Q03

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

MY DAD AND MY SISTER HAVE A RELATIONSHIP AGAIN!! AFTER 6 YEARS!! Is makes me so happy and it is such a burden lifted.

My wife got pregnant and that's been crazy and cool and nervewracking and scary. It's cool though - God is good and He provides.

I had to apply for food stamps which added to my depression.

My sister went insane. I will never forget the last night of our family holiday, when she went totally overboard, turned everyone against her, made the whole family cry and blamed me for all the bad things in her life. I don't even know why I deserved it. The consequences were unreal. I had to go to a psychiatrist myself, had multiple crying fits during my summer, couldn't work on my bachelor paper and my exams, and didn't trust her anymore. It's still going on, and I still don't speak to her. Things will go back to normal, I hope, but I don't count on it happening very soon. Also, my little brother traveled to the United States for a year. I will miss him so much. When my answers come around next year, I will have him back. And I will be very happy to see him again :)

Me me me: I turned 62 and that turned out to be a major milestone because I maxed out on what was already my low tolerance for BS. Liberating in a scary kind of way.

We have been together 5 years in our household, and our niece became one. My cousins on my mums side both had kids... Makes me feel happy and appreciate the 1 I am with, but makes me realise we are no longer the kids.

My daughter got her driver's licence. It is amazing and frightening how fast she grew up.

My mum and I are closer than ever before. It just feels really special and like she's my best friend. I hadn't appreciated just how great she is until now.

My sister got divorced, which has put a strain on everyone. Life has changed drastically for everyone involved. Sharing kids and asking permission to do things is unnatural for us. Not being able to just go and do is difficult.

The only "milestone" that "affected" me was my cousin moving back. We were already close, but over the last year, it has become so much more. That isn't to say we don't have a few tense moments here and there, but life has just been so much better with James around.

My mother decided to leave SoCal and move to Norcal. She is 97 and has moved into an assisted living facility, knowing no one, but having my sister and I close at hand. She is so brave! And yet, is she also not thinking carefully?

I've seen my brother in love for the first time and it's lovely. He's always unsure and as a result quite negative and cynical about his feelings but this girl has turned him upside down completely, it's great to see him so baffled and happy.

My sister moved to CA, very new and caused my parents to travel (unusual) My grandfather died affecting the whole family really I don't think there were any more marriages, there were more babies i believe

I turned 35 in February. It's not really a good feeling when I think about it. I wish it was. I still have no idea where I'm supposed to be in my professional/ work/financial life (or even where I want to be) but I know it's not where I am. And 40 seems much closer than 30 sometimes!

My mom turned 65 and we all went to Santa Fe to celebrate. This was such a meaningful time for me. It allowed me to spend the thanksgiving holiday with my family which rarely happens. It was a really joyful time and a great memory to have.

My middle son went to college this year. I missed him, so, so much because he is very good company. And, no kidding, I was jealous of his new friends. What I learned was how much love is about letting go so you can see them in the distance and enjoy their return.

My brother and his girlfriend had a baby! He is the sweetest little guy I have ever seen. I never even knew how happy that could make me and for the first time ever (I think) I cried tears of happiness when he was born.

I bought a house and moved 30 minutes from my teenage daughter. Moving scared me a little because she is all about her friends who all live close to her, so I am a little concerned that it will cuase a strain in my relationship with her. I also am aware that she is a teenager, and I could live next door and might not see her. Buying the house made me feel very adult, proved to myself how hard I worked to be able to get to the point of buying. It was something I did for myself, and something I have always wanted to do. It is nice to have something that is mine, something to build equity in and truly make my own.

My brother got engaged to one of my closest friends, and my sister got engaged to a wonderful guy. It's been so great, helping them plain their weddings and talking about their futures with kids and more. I'm really happy they've both found such fantastic people to share their lives with and make our family even more awesome.

Dad passed away @ age 92

We put Gus down almost exactly a year ago, during my dad's last visit to Israel. I've had more dogs in my life over the past year than at any other point so I don't feel the loss most days. But my parents are acutely aware of the emptiness. We're not ready for another dog yet, no simple fuzzle can compete with the Guster.

My parents respect me more, because I have showed them what life is without me. My parents do not take me for granted anymore. This results in the end to more love for each other.

I can think of two - (1) Waldo and Dyrean went to mission School in Kimberley. It changed the core functioning of our family. (2) I introduced my book, that would be published by 13 October 2013 with the Cinderella Charity Auction on International Streetchild Day. this marks the begiining of my writing career as best selling author

Chris and I started marriage therapy. I have been able to express some of my frustrations; and I have realized how much his mental health issues dominate our marriage. I don't know if we'll make it. Starting therapy was scary for both of us because we don't know what the outcome will be. We aren't confident that the first therapist will be able to help us, so now we're looking at a second one; and Chris has (reluctantly) agreed that I can search for an OT so we can get joint help on (what I think are his SPD) touching/tactile issues.

My husband and I were finally able to have another child. Our little guy has brought SO much more joy to our family then I could have ever imagined.

I moved 5 hours away to take a job down in Cedar Rapids. I am curious to see how this experience this year will affect the relationship that I have with my family especially considering that it is the furthest I have ever lived from home.

my g-d son had his barmitzvah and it was a special day for everyone he made us all very proud of him

My son is having new hobby - photography; he's taking kind a professional pictures which s helpful in his carrier as computer consultant ( web design) . I'm proud of him!

tHE ONLY MILESTONE i HAVE HAD IS MY HUSBAND HAD A STROKE AND MY FAMILY WAS UP TO THE CHALLANGE, I AM VERY IMPRESSED WITH MY FAMILY.

My sister - after a long transfomation - became psychically sick. Unfortunately it is not official but causes serious problems in relationships at my family and has sad consequences. Myself, I utterly disappointed.

My son turned sixteen, and since then I've become even more aware of how few the years are that I've been his chief influence. That job is, to an extent, being taken over by other people. It's humbling to say the least. On the day he got his driver's license, he left the house to go fishing with a friend, and I felt sad as he drove away on his own. Sixteen or eighteen years is not enough time!

My nephew graduated from college and is now applying for medical school. Everyone is so proud of him.

We bought our first home! This brought many changes including moving to a new town, but has been lovely to call it our own, dream about changes we'd like to make, put things in walls and keep it as clean or as dirty as we like without worrying about real estate agents or inspections or evictions. Being responsible for all the repairs is sometimes worrying, but mostly I feel more secure and that it was a great step. I'm loving that we can put trees in the ground!

My daughter passed a major milestone this summer. She took on a very challenging job with very long hours, and performed spectacularly. One adult shared with me how incredible it was that a 20 yr old could join a big organization and raise the professionalism of everyone around her. And be so well liked by everyone there. Equally thrilling is the transition she made from feeling burdened by the difficulties if the job to adopting an "attitude of gratitude" towards all the richness and opportunity in her life.

Ashley has moved out and gone out west solo . Proven my independence. Jess learning to drive,searching for colleges and got a new job on her own,,,,, My girls are growing up and I am getting older. Need a good man in my life

I've created my family with the woman I love. This make everything else much more meaningful and less random

All siblings have graduated either high school or college, and are going into college, or have found a job already. Parents are very happy and everything makes it worthwhile .

Our son found out early this year that he had a 3 1/2 yr. old son from a very very short relationship in the past. His son, our first grandchild, has been such a delight and a blessing. We are thrilled to welcome this wonderful little boy into our family!

My cousin got married- last year at my other cousin's wedding he said he'd be the last, and he was the first! I had a little freak out session on my life because I'm not in a serious relationship yet, but also made me realize that life has no timeline, anything can happen at any time. It also made me want to be a more open person to people who come into our family.

At the beginning of the year, my mother passed away. She was 86, and had spent the last four years in Assisted Living and Nursing Home care with dementia. The holidays, just a few weeks before, had been the first time all of her children, and some of her grandchildren, had been by her side in a while. It felt very much like our being together somehow set her at ease, and she let go. These past four years (and more) have been so very tender and often difficult, in many ways her passing was a relief- it was so painful to see her disappear into confusion and fear. There were also tender moments; enjoying her daughters singing to her, holding my hand on a day she was too tired to talk. The wake and funeral did not turn out as planned, but it all came together. I was so glad we chose to have the services in the city she had lived for most of her adult life.We met people who knew her in other facets of her life; some who met her in the 1950s! And again, it was a time for family. Uncles and aunts and cousins we've not seen in decades arrived for the occasion- and we spent the entire weekend awash in memories and laughter, along with tears. In the coming days and months the hole where she lived in my heart continued to ache, and the unspoken conversations continue to resound through my mind. The lesson of this passage- how to maintain those important connections, how to prepare for our own eventual passing- continue to be learned.

Both of my grandmothers have been ill this year. They are in their 80s. It has been difficult seeing them get weaker and more frail. They seem to be losing their energy and their spirit.

My parents aging especially my father. It's both sad and scary to think of being without him.

We had a baby in August 2012 as he grew through this past year our lives changed. His sleep was not great we (my husband and I) struggled with lack of sleep but this didn't break us down it helped us grow as a couple. Our other son was also growing and learning his role as a big brother.

I put aside the hatred (albeit temporarily) towards my ex & the woman he left me for so that they could join us on our wedding day. I wanted my teenage daughter to see that her parents are able to act like adults around her and with our partners. Things are still far from perfect but I no longer carry the hatred with me that I have had for years towards my ex. Now I have a new spouse to be pissed off with! Oh how the tables have turned! I bet my ex is actually laughing his ass off come to think of it!

I suppose the biggest milestone was Tina getting married and me getting engaged! Tina getting married to her long-time sweetheart was a wonderful day and Tina loves being married. Being engaged to Andrew, deepening out commitment to each other has definitely made a difference in our relationship. I feel so blessed! :)

We went on vacation in the Smokey Mountains. My daughter was sick the whole time but we still managed to enjoy ourselves. It really opened our eyes to how fast our lives have been moving and how much we need to change.

Major parent child shifts this year. My son left for Peace Corps Panama and my daughter graduated from college and has her first job/apartment in another city. Just one child left at home 1/2 time. It's exciting that they are launched into their own lives. Having more time for the things I love, exercising, volunteering, and writing is a nice luxury. Sad thinking about the youngest being gone soon, but sort of excited too. Relieved from the financial pressures of multiple tuition, is sweet. It's not so much that I miss them, but feel like we are in another stage of our relationship, we will always be part of each others lives. Incredulous too, because I don't feel old, but I must be older, since they are now 10, 22 and 25. Time flew by.

Our daughter recently got engaged to a lovely fellow and we are busy planning a wedding for December. We are thrilled and we feel that our family has not only grown by one but we love his entire family and look forward to sharing many wonderful milestones with them all!

De aanslepende ziekte van mijn moeder en de snel toenemende dementie van mijn pappie hebben mij op een pijnlijke manier laten wakker schrikken dat ik de laatste tijd in alles en nog wat tijd heb gestoken behalve dan in de aspecten die echt belangrijk zijn. Nu heb ik dit omgedraaid en het voelt niet alleen goed maar ook stukken beter.

i reconnected with my estranged father and sisters and i attended a family reunion on my step-father's side i am finding more value in the family network, and finding that i can define my relationship with my family more than i let it define me having a healthy relationship with the male AND female role models and parental figures in my life and family is of great importance to me, and i want to make this a priority in my life and the new year

Spend more time swimming surfing Walking my dog. Wish I was spent Less time studying To be an electrical inspector. Should have known it was a job I would have never gotten. I spent 10 years studying for this job and had to sue the city and County of San Francisco Because they were not hiring women or had women on the board Interview panels or merit-based testing. I guess I accomplish that however I did not get the job although I am very qualified. It is a tough lesson to know that things that you have given your life to Get denied. H However I did get a promotion and my mom had a stroke so, in a way it's better because I could take time off my present job help her

My brother is being bar mitzvahed in a few weeks which is really exciting! I also went to college this year which is obviously a big milestone!

My oldest son's bar mitzvah gave me great pride and joy as our heritage is passed from generation to generation. Also, made feel old. :)

My younger two daughters moved far away. I was very sad for a while but filled my time with other things - Garden Club, fostering cats, home projects. Trying to take care of myself - exercising.

Travelling for three weeks in Europe with my wife and our five year old daughter was the major experience of the year. It was a milestone in the sense to see how our daughter would handle being taken out of her routine and known environment for an extended period of time. For the most part it went well. her major copying mechanism was watching episodes of the the same TV series. That anchored her, but also (in my opinion) prevented fully enjoying all that the trip could have offered her. Like connecting with her paternal grandparents more. Nevertheless the trip was a success, we all had a good time and came home with lots of experiences. I know now that we can do it and wish for more family trips.

Although our son started out 2nd grade appallingly behind in his reading and writing skills, his amazing, concerned, and kind teacher, worked with us to bring him up to grade level. With help, we all pitched in to improve his skills, confidence, and love of learning. I am so glad we caught this early, and there is still work to be done, but I am recommitted to being a "strict" mom and insisting on practice before fun.

We had two! We welcomed two beautiful nieces into the family! Izzie and Callie!

Baby. We are one person richer. We spend a second mortgage payment on day care. Our household schedule from 5-8pm (and overnight... ughgggghhhh overnight) has been completely thrown over so we can play with and care for this fantastic little guy. My world is smaller and also much larger.

My mom graduated from college at age 51. I am proud of her and what it signals. Years ago, when she first came to the US, she acted like my father was also hers, meaning, he was the authority on all things. She didn't go to school then because he didn't think it would be a good idea. Now, she has. It also makes me respect her more. I realize that in some not so subtle ways, I really was ashamed of her timidity before my father and swore never to be that kind of woman. I still have issues I need to work out with her, don't get me wrong, but I am really proud and happy that she has taken more of the reins on her life.

I don't know if there are any major milestones. I've put some distance between myself and my parents, particularly my father, because I feel he doesn't understand boundaries. Today I'm resentful because I feel like he acts as a gateway between myself and other members of my family, particularly my mom. And I'm resentful towards my mom for not trying more to be her own person and to not feel like she is entitled to have a one on one relationship with me without upsetting my dad. There are moments when I look at them lovingly. And I am grateful and patient and feel good feelings. And there are times when they frustrate the shit out of me and make me so angry and feel bad - because my dad feels the need to be the authority on everything and my mom lets him. I've had compassion during the year - where I realize they just both want to be appreciated and loved. And I want to appreciate and love them. I'm just having a hard time not feeling resentful today.

I keep saying the same thing, but it's such a big thing. My dad died. My mom's husband of 45 years died. Neither of us will ever be the same. If I feel lost and shaken, I wouldn't even know how to describe wht she's going through. But I do know that she and I are even closer than we were before.

My husband and I have been going through the adoption process for the last year. We are now done with all of the paperwork and will soon be on the list to wait for a placement. It required a lot of soul searching, especially around what medical or legal risks we would take. It brought us closer together.

Well, again, this would probably concern our older son Evan going off to college. I guess profound and simple ways. I was looking for a place to share this. When going shopping, realizing I'm not shopping for him deflates me in some measure. And, consistent with this, in some small ways, I find myself identifying with him in some ways. In this example, I might get for myself a food I imagine Evan would otherwise want. Other ways too. Seeing Evan now the couple of times I have (once in real time, once via facetime) is a bit new and different. The second time vs the first, he is more relaxed and in his own environment. We both worry for him, and wish him success. Re the latter, Betty and I struggle to figure out appropriate ways to enable this.

We put a street sign on our street. Now no one will get run over.

Divorce. I am filled with so many emotions. Guilt for asking for the divorce and being happier not married to the person I had spent 1/3 of my life with. Anger and resentment for the feelings of unhappiness I had for so long. Guilt that he was happy in the marriage and I was not and for not talking about it with him until it was too late for me. Guilt for meeting someone else who is like my mirror compared to my ex-husband. I am a very private person and so I feel anger that others seem to think I owe them an explanation just because they only saw the "perfect couple" public side of us and don't understand why I would ask for a divorce. I want to feel ok with being happy now but there are many things that are keeping me from doing so. I am grateful for The 10Q as a safe way for me to have anonymity to express what I am thinking and feeling.

It doesn't seem huge in some ways but my brother and sister-in-law decided to send my 14 year old niece to private school. She is a smart kid who is a bit sassy and could easily either fall through the cracks or piss teachers off. Though I'm not a huge proponent of private education, I can see how this will likely be a life-changing moment for her.

We moved, and Courtney started college, and I got engaged. Good and bad stress...but all still a struggle.

My oldest cousin proposed to his fianceé. It will be the first marriage among the cousins and that means the start of a new generation of the family as well. I am very happy that this means a continuation of our family lineage. Personally, it has made me aware that I want to be part of this continuation and I can honestly say that someday I also want to get married and start a family. My goal is to focus on taking care of myself and feeling great with who I am, so that when I meet my future life partner I will be ready to give and receive love.

We had two major milestones. One of my sisters got married and the other had a son--my first biological niece/nephew! Both have made me very happy! I'm thrilled to see their lives getting fuller, richer and filled with even more love, and that spills on to me, too :)

We moved from one city to another. It was kind of on a whim and while we had a plan, everything changed once we got here. While some of those changes were negative, they are now turning out to be the most positive changes we've ever seen take place in our lives. We're moving to the top and I for one, could not be more grateful. It affected me by learning that all I need to do is SHOW UP and be willing to walk through the fire. I did and it was worth it.

My uncle died and I was the designated mourner. So I get to think about him a lot. I didn't see him all the time so its hard to say how much I miss him. I still have problems with Aunt Fran.

Lyonel is in Kindergarten. That's awesome.

My oldest finished her first year of college and my youngest her first year of high school. All successful! Girls getting older... Exciting and sad at the same time!

I chose love the love of my spouse over conforming to rabbinical school standards. My husband and I have grown closer. It was worth it.

We got pregnant!!! Everything in life is about to change. We're all adjusting work schedules, Foster and I are house hunting, and life is about to change in ways we can only imagine. I just started my third trimester. This Hobo is coming fast!!!

My son's Bar Mitzvah. He is an amazing young man and his D'var highlighted his ability to be funny, sincere, introspective and articulate. He is so different from his older brother and my relationship with him is often a little stressful. I am learning to appreciate him in a different way.

My daughter and grand-daughter have lived with me for about 8 years, and in May they moved into their own place! Although I miss the income I was getting from my daughter, I am so happy for her and my grand-daughter - they are both blossoming in their new surroundings. The timing was right and we are all very content.

My mom died 6 days before her 94th birthday after a long happy life except for the last 3 years which were a battle to get proper care while keeping her independent in the apartment in a continuum of care facility. She was only in the nursing home part two weeks. I have not yet fully processed the loss and am not sure how the Yiskor service will effect me. In my synagogue formal Yiskor is proceeded by a voluntary informal event where participants share memories of loved ones. I hope it will be healing.

went on Medicare MAJOR relief that I now won't go broke if I develop a serious illness

I suppose the biggest one was Hurricane Sandy. Our house on LBI was completely ruined on the inside, and my parents did not go to Florida this winter so that they could reconstruct the house. They really enjoyed doing it, but it was hard to see our house like that. Now it is beautiful and ready for new memories, but I will always remember the old house!

I don't know if it's a milestone per se, but my Aunt passed away in April. She was the last tie I had to my dad who passed away 17 years ago. Since she lived in the UK, I only saw her every few years, but I always spoke with her on the phone and she genuinely was the kindest person I've ever known. Even if I wasn't her niece, I think she would still have given me the shirt off her back. I miss her greatly, and it really hit me when Rosh Hashanah rolled around. Every year I sent her a card. Every year she'd call me before Rosh Hashanah and ask what my plans are and we'd chat a bit. I always felt she really cared. As I said, she was the last tie I had to my dad. Sure, my cousins are alive, but we're not close and they have their own lives in the UK. I have never felt so alone in my whole life.

Not as the result of one single event, but rather stemming from a series of events, I began to feel for the first time that R and I are family. Until now, it's felt like we were in a committed relationship, sure -- we have a kid, we've been together for six years and have lived together for three of those. At times, I even forget and call him my husband. But this year, we felt like a unit. Like a family. I never felt that way about my ex-husband -- that no matter what, we would always be there for each other. And, well, we weren't. R and I will be. No matter what happens between us, we will always be deeply connected. We may fuss and fume and get on each other's nerves, but we're in this for the long haul. It's a strange feeling. I have a small family, and most of us aren't close...at least, they're not close to me. I'm hard to get close to, so I'll take credit for that. And as I watch my parents age and develop serious health problems, I've felt very alone. But with R, I know I won't be alone. So I feel more secure about the years to come now.

My dad's mother died last year and I could tell itbwas a hard time for him. My family banded together and we've all been here for eachother. And even though it was a sad time for my dad, he was still a hard-working, supportive, loving father and to see him laugh and be together with my family at Shabbat dinner, laughing at our jokes and feeling the unity an power of a family is so inspiring.

My kids moved out of my house and my partner's son has moved in. His daughter moves in two days from now. This will really test our relationship, as our parenting methods differ wildly. After having maybe one or two disagreements in the first year of our relationship - over things like what groceries to buy - now we find ourselves perpetually frustrated with each other. I'm hopeful that we can work through this. Time will tell.

I guess a major milestone (along with the birth of my new niece) was the marriage of my older brother. His second marriage. It was good to see him being able to make that commitment again and move forward from the heartbreak of his first marriage. It was also good to welcome his wife into the family.

In February, it was a decade since I flatlined in an emergency room....I was a victim of domestic violence, my then husband swore that I would never see my sons again (he kept his word), and that I would end up dead on the street. I tried to end my pain - didn't think I could live without my sons, Jason and Jared , in my life - and I tried fighting for them in court (custody was a huge issue). My sons were alienated from me. I am now divorced, a spokesperson to end domestic violence and bring awareness to Parental Alienation. I am on several commission trying to end judicial corruption, too. I have turned my horrors into a vehicle to help others. My blog is www.untilyousayuncle.blogspot.com

Twins- the birth of twin girls! Immense happiness and joy for all. Now I am a grandmother.

We made the decision to stay in our home and not buy a bigger place. This has been very difficult for me, as it symbolizes my husband's life before me, with his ex-wife. It took a fair amount of psychological sacrifice for me to come to this decision. But, because it was the soundest financial decision long-term, and will leave us in a better position to help our children with their future educations, it has also brought a certain sense of relief.

Turning 37 was odd. I felt older for the first time, felt like I wasn't sure I was doing it (life) right.

My parents sold my childhood home. All of the kids came back to help, and it was incredibly bittersweet. They sold it to a younger couple that they know who are trying to start a family, but can't have kids of their own. In order to do adoptions, they have to show that they've got space for kids, and in their old situation, they didn't. It's so wonderful that the home I grew up in, that was filled with so much love, will now enable another family to grow and love.

I did not experience any major milestone this past year. However, I feel very happy that as our children and grandchildren mature, the families seem more cohesive and its really a pleasure to get together.

My mom has been battling Breast Cancer. She had a mastectomy in February, chemo April - July, and now radiation that will be done in 3 weeks. It's changed me becuase I've realized how strong I am emotionally. I've always thought I'm a basketcase when it comes to me & my emotions, but this ordeal has taught me that I have the strength when I need it. I still haven't learned that restraint with sappy tv commercials, but I'm working on it!!

I had my first Christmas on my own. With my girlfriend, and me, in our little house, with our own little tree, just us. We made a turkey, and exchanged gifts, and called our families, and just did it together. Just us. Our own family. This was the first time I'd felt like that with someone. Like we were a family, outside of the one I was born with.

Both of my parent's got laid off from long-held jobs this year, what a sucky milestone! My dad first found a terrible job, and now he's at one that isn't as bad and the pay is better. My mom has no idea what she wants to do but seems hopeful. This is the first time (at least since they've had kids) that my parents have lost a job. And I can't do anything to help other than be supportive and positive, but I hate seeing them struggle!

My dad turned 60 and my sister and I flew out to California to surprise him for his party. It was really nice because we have talked about how our relationship with him isn't the best and that the usual conversations are between us and our mother who then relays the information about how we are doing to him and tells us how he is doing. Recently when my mother and I were talking he was in the background on speakerphone asking me all kinds of questions about things I have already explained to my mother so I got really frustrated because I felt like I was repeating myself. My mom ended up changing the topic and then later told me she had a conversation with him about if he wants to know what is going on in our lives he should make more of an effort to call us and ask us how we are doing. When he started calling me it was a pleasant surprise and I really liked that he would tell me how he is doing and ask me how I am doing. It is weird to be 26 years old and to start a relationship with your father. I know I love him and we have history together, but I have to start coming up with ways to begin new adult connections with him which is a really hard thing to do. I think that this time of year I always think about the new improvements i want to make in my life and I like to think that this is one of those areas for improvement this year. I would like to create a connection with my dad that isn't just how my mom tells me he is doing. I don't know how exactly to do that, but the first step is figuring that out.

My son graduated from The Ohio State suma cum laude. I could not have been prouder, but at the same time I was very sad because I knew that he would never need me in quite the same way ever again. He has now started his first job in Washington DC and I know that our relationship is going to be a lot different now and I am already missing what we used to have. Also this year my youngest finished his first year of college, and went abroad twice. He has grown up so much that I barely recognize the "old" Kevin. I am also very very proud of him and all his accompishments.

I can't think of any milestones at all for the family this past year. And frankly, I'm ok with that. I'm tired of living in "interesting times".

I had a huge argument with my brother-in-law. We think differently about a subject. I told him what I felt, and he just went for me. He was aggressive, and abusive and I felt bulldozed. My sister joined in, on his side, and dragged my parents in to side with them too. I felt totally ganged up on, and small and shamed. I've always been so very close to my parents, and I was getting reacquainted with my sister after a long time apart. I've taken a huge step back from my family. I feel detached. I also feel somewhat liberated in that, like cords have been cut and I am free.

My kids are growing up. Everyone in my family is both more and less resilient than I expected. The rise to the occasion (or not) in such different ways. Overall, I am conscious both of loving them more deeply and more unconditionally but at the same time find I am also more conscious of their limitations as people. I can only wonder what I would look like under such scrutiny! One result is that after 16 years of marriage and 23 years of being together, I think I am finally ready to accept that my husband isn't the leaving sort - and that while his way of walking through life is really different than mine, he has my back, he isn't going to start sweating the small stuff at least as far as I am concerning. It's nice to recognize and feel that from another person.

My sister got engaged. But the man she's engaged to doesn't treat her, her things, or her money well. We've all in my family come to realize he is bad for her, very bad, and are silently or not so silently hoping he leaves- if not forever, at least until he grows up enough not to hurt her.

My grandfather died, which was, surprisingly, not a big milestone at all. It was expected and only just sad enough. My parents had their 30th wedding anniversary which was really nice and inspiring, though uneventful and hard to celebrate properly because of my grandfather's death two days later. My father also celebrated his 65 birthday, all big deal stuff, but rather mundane. My family, it appears, doesn't really ride the highs and the lows, they stay in the middle more or less, and life chugs on. I have mixed feelings about this methodology of taking the middle road, but I do love my parents very much and am glad they don't go for the dramatics.

I got off my parents' insurance, phone plan, bills, etc. It feels good to be totally responsible for myself, and I want them to be saving for their futures (and fun plans) now that I'm an out-of-the-nest adult.

Hannah graduated so it means she and Matt will come and live here for a while....a lot of adjusting to be done and sometimes I feel like I'm being squeezed out of my own house. Having 3 adult children in the house is interesting and difficult right now.

My sisters and I are now spread across the world, one in South America, one in Gold Coast and I'm in New York. It's strange having my siblings so far away, whilst I try to keep in contact with them all my eldest sister and I will always be the closest. It's interesting seeing that, I feel that her I understand each other more. It's also strange being so far away from me family, but here in New York I've developed a new type of family which is awesome having such a great support network wherever I am.

Again, The big thing in our family is my decision to have gastric bypass. I don't think that I would have had as much success if they hadn't been able to support me in my decision. Although this was a decision I made, it had an impact on the whole family in a major way rather than the other way around, and they made a decision that affected me. In that way it was unusual, as the impact on me has been prolific, but its intresting the way thier reactions then impact my own decisions, and their support, their decision to accept me for who I am and provide me with unconditional love, is more than I could ever hope for or ask for. I wish I had a way to express in words how much their love means tome.

Shai: going up and down the Hurley Tamara: going to London. It was an experiment to go somewhere we've never gone before. It felt like a big step for us as a family. And completing stages in our kids life - Noa finishing kindergarten, Shai ending elementary school and Elijah finishing middle school. Daniel: getting Elijah to babysit and paying him (& holding him accountable). It has given Tamara and me a different level of freedom and has changed the dynamics of our family.

choosing to go to school in utah. separation wondering if my bf will stay with me. making the decision that if i come back there is no room for any type of contact or nostalgia over "her"

the biggest thing in my family was our moving to Costa Rica and the reaction we got from our family. However, I think the biggest thing was my parents aging. My dad is 96 and my mom 93. My sister and I disagree about my parents going into assisted living. I think it will extend their lives, as someone will be able to watch over them on a daily basis, and she things tht not being independent will kill my dad. I think, as hard as it is for him to give up control of a situation, this would be a good thing and a positive move. So, this just contributes to the conflict between us, so I tend to back off and not bring it up in front of her.

My mother died in June. She'd dealt with multiple sclerosis since the 1970s. In the end her kidneys failed; dialysis was "helping" a bit, but (in the unanimous opinion of doctors, caregivers, family, and I think of her) was making a an unpleasant prolongation. So we decided to stop the dialysis. The great news was that I was visiting for a (planned) few days at the time of the decision, and was able to stay with my parents for the following three weeks, until my mother died. This was a fantastic gift to me. My mother was at home, and most of the time able to enjoy company; and I felt almost like I was being an OK son to my father for once. There were lots of good things: many old pictures that I had never seen, or not seen for years; letters my mother wrote to us long ago; a journal she kept during a trip to Germany to see my father (in the Army) the year before I was born; time with family and friends at the memorial. My relationship with my mother was one of the most uncomplicated ones in my life: she was basically just wonderful from day one, with only the minimum possible fights while I was growing up, and practically none since then. She's been...not really a yardstick against which I measure myself, but maybe a model for the kind of person I wish I were. I've seen her only perhaps a week or so each year for a long time, so in some ways I can't "miss" her enormously. But it's a different world now. (I almost said "a different world without her," but that's not right; she changed a lot of people, and lots of them are still in the world.)

My granny had to go into a care home because she wasn't safe on her own anymore - she'd fallen a few times and broken bones and all. Then she forgot she'd fallen and broken things... She's become less and less the person I grew up with. She barely knows who I am, she's gotten mean, even violent. I've never lost someone while they were still alive, not like this. I don't know what to do with it, and it's not a small part of me that hopes she doesn't keep going for much longer. I feel helpless and lost whenever I think about it. I can't help, can't do anything but watch her sink. Mostly I try to keep from thinking about it because it just makes me so sad.

I drew a boundary with regard to how my father communicates with me. It has changed how we relate dramatically. Through this, I have also seen that it's time to let go of the past and grievances I have had with regard to my childhood. I love who I am today, every experience shaped that. I can only thank them.

As Shai and I have negotiated the formation of our own family unit post-engagement, my parents have supported me through-and-through. I know that no matter what, they have my backs, and that encourages me to feel 100% okay to ask for what I need and not back down when doing so.

A major milestone for my family was my dad passing away. It is very fresh for me so I have yet to see how this will affect me. On one hand it was a beautiful experience to be with him as he transitioned, but it also marks a beginning of a new chapter in my life. We will miss him greatly. As with letting go of anything significant in one's life, it creates space for something new to come in. I feel major shifts happening in my life right now.

Well a huge milestone is the fact that my younger brother and I have become close again. It has brought much happiness in my life.

My 5 year old daughter was declared gifted and talented. An extra bonus of this finding is that she has intense and magnified senses and perceptions which means she is a real little brat a lot of the time.

Marriage? Oh its same old same old. Except for one thing. I feel so comfortable with my life. I finally feel like there is certainty to the love I feel. Like its never going away. It will always be there. It makes me very happy.

Well I started gender therapy and it is helping me be more open and honest with people. I've usually just taken whatever people want to say to me no matter how it affected me. Naturally, I'm a people pleaser to a fault. But between Angel and therapy in finally coming around to the hard truth that I can't actually make everyone happy. I have to learn to put me first and everyone else after that. It's a huge shift in the way I think. It's still in progress, but I am working on it. And that's more than I've been able to say in the past.

Mi vieja se fue a vivir con su novio y luego se separo. Ambas situaciones me alegraron porque la vi bien

With my wonderful and beloved wife, F, the milestone of 25 years married has been reached. I can honestly say that our marriage gets better every day. We both are both on one side or the other of three score and ten years. All vanity and personal pride seems to have evaporated, disagreements are rare to never, and we are holding each other more closely than ever. The old saw, "She keeps me younger than I would be without her" is truth. I am blessed. We are blessed. I must find new ways to show her how much I love her in the year ahead.

We got 2 new dogs, little Chihuahuas that we called Bruce Wayne and Debbie Harry. They completely light up our lives; you can't help but look at them and feel happy that these funny little things are a part of our family.

We moved into a seniors' apartment building and I am realizing that although some things are now 'over' for me, other things can still go on. I am still living a meaningful life and there are still challenges ahead waiting for me to discover them.

I have "quit" my synagogue after 20+ years; for a number of reasons over the past 4 years, I have found it lacking. I did not know how I would feel about being unaffiliated, yet I believe it has provided me with a sense of calm and a greater accountability for how I will find and create community for my Jewish living. I feel like I must now be more pro-active in connecting with Jewish friends and look forward to that. I also feel that I have dropped certain traditions that I regret - lighting candles each shabat & yom gov, saying kiddish, etc. My family has been supportive of my being unaffiliated as long as it feels right to me.

The passing of Grandpa Charles had a major impact on Jesse's family and myself. He was the patriarch of the family and one of the kindest, most loving people I'd ever met. His death came at a very difficult time but we made it through together and can still feel his presence with us every day.

My family and Mary's family had Thanksgiving dinner together. We were nervous to combine everyone (17 people!), but it was lovely. Everyone got along and then when Mary and I got engaged, it was easier because we had all met each other.

We got a great little dog. Who has brought much love into all of our lives!

Last month, my 91-year-old Grampa developed an infection after taking a tumble in a parking lot. After two strokes and multiple hospitalizations, he's remained as charming, optimistic, and determined to get back on his feet as ever. His drive and fighting spirit have inspired me in a way I never knew existed. I love him so much.

My parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. My older brother and sister are still not talking to each other (how sad). No one knows why they aren't talking. How does it affect me? Teaches me that life is much to short to hold grudges. Get over your issues and do your best to get along with your family and friends.

Moving to Philadelphia. I am changed completely. My husband was watching video of me with my then baby daughter. He mentioned that he could here the strain in my voice. That being a stay at home mom just wasn't right for me. I agree. Now, even with the stress of juggling it all, I feel so much more whole, and my kids benefit from that too. We have made this awesome life for ourselves. Jon has found out he is an amazing cook. We got our cargo bike. We see my parents every weekend. The city is vibrant and we feel so much joy in our home. It's amazing!!!!!

J became deli manager, which is a major step on his life path as he currently sees it. I'm proud of him for stepping up (and committing to the responsibility) but I'm also excited because I've watched him develop a lot down this road and I can't wait to see where it takes him next.

Everyone started toward new horizons which makes all see our need for each other more.

My mom finally got happy this year. My whole life I remember my mom needing the next thing--a car, a new kitchen, people to love her--to be happy. This year, after she got lap band surgery and found a diet that works for her and also after she decided to "go with the flow" of life, as she put it when describing this realization of hers to me the other day, she became much more than my mother and even than the best friend I had always considered her to be. She became the person I most want to hang out with in the world.

We decided to adopt a fourth child. This has been a huge leap of faith on my part. I'm still not 100% sure how things will work out. But, I'm trusting God knows.

This year my brother and sister-in-law had a baby! She is the sweetest little girl and I love her so so much!!!

The father of my adult children died early this year. I am shocked at their behavior. They have not dealt with it well. They did not seek help and their relationship to me has been horrible. I am too old for this kind of behavior. I know they are feeling pain of the loss but I am not the enemy. I feel emotionally abused by my children. My doctors remind me all the time to eliminate stress in my life. I love them but I do not want to engage in this behavior of no respect for me. I now understand they have no love for me and that is ok. I now need to heal the hurt in my heart and I am having problems with that. What do you think?

My late brother's wife got married again. I wrote this in my journal: I'm very happy for them -- I should be; I introduced them. I did not, however, expect my reaction while watching them exchange vows. Her voice, so very low and tender; I was immediately taken back to that night she was standing with my brother saying those same words. I couldn't get those pictures out of my head. She didn't see me cry then; I didn't want to do anything to take away her joy. She didn't see me cry when she asked for a picture with "her two dads", hers and mine. She won't see me crying now; grieving over what should have been.

two of my cousins passed away from various forms of cancer, quite unexpectedly. I wasn't close to either of them, but I was filled with grief for their unfulfilled dreams, and their families. I wondered about my own unspoken goals and plans... is there enough time? my elderly in-laws moved out of their home into a much smaller assisted living apartment, and had to deal with unloading roomsful of clothes, clutter, memorabilia and collectibles. their refusal to anticipate this, despite years of measurable decline in health, was maddening. I look at everything in my house now, wondering what I would willingly do without after downsizing, and hope I can do it in time.

Daughter became a first grader, son became a high schooler, and joined an elite hockey team. Kids are on track.

My nephew was born. His birth was a difficult one and it made me realize just how hard it is being so far from my family. At the time he was born I was very angry with my sister and not speaking to her, but the birth of her son made me realize that there are some things (not many) more important than being angry. The next time I came home I held him for the first time. He and I took a nap on the couch together and I remember feeling so glad and grateful that he had arrived safely.

We got married! And in a few days we will be moving across the country to start a new adventure. I am sad to be leaving my friends and family behind, and I will miss them, but I am excited to this new start in our lives together, as a family.

My parents moved to Florida. Mixed feelings. I miss them, but they caused a lot of stress between my husband and me. I want them to be happy. I am excited for them. Now they are constantly asking me when I am coming to visit. That is stressful too. I guess less stressful than them living here. My first visit is in 3 weeks. We will see how this goes.

