. ARe we really at that stage in our lives?

We went to the Philippines together! It was my first time ever, and my parents hadn't been back since 1982. So it had been a full 30 years!! I felt like I found a piece of myself there. Like certain cultural imprints within the psyche became clear. Finding certain roots of fear/submission consciousness embedded in a heavily Catholic nation. Subservience & service are such prevalent values in the Philippines. Experiencing and witnessing the poverty & living conditions there, I feel an extra sense of gratitude to live in the states. I will never take my blessings for granted, and will cherish every breath, drink of clean water, fruit & vegetable, and bit/byte of data on high-speed internet lol. Sharing this experience with my family was a great bonding & eye-opening experience. It was great to have the full on cultural immersion in some respects -- and to meet the family I didn't know I had. '(name) ka gali?!'

I moved to the U.S. (California) to be closer to my family. I got to connect with my brother on a deeper level due to this- neat-o. I feel promise in the future with this relationship, and a sense of deep activated TRUST between us as brotherly confidants. Dad completed his first year of retirement. Mom finally feels not SUPER excited about returning to/school/work. I reconnected with my cousin matt. I feel this is the beginning of a new phase of my family (in my generation) coming closer to each other.

I went to college. It was a relatively easy transition but I do miss my pooch, Mr. Magoo. He is one hell of a dog. He's so sweet and loving, and of course stupid but none the less he's my favorite dog ever. I miss him dearly and can't wait to see him during the Holidays and give him a big hug!!!!

My husband finished his first year of medical school. I am so proud of him; he's studying so hard and making great grades, he's impressing his professors and he's found a great group of people to study with. But I am so alone. So very, very alone. And I feel like I can't talk to him about it because he has so much going on in his life right now, which is hard because we are very close. It's tough for me to see him turning to other people for help, and it's tough to see him being unavailable to help me.

Moving countries with 3 children under 12 in a matter of 2 weeks.Although we were grateful to be back with family we hadn't seen in years the circumstances around our homecoming have been so stressful that it has almost taken away from the joy of being home again. Although seeing my home country through the eyes of my kids has been a most rewarding experience which I am most grateful for.

Living on my own in Oakland and not moving home. I appreciate my parents' trust, and also support. I am glad they are o.k. with me being far away from them too, I know it is hard for them. I also was asked to be a godmother, which is very exciting.

We all moved forward in our training to become well being coaches. I'm not doing it in a disciplined and orderly manner but it is affecting me in such a positive manner

My dad's heart stopped beating for several minutes while he was with my mom. His health scare chilled me and my mom to the bones ~ with the realization that health needs to be a primary focus for him ~ and watching him struggle with himself in his health and wellness has been painful ~ to see my dad in aa position of vunerability and weakness is shocking, jarring and puts a lot of things in perspective ~ accepting change and impermanance, some people have a difficult time looking inwards .

We are in the process of buying a new house! More sense of Adulthood! Ack! Things to pack, regulations to understand...

My grandma died unexpectedly and it has been complicated. I think I appreciate my parents more and I suddenly realized how fleeting life really is.

My oldest son graduated from high school! there were some intense moments, but he did great and I am so proud of him! I believe it has brought us closer as a family.

My brother got married. I'm very, very happy for him and my new sister-in-law. I feel like it would be selfish to think of how this affected me! It's made me reflective; how about that? I think my attitude toward love and romance has been less cavalier than it was in 2011.

The boys were potty-trained and started preschool (intimately connected since they could not do the latter until they accomplished the former). I am so proud of them, and I am really enjoying the explosion in vocabulary. Of course, starting preschool has also brought about challenges; the boys have come home with some new, not-so-great behavior at times. But teaching them the difference between right and wrong is what our job is!

My son is seriously dating a Jewish girl. I consider that a major milestone. My biggest concerned is that he finds happiness in his life, but I do not want the lineage and heritage of Judaism in our family to end with me. I feel very good about it.

My only and little brother got engaged (thanks Facebook for the notification) and now they are expecting their first baby!

My middle child went to college. I didn't really think I would miss him as much as I do. I've been through this before with my first child and my son spends summers at camp so I'm used to him being gone. But his absence is such a void for me. I miss seeing him on the couch playing XBox, I miss his smiley face after school. I miss kissing him goodnight before I headed off to bed, quietly slipping into his room to just gently kiss his cheek.

My mom had a minor surgery -- not a major milestone, perhaps but scary. scary to see her in a hospital bed.

