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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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 Рmy life, my love, and my home Рany 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 ūüėČ
    • 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 ūüôā ¬†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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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‚Äôs¬ģ¬†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 ūüôā

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

Been There, Done That

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As a child of the 80’s and early 90’s, I have truly lived the idiom, “Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.” ¬†In fact, I love collecting event t-shirts! ¬†I have no problem wearing t-shirts from events that happened decades ago, and of course, those most-well-loved, many-times-laundered treasures have the ability to make any day just a little better.

We are beginning our 23rd season together, and along the way I have been saving and storing t-shirts from the places we have taught and coached. ¬†When Coach became a head football coach, I told him I want to have at least one special t-shirt made each year, something keepsake worthy to remember all the fun seasons, the unique schools, the special people, and the blessed gift of days. ¬†Someday I will turn those tees into a quilt that we will use to snuggle up on the couch to watch TV together…you know, when he retires and is home some/more to snuggle up on the couch to watch TV together.

For Coach’s very first game as a head football coach (2015), I came up with this “white out” shirt:

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Coach wanted everyone in white shirts to help protect them from the brutal heat that afternoon.  (Turned out to be a very good idea as we went in to overtime, and it was really, really hot that day.)  After that thrilling, overtime VICTORY, I was especially glad that I had been there, done that, AND bought the t-shirt!

Many schools do “pink out” or special themed games to support a cause. ¬†We both believe in using a platform to promote something positive, something that unites and unifies, and Coach chose to do something that celebrates those championing a world without Alzheimer’s while developing awareness for both the disease and the Alzheimer’s Association and the many services the Association offers to communities across America and even throughout the world. ¬†Our First Annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Game (2015) was a good start with purple towels for the players, pom-poms and bracelets for the fans, and on-field recognition for special contributors from within our Golden Hurricane family who are making a tremendous difference in the battle to end ALZ.

Fast forward to Year 2. ¬†To turn it up a notch for his 2nd Annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Game (2016), Coach and I decided to use our annual t-shirt project to create a more memorable event. ¬†The good news is that those who “went there, did that, and bought the t-shirt” absolutely LOVE that t-shirt! ¬†It is the softest, soft cotton ever felt. ¬†It’s a washed-out blue with bright gold lettering, and I see that t-shirt on our football boys all the time.

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The less-than-good news is that not a lot of shirts were sold. ¬†So, now in Year 3, I have begun the t-shirt campaign a little sooner. ¬†This year’s t-shirt is a light purple, soft cotton that says “Tackling Alzheimer’s One Step at a Time” on the front and will have our TU game date and info on the back.

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The message points to our Walk to End Alzheimer’s which takes place on campus the morning of Coach’s ALZ Awareness Game while also tying in the game itself. ¬†We hope to see thousands at the Walk on September 23rd, we hope to sell many more shirts for our third commemorative tee, and we hope tons of our Tulsa community members will be in the stands later that day to support Coach and the boys and an end to ALZ.

Midwest Sporting Goods here in Tulsa has helped me create a website to sell our t-shirts:

https://stores.inksoft.com/tualz2017/shop/home

We have a first-run of shirts that will be counted and ordered this week, so please place your order by August 30th to be included in this initial order.

Well…we’ve been here today, we’ve done this blog post together, and now GO BUY YOUR T-SHIRT ūüėČ

With love and hugs,

Ashli

PS: We have been giving away the 2016 shirts at various events these past 12 months and have just a few remaining. ¬†Be sure to come out for Yoga With Momma Monty in Centennial Park (6th/Peoria) this Saturday, September 2nd from 9:30 – 11 if you’d like to pick one up.

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Me and Coach and all our many adventures!!

The Game I have Circled

Common question to Coach:  Which game have you circled as THE game you want to win this year?

Coach’s standard response: ¬†The next one on the calendar.

That makes perfect sense as there is no need for him to worry with winning a later game until we’ve taken care of the most immediate game.

But I’m not the coach…I am the coach’s wife, and I do have one particular game circled on my schedule.

In fact, if you can only get to one game here in Tulsa this year, I’m asking that you make it the New Mexico game on Saturday, September 23rd for our 3rd Annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Game.