I felt my parents were finally proud of me when I got into art school. My Mum even brags about it to her colleagues.

My mother hasn't come to visit because of a hypertension bout - the first strike. My attempts to start them at least thinking about the long-term prospects and health care were fiercly and vehemently rejected. This state of denial is bound to have grave consequences. I don't have even a semblance of a plan how to provide the care across the ocean to the 85 year olds when (very soon I expect) they will start falling apart.

I guess it would have to be my mom turning 50. It's not that I think she's "old," but her hitting this particular age reminds me that my parents are getting older, and one day, they'll be gone. Morbid, I know. It just makes me worry. No one ever wants to lose a parent. I don't know what I'll be like when I lose mine.

Both my husband and I were downsized. We had to sell some property we owned in another state because we simply couldn't afford it any longer. It was difficult at first, but it has helped me simplify other aspects of our lives. For the first time in a long time I am starting to feel free and creative again.

Both of my brothers are now away at college and my sister is now in high school. Now my parents are transitioning into the next phase of life and are buying a new home outside of the town I grew up in. It's a gentle reminder that life moves on, whether we're ready or not...

In December, my mom passed away. She was my rock, the center of my wheel. While she had been ill, her passing was sudden and unexpected. It has affected everything in my life and my family's life. Even though, over the past few years, I imagined what life would be like without her or tried to say important things or just be with her. Inevitably, I find myself with a lot of what ifs and why didn'ts. The sadness I feel is a tangible, dare I say, barrier between me and my spouse, me and my children. She was a very active grandmother and volunteered at my husband's company. The void in our lives is immense both physically and emotionally. While I know I could use these feelings and thoughts as lessons to deepen my relationships, to recognize how precious time is, I find myself stuck with the inability to do so.

I guess the obvious thing to write about would be the fact that we will have a baby by this time next year. But for some reason I don't want to write about that. Mostly because I'm not sure how I feel about it yet or how it's affected me. But also because I'm not ready to give over to the idea that having a baby will be the most important thing I do. I want to talk instead about how Matt and I celebrated 4 years of marriage and are stronger than ever. I want to talk about how we've spent 8 years of our lives together. I want to talk about how he chose me and how he is smart and beautiful and kind. I want to talk about the every day normalcy of our lives together because every day is a milestone.

My spouse's layoff 7 months ago makes me feel like we're all in a holding pattern, and now I'm going full-time at my job after finally deciding that I was content with professional situation. I realize how little control we really have - all we can do is react as life gets thrown at us.

My ex-wife and I found a way to friends. Good friends. The benefit to our three children has been enormous. To think I jeopardised the family to hurry things through because of a new relationship. What a mistake. It might be right to part company with your wife/husband. But always always do it to the right timescale for you both. Don't decide how to do that because of someone new and how they feel. If they're right for you, they'll understand. If they don't understand, they're not right for you. Lesson learned.

My family is gradually growing further apart. It makes me very sad. My mom and sister voweled never to speak to each other again. My brother's wife has the "only child spotlight syndrome". My brother and I want peace and union between everyone in the family. It would be nice if all of our families could commune, but that will never happen. Mom thinks everyone is out to show her up, or to drag her down. She is VERY defense in nature, and often severely over-reacts; I think this is built on decades of having to fight through her life to make it to stability, and all of the negative interactions that she's faced. My sister is a spiteful, revenge fueled person, that doesn't want to be belittled; I think that's from the way her ex's have treated her in the past. The troubling part is that the kids are being raise in an environment of spite and distrust; rather than in an environment that say's "Family is the one you can count on..." This is what me and Dan took from our youth, and that's probably why we're trying to play peace-makers. They all need each others' love too, and would benefit from it. If only they would let that love shine through their problems. That's what the whole FUCKING world needs, is to feel love. It's just that simple, because when you feel someone's love, then you understand that their intentions are not ill-mannered. Rather, they are just acted from another perspective.

Our younger daughter began medical school. We were all proud of her, as well as overjoyed that she'd be living nearby for two years.

My parents moved to my city. I feel annoyed.

I don't feel like a major milestone has been passed. Peter and I celebrated our one year anniversary, though. That is kind of a big deal since I think this will last a very long time, and we are starting an awesome journey together. I love him and am super excited about all the things that lie ahead.

Nothing major has happened, but a lot of minor things have changed. For one, I've started writing my dad regular letters. He's not much one for talking on the phone, and I know a lot of the things I want to tell him are things he doesn't want to hear. He carries a lot of guilt about the things he did and didn't do in the past, but this year I've come to realize that my biggest regret isn't that I didn't have a "better" father but that I wasn't a better daughter. Every letter I write, I tell him how I wouldn't be the person I am today without the lessons – often tough and (at the time) unwelcome – he taught me both directly and by example. There were many things I hated about my father when I was a child, but this past year I have realized that he's just a human being like everyone else, struggling with his own issues, and he loved me the best he could. And, on balance, he passed on many more blessings to me than he will ever know. He doesn't believe me when I say these things, but I keep writing the letters. When he's gone, I want to know that I did everything I could to let him know how much I love him and how much I appreciate the fact that he's my dad.

My beloved husband passed away unexpectedly. Everything in my world has changed. I have learned that we do have a ripple effect on others as I see the impact he had on people he would not have thought he had touched. The same with the outpouring of concern and who it came from. I likely will learn that I am stronger I ever imagined I could be. Am also making significant attempts to connect with others on a more meaningful basis. My nephew got married and it was the last major family event that I attended with my husband, now passed. Everyone was joyous and considerate of each other. I am closer to them now. Will see what farther reaching, long term effect this will have. Shows that life goes on, and another hopeful generation.

My husband retired unexpectedly--it was not part of our plan/timeline--which threw me into a panic about our finances and whether or not we had enough money to live where we are and maintain even our modest standard of living. My biggest fear is about healthcare costs; even staying well costs a lot of money for prescriptions and premium payments. It was all very scary. I know it will all be OK; it's a worthwhile exercise identifying and facing my fears and balancing them with reality and, most importantly, practice staying in the moment. If one or both of us dies suddenly or sooner than expected, what good will all the worrying have done?

My nephew was born 18 months ago, and he's a total goober. He makes me value the close relationship I have with my family, and also really glad that I don't have any kids. It makes everything with my brother and sister-in-law that much more complicated, but totally worth it.

We had a baby! Nothing can be bigger than that. He is so wonderful in so many ways. Being a parent is the most wonderful, difficult job in the world. Our little one is now six and a half months old. It is unreal the way that we have changed since February. He is the center of my universe!

Nothing for me, really. Possibly I have found my life mate, but only time will tell.

My cousin acknowledged that he has paranoid schizophrenia and sought treatment. I think it helped all of us realize how fragile people can be, and also how important it is to support each other. It also taught me about healthy boundaries with family.

My Nan sadly passed away. As she lived with us it was so strange to get used to her not being around but I guess we are still getting used to it now. She was very ill so I know it was the best thing for her but I guess it's just made me value the people around me more and it's made me not take life for granted because you never know what could happen.

My daughter turned 21 this past year. Being her mom has not always been easy and there are many things I wish I had known that might have made some of her struggles easier for her and for the family. All and all we are a loving, funny family of three with lots to be thankful for and I look forward to the next 21 years together.

There have been no major milestones with my family this year--it's been more of a continuous process of enjoying the love and company of children and grandchildren who live at a distance as well as the many joys and pleasures of my own life with my husband in our home, as we also contend with the physical effects of aging and the difficulties of dealing with my mentally ill brother for whom I am a trustee. I believe I may be learning how to contend with suffering that arises in me in relation to any of my family or friends, more peaceably, with less blame and resentment--but it's a long slow journey for me.

DOMA was struck down so soon my parents can finally get married and be recognized by the federal government and recieve all benefits of a married couple.

We moved 3xs this year, it really impacted my bond with my son. It brought us closer together and made me realize that regardless of how hard life gets my son finds home within me. Knowing this made me feel more grounded as a person. It brought comfort to me and made me confidant in how I have been doing as a parent. I guess that saying is true, "Home is where the heart is."

This past year my mother passed away, and the day prior we became grandparents. It was a bitter sweet week. The death of my mom was and is very hard. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her. I miss her. My grandson will turn one in a few days on Sept 10. He is such a beautiful happy baby. He makes everyone in our family smile when he is around.

I got pregnant! It's still early, so we haven't told many people yet, but we're 9w along and have heard a healthy little heartbeat in there. We are excited to grow our little family. We can't wait to see our son become a big brother. It has affected me in a very positive way, though I was apprehensive at first -- I feel like we only just figured out how to parent ONE child, how could we possibly tackle TWO!? But now that it has sunk in and is becoming more real, I am so very very happy and excited.

My dad died. I can't begin to comprehend how much introspection and grief it will continue to bring into my life. While I'm in a constant fog, his death has completely renewed my commitment to community and continues to remind me of the blessings in my life. I feel sad, humble and grateful.

A renewed relationship with my mom after many years of estrangement, has affected me deeply. It is a completely wonderful experience even with all her maladies and eccentricities. I have learned how to better let things roll off my back, to pick my (tiny) battles very carefully &, along with my other experiences in the last two years, mindfully be patient. Driving my mom to her final home in Las Vegas will be a treat. She is behaving like a mother to me for the first time ever and that pleases me so. I have always and still do love her. She has become so vulnerable now and our roles have begun to reverse and she is allowing herself to express that with me comfortably. We have become so close and I never could've imagined so.

I have lived in my house for 30 years as of July 2013 I never thought this would have happened several near move experiences still thinking about where next makes me realize how grateful I am to have such a nice home and ready for a change This has most affected me by my clearly seeing how my mind works One can accomplish a lot by having a stable living place as moving takes a lot of energy on many levels and sometimes we need to reenergize the system/take some chances/shake it up

Well, my grandmother moved in this past month which is great but at the same time that means me and my girlfriend will lose our own room. It's a good thing rather than a bad though.

My daughter Michelle received her Certificate in Jewish Nonprofit Management from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and gave the commencement speech! Major Milestone #2 - she's ENGAGED to a "nice Jewish boy" Barak and is making wedding plans for next August in New York! Milestone #3 and #4- My other daughter Kim is expecting our second grandchild in February and is also a College Professor at CalState Sacramento! Milestone #5 - Tandy, daughter #3 just moved into her very first HOUSE is Houston with a really great guy she dated in High School. PROUD mom to say the least!

I moved to the city where my family is. I can go and see my folks whenever I want. It is a peace of mind that I can be there when they need my help.

My 3.5 year old son began preschool this year!! I am overjoyed to watch him grow. And I feel scared a little too, he is still so small and I am such a protective mother that it's hard for me to not be at his side for those 5 hours twice a week.

My dad started dating someone, this time someone who actually liked him just as much as he liked her. I honestly feel like my dad would have latched on to anyone who would let him, but he seems really happy. It's still weird for all of us, since she's not mom, but it's getting better. It's made me go a little easier on him. It's like he was a giddy teenager when he first started dating her and it made me realize that he's a human being, just like me. Sometimes you put your parents up on a pedestal but then things happen in life where you realize that they are just regular human beings.

The major milestone in my family was my getting remarried. Naturally this has had a profound effect on me...

I feel like my family has become more inclusive with me and that makes my heart feel great!! My family of choice continue grow and grow and grow!! My heart is filled with so much love!!

I finally accepted my dad for who he is. I know he only provide for me in certain ways as a father and I finally am at peace with that. He is hilarious and does what he can for me and I love him for that!

Oh,well I moved out for good. It felt really bittersweet and Maudlin. I just like saying maudlin. |typhoon-Post script| I'm broke as shit. Check to check. It sucks but, I love it. It's time to jump. Tell me all about it next year. I'm scared and excited. It feels good man. I feel free to be me. I am me. I'm building a better me too.A few add-ons here and there. I have nothing else to say here so I'm going to give you a "fuck yeah" FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had my bat mitzvah And allowed me to reclaim my Jewish Identity and allow others to experience The reclamation

My 15 yo nephew, who's mother is not Jewish, decided to have a bar mitzvah, scheduled for this coming spring. This has fostered a wonderful inter-faith, inter-generational dialog about the what/why of the bar mitzvah, religion and identity, values and community, and created new connections within our family.

My parents are moving out of the house I was raised in. Yes it is only next store, and it looks exactly the same. I am excited about the transition, they are ready to own a house and I am so excited they have the opportunity.

With my husband working out of town I have had to become more independent and resourceful in every aspect of life. From installing a tractor battery, to my personal health.

My husband got a huge promotion at work. This new job is something that he has been working towards for the last 3 years, and to see him finally reach it was so awesome. One of the benefits of this new job is that he has a bit more flexibility with his schedule, so we are able to spend more time together. That has helped our relationship a lot!

both my father and my sister passed away after long tough battles w cancer. it shattered me. it broke my heart. and broke my heart open. it forced me to lean on friends for support and showed me the incredible love around me. it has brought me and my mother closer together, as two broken devastated people rebuilding ... together. it taught me about the preciousness of life in a very tangible way. it showed me how strong i really am. it made me a better person in every way. it showed me the beautiful poetry in the pain.

One pathetic am I that I can't think of one? This last year has been excruciatingly painful for me. I feel completely defeated the only thing that keeps me going is my children.

My parents have moved in with my cousin and his family out of need. I feel sad and somewhat guilty that I am not able to provide and care more for them at this time, yet so grateful for the unconditional love and support that they are receiving from a source that I had not expected.

We hit the jackpot financially. It hasn't affected me at all.

I moved in with my boyfriend and his son. It is a tiny one bedroom and there is three of us plus a cat, so it can be a bit crowded and loud and there is no privacy. But we love each other and we are making it work. I have learned to compromise on the little things like the noise level (although I still lose it sometimes in my head) and the heat level and bathroom time.

In two weeks my daughter becomes a bat mitzvah. It is one of the biggest things that will ever happen to our family. I am both very excited and proud, and enormously stressed about it right now. I made a list last night, and there are at least 25 things on it that remain to be done, all of them critical, all while I do my normal job and housework and parenting and observance of the High Holy days. My goal is to do five of them a day and hopefully feel less stressed by this time next week. I need to be better at asking for help. I also am nervous because I cry when I get emotional and proud and have to get ahold of myself!

My sister and my mother had a serious falling out. I guess it's been a lesson in patience for me, since then. I vacillate between consoling, cajoling, mediating, and ignoring, never really being sure what the right thing to do is, other than to insist that everything changes.

My son graduated from college this year. Financially, it was a relief and we are so happy to see him move into the next phase of life. On the other hand, he got accepted into the master's program.

My sister got engaged. At first I think I went through a bit of agita about it. Maybe weird jealousy feelings. Some feelings of "what am I doing with my life". Feeling like she's so much further ahead than I am. My little sister getting married before me, but I'm genuinely over that now and I'm so happy for her and I can't wait to help her with her wedding and watch her get married and start her life. I understand that we just have different life tragectories and hers involves getting married now and mine might be getting married later and that's fine. I'm so excited for her and Colin and I really like Colin now. He's definitely grown on me and endeared himself to me and I see how happy they are together and how much they work on their relationship and I'm really happy for them.

A feast given by my sister-in-law for the birthday of her father-in-law. We had nearly all the family and I am very thankful to her for that because we united and because it made my day and my husband's too after so many events....

My parents are probably the people I should cherish the most. They love me, and I know that. I know that I do not reciprocate, and reciprocity is only right. I hurt them time and time again by being brutish, being careless with my words, and not sparing a thought for them. I realized from the moment they gave me more freedom, us growing up means so much more to them. Watching their own kids mature, watching their children drift away from them ever so slightly, it's not an easy thing to do. They're slowly letting go, and giving me more space. Family will always be of utmost importance. I love my family.

It's actually my up-coming 70th birthday in 9 days. I cannot think of a way to mark this milestone, and I find that troubling. I don't think I have a horror of the milestone--I feel pretty strong and younger than my years--but I can't think of a way to mark it that would bring great joy.....odd.

I guess I could talk about Jack's addiction. Jack's homelessness. My mother the enabler and my father desperately holding on to the idea of a son he never had. The more I think about it, though they are bound to me by blood, my true family consists of the people I chose to have in my life. Ryan, Alexis, the housebros; all of these wonderful people have shaped my life for the better. I am thankful for the family I chose. My family members have all done wonderful things this year and are working towards achieving their dreams and I am so proud of all of them.

Oh goodness... my dad had unexpected heart surgery and it was horrible. It affected me emotionally- I felt very worn down and responsible to take care of him. I still feel some guilt for not being as supportive as I can be. It also taught me some acceptance about the extent to which people care about themselves and your disconnect from influencing that.

Major milestones: I turned 40 and was very excited by it. I never thought I'd live this long, or if I did, have my life this put together. Not that it's an idyllic one, but I'm more put together than I thought possible.

There wasn't any. No big birthdays or events. You'd think with two nearly 25 year olds and a 30 year old in the family there would be like a wedding or a birth but our family just isn't like that, it's not in our life goals. Perhaps when the vault opens next year something will have happened worthy of noting!

In the past year my sister has gotten married and also gotten pregnant. At first, I didn't think this affected me too greatly as I thought I was headed in much the same direction, but when my relationship recently fell apart I realized that marriage and a family (maybe with kids, but maybe not) is something that I want and need in my life. I was choosing a relationship with someone who does not want those things and that recently became untenable for both of us. My sister's family has really impacted my own knowledge that I want a family someday too.

My daughter's boyfriend moved in with her and her young son. While I do want her to marry and have a good life, I don't approve of this arrangement. Her self esteem seems to have vanished and she is totally supporting him. He has bankrupted her and I keep having to bail her out.

We welcomed our newest addition, Jasper, who was born in September 2012. Life goes on!

So many exciting things! - CDG family vacation - Jyoti's wedding (I've never seen her so happy) - Ajay & Sara (I've never seen them so happy) - Preeti loving life in Singapore - Deepak & Rishi doing awesome stuff at work - All the parents being promoted to grandparents - Anita locking down a job and apt - Mon considering going back to work - Kiddos growing up too fast...

I feel like a lot of health related issues have come up for our family. Mental health, weight issues, health in general. It has made me much more aware of how I treat my body, the foods I eat and how I choose to conduct my life. Genetics are a big role in one's health and know I feel like I have more knowledge surrounding such topics, which is both helpful and daunting.

My older cousin Anna, who I am close to, graduated college. I kind of feel like, for my entire life, I've been watching Anna really closely because she is one year older than me. So whatever she is going through, I will be going through soon. Watching her graduate, apply to graduate school, find an apartment and a part-time job, and try to figure out what her next steps are has been illuminating and terrifying, because I know I'll be in her shoes next year. It's also gratifying, because I'm really proud of what she's accomplished. She's a great role model.

I've made a conscious effort to relinquish my control over things at work. I've stopped worrying about deadlines and trivial things over which I have no control ...very freeing

He finally told me that YES he does want to get married and not just to anyone, but to me and he wants kids. He'd been thinking about it, just not talking about it. I was so happy and excited. Now I just wish he'd hurry up and ask! We're not getting any younger! :) I love you Dave!

My detaching from my community and from family and friends in preparation for our move to costs i a was a huge milestone! It was difficult but never insurmountable to do. The distance has helped me to heal my relationship with my daughter. It is now a work in progress. The overall effect of all of this has been peacefulness, happiness and serenity. But I know it will take work and constant vigilance to continue this healing process. I also hope to gain insight into our mother daughter relationship. My hope is it will help my daughter and granddaughter keep their relationship healthy.

My grandmother passed away in January, which means that I have no more grandmas left. It reminded me to be careful to treasure my close friends and family; I never know when they will no longer be physically present with me.

We were able to get my brother out of his bad relationship, and my mother kicked cancer's ass, for the second time. That's pretty good.

Just recently, Sophie started kindergarten. That means that we have no more kids in preschool. It has been wonderful to witness both kids' growth in the last year, but Sophie's has been especially transformative. She constantly amazes me. Of course, I know that these school years will fly by, and I will look back on this moment nostalgically as the end of an era in our family. But at this moment, I am not sad to put the preschool years behind us. There are just too many wonderful aspects of this next stage of the life of our family to be sad about it.

After trying for over a year to become pregnant on my own, I finally started the process of recovering and getting some help emotionally to process it all. Then, like a miracle, I accidentally got pregnant naturally with my partner. We lost the child to miscarriage after only a few weeks of pregnancy. I'm still not sure whether I will be able to or even want to try again, but dealing with the reality of being pregnant moved our relationship into fast forward. At this point in my life, I'm still 100% sure that I want to spend it with my boyfriend - but he's taking some time. I guess the major effects on my are learning how to live with ambiguity and uncertainty - and welcoming that as opposed to trying to control everything myself. I've learned that some things just don't come from hard work and intense effort. It sounds kind of hokey - but learning to let go and enjoy the moment while letting go of expectations about what the future should look like (or mourning what you fear will happen) is really the key to enjoying life. Holding on too tightly to plans or expectations makes you blind to what's right in front of you. Maybe I should start meditating, since I think this is what that whole zen buddhist thing is about anyway.

My dad retired this year. I didn't really think this would affect me too much, but it's definitely made me think about the way my family deals with money and also made me re-evaluate where we fall on the socioeconomic ladder. The fact that neither of my parents work and are only 55 is extremely rare. The reason that my dad decided to retire was because of what happened to Peter and Charlie, which makes sense, but also calls me to question the privilege that I have at home. My life felt even more privileged than before when I went home at the end of the summer.

My brother-in-law passed away a month ago. Only about a month before that, the rest of the family found out that he was an alcoholic. He went in for detox treatment and was held there for several weeks. I had no idea how severe his alcoholism was, let alone that he was even an alcoholic. He never showed up to family gatherings and didn't work anymore, so now it makes more sense. He died from alcohol withdrawals. I didn't know people died from that, except maybe for Amy Winehouse. It made me realize that after all these years, there was a big secret hidden from the rest of the family. I'm sad for his son, my nephew, because he's only 16. He's grown up pretty quickly though, and he and his mom seem to be emerging from all of this alright.

Gosh - lots of them. Mom has stopped dyeing her hair (and getting it cut regularly for that matter) because she cannot remember where/who her salon/stylist is. Jeff went to Afghanistan voluntarily.... Where do i even start there. Karen announced that she's moving to CO next Summer after Hawaii ends. Payton was born, as (insert boy's name here) will be born any day now. Rick announced that he's going to move to CA and leave Darlene until she can join him (retirement in 15 years??) and that is still playing out. And I have decided to move back to CO, with Mark (hopefully) as i feel like i/we are missing out on life being trapped in this exclusive, expensive choking city. So over-all pretty affected!! But it is life.

college...I am so depressed about my boys leaving me and I will be alone

It seems that all my answers come back to the same thing, my son being born. He has changed the complete dynamic of my entire family. He has brought us all closer together and everyone is happy again. Since my father passed away four years ago, there has been a mourning cloud over my family. My son cleared that cloud. Everyone sees a future again.

My mother having a cancer surgery and my cousin going through a chimiotherapy. I think I am more scared for myself and them to never happen again!

I haven't seen my family in person for about 7 months. When I do visit, it'll be over 8. That's the longest I've gone without seeing them. It's been beneficial being on my own for this long, as it's really helped me figure out what I need to do to support myself. But I've missed them, and I'll be glad to go back and visit.

My mother graduated from college. It was a great day because she finally realized a dream she had for years. One that was her's and no one else's.

My grandma died. She was one of the people I loved the most in this world. She died after two months of terrible suffering, so I felt relieved the day she finally allowed herself to leave. After some time of grieving, it made realise I should always be thankful for the wonderful people I have in my life. And now, though I sometimes miss her, I feel happy everytime I remember her, and proud of her because she has had a hard life and still she never looked back. Whenever I fall, she helps me get up and keep on fighting for what I love.

Understood the dynamic of why I am married to who I am. I realise it is because I believed I was not worthy of more. Realised I accepted that all i was getting was all that was available. I took less to save face.

Dad's passing was by far the most major milestone. I had been dreading this for quite a while. I knew when we went up for Thanksgiving last year, it would be the last one I would see my father. In my head, I know it's just part of the life cycle, but a completely different story in my heart. I'm heartbroken. Even though we lived 7 hours away, we spoke every day. The last couple of years, it was mostly the same questions and the same answers, but there was something so soothing about that. I tried to keep my patience, and for the most part, I kept it. How I loved when he would say, "There's nothing like a daughter." I miss our phone calls, I miss baking lemon bread for him, I miss buying his shirts, and how I would give anything to hear the war stories I heard over and over. Life cycle events like this one SUCK.

Two major milestones in my life. 1) I am in a committed relationship for the first time in three years. It's been a very interesting transition for me and for my partner. I think it's making me a better person, calmer and more focused on the future and more aware of living in the present. 2) I have taken full custody of my daughter. It's been freeing. I no longer have to worry about her safety, health, and well being when she's with my ex husband. Life is getting better by the day.

My dad turned 81 this year. I'm 36 and he was 45 when I was born. He isn't perfect and he's gone through a lot of health issues over the last 10 years, but he always bounces back like it was no big thang. His turning 81 made me realize that there are a lot of things to do and see in this lifetime and that being healthy and having a sharp mind are really important to me. I'm glad my dad is still a firecracker, it really inspires me to take care of myself because I may be here for a long time... and I guess I want to be here for a long time.

My mom being diagnosed with cancer was an all-too-clear reminder of the brevity of life. It was the catalyst I needed to finally break away from my dead-end relationship, which was sucking out my zest for life. I am appreciating each & every day. Even moments have become precious.

I have learned that I underestimated my sister Sharon. She is much more mature than I ever gave her credit for. She has gone through a couple of difficult life events, and I believe that she really wants the best for me. I enjoy speaking with her much more now than I ever have before, and we've become a lot closer as a result.

My stepsister had a baby. It's been a way for us to move past some pain and hurt we inflicted on each other.

No major milestone has happened with my family within the past year. The only significant thing is the house that my father owned, but I had lived in, finally sold. A blessing for him as it needed to go, but it also didn't really fix the financial problems he has been having with his business (the main reason for its sale). It was bittersweet for me. I loved that house and miss it often, but my life is in another city now. Though I'll miss not being to go "home" and visit friends in Philly, it is better that I don't have a place I could easily go to so that I can more firmly plant my feet in New York. Again, all bittersweet.

We had two big milestones this year. Trevor graduated from college with his Bachelor of Science in Fisheries Management, and Matt graduated from HS. Trevor finished his degree on time in four years. Matt, we had questions whether he would finish HS , after skipping his entire freshman year. It became crystal clear that moving in with us was the best possible thing for him, and now he's doing great. Huge blessings all around.

I witnessed my first major parental illness. My parents are approaching 80 and my mom just had to have emergency heart surgery. The extent of her condition was not fully shared with me as I live 500+ miles away and they "didn't want me to worry." Now I am contemplating how active I want/need to be in their medical appointments. More fundamentally, I am reconsidering my career goals, since I had my eye on a position overseas. I doubt that I want to be even farther away given the current situation.

My daughter finished her first year of college and decided to get a full time job and go to night school. This is her first real job and has allowed me to breathe financially for the first time in a long time.

My daughter and son-in-law bought a little house in Rio Nido, a tiny community along the Russian River in western Sonoma County. The house, built in 1930, is cute, fundamentally sound, and well above flood-level; it is about a five-minute walk from the "resort" (lawn, pool, café, bar, and outdoor stage) and the recently-resuscitated motel which are the only commercial buildings in Rio Nido. All the other buildings are little houses, some inhabited year-round and some used as vacation homes, tucked into the canyons among the redwoods. The purchase of this house is the fulfillment of a years-long dream of owning a piece of property, a privilege which most young San Franciscans do not have. I think that for my daughter, who was born and lived her first 17 years in Santa Rosa (the main city of Sonoma County), owning property there is something very fitting and special. It feels that way to me too--so much so that my husband and I have arranged to be buried in Santa Rosa. We spent the weekend of our granddaughter's fifth birthday in Rio Nido, and fell in love with it. I don't think I'd want to live there year-round, as it's deep in the redwoods and potentially quite dark and gloomy in Sonoma County's torrentially wet, chilly winters, but, as we told the young family who have recently purchased the motel, it's a great place to visit and we hope to be back there again and again. Of course this means that they will be at church (in San Francisco) less and less, and that does bother me as regards the little one's religious upbringing. That is, however, as my daughter lets me know quite firmly, none of my business. If having a house in Rio Nido makes my daughter happy and helps with her emotional upsets--which have always scared the hell out of me--then that's got to be a good thing.

Major milestone...hitting rock bottom, perhaps? My husband threatened to leave us. He suffers from depression and paranoia, and had come off of his medicine. I *think* we are on an up-swing, but every time I think that we have a fight. I don't know. I really want to get to a good place, and yet it seems so far off in the future. What can I do to create the life I want to live NOW, today, tonight and tomorrow? It seems out of reach. I don't know how to change my thoughts about it all. I consider myself an optimist, and yet the changes I want to make seem to slip through my fingers.

I got married at the age of 40, to my best friend and to the man who understand and supports me. We also lost his mother to cancer two weeks ago(today). We have started to try & start our family, now.

Birth of granddaughter in February. Has turned me into a cooing, gooey-with-love grammy. Unbelievable joy. A chance to relive the childhood of my daughters, but in the next generation. Has made the family, already close, even closer. Cannot get enough of the baby, who lives on the East Coast. Have seen her four times in six months, three of them when I flew to her. Last saw her Aug. 1-4. Feels like ages ago.

My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary and also their 70th birthdays! I took them for a special celebratory dinner and told them 40 years of marriage was to be championed as no-one thinks of relationships in the same way these days! I also made an effort on their birthdays and bought Mum tickets for the ballet and my Dad theatre vouchers.

My older children and I started talking with each other again, after a very long and difficult divorce. Rebuilding my relationships with my children has been one of the most important aspects of my life this past year. Just being able to hug my adult children brings me more joy than these tiny words could describe! We are learning how to communicate in healthy ways and respect our individual boundaries and provide each other with support and compassion and respect.

This year was all about retirement. People said I'd be bored. I worried about getting money without working. But realized that I had already worked for that money and was just having delayed spending. Now I can relax and enjoy my years of retirement. And I'm never bored.

my grandfather passed away from pancreatic cancer, my sister was bat mitzvahed and I spent a week in a psych ward. a lot happened this past year and it made me a lot stronger.

Grandma and Grandpa moved up to be near my parents and Aunt and her family; they have done well up there, much better than I think most of us feared. I still worry about them, but I know that they are comfortable and have a good facility, and that family goes to see them a lot. That's made me feel a lot better, even if I haven't been able to get back there much myself.

My daughter moved to Seattle. While I miss her TERRIBLY (and often disagree with her life choices) I am happy to see that she is following her dreams.

My youngest daughter turned 5 and started kindergarten. This has been a wonderful experience so far, but I was fretting about it as we were coming up to it. I can't wait to see where we're at next year when she's heading into first grade. Also, in September of 2012, my sweet husband got his black belt! The confidence and strength he has shown and the determination that it took to complete the work to receive his black belt show a marked improvement in his mood and the way that he has treated himself.

My sister became the senior designer of a small graphic design firm. I suddenly became aware of my lesser-financial success and of how our success might be perceived by others but I also started to respect her enormously and value her talent.

Several major milestones in the past year. First and foremost, my fiance survived cancer and chemotherapy treatments. He's had a clean bill of health for almost a year now. It affected me profoundly to watch him go through that and to shoulder more of the responsibilities we shared to allow him to heal. Secondly, we got engaged last December after 5.5 years of partnership. While we already feel married on an emotional level from all of the other life milestones we've passed together, we wanted to celebrate that commitment with our friends and family. Thus, we decided not to elope and are planning a big wedding.

My mom turned 60 -- it was such a fun celebration and its awesome to see our family change and grow. As we shared a birthday dinner, it made me so happy to see that we are all actually not just family, but treasured friends, too!

After several months of dating, my boyfriend and I moved in together. It has been one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences of my life. Despite the growing pains of opening our lives to one another and stretching into the creation of more space for one another, everyday I look forward to coming home to him. Sharing my life with him so intimately is a blessing that I hope I never take for granted.

For the first time in three years, my family (except for my older sister) went on a mini vacation to Morro Bay and Cambria. It was so magical because we were extremely relaxed and there were no arguments. It was just us shopping and peering in at nature and becoming in touch with our spiritual and familial sides, something that was lost a long time ago and now has been found once again. We explored tidepools, said hello to elephant seals, and, of course, ate delicious meals. We even explored the hotel where my parents stayed at for their honeymoon (The Madonna Inn). The vacation was magical. It brought my family back together again and allowed us to share in each others thoughts and feelings. My dad had us play at the mini golf course of our hotel and my dad is a lover of golf. It could not have been a better vacation. It just goes to show that it is never too late to renew the bonds of family.

I go back to my answer to the question from Day 1. I met my birth daughter for the first time, and feel privileged to get to know her. She lives on the other side of the country and we email weekly. It has been a completion for me, and I believe for her as well. Now, I have let go of the shame and guilt around letting her go.

I have no family of my own. I have extended family and they've had kids and graduations and starting school and all that, but I have no kids, no husband. Sometimes I want one, sometimes I'm relieved I don't have one.

My mom moved. She was my only relative living in the same city I do. Since I had to separate from my wife, I've found myself without any support net. It makes things really hard. But I manage as best I can.

We moved back in together! After two and a half years, we are in the same house again. It has been quite the adjustment. I had actually grown pretty comfortable living alone which was a complete shock since I cried every night after he first moved out. Everything from division of labor to sharing a bed again is wildly different. It has been so nice but a little tough on both of us. I am so lucky to have my life.

It seems silly, but we got a dog for the family. The process of choosing the dog was weirdly stressful and complicated, but what was interesting is when it came to making a final choice, it was our older daughter that made the decision. She just seemed to know that this was the right dog for our family. And she was totally, completely right. It was an awesome lesson for me as her mother - I am learning faith in her as a person. It's not just about raising a kid but learning to trust this person you're creating. Plus, our dog is cute and adorable and great.

I was able to reach out and ask for help getting out of a difficult situation, if needed, and both my parents (who are divorced from each other) said they would help. Luckily, I didn't need their help, but it was gratifying to know that they were there for me if I needed them.

Me moving out and going to America for a year has definately been a challenge for everybody. Obviously it affected me the most, but my family at home needs to adapt to me not being around.

My grandma died. I learned about myself and about my family. I learned about sickness and death. I found courage. I observed how people have different approaches to death, and my condition of "being in my head" was shaken up a bit and I was brought closer to reality. I ignored my father and stood up for what I felt was right, quietly, creating no stir, simply following my own heart, as difficult a process as it was to see it and to shake off the reins of parental ways of being that limited me. After all this, I was proud of myself. Life happens; we don't have any control over that and we shouldn't resist it, but it forces choices which illuminate us and can bring us together, can make us more human.

There are so many things in the past year that have changed that it is really hard to distringuish one from another. My S.O. went from working nights to days. It started making things easier but now S.O. is moving to work some nights. I'm not to happy about this but it will supposedly be a more flexible schedule. My son also started sleeping through the night most of the time. I'm starting to get my sanity back.

We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. Because of my husband's back surgery a few months before, it was not a big blow-out. We went away for a few days. In some ways, I always feel happy that we don't "need" expensive gifts or big parties or an extended trip to celebrate us. We are a good match, we have a good life, we are able to do much of what we want, and all our needs are met. I was reminded, though I usually am aware, that we've had a long, good journey together; we can look forward to more of the same. Can't beat that!

I got married. I ended moving to a different state. I think I'm dealing with everything well, it's annoying how my mom is always asking when I am going to come back and mocks me for wanting and liking to be with my husband.

Our 1st child graduated high school and went away to college. She ended her senior year at a local college and did fantastic in college classes and on her SAT. She had a full scholarship to one school and got into the state university in the 1st round, which is hard to do. The effect has been for me to be aware that she does often know what she needs and when I trust her, she does a great job of finding her way.

My nephew recovered from a near-fatal experience with taking drugs at a "rave." It has personally cost my brother approximately $100,000 for all the medical care. Not too long after that, my nephew graduated from college! Wow, very impressive!

Q1 reflected the most major of family milestones this year, but another has been a family vacation - the first in 8 years, and the first since my father's passing. The sacrifice we each made in order to be present for the trip, and the efforts we took to get along despite sometimes challenging circumstances were a true measure of how far we've come and how much we've grown since that time. I'm so proud of the people my younger brother and sister have become. I'm so proud of my mom for establishing a new identity as a strong and independent woman, even in the absence of my dad. We all are making forward progress and I saw this trip as a real indicator of continue movement in a positive direction. We're a different family, but we're still a wonderful family.

I got married in August, and my dad killed himself in September. I've never experienced pain like that. My first year of marriage has been so intertwined with a deep, deep grief - such a rollercoaster ride. It is approaching the year anniversary of my dad's death, and it's still barely even comprehensible that he's gone. Some days I feel like it's just been a long time since I've talked to him, and he's still here, at home with my mom, riding his bike on sunny days and preparing litanies of things I should be careful about. It's funny how I think of everything I do in terms of what he would think about it - when I cook salmon, I think of him; when I eat a great meal at a restaurant, I think of him; when I ride my bike or take a run, I think of him; when I accomplish something in my career, I think of him. I bought a house with my husband, and so much of the time, I think about all the things I would be calling him about (how does a sump pump actually work? Is it supposed to be making that noise?) and wondering what he would be advising me. I'm starting to think about kids, and every time it crosses my mind, I think about how much he would have enjoyed being a grandfather... I haven't even really started to process the fact that he died by suicide. It doesn't even make sense most days. How could that decline into depression happen so fast? How does that fit into any sense of justice in the world?

My wife had major surgey- the removal of a huge ovarian cyst. We were really worried- but the surgery was a success, the biopsy came out negative and the scary water balloon in her abdomen is gone. I remain thankful and relieved.

My cousin passed away who was the glue to the family. It has been such a hard year for all of us, learning so much more about my family along the way. In the end, I think it just made us all closer because we all were mourning together.

I don't think there has been a major family milestone in the past year. I think we have gotten to spend more time as an extended family though. We are excited for J & A's upcoming wedding so we can spend even more time together as a family.

