Happy Birthday, Coach!

In just one week, this precious boy turns 47…

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On that same day, these two youngsters mark 23 years of marriage…

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To say that we are blessed is such an understatement, it’s truly laughable; we have more than we could ever want nor ever need!!

So what do you get a guy who has it all…perfect wife (Don’t tell him I said that!), utterly amazing kids, the most fun career, and a wealth of totally incredible friends and family??

Clothes and shoes come with the job.  Electronics and toys aren’t really his thing.  Gadgets and gizmos?  Those are definitely out!

In the end, there is only way I can think of to celebrate his very special day:

An end to Alzheimer’s.

If I could give him that today, I would in a heartbeat. I can hardly imagine his joy to hear Nana say his name just one more time.

Sadly, I can’t even guarantee him that gift next Friday.

But I – no, WE – can make strides and take steps towards him receiving that unbelievable gift in the future.

So, for Coach’s birthday – and our anniversary – I’m honoring him with a donation to his #Walk2ENDALZ participant page: http://act.alz.org/goto/CoachMonty

“Birthday-fundraising-in-lieu-of-gifts-and-cards” is all the rage these days, so I have also set up a link on Facebook in hopes that if you’d like to honor Philip in some small way, you will join me:

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Your love and generosity will be on his mind when he blows out the candles on December 21st, and your support will make for one “helluva” great wish come true!

Thanks for celebrating with us!!

Love and hugs,
Ashli

 

 

Still Trying

I’m not going to lie, this one is going to be tough to write.

But if it reaches even one person, then it will have been worth writing.

Next week, author Lisa Genova will be in Tulsa to speak at two events: at the 5th annual AWARE (Alliance of Women for Alzheimer’s Research and Education) Luncheon and as a guest of Tulsa Town Hall. I am elated that I have the opportunity to attend both.

She wrote a book called Still Alice. It’s a beautiful, albeit heartbreaking, story. It’s one I’ve had on my bookshelf for some time now, but it’s one that I put off reading time and again because I knew it, too, would be tough to get through.

The story is about a highly capable, wonderfully strong, and incredibly smart woman who is diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease just as she turns 50. And although the book is fiction, Genova’s research and explanations of a most horrific process are spot on and 100% true.

I’m not ignorant of the phases of Alzheimer’s. In fact, I thrive on educating others about the disease, the key signs to watch for, how to understand the disease, and most importantly, what we as a country can do to fight it.

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Tulsa #Walk2ENDALZ, September 2018

When I give public speeches about Alzheimer’s Disease, I always share my story and my multiple connections with it, and I give my why:

I lost my Grandma Syble to Alzheimer’s just as Philip lost his grandmother to it, and now we are watching his mom, Sandra, suffer and decline from it as well. I am raising awareness and advocating to end ALZ so that my children will know a world without Alzheimer’s.

Doesn’t that sound good? It’s well-rehearsed, very open, completely honest, and straight from the heart.

Here’s the truth.

Here is what reading (and watching the movie based on the book) Still Alice revealed to me…

My why is much, much more selfish than I realized.

The real reason I have to stop this disease is actually all about me.

That doesn’t make me proud.

But at the heart of the matter, I am scared to death of this disease. I am more afraid of an ALZ diagnosis than any other health concern that I can imagine. And I have tried. I’ve thought through them, I’ve Googled, I’ve researched, and I’ve tried to imagine. But Alzheimer’s Disease is still at the top of my fear list. I live in absolute terror that one day I will begin to recognize those 10 signs that I teach others to watch for in their loved ones.

I can’t get this disease. I can’t handle it. I just can’t endure what it does.

And I don’t mean what it will do to me. I mean what will happen because of me.

It’s what it will do to Philip. And what I can’t put him through. Again.

At the back of the book, in the author’s notes, Lisa Genova says that she wrote the story from Alice’s perspective because she felt it was important to keep the focus on her as the person diagnosed and living with EOAD. But as I read, and as I watched, what kept initiating wave after wave of body-wracking sobs was what the diagnosis, the process, and the prognosis were doing to Alice’s husband, John, and the world they had spent their lives building. Together.

