8 Months and Counting

Last Saturday was a good day.  It is easy to get caught up in the speed of life and forget to acknowledge the simple fact that a day was good, so I find it worth repeating:  it was a good day.

The day began at the kids’ high school for their intrasquad scrimmage:

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SonShine carrying the ball after a reception on O…

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…and getting to the play on D.

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My big-bowed Angel Girl and her sweet big sis…

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…earning donations to take them to nationals.

Athletics gets its fair share of criticism, and sometimes rightfully so, but I truly adore watching my kids perform.  They are both extremely hard workers with huge hearts and each possess a grand love for what they do.  Neither is a star or stud, but they both bring a lot to the field and to their team.  They both have good moments and tough struggles. They both have victories and defeats – and not just on the scoreboard or podium, but on a daily basis with good catches and frustrating drops, stunts that stick and pyramids that fall, and the natural goods and bads, ups and downs of life.  I like that competition and sports are helping me (and Coach) teach these essential lessons day in and day out.

While their scrimmage was going on in Midtown, Coach’s first scrimmage of fall camp was happening on campus.  It’s amazing what a man on a mission can accomplish in a short amount of time. Coach knows his heart and when he goes after something he goes with passion and precision and people. That probably reads funny, but it is totally true: Coach is a “people person” who never meets a stranger.  He is easy to love, and people respond to and migrate to him naturally. I think it is because he is genuine; he genuinely loves boldly. He’s honest and affectionate, he’s down to earth and more than a little bit country, he’s intense yet patient.  He is who he is, and because that is easy to recognize and admire, it doesn’t take long to love this guy.

Take me for instance…

April 21, 1995:  We met… December 21, 1995:  We married.

P and A wedding photoEight months to the day.

The faithful Golden Hurricane have fallen for him just as quickly…

December 15, 2014: Coach is officially announced as the 29th head football coach at the University of Tulsa:

IMG_0608August 15, 2015:  Fan Appreciation Day.  Eight months to the day.

I was overwhelmed with the crowd on Saturday!  So many people came out to support Coach and his guys that the line to meet the players was the entire length of the concourse, several people wide, and all the way out to the gate.

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For the fans, it is great fun to visit with the players for a minute, pick up a schedule poster, and gather autographs.  For Coach and the guys, those fan interactions are priceless.  Of course they have a deep love for the game and are highly, highly motivated by their own goals and team accomplishments, but those smiles and high 5’s are the sweetest icing on a heavenly cake.  Seeing the joy and laughter on Coach’s face and on all his players brings a warmth to my heart (and a tear to my eye).  For the Montgomery’s football really is family, and it was a really good day.

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But the day was not yet done.  In fact, our football family is expanding.  Our DFO and his precious wife are adding to our crew in Week 1, so we showered them with diapers, wipes, cream, and powder while enjoying a fajita feast with all the staff and their families.  It completed my day perfectly, hearing giggles and stories and seeing first hand how in these 8 months, we have come to care for each other, to look out for each other, and to be there for each other.  It was a really, really good day.

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But don’t forget, we’re still counting.  Coach and the guys have a couple of weeks left to finish up fall camp.  And then, on September 5th, after months of endless meetings, days and days of film, miles and miles and miles of practice reps, and more preparation than you can shake a stick at, the real fun begins.  There is a lot planned for the season opener, and it’s going to be a blast!  Coach has ordered WHITEOUT conditions at H.A. Chapman Stadium as the 2:30 kickoff promises to be hot and sunny, there will be Hurricane Flags for the first 5000, and tailgating will be in full effect with games and inflatables for the little kids and a Lexus giveaway for the big kids.  Honestly, I can not wait!

We hope to see you there 😉

With love and hugs,

Ashli

#ReignCane

Me and Coach  #ReignCane

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