Children in college. Better communications

My dad moved. That was major for him. It really didn't affect me much, other than I had to help and it was a lot of work. Of course, it made me realize I need to avoid his hoarding habits.

Shimshon Rafael was born! He made life a lot more busy! Having two kids, I am thinking of putting CL in school- I can't do schoolwork AND kids AND work and housework. We also moved to a new house in the eruv. That has made our life great. We met the Coopers, our house is nicer, we live right across the shul. Socially, aesthetically, conveniently, our life has improved a hundred fold.

As a family? I'm not really sure. We has some extreme lows sometimes, but it honestly had more to do with my brother and his family. Personally, I recently realized how much my mom actually means to me, and how much I miss her now compared to last year or ever. It's weird when I don't talk to her for a day,and I just have this appreciation for her that I never thought I would have. It's silly to say, and something I never thought I'd believe, but she's like my best friend, and I'm sad that I'm only now letting myself be this close to her.

We've all lost our jobs... I've learned that no matter what my classmates said about me, I grew up privileged... And I am angry about the state of the economy, that I was making more money right out of college than I have any hope of making now, with 15+ years of experience under my belt...

My son started preschool this year. He's never really been around other kids his age and I was so happy to see him coping well and learning how to deal with his peers almost right away. It was heart-wrenching when he had to take him out of school midway through the year and still have a hard time meeting other kids his age. I feel like I lost the last vestiges of my baby and while that was bittersweet while I saw him thriving, it's become just plain bitter to have that taken away and see how hard it's been on him. Also, now being the parent who stays at home with him most of the time, I feel terrible guilt that I wasn't the one to be home with him for the first half of his life. I feel like I missed out on so much. It feels like his father knows and understands him so much better than I and I'm afraid that it's going to effect our relationships for the rest of his life. I don't want his dad to be the referee between the two of us, the way my dad was between my mother and I.

My grandparents moved out of the house they've been in since 1960. I have so many memories of that house, from the smells of each room to the art on the walls to family gatherings around the dining room table surrounded by Grandma's Igi collection. We flew over for a long weekend to help them with the final packing up, which was really meaningful for me though a very stressful trip. I also learned a lot about Grandpa, who's always been my hero, from ancient secrets (affairs in London?) to some not-so-nice sides of his personality (like the absolute narcissism that every single one of his letters he ever sent belongs in a museum). It was heartbreaking to see his reluctance to move. Likewise it breaks my heart to think I'll never walk through those rooms again. I didn't like that my mom treated her parents as "children" - especially Grandpa - helping him, interfering, cajoling him, deciding what we could do without his say. But maybe it was necessary to keep a handle on the time everything took. It put Mom into counselor and controller mode, which hurt me - I hate that she can't just let someone else have all the say and she tries to "help" with EVERYTHING. I know she's worried too, and trying to control what she can because she sees herself losing control. I don't know what to do. We got to see the in-person side of Jeanne, who's much funnier & more interesting than she comes off online. I saw my grandparents frailer than ever before. Grandpa, the indomitable tap dancer, is using a cane, and Grandma must be spoken to word by word. I understand they'll get good care at the new place but still hate that they had to give up independence. And that house. I really loved that house. I will always have photos and memories. Natalie and Ryan got married, and I was honored to be a bridesmaid. I felt out of place among the other girls, but really special that she wanted me there as a family member.

This year was my brother's first living in Costa Rica. In some ways this has been great for the family. His internet is better and so he talks to our parents more, and sometimes we all video chat. It's been a really interesting experience for him, and living vicariously through him has made my life much more interesting. On the other hand, as both of our lives have changes, we've gotten worse about really talking and fostering our relationship. My brother means so much to me, and it hurts me - and my mom - that we're struggling a bit. I hope we can get back to the closer friendship we've always had, which I feel confident we can, it'll just take some of our precious time and effort, which makes things a bit more challenging.

Our first grandchild has definitely been the biggest landmark this year. As has been observed, it's a Catch 22 situation: you can't have the joy of watching a grandchild grow without getting older yourself. As he practices his walking skills, my knees stiffen. As he discovers what they call the permanence of objects, I keep losing my keys.

Our grandson, who is now 8 years old, has started going through daily meltdowns - violent meltdowns, due to his reactive attachment disorder and the fact that he was a meth baby. It breaks my heart ... and it also scares me. He has done this off and on since he was adopted at the age of three. What is it going to be like as he gets older and stronger??? Right now my DIL can barely hang onto him in order to prevent his hurting her. He sees psychiatrists & counselors, and is on medication. What is the answer??? I'm so worried and I would give anything to be able to fix things.