Like I said, this story is fiction, but it is 100% real.

All I could see was what my getting this disease would do to my Coach – the heart-racing, butterfly-inducing, ultimate love of my life.

He witnessed it as a child watching his grandmother deteriorate and die. He lives it every day as a caregiver to his mom who was his true first love.

I simply can’t put him through it again.

He’s a provider and a protector.

He takes care of me; he takes care of everyone.

He’s not perfect. And neither am I. But we are perfect for one another, and together we have a life that is better than a dream come true and a love that is more powerful than a fairytale. I’m not sufficiently gifted with words to adequately explain it, but we feel it.

We couldn’t function without the other; it’s just the way we are.

If I could no longer be his Ashli, the impatient, over-zealous, jumps-to-conclusions, never-finishes-a-project, loves-too-big, talks-too-loud, over-committing, bulldozing, smart but silly, capable but dependent, creative, crafty, book and numbers nerd that he fell in love with, it would devastate and destroy us both. It certainly would not be my fault, but I would be ruining what we have built together. And I think that would break me, actually shatter me into pieces too small to salvage.

I would tell him to go on with his life, his calling, and his ambitions. But he wouldn’t. His character would not allow for a choice in the matter. So, I – through the disease – would be killing us both.

I can’t do that. I just can’t.

So, although most days I don’t feel as though I make much of a difference, I am still trying.

The more we do at the grass-roots level, the more volume we give to our collective voice. As our voice grows, attention is garnered and awareness is raised. It becomes a priority for more people, so the government becomes interested. That’s when the ball really gets rolling.

The government then invests in the research that is showing promise. The projects that were started with grants and gifts can now be funded on a grander scale by the NIH. Without the financial support at the entry level (which often comes from the Alzheimer’s Association), those trials don’t get off the ground. In other words, we MUST raise funds at the local level to promote new ideas for attacking this disease so that we can find a way to treat – and someday cure – ALZ.

If you’ve already given to my 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraising campaign, THANK YOU! I appreciate you so very much!!

Which makes this especially hard to ask, but would you be able to do just a little more? Another $5, $10, or $20?

If you haven’t had an opportunity yet to donate, will you please do a little something now?

I have until December 31st to raise funds for this year, and then, yes, I’ll start asking again for next. It’s excruciatingly difficult for me to continually ask for money, but reading and watching Still Alice, reaffirms for me and honestly depicts the impact we can make through support of the Alzheimer’s Association. I am truly honored to be part of an organization that helped make the book publication, the movie production, and the sharing of accurate information possible.

If you haven’t made it through Still Alice yet, grab some more tissues and keep at it.

It’s tough, but it’s worth it.

Just like we are…tough, but worth it.

So, we’ll keep walking, keep talking, keep raising, and keep trying to #ENDALZ.

With love and hugs,
Ashli

Me and Coach…

 

My New Favorite Book

I wasn’t always slated for Alzheimer’s advocacy.

In fact, back in 2008 – after watching a CSI: New York marathon on TV…for ten school days straight…and doing very, very little else – I went back to school for my master’s degree.

In 2010, I graduated from the University of North Texas with a Master of Science in Information Sciences (a.k.a., a librarian’s degree) with graduate certificates in Youth Librarianship and Storytelling.

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I chose these areas of study because I wanted to gain some expertise in something I love.

You see, I knew that Coach hoped to someday be a head football coach at the college level which provides a small, yet potentially impactful platform to create positive change in the team’s community.  And then, when I looked inside my heart and my pretend crystal ball, I saw a deep passion for children and an obsessive love for reading.

Since that decision, Alzheimer’s Disease has attacked our family.  Because we refuse to go down quietly, my public platform has taken on a life of its own.