My mom got a partner, my dad has had health scares all year. Actually, he's in surgery right as I type. Re: mom, this has been really heartening and a huge relief. To have a partner, to have someone to love and to care for and be cared for by, this had been a concern about her for forever. They moved in together and she is the happiest and most productive she has been since I can remember. I am also less worries about her wrt finances, which was a concern because I don't make enough to support her. So my brother and I are relieved, too. Re: dad, this has been a tough year for him health wise: he had debilitating back pain, he can't run, his balance is off, he has a nerve issue and a pain issue that are not the same. It was the first time I realized he is mortal, he could die or not be who he has always been to me, and inspiration for activity, and something to be proud of because of that. He went to mayo clinic, there was a cancer scare, so far he is in constant pain but not danger of death. It's just sad and frustrating. Must be difficult for my step mom, too. Makes me think about what it will be like when he's gone and I just can't accept it.

I went back to work full-time, and that's been really hard on all of us. We do great with daycare, but it's just so hard to keep things moving in the direction we need and want to go with so many competing priorities.

My brother got the second baby, and we needed to spend mre time with the first one ( to help out)We were very happy to see her more often.My dad go a cancer, and we do not really know how to go with it.We try to help, but I think we should go into his world, not to tell advices.

My sister had a miss-carriage and then fell pregnant again. Being pregnant and then not and then pregnant again has made an already nervous and anxious person - even more so. Living in another country has always made me feel rather distant from my family, but this really brought it home - that she is the person very closest to me, yet so distant, and I was unable to know what to do/say at important moments and can't relieve any of their anxieties.

Our son entered the public school system. The whole process is this labyrinthine test of endurance and patience, with massive doses of luck and bureaucratic obfuscation thrown in for good measure. I would have been completely lost, but watching my wife navigate it, fight her way through it, and ultimately come out of it triumphant was deeply inspiring to me. I have massive respect for her capabilities when it comes to organizational efforts, and this served to increase that by orders of magnitude. Living up to her example every day is both a challenge and a privilege. Also, we took our first "family road trip" this year, it may have been a "vacation", but it was a two weeklong experience in bonding with my family. I got to spend more, and better, time with my wife and son than I have in, well, along time. This is not to say I'm an absentee husband/father, rather, it was simply time with them, free from the demands of job/social obligation/household distractions. It made me realize how little time we actually have for ourselves and our families in the normal day to day, and made me much more focussed on using what time I do have in a wiser fashion, Now, whether I live up to THAT, well, only time will tell.

My mother-in-law has been sinking into dementia for the last few years, but we've been comforted by the fact that my father-in-law has been able to take good care of her. This year, for the first time, it appears he may be starting to forget things as well. That's a bit scary, because if he is no longer able to take care of everything, we may need to step in. It's going to be hard to weigh when would be the right time to do that.

My oldest son went off to start college a week ago. I don't think I've felt the full impact of it yet, but as we were getting him ready to go, it definitely felt like we were closing a chapter in our family history. I feel like he has been officially "launched", bringing the immediacy of parenting him to an end. It is bittersweet. We have been so close, that in some ways it feels like a great loss. In other ways, the beauty of how he has turned out brings much pride and joy.

This is my first full year as an employee (I sold my business after 20 yrs.). It's taken, and is still taking, some getting used to. But everyone around me says I'm a nicer person, so it's been good for me and more importantly for my family.

The relationship between myself and my partner of 22 years has finally been validated by the Supreme Court. We were married in MA in 2004 when it first became legal and now, at long last, we can file joint tax returns, among other things, and not be so worried about whether or not the survivor can in fact survive when the other dies.

I can't really think of anything "milestone" wise this year. Weird, but I've just got nothing.

My dad had open-heart surgery in February 2013, and my siblings and I all came together to be by his side. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, it was really special to spend this time together.

We added a human person this year! Little baby Ava has come in to this world and it has been amazing to see my brother as an enthusiastic father. He and Theresa are both over the moon. I have been amazed at the physical manifestation of my love for Ava when I see her on FaceTime, and am so focused on getting to Philly as much as possible to kiss her cheeks. She energizes me to be creative and make things with my hands besides baked goods, and that feels really great. I think my relationship with my brother will progress in a really sweet way since he had Ava, and even since they moved away. It seems like having me to visit for longer times but in specific weekends will be a good way to see the different ways that Ava interacts with the world and get my brother and Theresa during some down time.

I think I stopped talking with a large part of my family. No idea how to remedy that, I'm not the one to reach out.

Luca, my son, learned to walk and talk. This has made being a dad much more fun and meaningful experience. Before he could communicate or move, I didn't know what I was supposed to do and felt very lonely, sad and ashamed that I wasn't connecting with my own son. Since he learned to walk and talk, we've gotten much closer and bonded emotionally. I am so much happier now and finally understand why people say being a parent is fun.

My youngest child reached his Bar Mitzvah. N0w I get to look forward to eating in front of 3 fasting people next week.

Real relationships lead to real happy! The divorce was huge. The kids's reaction. The ex's reaction. It all just opened my eyes to how complacent I had gotten with my life. How I had just shoved everything under the rug and made up stories. No more.

There's no major milestone that I can think of.

I lost two family members this year. My beloved father in law and my own aunt. My mother in law has never had to pay a bill or deal with much of what I do on a regular basis. She is all alone in her house and so far away from us that it makes us feel less than capable of helping her when she needs it. I think the death of my aunt was the death that affected me most deeply because I saw this incredible mass of family gather around, caress her body, kiss her hands and head, etc. after her death. I realized at the cellular level that this will NOT be my death. I have no siblings or children and I started making plans with others in similar circumstances that we need to live together when we are old and be there for each other.

My wife's parents have returned to us from abroad, from riches to rags in the 15 or so years I've known them. Business collapsed and thrown on the mercy of the state, and us. It's really thrown into sharp relief how quickly things can change under you. And the closer you are to 'retirement' whatever that looks like - the less wriggle room you have to flex with that change.

With me going off to college, my family has reached that "old age" point where the parents are empty nesters and the kids are off doing their own things. It's been strange transitioning into college life but it has definitely made me a better person. I also think I have grown closer to my family now that I am able to understand how much they have done for me to get me to this point.

Julia's graduation and impending college attendance has cast a stark light at my age, stage and what I've done in my life up until now. It's a source of both pride and a bit of fear for how much has already transpired.

My parents became grandparents. I realised i had to thank my mother for being my mother and for nurturing me like she did. Only now that i'm a mother can i understand the selflessness, commitment, love, passion, patience and devotion it takes. I also realised it's time to forgive my father for he is giving his grandson the boundless love, affection, time and commitment i'd always wish he'd given me.

When my nephew graduated college last year, being a little rudderless, I offered that he could take up residence in our semi-finished basement (w/ bathroom and reasonable approximation of a kitchen). It became an interesting 7 months! We all had to learn to negotiate space and privacy AND for us adults, to manage our opinions and feelings about his job search, cleanliness and lifestyle!

The most significant milestone is that my grandma died. I am sad that she's gone, but grateful that she lived such a long life, and that her last years were fulfilling. After my grandpa died a couple years ago, she sold their house and moved into an independent living facility. She was able to socialize with friends and get involved in activities in a way that she hadn't been able to in a while - they had become pretty house-bound and she spent most of her time taking care of him. A friend who lived with her in her new community told me at her funeral that my grandma had "blossomed" the last couple years. That was so nice for me to hear. Also, I just moved from the east coast to the west, and I know she wasn't happy about that. So, selfishly, I am grateful that I don't have to feel guilty about being out here.

1. Rebecca and Cade got married . . . got a brother in law! 2. Carl graduated UPT (dream come true) . . . got a pilot! 3. Moved to Arizona . . . got a house! 4. Had my second baby . . . got a daughter! Daughter trumps the rest. She is a dream come true. An enchanting baby. She makes the babies in the story books look like colicky fussy messpots. She's a sheer delight.

G0t pregnant.. with twins! Girls!

Oddly enough the major milestone occurred the other day when I found a long lost cousin who had been searching for family members since 2009. What a surprise I had when she sent me a picture of my father that she had been trying to identify. It was like seeing a ghost appear on my computer screen. This just goes to show you how you never know who is out there looking for connection.

I stopped trying to get my mother to outwardly accept and appreciate me. It has made our relationship so much smoother because I am no longer disappointed when I don't get the responses that I thought I wanted. I am 54 and my mother is 92 so that has been a long-time struggle.

family milestone... mum's 90th bday party!!! at burrowing owl estate winery; FABULOUS! she was glowing. surrounded by an amazing family, my hubby's family, colin's family who has wrapped me into their love... blows my mind how good they are to me! after all I've been thru... to have landed my prince charming... cosmic; tres cosmic!

My grandnephew was bar mitzvahed and although he certainly has not been transformed into a man, the experience did help him grow up and become more an adult part of the family. It shows in the way he reaches out to others, including me.

I now have a kid in middle school, and one that has moved into upper elementary. They are both on different planes of development. Our middle and youngest children no longer share a bedroom, which has enabled them to take ownership of their space and exhibit a level of maturity previously unseen. It's been great.

When aunt Debbie passed away a week ago it shocked me and broke my heart. She meant so much to me in my lifetime, even if her illness and addiction had caused us to grow apart in recent years. My childhood was as good as it was in large part due to her, and she helped me through thick and thin when my own parents wouldn't. For the past six years I watched her struggle, and while she is at peace now, I wasn't ready for her to go.

This year has been a pretty quiet year for our family (thank god). Last year and the year before was more than enough. Ali did move to the west coast though. I think that'll make our relationship stronger. Also, both siblings finally met Chester! And love him! Very different from when I first rescued him and the whole family told me they'd never visit me again if I had a cat.

The biggest milestone this year for my family was me moving off to college and leaving my mom by herself with the cats. Even though we both know it is good for me to be going out and I was defiantly looking forward to it it feels like it all happened so fast.

I realize this is seems like the polar opposite of what other people seem to be sharing .. and something that has, up til (and maybe still including) now been a taboo thing to even think about, let alone do, but I finally got the courage and self-strength to leave my family of origin. Each and ever one of them (though there are only 2 surviving now) have been abusive, using and cruel to me .. always .. except for my father, who died suddenly 2 weeks after my 3rd birthday. It was set up for the beginning that I held the Cinderella archetype and I just accepted this as my 'hard, yes, but what's my choice?' position in life. Then I hit age 58 and, in the face of having lost everything (job, home, income, outside connection to anyone but them), I finally got the professional help I needed. It has effected me across the gamut of emotion, from elation (I am finally free to live my life the way I choose!) to deep dismay, & the grief that accompanies it. The beautiful news is that I am finally, now, able to participate in my own evolution, and so, if they should choose to do so, are the remaining members of my family of origin. I wish only love, forgiveness & furthering for everyone, and I mean this. May we all be healed & thriving, with time, intention & Divine Assistance ✡

There have been quite a few milestones, with my brother getting engaged and myself, but I think one of the biggest milestones to happen is my grandpa reaching 91 and getting diagnosed with bladder cancer. He has successfully completed all of his treatments. He is the true example of a fighter.

My grandmother's dementia got so bad she had to be taken care of in a nursing home. This has been hard on my dad, aunt, uncle and the rest of us. She doesn't know what is going a lot of the time, but otherwise her health is good. My aunt and cousin visit her every single day. My parents moved back to my hometown. My dad decided he needed a change again. This has been stressful since they are now renting and were both out of work for many months. They finally just both started working mostly full time. Things seem more grounded and I think they are fighting less. I switched departments at work to remove myself from seeing my ex. This was the best decision for so many reasons. I still do no love my job and have a difficult new boss. But, I have made friends here and I could just let go of my last relationship. My niece was born. I don't know her well yet, but it was a happy moment for all of us. My nieces and nephew are all quite charming and a lot of work. My sister moved to Colorado. This was tough for me. She is my closest friend and I miss her. She also is the person I spent the most time with. The rest of my friends all have their own lives with husbands and kids. Losing her has made my loneliness even worse. I think I was pretty down about it all summer. I hope she is happy and gets what she needs out of her relationship. She deserves better.

We went on a Family trip to Spain and Israel. My sister and I grew closer than we ever have been. It has been a wonderful thing!

I became a grandmother. everything changed for me. my heart is more open; I'm not sweating the small stuff; I'm willing to get rid of the people in my life who drag me down, and to forgive the people who aren't what I want them to be. I see the love between my children and I am proud and in awe of the family we have created. I am blessed.

Moving to Durham was a huge milestone. We had been so excited to get back to the area and it had been a long time in the making. Now we have such a great community here. I feel much happier and I think this will be a great place for our family. Also my my oldest son started kindergarten which was bittersweet on one hand I'm happy he is growing more independent, but on the other I would like to know about what is happening and how he is being influenced. I am not ready to let go.

I don't know if it really can be seen as a milestone, but my sister somehow "moved out", or at least she always stays over at her boyfriend's house. So we get so see each other not very often anymore. Which is somehow pretty sad, because when we see each other, it's like we'Re only fighting. And that makes me sad, because I like her a lot, but it feels like she's somehow ashamed of me or simply doens't want to see me

This year my Grandmother Corrine (mom's mom) died. I learned a lot about my grandma, her sister my Great Aunt Winnie and my Aunt Carolyn (mom's sister), I did not know. Some good, some sad stuff, but in the end it made me closer to the women in my family.

Betchy moved back to Brazil in November 2012. That has affected her and my parents more than myself, but it has made me learn how patient and accepting my parents are of us. My father has not expressed any sort of disappointment toward her. Just confusion, and rightly so. He has also not expressed an inkling of disappointment over my departure with A&F. If anything, he's embracing the change, and told me that after all my hard work, at this point, there's nothing I can do that would disappoint him. :0)

My younger brother, who is physically and emotionally disabled, took a trip to Israel this summer. My mom went along with him, and he had an amazing time. He is often very pessimistic and doubts his ability to do anything new, but he tried many new things while he was there and had so much fun. It was definitely a confidence booster for him. Also, naturally, my mom got to make Aaliyah, so that was great. I suppose it affected me in that I was the first to go on a birthright trip, so it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't. It made me proud, both that I had helped set it in motion and that he did so well.

I've become more grateful to my mom.

My mom got laid off. I'm not sure how this will all turn out in the long run but it has put a strain on the entire house.

Our older son got married this year to a wonderful young woman and they are very happy. This has given us great joy and introduced us to a whole new group of wonderful family members

I moved out of my parents house and into an apartment with my boyfriend. This has definitely changed the family dynamic. My father has taken the change well, and I've come to appreciate our time together even more. My relationship with my mother has always involved some codependency so she has not been adjusting as well. I've become less apt to give in to her manipulation and emotional outbursts. Living apart from them has been rewarding and a wake up call concerning adulthood.

We bought a house this year! Check that off my life list. I never imagined what a difference it would make to own a home, but there were moments when it was quiet and the sun was shining, and I laid down on a blanket in my garden, knowing my husband and son were tucked away inside, that I felt the most deep sense of contentment I can remember. I love this house. I love the circles my son runs in it. I love the garden work my husband does in it. I love the view out our bedroom window, all sky and tree tops and wood pidgeons. I love having a home again.

My daughter has fallen in love, with a man who lives a long ways away. For the moment, they're long-distance dating, but that's likely to change soon. When it does, she's likely to be out of the house for good. My feelings are VERY mixed. I don't want to let go, but I want, so badly, for her to start making her own way in the world. But, already, I miss her when I don't see her for a whole day. Guess I'm going to have to grow up.

I got divorced. This was the most difficult, profoundly upsetting anxiety producing, depressing thing I've ever been through. It forced me to reexamine my choices which led up to that point, to reflect on my life, to think about my present, to contemplate what I want for my future. It brought up feelings of anger, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, feelings of worthlessness, self-loathing, regret, jealousy, hatred, disappointment. It forced me to confront the reality that I have to start over. I've been scared - completely terrified of what my future may have in store. Of when I may meet someone else. Of when - if ever- I may ever start a family of my own. All these emotions have caused me to really reflect on my life, and myself as an individual. I'm not strong yet, but I'm stronger than I was. I'm not ready to be in another relationship yet, but I'm ready to start dating, and to learn more about what I want and need in my next relationship. I've had to confront the reality of life not going as planned, of having to deal with my low self esteem, of having to essentially try and rebuild my life and start all over. I'm not there yet. I'm still not getting very good sleep at night, and I worry, and I have doubts, and I feel unhappy quite often. But I also work on making things better. By going out, meeting new people, and pushing myself a little. I could push myself more. I could do more. I could try new things instead of falling back on internet dating etc. I guess I'm not over the divorce and the profound sadness which it caused- whether or not it was the right decision to make. I'm still a little broken.

I have been dealing with tongue cancer this past year. It has made me stronger, able to use my voice for my well being, allowed me to be more dependent on my family, able to receive their love, and brought us even closer as a family. I count my blessings every day and am in deep gratitude for my beautiful, loving, joyous, supportive family.

I finally got serious about my chronic health issues and buckled down with my diet and exercise. As a result I lost nearly 40 pounds. I have a long ways to go, but I have more stamina, a new pant size, and the incentive to keep going.

My only grandchild - a sweet little two and a half year old boy was just diagnosed with Autism. When he turned two - last December, he was very vocal - with a vocabulary of about 60 words and had such a sweet voice. He was very social and always smiling - just lighting up any place that he was. Then over the span of a weekend in early January, he completely stopped talking and would not look anyone in the face - he is mostly in his own world and not social at all now. We are so very saddened by this mysterious disease and how rapidly it comes on without any warning. That happened in January - it's now September and it took close to six months to get him diagnosed (long waiting time for doctor appointments with government organizations) but he is finally offically diagnosed and has just started specific therapy for Autism. He is still so very sweet and loving but we miss his little personality and his sweet voice so much. We will work with him everyday with the hope that he can talk again and not feel isolated in his own world. I love him so much!

My grandmother turned 90 this year. This was definitely a big milestone and we all flew into Portland for it. It was a beautiful party and it was wonderful to see everyone together but also bittersweet because now, seven months later, she doesn't recall that it was this year. Watching her age is something that is incredibly hard. She and I have always had a complicated relationship and that hasn't changed as she's slowly slipped into dementia. Now that I am back in Portland and spending a significant portion of my days helping to care for her, it's a struggle to see things that once were easy for her no longer come to her. On the other hand, she still has a streak of meanness that will never go away and I have to constantly remind myself that people don't change as they grow older, they settle more into themselves and who they are.

I have no family, so there was no major milestone. This has no affect on me at all. I just need to depend on myself and G-d for my needs.

My youngest son left home and now we face the empty nest! It has made me realise that my husband is my most important person, friend, support. I have worked more hours, not less (as I planned)! Things dont cost less, but more! I cannot blame the children or exit into their lives anymore! Bottom line I have to grow!!!!!

There actually wasn't a major milestone. It was a pretty quiet year mostly. I guess the biggest was moving to the country, but I talked about that in question 1.

This year I reconnected with my father. I'm not sure how it affected me but I do feel like it is better for my family overall

Two weeks ago we watched our father die, my sister and I. Being with him as he left his body and then going on to try to make plans for his remains, his memorial and sorting through his possessions and photographs, made us both think about what should be done for ourselves when we pass on, what we want to leave behind and what kind of life we want to have till that happens. I think that loving one another is what matters above things or money or situations. What if love is the currency of heaven? Maybe love is what we take with us when we die and it's offset by how much hate or negative opinions we hold in our hearts. Maybe that's the measure of our lives by how much love - less hate we have when we leave this world. If that's the case, my Dad will be rich in heaven!

In the last 12 months, both my partner and I have started new jobs after some fairly significannt transitions - me finishing graduate school and her being unemployed for over a year after layoffs at her former job. This has been an exciting and challenging time for us both. Starting new jobs at similar times and in similar fields has allowed us to connect intellectually and energize and support each other in our work.

No real major milestone with family this past year. I guess closest would be, another year of reasonably good health for our age. It is just my wife and I.

My bat mitzvah happened this year and I saw all my relatives and learned new things about my grandmas past which brought us all closer

In June, my dad was deployed to Kyrgyzstan for a year. Back in 2011, he went to Iraq for six months, so we're not new to this, but it's definitely been a stress-inducing experience. I guess like all things that are difficult, I can only hope that once it's over, I'll be a bit more resilient and sure of myself.

We're all plugging away with our lives. I can't think of a major milestone that happened this past year. I am also grateful that one hasn't really occurred - as it's allowing me to get myself back, grow Image Matters, and grow Hanna. Hanna is now beginning 9th grade- High School! That just started three days ago, and so far, so good! I think just moving forward with conviction, focus and determination is what it's all about for me right now on all fronts.

my mother tore her achilles heel and it wasn't clear how she did it. Her struggle to recover from that and her mental compromise from the strokes brought her mortality to new light. Also, these struggles brought us closer. She seems to value life more, love more freely, and forgive more readily. I think maybe it scared her a little; all that suicide threatening over my whole life has mostly stopped. Maybe she *does* value life. I have felt more caring toward her and more concerned for her best interests, over my own selfishness. It's been nice.

The Birth of my third child totally changed the way I want to (be a) mother.

I moved back to the US and into a house with my two younger sisters. we have created a home of incredible support and growth and also great interweaving. I have lived completely free and unencumbered for more than 10 years and while it was an easy trade for me, because I was so needing love and support, it has caused a lot of complications in my relationship with my boyfriend because I have so many other people to watch out for and who rely on me.

I initiated contact with my younger brother after our being out of contact for nearly 2 years. I felt proud of myself for coming up with an idea for us to spend time together and also mindful that things between us have changed and our previous closeness isn't available now because of how he's become more fearful and constricted. I felt accepting of how he is now, mature, and conscious of my own boundaries with him.

I can think of two, and they each revolve around the same incident. My oldest sister got married in september, and revealed that she was pregnant only a month into her pregnancy in March. Shortly thereafter, she lost the baby. Now, months later in september she's into her second trimester on her second attempt. I'm so excited at the prospect of being an uncle, but also terrified that she'll lose the baby again. I'm afraid it would break her spirit.

My brother began college one year ago. He has truly grown into himself and has become the bright and fun loving guy I've always known, but now everyone knows it.

Well, my Dad - for the 4th time since my Mom died four years ago - said he was going to sell the house and move out west. I tend to doubt this will happen, as history does repeat itself. It struck me pretty hard at first...since the house is the one I grew up in. And I think I deserve it...but, there ya go.

I got my siblings to talk to each other regularly. I was tired of feeling disconnected and requested that we do a group video-call on the first Sunday of each month. I think this has helped me to see my role as more than just the youngest sibling in my family; I can change the way we interact, and I can help to bring us closer to each other.

My parents downsized. It was hard for my mom especially. It was a blessing to be able to go visit them & help them sort through their stuff & make the move easier for them. In the end, it was a reminder of God's goodness & provision. The house purchase happened so quickly & unexpectedly and was also unplanned. Shortly after they moved in, mom had major surgery. The smaller house & one level has been such a blessing to her during her recovery.

No major milestones, everyone got a year older. No births, marriages, divorces or deaths.

I asked my chosen parents if I could take their names as part of my Hebrew name upon converting, and they both said yes. It makes me so incandescently happy to have chosen family as my parents in my chosen name.

My son has turned 21. I am happy and proud but I wish he still had some of the constraints of being underage. I need to trust that he will make smart choice.

My mom has lost a lot of weight and decided to hit the dating scene. This is awesome and I hope she meets someone fun and stable and respectful and nice. I want my mom to be happy. I wish this didn't also mean that I had to do everything she's doing. I don't have the wherewithal for weight loss right now and I'm secretly dating my room mate so I don't really want to shop around. She wants me to be happy too but as a master of "why don't you just..." advice, she never wants to let me figure out happiness for myself.

This past year my dad moved to Providence. While it was sad initially, it really made me realize that I had to make the effort to see him and we are now so much closer than we ever have been before.

My kids are now both at the same school, and our life seems to be getting easier logistically. I'm excited by my kids' growing independence, and the new ways I can offer support to them. Going to Europe for the whole summer was also a big trip and adventure for us, and I think it provided a lot of shared happy moments that have brought us all closer. I am extremely grateful for that opportunity, and proud of my kids for rolling with a LOT of new places, people, foods, and experiences. Love them so much. Appreciate my husband more than ever, too--it was delightful to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary overlooking Italian vineyards this summer!

Sheesh – Dad’s death. Ugh, it doesn’t feel real sometimes – I try not to think about it. When I REALLY think “he’s gone” it sucks the air right out of me. I’ve already talked about this though – so I’ll mention the part that I forgot about in the first question when it asked if I had resentment. I forgot. HELL YES, I’ve had resentment like NEVER BEFORE. In that, I’ve been eaten with bitterness towards those who have surprisingly not reached out. I’m trying to find it in my heart to forgive, but they haven’t even asked for forgiveness – it hurts to know that I would never leave those I love alone with something like this and yet pretty much everyone has left me alone with this. Worst is Jessica and Ashlie. I sorta HATE them for this – after bending over backwards to make it to their weddings and be treated like crap and then they can’t even give their Gramps a phone call or check in on me. ugh, so yes, the resentment has been huge – it’s changed me. At times, when I would have reached out – most of the time, when I would have reached out, I haven’t because I’ve been so hurt at how forgotten I am. It’s forever changed my relationships with Jill and family. I find myself wanting to pick up the phone sometimes and then I remind myself of how horrible they are. I hate that I’m eaten up with this kind of bitterness – I should just reach out. I should either forget about it or write a letter explaining my hurt. I don’t know. It’s been huge to not be the one reaching out to people – but it doesn’t change anything but me. Those people will never be there for me. Maybe in a huge way, it’s a lesson I’ve needed to learn in who to invest in and who not to. Yet, I don’t want to change over this either. I just don’t know. In a lot of ways it’s sifted through the false hangouts and the false friends for sure.

My first child turned 1, and its been a roller coaster of love, tumbles, and adventures.

I've come to realize and appreciate all that my mother does for me and my sisters. It has made me want to do better for myself not just make her proud but also to help her with buying her a house and having her do whatever she pleases as supposed to work for money.

Moving back to live with my parents after 8 years of independence has been very difficult. It has made me realize that my parents are only human and they got used to living alone too. Readjusting has been hard but I think it's made us realize that we are all adults. It's a nice feeling.

My kids upshurin. Proud papa

It wasn't one major event, but a series of smaller milestones that made me grateful for our lives and family. We reached the start of out 3rd year in LA, my grandson turned4, my daughter was 1 year into her recovery from breast cancer. There were several other wedding anniversaries, bithday and survival anniversaries. Each made me reflect and treasure our lives and the time we are given to share our lives.

I find that my answers for these question end up being the same thing over and over. Here, I would have to say (again) the major milestone would be the birth of Sydney. She was the second child, and almost certainly the last, so our family unit is now complete. Of course, so far she is just an infant incapable of talking or even crawling. I am anxiously awaiting the day when I get to see Noah and Sydney really interacting and developing a strong sibling bond. Sure, he already says he loves his Sydney Bean, but he also says he loves Lightning McQueen. I am looking forward to a time when his love for his sister will be based on real connection and affection. That is when I will feel like we have a complete family unit.

My Aunt Shirley died. We hadn't seen each other for many years, but she always remembered me with cards on my birthday. I called her on holidays. She was kind, generous with her time, and deeply spiritual. She was, and is, an inspiration to me

My mother turned 80. We had a celebration for her at her house - it was a big deal gathering everyone there, and we got to surprise her by pretending that my sister-in-law (who was 9 mos pregnant) would not be there, but then helping her be part of it after all! This was a big deal for me personally since it's suddenly a big enough number that it sunk in for me that 1) my mother is getting old and 2) I have to be an adult, and I'm responsible for making sure she is ok. It's a big deal for our family too, because it marks the beginning of our needing to be individually responsible for staying connected with each other, since we can't count on Mom to be the center of things any more. I'm not sure I'm up to the task of caregiver. And today I'm feeling particularly melancholy on this front because it's been a rough week in my business with me having not enough sleep, and not enough support from my partner. Looking for a more joyful way...

Katie "graduated" from elementary and began middle school. I had been coming to realize she was no longer the little girl who ran into my arms from the school bus, but was shocked and somewhat frightened to discover that she is now indeed a young woman. I marvel at the change and, while I love and admire this new and increasingly independent young woman, I suppose I will always miss the little girl.

I conquered every one of my emotionally withdrawn, vaguely embittered in-laws. Meticulously. One by one. With kindness and authentic connection. Now they all open up to me and trust me, in some ways more than they do with one another.

my daughter got married and had her boys tell me. she did not ask my feeling about any of it.not that she should really. yet, it is very sad to have her married and have little to no relationship with her husband. so, yes, i am saddenned by this as well as the pattern of feeling she cannot see me as an ally rather than an intrusion. i have done soul searching to see how i may be intrusive to clean up my own backyard...........then just do my best to love them all.

My uncle got very sick. It made me reevaluate the rest of my family, so I reached out to my cousin. My grandma hates me because of it and I wish I had waited.

My daughter won her 3 year battle with the credit industry, clearing her report and boosting her rating. As a result she was able to purchase her first house. I feel a great deal of pride in her and know that I have raised an accomplished and capable person who adds to the world.

If all my answers to these questions are about my wife becoming pregnant, a new job and my niece and nephew, it is for good reason. These are all big milestones. In 6 months I have seen my niece three times and got to learn from her and her parents as she grows, plays, loves and develops. In that same time period, I have seen my nephew just as much, including a visit to help move when his parents bought a new house. I continue to be amazed at how adorable both of them are, and grateful to have the guidance of older and younger siblings to watch and learn from. Changing jobs was a planned decision to prepare for parenthood by having more flexibility to be home and money to support my family. This unexpected time with my niece and nephew has been a bonus to help me mentally and emotionally prepare to parent. Yea, I'm gonna be a dad. Goosebumps!

I'd have to answer almost exactly as I did in question 1. My mother's 80th birthday took a huge amount of planning and work, and it was great to work with my brothers and my cousin even when we were in different cities, which was the case for most of the lead-up time. I love my family and it felt great. I adore my mother, but she was difficult and it was great to share that with my brothers and get the feeling that now they really knew what's going on with her. It was a big success.

Our son's bar mitzvah. I've never before felt such pride. It was the first huge test of stamina, dedication and courage that he tackled and I realized that he can rise to big challenges and succeed beautifully. So it was both pride and relief that I felt.

Dad's surgery and the evidence of Mom's infirmities worries me tremendously; I wish they'd let me do everything for them -- and I dread having to do it. And the waiting to find out which and what and how is also nervewracking...... I worry so about money and health and how tired they are.....

My daughter's bat mitzvah is in almost 3 weeks. This year has been our preparation and we have taken it very seriously. Our family all shared how we want it to be meaningful for us and for our community and guests. It has been an incredible learning and bonding experience for our family. Also, I turned 50 this year. I had spent the previous year, blogging and meditating in hopes of getting some insight of my purpose in life. My efforts made me realize how much I want to learn and continue to grow. And I wanted to do it with my husband, my children, and my friends and community. I have put this into practice and it has made a powerful impact on me and my family.

UGH. Can I get a happy question. Both of my parents have died in the last 13 months. And it has made me feel old and very aware of my mortality. I am the oldest in the family now and it makes me both lonely and aware of my mortality. I also feel a need to stay in touch with my brother and sister.

We spent most of our life savings and moved to the county, following my husband's dream for the last third of his life. I have been very involved in the process and the decision making, and it seems to be working out for us both.

deciding to get a divorce was a the time the catalystic step i needed in order for me and my kids to see that we all deserve to be treated fairly and with respect, trust, love and deep understanding of each other as human beings. having their hearts at stake and constantly first and foremost on my mind has made me a better mom i have learned so much, grown so much in the past 6 months i am ready to take on a happier lighter funnier version of myself with the love and support first from myself and then from those around me also when i smile at life, life smiles back at me i would not have been able to feel the joy i feel today were it not for the sorrow i have experienced feeling blessed and grateful

I moved to San Francisco California after 15 years of trying to move to the West Coast from NYC. I couldn't be happier, I absolutely am crazily wildly in love with this city and state. My wife and son seem equally, if not more, happy than I am. This has been an amazing experience for all of us.

Mum adopted a kitten and broke her hip. She was so excited she skipped and fell. Yes, skipped. The two are now united and the love affair between them is the most beautiful thing. And that tiny wee thing is what got her out of bed every day and walking again so quickly.

There have been a couple big milestones. My brother and sister-in-law had their first kid. And maybe that's the milestone I should focus on. But for me, the milestone was my hard call. I'm not straight. I am mostly single, and asexual, but the fact is that the older I get, the more I think that any happy romantic relationship I have will be with a woman. And with the Supreme Court cases this year, I could no longer keep my head in the sand in regards to how some of my relatives feel about it. And so I sent the hardest email I have ever sent, an email to my brother in which I told him that while I could lay out the case for why he's wrong, I didn't think it would be effective. And that I did not need people in my life who make me feel like shit, so despite him being my oldest friend, friend from birth, I needed to take a step back and not have him in my life. And then I stood by my word. I was alone. I am alone. But I am always alone. The main difference is I lost the person who kept me connected to the family. We're not masters of communication, and he is the one who makes the effort. I regret nothing.

Moving away from my home state has definitely strengthened my relationship with my Mom. We have always been close, but this move has brought us closer. It's funny, because I'm no further away than I was previously, yet I've really needed her support and I've never felt so far away. We talk several times a week, and I love it! She's always there for me and this move has shown me how important my mom is to me! Now...if I could only visit her more...

Again, I would have to go with the new job. I was able to purchase a car I love and not worry so much about money. It's been a very freeing experience.

My sister is now a teenager! I'm proud of how she's grown as a person. I think she's smart and has a good head on her shoulders--I am so glad I know her as well as I do and that we have her in our family.

We celebrated our 40th anniversary! We renewed our vows and had a reception following. All of our kids were there, and so many other friends and family. My husband and I were touched by how many came to help us celebrate.

We got a puppy, Milly. She's a Bichon Frise. I love her lots and she's my little baby! Katy also graduated college which could put more stress on my mum. I'm not sure. She also got diagnosed with Epilepsy too which made her tired and groggy but hopefully she'll 100% recover.

A major milestone with my family was my mother and father-in-law moved back to Oregon after being here, close to us for the past five years. We had lived in Colorado for 10+ years by ourselves, happily so, and now that they are gone, after having gotten used to them being here, having family close, it feels a little lonely and harder to know we have to depend on ourselves, don't have the kind of help we did before.

My mother was declared cancer free last fall. Watching her go through the struggles and complications from the cancer diagnosis, to chemo, to surgeries, to being near death was sobering for me. She has always been so strong and I had no idea how to take care of my mother because she's always been the one that takes care of me! It was especially tough when I had to watch her go through some of it from afar as I wasn't able to get home to be with her for some of those occurrences. I thank God for helping my mother through that time and am grateful he has blessed us both.

I got divorced. I am happier than I have ever been in my life.

My brother Rico and his wife Kelly had a son. His name is Landon. He is now 10 months old. The birth of Landon has brought an indescribable joy to the family (especially with the loss of my twin sister, Allie, three and a half years ago.) He is a ray of light, who reminds each of us how magical life is. A smile, a touch, a kiss. Each with such intent and reward and yet with such simplicity. And best of all, he never disappoints and always makes you smile!

My mother had an emergency surgery. Thankfully she recovered completely. It made me remember to appreciate my family every day.

I think myself, my brother, and my sister realised that we can live without our dad. I think we finally realised that yes, he meant it, when he said we would now come second in his life to his partner. I'm so happy though that my mum and step dad have always been there for us following everthing.

I've had a number of close friends get cancer this year. Some have died. I've reached a point where I've said that's enough already. But I still have to be there from them.

My sister came out. It has been really hard for me since the family hasn't been entirely supportive and I've been somewhat caught in the middle. I hear both sides crying in pain and anger over the situation and throwing harsh words (from both sides). I have had a difficult time maintaining my "neutrality" in what has often been an emotional war between the two sides, particularly since I do support her coming out. I love my family more than I can say and I am proud of the steps they have taken, but I am still looking forward to a time where we can all be at peace together again and I won't have to be constantly brokering that peace.

My mother received her doctorate, and my little brother finished his final exams. Both were academic achievements, but they represented how strong my family members can be in the face of adversity. It inspired me to attempt to go to college again, and I'm going to apply to university in the next academic year. I had been afraid of failure, but after seeing what my mother and brother can do, I believe in myself a little more.

My oldest daughter is a senior in high school. My other daughter just started high school, and my son is in middle school, no more young kids. I don't feel older, but I am dreading next year, when the oldest will be in college. I am determined to make the most of the time we have left together as a family.

So far as I can recall, there's been no major milestone that happened in either side of our family this past year. We celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. There's been the second anniversary of the deaths of two of our friends. Our cat was also euthanized a couple of weeks ago. Other than that, no milestone. I suppose I'm relieved in a way. After the health insults my husband has suffered in the last five years, I'm ready for lots of peace and quiet.

I have grown closer and closer with my siblings. It's now been a year and a half since meeting all of them, but I feel like they've been around my whole life. This past year has been hard with Annie making the choice to keep Jordan in her life even though he was abusive and killing her spirit. There were times that I wasn't sure our close-knit family was going to be able to pull out of it, but we have. This past weekend, at brunch with everyone, showed me that we are back where we used to be and that felt really good. I'm so happy for Annie to be happier and herself and I think that has flowed over into all of our relationships with each other.

Well, we had the one-year anniversary of when my brother died. How HAS it affected me? I'm still trying to make sense of that. I miss him. But it still doesn't feel like he's gone -just like he's out there somewhere, or still in a treatment center, or like it's been 3 months and will be 4 more or something before I see him again. I have been dreaming about him a lot though. I think I still have some grieving to do.

My grandmother died. My last grandparent. She's gone, it really marked the passage of time. It's also sad because she lived such a sad life. I wish we could have done more to make her happier.

I don’t think there has been one major milestone this year with my family, more like lots of little events that have changed the nature of my relationship with them. I’m not sure I can pinpoint the exact cause and event chain the lead to where I am, but I’m pretty happy with where things have ended up. I have started spending more time with my family. I had disconnected from them a great deal over the past years for one reason or another, but this year, between being with Steph, the birth of my new niece Olivia and moving into a new place, I have wanted to be closer to them than I had been. I have also been getting along better with my father and my brother, with whom I have butted heads in the past. I’m not sure what it is that has changed, maybe we’re all getting more mature or mellowing, but I’m not going to question or challenge it. I’m happy that I’m getting this chance to reconnect and reforge my familial bonds because I realize just how important it is.

