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I just got this in an email today and it made me cry, because I've thought for a long time that there was nothing amazing at all about me.  It was a reminder though that I have come across many amazing people at Daily Kos in the past couple of years and I want to thank you all.

YOU AMAZE ME!

Just when I think that I can't stand another argument or pie fight, somebody here comes up with something touching and poignant and takes my breath away to remind me that we all have a value and something to offer.  That's the beauty of a community, if there is a need, there is someone to fill it and they tend to be the best person possible because they answer a call that no one else heard.

This year has been a blur to me and I'm not even talking about the damn election!  I really think this was a year for me, personally, to find myself and my calling and that means a lot to this 37 year old Democrat who had been lost in the wilderness for so long.

My life is blessed with many wonderful things, from an amazing husband who, because I ASKED, ran for State Senate.  Gary Pritchard is my best friend, my husband and the father of my child.  He's put up with my rescue dogs to my chronic health issues without blinking an eye and he really showed that he's a true gift to my life.


This is Gary and me from quite a while ago, ten years?  Who knows.  I miss that girl in her electric blue docs and thrift store sweater.  I'm finding her though and she's excited!

We celebrated 10 years of marriage this year on September 12th.  In February he signed up to run as a Democrat in our very Red County of Orange County, California.  He didn't just show up, he shined and he really proved that my belief in him was well founded.  We heard many people tell us he was a great candidate!  He is and he's a good man.  Thank you Gary for a great year.

Gary and Charlotte in one of our official campaign photos that I took at Chapman University in the City of Orange.  

I seriously don't think we could have done as well as we did without the help of this very community.  Many of you here donated time, money and your good will and it helped keep me fighting to help Gary as I struggled with my own health issues.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia this year and it ended years of not knowing.  It was a feeling of helplessness and frustration, that I was just making it all up and that it was all in my head.  It wasn't and the diagnosis freed me from some things and brought new challenges.  I've been wallowing for a bit now and have come up with my new direction.  That's just how I operate, I flounder, stew and then I come up with an answer, then there really is no stopping me.

I have decided to start my own health blog called, "Chronic Share", a place to share our stories, our pain and our experiences.  I think there is a need and part of the inspiration came from dadanation and Chronic Tonic.  Thanks to those who have helped me find a way through the last couple of months.

And then there are my Woozles, Emma and Kona.  WE adopted both these girls this year and they have been a joy to me.  We saved these lives and it meant that I had done something for someone other than MYSELF this year.

Emma

Kona

And one of the most painful parts of the year was giving up our beloved Weimaraner Sophie, who was just too much weim for us sorry Pritchards.  It was a tough choice and I got a lot of crap for it but I know we did the right thing.  Sophie is with a family that can give her the love and attention she needs being highly strung and very active.  I made the choice that I had to give something up in order to do the best thing for all.  This is one of those tough choices we all make, in one form or another.

Sophie taught me though to be more assertive and to really come to love dogs in a way I never had before.  There was absolutely NOTHING wrong with Sophie, she was exactly as she was supposed to be.  

Sophie!

Sophie destroyed our sprinkler system, our couches, drywall and a host of other things in our home and we never got angry at her, she was in need of more attention and more activities.

Her new home, a happy girl!

So my year was all about change, all about taking action and all about being the change I wanted to see.  I think many of us here had these kind of revelations, in private and in public.  Diaries and comments have been the journey we've shared and I've been so happy to join you for the ride.

Of course the most important person for me to mention is my Charlotte.  She had a big year, she went to kindergarten and she grew up a great deal.  My girl is funny, bright and gorgeous and I'm so proud to know her.  Thank you Charlotte!

Charlotte

Thanksgiving Charlotte

And some famous Charlotte Quotes:

"Cows don't have penises"
"Mom, if you don't want to have more babies, you can get fixed!"
"Mommy, even though I was naughty, Santa brought be presents!"
"Hands up Princess!"

And what did she do one night when she didn't want to go to bed?  She took her fake princess cell phone and told me she was going to call the Police!  And she proceeded do "dial" 911.  She still had to go to bed.

And last but not least, I want to personally thank so many people here who helped our campaign and my blogging.  If I don't mention you, please comment and I will add you. And yes, if you are on the list, you do have an obligation to recommend this diary.  There are so many.  In no particular order!

Predictor
jnhobbs
eguene
planetclaire4
Chacounne
poligirl
Joyful
shayera
Pam from Calif
SallyCat
joeesha
CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream
homogenius
roses
AndyS In Colorado
DizzyQueen
possum
gildareed
crazyshirley2100
psychodrew
priceman
jlms qkw
watercarrier4diogenes
grannyhelen
churchylafemme
benny05
Something the Dog Said
Black Leather Rain
browneyes
joustchr
wader
webranding
a girl in MI
taylormattd
Archangel
o the umanity
earicicle
MsGrin
chicago minx
BruinKid
NeuvoLiberal
clammyc
noweasels
begone
Ekaterin
AmericanRiverCanyon
NCDem Amy
FischFry
Newzie
TomP
eliseyted
GlowNZ
limpidglass
JedReport
RDemocrat
CA Libertarian
tsunami
lpeacock
Guadalupe59
psilocynic
Scubaval
ZhenRen
snackdoodle
Meteor Blades
desmoinesdem
blue jersey mom
A Siegel
BFSkinner
triciawyse
The Bagof Health and Politics
snackdoodle
smartdemmg
scribe
boatsie
UnaSpenser
triv33
anotherCt Dem
sarahlane

And any who rec'd, My Space?  I think not., my biggest diary, I think anyway.  Thanks for listening.  I never take a trip to the Recommend list for granted.

And the best gift ever?  Not only did our Dem win (Yes, this is the story of the year but I am quite sure there will be plenty of diaries and have been plenty of diaries on the election of Barack Obama, we got a wonderful new progressive voice on the MSM, THE MSM.  Rachel Maddow, my hero!

My "moment of Zen" for 2008!

MAJOR CORRECTION - Gary Kephart should be at the top of the list.  Not only did he walk tirelessly with Gary for weekends on end, he donated to our campaign and ran for a non-partisan seat on our local water board.  Gary is host to a local Drinking Liberally and President of the Canyon Democrats Club.  HE IS A TREASURE to the OC Democratic Cause!

Originally posted to Ellinorianne on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 12:15 PM PST.

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