Don’t get me wrong…I’m happy and proud and honored to shout “WE ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY MUST END ALZHEIMER’S” from the rooftops every singe day.  You see, me and Coach, we are determined to help create a world without this horrific disease.

But I do still love children, I do still read obsessively, and putting it all together, I do still adore children’s books!!

Today, at Reasor’s (the Oklahoma version of HEB for all my Texas peeps), I bought my new favorite book:

Daisy-Head Mayzie by Dr. Seuss

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The title and it’s similarity to my Angel Girl, Maci, grabbed my attention.  On top of that, I could not understand how I have never heard of this Dr. Seuss tale.  Obviously, I had to have it.

And now I love it!

The story is precious, about a beautiful little girl who discovers something different about herself, has to deal with the fallout when everyone panics over her being different, and then realizes that she’s lovable and valued and proud to be herself [and grow daisies on her head] after all.

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But the main reason that it’s my new favorite is because just before bed my Coach and my Angel Girl stood by my side and looked over my shoulder while I read this book aloud to them.  No phones in the room to distract, no TV’s with which to compete, just the three of us standing in the kitchen while I read Dr. Seuss out loud.

For me, that was a perfect moment.

The icing on the cake is the historical information about Mayzie and Dr. Seuss at the end of the book…which explains why I had not ever heard of this treasure.

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The sprinkles on top of the icing on top of the cake?  I get to read it all over again.

To my SonShine!

The next time he is home 🙂

Yes, he is now 20 years old.

Yes, he’s a big, strong, rough and tough football player.

Yes, he’s an uber-busy college student.

But he’s listened to me read 100’s of books out loud, and he’s a good sport, and he’s the world’s best son, so I know – just as Coach and Angel Girl did tonight – he will indulge me with this one: my new favorite book!

Love and hugs,

Ashli

*  PS: please click here if you would like to support my efforts to #END ALZ –

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  A.

A Decrease in “I” and “Me”

This year I am serving as President for the National Charity League, Inc. Tulsa Midtown Chapter (an incredible mother-daughter organization that has blessed both my Angel Girl and myself tremendously!).

Being the obsessive reader that I am, I decided to create a “One Board, One Book” study for my executive officers to read together, one chapter at a time over the summer and fall. The book I chose is Daring Greatly by Brene’ Brown.

It is a phenomenal book, and so far my greatest challenges to reading it have been 1.) to NOT highlight nor underline every single word, and 2.) to read only the chapter assigned when I really, really want to buzz right through to the end.

This month we are reading Chapter 1, ‘Scarcity: Looking Inside Our Culture of “Never Enough”‘ which oddly enough goes hand-in-hand with the fictional story I read yesterday by Cecelia AhernThe Book of Tomorrow.

If you’ve read or watched PS, I Love You, then you are familiar with this adorable and uber-talented writer and her skill for engaging and not letting go until the final page. (I also LOVE If You Could See Me Now!!)

The Book of Tomorrow is about Tamara, a teenager who can best be illustrated by Brene’ Brown’s description of how many young people are perceived today:

  • Always me, me, me
  • Thinks she’s better than everyone and is always putting other people down
  • Self-absorbed, grandiose…only interested in power, success, beauty, and being special
  • So entitled that [she believes] that [she’s] superior even when [she’s] not really contributing or achieving anything of value

But as Ms. Brown goes on to explain in Chapter 1, Tamara is acting out against the world for much more heartbreaking reasons that are “underpinned by shame.”

Brene’ cautions against diagnosing and labeling “narcissism” as such behavior on our part is “normally served with a side of contempt, anger, and judgement.”  And she reminds us that “we don’t ‘fix it’ by cutting people down to size and reminding folks of their inadequacies and smallness.”

This part of the book immediately brought to mind how Coach – the most patient human I know – is always coaching with love, respect, and encouragement.  Whereas I am wayyyy too quick to form an opinion (i.e., judge others), he is a great listener, and his delay in assuming things about people allows him to see through the insecurities and vulnerabilities that they are carrying around with them.  He is able to see the world through different eyes and from varied viewpoints, empathize, and show compassion for past experiences and challenges which opens the door to the best relationships.