I stopped talking to my dad. It's been a long time coming, as he's descended further and further into alcoholism and continuing with his shambolic and embarrassing marriage to his fully purchased Thai bride. She's nice enough, but still, it's a sham relationship. Spending a few days at his home was enough to tell me that I couldn't spend more time with him. Then, we had an incident where he drunkenly called me a racist and a xenophobe, to deflect some of the negative things I was saying about his alcohol abuse. That was enough for me and it feels great to be without this burden.

Having a child become bat mitzvah was a major milestone. How has it affected me? I have realized that my kids are growing up quickly, and that I am aging too. Life goes by quickly, so we need to enjoy it and make the most of it!!

I'd have to say that my the only major milestone that happened with my family this year - is both of my parents (now in their early - mid 60's), who were single - are now in relationships. My mother has a part-time, live-in partner and he has been in her life on and off for over 15 years. And my father is now living with him, and she is an old friend from his childhood home town. They reconnected at last years reunion. Pretty cute I think! I don't think either of them will get married ever again, but I am glad they both have found somebody to spend their time with so they aren't alone. NOW...it's time for me to find somebody to spend some of my time with in this next year ;-)

My husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary this year, and have started (seriously) talking about the next BIG steps in our lives...like buying a house and having kids. We feel like real adults now...it's scary!

I never thought an empty nest could be such a happy one.

My child past to the next grade and to know all of that hard work he put forth and my push just made me so proud. He is just my inspiration, my push, my all and in seeing his success just keeps me going.

My husband Andrew being diagnosed with an untreatable, deadly disease called IPF (later 'upgraded' to scleroderma with PF) was a huge milestone that's drawn us closer together and reminded me of the sanctity of life. Every day, every breath, every moment is really a gift. Grab it, embrace it, enjoy it, don't squander it.

Our oldest daughter started pre-school, and it was really awesome to see her grow and change in just a short period of time. Not only have we become more closely connected with our community, but we have made some great new friends in the process.

My step-grandmother passed away on March 9th. She was someone I considered a "best friend". We spoke at least once a week. Once a week, I was guaranteed a laugh and some unconditional love. My stepmother lost her mother, and, somewhere in there I believe she is dealing with the grief and probably some guilt from feeling some relief -- but she keeps it pretty bottled up, at least from me. Me, I still cry over the loss. It's been six months and I have yet to delete her number from my phone (my stepmother said to me, "really? That's the first thing I did.") I am coming to the realization that this has been one craptastic year. I am hoping Day 4-10 brings a question that I can answer with some humor, positivity, something good. Really -- I don't think of myself as being this much of a bummer.

Jodie deciding to go through drug treatment was pretty huge. She was the one that appeared on my doorstep, with her belongings in grocery sacks - broken. SHE decided to change her life and she made all the arrangements. Unfortunately, she did not complete the program and was also kicked out of her 'sober' house and ended up back here. That did not go well. She was unable to bond with her son, Mason. and eventually took off in the middle of the night. Yep, just like the good old days... I am still processing the ways this has affected me. I am heartbroken, I am disappointed and I'm also mad! I'm mad for all the emotions she has dragged me through over the years...and will until I die, because as her mom, I will always love her and care about what she is going through.

there wasn't really one. i was away mostly. i think if anything the transition my brothers been going through as a teenager/his anger/isolation but low key wanting to be a unit.

My aunt and uncle just had a baby, and he has Down's syndrome. I have always felt uncomfortable around people with mental retardation, which I know is a shortcoming on my part and something I look forward to confronting and changing. I am so excited to love my little cousin.

my mom broke her hip. then got severely ill with a kidney stone, septic another hospital stay. she seems so fragile now and only 72. her traumas have brought to the forefront that my parents are no longer in the capacity to look after me, I am required to look after them.

I got married!!! It brought me closer to my family and friends in a way I never thought possible. How much love we have for each other was so humbling in the planning of the showers and reception.

George turned one! I'm feeling triumphant about how well the baby days went, and looking forward (with nervousness) to the next stage.

Our family has experienced two major milestones this year. First and foremost, my new husband and I have our own, new family unit comprised of us two (for now). Additionally, we now each have new siblings and parents in our immediate family, all important parts of the "new world" God created by bringing us together. Second, we have a new nephew, born only a month before our wedding. He is an absolute joy and we can't wait to get to know him. This has affected us in so many ways, not least of which is that it buys us time before we start to grow our own family!

Adam got engaged. New family. A nice mate for Adam who's Jewish minded. Positive.

My daughter graduated high school with honors. I am proud because she worked so very hard, and sad because she is going away to college!

My mother turned 90. We had a wonderful family celebration and it made me assess our relationship and confirmed that I need to make the most of the time we have left together and be more forgiving of the personality traits that drive me nuts at times!

Our children are grown and our parents are dead , brothers and sisters removed to their own concerns ,as such we are pretty much on our own . My son did at long last meet a lady friend whose company he enjoys , this may lead somewhere we hope .He is a good boy , but he works too much and needs to have more than just work . My daughter broke her leg at the ankle both tibia and fibula ,and is on crutches . This makes it hard for her because she is homeschooling and leading classes for others children , needs to stand and drive . She is brave and will turn fifty on September 9th . Rebecca Rose is her name. It is a milestone of sorts when your oldest turns fifty .

I don't think my family has really had a major milestone this year. My brother and my sister graduated from med school and got into teaching (respectively), but my brothers and I (from my dad) have kind of been on cruise control. My mom retired after working 20 years with the school district, but really, there hasn't been any births or marriages or anything spectacular. Nothing comes to mind right away, sadly. But sometimes you don't have a "milestone" year I guess.

My son's inner mensch came out when his girlfriend moved in with him. Somehow that changed the way he is in the world - a caring, creative young man.

My mom moved out of the house she bought in 1986 when my parents divorced, and into a brand-new house with her sister, whose husband had recently passed away. The new place is an hour & a half closer to my sister and her 2 young daughters, so Grandma is now 2 miles from her loved ones. Sadly for me, this is all across the country from where I live, but it's had a huge impact on the family, and I am greatly relieved to know my mom's expenses have been reduced and her happiness multiplied by the move.

My husband turned 70. It suddenly hit me, that these days that we have with each other are few. I have looked at him and Tried to imagine how my life would be without him, and it is too painful to even try. The little things that he used to do and made me crazy, don't matter any more. I appreciate him more, am less critical of him, and im more grateful for the time together. My love for him is now deeper and stronger than all the years that I've known him.

My conversion was complete - made all the more amazingly having such supportive friends and family around. My best friend just gave birth to a little boy and its definitely made me reconsider whether I can go without that as I move forward looking to settle down myself.

My dad's rapid decent into dementia/Alzheimer's after the loss of his grand-daughter has been stunning and extremely difficult to deal with. Siblings who do not live close by didn't realize the extend of cognitive function had been lost, and the "new" person we were left dealing with. It has raised a lot of ghosts from my childhood, memories I never had until now, that are PTSD triggered and wow, it's not a good thing. I don't know if this is going to make his death easier to deal with or not. But I accepted that the father I new, the one I respected and admired is gone. In his place is an angry, cruel and frustrating man, trapped with a brain and memory that won't work. All this makes him lash out at those around him in a desperate attempt to control something in his life. I don't know if I have mourned the loss of the father I remember yet or not, but I cannot, no matter how hard I try, love the person that is there now. I can't even really like him.

I settled my first "big" case. This showed me that I really can do this thing: earn for my family. That optimism has parlayed into different ideas to make money, even start more of a family business thing.

Our younger son's bar mitzvah. It was a much more scaled back event than our older son's (though neither was a conspicuous consumption event). In fact, we really couldn't even afford to put on the post-service party that we did. But it was good on many levels: it was a celebration of what an honest, typical, yet amazing kid he is; and it allowed our extended family to come together in a way that we know is so important. So glad it's over. Ecstatic that we did it.

My brother & his wife's second child turned 1. We never thought he would make it this far. He's a trouper and has fought the odds. It's still a very emotional time for us all.

Third sister hit 60. Wow, we are old.

My husband and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. The occasion led me to reflect on how very happy we are together. He is my first marriage, at age 44. Although I was never unhappy with my life, I didn't realize how very alone I was until this amazing love burst in like a comet. Everything is different now. He has brought such joy into my life.

There wasn't any particularly major milestone for my immediate family. One of my cousin's daughter's wedding took place this past year. It was the first of his three daughters to marry and my sister and I felt we should attend. My husband did not want to attend but we booked our hotel rooms and he went along with the plan. The bride was beautiful and the food at the reception was good with exceptional desserts. It cost quite a bit to go to the wedding but we did have a good time.

The sudden death of my 22 year old son has affected everyone in the family in different ways. I have chosen to focus on his life and not dwell on the circumstances of his death. Search for the light in dark times. Live my life in a way that he would want me to. Positive. Happy. Send him love and blessings every time I think of him.

There are two. First, Joaquin and I moved in together. This was MAJOR for me because of what happened with Justin. It's been an incredible experience both in my own personal growth and vulnerability and because it's taught me what unconditional love really is. Second, I joined the staff at SFUSD. It's been an insanely challenging experience and one that's really tested and proven wrong many assumptions I had about the caliber, the orientation and the deep desire for success I had of "systems people". It's also really challenged me because it's made me begin to reflect on whether or not "education" as a field is really my true passion or calling or just a trajectory I've fallen into.

I don't thinks there's been a major milestone this year! Things have been good all around, thankfully.

Moving to NY was a major milestone we are still battling today. This has been a real challenge for all of us. I am learning so many new things and starting new in so many ways. I hope to take on many new challenges in the upcoming years.

I turned 65 and my sister is completing her 50s. My Mom's Memoirs were printed. Memoirs made my Mom happy when she received lovely comments. That gave me a good feeling. My sister and I bond on our cruise.

My sister is growing up and becoming a mature adult. I appreciate this because in addition to helping to de stress my parents we are learning to be friends. With our age gap and diffrent life choice we haven't ever really been friends so I'm glad its happening now

My aunt said goodbye to all three of her pets. We are animal lovers and it was hard to see her in pain because we wer ein the same boat a few years ago.

Probably when my sister demanded equal treatment, especially regarding travel benefits when she wasn't being responsible nor mature enough for my parents to let her. I think that was the first time I also voiced my opinion a little about what I thought of her behavior and I didn't apologize for it. Its about being honest to myself. I also realized many times, how my parents are getting older and how I should treasure them, making my mom wonder why I kiss her so often now, hahah!

A major milestone that happened is my youngest daughter Eliza moving East from Portland Oregon. This has effected me greatly. I love her being closer and working for her brother. I also feel a responsibility to live an authentic life,since she does. Last year when she was here a lot, I felt so much more focused . It also comes at a time when we are getting together more as a family with my sister's son Christopher who lives in Philadelphia. All good.

My son became addicted to pain pills anh has been in rehab for almost 60 days. it has been frightening and enlightening.

My parents are turning 60. We organized a get-together for the immediate family and cooked a barbecue. I don't think it has affected me much at all. Boring answer today, I know.

This year, although it was nearly a year ago in November was moving out on my own with the boys. Prior tothatvi lived with wimbers for a few months. That's the biggest thing that has happened this year. I have definitely become more indeoendant and reliant on myself rather than Jesse. It feels good to be ok on my own. Better than ok. Happy. Moving forward, my goal for next year is to live on my own ( no roommates unless its someone I am helping and want there).

Just two weeks ago, Neil and Alina had their third child, and first daughter! Main effect on me - I am no longer the only girl! Woo! Deborah and Jeff also got married, which in the short term was, frankly, a pain in the neck, but is so good for them in the long run. He is so right for her.

We took our son to NYC for the first time. We grew closer as a family.

I went to visit part of my extended family by myself for the first time. I had a lot of really interesting interactions that I know would never have happened if I were visiting with the rest of my immediate family. I think it changed the way I view myself as a member of my extended family. I have always felt like an outsider, being so geographically separated, and I felt like part of the group when I visited.

I feel like in general my family is closer. I'm not entirely sure why. We were never not a close family-we always got along and enjoy spending time with each other-but I just feel closer to them. It maybe because we're all getting older now. I'm the baby and I'm officially an adult now (entered into the workforce post-grad). We are now becoming more and more peers and we all love and support each other. I also made it a personal goal to talk to my family more. I was good and I've been slacking a bit recently but I think this reflection today will help me get back on track. I love my family and I'm so happy to be part of my family. I want us to be close and real. We'll see if we can keep growing closer. I think me moving to St. Louis will really help my sister that lives here and I truly become friends which I'm excited for.

without a doubt the big milestone was Kindergarten - starting with the completely intense lottery selection process, which we actually won - getting our first choice school in the first round! We learned that our daughter would be able to walk to school in March, and that informed a lot of our decisions this year, including buying our River House in June (I guess that's a bit of a major milestone as well, becoming homeowners.) The house milestone is unlike anything I've ever experienced - standing in our house, realizing it's actually ours, and then almost immediately realizing that means everything is ours to fix. the Kindergarten milestone has been stranger, really, because it's so multi-dimensional: I am so proud of her, so amazed at how confident and capable she is, and at the same time I'm experiencing a strangely crippling sense of loss, of the passage of time, of the finality of starting school. we are unlikely to have another baby, so this feels like a door is closing behind us. and all of it together, combined with some drama within our circle of friends, has made for a very emotional couple months.

I can't think of a major milestone; good or bad. Since it isn't a death or a serious illness I would have to say that I am grateful that the past year was uneventful. Every day Alan and I have together is a blessing. We're both old. We take nothing for granted

A major milestone was my son moving to NYC and moving in with his girlfriend. It was/is a good move and is working out well but the weekend that I helped him move in was a hard one for all of us. It was hard to be there when he arrived and his girlfriend had champagne to welcome him...it should have been their private moment but then again, my son needed me to help him with the move. The fact that it was a holiday weekend added to the stress with two religions, it made it harder. This affected me because it made me understand that having a mixed marriage in our family will require sensitivity and communication and some sacrifice. I/w e grew from the weekend but it was painful. I know that we will do better in the future.

I've continued to connect more deeply with my family. I have shared more of my thoughts and feelings. It has made me feel stronger and increased my self-respect. It has also made me feel closer with my family.

Kate got a big girl corporate job and moved away from home. That made Mom and Dad official empty-nesters, and I think we're all better for it. Kate's making her own money, being around family that treats her like a sensible adult, and I get to see her comparatively happy. I'm helping her adjust to being in a place where she doesn't know anyone and is trying to make friends and deal with a high-stress job. But I love her so much that I honestly don't mind talking and listening with her, no matter what she has to say. It's actually energizing and inspiring to help her through a period of change in her life instead of helping her through the same old emotional bog she'd been sludging through for the past 4 years.

This year my grandmother passed away. This was a very good thing as she was losing every bit of humanity. In the end, I could not see her. It was horrible. When I talked to my cousin he told me that he feels so bad that he doesn't go there to see her, but that he doesn't want to remember her like this. He prefers having good memories of her. When I went to visit home, my father told me that seeing her like that made him fear death and even more made him fear getting old and losing you ability to interact with the surrounding and be independent. I think it is the first time I saw my father talk so vulnerably about something. I guess that is part of the process of getting old...

My eldest son started school. Seeing him in a school uniform, going off to his class I was struck by how quickly he grew up. It really feels like the time of being a dependent baby/toddler just flashed past me. It has been hard for me to let him become his own independent person. It is challenging to start letting go and give him more room and independence while still knowing when he needs to be my baby.

My parents downsized from a four bedroom colonial style home and moved to a two bedroom ranch house in their same neighborhood. They are secure financially, comfortable and independent in familiar surroundings without the obstacles of two flights of stairs. Despite the 2+ hours I live away from them, I am reassured that they are safe and secure in their home with their affairs in order, enjoying their golden years.

I came out as bisexual to my parents and brother. It thankfully hasn't affected my relationship with them very much but it's an incredible relief to not be hiding any longer.

My husband got a promotion within his company. He used to work from home 90% of the time, but now needs to be in his office 90% of the time. I am still home with our kids. I was worried about missing having him around all the time, but this change has turned out to be fantastic for our marriage and our family. I don't think her realized how much he missed being out in the world. In the months since this change has occurred, we have gone out on more dates, have had conversations about things other than our children, have had less financial stress, and we have both lost about 10% of our body mass. Change is good.

I confirmed for my parents that I'm gay. I told them about Mark, my boyfriend.

Mum my cousin and Aunty got into a fist fight. My Mother won but everyone lost my respect. I now know 100% that I have nothing in common with my family.

The children moved away

Both of my daughters are living independently and we are really empty nesters. It is very quiet

I have been unemployed (not by my choice) for almost a year. My wife and my parents have willingly and steadfastly supported me financially as well as emotionally. My parents have also taken responsibility for my graduate school expenses. After trying so hard to earn their appreciation and love for many years, I have come to realize, by these actions, that I don't have to do anything -- they love me for me and are willing to do whatever they can to help and support me.

We had baby number two. Now we are blessed with two beautiful boys (3 and 6 months). As a 40-year-old-man, I sometimes feel overwhelmed, but just as often feel like I've been given renewed youth. My sense of fulfillment transcends words, but my chest feels full.

Wow this question. In the last year the nature of my family and who I consider my family has completely changed. We've been through so many difficulties and victories together that I can't begin to count them. After losing my father last year it was a major undertaking to get my mother to where she needed to be to survive and thrive, emotionally, financially and physically. It has been an epic journey learning new things about how to care for the woman who has done so much to care for me over the years. Getting her established in a new apartment, with new ways of doing things has caused a major change in the relationship. Similarly my relationship with my brother has become different in that we do our best to fulfill her needs. In terms of family changing in general I would have to say that this year I have begun to experience what I hope to be my adopted family in judaism and life. My boyfriend Joshua's family has welcomed me with open arms and hearts and it has been so enriching to my life to have them in it. So many firsts with them and Joshua have formed the exoskeleton of the Judaism I have been practicing. They have served as mentors, collaborators and confidants in every aspect of my journey and I only hope the bonds between us get stronger. In both situations I have felt blessed, enriched, and eternally grateful to God, the community around me, and the people closest to me. It is amazing the things that go through my mind on a daily basis and I only look forward to it all.

My niece and nephew and their three children moved six hundred miles away. This is a stress for my eighty nine year old mother who misses them terribly. It is hard to find a way to comfort her.

My dad turned 79 yesterday. Making him the oldest on his side and my mom's side. Which is crazy! It just kind of puts into perspective the next ten years-- he could be with us in 10 years or not, both are equally realistic. Its kind of scary and kind of freeing because I do cherish more than I ever have the time I have with him and want to do more things in his company than ever before. I know its just an age, but its a HUGE age. I don't know, this age makes me love him even more, even though he still drives me crazy!

My little sister graduated from college. As she sets off into the "real world," scared and as unprepared as I was, I was forced to reflect on how the years since leaving that safety net have changed me. If I had known what I know now--that it would be the hardest and most rewarding time I have ever known--I would be terrified. Even so, I would give her the same advice that I would have given her years ago: that life is about the showing up. That not every day is a black and white proposition, but a choice between what we desire and what is right. Life looses the dreamy ambition that colors adolescence and can seem largely gray. Even on days that seem pointless, when a light at the end seems laughable, keep going. Even then you are changing and learning and becoming who you are meant to be.

My oldest son went to the grad school and get all As for two semesters. We were all very happy about it. My daughter went to the high school - very exciting time.

My brother graduated from law school this year. This is a major milestone for the whole family because the law school experience really took a toll on my brother, and whenever we were all together, it was evident that we were all experiencing on some level the difficulties he faced during his time there. This milestone has affected me because I have seen the ways that it has changed my brother. While he is still my super star, it seems that he is feeling pretty defeated right now in terms of his expectations for his life. It is a strange feeling for me to see him this way while also feeling that my life is at the moment going according to plans I have set out for myself.

The death of my aunt Betty. I guess I knew when she last said goodbye to me when leaving oz in jan 2012 that she knew it would be the last time we'd see each other and she had been in a lot of pain so I knew rationally that this was for the best. In one very memorable butoh session were we were to channel our ancestors, a younger more carefree Betty came to me in the dance and I experienced her as a younger woman who is never known and felt how age and life in general had robbed her of her vitality. It was beautiful. I cried more then than when she died.

My mom bought a house. She's 70 years old and still independent as all hell. It makes me happy to see her happily on her own w/her artwork and her dog. She's close enough that we can keep an eye on one another w/o being in each other's pocket. ;-)

Supporting my father after his dad's passing. It was actually really spiritual and I feel closer to my parents, not really my sister because she wasn't there when he passed but I really connected with my parents while we were at the care center. I'll never forget how it happened. It affected me in more negative ways then positive though. I used to get nightmares of my grandpa waking up with wild hair and a crazed look. Whenever I talk about it, like right now, I get the icky pins and needles chill. I remeber trying to explain it to my bunk mates during a spirtual time at camp and I had the worst panic attack of my life. I was hyperventilating and crying, it was a horrible experience. I felt as if the pins and needles were trying to strangle me and I felt like it was everywhere and under my feet and surrounding my neck. I remeber the lady had to take my blood pressure and asked me where I was from and babying me. And later I found my friends crying as well. I remember that whole event so vividly it's insane. It was so weird, for some reason his passing continues to affect me in some way. Even though its been almost a year and a half now. I'm not sure on how to think about it. But I do miss him a lot. I'm on and off getting the feeling right now. Also exactly a week ago I was at boaz's shabbos. Camp afects my life so much.

Gunnar started kindergarten. It's reminded me how precious our ttime is and how quickly kids grow. I need to spend more time with them.

Our 2 oldest completed their first year in public school after a year of homeschooling and our youngest just started kindergarten and is loving school. This was a nervewracking decision because we weren't sure how they would do in a traditional school setting after being home so long. Luckily, the school we picked is like a small community, which has made this process much easier.

Well, it may seem that my answers all revolve around the same topic - my separation. But after 21 years of marriage, yes it is a major milestone, and it has affected all parts of my life. What I am surprised by and glad of: my family's acceptance, and support. And that they have also accepted that my ex and I wish to remain on good terms. We have had family gatherings together, and it is great. My mother, bless her, coming from such traditional roots, has taken it all in stride, and I am so glad of it - yes, there was sadness, but overall - there was no drama, or recriminations, or appeals to try to work it out. Acceptance of my decision....I feel very blessed.

My husband and I entered our 30th year of wedded...life. Our last child graduated from college. I am slowly recovering from a disability. I guess the biggest milestone was sort of a self-awareness milestone: stress does have an affect on one's body, and my people-pleasing tendencies are, indeed, stressful, as much as I try to deny it.

My brother came to me for help in getting sober.

Our most major milestone by a long shot was the remarriage of my brother to a woman he'd been with less than a year. This affected me in multiple ways, one of which was the hope for new happiness and a partner who actually fits him but it also made me nervous about him repeating past mistakes. But overall, I am thrilled to have this new sister and treasure her and her effect on my brother highly.

My youngest child entered kindergarten. With his growing maturity, our family has had many wonderful opportunities -- for me to enter the work force in a job I love, for the kids to vacation with their grandparents, for both boys to go to the same school. At the same time there is a reckoning that the baby years are ending, which carries a feeling of nostalgia with it. We are moving along, for better and worse.

My husband and I celebrated 25 years of marriage this year. We restated our commitment to one another, to our family, and to staying together. Our marriage may not be the most traditional, but it works for us. Open and honest communication is the key to our life together. We've experienced life without it, and it doesn't work for us. He is my best friend, and together, we are raising young men with strong bodies, good hearts, and amazing minds. I am so proud of the life we share, and I love our life with all I am.

Just the growing realization & confirmation that we are all truly lucky for simply having each other.

Mum came back to the state where we have lived for Over 20 years, after having suffered a lot emotionally and leaving for the other side of the country for 3/4 years. For me it felt very strange, because i wasnt very comfortable or attached to her as a teen and young adult since a lot of issues happened with our family. We tried her staying with me, but the resentment on my part was too great .. i resented her for what she had done, for what i and my sisters went through, for running away, and for trying to act like my mother after i had raised myself since the age of 17. Since then, we have started talking again and rebuilding a relationship. I still feel nervous and annoyed that she is dating her landlord, and after only knowing him for a short time. This is the type of thing she promised me she wouldnt do anymore ie jumping into relationships without knowing the person, especially when she is living with them. This is the third time she has done this, first with an Iranian refugee, when i was sick and staying with her and she just decided, without telling me, to move out and live with him. Then there was another landlord who hit on her, and now this italian guy who shes buying a house with after only a few months?

I am not sure that we had one. My little brother went to Afghanistan, I believe he's back now. I will have to call and see how he's doing- I've worried about him even though he was not in combat (he took care of those who were).

My father, who at 73, finally found his power and broke up with a woman who was taking advantage of him. It was beautiful and he was so humble. I learned so much about facing fears and declaring my own self worth. I'm proud to be his daughter

Moving to Wisconsin and being on my own so much. I feel like I've grown a lot and am more self-reliant and confident.

I started spending Saturday afternoons with my elderly mother-in-law. She really appreciates the company and it makes me feel needed and wanted. And most importantly, part of the family. And I have lacked a family most of my life so this is very meaningful for me.

My youngest grandchild started Grade One. That means there is no one home part days and I am free of babysitting chores...I wonder if I will miss this.

My mother emerged from a long struggle with depression and mental illness a new person. We are now building a much stronger relationship, and I look forward to having her in my life and the lives of my future children.

Another year of no major milestone. The year before I realized how uncaring my family can be. Plus, this past year, I was ripped off by a friend of my sister. He borrowed money he never intended to repay and stole two of my rings. She never thought of warning me. We must not have meaningful conversations or a sense that we have each others' back. More a year of realizations, rather than milestones.

My dad turned 70. I am grateful and in awe. He has taken such good care of himself and his effort shows the love he has for us, his family. We celebrated with a trip to Jackson Hole. I will never forget our rafting trip!

Zev's Bar Mitzvah was June 15th 2013 and everyone-including Jeremiah was there. Zev grew into himself during the ceremony, it was awesome to see and be part of. After his party at Temescal Beach house Joel leaned over and said, "we achieved what we set out to achieve"-the creation of a coherent blended family. I am deeply grateful that Zev got to have one Bar Mitzvah and that he felt supported and loved by so many friends and family. The shabbat dinner the night before and the hand washing ritual was lovely too.

There hasn't really be one milestone. I guess my older sister moving out of home leaving me the only child left in the house. It's definitely left me closer to my parents because I am the only one here but at the same time it means I feel bad about wanting to leave and explore the world as well.

This past January my mom's family and I went on a cruise to celebrate my grandmother's 85th birthday. It was a great way for the family to celebrate together and for us to be with each other. My favorite part was schmoozing with my cousin until 3am in a coffee shop on the ship. After this conversation, I feel, that my cousin and I have grown closer. I hope this closeness continues.

This isn't the typical milestone, I suppose. Nor do I think anybody in the family realizes it but me. I've been making an effort to tell my family that I love them. I think with my family, it has always been very much an implicit truth, something that has never needed to be stated. The stoic Asian parent stereotype, if you will. My mother took it in stride and told me she loved me, too. Roger and dad sort of laughed it off, but hey, I think it's a step in the right direction. I never want them to not know.

I had totalled my car and got out without a scratch. I was all kinds of grateful. With our friend David Fletcher I was able to replace my old car for a new one and went from 17% interest to 3%. I felt quite hopeful for the future and decided to see what was on the housing market with 3% interest. I was able to take some money out of my Tax Shelter I had been saving to have a down payment on a beautiful new home 1 block from my school. It cost something to get out of my condo lease, but I'm glad I cut my losses and followed through. I kept going with a baby grand piano, for my business, which has also been an excellent investment. I'm very happy with this turn around in my life. I feel energized and fortunate that I'm living the life I have always envisioned.

I had my baby girl! She has changed my life forever! I also lost my mama and feel a major shift in who I am now...more of an adult somehow. I miss her terribly but her voice and words come out of my mouth every day and I feel her with us always.

I was fired from a volunteer position that I not only valued but defines/defined a huge part of me. I feel like I've been stabbed in the heart. This festival has not made me truly happy for many years, and I keep threatening to not to do, but I always go back. I'm trying to take this as a sign for me to move on, but really, all it does is hurt.

My Mom was diagnosed with dementia. It's become more and more apparent each time I talk to her how fast it is progressing. I'm terrified for everyone in my family and when I think of what's to come ... well I just really don't want to think about it.

Several major "milestones" - my father died at age 65, my mother turned 65 and my brother will turn 40. I moved into my own residence and soon after was joined by the love of my life, whom I'd met the previous year following my separation from my ex-husband of many years. My divorce was finalized at the end of the calendar year (after over a year of separation). So many changes in the past year have created an intense feeling of "different" for me, and now I'm just trying to figure out how to find the calm.

I have covered this quite a bit in the first two questions, but will expand here. The major milestone, I think, was the breakthough I had on June 7, when I finally understood. I understood that I needed to stay with my wife, to grow my relationship with her. I understood that my mistress was not the person I needed to be with, and that she was detrimental to me (which she proved in spades the next day as she blew up at me). I understood that I loved my wife, that I needed my wife, that our long life together replete with shared trials, experiences, children was important to me and to my identity. I understood that I could not be me without my wife. I understood that my wife knew me and understood me and had faith in me unlike anybody else, including my mistress, especially my mistress. On June 7, I had a breakthrough. My wife was out shopping, the night before we were to leave for camp. Facing a trip to camp without my wife, I suddenly understood that my wife understood camp as the safe and sacred space it creates better than I had. I understood that I could not go to camp without my wife, my partner, and by extension could not go through life without her. She came home from shopping and I felt her anger at the possibility she could not go, and in that moment I understood. I had clarity, and I pulled her to me. And I asked her to come to camp. And it was done. The long and tumultuous road was over and the healing began in that moment. I understood, I acted, she accepted, and since then we have built a life of such beauty that it defies any expectation we ever had. And now as a family, we are happy. Truly and deeply happy.

nothing major except ilana getting a job in NH and steve and i spending the summer in NY. We're moving her further along the road to independence and feel good about how we're doing it. being supportive of ilana and the end of the relationship with John- letting her go through the process at her own pace. I was more assertive about seeing grandkids more this summer- finally took vacation with Jeremy and Meg!

As a grow up and become an adult I am realizing how much I appreciate my family and how much they do for me

My family was worried about my being unemployed and this bothered me a lot but now that I am employed and working at a place other's would kill for, I am happy. Though I know my parents are a bit apprehensive as they are not with me, I know the wait and hard work will pay off.

We had a baby last year. We are equal parts sleep deprived and outrageously happy. I stay home with him so its the first time since I was 16 that I haven't worked outside the home. Its been an incredible year watching baby grow and learn.

My oldest son lost his job, and it gave him the impetus to start a company of his own manufacturing guitar accessories. He's a great cabinet maker and loves working with his hands, so making custom pedal boards makes him happy, and they are selling. This only affects me indirectly because he lives 3000 miles away and I rarely see him. Makes me proud and happy that he did that. He also got another IT job. He is never unemployed long.

My dad got a new job this year which he is beggining to love and my older sister got into her dream college and a perfect score on her SATS. also finally all 3 sisters went to school together (although i hate to admit it it was fun)

My sister tried to kill herself this summer. I don't think this is a typical milestone except that it has changed the way I view my family's ability to cope, the fear we now live with, and how committed we are to making sure she gets past this attempt with clarity about why she tried and how not to go back to that place. I wonder how many years it will take before this thought isn't a part of how we interact with her, second-guessing whether or not we are doing the right thing for her.

My grandma passed away. This was much harder for all of us than we had anticipated, particularly how wrenching it was to be there in the hospital at the end. However, my mom was stronger than I ever thought possible: maintaining calm so that my grandma wouldn't be afraid or anxious when she needed to be calm and we wanted her to be at peace. My mom has also healed much better than we thought would happen. Christmas will be hard, but grandma was in such pain that it's hard to wish she were still with us, suffering so. I miss her a lot though.

My parents decided to sell the house we've lived in for 18 years and move to a new condo downtown next spring. I have no idea how I'll actually come to terms with saying goodbye to this house...

My younger sister died and I wasn't able to be with her nearly as much as I wanted. I miss her, and losing her reminds me to live as I want to be remembered and to take care of myself - as she rarely did.

My dad got DBS - deep brain stimulation - surgery for Parkinson. His terrible symptoms have been alleviated. He's not just like before but he is so much better. A dark pall has been lifted off the family.

nothing

My grandfather passed away in December, on the 3rd day of Chanuka. I was in DC at the time, 1300 miles from home and it was right before finals. Not only was this very hard for me because I worried that my family would be upset that I wasn't able to be there in the days right after, but I also had to deal with it mostly on my own. It turned me toward God and religion more, even more than I had when I prayed every day and begged for his pain to end. I will never forget sitting in my living room, with only the light of the menorah and my roommates' Christmas lights and tree, just sobbing.

My daughter getting pregnant with my second grandchild.....and I am superly excited

I don't know if it's good or bad, but there really hasn't been any major milestones in my family.

My Mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I wept for weeks, thinking I would lose my beloved mother soon. Then she defied the odds and went into remission after several months of treatment. As we go into the first day of Rosh Hashanah she is back on chemo, but her spirits are strong. My mother is modeling both a remarkably good attitude and acceptance in the face of a situation she cannot control.

My brother and sister-in-law became pregnant with their second child, a daughter. As the birth of their first child did, this upcoming expansion of the family into a new generation has made me more conscious of time and life-cycles, of things forgotten, and things unknown-to-come. I've watched my parents regain some of their youthfulness as they enjoy being grandparents for the first time...and I ponder my own solitary lifestyle and wonder if I'm meant to follow in my siblings' footsteps in childrearing, or whether being a good uncle and a good person is enough for me...

My grandpa turned 90 years old last month and it has really hit me hard that he won't be around for ever and I think my family feel the same way

My brother and his girlfriend have been talking about buying a house together. It makes me happy because I think she's great, and my relationship with her has made my relationship with my brother better. I would love to see them start to build their lives together and have her as a part of our family.

When the head gasket and the transmission both went out on my old car and I was facing losing custody of my son due to not having the means of transport demanded by the terms of the custody court order I sent out emails to hundreds of my contacts all over the world asking them to pray for me to solve my scary problem and they did, I got prayer from Thailand and Greece, France and Scotland, among other places, from people of many various kinds of belief systems and I was lent a Jaguar and a hybrid and I was given a minivan for free and the money to insure it very well for a whole year and a new cell phone and a data plan to go with it, plus another brand new cell for my son, so I could keep in touch with him and it really caused me to have an increase in my sense of my own worth to realize that so many people were willing to give prayers for my and my son's well being and felt moved to help us when we most needed it. My sense of self esteem went up and it has stayed up.

I went from being thrilled that Mark was in remission, to being devastated when he passed away. And now the step kids want to be really close with me, and I am not sure what that is about. I still don't get why they could never be close to their Dad. He wanted that so much. I am now confused over what the kids want. Arianna is great, I love seeing her smile and listening to her talk. She is so bright and happy. But I am just not sure how my relationship with them will be going forward. This next year will be interesting. And I have just met Larry 2 weeks ago, so it will be interesting to see where we are at a year from now.

This is the year that my Christian, 'I want to be a preacher' brother had an affair and then left his wife. He kept all their problems quiet from the whole family until after he'd moved out of their flat. I've never got on well with my brother. He bullied me when I was a child and teenager, up until he moved out of my parents' house, and even when we saw each other after that it wasn't good. For me the hardest thing is trying to get my head round the fact that I get on with him better since he's done what I consider an awful thing. When we saw each other for my birthday last month, it was the first time I can ever remember getting on with him. I'm struggling to understand my relationship with him, and where it goes from here.

Right after the high holidays last year my mother got married and in the year that her and my step-father have been married I have seen large changes to family dynamics. For instance whereas I was used to always just having to relay simple things to one person I must always make sure inform two parties often schedule. Also the love in my family has grown tremendously as well. Finally my mother married a man who practices Christianity so with our two different religious views in on household I how have a greater level of tolerance and understanding

A major milestone in my family was the passing of my mother and also the passing of my husbands ex-wife. The passing of each was a reminder of legacy. My mother gave me an my brother life. Each of us is a teacher and each of us brings our own voice and light into the world. It was our mother who is the link to who and what we are. Zahava and I loved the same man, the same children and the same grandchildren. She was the source of their DNA. She and I became linked as together we created the emotional and spiritual DNA that is within our children and grandchildren. It's about the ripple effect of life. Awesome indeed!

My brother just landed a job with the San Antonio fire department. A few years ago I would never have expected my brother to have such a noble and pride filled job. He is a constant surprise to me and his selflessness will lead him to great things.

My daughter turned one since doing this last, which was a huge milestone. As much for me, as it was for her. It very poignantly drew to a close what had been a much more challenging time than I had ever anticipated before becoming a mother. And I looked at it as a fresh start and strangely it gave me confidence - as I had made it through and she simply becomes more delightful every day. So I must be doing something right!

My daughter turned 30 this year and my sister turned 80. These two women are the most important people to me. Seeing my sister's vitality at 80 is such an inspiration and knowing my daughter is growing into her life with intelligence and beauty thrills me. I love them so much. My partner started to see a therapist. He seems to be trying to connect with me and I am being a bit more self-protective.

My youngest sister downgrading from Cambridge, opting to not take her exams because of depression and anxiety. It is the first time we have spoken honestly to each other and the first time I saw her as an adult, even though she is still very young. It made me feel much less mad, to know she was thinking the same things and feels the same way about our family - the pressures and silences - as I do. It was very comforting, but I feel conflicted for feeling that way. It's unfortunate timing for her, and I hope she is well enough to take her exams next year, but I think it is for the best to confront and process these feelings early on in life.

My 30th wedding anniversary. We created an unbelievable family and relationship, which helped me uncover feelings and respect that were foreign to me

Just before Rosh Hashanah and just after his wedding, my son sent me an email saying that he wanted to cut off all contact with me, and he did so, as did his new wife. I live across the country from my son, see him seldom, and talk to him only occasionally, so this complete rejection is something I find both incomprehensible and needlessly cruel. He is my only son, and I raised him pretty much on my own. The loss of simply knowing he is in my life is nearly more than I can bear.