I finally graduated high school, and now that I'm becoming more successful in college, my dad is beginning to appreciate what I'm doing, and that's been nice.

My Dad decided that he will retire after this year. This means he'll spend more time in Pennslyvania and I'll see him less. I need to start purposefully building in time to see him. It has decreased quite a bit in recent months.

Well, we got pregnant. That's a pretty big milestone. It wasn't fun. Worst sex of our relationship, in fact. But when I figured out that's how it was going to be, I just dove into it with a plan--and poof--pink lines. After this, we're done. No more pregnancy. No more babies. Lots more love, for sure--but it's strange to think that this whole phase in our lives is suddenly going to be over.

Pearl and Joseph were born. After months and months of the unknown and countless ultrasounds, worrying to no end...finally the wait was over...as soon as Joseph emerged, I could see he had Down's Syndrome. Although that worrying was finally answered, how will this affect our whole family? What will his life hold as well as the other four members of the family in our care for him?

My mom got sick and was in the hospital for a week. I felt extremely guilty for not visiting her. And they are only moving farther away this year. I think it has made me realize how important my family is to me, and I need to make more of an effort to see them.

The little boy is growing up and it's a pleasure but a lot of work. Busy one word to describe it.

My wife finally had a major surgery she's been waiting years to have. Hopefully it allows us all to have a more active, unhindered life.

We lost one of us. My 15yr old nephew died from suicide. My friend Penny yesterday remarked that our parents generation had more folks dying growing up -- from disease, accidents, and other stuff. Death was more accepted back then. But I don't think suicide was in the equation. Losing a family member so young, in strong physical and seemingly emotional health -- i don't think the survivors ever recover. We are all struggling to remember the meaning/purpose of living. some of us struggle more than others. my heart flies out, every day, to my brother and sister back East. I wish I could fly instantly to you, and hug all of you so hard that this never happened.

I started to appreciate my brother more. We've always had issues, mostly from my end. I have resented him for a long time. And this past summer, unfortunately, I acted on my anger towards him. Thankfully, we both tried to move past it. I think we've gotten a lot closer. We call each other and talk to each other about our lives. I'm glad that our dynamic has changed for the better.

James moved home from California. For me, it's been a tremendous blessing. He is one of my best friends, my cousin, and at the same time, mentor and mentee. I think the both of us needed each other in our lives...just like back in college.

Nephew got married! First of the next generation. Great to see.

Nephew incarcerated - will be in prison for 6 years. We all rallied to be there for him in some fashion. Hoping he truly understands his actions and reforms. Inspired me to reach out frequently to him.

The milestone was everyone letting go. I've learned how to live without seeing them every day, week, or even month & they lived without seeing me. Yes, we still are close & talk to each other frequently. But, everyone can breathe & it's okay that I moved & it will be okay if I or one of my sisters move farther. We will always be close. There will always be love. It makes me so happy to know that no matter where I am in the world, I know that I will have a place to call home & someone to love me.

Bought a house. Makes me feel like a grown up, in an exciting independent way, but also in a huge responsibility/don't know what I'm doing way.

I'll have a realization about what I love to do and make a bold decision around this. The world will experience another major natural disaster that we'll lead to some drastic positive change in human behavior. I'll grow wiser in a new area while simultaneously continuing to build expertise in areas I've already spent time on. Something great will happen in Detroit. The positives of 2013 will outweigh negatives.

I guess this would probably be me moving out and starting uni in a different city. I have only been in Leeds for a few weeks, so I can't really tell how much this will affect my relationships. I hope I don't miss out on Sophie growing up. We've got quite close this summer, and that's nice!

My uncle passed away, unexpectedly. He was young, healthy, full of life, had the greatest sense of humor and the biggest heart I've ever seen. Everything changed. First, I feel like I have this need to show people around me how much I love them, even though this is something I'm definitely not used to doing. But what affected me the most is that I feel I'm never going to move on. It's been almost one year and every time I hear his name or see a picture, or every time I am alone, the pain strikes me like it's the first time I heard he was gone.

My brother got a job. We were worried, and it made us all feel more confident about our futures, because we all have earning potential. It made me see my brother differently because he's older and smarter, but he's never worked a day in an office. I respect him more and i realize just how intelligent and driven he really is.

My partner, Steve, and I became homeowners! It was freeing, and exciting. We're (I'm) looking forward to all the changes we can make.