Luckily, Tamara has her own Coach in Sister Ignatius, someone who sees past her defenses and hatred, someone patient and compassionate to give her time and space to grow.  And within that growth, Tamara naturally develops a decrease in “I” and “me” while learning that her actions and behavior do have consequences:

“…it obviously depended on how I lived the day when I awoke. The future hadn’t been written yet. It was still in my hands.”

I could go on and on (you probably feel as though I already have), but I’ll stop so that you can enjoy both books for yourself.  Just know that when you get to page 25 of Daring Greatly, I have personally felt each and every “Never Enough” tape listed as well as many, many more, so if you, too, feel like Brene’ Brown is speaking directly to you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

With love and hugs,

Ashli

PS: I have to share this pic…it’s a beautiful mom and her precious daughter also reading by the pool yesterday, together and without an electronic device in sight.  It warmed my heart tremendously ❤

Spring Break 2018

Spring Break 2018 was truly a great one!

Me and Coach and the kids enjoyed a positively perfect week of relaxing family time…

We made it to Spring Training for our Houston Astros:

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We spent some quality time on the beach, which included reading:

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And practicing a little yoga:

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And, of course, playing some catch:

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We didn’t set a morning alarm for 5 straight days, and we spent the evenings playing cards, enjoying movies, and simply slowing down for a few minutes to take a deep breath and enjoy being together as a family.

Meanwhile, the Alzheimer’s Association was having quite a week itself, both in Washington as well as in Oklahoma…

  • Oklahoma HJR 2014, a resolution presented to the House by Representative Cyndi Munson and to the Senate by Senator Ervin Yen​ was passed by both the Oklahoma House and Senate declaring Alzheimer’s a Public Health Crisis in Oklahoma.  This may seem like a small step, but in actuality it’s a big leap in the right direction!
  • Oklahoma HB 2514 has been approved by the Floor Leader, Senator Greg Treat, to move to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee for consideration. This is the bill that I was advocating to get passed when I spent a day at the capital in OKC.  That day we witnessed government in action as Representative Cyndi Munson and Senator Ervin Yen introduced the bill, and it passed the House vote with flying colors.  Now it will move to committee and from there to the state Senate for final vote…#VoteYESonHB2514

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  • On Tuesday, March 20th, the Alzheimer’s Association released their 2018 Facts and Figures.  This annual report is an update on where we stand in fighting this disease, and while the death toll and diagnosis rates have only gone up, knowledge is power; therefore, it is critically important that we read, understand, and share all we know…#Every65Seconds.
  • On Wednesday, March 21st, the U.S. Congress, in its final appropriations negotiations for fiscal year 2018, included a $414 million increase for Alzheimer’s and dementia research in its spending plan for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and today, Friday, March 23rd, it was finalized and signed into law.  Oklahomans should be very proud of Representative Tom Cole who is a major voice on our behalf, one of our very best national advocates to #endALZ, and a driving force behind this historic budget victory.  This brings annual research funding to $1.8 billion which is knocking on the door of the $2 billion per year that scientists have said is necessary to eliminate this disease.  Please, please take 30 seconds to thank your congressional representatives for supporting this critical funding bill:  Click here to send an email of thanks.
  • Last – but certainly not least – the Alzheimer’s Association is very excited to announce that another one of our priorities — Kevin and Avonte’s Law — has been signed into law. Kevin and Avonte’s Law reauthorizes the Missing Americans Alert Program to help local law enforcement officials quickly identify people with Alzheimer’s who wander and reunite them with their families.

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If you are already receiving Alzheimer’s updates and information, I am sure you’ve been grinning at your inbox just like I have this week.  If you aren’t getting the updates, please join AIM, the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement.  It involves only a $20 annual membership fee, and we need you as a member.  The greater the number who join, the clearer the message to Congress that America deserves and demands that we as a nation properly care for those living with Alzheimer’s, that we actively support their caregivers, and that we make finding treatments and then a cure a top priority.