My spouse and I celebrated our 20th anniversary! When we first met everyone said it wouldn't last 3 weeks. It made me realize that we really do love each other on levels more deep and complex than I could ever have imagined.

My aunt and uncle celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. It made me think about how blessed I am to have a great family who supports me.

This isn't a milestone exactly, but this seems to have been the year in which my family started to treat me as an adult. It was a hard family year - my brother went off to school, my aunt was (and still is) very sick, my partner's mom got very sick (and is thankfully better), and my grandmother died. There was so much happening, and I'm grateful that I was able to step up and help out in the ways that were possible, even though I wish I could have done more. I think our relationships have been strengthened through all this, and that we are all more honest with each other than we were this time last year; rather than trying to protect me, my parents have started to include me in family decisions.

Again, this returns to my marriage in July. At 46 years old and after having been in a relationship with Brad for 7 years, I rejoice to have lived to see the day that my partnership is recognized as equal and valid to any heterosexual couple by my own government.

My husband retired from his medical practice after 30 years. He is so much happier and working part time. We were able to capture his reflections on being an old time family doctor at StoryCorps.

I don't think any milestone has happened. My mom did a great job at taking care of my plants...my brother has been on 2 vacations when he is usually a hermit.

My husband turned 60. And though I am about a year and a half older than he (I turn 62 next month), his age and aging affects me. I rely on him for everything and don't want to think that a day might come when I have to rely on myself. I so wanted to deny that this birthday of his was a big deal, that I didn't do anything special (like a party or "big" gift). I hope he wasn't disappointed, but somehow him growing older is harder for me to accept than my own aging.

My parents are soon to reach their 80's. Perhaps. The slow decline of heath has already begun, heart surgery, cancer treatments, small strokes, oxygen flow, blood pressure--it is the daily make-up of their time. How does this affect me. Since I live further away from them than my other siblings, I am removed a bit. This, of course, leads to feelings of guilt on my part. It also has left me wondering how I want to approach these years. Do I want to linger? Or, do I want to take my ending days into my own hands....I think we can see where my feeling lie.

Ron's 60 (see day 1). Alec got a county job at Bergen Point! I am relieved that he's working at a secure job but a little concerned that he will get stuck there. Maybe he'll do what I did and become a teacher later? Liam got into a serious relationship and became sexually active - another worry. Also had first real breakup - relieved. I have been thinking a lot about retirement, went to the seminar, calculated severance, etc. Very excited but feeling older. I really want to do something worthwhile still.

The major milestone that happened this year was the passing of my grandmother. It's still very recent at this time, as we are in 5774 and as I write the funeral will be this week. I think the question is really how it will affect me and my parents. What will my parents now do once they have no-one to look out for, what will their dynamic be? In terms of me, I'm doing ok, except feel some guilt for not being there enough, but realise that it was her time to go...

It's been a year of ups and downs. My uncle was diagnosed with lung cancer, my youngest sister made what I think is a huge mistake in (temporarily) splitting from a lovely man and my grandma continues to struggle with depression - but in the same year, my middle sister experienced the joy of a pregnancy and an engagement with the love of her life. I think this has brought us all closer together and I'm looking forward to what will happen at her marriage and when we see the new baby.

Actually nothing has happened. It is 1000% unheard of to have a happy year in my family and I can't believe for once it's actually happened. I am very lucky to have such an amazing family and can only hope we all continue to be so happy and harmonious.

My son graduated from highschool. He's had such a difficult time for the last two years I really didn't think he would graduate. I kept expecting someone to say sorry, he didn't actually graduate, give us the dipolma back, but they didn't. I was proud, but still apprehensive, he has to figure out what to do next, and I don't know what that will be.

Our son turned 21. Now I am more aware than I was before that I am growing older, that time really does march on and that I am really running out of time. This is at the same time exciting and terrifying.

We went from having very little hope in the future to having set ourselves up for a few years of existential recuperation and - possibly - even comfort. It doesn't get much more mile-stony than that. It's affected me by turning me from a self-hating person who was being lightly medicated for despression to a slightly less self-hating person who has hope.

I became almost entirely self-sustainable, lessening the financial burden on my family.

My son had become a 4th grader. He was no longer in a class where he was learning to read, but he was reading to learn. Having a learning disability, he could no longer hide behind his inability to read or sound out the words. Now we all have to admit how impacting his disability is and how it will effect his every decision in the future. As a mother, I want to help, to make it better. I want to find a supporting learning community and program for him so that he can feel successful. Now, living and working in a rural community, I have to realize that it is all on me and my now divorced partner. We have purchased technological supports, now we have to find a way to make this move into he classroom with success. And, all the while, we must help him feel whole and loved.

This is a really sobering question for me. My family as I knew it was mostly dead by 1996; the aunt and the cousin (one each) who really care about me were geographically distant and I spent many years not connecting with them; even now, I see them rarely and we are all not particularly close. So the answer is that I'm unaware of any major milestone that happened in my family. I'm sure there were milestones, with the aunts and uncles and all those cousins out there, but I don't know about them. I feel that's pretty sad, but at this point, I'm not sure how to change anything.

My Mom died & I finally feel like the eldest child with resonsibilities to the rest of my family

My parents have been fighting a lot more and I am afraid that they will get divorced. I don't want that to happen... I don't know what I would do if they got divorced. It can't happen.

This year we had a family wedding which brought together a lot of crazy and love. I was able to handle situations that I would thought I would never get through and I did. It made me and my family stronger.

The family (Mom and Joe) moved to New Jersey. This has made me both happy and sad. Happy because Jersey is beautiful, but I miss NYC.

My father is now retired. This is a great thing for him, but I am scared that they won't have enough to survive comfortably. This has caused me to think about my own retirement... what do I want that to look like? How am I going to do that?

After 15 years of talking about it, we finally took the leap and are going through the process of being licensed as foster parents. We're nervous about how this will go, and the road we will travel, but we've very excited to welcome a child (or children) into our home.

My own milestones: 50th anniversary of being ordained as a rabbi and 50 years of association with Congregation Emanu El. And, celebrating my 75th birthday in good health and vigor.

Having a sibling enter rehab has affected my entire family. she successfully completed the program fall off the wagon and injued herself terribly. She seems to be on track again. I have watched our mom worry herself terribly. This addiction has affected our family deeply. We are all learning tough love. We all pray for recovery.

I told my parents that my partner was pregnant. They were at first surprised because our relationship is so new, and because as queer people we needed to do a lot of work to make that happen. But now they're thrilled for us and we couldn't be happier.

my daughter julia. sweet julia. came home after graduating from college. a miracle. left new york. this was the first new year w julia and ali at the same table -- in 8 years. it was beyond words wonderful. the random visits. the stop bys. the reuniting of our family. wholeness. holiness.

My mother is working her last shift at The Bottle Depot today. I'm not sure how it will affect me with her only working the one job now, but time will tell.

My husband made the switch to work half as many nights, and is continuing forward to work even fewer nights. By him going back to days he is a happier and more rested person. While in the midst of two years of nights it was hard to see that the constant poor sleep was making him incredibly on edge and cranky. His mood was making the whole family walk on eggshells, a very unpleasant way to live. We decided his health, and quality of life for all of us was worth more than the extra money he makes working nights.

My mom got married this summer. I had no idea what to expect. Seeing my mom so happy, and actually being a part of their ceremony, it was a pretty big deal. I feel like I understand now more than ever what it means to be in a partnership. It gave me the courage to break up with my girlfriend. I loved her, but I always felt stressed and unsettled about the relationship. It made me realize that I can / deserve to feel safe in a loving relationship. I feel independent, stable, and excited about dating other people. I still grieve the relationship - it was a deep and intense love, and we were really important to each other. It's a big deal letting her go. But seeing my mom remarry (after a painful early marriage) gives me hope that there is a better love for me out there somewhere.

Same sex or "gay" marriage was approved in Washington state where I live. Also, the Federal government declared that these marriages are recognized by them, i.e. the IRS. I also became the co-owner of a new car when our previous vehicle became too injured to continue. A first for me!

I'm having difficulty coming up with a milestone in my own family, but three close friends had babies this year. It has been interesting watching the effect on their lives- so much change yet in some ways not as different as I expected. They all have such different relationships and homes that it has made me a bit more conscious of what I'm looking for in my own home.

My sister got her dream job, and it was a very unifying event in our family life. It was amazing to see that after years of working hard, she was able to get it, and celebrating as a family was a very rewarding experience for all of us.

Pauline's being in cancer remission and all the pulling togethet of the family to assist and support her. The health challenges of all of us now getting older, really, it's US now.

My brother has gotten serious with a woman who's eight years older than he is, and that none of us particularly like. I was fine with it for a long time because he seemed so happy, but lately cracks have been showing and I'm concerned and don't know quite how to talk to him about it. I'm seeing him make the same mistakes he did with his last relationship and I just want to make things better for him, but I know I really have to let him work it out for himself and just be there no matter what.

This year marked the 10th year anniversary of my former husband's death by suicide. To reflect on the courage of my children, over and over in these 10 years as they encountered and overcame so many hurdles, leaves me in awe. Their characters and attitudes are the most fitting tribute they could ecer offer in their father's memory. They remind me to be honest, honorable especially for things whose value is beyond measurable.

My step-daughter had a baby girl in February and has welcomed me in her life.

My father is going back to school for his masters and is even teaching a few classes. While this has been a financial burden for my mother, with my brother and I also attending college, it does make me realize that my parents have passions that must be expected, and that they have dedicated enough of their lives to us. There needs to be time for them, too.

My oldest son got engaged. I feel it was premature, as they had only been dating two years. I am concerned that the bride-to-be is very immature, completely self-centered and not aware of her effect on people. She had her engagement and wedding planned before she even met my son and pushed him into this. He just desparetly wants to be loved and accepted. His true personality seems totaly surpressed in the relationship. My son knows I have reservations about this union. It has caused tension in our relationship and makes me very sad. I am hoping to be proved wrong, but my gut is telling me this is a bad match.

I became a parent. I have been involved with my partner for 2.5 years, but she and her son just moved here last summer. I was easing in to a step-parent role, exploring my approach to discipline and teaching values. And then when Sandy Hook occurred, it hit me in a way that was completely new, and I realized it was because I was a parent. My step-son is that age, and it completely changed how I reacted to that tragedy. I have been working to get closer to him all year, and this past Spring there was definitely a significant shift. Now I feel so in love with him, and really enjoying our roles in each others lives.

My mother passed away last August. It affected me and my siblings in so many ways. It brought to a close my mother's life here on earth; now I'm creating a different relationship with her and with my memory of her. I realized with her passing that it is so important to be part of a supportive community, so I joined a local Jewish synagogue and enrolled in the adult b'nai mitzvah class (this was always on my bucket list!). I am reconnecting to my tribe, and to the profound beauty of the Jewish religion and its liturgy. I decided to actively deal with my grief by doing this, and as I look back on the past year, it has been a wonderful growth year for me. My mother and my father would be proud of me!

I have had several milestones this year. Alex has been coming into his gaining self confidence , self respect and independence. Jake ended high school on top of the world. He entered college on an upbeat note , paniced but recovered and found his footing. I am working my brain to not feel every pain my children experience , to help them find their wings by listening , encouraging, and asking questions. My husband celebrated our 25th anniversary, my 57th birthday , and the 44th anniversary of his bar mitzvah by chanting the haftorah Ki Savo. I finally got to have a "bat mitzvah "and came of age in midlife! I used this event to signify me becoming my own wise woman, enriching my commitment to my husband, and accepting a challenge I set for myself.

Anne and I both turned 65. I am really beginning to understand that we have more years behind us than ahead of us. I keep wondering how this happened!

Divorce is done. Having it done is a huge relief. Having been through it has left me with many issues. I think it will take a long time to heal. I hope its ending give me the ability to deal with them, and move on.

We started going on college visits for my older sister and myself. It made me realize that in a year we won't always be together and soon I'll be on my own.

My mom died Oct. 14, 2012. How has it not affected me. I have lived away from my parents since college and at times was glad of that. However, since my mother died I have felt closer to both my parents now that they are gone than sometimes when they were here. I don't think I'm pining for missed opportunities. They raised me to be independent and we all liked the person I had grown up to be. But now they are gone, I miss not having been closer some of the time and I regret being short-tempered with my mom (although not in her presence) and dismissive of what they, as parents, could offer in terms of advice. But I think that is part of growing up. Maybe I am justifying my actions. But they can't be changed and if I regret them, I need to learn to live with that. I miss both my parents and likely always will. That's OK. They were good parents.

My children knew that my husband (not their father) and I were struggling financially. They invited me to a conference call with the three of them and announced that going forward they would be "gifting" me $5000/month. I was stunned and or so grateful. I'm embarrassed that I am moving into full-on senior status and requiring the assistance of my kids! Their help has made it possible for me to purchase a home for which I am delighted. Not only that, my daughter put the first mortgage on the home. I do not have words to express how honored I am that these kids are so willing to give me a hand. I am now licensed as a mortgage originator and I start back to work in two weeks. Wish me luck - it is important to me that I am able to "stand on my own two feet" and be successful! I am 73 years old, in great health with superb energy and I look forward to starting a new career!

My grandmother died this last year. She was my last living grandparent. It makes me feel the age of my family.

For the first time in our family's history, we all spent Christmas at my sister's house instead of my mother's house. Although I am 47 and stopped going 'home' for Christmas in my 30s and my sister is 43, this took a long time to get our mother out of her house for Christmas. I am glad that at last, the tradition has been broken. Can't wait for this Christmas at my sister's house again :D

Had a great visit with my dad in Texas along with my sister Erica. It's made me really appreciate quality time with family and friends.

I found out my mom's a vampire, my dad's a reanimated corpse, my little brother's a wolfman, and my cousin is made entirely of long brown hair. Crazy, right? My uncle Fester is just a damn weirdo. No bigs.

The birth of our sixth grandchild has affected me deeply. The thought that went into his naming was so indicative of the depths of his parents. Almost his entire lineage is represented in his name. Also, he is the only son born to our only son and the only Jewish male among the many generations of cousins to carry on the family name . Then, to top it all off, of all my children and other grandchildren, he looks like I did as an infant. When I see his expressions, I can feel the feelings within me that expressed them the same way. Amazing!

I think I have finally realized that the guy I was so crazy about for so long, really isn't the man for me. I've known that for a long time but trying to get my heart to go along with it has taken longer. He'd show a little bit of interest and I'd get my hopes up that maybe he'd really be interested, but my feelings got hurt & my hopes dashed every time. Men who are interested make an effort. Cognitively I know that, emotionally I struggle with it. He makes no effort and I've finally realized that he's just not into me. He's been such a disappointment because I see such potential there for us, but it's not meant to be and I'm starting to move on.

My wife (and all of us) reconciling to life with celiac. Oy, ugh. A few big changes, but so many micro-adjustments, and so many setbacks. We'd hoped to see a bounce once we knew how to cope; not so much, yet.

My first and only nephew turned 1 year old. He is really the pride of our family and his birth helped my mother through the death of her parents, so celebrating his birthday was a fantastic celebration for our entire family. The miracle of birth is really magical and to see my brother be a father for over a year, has been so special.

Well that's easy. Leslie left Andrea. Huge. Massive. It's affected me in that I am so directly, compassionately, empathically and energetically connected with my sister. I really feel her pain, and I have been holding not so much her hand but her heart through this. I want to crawl up in there and sprinkle happy, peaceful, healing fairy dust on it. I want also to not and let this be the engine that in her own right catapults her into the spheres of knowing and healing and growing and evolving that only the few conquer. She can do it. She is doing it. She is a Phoenix rising, which sometimes dips mightily, but I have all the faith in the world in her. I sometimes want to pull her up myself and scream at her that she is amazing, doesn't she see, and she is on her way to thriving like she's never thrived. To living like she's never lived. To even loving like she's never loved. I hold her in that space of possibility. It's good for me, too. I am not tempted to wallow in our self-pity and vicitimhood (as were the first words out of mom's mouth--but she has since moved away from there). I feel her pain, I know the struggle, I do not diminish the challenge, yet I hold a knowing that this will reap tremendous rewards for her. And mom has also expressed (plus, it's evident) how this has actually helped her in her own healing. She has the happy pitter-patter of a living companion which she loves. She has perspective on her own trials of widowhood. She has someone to cook for. Right after Andrea moved in, the house was deemed termite-infested. The three of them were ripped open--Mom, Andrea and the house--with only the basic structure in place. And I saw it as a beautiful nurturing, tending to, and rebuilding taking place for all of them. And James came as a bonus.

A major milestone for me and my family was the death of my father. It only cemented what I already knew -- my family is nothing but a bunch of hypocritical zealots who wouldn't know how to be kind if it was necessary to save their own lives. I therefore decided that I will not connect with them again. They are not people who are healthy to be around, they take joy in tearing people apart, and like animals, they see weakness and attack. I know I can do better.

My sister started at college this year, so for the first time, I'm the only kid in the house. I'm definitely proud of her, but it's also affected me deeply in that it sucks. I've always been far closer to my sister than I've been to my parents, so it feels like I have no one to talk to sometimes. I miss her like crazy and it's just so weird not having her around. I know she'll be home for breaks and whatnot, but that's not the same. It really feels like time is moving too fast and my future is racing towards me, and frankly, the thought of it terrifies me.

We bought and moved into our first house together. The process of house-hunting was very stressful, made us very anxious, and put our very young marriage to the test! It was a tumultuous time, and we have been working through financial stresses since obtaining the mortgage. We have come through it and are stronger than ever, with much gratitude for what we have, where we are, and what we hope is to come.

My husband's grandfather died in February. In mid-December, he was helping me clear the table after our Chanukah brunch. By Valentine's Day, he was dead. It has freed up my mother-in-law and I've never seen her so happy or relaxed. Yes, I'm sure she misses her father but his care fell squarely on her as her sister lives in another state and rarely visits. Sometimes, I think it's better for the family when someone is no longer around.

Cousin Reuven was murdered. I don't trust the American system to protect me or my kids from people who should not have guns yet legally get them. Gun violence shattered our family.

A major milestone that has affected me in my family this year has simply been realizing that I want to be with them. I feel much more connected to them even with the distance knowing that in less than a year I will permanently be able to share my life with them much more frequently.

My son finished his training for his MOS in the Marines and got to come to our family reunion!

My ex-husband has not had a mental health breakdown, and I am starting to relax. I hope this continues.

No MAJOR one, but plenty middling. --I went to work in the trades. --Coco had weightloss surgery, graduated from college, moved back to Austin and got a good job. --Matt quit his bail job and came to work with me. --Eric was awarded Texas Star Reporter of the year! --Gus made the trustee list and got special awards for running and writing. Ha! --Nick's babymama had a son, who I have not yet met. --by next rosh, Coco and Matt will be married. --Lud came to visit her. Life is swift and unpredictable and meant to be savored.

There was a major event in my family during the past year. My former husband died. He was my love. For so long. He was an integral part of my youth. We shared the California experience of the surfing era, The Hippie movement, The Beatles and British Invasion, and the Vietnam War. We were married for 9 years, but had been together for 11+. After he returned from Vietnam, I believed our life would settle down into a peaceful normalcy. I disregarded the nightmares, his distress and stress. No one talked about it. We were to just get on with it as though there had been only a short disruption. His was classic ptsd, but there was no help, not even a diagnosis or label. Two years after buying our first home, nine months after adopting our baby daughter, he tearfully left us. We divorced within the year. Still, we loved. And we kept in touch, not only for the sake of our daughter, but we still shared a bond, and the connection of caring from the time when we were young and hopeful. Years passed and I remarried and raised five children. He remarried and had three more children. We talked several times each year. We had long loving, funny, phone calls keeping our caring connection. I had moved out of state, so our daughter spent summer vacations in California with him. He occasionally came here to visit and stayed in our home. We were all connected. Five years ago he was diagnosed with cancer. He knew he could beat it; and how he tried. He did the classic program of Surgery, and chemo. And for awhile the disease kept itself hidden. We all relaxed. Two years ago tests revealed that it had spread into his abdomen and his liver had several tumors growing there. Our daughter and I traveled to California to be there for the risky surgery to remove the liver tumors. He and I spent several hours together over two days, reminiscing, and laughing as we relived old memories, private jokes, and other shared moments. His surgery lasted a very short time. No tumors were removed. They werre each inoperable. The oncologist informed us that this was an incurable cancer. He could do nothing and let it take him rather quickly, or do several roiunds of chemo a year and shrink the tumors enough to buy some not-very- good time. He chose the latter and turned several months into two years. I released him from his promise that he would not leave the planet before me. He died shortly after his birthday this spring. I did not go to his funeral. I'd already said goodby. I thought. As it turns out, I really hadn't accepted it. Because he was at a distance, it didn't feel real. But now, as I write this, I have fully realized that he is, indeed, gone. And it's just a little bit lonely. He's left a hole. When I was a child and the warm summer nights allowed us to play outdoors after dinner, the neighborhood seemed enchanted. The golden dusk enhanced our games of kick the can, and hide and seek. But then someone's mother would call. Time to go home. We'd all stop and watch our friend reluctantly leave. And then we would continue our game. But it wasn't the same with one gone. Soon others would be called. Always the game would continue and we'd try to keep the energy up, but those missing left empty spaces. That's how it feels now. He's been called home and while the rest of remain in the game, it's not quite the same.

Our second child, another daughter, was born. We are now a family of four and the dynamic has completely changed. I take less for granted and every day feel blessed to have such a wonderful family.

My grandmother really went downhill in her physical and mental health. It tested me, because she has become so mean, so abusive, so manipulative through guilt. It's behavior I know to be fundamentally wrong and I would not accept it from anyone. But how do ask your dying grandmother to change? And is it right to sacrifice my last experiences with my grandma to maintain a red line in how people treat me? I'm still struggling with this one.

Two milestones this year--my 50-year-old brother got married for the first time to a wonderful woman with a 9 year old son. He's moved to another state, which has impacted our family get-togethers, but I think it has given him more "status" if you will, in the family, rather than the single guy. I am very happy for him, and hope it works out. Second milestone--my son had his 3rd child, a beautiful girl, Amelie. A wonderful event, but it has now changed the dynamic for us because he lives with his family in Italy. With 3 kids in a small apartment, it makes it harder for us to stay with them to visit our grandchildren, and almost impossible for them to come here, except at great expense. We'll need to figure out a solution so that we can see our grandchildren and they can get to know us.

Nate and I were able to FINALLY qualify to buy a home! We are both so excited and so relieved that our time has finally come - we've dreamed of this for so long and now it's time! We are building a house and it has been so neat to watch it slowly be constructed. On the bad hand, this year is when we found out my dad has been lying to my mom for 5 years and they are now $232,000 in debt. My mom almost divorced him, but decided in the end to stick with him and forgive him. I might never forgive him. I can't believe he would do such a horrible thing to my beautiful mother. I don't know how he can live with himself. Ugh.

My son and daughter-in-law had their first baby, so I became a grandmother, a Bubbie! I went to visit 3 days later and it was wonderful. My fiancee and I are planning an RV trip to visit them next month. Babies are such miracles.

I feel more and more alone in terms of family. I feel I don't really have much of one - everything/everyone is halfs. I was the only child of my biological mother and father. I have no children and if I outlive my husband I expect to have no further contact with any of his children once he is gone. So, my work is to avoid bitterness about this situation because it cannot be changed. I think I am OK with the facts, but I'm not sure. I do see others who have "real" families who fare no worse than I with their family relationships, somaybe it is a moot point in the end.

My twin brother, was probably closer to dying since he's been a quad than I have ever seen. Because I was living at his house to help out and he has not and will not make arrangements in the event he does die, I needed to get completely out and away. When I made that decision, with the complete support of my fiancee, the path sort of opened up to us getting a place that works great for us, and other people stepped in to live at my brother's in a way that really works for them, and him.

Same old, same old, same old bullshit. Brother back in jail. Dad sending crazy messages. I think it has had a somewhat demoralizing effect on me. I feel sad that I don't have a strong, loving, and larger family. My mom has seemed to push back on my brother which is a huge change. I think she is understanding addiction and realizing that it has been almost 20 years and he has to step up. I feel that she appreciates me more as she puts less stress and worry into their very unhealthy relationship. I am glad to have a better relationship with my mom.

Not too much has happened. The child was away from me for the longest time he and I have ever been separated. It is preparing me for when he is gone and off on his own forever. It was difficult for me, though.

My daughter is growing up, gaining measures of freedom and I along with her. We have begun to let her stay at home alone at times which has meant that my husband and I could have more time as a couple. Since he is almost my only real time adult contact, this has been enormously liberating for me. Her teen years will bring a lot of challenges, but since I have had the boys before her, I know what I'm in for, and she is far and away more mature and more connected to us. Bring it on.

My mom just recently got a new job, and while we have not yet seen the effects, it is sure to have a huge impact on how our family functions. I am also a bit removed from it because I live so far away, so I do not experience the day to day changes of the family. It is a reality I am still adjusting to. Mom's job will provide more financial stability to our family, but it will also have her traveling quite a bit and have an impact on Jack's senior year of high school. No longer will she be the main support system for him, and no longer will work take a back seat to our home life. I am happy that this change is coming now, in preparation for my parents being empty nesters. My mom is going to need something to place energy into once Jack is out of the house, and this I hope will provide her with happiness and drive.

I turned fifty in March, and I really wanted to make it a fabulous year. So far, it has been! I was onstage in two plays, was asked to join the board of our community theatre group, and became a regular runner.

It's not so much a milestone as it is something that I wish had happened: we didn't reconcile with my younger brother after disowning him a few years back.

My son was accepted into a great college. I am enormously proud of him and simultaneously so sad to have him gone. Learning to parent large children long distance is my new challenge.

My husband's pd has progressed and he had to take a month off for medical leave. A realization that things will get worse over time made me realize that I will need the ongoing support from friends and drs in the area. Staying in our home and state during retirement is becoming a real consideration.

This year, my daughter graduated from college and my son enrolled after completing his military service. I felt a pride for their accomplishments and grateful that they had been able to successfully negotiate their lives within the love and support of family and community. And was reminded, Never. Say. Never.

Joe died. It didn't affect me. Not really. But in a way.... I sleep more soundly at night. I don't have to worry about my sister any more. Don't have to worry about Mom getting back together with him. It's singly the biggest milestone since... well, the other thing with Joe.

My big sister, Sarah, went to Israel for her gap year. I thought it would be so weird without her, but I adjusted so quickly. The thing is that I think it's really allowed me to become so much more independent - I always used to ask her for advice and follow her lead, and now that I can't anymore I think I've started to think for myself a bit more.

My sister came out to me this year. I'm so honored and proud she felt comfortable telling me and I think she's amazing for being brave and true to who she is. I'm excited for her and support her 100%. She's achieved so much in her life thus far—from school to career to personal goals. My only concern is that our parents still have no idea. I know my sister's truth will be extremely hard for them to come to terms with. It makes me sad to think their religious views may keep them from accepting my sister for all she is, but I will do everything possible to help them see beyond their "values" and recognize how simple the decision to love unconditionally can be.

My dad going for a heart procedure placed a sudden focus on what is important and worth being grateful for.

Rachel graduating. Both kids at class in June. Significant openings and advancement for them. probably for me and I 'm not seeing that so much

My brother has cancer and thus far has not wanted to discuss it. This year he has opened up and shared a lot more with all of us. He spends more time with his children and grandchildren and we are having the most loving and soul-searching conversations that we've ever had.

Ann's brother's and Diane's mother's death. In different ways, being there for them in ways that were helpful. I trust myself better, I think, to know that, although I may not know what to say or do beforehand, once in the moment I will.

We were affected by Hurricane Sandy. It was really scary not knowing when the power was going to come back on, or if we would be able to find gas, or what would happen to the community if food started becoming scarce. It was also very uncomfortable being in the cold house. Luckily, our neighbors really helped us out a lot. They helped us find a generator, and it was wonderful being with our friends, and sharing food, warmth, and company in those bizarre days. It's made me really afraid of not being prepared, and I want to be a Prepper now! But it has also made me really appreciate my friends.

Both my wife and I have learned to deal with the loss of our lovely daughter, and still meet the challenges of career and family with a smile. We have learned to take our experience and fold it into our daily lives without making it a scarlet letter that we brandish to everyone. It is difficult because we want to share our daughter with the world, but it is hard to explain our loss...

Our son got married. Our family got bigger, but my relationship with my son is different. I am learning how to be the parent of adults.

My brother quit pot, it was such a HUGE step.

Well, we had another baby! Oh man...it has turned our world upside-down. In good ways and not so good ways. This baby is amazing...such a love and a joy. But the strain on our family has been quite a surprise. It has been hard on our marriage, hard on my career...just hard.

A major milestone would be Rachel turning 16 last October and getting her license shortly after. It's really hit home that she will be out of the house within the next year and it's unsettling. In some ways I think she's ready to go, but in other ways not at all. I will miss her terribly and it will probably be very hard on me. Also, with her driving, I'm more nervous when she's out and about with the car. With the exception of a mild fender bender, she's a good driver, but I worry about others and distractions and the temptations to take risks as a teen ager.

My brother graduated from high school this year. I'm still not sure if he's ready to be out in the world, on his own, but I hope that going to community college will do him a world of good. He really wants to go to USC in two years. I hope I get to see that happen. To the future you: Call your brother more often. You both miss each other when you're apart.

I have become much less willing to accept help from my parents. There are some behavior patterns in our family that I'm not willing to be a part of anymore, and there are some new boundaries that I have to preserve my independence. On the whole this has been difficult and sad. Growing up is hard to do...

My foster sister and I got along a lot better this year than we had been. A lot of it was because of my attitude change, but it greatly improved our relationship and some of the general atmosphere in our house.

I finally realized that I don't need my mother's approval or input in my life. She's poison.

not to let anyone in my family be homeless

I think a major milestone with my family has been my granny passing away. Surprisingly, it actually brought us a lot closer - for a month or so. Isn't that sad? Such a tragedy actually forced us to spend time together.

My husband's daughter moved back to the area. We see more of her and he goes to visit her more. It is not good or bad, just different. OK, mostly good because I get more time to myself and I also get to see him happy being a father and enjoying being with her. I like seeing him happy and appreciate that he's a good father and has a good relationship with his daughter. Something I didn't really have with my father.

My husband has died and it has had an enormous effect on my life. I have taken over the farm and my life has changed for the better. I feel more freedom than I have for 45 years!

My husband and I reached our 10th year wedding anniversary. We renewed our vows, which was lovely and meaningful. We also hit a major rut in our relationship this year, which we worked hard to get through. I realize that even though our marriage has withstood joys and tragedies, births and deaths, illness and adventures, we still have to work to keep the essence of our love at the center. It is work to make time for each other. It takes an effort to make room for lovemaking. It takes focus to stay connected. What I learned is that it is really important not to take my husband for granted, especially with time. Love requires attention.

I became an uncle! I've spoken to my brother much more frequently in the subsequent weeks than I had been doing previously, and I hope this continues.

My daughter starting daycare was a major milestone. She is growing up so fast and I can't believe it. She is definately no longer a little baby now and though I'm nostalgic I wouldn't have it any other way.

My son, who was once the littlest kid in his whole class, is now on the varsity football team. It's had a big impact on him, and on me by association. I've watched his self confidence soar and I don't worry quite so much about his lack of a good father figure.

The major milestone in my life was the need to move back to Europe. Not entirely voluntarily but I managed it and am now on track to come back after a dark period of reflection.

My father died. I have not had a relationship with him in abt 20 years and am shocked at how his death is affecting me. I thought I was done with him. God is showing me that I'm not, which really sucks. So many things unresolved.

Two weeks ago, I was sitting on the porch at my friend Sean's house, waiting to catch up with my mom about her trip to Ghana. She asked me if I was sitting just after I picked up the phone. She told me that Grandma has stage four uterine cancer. She did her first round of chemo last week. Her spirits are high an she's incredibly hopeful. Grandma told Mom, "I'm gonna beat this." It's difficult to describe how much I want to be home to help out, to rub her head while they pump poison into her. Despite this, they all want me here in New Orleans where they think I can make a real difference.

This is a painful question, that shows how little family connectiveness my family has. Not much happened. My brother retired from his job, and is fishing for consulting positions. Mom is still anti-semitic, brother is Jewishly apathetic, and I'm living a Jewish life.

My husband and I stabilised our marriage a bit more. We leaned on each other more and trusted more, I think.

We had a sort of half milestone. My husband stopped teaching after 38 years. He has taken a new job, but he sees it as temporary. He plans to retire in two years. I feel relieved that he didn't retire right away--I don't think we can afford it. We have not really looked at our financial situation realistically. We have been married many years, but have never been able to do this. The fact that he has not retired completely has given me a reprieve from being faced with a decreased income. Maybe we can take these two years to work out a plan.

I finally found out why my dad doesn't make an effort to be a part of my life. It's something i should have found out a long time ago so i could have moved forward and not had in the back of mind for so long nagging at me. But now i'm happy to move on with my life for all intent and purposes fatherless.

My brother went travelling around the world and my parents were alone in the house, without me or my brother in the same country. Because of that, I hadn't seen my brother for a year and a half until he came to visit me in June; I absolutely adore him, we are of the same mind, I respect him and we are good friends and it made me realise we should really keep in touch more or we might lose our connection and the closeness of our relationship. Most of the time, I don't feel loss about being here because I see my parents so much but with Darren it's very sad. I must be a better sister and make sure we stay as close, because he's lazy and it's up to me to make the effort

My grandfather got remarried this past April. My grandmother died about two years ago, and knowing my grandfather, the marriage was pretty unexpected. But not in an uncomfortable way -- we all love our new "grandmother" and our new cousins and family. The circumstances of my grandmother's life and death have helped me see my grandfather, today, the happiest I've ever seen him, and that's been pretty amazing for me. It says about something love, I guess. I'm proud of him and happy for him.

My parents had the worst fight they've ever had, with threats of divorce. Divorce is a very big deal in my part of the world and I hope they settle this issue before these answers get sent to the vault.

My uncle Earl, the last person of my parents' generation, died June 26th. Interestingly, I heard about it from a niece of his I'd never met and never knew existed. No other family changes, which is good.

I already shared one--my mother getting married--so I will share a different one: the one year anniversary of my grandmother's death. This almost the same answer as prior, but to look at the whole family in such a different place than we were--it was pretty hard to see. It's always hard to see people move on.

After knee surgery, my Bubby (grandmother) fell and broke her hip. While no surgery was required, she was house-ridden for months. It put a huge strain on my family, especially my mom. It was stressful because my mom was always on edge and upset and I was very scared about what it could mean for my grandparents' health. Luckily, my Bubby is a very determined woman and has gotten better. Things are still not the way they were, nor do I think they ever will be. But it was a huge thing to have to get through. I hope that when I read this next year, I can still smile about our family being together and healthy.

A few weeks ago I left home for college. This has really changed the dynamic in my house from what I've heard. Seth is being closely watched, which he isn't really a fan of. Instead of discussing the events of the day over dinner I have 20 minute phone conversations, which are a little frustrating because I have a lot of things to do. Also, I miss my puppy a lot.

My husband lost his job. I think this triggered in me a sense of gratitude for the work I have been able to do in the world because my husband was able to support me and motivated me to take a turn at supporting him so he could figure out what he wanted to do next in his life. But it also reinforced for me how relatively unimportant sustaining a particular lifestyle is to me and it is much more important for me to have a family that is fulfilled and able to appreciate all the good we do have.

Hmm. My family spent the entire month of August living together under one roof; an exciting time that gave us ample opportunity to get to know each other all over again and replenish our relationships before we all venture forward into our new lives (me, New York; Rebecca, Israel; Arielle, college; parents, empty nest). Being together for so long at a stretch gave us time to dig a little deeper--unlike short two to three day visits where everything is strictly pleasant. It's been years since we've been together like this, and we've all grown, so it was good to re-establish a baseline of family relationships. I must say that my relationship with my mom changed the most during this month. I think the extended contact forced me to adopt a greater distance with her, sort of denying the mother-son relationship a little bit. I suppose I had to assert my independence as an adult, and that came at the cost of some of the mother-son intimacy we had when our contacts were shorter. I'm a bit sad about this, and I hope there's room to repair it.

This year has been a terrible one for my daughter and a great strain on our family. My heart hurts so much for her and, since the troubles are on-going, I have much fear for her. I am however very proud of the woman she has grown to be.

One of my greeting card designs was featured on a blog within a few weeks of posting it to my Etsy shop. The exposure made a huge impact on sales & views. Also, it gave me the confidence to expand my line of greeting cards and start contacting retailers about selling my cards in their shops. I currently have representation in 1 Pittsburgh store, 1 Cincinnati store, 2 San Francisco stores, and I am working on Columbus, OH next. Yes, I am definitely inspired...

Sister's wedding. Gained a brother in law. Got a headache in return. Maybe that's the flip answer. Sure, I'm glad for her. I can't say I'm glad for me. I got a lot of questions about "why haven't you gotten married yet?" And "are you next?" And short of "fuck off," and "it's none of your fucking business," I can't say I have overwhelmingly positive answers. From where I sit marriage is complicated at best and not something to be taken lightly. Also there's he whole you can't do it by yourself conundrum and when you've been sick as long as I have, dating is daunting. Netflix doesn't count. Sure, for me someday, but not this week or next. And single people should not be harassed by the cult of marrieds. It's fucking rude.

My brother and his wife welcomed a beautiful little boy into the family, and my sister brought in a new daughter to the world. It's just reinforced how important the passing days are. I've also grown into a new family of friends which in a round about way has made me realize that I sometimes struggle with letting myself grow attached to people I love.

After three years of estrangement, my son and I are reunited! All the anger, pride and foolishness has been exchanged for a promise that we will treat one another with respect and love. I am grateful for new beginnings!!

I finally feel like I have a healthy relationship with my parents - one I'm happy with. I'm living close but not with them, so I can manage the time we spend together. However, my brother's long term unemployment and its consequent affect on his mood has negatively affected our relationship.

All four of our girls are at the same school this year. It is the happiest they have been since moving here 3 years ago. It makes me so proud of them that they love eachother so, and that they are such good friends. I know this will last them their entire lives.