Three is my all-time favorite number. ¬†I was born on the third, I have three precious loves in my home, and sets of three always seem to balance in a most perfect, harmonious way. ¬†In light of my admiration of all things three, ¬†I – no, WE – are going all out for our third Alzheimer’s Awareness Game.

  • Festivities for the day begin with the 2017 Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer’s right on the University of Tulsa campus. ¬†The party kicks off at 7:30 am with entertainment and booths and programs and fun, and then the actual Walk begins at 9 o’clock. ¬†Registration to participate is free, and we’d love for you to join Coach’s team in honor of his mom: TEAM SANDRA JEAN. ¬†Visit www.TulsaWalk.org to sign up and find all the details.
  • After the walk it will be TIME TO TAILGATE!! ¬†I love spending the day with family and friends prior to the game. ¬†My cousin, Cody, is always in charge of the meat; my favorite is when he grills fajitas right on-site! ¬†My Angel Girl has to have her Tailgater Sliders, and I don’t believe it is a party until there is a dessert or two on the table, especially my¬†Sopapilla Cheesecake!
  • Next up? ¬†BEAT NEW MEXICO!! ¬†I typically pack up the tailgate and head into the stadium to watch a little pre-game an hour before kickoff. ¬†I like to catch a glimpse of Coach down on the field, and I like to be settled in my seat before the national anthem. ¬†Hearing “The Stars and Stripes Forever” in a sport’s stadium gives me cold chills.¬†Even after all these years and hundreds of ballgames, it brings tears to my eyes every single time, and I hate missing that experience even once.

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Without a doubt, we want you – WE NEED YOU – at every game this season. ¬†Our boys won 10 games last year, we were victorious in a fabulous bowl game¬†in a very convincing fashion, and we set a national record that landed us right in the College Football Hall of Fame in an “instant classic” type of way. ¬†Our games are fun, affordable, and a treat for everyone to enjoy.

But if you have to put your tickets in order of priority, please put Saturday, September 23rd at the top of your list.  Here is everything you need to know:

  • All Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer’s participants will have access to discounted game tickets, so please take advantage of that special offer! (It will arrive in an email confirmation after you complete your Walk registration.)
  • Premium tailgating spots are also available to Walk participants in a 1-game, discounted package, so be sure to check that out at www.TulsaHurricane.com as well. ¬†You can always call 918-631-4688 or read here for customer assistance.
  • This year’s ALZ game t-shirt is now ready to purchase online, and 25% of the sale of every shirt will be donated to TEAM SANDRA JEAN. ¬†We have adult and youth sizes available, so order plenty for all your friends and loved ones: click here to order. ¬†We can’t wait to see everyone wearing them as we raise awareness and funds to fight this tragedy and #tackleAlzheimers together!

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I can’t wait to see you there!

With love and hugs,

Ashli

My Carnival Career is Back in Business

After my PTA Carnival days ended approximately 4 years ago, I vowed I was finished with the carnival planning “business” (you’ve heard what volunteers get paid, right?).

BUT…Coach and I are super excited about chairing the 2017 Tulsa Walk to End ALZ, and it’s time to really begin¬†our Walk efforts so we¬†are kicking off the fun in the best way we know how: a party at the football field ‚̧ԳŹūüíõūüíôūüíú

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We’ve already confirmed with several Walk teams and Walk supporters to join us for the fun:

  • a local radio station to provide live music
  • Barre 3 Tulsa will be teaching a free community class in the south end zone
  • our TU Spirit Squad will be on hand giving out free t-shirts and Golden Hurricane goodies
  • my Tulsa football boys will be on the field passing the ball and teaching impeccable touchdown technique¬†with the kids (of all ages)
  • there will be more than one fun photo opportunity to enjoy
  • Verdigris High School Softball Team wants¬†to see just how fast you can pitch a baseball or softball with their handy radar gun
  • the Cascia Hall Cheerleaders are setting up sidewalk chalk for everyone to dazzle us with their creations

We will offer a very reasonable dinner purchase (I’m thinking a BBQ plate or hamburger basket), water and soft drinks, and definitely some sweet treats like maybe an ice cream stand or son-cone truck. ¬†Or a CAKE WALK – that would be perfect!!

And, of course, there will be help on hand to get you registered for the 2017 Tulsa Walk to End ALZ. ¬†You are always welcome to join our team (TEAM SANDRA JEAN), or you can start your own. ¬†We will also have information about the many services and programs available to help those you love who are dealing with Alzheimer’s. ¬†You are not alone, and we want to make sure you know what assistance is out there and how to access it!