Well, friends, I will step off my soapbox and leave you with my heartfelt hope that you, too, have had a fabulous Spring Break 2018…and maybe a few ocean outtakes 😉

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Love and hugs,

Ashli

My Home

The Montgomery crew just completed two consecutive weeks of Homecoming…the first at Angel Girl’s high school, the second at TU.

Let it be known: I LOVE HOMECOMING!!

Here is a selection of (BIG and BEAUTIFUL) mums that I have made over the years:

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Clara Belle, Uncle Shaun, and Miss K (who was crazy enough to grow up to be a [strong and amazing] football coach’s wife!)…Stephenville High School, 1996.

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Angel Girl, Bruceville-Eddy High School, 2009.

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For SonShine’s date, China Spring High School, 2012.

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We don’t leave out the boys, either…a garter for Angel Girl’s date, also 2012.

I LOVE MAKING MUMS!!

Here are a few homecoming goodie bags from over the years:

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2012

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2014

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2015

I LOVE CREATING GOODIE BAGS!!

Here are my babies attending homecoming dances:

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Angel Girl, Freshman Year, 2015.

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The gorgeous Miss C with SonShine, Junior Year, 2015.

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Two very good looking kiddos, Sophomore and Senior Years, 2016.

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Sweet B and my Angel Girl, Junior Year, 2017.

I LOVE MY BABIES!!

Here are some of my favorite homecoming victories:

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2013

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2014

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2016

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2017

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Yesterday!

I LOVE VICTORIES!!

And parades 🙂

This year I was honored to close out TU’s homecoming festivities with a session of “recovery” Yoga With Momma Monty on the football field.  Today was a perfect, crisp, sunny morning.  There was a crew cleaning the stands from yesterday’s game, a few folks were running bleachers, and a handful of alumni/employees came to practice with me.  It was both energized and peaceful in the same moment.

By definition, “yoga” means “calming the fluctuations of the mind.”  I find that incredibly valuable in a world that is overfilled with electronics, displays, beeps, words, sounds, music, lights, and stimuli in every shape and form.  Developing the ability to calm the mind is life-changing because it filters out the noise of life and refocuses on the right now.

This moment is the most important.  And once you let this moment pass, it will never be revisited nor regained.  Therefore, living in this moment, thinking in this moment, and loving in this moment is more important than I know how to explain or describe…so just trust me: it is!

Loving this moment, this place, and this life is my idea of being HOME.

When Coach asked me to marry him, when he asked me to be a coach’s wife, he said we might move around, he said we will experience be both adoration and hatred (often by the same people from week to week), and he said it would be tough at times.

He also said that as long we were together, it would be beautiful, rewarding, and fulfilling life work. TOGETHER.

When we chose to start a family, we reiterated our motto: as long as our children are safe, we can go anywhere, and together we will thrive.

We’ve embraced that mindset for 23 seasons now.

Coach is my home.

He is my shelter, he is my safe place, and he is my strength.

You can love him or detest him.  You can praise him or slander him.  You can support him, or you can choose to not.  But you – not anyone – can ever diminish him or cause me to doubt him.  Yes, he’s a brilliant, incredible football mind.  But even more so, he is patient, and he is kind.  He is emotional and loves big, in a whole-hearted kind of a way.  He is the epitome of a wonderful provider, the definition of a family leader.  He takes care of me, and he takes care of our family; he takes care of everyone in his world.  He supports me and all my crazy ideas and projects and aspirations.  He believes in me when often I don’t even believe in myself.

We love each other deeply and with great intention.

Yes, Coach is most certainly my home.

Which means that our kiddos are my decorations.  They make my life pretty!  They add sparkle and excitement and fun and flair.  They are joyful and funny, sweet and smart, fragile and strong, sturdy and delicate, rustic and elegant.  They are go-with-the-flow, low-maintenance, and easy-casual. They are high-end and high quality.  They are absolutely priceless.  They are the most blessed bonus of this life and the sweetest of icing on my cake!