My brother got his first real 'grown up' job. I am very very proud of him and cannot believe how old we are getting! It has definitely changed our relationship in a good way because we treat each other more as peers as well as siblings.

My mother turned 40! We had a big celebration and I cried on stage. It was so embarrassing! But i was overwhelmed with things that me and her had been through without a father and all. I love her. My and Megan are 2 years! Everyone in my family knows and loves her. We've been through so much too.

I don't know about a milestone, but it seemed like my family got a lot closer this past year in all aspects. It's been amazing for my psyche and my productivity, and it has made me miss them even more. Being away used to be a break before, now it's hard.

We acquired maisie the dog. Also rose flunked out of school (sh)

A major milestone for my family. We (my husband and I) took our first trip away from them (that they will remember). I won a major award at work and the award ceremony was in San Antonio and I could bring a guest! We went and had a luxurious time and we came back and they kids had done GREAT! I don't give them enough credit for being strong kids, or to my in laws for being able. It's opened my eyes up to their strength and in turn, made me STRONGER. I'm thrilled by it!

My husband and I got married and had our first child this past year. I was 38 when we got married, and I feel like I finally have the family that I always wanted. I prayed for and longed for a family for so long that I sometimes have to pinch myself to make sure it's real.

Right now we all appear to be in a season of transition. My oldest brother and wife just moved to the middle east to teach, I moved across the country for school, and my sister just got engaged. I do okay with change; in fact, I enjoy change. I'm excited for what this year will hold for all of us--but I do hope that we all stay connected despite the distance.

I turned fifty this year. I am an American, but have become a Swedish Citizen now that I live here and am married to a Swede. Turning 50 is a huge thing here in Sweden. It really was not a big deal for me. Usually people throw themselves a huge, expensive party. I did not want to do that. What was important to me was to spend some quality time with my husband. So we took a short trip to Krakow, Poland. Since I had just started a new job, we were only gone 5 Days. But it was wonderful. And I am 50 and fabulous!

My brother and I became friends...despite his girlfriend.

YES! My family opened an amazing restaurant/cafe in Lexington, KY called County Club. It was a total collaborative project from the design and build out of the space to the photography, logo, etc. The cafe is a big hit and it's awesome to see teamwork, emotional support and love in action!

My son evolved from a big little boy to a critical thinking young man throughout his 2nd grade year. To see his development happening right before my eyes was incredible.

I went back to graduate school now that my kids are done college. It was a wonderful experience. It totally changes how I do my job and how I think about it.

We moved out of the city to the suburbs. As a city girl, born and bred, I was anxious about this and didn't thinkI would like it. It still doesn't fit my perception of myself. But I love our house, and the nanny we found for the kids, and life is much easier, if somewhat less social, here.

This is a hard question to answer, the family isn't as close knit as I would like and aren't the most supportive of each other or emphatic to each others needs. I've moved back in for a while and tried to bring some love and positive vibes back to share around but it is fairly depleted now, I just wish we could all care about each other a little bit more.

A major milestone that happened with my family this year was that my father met my children. This trip was interesting. It required me to be patient in affliction and also to learn how to be a little more like Jesus. It was necessary for me to be humble and understand that the entire experience was a learning experience for us all. I am hoping to all get together again soon and move forward.

My Dad turned 75 and my Mom turned 70. We had great celebrations with them both, in different ways. It has made me aware of their mortality and made me appreciate the time we spend together.

I'm really the only one who hit a major milestone this year. I turned 50, and it was harder on me than I expected. I spent a large part of the summer in a depressed state of mind, which I attribute to more than just age. I think the depression that hit was also one of the ways God sent me a message telling me to stay in education. Although I will still work to relocate back to Canada within the next 5 years, I will concentrate on the field of education, and I will even consider K-12 schools.

My dad almost died of a heart infection. It brought my family a lot closer together. it made me realize how close we are even if we don't keep in contact as much as we would like. It also made me realize that i really want to live closer to them soon.

I was the major milestone for my family - moving to Israel. I'm sure it's harder on everyone other than me. I hope the rest of my family can join me here.

My mother died. The last three weeks of her life were horrible. I was the only one that was with her consistently and yet she still had to deal with so much by herself once she lost her mind. She had been ill a while. On the 26th of December she went back into the hospital. One day later my father was in intensive care down the hall from her fighting for his life. Two days later so was my son. They all had that horrible pneumonia a lot of people had last December. My son was out the same day on medication. His fever had gone up to 104. My father was there for two weeks and my mother never left. I can never describe what it was like to go through that time and watch her have another stroke along with the doctors deciding to take her off her meds and have her go through cold turkey withdrawals that I truly believe killed her. I am completely traumatized. The last week of her life I was the only one that went to see her, no one else could handle it. The last night of her life I heard her call to me and I heard the songs she used to love to have me sing to her when I was young. Her favorite was Leonard Cohens "Suzanne" I went to her after dinner in the intensive care unit. She had tubes in her everywhere and could not talk. I looked deep into her eyes and sang Suzanne to her and she cried. It was the first I saw in weeks that she even knew who I was or what was going on. My daughter was there with me. As I sang to her I felt myself leave my body and we became one and I told her through my mind I loved her and I was so sorry this was happening. Once the song was done it was hard for me to look her in the eyes but I did and saw deep into her soul so much sadness and disappointment. I went home and right as I went to sleep, I felt this stabbing pain in my abdominal and felt a wave of illness and nausea so intense that it knocked me onto the bed. I was writhing in pain and illness and I knew this was my mother reaching out to me so I would do what had to be done.. The next day I had to make the decision to take her off of life support and did. My daughter, my best freind that my mother loved and I staid with her until she took her last breath. No one else could handle being in there with her. Eight months later it is still raw and hard to believe she is gone. I need therapy.

I got a horse. That has created a lot of responsiblity that I have and it is good for me!!

There's no question it's the birth of my daughter. I don't mind repeating myself: I feel some relief, that I don't have to see the path to success, that I'm allowed to take things as they come and work towards a goal without being crystal clear about the path.

Two the birth of my second grandson - Avi makes me not just Mika's nana but a grandmother. Tal's and Marie's marriage marking my children's more complete transition in to adulthood, both of these coming during the year I turn 60 and shift my career concentration and my own dedication to fulfilling my dreams - there is a circle of reinforcement.

Probably the biggest event, I don't know about calling it milestone though, was when my aunt passed away this May. She's only older than my Dad by a year and left behind a 16 year old, a 12 year old, and 10 year old. The time from when she was diagnosed to when she passed away was only about 5 months so it was incredibly sudden. Seeing my family members, especially my parents and grandfather, grieve about this event has been so hard. I have always looked to my Aunt Ann as a role model. We had an incredible amount of similarities and I saw myself being like her when I grew up. Every little girl wants to be like her mom when she grows up but I also want to be like my Aunt Ann. I thought it would get easier to see my family together, but not whole, but it still feels so wrong. I think of her almost every day and am still trying to make a lot of sense of it. I wonder how my cousins are handling it all. I know it is going to take a very very long time before my family will be able to move past this

I can't think of much.. I turned 16, got my license and a car. I've stretched my legs a little bit, pushed the lines. I had my first boyfriend.. At first I didn't really care to have any freedom, but that's defiantly changed. Now I'm excited to be out of the house, to drive myself, to be independent. It's shifted the the... dynamic of our home.

Wow! Two major milestones. One, my dad retired after 38 years of teaching. He is now a stay at home Dad. Don't ask me what he does all day...I'm pretty sure it's exercising, yard work, and giving the two dogs lots and lots of snacks and cuddles, lol. And naps. Two, my baby brother got engaged and officially made me feel like a bitter old hag. He's only 2.5 years younger than me, but I'm pushing 30 (next year, GASP) and he's 26. They won't be married for a while, but this is a big step for him and his girlfriend of 6 years. I told he was not allowed to grow up before me. All of this has made me feel old, LOL. Not in a bad way, necessarily, just that I am not a kid anymore. People are getting older and starting to thing about having their own families, and some people are ready to give up their entire adult life and career and start living the life of a retiree. I have mixed feelings. Especially with the engagement, and especially with this breakup with J. I feel like it won't happen with me. Even though I didn't care about a ring or a wedding, I still wanted the partnership, and I still wanted the family. And I felt I was on the right track with J for that; not anytime soon, but I wanted to consider it in the next 3 years or so. Hopefully things will get back on track soon.

We had our 2nd Estro-Fest gathering up at my Ma's house. Starting to trust that the grandkids generation is interested in getting to know us, that they like us and welcome our interest in their lives.

My brother got married. We've always been very close and seeing him move on in that stage of his life was incredibly hard for me, but also made me incredibly proud.

My mum who emigrated many years ago has decided to move back home to her sisters. My relationship with my sister is the most important in my life. For her to live with that support and love makes me feel happy that her final chapters in life will be secure.

My brother broke the 500lb mark, and has been placed on a strict diet. He is going strong, but I hope he doesn't loose track. His life is depending on it. Because of this I have taken a healthier look at my life and am trying to eat better. I have lost 14 lbs in 3 months. And this is also helping with my pain issue, which after 15 months has been healed about 85%.

No major milestones with my family.

Although there aren't any "major" milestones, one thing that has happened is I have grown closer to both of my younger cousins. It's interesting that this happened during my absence from my home town, but things just work out that way somehow. I am happy to be closer to them, because it makes me feel closer to the family in general. Further, they are young people and I don't have many of those in my life, so it's a refreshing scene to be around them sometimes.

The milestone was supposed to be a positive one - me getting married. It wound up being me not getting married and working together as a loving family through the aftermath of that event. That. Was. Huge.

My daughter & I moved. I have seen how the change has positively affected her. It gives her a stability and normalcy. I know she will strive to be her best because of the positive influences she now lives with.

My brother moved back to LA and we are able to enjoy finally having a nice relationship with each other and wanting to spend time together, rather than having the sibling rivalry we had for so much of our lives. Our family as a whole also gets to spend more time together as a unit, which I always look forward to.

We spent our first Christmas apart. For me, it was no big deal. I've been feeling weird about Christmas for several years now and have been toying with the ideas of new traditions. Plus, I was with my new object of my twitterpation and his sweet family (including adorable nephews - silly Christmas is better with kids I think). For my sister and parents, I suspect it was a very big deal and very sad. My parents had a whole 'nother Thanksgiving-to-Christmas plan, and it was kind of sabotaged by circumstance in several ways, so I know they sort of had a "c'est la vie" attitude to it, at least toward me.

My father lost his job this year. It's really made my think about how heavily I rely on them. God, it's just so odd that your life can change so suddenly in such a short amount of time. My father worked at his previous job for over 20 years and one day they just laid him off. I now think about what I spend my money on more carefully and also I've learned to appreciate what my parents do for me.

My grandma was diagnosed with vascular dementia, which has seriously changed our family.

Well, it used to be that when I thought of the word "family" I first thought of Thomas Koveleskie. So on that front, the milestone is our decision to divorce. It's has completely changed my life in every respect. And we were are both thriving as a result.

My dad turned 60. Life is short. I truly hope I can hurry up and figure out what to actually do about that.

My brother moved out of the house. While this is not actually a huge milestone because he will move back home when his lease runs out, it was an awakening that my parents will soon be empty nesters and that my brother and I really are becoming adults. I tend to think of my life in relatively short-terms -- I'm currently at college planning for this semester, but very soon I will be in the same place as my brother -- needing to find a place to live and a place to work. It's a bit scary.

Reflecting back on Q1, attending my son's H.S. graduation affected me on several levels. First was the pride I felt for my son having competed a successful high school career, having scored extraordinarily well in both SAT and advance placement exams, for having gained a substantial academic scholarship to a fine university located not so very far from home. Second , a feeling of wistfulness about the general passage of time and the questions that stem from that: who did he perceive the amount and quality of time that we spent together during his childhood? What does he now see as the positive, neutral and negative examples that I provided for him to this point in his life? How will it be to be a two person household, now that we are empty-nesters?

A few really old relatives passed away and made me really think even more about death, mortality, and life.

I had to admit my mother into the hospital this year and she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I am scared anxious and afraid of what will happen to me. am I bipolar? will I hurt my children? Feeling like im all alone. my brothers and I also are exhibiting depression, and it deep depression. we are n ot doing well emotionally.

My younger brother was diagnosed with the same disease I have. I feel sad that he will struggle with some of the same difficulties as me, and at the same time am grateful I have experienced some of these things first so that I can help him go through it and lend support.

My mother passed away last August right before the holidays so this has been a year of "firsts". There has been great sweetness this year, great reflection, great learning and also great sadness. We have made it through all of the holidays and birthdays and events once without herand now it seems more manageable. It has brought my siblings and I closer together and for that I am grateful. It has also given me so much to focus on and think about as I separate who I am as a person from who I was as a daughter.

My younger sister just started college. She's the baby of the family, so she is the last one to leave the house. This has inevitably made me think about my Freshman year of college, and the struggles I went through to find my place there. I try to help my sister and give her tips of making friends and getting involved on campus. I don't want her to go through the same pain and loneliness that I went through my first semester of college.

My grandfather died on 04/10/2012 from colon cancer which has metastasized to the lung. He was buried on the 06/10/2012. It was one of the saddest moment in my life. I had nightmares and dreams of him for the 1st few months. I kept thinking of things I could have done for him to make him live longer. All the regretful words I have said to him and wished that I can take back, and all the places that I wished I can bring him to see. I regretted all the quarrels I had with him & I reflected back the memories I have of him. I kept thinking of his body buried 7' under in the tomb, rotting all alone. His handsome face, his white smooth hair and beard. I kept reminding myself that his body might be rotting but his spirit is in heaven. I kept remembering those who attended his funeral and those who visited him at his bedside at the hospital. So many friends, so many people liked him and all. My grandpa was a farmer and he loves to travel to the outskirt of the country in his pick-up truck with my grandma. He loves nature and the villagers. He also loves me dearly. I remembered the words he told me when i looked after him at the hospital, he said "you are the only granddaughter who still cares and love me". His depart taught me not to take family members for granted. To spend as much time as possible with the one you love. I love you grandpa!

My father's hospitalization has made me feel more adult and responsible for the well-being than ever before, especially when dad entrusted me with some information that will preserve my mother's and brother's well-being whenever my dad passes away.

My older brother got married! My sister-in-law is a perfect addition to our family and I love it. Through this I somehow feel I can patch my relationship up with my brother easier. Plus, I get to know more and more about my sister-in-law each time I see her. It's super exciting!

My cousin's grandfather died and I flew home on a red-eye to be with them. The bottom line is this: I understand within myself and have asserted to my family that they are the most important thing in the world to me. I'm still going to live here in LA to follow my dreams...but we all know where I'll be when push comes to shove. With them.

My sister had a cancer scare, and came out well.

Not a milestone but a cosmic earthquake has happened this year. My Mother is dead. I will have to begin again.

My daughter graduated from her early childhood and started elementary school at a new school. Change brings new opportunities, and lots of anxieties. Sometimes change is harder on the parent than the kid, and we project our anxieties onto them.

Our son was born. He made life so much busier, but has also brought more joy into our lives. The interaction between him and our two year old daughter is interesting to see. I hope to do a good job making them work well together and love each other.

There was a big blowup between my stepmother and my brother and sister-in-law, that has left quite a rift for all of us in it's wake. It's unfortunate because it's basically prevented us from gathering as an entire family. I'm not sure how we're going to mend these fences as a few people involved find the situation untenable. My father is no spring chicken, so I worry that these golden years won't be so golden for him. Then again, the silver lining here is that my father and my brother's marriages probably got stronger as a result, so there's something!

My fathers contract ended unexpectedly, my parents have been unable to access pension and have reborn owed on their house. Somewhat of a shock to me as I've always looked upon him as very successful and quite humbling to see them in this situation, which I wouldn't know about except for mum being upset about it. I hope I will quickly learn the lesson to spend less and save more money!

I started speaking to my mom again, because it might help my dad and brother. I don't plan to keep it up.

My brother was ordained as a rabbi this summer, and got legally married shortly afterwards. At his ordination I felt a challenging mixture of feelings: pride and happiness for him, envy that it wasn't me combined with uncertainty as to my future relationship with the rabbinate. That said, the ordination and wedding have brought together the family, and I'm grateful for that.

My understanding of family and what that means has completely shifted. Family is not only the people who share your DNA but also those you chose to have around. More importantly the people who chose you and fight for you. I am so lucky to have the amazing people I do in my life, from actual family, to best friends, to my goddaughters. Also, my sister is pregnant and due in a few days and she is the first one in my immediate family so it will be the first time I am a legitimate aunt! :)

I've learned to accept certain mistakes of my father. And thus, accept him a bit more.

My grandmother hired someone to come into the house to help my grandfather. She doesn't come often enough and the denial my grandmother is struggling with is helping no one, but it's an important first step. My grandfather's condition will only worsen, and the choices that await my family will only grow harder, but the way my mother and her siblings have cooperated and supported each other has been a really powerful thing to behold.

It comes back, again, to changing jobs which I guess is a huge thing. There is no other major milestone to speak of. The change in jobs has, I think, helped the family unit because I am so much happier. Me being less stressful has had a huge impact on the happiness of my family, as well.

My grandmother turned 90. My sister told me that improving our relationship was on the top of her list. My parents continue to love me unconditionally. What more can I ask for?

I lost my job. In my 31 years of working, I'd never been fired, laid off, or downsized from any job. Ever. I identify myself as a hard worker and am serious about my career, so this was a massive blow to my ego. It took some time to get over it but I gained some perspective. The corporate environment may talk a good game about valuing employees, but the bottom line is economics. I'll never take another job so personally.

I think a major milestone has been the struggle my mom's had dealing with my grandmother's diagnosis of dementia. It's affected me by forcing me to realize that I need to maybe be kinder with others, and to allow them to feel what they feel and not judge. This has been really difficult.

My mom died last year, I was and am still torn apart in so many ways.. wishing she was here to still be part of this family, her granddaughter growing up.. spending time with us on our little island paradise.. and then there is the relief from the daily fear we lived with of mom being sick, compromised, in pain.. and knowing she was not going to get any better.. I miss her so much..

Well, my father and his partner almost broke up and my mother and her partner got together. I don't really know how it affected me. It's so far away that it's hard to feel real. But I can tell you that I am so happy my dad and M stayed together. It would devastate me to see my father alone. And it would sadden me to not have her at big life events. She is kind of like the missing piece to my own mother and very much completes that part of the family. As for Joe...I don't want my mom to be alone either, but she is not very good at any kind of relationship. Neither is he. I hope they work through things instead of of shutting down. It reminds me that you are in things as a team, not two separate people trying to make something work. But I do hope they can stay strong. I love my big family and never really knew what that felt like.

My daughter's bat mitzvah was this spring. She did an exceptional job, and made her family extremely proud. She worked hard and was self-motivated. I know she was a capable student, but to see her shine like she did made the day even more special. I still receive compliments about how well she did months later. The best thing is that she is continuing her involvement with the synagogue.

My twin boys started walking and man, am I exhausted now!!!

Esther coming into our lives has been a major milestone for our family and for the farm. She has breathed new life and hope into getting the farm profitable and ready to sell.

We haven't had any, everyone is still healthy and good! I suppose that's a pretty good milestone in itself.

My Dad came to visit me in Bath. I know, big deal, but he's never made that much of an effort for me before, and I really feel like we're starting to build bridges. It makes me feel like I've got more of a support network, even though my entire support network is 200 miles away.

This year my husband and I were able to completely pay off our student loan debt. It took 20 years and some amazing luck, but it's done, and before any of the kids graduate from high school!

Tony and I purchased a house this year! It is amzing to think that we have bought the place that we intend to stay for a long time!

My niece got married and got pregnant, but unfortunately I couldn't be there. I know that this new life means that my parents are becoming Great Grandparents and they won't be with me forever. I should spend some time with them.

My father in law passed away at the age of 92. He led a wonderful life with a wonderful wife. Although it was not easy on Ester (his 89 year old wife of 60 something years) and the rest of the family, he was truly an inspiration and a model for "A life worth living." May his memory be for a blessing.

AJ was born! And I was present in the room when Melissa was trying to have him naturally, though she eventually needed a c-section. It was really intense to be in there and see all that was happening and to want to help my sister but not be able to.

Grandparents have now both died (from my mothers side). Not really had to deal with death in the family before now which in itself is pretty lucky. Makes you appreciate family and realise time is precious.

My parents' 50th wedding anniversary was this year, and while they said they didn't want anything special or extravagant, we ended up having a semi-formal dinner with some friends and family from out of town. It was small and intimate, and a great celebration of persistence and lifelong love. Seeing that and reflecting on what it takes to last that long AND be happy, I couldn't help but think that I'd only been able to make mine last less than a third of that time; instead of bringing me down, though, it gave me hope that I could still find someone that's looking for the same things I am, and that no matter how long we can stay together we can treat it like a 50 year milestone.

Understanding that life does go on after death of a family member. Both affirming and scary.

We have had WAY too many milestones these past few years so I am happy to say there weren't any big ones this year. Steady and happy all year. One lovely big moment was our trip to Costa Rica. We traveled around and absolutely loved it. Our kids are amazing travelers and it confirmed to us again that we love to travel with them. I iwish we could travel for an entire year together

I don't remember if this was this year but my grandfather remarried. I hated him for cheating on my grandma and I still hold a lot of resentment today. We recently met his new wife and he's still unsatisfied with his love life, it seems. My mom asked him if he found what he was looking for. He said "sort of". This December we plan to go to the Philippines to see them and our new part if the family. I'm not looking forward to it. I would rather stay in Austin to be with my love. But it'll be turned into a family vacation which is the only reason I'm going. Also to see my dad's side of the family. I have a lot of resentment towards him. And I feel that that situation has added to my trust issues. Being cheated on and seeing someone in my family being cheated on really misplaces my trust and now I find that I have problems with trusting in my love. I'll have to find a way to work on it because I don't want it to affect my relationship.

Our youngest son went off to college, which brings me and my wife that much closer to an empty nest. Causes us to examine our interaction with one another and plans for our future when we could live and work where we want.

Kim got pregnant again (*fingers crossed* little girl!!), Tandy bought a house with Tim and re-based in Houston (engagement to come!), Mom and Dad are in their same place- mom's doing great with her job which is a relief, and that is the family. I suppose my answer next year will be quite longer as I will have added about 5 new members of my 'immediate' family (Barak, Shifra, Dad, Bubbie, and Rachel)!

My parents celebrated 60 years of marriage. I realize the value of the commitment they made to each other.

No milestones this past year. How have I been affected? I am relieved. Surely a no news is good news situation.

My sister had a second child and it really made me feel more connected to my family and to Los Angeles. I love seeing my nieces regularly and being part of their life as they grow up.

Well... my mother's mother died. It was a few days before Rosh HaShannah, so it's hard to say how it played out, but I think it will be a tough year for my mom. As for me, I'm just trying to balance being a kid and a friend and a sibling and a professional and all the different angles of responsibility that demand attention and energy. It's tough, but also is an invitation to determine boundaries and identify what really matters to me.

A major milestone occurring in my family- was mine and my husband's year long separation and then our decision to work on ourselves and our marriage together. I think both have made me a stronger person and in the long run- a happier person.

With the birth of my son, suddenly my family - both the one I grew up with and my in-laws - were in my life in a major way, visiting and calling more than I've experienced ... possibly ever. It took some time to adjust to these often adolescent relationships in my adult life, and find a way to make sure we all get along and only benefit each other.

Graduating from college has made me realize how valuable my parents are and how I've been able to rely on them so heavily. It's reaching the point where I am having to trust myself more and more and not rely on my parents as much. I'm finding a greater sense of self-worth and empowerment as a result.

Our daughter really turned herself around. We had been quite worried about her - she kept getting fired, had gained 100 lbs, and generally not in a good place. This last year she has taken control of her life - totally rocking her career and slowly on the road to health - it is wonderful to watch

I admitted that my attempts to stay out of the category "invalid" are meeting with very limited success. It has not been an easy thing to do - it isn't easy to type right now, even. But it's the truth, and I have to face it.

One big, unfortunate milestone that specifically happened to me, was the fact that I lost my job. The job that allowed me to come back to my roots, move to California, start my own individual life. But, like my boss told me when he was letting me go, "whenever one door closes, two more doors open." I'm still waiting for some doors to open. But, oh well. The loss of my job has affected me in several different ways. Maybe has made me a bit more bitter. I have learned that people have to do what they have to do, even though they maybe nice people, people in general do have to take care of themselves first and foremost. I have also learned that it is wise to to have backup plans.

My family didn't have any major milestones this past year that were happy. My sister decided to get divorced and I lost my husband. Other than that there were no births, weddings, b'nei mitzvot, etc. This has affected me in that my family needs something happy to celebrate for a change. Mom is turning 75 this year so that will be the milestone.

When my daughter was born with no pulmonary valve, a malformed tricuspid valve, and other heart anomalies, one cardiologist told us "these children don't usually live to their teen years, if they survive infancy and childhood." She lived and grew up. She graduated from high school this year, and now she's away at college. I didn't allow myself to dream of this outcome, and even now my eyes get watery thinking about her survival. The continuation of her life, and her joy in living, reminds us that we are precious. She inspires me.

My graduation from planning school was the biggest personal milestone of this last year. But, my brother's graduation from community college and transfer to a four year university was a major milestone for my family. On the one hand, my parents both wanted us to stay close and value what we can do outside of formal education. On the other, they wanted us to pursue academic achievement and show the same tenacity that allowed them to succeed. With my little brother, I just wanted to him to accept responsibility for his life, to know that he could provide himself with whatever experiences he desires, to not fall asleep at the wheel. He's not completely shaken off his ambivalence towards school or shown total motivation, but he's taking steps. And I'm proud of him. I know now, from my own situation, the road ahead is not always clear, but you've got to travel down it one way or the other.

This one is hard, I am not extremely close to my family. I guess I would say the milestone is my new career path. Going into Jewish education is following in the footsteps of my mother and my aunt (her identical twin). They have been inspirations to me my whole life, and I'm so proud to be sharing my future and my passion with them. It has brought me even a little closer to them, now that we're part of the same professional world. I also see them a lot more often since I'm traveling a bit for my job, and meeting a lot of the people that they already know. I've entered a brand new world but they were already there to greet me. I think it is like starting a new relationship with them as well, I'm grateful.

I feel very disconnected from my family. We have had a very business as usual year with nothing that I would call a milestone happening. Everyone is just going about their business as usual....

most of all it was probably teelis struggles. it gave me so much pause about how crazy parenting can be and how much hardship our close loved ones can endure and keep truckin. and what my role should be.

Who needs milestones when you have day to day progress? The gradual development of my brothers new family, my parents becoming older, the increasingly rare sight of my grandparents and the adventures of me L & S (none of whom have settled as yet) are constantly affecting me, in what way? A vast amount of different ones depending on the day the time the situation and all that stuff and nonsense. I love my family more and more and at the same time I find myself in a twin-bind of breaking away more and more and needing them desperately.

This past year my kid brother had his second and third child, my half brother is expecting his the first, ergo I am now the last of in my family that still haven’t gotten a child, maybe that should be a project for the next year.

I'm not a parent nor am I a partner. My family, therefore, is the extended family...parents, sibs...The major milestone is the ease with which my parents have adjusted to living in a retirement residence, and the ease that has allowed for those of us who do care-giving. I can finally breathe a sigh of relief that they are being cared for on a daily basis. It makes the times when I'm not there much easier.

My mother turned 70 and my youngest started school. made me realize how old my parents are getting - as well as my kids!

Last year was a complete waste. I did nothing, and nothing has happened of any real value.

My marriage is the big milestone this year. It strengthened our bond, and the whole experience was amazing. We cried a hundred (for me maybe hundreds of) times during the process, and going to the courthouse for the license, writing our vows, picking our clothing, going on dates to cake tastings—the whole experience brought us incrementally closer—which is amazing given how close we've been already. Also, one thing that changed dramatically was how seriously we became about our security. We have both learned so much about saving money, becoming financially solvent, about taking our health seriously. We understand it's not just little old me we each need to worry about, now, and that has really improved how responsible I am with regard to our family's safety and happiness.

Coping with my dad's significant health scare (although it thankfully turned out to be just that, a health scare), taught me a lot about the changing relationship between me and my mum, how much we both need and rely on each other and specifically how much she relies on me. For so many reasons, I am so grateful that she comes to me for support but navigating these new components of our relationship and from such a long distance is something that I need to be both conscious of and patient with.

I got engaged! I'm excited to get the outpouring of love from them and also terrified about making this commitment for the rest of my life!

It was my husband's 30th high school reunion. We went - spent a week in the city he grew up in. We've visited there before a lot, but this time was the first time we spent any time with people from his past outside of his family. It was interesting to see him engaging with those old friends, and gave me a better feel for the local culture. I think I relaxed and engaged with the other people at reunion events more than I usually do, and it felt good. I would like to relax like that more.

My second nephew graduated from high school and started college. It makes me proud, but also wistful about the passage of time. They are not little kids anymore, but are young adults. It makes me somewhat sad, but also valuing the present that much more.

We had a baby. It was amazing all over again, but has definitely made my life harder. My husband has been gone a lot since the birth, and most of the extra responsibility is on me. I am tired...mentally and physically...but especially mentally.

It's hard to think of a family milestone. My mother's sight gets worse, or at least her experience of it gets worse; that's tough for her and for all of us. Perhaps the milestone was her 90th birthday - we did all manage to gather together , children and partners and grandchildren, and she enjoyed it, thank goodness.

Moved my mom to a CCRC. Accepted her decline, and somehow, my brothers and I worked together to find her this place where she seems as happy as anyone can be in such a place. It gives her more stimulation, safety, and while it's not about me, I have now, at least temporarily, peace of mind for which there is no price tag.

Reconciliation with mi hermano - a void is filling...

The most major milestone that happened to my family in this year would have to be me separating from the military and being back with my family again. I use to only see my parents twice a year, but ever since I returned I have not been more than an hour away

Two things. The first was probably seeing my father's salary when he went with me to back me for a credit card. It was much less than I could've ever anticipated. He used to be a CFO and now he's on a below average salary at a firm he doesn't really like. The truth is, its around the corner and he's over 60, but at the same time I feel he went with me to back me on a credit card, knowing that whilst he isn't earning what he used to, his support of me, would allow our family the financial freedom we've aspired towards if I make myself successful. I should think of that more often - it should drive me more than it does. The other thing, was my brother-in-law losing his job. It came out of nowhere and I was at the gym. I have been so engrossed with my own stuff it hardly registered. I feel like I might not have done enough to help my sister and him, but at the same time I never had a doubt in my mind he would not find an incredible new job - and he did. Maybe it was not my duty to panic and hustle for him for a new job, in my head it was not dire yet. I kept my head and kept positive, and ultimately he found an amazing job and I hope it takes him and our family to great heights.

I have reconnected with my family like never before. It has allowed me to be more open about life with them and have conversations that I wouldn't have had before.

Well probably the biggest milestone was me leaving. It affected me the most obviously because I've never had to live on my own and it's so weird being away from them all the time.

My dad's wife of 12 years is divorcing him. I feel incredibly sad for him. He is a great man, but so unlucky in love. At 60, I know he is feeling like he failed numerous times at family life and it is now too late. As a result, he is rekindling his relationship with us kids. I have begun to get closer and closer to the father I never knew, and it is filling a void in my heart. For that, I am eternally grateful.

I finally realized that growing up and watching your relationship evolve with siblings and parents is so hard because you've all been trained for so long to respond to each other in a certain way--as bickering siblings, as controlling parents, as exasperated teenagers. It's so easy just to respond to them the way you've been responding for 20, 25, 30 years. It's not just easy, it's instinct. When they're snide, you channel every mean thing they ever did to you as a kid. When they do/buy/get something you or your close friends would find ridiculous, without blinking an eye you roll your eyes, say "why would you *ever* do that??" or simply scoff. When they embarrass you, a small part of you still thinks it's intentional, and not that they're just kind of dorks or drunks or asses and that your presence is irrelevant. Growing up is taking the pause, recognizing your love for these people thrust into your most intimate and hardest of moments, and dealing with them as humans, as friends, escaping the pavlovian response to be the big sister, the little brother, the embarrassed daughter, the "out there" mom. Acceptance, one might say.

My son graduated from middle school and is a freshman in high school now. My daughter graduated from elementary and is now attending middle school. It's hard to see how your children have grown because you see them every day. I think their graduations let me look at them through a wider lens, and to look at myself & my husband as parents as well. It's hard to see how you're doing as a parent- you're too close to it, too in it to be a reliable judge- but I feel like we can truly say we're raising two wonderful young people.

I already wrote about my daughter's wedding. That was the biggest major milestone. In addition, my husband retired at the end of May. He had already reduced his work to half-time, so the transition wasn't huge. But I do like having him around more of the time. It is taking him time to figure out how he wants to use his time - at first he found himself looking after many other people's needs and not saving time for himself - but I think we're both enjoying the retirement. One more milestone - I turned 70, and the nonprofit group for which I'm president did an online tribute journal in my honor. It was lovely to receive an outpouring of messages of appreciation from all over the world.

Can't think of anything overly positive or negative. the babies are growing and changing - my niece is becoming very precocious and adorable. I think my relationship with my family is better than ever.

We celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary, just days after Superstorm Sandy. We had no heat, no hot water, no food (everything in the refrigerator spoiled). The day of our anniversary, my husband found a gasoline powered generator at a hardware store several miles from his office. When he bought it home, we rejoiced - we were able to heat our spare bedroom, put on the lights, charge our cell phones for the first time in days. Our pet bird thawed out. We huddled together in the glow of our little "safe room" and shared an absurdly expensive cup of take-out soup for dinner. I appreciated all my husband did to keep us warm and safe, and how determined he was to find us a generator when there were none left within miles of our city. He is a hero to me.

We grew from a couple with 2 dogs to being a family unit with a mom, a dad and a baby. Its affected everything because now I'm someone's mommy.

My uncle's partner has stage 4 cancer. She is dying. We aren't super close because they live across the country, but they're both wonderful people and i'm fond of them both. It's hard to think about her waisting away, that she's dying and their is nothing we can do to stop it. It's harder still to imagine being in my uncles shoes... taking care of your partner of so many years as they fall apart. Its sad and beyond words...and frighting to think about losing other family members or lovedones this way

The main thing thats happened for us over the past year would be my younger sister deciding to no longer with with us in my mums house. She decided to move in with my dad as it was nearer her college, whilst I completely understand why she had done it it doesnt make missing her any less difficult. Having my sister no longer live at home has in some ways improved our relationship as we no both cherish the time we actually get to spend with eachother rather than getting bored of eachothers presence.

The bar mitzvah of my son was one of the most beautiful days of my life. Surrounded by total joy and peace, lots of loved ones, a perfect spring day. I don't know why or how the stars all lined up so perfectly for me and many of us who participated in the moment. Was it his pure spirit carrying us on his lofty journey?

My grandmother on my mother's side hurt her leg during the summer. The injury was so severe that they put her in a rehab center and she has yet to go home. Her dementia has set in and whenever I visit she doesn't always know who I am. Memories flood my mind whenever I'm with her. It's strange because you never expect things like this to happen, and then they do. You always wonder if you would have said something different or visited more. I know my grandmother knows how much I love her, even if she doesn't always know what's going on. That gives me some peace.

My fifteenth wedding anniversary. I'm glad to have a partner through this life whom I love and who is so well paired for me. for this I am thankful.

I accepted a contract renewal with my congregation. I feel blessed to serve and even more blessed that they continue to like and respect me and my Torah.

It's just been a lot of the same really. I look forward to starting my own within the next few years and making new memories.

In May, I went back to work full-time. It felt like admitting defeat, honestly. I had been working "part-time" (still logging 30-35 hours/week) in order to be more available for my family, specifically my toddler daughter. However, for me to feel as though I could provide the best for my daughter - daycare, clothes, food - I needed the supplemental income of returning to work full-time. There are days where it feels good: I get to have an identity outside of "Mom". There are days where it feels totally shitty: I really want to be home with my family, playing at the park, riding bikes, etc. It's a mixed bag.

No major milestones that I can think of. But boy do I appreciate them more each day. How much they do for me and how much they've done for me - it's incredible and I'm thankful to have had such support. I may never have the relationship I want with my mom, but even so, I am grateful to have had a loving and supportive family and I need to remind myself of that more often!

My husband celebrates living with cancer for the past 13 years. Doctors are amazed at his longevity; he has endured several major surgeries, many rounds of chemo and radiation. He is still standing tall and proud. He continues chemo treatments off and on, but is still enjoying life. We are grateful to God for his many blessings.

Mum moved to London in March of this year. It was at my invite that she move here after she returned, somewhat aimlessly, from China. I asked Mum to move to London partly because I wanted the company, partly because I'm aware that she's getting older and someday she won't be there anymore, and partly because I knew it was the only way she was ever going to get here. She talked about it but I knew she wouldn't be able to afford it. Like everything, my black dog has muted the sensation of having family close by but I know that in my head somewhere I am glad she's here. These will be the memories I cherish when she's no longer here. I do miss having a room mate my own age. I miss having Sonny like I did living in Toronto who would make life fun and loud and that little bit crazier than if she wasn't around.

Corey has grown spiritually, and their family is leading the way.

My son, after 6 years in college, is finally an official graduate. It was 6 years of hard work for my wife and I dragging him kicking and screaming to the finish line.

My daughter graduated from college...and moved to South Korea! How has it affected me?? Well, to be honest, in some ways not much since she's lived far away for a while. But.... South Korea??

I moved in with my father this past year and it has had a profound affect on my life. I am more at peace with our relationship and it has helped me understand how to forgive and just let people be who they are. We can not change anyone, we just have to accept and love the parts we can.

My 23-yearold nephew got divorced barely a year after he married. I feel sad for him that he had to go through such a terrible experience but happy that he was smart enough to get out. That he is now "In love" with a non-Jewish girl , after being raised in an Orthodox home is a little scary. I hope he sorts himself out... and soon.

There were several deaths in the family, including my uncle. This changed the family dynamic entirely, and although I wasn't close to him in life, I became stronger for his daughter more than ever. I feel that we became different people, and better for it in the long run.

Randy has entered kindergarten. I would not have thought it would be such a game changer for the family, but it is. He is no longer in the small world of Beth El--I would like to say protective, but it wasn't always that. Kindergarten is bigger, though, with more deadlines and less information about what goes on during Randy's day. He is eager to learn, though, and I am excited for him... I just wish he would pay better attention to the teacher during carpet time!