John has left us for Indonesia. He is such a gentle joy. A wonderful person, we miss him immensely.

My sonbecame a Bar Mitzvah. It was an amazing experience and I was so proud of him and how he has taken to his Jewish heritage. It made me realize how lucky I am to have such the support from my wife as well as an affirmation of the fact that we must be doing something right as parents.

My parents finally after years and years of decision making have started the slow process of moving back to Thailand. This has put strains on the money for our family and we have to start and realise that money is so hard to get. I have to start shouldering more bills and think about the future more and be a responsible adult.

Got our first car. My parents never had one, and it will help us a lot on sparing money on travels

A major milestone in my family was my parents becoming empty-nesters. At least for my dad, biological empty-nesters. It's made me have a new relationship with them. My mom, I care for her now in a more genuine way. I feel her pain and anxiety because I experienced them myself when I went away from her. My dad, I trust him more now. I never realized until the conversation I had with my dad yesterday about Jesse how little I trusted him to have my best interests at heart. I know I don't have kids yet, but now I have 18 kids I see Monday through Friday for 9 hours a day, and two little girls that won my heart in a weekend (whether they stick around or not). It makes me realize in a whole different way what children mean, and makes me appreciate and think about my parents in a new light.

My mom didn't move to New York and live with Richie. They eventually broke up (because he is filthier than pond scum, excuse my words..) But this gave me the chance to reconnect and grow closer with my immediate family- namely, my sister. I am finally giving her the love and attention that she has deserved, but not received from me the past few years, while at Pitt. She's sharing parts of her life with me - thoughts, experiences, dreams, fears - in a way that has never been shared before. It's been incredible. Shocking. Amazing. I am sharing pieces of my past, present, and future goals with her - and it's as if the 7-year gap has disappeared. I can honestly say, my sister is my best friend. And that's one of the biggest blessings I've received this year: Reconnection with Jessica

We've learned to live together again. I think its the beginning of a healthier and happier relationship together in the future.

Two of my out-of-state cousins were married this year. Everything was beautiful and we incorporated a vacation into it.

I think we all got to understand each other a little better. Which actually didnt happen in one large step but in a few little ones. Thats also because we all live in different places all over the world. A few talks with Rosa about how we need to lighten up our relationship... a few with Kyla that have helped us become aware of her need for my approval... and of course with my mom: understanding more about her. I do feel like I need to address my relationship with my dead more, even though he is gone. It seems there is still more there for me to explore and understand seeing as I cried so much during his yizkor on yom kippur. in general though the affect on me has been amazing. I have let go of putting so much energy in the negatives and working on investing it in myself and more positively in each other.I feel like I am more able to see what my responsibilities are in all these dynamics, and therefore more harmony between us all seems possible.

The kid that my cousin Sara gave birth to after the baby daddy killed himself in front of her. I can't say this particularly affected me but my cousin Sarah is clearly misguided and glad she has someone she can love, even though it's a screwed up situation as she's entirely too young and unprepared for this. Late edit: my brother admitted he attempted to kill himself last weekend (9/21-ish). That changed how I view him... and things.

The repeated stanzas from my wife of "should I stay or should I go now?" might be reaching their end - and not in a good way. The guilty Catholic in me wants to stick it out to the end and fight like hell to keep our marriage together. Part of me wants to channel Roberto Duran and just utter "no mas" and move on. I'm really torn right now - and while I've decided to be at peace with what ends up happening it's been a gutwrenching several months.

Dad realized he is mortal. So did mom. They are scared. I am numb and tired.

my grandfather died. the last living grandparent. 1 effect is that it puts an end to the procrastination of sitting down and talking with him about his and the family's history. there's relief and regret there . also, anxiety about dealing with his estate. i'm glad it's not entirely on me but i fear disappointing the family members i'm working with on it. the other effect is the growing sense of my loneliness. we were never close, but now there's just my mom and much older sister in my immediate family, will they be alive in 10-20 years?

I think that I have really distanced myself from my family. I barely talk to them anymore and have not seen them in a long time. I just feel more grown up, and I'm doing my own thing. They also haven't made much of an effort to see me which hurts a little. I really do miss them, especially my mom.

My grandmother's diagnosis with sporadic Alzheimer's disease has been a source of pain. With that, however, I have been able to clarify the type of medicine I will practice. Specifically, I will divide my time between conducting research on the bench toward a greater mechanistic understanding of this disease, and a clinical practice that will allow me to focus on this patient population.