Wherever are those three, my heart and my home will also be.

So, that’s my idea of home (as well as a photographic display of why I find homecoming so very fun).  I hope your home – not the walls and floors and ceilings and windows around you, but the people who create the foundation for your life…I hope they know that they are your home, just as I hope that Coach, and our SonShine and Angel Girl, know that they are mine.

One last thing to share…I’ve never done this so I hope it works.  I use Spotify to create my yoga playlists, and today’s Homecoming Yoga list turned out really well (if I do say so myself), so here it is:  YWMM – Home

Have fun listening, and have a wonderful week ahead 🙂

With love and hugs,

Ashli

PS:  We have also dealt with our share of homecoming defeats.  Of course, no season is rainbows and butterflies 24/7…

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2016, 43-7 Homecoming loss to Oologah.

But one needn’t question our resolve; our love never waivers.

Struggle brings this family closer; we find ways to build one another up.  And win or lose, I could not love my Coach and my kids – my life, my love, and my home – any more fervently, any more devotedly, nor any more passionately than I do right now, in THIS moment.

xoxox,

A.

ONE DAY

ONE DAY.jpgTomorrow is the day!

You’ve watched/read/listened to me talk about this Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer’s for months now, and the big day has finally arrived.

Here is what you need to know:

  • 7:30 am – Arrive at TU for the pre-Walk festivities such as a live DJ, face painting, photo booths, bead contest, inflatables, balloon artist, games, and much more.  The party is happening on Dietler Commons which is directly west of McFarlin Library at 6th Street and Delaware:image1.jpeg
  • Parking – no college campus in America has fabulous parking…this is what I recommend…
    • If you are a TU football regular (THANK YOU!!), just park where you always do for games.  By the time the Walk is over, game traffic will be heavy, and this way you are already settled in your normal spot using your normal pass or permit.
    • UBER/LYFT
    • Keplinger/Law Lot at Harvard and 4th Place will become a cash lot three hours before kickoff, but Walkers will beat the money-collector, so it’ll be free for those arriving before 9:30 am.
    • Public Lot at Harvard and between 4th Place and 3rd Street is a TU-owned lot that is used for game day traffic and open to Walk participants at no charge.
    • Prosperity Bank at 1330 S. Harvard has donated their entire lot for Walk participants.  The Alzheimer’s Association has partnered with several senior living facilities to provide shuttles from here to campus.  Of course, one can always use the 2 blocks to campus as a nice “warm up” for the walk 😉
    • Wherever one can find a spot that does not have a posted “NO PARKING” sign in front of it is fair game.  (Hey, I said upfront, “No college in America has fabulous parking.”)
  • 8:45 am – Finish up your bead collecting and photo taking and make your way in front of the stage for the event program with my beautiful friend and our special guest emcee Neile Jones from KTUL Channel 8.
  • 9 am – Fall in to start the Walk, and be sure to SMILE!  A friend of TU has offered to take drone photos for us, and they are going to be AWESOME!!  The first jaunt of the Walk will be to circle Dietler Commons so that we fill in the entire perimeter of the Old U with purple advocates to END ALZ.  At that moment, 6 lucky volunteers will hold up huge signs that spell out E – N – D – A – L – Z for the perfect ariel pic.  This was dreamed up by yours truly, and I am totally fired up to see it in living color!
  • 10 am(ish) – After crossing the Finish Line at the Kendall Bell in Bayless Plaza, keep walking over to Chapman Commons, AKA: the New U, to relax at the ALZ tent, and enjoy live music, another set of inflatables, more games, more food, and more fun!
    • PS: Food trucks are available in the VIP Lot just east of the New U (right between Chapman Commons and Chapman Stadium) in case you’re ready for some brunch, lunch, or a cold beverage.
  • noon – Gather up your goodies, find a can for your trash, and get your crew on into Chapman Stadium for Coach’s 3rd Annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Game vs. New Mexico.
    • Stop by the Alzheimer’s Association table just inside Gate 2 to enter a raffle for an autographed TU football helmet as well as 6 tickets (and a parking pass) to next weeks game vs Navy.
    • When on defense, make all the noise you possibly can.  Stomp, scream, clap, and holler…whatever it takes!  We want to annoy, beleaguer, and bedevil the opposing team’s offense as much as possible.
    • When on offense, wave your flag.  These are available for game use [for free], so pick one up on your way into the stadium, and wave it big so that our boys feel our energy while still hearing their own cadence and count.
    • “Reign Cane” on our 1st Downs!  Listen for the announcer to call out each “Golden Hurricane First Down” and answer with a loud and resounding “REIGN CANE”  and be sure to get your entire section shouting with you!
    • Stand and stay.  Yes, stand up throughout the entire game…it’s ok if the person behind you can’t see because they need to stand up as well 🙂  And please, please, pleeeeeeaseeeee stay until the end!  Regardless of the score, I can promise you that your Golden Hurricane football team, coaches, trainers, cheerleaders, band members, and the myriad of behind-the-scenes workers have put every bit of their heart into this endeavor, and they absolutely love seeing and thanking the fans after the game.  They are wonderful about signing autographs, posing for pictures, and giving hugs and high fives, so please stick around and let them know you were here today!
  • 5 o’clock…or so – Plop down on your couch, put up your feet, find a few more CFB games on TV to enjoy because you’ve earned it.  Just be sure to make plans to be back at TU next Saturday, September 30th to do it all over again against Navy.