I moved away from my family for the 3rd time in my life and remembered that feeling of independence that I've been missing as an adult. My sister got married to an awesome man! And after seeing her with so many men that I didn't like, it really heartens me and gives me hope that I'll find a man who I love and marry one day. Who fits with me and whom I love. With someone who it will feel right with. And it won't be everything, but it will be great. Life! is a blessing and it happens everyday!

Potty training. My daughter is potty trained. While this isn't a seemingly huge thing, the lose of diapers seems like the last little bit of baby hood for my little girl. More than anything it makes me feel old.

My son has gone onto high school. It made me realize how fast time goes by. Time has also caught up with him. He was an outstanding youth athlete, but he has not grown as fast as his peers and they have caught up with him. It is an adjustment to go from being the Dad of the best athlete on the team to seeing him struggle to just make the team. It is humbling and a lesson that I can help him learn. I hope I have the skill to do so.

My father-in-law died. We had a very complicated relationship that ended in ultimate peace and prayer. I think God stepped into my life then to show me the way...I wouldn't be on the path to service now if I hadn't been in this difficult relationship.

This year my grandma turned 80, which meant that all the family got together again, which I always look forward to, even though I'm often the only one! It meant that everyone got to meet Tim properly, apart from my grandparents who have already met him a number of times. I think they approved, so this meant the world to me. It was so special to have him there with me to share the occasion.

My new godson. I was thrilled to finally be asked to play this role for one of my brother's children.

Ruby started kindergarten. That is pretty big. He let us, and other know he is now "Reuben". I feel sad. I love my kids so much just as they are now. I don't want them to change their sweet ways. I want to always be able to squeeze and kiss their tushies. I want them to fight over who gets the "special spot" close to me when we read a book. We can be silly with each other. They have not yet hit that "too cool" mode... and I'd like them to be kids for a long time.

It is funny at first I could remember a major milestone and then a light went off.. The baby became a year old and is healthy, a grandson became bar mitzvah, adult children and their family visited Israel. While I experienced each as they occurred they slipped to the back of my mind. This question reminds me to appreciate the good times, to show gratitude for all the positive events that occur during the year.

My husband's starting a new career path has been really rejuvenating for both of us. I believe that this new path will draw the best out of him, and also allow him to contribute financially in a way that makes him more comfortable than past 'labor of love' pursuits. However, the ramp-up time for him to start generating income has been tough on us...we are in tougher financial straits than we have ever been as a couple, and it has also forced us to re-examine our roles in the relationship (e.g., am I always to be the breadwinner and the stable provider?)

My parents celebrated their 25th anniversary this year. It didn't physically affect me all that much, I didn't even attend the party, although I did manage to remember to call them both and congratulate them. I guess it did affect me emotionally and made me reflect on the stable upbringing I had as a child. It made me appreciate and be grateful for the experience I had of two loving adults who worked together as partners to raise my sister and I. I hope to emulate and seek advice from my parents for all my relationships (both with my partners, as well as my friends) for the great advice and suggestions they can give me.

No real family milestones. The daughter of my best friend got married in June. Although the bride was 36, I think nearly every day that she made a very bad choice. My misgivings appear to be true.

Both of our kids are now in high school. One is in 9th grade and the other is a senior. There is a lot to juggle when you have a senior. Between testing, college exploration, cars, and futures, it's a lot. And welcoming our daughter into high school is a significant event. She is really enjoying it and it means the beginning of the end of a chapter.

For the first time, my family was not willing to meet for the holidays as a whole. I felt a little sad, and attributed it to the recent death of our Grandmother.

My older bother and sister both retired. Seeing how well they have adjusted to retirement after joining Mark who is younger but retired seven years ago makes me wonder if I am being honest with myself about why I continue to work. This is an area I am inspired to evaluate more completely and honestly before Q10 next year.

I turned 65 this year and my husband, Joel turned 69. It has made me think of age more then I ever have before. It has reminded me that each day is precious and that we should spend our time in ways that are most satisfying to us as much as possible. Our lives need to be more about "yes" then "no", more about giving back then taking, more about new adventures then our routines.

Don't know of any milestones. Dad has been having health issues but has recovered from each fairly well. He is still living at home. My brother had a heart attack and then turned fifty. He seems okay now. Their health issues affect me because I live so far away that I cannot help them. I wish I could be there when they needed me.

My grandparents are getting older and I'm feeling more responsibility to care for them. The family dinners every fortnight are getting everyone closer. I talk to my cousins better and get to see Nan. I've been catching up with her recently and enjoying it. Similarly, searching the family tree has helped my get more interested in my family and really give me something to talk about to my dad's side.

Searching and finding the son of a long forgotten cousin,

My mother-in-law passed away. It has been a huge learning experience and I cannot imagine the sorrow my husband has felt. She was suffering so much during her last months, and it was hard to watch her sons try to make the decisions that were best for her while she became less and less able to advise them. Her death lead to a family trip overseas to have a service in her honor which I think brought the family closer.

My older brother and sister are technically my half brother and sister. I never really introduce them that way; we're so close, it would seem disloyal to do so. They're my full brother and sister regardless of what our DNA or parentage says. Anyway, their grandfather was named Popop. This year, Popop passed away. He was 102! And amazing. Just, an astounding man. I haven't seen him since he turned 100 but I remember going to see him when he was in him 90s, and telling him that I had tickets to see La Boheme soon. Two years later when I visited again, he asked how it had been. He was funny and kind and active and sharp sharp sharp till the end. When Popop passed, I knew I wanted to go to the funeral. I hadn't seen him in years, in spite of a few timely invitations to Moreschi family parties. I regret it, of course, but the most recent invite was his 101st birthday party-- the month I was breaking up with a boyfriend of 7 years. It was out of my hands (no matter what my sister likes to prod me for.) Anyway. You miss a man's 101st birthday party, by god, you don't miss his funeral. So I told Opus this and I rent a Zipcar and we were going to go. Then the February 2013 Nor'easter hit. "Winter storm Nemo". It wasn't so bad in the city; but in Connecticut, Boston, and Maine, it was 30 inches of snow. The morning of the funeral, when we were supposed to drive up, my sister and brother and I were texting frantically trying to figure out if it was even possible to go. In the end, Laura said she could barely drive up there, and she's USED to winter driving. It was safest if we stayed home. It was terrible. I talked to Opus, and said we needed to do something, him and I, since we couldn't be there. The snow melted quickly here, and it felt surreal to be so normal when everything up north was so nuts. Every year for Christmas, Popop would give Opus gift certificates to the Olive Garden. I suggested to Opus that we go, and that we use the certificates to buy the most expensive bottle of wine on the list. It was silly, but sincere; seemed appropriate for Popop, an italian immigrant with an odd attachment to the faux-italian chain. We went to the one in Flatiron; it was worse than you can imagine. We ordered the wine, ordered some bruchetta, and enjoyed shocking the waiter. Opus offered him a glass; apparently he'd only ever heard of that bottle being ordered once before. So, to Popop: a $135 bottle of red at Oliver Garden. How did this affect me? Does it matter? Family first. Family is family, memorial is memorial. I guess I give myself a hard time sometimes for not being as dedicated to family as I think I should be; maybe I should remember this story to bolster myself when I doubt me.

Deciding to turn my girlfriend into my wife is by far the biggest decision and event in my family life. Beyond a milestone. I just have to do it right, and I'm excited to get it done. Love this lady and so excited for our life together.

My grandma's health has been very poor this past year, and I live halfway around the world from her. She can't travel, and talking on the phone is difficult. It's made me realise that I need to take the chance to visit her.

My Nana passed away and it rocked the family. That's the first death that's been really, really close to me. I've never lost anyone I've loved that incredibly. We watched her deteriorate the year leading up to her leaving us. I'm glad it didn't go on forever. But I'll never forget what it was like to be with her and the family while she was in the hospital. Or holding hands around her while the priest did last rights and we prayed together around her while she was unconscious but awake enough to seem to struggle as we recited. It was both sobering -- putting you right into the here and now, as if in crisis -- and mind numbing, after passing hours and days in the hospital while she hung on for two weeks, but unconscious. I'm so happy that I got to see open her eyes before she died. I don't know what was behind them, but I believe she was there, at least a little. And I believe she left in peace. It affected me greatly. I was surprised by how, despite how much sadness sunk my heart, I felt washed over in utter love instead of grief. I loved her. I emitted love for her. I felt grateful for having had her, more than I felt sad to lose her. I felt like she went from being so small, to being so big. She felt like she was everywhere, and within me too. Her grand daughters were her pallbearers, and we read at her funeral. It was beautiful and it was deep and emotional and sad and there was beauty in that too because the depth of our grief was tied to the depth of our love for her.

My sister became pregnant! We are looking forward to growing closer as a unit to welcome our new little one.

It's sad, because nothing comes to mind. The same year that I've begun to settle down, it seems that I've passed the angry teenager torch down to my little brother. My mother is working same as ever these past few years, and my father has not changed in his routines as well. While my realtionship with my parents has improved, greatly in the case of my mother and myself, not so with my relationship with my brother. Life has gone on, same as always, with ups and downs, almost no quality family time for various reasons, with no major milestones. Maybe this year will bring with it changes?

All of these answers are about the move it seems. Matt moved to Qatar on November 21 and it was only supposed to be a month before the pack and I were able to meet him there. It was actually seven months. I am stronger because of it. I developed more perservance than I previously had. Maybe more stubborness as well. I learned that I am capable of doing it alone, but I must prefer being with Matt. Our relationship is better, stronger and individually we are better and stronger. Knowing you can get through something like this, even when you didn't sign up for it, is really empowering.

Well, I already talked about this in my answer to question 1 but my Poppop died this past year. I loved my Poppop and felt close to him, but mostly his death made me feel so sad for my Mommom. I hate thinking of her being lonely or how much she misses him. She has spent the past five years, at least, being his full time care and support. And I worried that she would feel lost without needing to take care of him. But she is amazing! I know she thinks of my poppop all the time but she is still such a happy, joyous, and wonderful person. And, my extended family, who does not overwhelm me all the time with their ability to be thoughtful and caring, has really done a good job of taking care of my Mommom. It makes me love them more.

Nana died. She was my last grandparent and it really hit us all hard. Even Meggie.

My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, randomly, out of nowhere. The way this impacted me is obvious. It is scary. It was also inspiring to see my sister gain a very positive attitude to get rid of it as soon as possible, and now, post-surgery, make a really big effort to take better care of herself like changing her eating habits. It showed me that it's never too late to make a change for the better. It also reminds me constantly to take my health seriously all the time. We just never know, and there is no way to predict what happens. This has also made me realize how incredibly important my family is to me and how I want to always be close with them, visit often and make the most of our time together.

Sam is almost ready to graduate from college. While I am excited about this, if he moves away I will miss him terribly. And I do remember making a deal with myself to stay alive until he graduated. I don't know what will happen, but I know he will be okay.

Grandma and Grandpa. Stressful, sad, scary. Tested the limits of our family and brought us closer together than ever.

Chris and I got married. I feel more secure in our relationship, and in my role as a stepmother. I believe you're married in your hearts long before saying the vows (if you're ever going to be truly "married"), but having it made legal shifts the mindset a bit and make everything more stable. It also solidified our rights to each other, which is important.

This summer my dad ran over two groundhogs with his bike and broke his arm- the groundhogs were fine. It didn't seem like a big deal at the time, but it began a summer of multiple surgeries and recoveries for my dad. It affected my dad a lot, I think it made him feel very old, especially since he turned 60 this year. My mom and I spent a ton of time at the hospital and at the house with my dad while he recovered. In many ways, I think it changed my role in the family as more of a third adult and brought all of us closer.

My brother has been fabulously, kick-assedly focused and well this year. Last winter break, Louie visited me to share some of that energy and love (and pizza and beer and cartoons). While here, he applied for an on-campus job in translating supercomputer languages that has changed everything for him. He codes for 20-40 hours a week and has earned so much respect for the quality of his work. This will clearly be his foot into the door of a career he will love, come his graduation this December. I benefit endlessly from Louie's example of simultaneous self-discipline and joy. Now that he is well enough to do anything he wants, he does everything he wants (which is a very few things, very well). I can only hope and try in the next year to be more like my brother!

It's hard to think about something that has happened to my family, because that means so many different groups of people to me. I think the biggest milestone was actually in my fake family. Jackie retired in January. She worked hard at the same factory her whole career, more than 40 years. Retirement has been interesting for her, and her relationship with her husband. I think it's been an important learning event for her to figure out what she wants out of life, how to say no, and how to balance her life.

Instead of belaboring the points above, and continuing to wallow in self-doubt, pity and guilt, I am going to step outside of that. In conjunction with the relocation, I was blow away by the generosity and kindness of my host family. I met Sara and Dave while working in DC in 2005. They weren’t married at that point, but were clearly built for one another. Although, they certainly aren’t the perfect couple (only because there’s no such thing), when I see them together, I long to be granted with the happiness, companionship, compatibility and love that they have. As a unit, they are an incredible role model for me as to best practices for a couple. Witnessing their interaction, unveiled my own frustration, resentment and lack of love for my husband. Seeing what love looked like in another relationship, helped me to realize that the relationship I was in, was not the one for me. Certainly, that has caused a deep impact on my life, but it’s one that I am thankful for. And although I am not living with them now, I do miss them and our daily interactions and their dog. For me, the milestone was experiencing both their generosity and their love for one another.

My brother and I are really close. As the years progress, we are just going to get closer. I love my brother.

Over the past year a family feud has more or less been buried. No-one (in the group immediately affected) has acknowledged that they are making a real effort to behave differently, treat one another with respect, and get something positive from their relationships despite their differences and some truly dreadful stuff in the past. Perhaps it's because they are all getting older and at last are seeing that they don't need to live in the shadow of people who are long gone and gained nothing at all from the trouble they caused. But it's a huge relief to me, and to several other 'youngers'. I'm so glad that the consequences of this won't hurt people in the future, and that they are able to enjoy their time together.

The milestone was a sad one, the hospitalization and death of my mother. This has helped me grow closer to my aunt and sister, who worked closely with me throughout the 4 months of issues and planning and now taking care of her estate. It has helped me gain for empathy for my mother and closeness to her, that I didn't have while she was alive.

It's hard to think of something that doesn't relate to my dad. Jasper will never remember him and I guess Henry only will through our stories. We did take some pictures of them together so that will help. It makes me enormously sad that the boys won't know dad. He might have been a cantankerous old sod, but I loved him very much. He was never great with really small children, but would have spent more time with them as they got older. So sad.

My mom got approved for a mortgage and almost immediately found a house she wanted. Now she's almost done the process leading up to closing and she'll move in within the next month or two. She has never had her own space, though she's lived alone or with only my brother. She won't have to deal with my crazy grandfather--I love him, but I also don't want my mom stressed out because of his decisions and behavior. Now, I hope she finds a nice man who loves her, and of course who she loves. She will be happier in her own house, but I think she will also be happier in a relationship. Also, my dad is getting remarried. I don't think of Susanne as my step-mom; though I do like her very much and enjoy spending time and talking to her, she will most likely always be categorized as my dad's wife. I'm glad my dad is happy and comfortable.

I moved out of the home I shared with my ex-wife and child for the past 11 years. When we first split my ex and I divided time at the house to keep our daughter grounded in one place while we figured out the particulars of the divorce. This spring it felt like it was time to move on. It was profoundly sad but also a relief. Now my daughter lives with me in lovely apartment next to a river for half the week and I love having a new home with her. The idea of home has always been a tough one for me, having moved so much as a child and never feeling grounded. This move has brought all of those old feelings back to the surface. I hope I can find some peace on this front someday.

This year I had to step into the role of East Coast matriarch of my family and take on a huge loan to bail out my brother. I love to be the boss, we all know that, but without the support, not so much. Having to take on an additional $7K in debt - that sucked, but I know it's part of the job, and I'm glad I was able to do it, to save my family home, and to help my brother. And, I am making it work, I am saving my home, and helping my family who can't get it together. But, it means I have to be on a dirty-knotted-shoestring budget to do it. I'm tired of feeling like Boxer from Animal Farm, doing more than my share until I'm so worn down I can't escape. I am planning for my financial future, and taking steps to make sure it will be rosy. I make sure to tell the people I love that I love them. And to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.

Dealing with medical problems; my sister with lung cancer & my Mom with a brain tumor....it taught me to continue to find each moment precious.

My family came to New Mexico for Christmas. This was a big deal, because my husband and I had never "done" Christmas before... I'd always gone to my family's home in Washington, and we had worked out a nice routine where we spend Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine. Uncertainties around vacation time and the expense of travel got us thinking differently - especially since we own a home now and my Dad had still not been to visit me in NM. It was a little stressful, but mostly it was awesome. It made me realize that the people you spend Christmas with is more important than where you are, though location still plays a part. And it kind of reinforced a possible new tradition of every-other-year having a "normal" Christmas in WA.

I realized that my family may not need me and that is both liberating and also a little sad to feel that disconnected. Realized that I need to be successful for the sake of my family even if that means sacrificing some of my idealism..

An uncle of mine died and it was quite hard. He was a very interesting and intelligent person and he'll be surely missed. It made me realize how quicly we can loose people we love.

Seeing my brother get married. Two down two to go. It was one of the happiest days of my life. When my oldest brother got married it was special, but, for me and the rest of the family I think we were still growing up. With this one it was different. We are all free to pursue what makes US happy and our best days are truly ahead of us. The best day of my life will be when we are all happily married. That moment after the ceremony when we cheer in a circle. That's when one adventure ends and another begins.

Major milestone...um I came to college and my parents did okay! Sometimes I feel guilty for not calling or texting and I feel like I don't do enough to thank them for what they've given me. I feel guilty when my mom goes on and on about how happy she is to have me at home. I resent feeling like I'm supposed to return home next summer. It's not that I don't want to, in many ways I do, but I resent feeling like I SHOULD. I want the decision to be up to me and based on my career goals (and of course affordability) , not based on the feeling of guilt if I choose to not stay at home over the summer.

My mother-in-law admitting the whole family can't stand a sister-in-law I have always despised. She's the epitome of a self-centered brat and no one ever questions the terrible things she does and says. I was beginning to feel insane and desperate in a twilight zone kind of way. Finally hearing that someone else understood my frustration (without having to be told I felt that way) was life-changing. And ironically made it easier for me to move forward with this negative sister in a positive way.

Well, to broadly define family, Jason moved in with me in June. This has brought us closer together and provided us both with a chance to learn to cohabitate. It's been wonderful.

Dad died. I miss him every day, and still have moments where I will see something or have an idea and think "I should ask Dad about that!" or "Dad would get such a kick out of this!" and then remember that he's gone. It sucks. See my answer to #1 for more details. If I keep typing about this topic I'll be in tears.

A major milestone that happened with my family this year is a huge fight I had with my mother. I was completely able to air my grievances without any repercussions. It may not have changed how I felt about her and she may not have listened but it lifted a huge angry weight off my chest.

I have taken my eldest son out of school for at least 6 months and my younger 2 out of daycare to travel and live overseas with my husband and family. It means I am with them all everyday and all day. I have to be more present, I have less contact with my friends, I do not have my work, I have less free time, I have to cease opportunities to do what I need for myself and set boundaries with each member of the family. I think this is great for pattern breaking of my family of origin:).

My Dad had a heart attack he is not old by any means I mean he hasn't even hit sixty yet he is 55, and not over weight. He had to have triple bi-pass surgery. We thought at first it wasn't a heart attack as the symptoms were different. It was scary, watching another immediate family member go through an open heart surgery. My Dad lost a lot of blood and had to be rushed back into surgery 3 or 4 times. He also fainted a couple of times. Since then he has lost a lot about 8 kgs, changed his eating habits and has a general appreciation for life. He said to us life is too short and so after his surgery and he got better (he's been back at work for a while now). He took the whole family to Canada and America!

I guess a "milestone" would be that I became extremely close with my mom over the past year. After getting caught in a lie about Brian's party and having a major heart to heart with her on the ride home from JMU's Parade of Champions, lots of barriers came down that were between us. I now talk with my mom (almost) completely freely, and truly feel like she is my best friend. I remember back in middle school/early high school hearing people say how that their mom was their best friend and I couldn't even fathom that. But now I really know that she is. I feel a lot more comfortable around her and other people, because I know she always has my back. I also don't have to worry about getting caught in a lie because I tell her most everything that is going on. It's a huge weight off my shoulders, and I feel so good. I'm so lucky to have her in my life.

A big milestone this past year was our eldest son going off to middle school, and the beginning of all the changes that puberty brings. Middle school was a huge adjustment for him and only slightly less for the rest of us. He had issues with bullies and with organization/responsibility (turning homework in, etc) but we worked at it together and things got better. This year he's just started 7th grade and it seems so much easier (so far). He has a much better attitude about it, anyway...even though we still sometimes deal with crazy puberty tantrums. I'm proud of the person he's turning into and how even amidst the hormonal storms, he keeps his sweetness and a balanced moral compass.

My father in law's death early in the Jewish year meant that we had lost someone from that generation every year for three years--my mother-in-law, my father, then my father-in-law. This "milestone" reinforced my own sense of being an adult (a bit late in life) and kept a sense or mortality both fresh in my conscious mind and active in my subconscious. For better or worse. I feel life accelerating, like the second half of a soccer match when you need to score a goal. Yet I also feel reinforced gratitude for my life and all the experiences that it brings.

My dad's death changed my relationship with my mom and strengthened my relationship with my sister. Mom has gone steadily downhill since dad died and I'm now working to bring her up to Philadelphia. Shelly and I are on the same page about mom and I am so grateful when I hear stories of siblings fighting over their parents' care, money and legacy.

My cousin and her husband, already the parents of two young boys, have decided to adopt a child from Congo. When they shared the news, I was in awe: of the fact that they're opening their lives to another child, of the fact that they're traveling to one of the world's most dangerous countries for that child, and of their commitment to fulfilling a promise they made to do something good for the larger world. They live a fairly privileged life, and it's easy for others to dismiss them because of this, but this adoption is a reminder that there's so often more below the surface of others' lives, and that that below-the-surface stuff is often much more interesting.

My family dog, Ivan, died in February. We had had him since he was a puppy and he lived to the ripe old age of 15. The hardest part of all of this was that I was half-way across the country when this happened and wasn't able to say good-bye.

My brother became a senior this year. This has changed a lot on my family. Now they spend more time worrying about where he's going to go. sometimes it takes priority over me. It kinda sucks. I know that it'll pass though.

Learning to live with my family again after a lifechanging time abroad was ever so difficult but extremely enlihtening. I'm glad to find myself a friend to my brother and sisters and having a better relationship with my parents. The event that has made the biggest difference, though, was my parents aproving of my relationship with my boyfriend... that has opened a new range of awesome possibilities.

Grandpa killed his wife and shot himself. I'm glad it brought my family together, but it taught me something about grief. Its ok to not be sad. He was never a good Grandpa to me, later in life we just called him Bart. And I didn't feel one ounce of sadness over it. But that's ok. I didn't know him, and I don't have to feel bad about it.

I have been disappointed by finally having that "parent bubble" broken. Most people start seeing their parents for who they really are in their teens and that super hero bubble breaks around then, but mine seemed to take longer. It has made me question a lot about myself and my mother. It has made me much more independent.

I'd say it'd have to be the fact that both my parents got hip-replacement surgeries. On the surface it doesn't seem like much of a milestone, but the more I think about it the more I realize that this means that they're getting old. They're only in they're early-mid-sixties but it's been the first time where I personally have acknowledged them as starting to get old. They're two of the healthiest people you'll find so I guess that's why it's been weird to find them in a place where they are becoming increasingly physically incapable. It's affected me because I too am entering a new phase of my life of adulthood and am facing my own set of problems but also I see that I am having to help them out in some ways they can't anymore and I know it's only the start. It's interesting how the dynamic of the relationship between my parents and I has begun to change for the first time ever, with me growing progressively more independent and them in some ways growing dependent on me and for the very first time. Ultimately it has affected me by making me aware of the cycle of life - We're born, we grow up, we grow old, and then we die - and if anything it has made me value my parents more than ever before.

My ex got clean and sober. And I protected the children, drew a hard line in the sand, and slowly stopped feeling I had to keep that secret from everyone. What a huge burden to slough off! I go to Alanon now, it helps. looking forward to starting up my Friday meetings now the kids are back in school. It's huge and still unfolding.

meow

This past year has been rough trying to integrate two families into one but it has been worth every door slam from a child, every outburst etc. I am seeing the light - life is starting to calm down and the kids are starting to see two parents who are working together for the benefit of the family.

thankfully nothing bad happened, everyones getting older and more mature and its nice, jacklyn moved away and is developing into a very good girl

So many! Brian and I got married and our little girl arrived earlier than expected! Life is completely flipped on its head from this time last year. We are on the opposite end if the state, no real support close by, I'm not working, Brian works full time, we have a brand new baby to take care if and love. Life is really amazing! I am so happy, usually I don't do change well, but I could not be more content with how things are. Having our daughter, getting married, Brian's accident - all these events have forced me to live in the present and be happy with what is right here in front of me. I am trying to soak up these days so much, I know that very soon I will be sad things are different again.

The relocation of our family was huge. Though the adjustment is difficult, I can already see we made the right decision. It's changed my social life drastically. It's opened up all new opportunities for everyone. And it's given my husband and I the space we needed to reconnect with each other.

These days everything is about our growing family, so the obvious major milestone is the arrival of our little Julian. I was nervous about my ability to handle two kids, to give to each one of my boys the attention they need, to make them both feel loved and cherished. The first couple of weeks were tough, but we quickly bonded as a family of four. With the arrival of a second child, months are short and days can be long, but it seems that each child brings me less sleep and more happiness. My kids motivate me to keep improving myself. It's cliché, but it's true!

Gran has finally accepted that she needs to go into a care home; she just can't cope physically in the bungalow anymore and it's been a real strain on my parents, uncle and auntie. Also, Nan is frailer by the day and mum is preparing herself for her death. This has all led me to reflect on my distant relationship with my grandparents. I feel guilty, regretful and wonder how I'll feel when they're gone. I feel that I should call and visit them more, if not for me, then for my parents.

My brother just graduated from high school, and is now attending the same university that I am. It's a huge step for him, and we're all kind of worried about him. He's not a particularly extroverted person (then again, none of us really are). My mother worries about my problems with introversion, but she worries more about my brother because he's more generally cynical than I am, I suppose. Of the two of us, she thinks he's more likely to become extremely lonely and depressed. I think the best thing we can do for right now is leave him to his own devices. I don't worry about him as much as my mother does, but I still worry. I feel like I see his face everywhere. I don't know whether or not that's a manifestation of my anxiety about him. I hope he's handling college okay.

My dad turned 76. My mother-in-law turned 75. My Aunt Razelle, who was 80, died in February. My dear G-dFather, Paul, died last November. My step mother had a stroke in May and is recovering well, but moving out of her apartment of 38 years. Wow. it's a reminder that we can't take our belongings with us. what we have is right here. it is good to love much and to live now. I have been cleaning out boxes. There is much more to do!!

I lost my grandfather. I wish he was here to see how far I have come. I miss him and my grandmother so much but I know they are proud. I hope to keep striving and pushing so they can keep being proud of me. I miss you Ockie and Mimi.

The biggest milestone has been that my grandfather has passed away. My grandmother noticed her mortality since her husband is now gone. That there are no more silly arguments, or little nicknames that he inspired. The man who taught me how to drive is now gone, who would, in his own way, show how much he loved his grandchildren. He wasnt what would be considered warm but he wasnt cold. He was a man of a different time who truly cared for his family. That provided and only wished to make the best for his blood. It affected me by realizing that I truly am getting older. That I am almost 23 and that is indeed a long time. I do know that I miss him and can only hope that he is at peace.

I met my future family, Julie! She's changed the way I feel about a relationship and finally given me that person I want to spend my life with and raise kids with.

Nothing stands out. It was nice to introduce my sister to my new boyfriend. I've worried about Dad, who's a loner and on a pension, and doesn't have a network of people to share time with. His health remains excellent, praise God. He is such a creative man. I wish we could all see him enjoy some appreciation for his years and years of creative work - and some community.

In chronological order, Zach and Dev broke up, Natalie got pregnant, and Jens and I got married! The wedding planning changed my relationship with my mother. It was hard (on my side for sure) to see each other as equals, and to hold her ideas as valid rather than resent what I saw as attempts to improve our ideas because mother knows best. It's still hard to deal with her assumptions, which take our preliminary ideas much deeper and in different directions than we'd ever think of before we have a chance to flesh them out, and it's hard for me to hold back telling her things until I feel I have already fleshed them out enough to answer her inevitable questions about them. I'm trying and trying not to resent her input, to see it as her way of digesting the world and what other people say, and that's going to be a long process. She still offers advice rather than a listening ear for every thing I tell her about my life. It's hard, when every response is a "you should," not to instinctively tune out everything, and to listen for the good ones (which there was one of a couple weeks ago) among the forehead-slappers and the unnecessary niceties. Z&D's breakup was really hard for him and I hope he recovers. I hope he can get into an independent and kickass mindset and lifestyle. I want the best for him, because along with being my little brother he's also an awesome human being who deserves a red-letter life. Natalie's pregnancy has really kicked my biological clock; I'm taking the family joke a bit more seriously than I need to about us doing everything 9 months apart. I think we're ready biologically, but I have no idea about the psychological or how we start getting our apartment ready for the possibility of a baby. And then there's the issue of me stopping meds, too... all sorts of fun.

When we visited my childhood home last December for Christmas, my father was unable to get out of a chair without assistance. He was battling metastatic kidney cancer that had moved to his brain. I believed that he might live to see another Christmas. He continues to undergo treatment but he is strong and able to drive and has much of his former energy back. He also got a hearing aide, something that he has needed for many years. This allows him to interact much more fully with all of us. I see this as further evidence that none of us know how much time we have - or how much time we have to be healthy. We must use our days, our health, our time to live fully and love completely. (Note: a few days after this we learned that my father's tumors in his torso - on his kidney and adrenal gland - continue to grow and have not been reduced by the chemo as we had hoped. So now he begins oral chemo.)

My grandmother past away. Actually it was just over a year ago in July 2012 but it was hugely significant for my family as were a small family and very close. Every member is cherished and values and gran in someways was a bit of a matriarch...it was very balanced between her and gramps but they were the older generation. My family has really also come together to support my grandfather who, as he puts it, always thought he would "go" first. It's really taught me about what it means to settle karmic accounts and if there is sorrow in a relationship it's because theres still stuff to be cleared because I only feel happy when I remember gran...I still dont know how it happens aside from the pure intent, but through this effort I can feel the burden starting to lift in my heart when I think of gramps, like his sorrows dont become mine that much anymore and having realised how much I adore him I can feel GENUINE respect coming through which Ive finally properly been able to express to him, which has further enhanced our relationship. I guess thats part of the work of the Yamim Noraim

The end to a lot of lying and mistrust was a great milestone for my family. I know there are still issues to resolve, but I feel more comfortable in my relationships. I also finally realized that my family does not need to be large to be important. Just Mom and Dad are fine with me!

no major milestones. but the realization that I'm not responsible for my family. They are not mine to fix. and by leaving I'm not running away, i'm just going somewhere else as i'm a young adult.

We've had two interventions with my brother about turning his life around and striving for more than mediocre. It's been very upsetting to see him become this shell if a person. I hope he gets better.

Chelsea got in to Columbia Graduate School. Very proud of her.

My uncle -- my father's youngest brother and the last of that generation -- died out in California. I was so glad to have been able to go out for the funeral, which solidified my relations with that part of my extended family. Although distance is still an issue, I am perhaps even closer now to my aunt, his widow. We can only speak on the phone, but we do that regularly, and it's a joy for us both. I realize how strong my family sense is and how little family I have: that I regret.

It was with me and my heart problem. I had heart surgery

My mom moved out of her house of 20 years and my mother-in-law passed away. Both affected me similarly as it made me think about what was important: not things, but actions and memories. Cleaning out both houses and deciding what of their belongings I wanted made me realize that I needed to go home and clean out that which is no longer needed, useful or loved.

The major milestone from my perspective is the breakup with J. The breakup brought out emotions in my parents that I do not want them to have for him. However, one morning at breakfast they asked me to invite him over for dinner. Specifically Jim, expressed his love for me by telling me that they always want to be a part of my life. He said that if I chose to be with J then that is what they will accept as long as I am happy. It is great to know that my parents always support me and my decision, even if they are choices that they don't believe to be right.

I'm getting a whole new family with my fiance, so there's that.

My mother moved up to New York City. She has received some of the best medical care the nation has to offer, and her physical and emotional outlook has vastly improved. While it's been a big adjustment and stressful on me at times, it has eased a lot of the long-term worry and anxiety I had about her when I was up here living alone knowing that she was also alone and suffering in Florida.

Samantha had a baby. I've never met my neice but I think her name is Olivia. She briefly reached out to me but never contacted me further. I've officially list all contact with family. Also, Mel betrayed me regarding the situation with my car.

It is the seventh year I have been with Lynne, it feels as though we grow closer each day. The love I let into my heart seems to have a positive affect on the rest of my family.

My closest cousin was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer just prior to her 50th birthday. Only two years older than her, I realize how very precious our time here is. It woke me up to begin living full out again, exploring my passions and all that will sustain me rather than going through the motions.

My brother joining the Air Force/getting a job. Everyone in my family was moved by seeing Jeff so focused and committed to achieving something. I know it meant a lot for him to put himself on the line and ask so many people for help in terms of getting to the recruiter office etc. He stopped being this angry resentful person and did the damn thing. This big change for him reflected some big changes he was having on the inside :). HE IS SO EXCITED ABOUT IT!! I love it

This year I saw my grandmother the weakest and frailest (physically and mentally) that I have ever seen her. It really drove home how helpless people become when they age, and how my plans to age alone as a crazy dog lady may be unrealistic, or self-harming. It also drove home how little time I may have with my grandparents, and how I should take advantage of it. I spent more time just sitting and talking to my grandmothers in the past month than in many previous months combined.

My cousin got married, and 90% of my family came in town. This effected me because it was really amazing to see all my family together and here from around the world.

We moved the family from the Netherlands to Kazakhstan. This meant that son #1 started at a new school and also started learning Russian, son. #2 started with the nanny all day and Husband and I started new positions. Work is completely turned on its head, but family life is wonderful.

Only in the past few weeks, my sisters have reconciled with my dad after a long period of not speaking. As the default go-between, this is a stress reliever in my life to have open lines of communication between all parties. I am not sure how long it will last though I am hopeful that there is a move towards cordiality and peacefulness, even if it means a lack of closeness.

Fortunately, my family's life has been pretty steady in the past year. Adrian has made great strides -- he turned 1, learned to walk, learned to say many words -- but nothing unexpected. It makes me feel grateful that my updates are not so dramatic. I had a chemical pregnancy that ended at about 5 or 6 weeks. It made me sad, and made me concerned that maybe we will not be able to have a second baby. I worry now that I am hoping I am at the very beginning of being pregnant. Everything seems so tenuous at this point. I hope to have a more exciting milestone (a new baby, or an impending baby) next year!

I for the 1st time I went to McDaniel and completed all my courses, for the spring semester. I came back after a year at Montgomery College. In Addition I spent the summer interning at an office. for the first time I got up early in the morning put on dress cloths.

My middle son, Philip and his family moved from Los Angeles to Austin. It makes communicating much easier with only an hour's time difference.

I can think of a few. My wife is going through menopause, and her mood swings are dramatic. It has caused a lot of tension between us. My youngest son started getting high, and even though we told him to quit, he doesn't want to. Both of these things caused a huge amount of stress in my life and aged me emotionally. Actually, in a lot of ways 2013 was the worst year I've had since 2001. Not a lot of positive good things have happened. Just this past month my car was broken into, someone used my credit card to buy hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise, and I damaged my car accidentally. Earlier this year, I lost my wallet in NYC, my wife hurt her shoulder, my father got cancer, and on and on...

I turned 50. It really hasn't effected me (as far as I can tell) except I am just getting more impatient with the lack of progress with my life

Alas, there has been no major milestone in my family that I know of because my family is a fractured entity. I do not have much contact with my brothers or sister or cousins at all. I fear getting a phone call from any of them because it will only be because someone has died. That's how it's been for years. I do have some contact with a niece of mine and I am grateful for that. This lack of contact saddens me when I take the time to have feelings about it. I have tried many times to reach out but it's never been returned in kind. I know my brother is dealing with prostate cancer and I've offered to be a support for him. We had some good talks before this news but nothing since. But you can't make people call you and it gets tiring to leave messages that go unanswered. And I am a single trans-woman so I don't have a personal family of my own other than me. If I count me as a family I think a major milestone would be that I just took my first big traveling trip vacation as Kenna flying across the country. I was treated with respect, politeness and kindness all along the way of my travels and that was a pleasant surprise.

Gosh family, sheesh. I guess it must have been deciding not to go ahead with co-parenting with Rob. Still makes me sad to let go of someone who means so much to me, even when I know I would lose too much by holding on.

My nephew had his bar mitzvah in Israel. Our whole family went to participate and it inspired my son to have his bar mitzvah in Israel. I am excited that he's excited about having a bar mitzvah, and about taking Hebrew and Jewish Studies classes.

My sister-in-law is expecting, so I'm going to be an uncle for the first time and my parents are going to be grandparents for the first time. I haven't talked to my brother and sister-in-law very much, partly because they live 1000 miles away, but I've been trying to be in touch at least once in a while.

Again, the baby. Our whole family has been touched by her arrival and in many ways, it's healed a lot of pain and given some family members a sense of renewal and recommitment to life. I watch how much joy it brings my husband's mom and how much it has healed my relationship with my mother. I always feared that my mom and I would end up like her mother and her: estranged and mostly bitter, struggling for elusive forgiveness. But once my daughter arrived, my mom visited in the hospital and as I introduced her, the look of surprise and joy and sweetness that swept over my mom's face was incredibly beautiful. I gave my daughter the middle name my mom had wanted for me but let herself be talked out of by her family. She was incredibly touched and I think it somehow hit the reset button in our relationship. I never want my daughter to feel the internal push and pull that I've felt with my mom, nor do I want to model for her what that looks like. So I've now made it my personal goal to forgive, let the past be the past and accept my mom for exactly who she is. Hopefully that will allow all of us to have more love and happiness in our lives.