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ONE DAY…

One day is enough time to register and make plans to participate in this year’s Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer’s if you have not yet done so.

One day will have us knocking on the door of our $1 Million fundraising goal; please consider donating here if you have not already, and if you have: THANK YOU!

One day we will have the money allocated to research this disease at a national global level that will produce viable treatment options.

One day I will see my Grandma Syble again.

One day we will have a first survivor.

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Thanks for sticking with me throughout this 8 month journey, and thank you for helping me Walk to end ALZ!

Love and hugs,

Ashli

I hate $

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It’s true…

I hate thinking about money.  I hate worrying about money.  I hate trying to raise money.

The first thing I say anytime someone asks me to help out with a fundraiser is that “I won’t do it…you can’t make me…because I hate money!”

But — ah, yes, the infamous BUT — in the 8 months since Coach and I signed on to chair this Walk to End Alzheimer’s, I have become determined to reach the $1 Million mark in gifts and donations to help create a world without Alzheimer’s Disease.

Maybe it’s my competitive nature.  Maybe it’s the better understanding that I’ve gained of this universally fatal condition.  Maybe it’s the fact that without these Walks all across America, we don’t stand a chance at generating the conversations, momentum, nor money required to even enter the ring to attempt to fight this thing.  I honestly don’t know what has me so fired up…I just know that I am!

I also know that we are still $350,000 short, and I have only 10 days to find a way to make this thing happen.

As you probably got sick of hearing last week, Coach and I challenged the world-at-large to donate $10,000 to our Tulsa Walk.  If they did, we would match that $10,000.  Well, the world came through in a huge way…over the course of the week our progress bar moved up more than $100,000!!

Wow!!

And THANK YOU to every single person who heard our plea and answered our cry!

We were blown away by the success, and this evening I very happily donated our $10,000 gift.

I decided to spread our gift out among our TEAM SANDRA JEAN walkers as well as our TU teams.  I am overwhelmed, deeply touched, and truly astonished by how many of our Golden Hurricane family have created teams to support an end to Alzheimer’s.

In case you haven’t found a team to whom you feel connected and want to support, I have compiled below a sprinkling of your many, many options, and if you still cannot find a place to put your donation, click here to browse the rest of our Tulsa Walk teams.  You are sure to know at least one – and probably several – that will welcome your support.  Without a doubt, we all appreciate every single gift, regardless of size!