The conversations that were had after I told them I was dating someone 16 years older than me were significant. They were painful, needed, and a relief. I feel strange now because he wasn't really the right kind of person for me anyway, regardless of age.

My mom had a heart attack, her recovery forced my sister to have to care for her more than she should have. My mother is only 58 and continues to make poor choices affecting her health which will ultimately cause unnecessary stress for my sister (who lives in the same city). I have found my mom to be very selfish

My grandfather's 90th birthday really point a sharp point on how precious my time with them is. I'm hoping, this year, to really invest more time and energy in my relationships with my grandparents.

My grandmother turned 90 in April. It brought almost everyone from that side of my family together to celebrate, and we've been closer since. I've talked more with some family members and I've met and become friends with others I didn't know before. And my grandmother had a great time at her birthday :)

Mia turned 16 and got her first job 2 days later! She works at Ben & Jerry's. I gained 5 lbs. this summer from ice cream alone. But the new job at Hamilton has made me no nervous, that I have lost most of it. Anyway, we spend most of our time chauffeuring her since she won't start driver's Ed. Victor does now that I'm back to work full time. Mark is going back to school with me only for him it's public school for the first time. It has been hard on him. I want him to get a work ethic and realize he can't always do the same thing--team fortress 2. His passive aggressiveness is what I'm battling now. Going to try what I did last year to get him to stop pooping. No computer worked! Not compassion, rather discipline. Tough love. His quality of life improved drastically. I believe this is the right time for him as well. We will also move forward with putting him in special Ed. He needs the extra support.

My mother had her 50th birthday. I love her so much and I can't imagine living without my parents

Get my degree, sell my car and buy a new one, get a job and get promoted in 6 months, learn many things from work and life, buy a 7 day trip for my 4th anniversary. All this has made me see that all I like to achieve is possible for me.

Grandma's death in December was brutal. It was so sudden and awful. I will forever be glad that I stayed by her side in those final days, but it really did a number on me emotionally. It took months before the nightmares went away. And the grieving process took so long because of the service being delayed, and it really threw me off. I know that Dad is really struggling as well, but we don't talk about it a lot. It's just this constant hanging presence, the grief and the lack of resolution. I don't really know where we go from here, even all these months later. I just know how much it hurts every time I go to call her and realize she can't answer. I miss having her so much.

I underestimated my breaking point in stress. I hit my breaking point like a semi's colliding and it had a ripple effect throughout everyone I love. I think that hitting that wall and realizing my limits was a milestone to create a healthier life for myself & my family.

My nephew was bar mitzvahed last September and it brought much of our family together for the simcha. Even though my parents had both passed away and thus couldn't be there, it make me appreciate how much other members of my family as well as close friends ARE there to help fill that void. It also made me think about the fact that I don't have children of my own; however, my sister and her whole family made me feel very much a part of the experience. In fact, a year earlier when my sister started seriously planning for the bar mitzvah, she called me up and told me that since our Mother was no longer alive, that she wanted me to help her in the way that Mom would have. It was wonderful and my nephew was so good ... he really made us all proud.

I've lately become aware of how much more frail my mother has gotten. She's having a hard time coping with everyday life, and I don't know how to help her, beyond sympathizing and intervening where I can. She often gets angry with my helping her - every bit of control she has to give up is a huge loss. On the plus side, my partner and I are celebrating our 10th "Unniversary" this year!

in my "new family" with my husband and i, we have really committed to be healthier and take care of ourselves and each other after J's heart attack. with my parents and brother, i still don't feel like i speak to them as much as i should, but seeing them in person at my wedding was great, reminded me how lucky i am to have them

My younger brother got married. I'm still angry that I wasn't able to be there, and I resent his fiancee because it was entirely her fault (well, his too, if I'm being fair.) I still feel hurt, and undervalued, and just plain angry. And maybe bitter, because it wasn't my wedding that was first. It was his.

I think the only major milestone I can think of Melanie (my oldest daughter) turning 40. It seems incredible that I could be the mother of a 40 year old which of course means that I'm very close to being 60 - now that's a milestone. I think as your children get older it's interesting to think about what you were doing at their age and to compare their lives with your own. I'm incredibly proud of what Melanie has achieved but more importantly the values and ideals that she aspires to.

Both kids are in preschool! I have about 8 hours a week to myself now. I dreamed of this day for so long, but now that its here it feels a little sad! It's still all new to me, so I'm sure ill like it once I get into a routine, but it is really strange to suddenly have some time to myself!

My sister graduated from secondary school and has gone on to university. I really understood how she felt last year when I left for university, as I was home for a few more days than she was. I was the one left behind.

I have not spoken with my biological father for more than two years now. We went all Christmas without so much as a hello. My sister and I are closer than ever and I miss her more and more as I am starting college again. Brock and I went to a Sounders game together for his birthday and I feel like his bro now. Mom is dealing with a loss but over all she is great as always. I love them all.

A major milestone has been the arrival of our daughter - as my husband and I are both the youngest of our siblings we were the last to have a child of our own. It feels like the completion of a journey for us and our siblings and parents, particularly as it took us a couple of years to have a successful pregnancy. The waiting was so hard but the viable pregnancy that delivered our daughter was great and having her is exhilarating.

Moving away from my parents made me realise how much they've done for me, and how much they mean to me. Finally talking to them when things were tough was more support than I could have imagined. My whole family is such a safety net. I'd have fallen far down without them. In other news, little Henry was born. Rachel and Dan are such fab, relaxed parents. She was like a magical pregnancy unicorn. He's gorgeous, and I can't wait to get to know him and see him grow.

My cousin's suicide attempt shocked the whole family. I think we're simultaneously closer together yet farther apart than ever. I'm seeing my family as a group of humans, instead of as idealized versions of people I should be looking up to.

I think having a baby would be it. I probably said the same last year when my son was only a month old or so, but now I can see the effects more. It has made us a family. It has brought enormous joy, great challenge. It has made us wake up. And I am exhausted!

My Zachary turned 16 this year. Wow! So much to let go of, so much to be afraid of, so much to be proud of!! He is becoming an awesome young man. I am so, so proud to be his mother.

My firstborn son became engaged. While that makes me feel old, it also gives me some joyous celebrations to look forward to. I like his fiancee.

Several members of my family died in the last year. In the deaths came the opportunity to get closer to the rest of my family. It is never too late....I do like being a part of a larger world and my family is part of that world.

My parents have gotten separated, it has been really hard on me. I am sad that I am with my dad less than half the time. With my cheerleading, schoolwork, and friends there is less and less time with my parents.

Getting to go home and surprise my dad for his 70th bday was awesome. It was great to see how many people showed up for him and how loved he is. I hope I have that when I'm his age. Also my niece moving to Austin and embarking on her own Austin adventure is pretty cool.

Jordan was born. It is weird to think about myself as an older person who is responsible for the happiness of a young child. Jordan isn't a perfect analogue, but she is the precursor to what I hope will be a plethora of children, nieces, and nephews. When I see her, I try to think of the actions my family took with me as a child and impart those actions onto her.

My grandmother was moved into a nursing home and her house was sold. It makes me sad in that she is unable to cared for herself and does not remember much due to altzhimers but it also brings me relief that my parents are no longer the sole providers of her care.

My young niece was born and has brought so much joy to the whole family. It has even brought us together and motivated us in our personal lives. The innocence and vulnerability of a child are a reminder of what life is really about and that your loved ones are more important than any other material, real or imagined, items in this world.

This has been quite a momentous year for us! Our conversion was formalized after many years of walking a journey. This has been an answer to prayer, and a 'coming home'. My husband finally started formally studying again after 30 years. This will hopefully open new doors of opportunity for him, and allow him to begin to dream again. My son and I went on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, which we had been planning for 6 months. This was a very significant time 'away' for both of us, nurturing our relationship and creating memories.

I had an argument with older half-brother, the person for whom I'm most close to. He stopped talking to me because for once in my life, I stood for my honest belief, keeping my self-respect intact. I was never disrespectful to him, but I was astonished how he tried to argue that my belief was wrong. Years before all of this I would sheepishly agree with him just to keep peace, but this behavior was not making me feel good nor it was good for my friendships. All of this this was the test to my constitution, my character, but it comes with a price. I am just discovering who my really family is and I am discovering they don't share the same values as I do nor they really respect it. Regardless, I will keep true to myself. I love them regardless of what they think. Warts and all.

I've already discussed the deaths of both of my parents, so let's not go there with this question. My younger son graduating from college, and my older daughter learning to drive have been milestones. It's bittersweet -- watching them spread their wings. It makes me feel old in some ways, and yet makes me feel young in others, because it reminds me what it felt like to be sixteen, and twenty two, with the world ahead of me. For the longest time I've felt like I have nothing ahead of me, but I feel like I've hit a second wind, and see such positive things in my future, It amazes me that I can feel that way again!

My sister is pregnant & while I am happy for her it is consuming me with anger that I can't hold a pregnancy past 9 weeks. I am hopeful that my feelings will change & that I will soon be able to have a baby

My boyfriend and I have met everyone in each other's families. That was an amazing experience especially because he met my 91-year-old grandfather in Holland and I met his 91-year-old grandfather in Austria. It is a magical blessing that we know these impressive "pater familias" figures from each other's lives. Also, my paternal grandmother and boyfriend got along so well! They are now planning holidays together in England which is heart-warming.

We had our one year wedding anniversary this year. We reflected on our marriage and we are extremely proud of our strong partnership. We looked back at all the things that we have been through together, his dad's death, my grandmother's death, a miscarriage, getting our kitchen renovated, his job transition. We are so grateful to have each other and we try and remind ourselves of this every single day. We never want to take each other or our relationship for granted and I don't think we ever will. I am extremly grateful for that.

My engagement to Jon has been especially meaningful. Talking about building our family together makes me so grateful for what we already have and so excited for what is to come.

My youngest got married. It was a beautiful wedding and they both were so very happy. Now all three are married, we had a mezinke. It's liberating and so rewarding to see them all launched. My daughter got the best picture of me ever - I was so happy myself.

My mother being diagnosed with lung cancer was strange. We have no relationship by my choice but it was hard imagine losing my second parent should she die. Sad to say I still feel no need to let her into my life due to her abusive behaviors.

We took a trip to Japan, me, my mom, and my sister. It was such a special trip and we got a long so well. My sister and I had a deep conversation about issues of ours and it was really positve to move our relationship forward. It was quite a magical trip.

There have been the typical bumps and bruises, but I feel like I'm finally getting on with my parents better than I ever have before. It's partly because being at uni I'm out of the way more, but also I feel like it's made me more of an adult and I can relate to them on an adult level. I've never been able to enjoy my dad's company just as it is before - now I can.

My daughter turned 17, learned how to drive, was given a car by her father and is learning how to be more independent before venturing forth to college next year. This has required me to pull away and respect her decisions while still keeping vigilant. This has been challenging to me knowing that she has the ability, but not the experience and deciding how to manage my feelings.

Graduations, marriages, births, new jobs, milestones upon milestones, just remind me that life is dynamic and that change is growth.

I confessewd to them I was molested. It has been devasting, healing, and empowering!

I found a lifecycle exercise. It was enlightening to realize that so many of my years have been lived. I want to be sure I become more discerning about the activities in which I participate going forward.

I graduated from esthetics school and earned my esthetics license. I have become more confident as I am now doing what I've always wanted to do.

I am very proud of the fact that as a single mother I am still able to manage and support my children and my self with the help the help of God of course. I've had many hard times, moments when I thought I was going to loose my mind and even moments when loneliness took over and all I could do was cry my eye out. But I am still standing strong.

Grace was born and she left her beautiful mark on us all, especially me. She has been a healing bridge between my mother in law and her brother as well as me and my sister. She has changed us in a good way. Since her birth, I have had to figure out who I am again. I have had to reconcile the urge to do everything and maintain hectic schedules for all the fun and the need to just stay close to home and nurture my baby. When I planned too much, I felt panicked. But I finally have adjusted into the calm of just taking it easy with my baby.

I turned 40 this year. It has made me realize that this doesn't go on forever.

I finally really understood that my father is human, and his own pain and history prevent him sometimes from acting in my best interest. And as an adult, I can recognize that and make my own decisions. It was too emotionally complex for me to fully do so before. And I feel free, even though the situation that created this revelation was very painful. But now I know that his issues aren't mine, and they won't drag me down. And this is a gift and blessing that I am not sure he has experienced.

My mom who has ms, is not going to be working at the Temple anymore. It's a major event because now she needs other things to do. Part of my responsibility is to make sure I am open enough to give her things to do and focus on so she doesn't feel like she's been cast off because of her MS.

When our cat died, there was a huge space missing from the family. So often I would just see him in passing, walking between rooms or sleeping. Now I see shadows and forget that he's not with us anymore, and forget that he can't possibly be casting that shadow, and I lean down to pet him and he's not there.

Suzanne turned 10 - she is an amazing child.

My family suffered through multiple death scares for my grandma. I don't know if it's a milestone but my grandma went to the hospital with severe stomach pains that lead to multiple sicknesses. I've sat through hours beside her crying and hoping she'd make it though. I've never seen someone so sick before and we all thought we'd lose her. Now she's here with us, back at home. Still healthy and cheery as she usually is. I'm so blessed to have her with me still. My mom, sister, grandma and I became so much closer after realizing how easily people can slip away from our lives.

I am finally able to be with the person I am completely in love with and who is the best fit for me. He brings out the best in me and has allowed me to experience a depth of love, connection and understanding that I didn't know existed and I sadly believe is quite rare. The road here hasn't been straight or easy, but it's so worth it.

Becoming parents. It has changed us forever. I think we understand what unconditional love is now.

The birth of my son. I feel like Jenson has made us a family. He's made me a mom. I've had to let go of a lot of time, but for the most part, I do it happily. He is an unbelievable light in our life - in my life. I love him so deeply and I feel like I am more human, more understanding of not only the good feelings that deep love brings, but also of worry and suffering, I like this feeling of being more human and of course, of being a mom.

My sister and I both came out as bisexual to our family. I really wasn't expecting that from her, and was initially annoyed at having to share this identity that I had just recently come to terms with, regardless of how immature that may be. It's been less than two months, and our family is still adjusting to this new reality, but I can't even put into words how much better it feels.

I think I realized that my step family doesn't feel compatible with me, or maybe I feel that way towards them. There seems to be some positive regard, but I think I am letting it be what it is to a slightly greater degree. "Is what it is"

We all survived. I am happy how this as made me.

Jared moved in with his mom full time. This freed up my time to do whatever I want to without concern for taking care of him. And this made me feel proud that I raised him to defend the weak and go where he can be helpful. It also saddenned me immensely and still profoundly troubles me because I love him so much and want to be supportive of him. Now he barely ever talks to me.

see number 1. our daughter, she changed everything. and my husband and i grew closer because of her and all we went trhough to bring her to our lives. She also instantly brought me closer to my own mom in ways i didn't expect and to my sister and my husband's family. Now i need to open to them and to friends and family more.

My younger brother told us that he's gay last October. It wasn't a total surprise, but it was a huge milestone in his relationship with everyone in our family, and especially in my relationship with him. It's brought us so much closer together. My other younger brother had a really challenging year as his senior year in college, and he came to me often for advice. We've always been close, but I think this brought us closer together as well. And he's doing much better now!

Baby Binyamin came!! And shifra's bat mitzvah. My family is so blessed Thank God. Both events exhausted me but I realized how important of a role a play in my family. It's nice to feel needed. Also I learnt how to plan a kick-ass party with a party planner! It went really nice and I learnt the importance of beauty. When the baby came I held down the fort. I was so tired. It was Purim. I almost wanted to be like "seriously? another baby?" but Binyamin brings so much light into our family. I can't help but be excited. And my parents love him so much because we know he's probably the last baby. My mom is sad I think about that changing role. But you really can't have it all at the same time.

I left my husband of only 2 1/2 years just before Rosh HaShana last year. Coming home to live in my mother's rental property was not easy, and I have started moving towards conversion to Judaism (which my still husband is) not to get closer to my husband but because I have wanted to even before I met him, and it was actually stifled with him. I realized that the Yom Kippur service this year that in getting involved, and eventually marrying him I was committing the sin of "pretending to emotions that I did not feel." I am hoping from this that I will learn to be more authentic with my feeling, because denying the just ends up hurting others.

My Father passed away in June 2012. I know its not this year technically but it has still been a big deal for me. My family has been so used to arguing and bitching at each other when he was alive. All of us resenting him because of his arguing and bitching. They picked up his bad habits. We all did to some degree. It has affected me for years and now that he's gone there is a sense of sad peace. I do miss him and wish I could have been a better son and inspiration for him to grow and change for the better. I know it was not in my control though. I only hope that in the coming year my family can get passed the habits and finally be open and happy with each other.

My children are no longer living with me which is both hard and good. Hard for me because I am alone now. But also good because they are moving toward independence.. The other thing that happened was that my brother who is 65 years old married for the first time. I felt happy for him because he was happy. But it was also bittersweet because as his younger sister I had married 35 years ago and now my husband had died. And my mother never got to see him happy.

My uncle decided to sell the house that I live in. I was/am very angry. I got the news via text. Worst feeling ever. I don't know where to go next or where my studio will be. It's caused me to want not to see my family and seriously consider taking a break from them this holiday season.

My grandparents moved in with my parents because of my grandmother's dementia. It has been great for my grandparents, as my grandpa now has the support he needs, and she loves house and dog. I worry about my dad, and how much he has taken on with caring for my mom, and now grandmother. He is someone who never has a break, and is the rock of the family. I can't imagine what would happen if he got sick.

My youngest sister left home for university and my parents have had to start to deal with empty nest syndrome. As the only child living in the same city as them now, it's made me realise how much they rely on having us around as we do on having them.

My cousin got married, but for various reasons, I was the only one from my immediate family who could attend. Although our relationship has been rocky with that part of the family for several years, I gave a toast at the rehearsal dinner that seemed to open some new doors to communication and relationships with some of those relatives, and I'm excited about the prospect of all of that.

Pierre is in first grade now and he spent his first summer at Camp Greider, which he loved, even though he didn't want to go at first. Now first grade has started and it seems like he really doesn't like it. He and I both wish he could go to camp all year. His transition to first grade was probably most difficult for Josh. It's so hard for him to think about Pierre growing up.

We thought about adoption, thought about having another child, and decided that we're a one child family. I still feel a little jealous as others add to their families, not because I want another kid but because sometimes it feels like I'm "supposed" to have one. But I also feel relief to have made the decision, and to move forward making this the right decision for us.

My wife had a miscarriage that lasted months. The loss itself was challenging, but drawing it out put a cloud over the whole spring. We also learned who were our real friends and who would not be there when we needed them most. Going forward, I am much more attuned to the lack of ability to help others who are depressed, and I am much more attuned to the fragility of conception and pregnancy.

No milestones. Status quo.

Not only did I get married, but my brother did, too. Suddenly our family has expanded and it's shifting all of our thinking a bit. It's been really interesting seeing my brother putting more thought into the idea of children, which he previously seemed fine not having. This has all just made me see the world from a different perspective, that of the upcoming adult generation rather than the child generation. I hope it's providing a new way to connect with my brother, too, although they may be moving even farther away soon.

My brother starting to apply for colleges has been an interesting experience, especially since I've been trying to look back at my own experience to advise him. I think he's going to do very well.

The realization that I'm heading to college in a year has definitely made my family a lot closer. We've been having more regular family dinners and enjoying the company of and conversation with each other. It's made me appreciate my parents and my brother, and I'm going to miss them so much next year.

Major milestone: my brother dying. I'll just leave it at that.

Telling our families that we got engaged was much more special and emotional then I thought it would be. They were all so happy and excited for us, I think most of them were starting to think that we'd been together so long that we'd never get around to it!

I am still shocked by the finality of my husband's death. People don't Really die. Not Us, surely! Oh in fiction, maybe! On tv, perhaps...On miss marple , say...but that's mere pretend! You turn off the tv and you go back to the delicious banality of the everyday. And that is being alive, right? I was always craving silence. But This now is ridiculous. Middle of the night, that is the worst. I take one of his pillows and wrap my arms sround it. Sometimes when couldn't sleep in the middle of the night, I'd wake him and say, 'can I get in bed with you?' And he'd say yes. And I would. I liked that pillow talk, where you just ramble, head to head. How could it be that that will never happen again?

We took out a portion of our retirement savings to pay off MOST of our substantial debt, leaving us with a sense of freedom, choice. Working on a 'cash only' basis has made us more aware of how we are spending our money--I avoid shopping, find no more pleasure in it. The amount of money we are saving in interest (AND being able to reduce our life insurance here at renewal time) makes the decision a financially wise one for us. We are tracking costs and have laid tracks to follow for these remaining 5 years to retirement. Feels good. NOW, if only his kids would start paying on their school loans!

My vision has clearly been clouded with my mothers recent diagnosis so i can't think of anything else. But I feel like I have allowed it to continue to my little daze. I know that things happen but I continuously am in a daze where I just am lost and confused and block my emotions. So that's clearly something I need to work on because theres no way its emotionally healthy. And between the incident with my cousin and my mother- It just shows me the connection on that side. How we are just committed to one- unconditionallly.

My mother is about to turn 90 and I'm sorry to say that I resent being expected to throw her a big expensive party so she can show off to her friends. I resent that it's all one way—that she doesn't so much as call on my birthday but I'm supposed to make a big fuss about hers. Most of all, I resent myself for not being more grateful to have a 90-year-old parent who is sharp, healthy and independent.

See #1. The baby has changed my life in so many ways. All good stuff.

My mother died. I saw more of several siblings since then than I had for quite some time. Also, even though it had diminished over the past few years because her deteriorating health physically and mentally, I no longer can get opinions from her or just be with her.

I can't pinpoint a distinct milestone, but we have watched Ben turn from toddler to boy, and the brother dynamic grow to include real love, playing, chasing, battling, squabbling, and reading together - even if it is Captain Underpants. It is a thing of beauty.

Financial crisis and war.

My grandma's cancer. It's extremely saddening watching my grandparents slowly die... I don't like it. It made me want to spend more time with them.

You want a major family milestone? How bout my grandfather died and all I got was a phone call. If they had a funeral I wasn't invited. It was a really shady situation. It certainly made me understand that I'm not actually part of that family anymore. I've not felt like I was for a long time. That really solidified it for me. Next year, the answer to this question will have something to do with my chosen family. The ones that love me for real.

Having my Grandmother pass away will always be a major - if not the major- life changing experience in my life. As a result of this event, I am just now realizing that I need to stop seeking my Mother's and step-father's approval for my life. It pains me that they do not recognize the work and accomplishments that I have achieved but I need to understand that this work is not done for their benefit. They are not able to see and acknowledge the work that I create. What matters is that I know... I need to really understand this and believe it... Right now it sounds correct but I do not know how to accept it in my life and to stop seeking their approval....

the biggest milestone is not mine, but my daughter's. she finished a very stressful nursing program and is now an R.N. although she doesn't want to end her education with this degree, i am so proud of her. she will be able to support herself wherever she happens to live. now if i can just let go...completely...and not freak if she moves far away from me.

I have had some major revelations about my mother's death. Painful yet cathartic.

Well, this is the same answer as the first one! My son graduated from the sixth grade, leaving behind a school I'd been involved in for 11 years, from the time my daughter was a kindergartner, and it seems weird not to be involved in the day-to-day goings on there any more. Now my son is in middle school, which is a huge transition for both of us (as well as for my husband).

Both girls graduated from their schools: Sara from middle and Emily from elementary. I can't believe they are both so grown up!

Grandpa passed away. It has made us all reflect on our own lives and think about who we are

I wouldn't say any major mile stones, my sister is about to have a baby any day and my eldest brother and his partner have just fallen pregnant. My family is rather dysfunctional, still I love them all dearly. I was worried that my middle brother would follow in my brothers Jesse's footsteps. Jesse was 22 when he committed and suicide and my brother is very similar in personality and has very similar anxieties and issues. I'm proud of him as he has started his first day of work at his first job despite his anxiety.

My mom got cancer. A really terrible, hard to treat kind. It's affected my family because all I want to do is be home for them, but every time I am, I am of little help. I owe them so much, and both of them have been attacked by diseases they can neither prevent or control. It's awful and sad and heartbreaking. I know milestones are supposed to be positive things, but I think this year has been the hardest ever in my family. My mom is being incredibly strong and positive. I'm too afraid to hope.

WOW. This is big. Two things happened. We are now in the process of having our book published (9 Voices), finally. And we had a family reunion in West Fulton NY. All nine siblings were there as well as 27 nieces/nephews/grandkids. Amazing and super fun. Not a single fight, lots of singing and laughter!

Gran died. I'll miss her terribly, but she seemed to have had enough. I'm not sure fully how this has affected me yet but despite Gran's stoicism, I know that it has made me more aware of how cruel life can be. Especially at the end.

I don't think of birthdays as milestones, but can't think of another milestone so let me use this occasion to think about family and life. Yesterday Mom turned 70. We celebrated with an afternoon with her. Like many times this year, Shannon's absence was felt. Jamie and Susan are down in North Carolina and were not expected to come up. Usually it would be Katie, Michelle, and the kids, Shannon, and me. And this year it was one less. We got her some nice presents, and are still waiting for 4 photo canvasses to come in to give to her. So what does 70 mean? What does having Mom still with us mean? What does Shannon not being here mean? I'm thankful Mom is with us. She is certainly of an age that she could pass, and I don't think I think of that often. As Shannon neared death, and Reverend Kim came to visit us, Mom said that she was happy that her job was done - her job of taking care of Shannon. Glad because she wanted to make sure Shannon was cared for. She said she knew that us kids would take care of Shannon if Mom passed first. It was such a beautiful and heart-aching statement to make. I also reflect on where I am in life, and feel a bit untethered at this time. I know that life ebbs and flows, that one feels more grounded and less, so I do my best to be okay with it, to focus on what I want to change. But all that said - why do I feel untethered? I am a year into a relationship with a much younger guy, it being his first relationship, and I don't always know where it is at. I know he loves me deeply. I also know that a year later his parents seem to have little acceptance, and he is still not out to friends. I feel in my heart that if at 18 months he still has not changed coming out, I am going to say that I need that in a relationship (right relations with everyone in one's life) - and he needs to decide whether he's willing to risk coming out to stay with me. Whatever decision will not be the wrong one for him. The only wrong decision is for me to stay in a relationship that has such stark lines that do not nourish me and my part of the relationship.

NO major family changes. Parents and sibling still the same. The major change was with me. I am no longer a family but a single person. First year for me ever so hard to wrap my mind around.

Dad's Eightieth birthday made me appreciate him more, recognize that time flies, and that I want to take more time with him, to get to know him and value all that he is.

That we can survive a family vacation!

My parents adopted a second dog named Sophie. She has been a very fun and exciting addition to our family!

my sister's baby made me think it's possible I really could have a family of my own. it helps to have the right woman, which I think I've met as well. :)

The death of our son has changed everything. Nothing is the same or ever will be. I am less hopeful for any kind of joy or happiness in the future and I am preparing for my own demise, rushing forward faster than I ever could have imagined.

I lost my grandmother. It has made me reckon with the mortality of my parents, which is excruciating. This is called growing up.

A lovely holiday with my dad, brother and sister...at the time slightly stressful and felt a bit tense or things left unsaid, but afterwards felt good. Still the barrier with my dad and his 'partner' I embrace her into the fold more than my brother and sister, though I slightly suffer her and chats with dad are certainly different with her around. I love him and want his happiness. My sister continue to be stressed in her work and I can't and don't want to help as much as I perhaps should as I never feel quite 'good enough' and its stressful! Hubby continues to be loveable and drive me mad with his selfishness... its always about what he wants and he's uncompromising about that, I'm the giver so that can cause stress.

My father had to move into assisted living, and is getting more and more ill, we have had to face the real possibility that he may die soon.

My daughter came through a dark time and even better, came through for herself. So proud of her for owning her "stuff" and starting to consciously love herself.

Let's just say that I've come to a whole load of revelations and finally managed to open up to some people. I've realised that there;s been no reason for me to have been hiding and covering things up all these past years.

Two occurred, all having the same affect. To stop putting family on a pedestal and start seeing them as human. To stop having unrealistic expectations of family and see them as equals. To learn to let go of the past and to recognize I'm an adult and I can act that way without apologizing.

My nephew and his partner had a baby and my niece and her husband had a baby all within 3 months of each other. It is amazing how uplifting new babies can be. New hope for the future.

My son-in-law's joblessness and depression devastated my daughter, and spilled over to the entire extended family. It was touch and go for awhile with their marriage, but there seems to be less strain right now. I hope that he continues on this upward track with the new job, and that he deals with his depression. She seems to have set better boundaries with him and his family. She deserves to have an equal partner, and not someone who is bringing her down and leaving her to take care of everything.

The passing of Elizabeth's grandfather exposed me, for the first time, to a large family -- one that I am now a part of -- in mourning. (Fortunately, Nathan lived a long, productive, and, by all accounts, satisfying life, so, while sad, his death was not tragic.) I attended his funeral in Texas, sharing in the process of mourning. A week later, Elizabeth and I stood to recite the mourner's kaddish at shul, my first time doing so. While it was a halachic violation -- neither Elizabeth nor I are "close enough" relatives to warrant the kaddish (I'm not blood and she is a granddaughter) -- but she wanted to say it and wouldn't have done so if I didn't stand alongside her. This was one of those cases where I knowingly flaunted halacha because, by my reasoning, it was the right thing to do. My experience of the family's mourning was markedly different from the epiphany I had at a Passover seder some years ago (when I realized what a joy a large, messy family can be), but it was related, another reminder of the value of family and shared milestones.

The loss of my mother's youngest brother was painful, unexpected and seems to sheared off that entire part of my family. I mourn the loss of the maternal side of my family, and it made me treasure the partial reunion of the paternal side of my family this last weekend all the more.

John and I have been together 10 years. This is a huge thing for me - maybe not as much for him, but for me, it means something really important. It means that we're sticking together, even though we've had some tough times. We have a wonderful relationships and hitting this milestone really cemented that.

Introducing my family to Josh and Elijah was really major for all of us. I don't think they ever expected me to marry a divorcee who has a son. I underestimated them completely. Their love and open hearts astound me. I should really give them the benefit of the doubt more often.

My family tree lines have gotten darker. I have no grandparents and no father. They are no longer present tense they're history. What this has made me do is delve deeper into who I am, where my ancestry has come from and what family means to me.

What family? Next month marks my birthday and it the same month, three years ago that I watched die. My mother died 23 years ago. My brothers died when they were less than a year old. I live in a warm place surrounded by cold hearts.

My sister might be getting married - but purely for green card purposes (her boyfriend is from Paris). My grandfather turned 85 and I am so close to him he's just not allowed to die.

We moved. We successfully transitioned 2 kids 2 a new school. We're settling in to our new home and new life.

Oldest child started high school. Makes me realize life is moving much too quickly.

The major milestone this year was Zoe's graduation from high school... and Spencer's semester at sea and Tyler's relationship with Emily. All three are moving into adulthood in new and profound ways...my role as their mother is changing... I feel myself drawn to many creative endeavors. I long for more solitude.

A wedding. A new beginning. A new generation taking center stage, I am feeling old. I used to feel 12. Until I was 56 I felt 12. Now I feel 80.

My grandmother has been sick and her health has been deteriorating. My mother spreads herself thin taking care of and worrying about my grandmother. Despite their differences and arguments, it is nice to see how dedicated my mother is to her own mother. I hope that we can all learn to be a little more caring and appreciative of each other and the time we have together.

Grandma being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. realising that even though she's been well for so long, that she's going to change and we have to have her the best we can.

My parents and I are talking, and I don't despise their existence anymore... I still hate them, but I feel like there is more pity than anger at them. Of course, I could be entirely and completely incorrect on that assessment. But, at least we are talking and constructively so.

My grandmother died in June. As her body, and eventually her mind, deteriorated, so did her quality of life, and it got harder and harder for her and for us. I am so glad that I never let it get too hard for me. I am glad that I had moved back to the area and was there visiting every few weeks. I am glad that I was there with her, even when it was hard.

My brother got engaged to his longtime girlfriend. I'm still coming to grips with how I feel about this change in my family. Her and I have had a tricky relationship, to say the least, over the years. We've grown closer, too. But sometimes, I just cant help but hate her. At first I was upset because I had to share my family with her, because my dad afforded her similar love to mine, but I've realised now that I want her to replace me entirely. Planning for the wedding has included looking for a new home, since my brother and sister-in-law will be living at home with my parents. I say my parents because I've decided to move out as soon as possible after the wedding, or even during the move to a bigger house. I feel like that is the only way that everyone can be happy and our family can be conflict-free. I've been nothing but supportive or everyone in this family. I been resourceful for them, and all I've received in return is indignation, and disrespect. I've sacrificed my own wants and needs for this family, and not only does it fall on deaf ears and blind eyes, but I get no respect, let alone appreciation.

I moved out. Even though, I live in university owned apartments, it is still, my very own apartment. I think my parents see me as an adult, which is terrifying. I guess, the milestone that has happened, is that I stopped being a child in the eyes of my family and I have become an adult to them. I feel like this should be stressful or a lot of pressure, but it isn't. I'm confident that I am capable and I can do this and I will graduate and get a good job and continue to be a successful adult.

I'm going to be an Aunt! It's made me miss home, but be grateful for the experiences I received and continue to receive in life!

My partner and I had our first real conversation about getting married. It happened after he told me he was undocumented - he was having a breakdown, dealing with the weight of finally telling me/anyone about this, feeling afraid of losing everything... It has had a huge (positive) impact on my patience with him and why he stays at his crappy job, why we don't travel, etc.

Well, Grandma died. I just talked about that. It hurts a lot to talk about and I don't want to it again. Even to myself. In other news, our family had our first year being apart from each other, with my having spent my first full school year away from home. It makes me appreciate my family much more, now that I see them less (which I'm pretty sure is typical). It also makes me love my dog more :)

We bought our new house. So far, we're still just reeling from the whole idea of having bought it, but we seem happier to have done it. We're looking forward to the many things we will do with it over time.

My father-in-law's 90th birthday party. It was very nice for him, he got tears in his eyes when we were making spontaneous speeches about him, & the family had a good time. Managed to have a family vacation at the beach, through my son paying for it (& planning it). Happy to get the grandkids (cousins) together. Managed to have Caspian w/ us for 3 weeks, which was getting easier as time progressed, but we don't have him long enough to make any major difference in his life. major milestone already talked about in question 1- new grandchild.

Kaitie and I proclaimed we are one family. We are a gift to the world. She is my home.

My brother finally "got it" that he must take responsibility for his own life. It affects me in that he no longer relies on me to do the things he should be doing for himself.

My cousin got engaged! This is exciting because she will be the first of my cousins to get married. My sister and I will be bridesmaids . Also, my sister moved to San Francisco from Berkeley so I think I will get to see her more which is nice.

My house--my parents house--has been sold. We're about to uproot. This time my room will only be available to me for another two years or so. It is very surreal and scary to think of my options for the new house and remember that I won't be a fixture in it for long--that I am growing up, moving away, and will someday be an adult, find love, maybe have kids, and die. I don't know how this is all possible though. I still feel like such a kid sometimes.

I can't think of a specific milestone, other than our second son reaching the age of 18. We have not yet graduated him from homeschool, but are about to. He has become much more independent.

Probably the most major milestone that happened this year only happened a few days ago on September 9th. I came out to all my family and friends and told them that I preferred being male and was going to take steps forward on that path, and they could all just deal with it or leave. Surprisingly, everyone took it really well (so far). Everyone has been telling me that they're proud of me, and good for me, and they support me and such. I'm not *fully* sure what my parents think, since neither of them have written to me with more than a paragraph, but they seem to be trying to be supportive, so I'll keep my fingers crossed. I feel a lot better about my life in general. I'm able to talk to people more freely because I don't have to hide now. And I can actually start moving forward on this path, which is a huge relief. Overall, I'm very relieved and grateful. And calm. I'm glad the worst is over.

WOW! My sister went wild, disowned us. Told my mom about my tattoos. Gram died. That was horribly shitty but in the end ok. I realized how hard my heart is and maybe thats good? I dunno.

My moms death. but we were all there , together and we shared amazing moments with her until the end with my siblings and my kids and i have no regrets....all was said and done and i am at peace with her death...

Parents moved after 37 years in same house. I am happy to seem them have a new lease on life -- make new friends and take on new interests.

My paternal grandfather passed away in July. We weren't especially closeness--geographic and then mental distance kept us apart--but it made me consider my extended family and my heritage. After spending most of my life with the presence of four grandparents as a given, it was almost a surprise to realize that I just have one still alive. It makes me realize how much I cherish the different generations in my family--both much younger and much older than me--and how worth the effort it is to be involved in their lives.

I got engaged. and Pavan got married. Again, that was an amazing experience. It was great to celebrate their union, but it was also great to combine the entire family - India, Elly's, and Sara and her mom. It reminded me that we're not as alone as we (or I) thought we were in this country. It was also one of the more joyous evenings of my life. To see my dad dance - after the waiter spilled chicken juice on his new suit - with reckless abandon on teh dance floor and complete disregard for himself or those around them - made me so happy.

I think a major milestone in my family is that we are all less stressed about finances. We are all beginning to learn to be reponsible for ourselves though there is still much work to be done. Essentialy, what we have all learned to do is trust in God more. Trust that we are being guided, that we are supported adn that all will turn out for the best. Especially my mother. She has let go of a lot of anxiety; we all have really. Thank god. This has enabled me to come back to the family more and feel safer around them. I believe that I have worked hard this past year on loving myself and working on the belief that my life is a safe place for me. ITs been great.

My nephew came to visit along with my bro and his GF and I realised that my family will be fine without me. They're all doing well and they'll make it. My mother's too much of a narcissist to care too long, and really my death would be the best thing that ever happened to her, she'd have instant sympathy and compassion for the rest of her life and always be someone's center of attention, which is really all she wants. My father would get over it too, he's got other kids and frankly I can't believe that the distance I feel is one-sided, too many years of pretending to just play happy families now.

My uncle Doug died. Sad day for Omi and Dad. Good reminder to be open and vocal about my love.