Please don’t give up.  I certainly am not!  I truly believe that we can surpass our goal, even at $5 a gift, and we will reach that $1 Million mark over the next 10 days.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking this step to tackle Alzheimer’s with me and Coach!

With love and hugs,

Ashli

Our University of Tulsa Walk Teams:

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Day 18

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It is said that “sharing is caring” but I believe that to be backwards…I believe that caring about something means that you share it with others.

If you have a phenomenal dinner out, you can’t wait to tell your friends to go there, too.

If you get the best haircut (and color, of course!), you give your stylist’s info to all your friends so they can feel fabulous as well.

And if you feel called to help further a cause, a positive, uplifting, hope-building cause, you share that opportunity with the world so that they, too, may be positive, uplifting, and hope-building.  After all, the reward of gifting is in the giving!

It’s Day 2 of the Montgomery Family $10,000 Challenge, and we are on Day 18 of our Countdown to the Walk to End ALZ here in Tulsa.  Coach and I have pledged to match $10,000 in Walk donations that are given this week.  We started our campaign yesterday, which just happened to be Nana’s birthday (THE Sandra Jean for whom our family walks), and it ends on Sunday which just happens to be Grandparents Day.

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To help us reach our $10,000 goal, please take a moment today to share your Walk Page on social media:

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Your Walk Participant Center has all the tools you need, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me; I’d love to help!

If you are not a Walk Participant but would still like to help, please consider supporting our family and Team Sandra Jean by clicking one of these links to our family’s donation pages:

Coach

Me

SonShine

Angel Girl

Thank you for caring!

And thank you for sharing!!

With love and hugs,

Ashli

Counting down…Day 25

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A few days ago, I asked you to think about an event to kickoff and build your Walk to End Alzheimer’s efforts: DAY 30

Then, I asked you confirm your registration for the event: DAY 29

Next, I asked you to invest a small donation in yourself: DAY 28

For DAY 27, I gave you a break.

Yesterday, I asked you to “buy the shirt” to help make a grand statement: DAY 26

Today, I am going to give you a gift…a trick, really.  THE trick, actually!

Here it is:

  • Copy/Paste/Edit this message:
    • Dear Friends and Family,

      As many of you know, Philip and I are actively advocating for a world without Alzheimer’s Disease.  Our goal is in line with the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act: to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s Disease by 2025.

      As we approach the 2017 Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer’s® at The University of Tulsa on September 23rd, I am reaching out to my entire contact list to provide an opportunity to donate in support of our efforts to End ALZ.  For all those who have previously donated, thank you, thank you, thank you!  Philip and I are encouraged by you, and we truly appreciate your consideration and contributions.

      For those who have not yet had a chance to do so, here is a simple link that makes it very easy to donate through our team:  http://act.alz.org/goto/MommaMonty

      Please consider contributing what feels right as every bit is a tremendous help.  I hope you will consider a gift today.

       With love and hugs,

      Ashli Montgomery

       

    • BE SURE TO UPDATE THE DONATION LINK TO REACH YOUR PAGE INSTEAD OF MINE.  (Otherwise, I will get all of your gifts.) This is found in your Participant Center at TulsaWalk.org under the “Edit Your Page” button.
  • Email it to 25 people in your computer’s contact list.
  • Be sure to thank everyone who responds.

If only a few of those you email click the link and support you with as little as $10, you will reach your first goal of $100 in no time at all.  I’ve done most of the work for you, so it only takes about 5 minutes of your day to update the message and hit <send> to reach a large group of Internet contacts.

It takes even less time for those who respond.

Most people will ignore you, and that it just fine.  By simply sharing the email, you’ve help build awareness of our fight to end ALZ.  And the few who do respond will make your day!!

With love and hugs,

Ashli

PS:  You can send up to 50 emails at a time without SPAM filters grabbing your message, so feel free to send many more than the 25 I’ve challenged you to do today 🙂

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Here is a screenshot of my actual email, just FYI…and happy mailing!