Let me know if you have a Walk team, church or neighborhood group, civic or social organization, company or business that would like to participate in our kickoff carnival. ¬†Hey, I’ll take individuals and families and flocks of friends – anyone who wants to help out is greatly appreciated!! We are open to all kinds of fun booths and games to attract and entertain the community.

My vision is BIG, so come one, come all, and let’s have some fun!

Love and hugs,

Ashli

PS:  Please like and share our Facebook event to help advertise the fun: 2017 Tulsa Walk to End ALZ Kickoff Party РJune 21st

Team Sandra Jean, 2017 ed.

SAVE THE DATE:
The 2017 Tulsa Walk to End¬†Alzheimer’s¬†is set for SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd.

Coach and I are your 2017 event chairs and WE NEED YOU THERE!!

Last year Coach served as a “Celebrity Captain” to use his name recognition as the head coach of Golden Hurricane Football as a springboard to raise awareness and interest in the event. Both of us were completely overwhelmed and very appreciative of the great response, and yet we both felt like there was more we could do.

So, we asked to chair the whole kit and kaboodle ūüôā

We also asked to move the event on to campus at the University of Tulsa, so the entire walk route will wind through our gorgeous TU campus.

Then we asked to move the date to correspond with a Golden Hurricane home football game, and now the Tulsa Walk to End ALZ will kick off a day full of fun and football on September 23rd.

Finally, we asked to make that our annual “Alzheimer’s Awareness Game” so be watching for announcements about tailgating deals, game day t-shirts, ticket promotions, and much more as the plans for this day-long party are finalized.

For now, more than anything we need you to sign on to be part of the party…

* Our team, TEAM SANDRA JEAN, is active and ready for teammates to join and support through donations. Our family of four has committed to raising a minimum of $2500 via our personal fundraising pages. Just click on the photos below to visit any of our four individual pages:

* Start your own team by visiting TulsaWalk.org – it only takes a minute to get your team registered and click the button to make your team page live online. You can set fundraising goals for your entire team as well as your individual goal that will count towards your team totals:

TulsaWalk.org and click REGISTER

* Reach out to me or to the Oklahoma Alzheimer’s Association if you need any help getting started, if you have questions, or if you are available to help us make this event a major success. Volunteers are needed throughout the planning process as well as on the day of the event:

Email or call for help to get signed up for this year’s Walk to END ALZ: http://www.alz.org/oklahoma/

There are so many fabulous ways to help us battle this devastating disease, and I am here to help you find the perfect fit for you. Thank you for standing with us!

With love and hugs,
Ashli

Wednesday Awareness: A Sea of Purple

Before I begin our #Walk2EndALZ wrap-up, I want to say a quick thank you to Kelly Hines, TU Sportswriter for the Tulsa World, for helping us bring awareness to ending Alzheimer’s disease with a great piece that was included in her “TU Notebook” column today: $30,000 for a Good Cause. ¬†We are quite lucky to have a supportive sports writing community here in Tulsa which is definitely not always the case in college towns; we appreciate media personalities like Kelly and John Moss and many others taking the time to get to know us as more than “Coach Montgomery & Co.” Their support of our fight against Alzheimer’s is very much appreciated!

The Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer’s was fantastic!!

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A Beautiful Sea of Purple

MawMaw and SonShine

MawMaw and SonShine

Angel Girl and Momma

Angel Girl and her Momma

The kids and I, along with MawMaw, layered up on a beautiful, sunny, crisp Oklahoma morning and headed out to Guthrie Green with about 5,000 fellow walkers.  The set up this year was a blast Рkudos to whomever came up with the party bead idea!

The Alzheimer’s Association has a foundation of 5 guiding pillars:

  1. Concern & Awareness
  2. Advocacy
  3. Care & Support
  4. Accelerate Research
  5. Grow Revenue

Each of these pillars was represented with a different color of party beads at the Walk last Saturday.  We had a ton of fun collecting each color by visiting different information booths.  It was truly a clever way to direct such a wonderful crowd throughout the event grounds!

I am proud to report that all four of us succeeded in getting all five colors of beads, we visited with friends (both new and old) while exploring the tables, and even got a super cute picture for my scrapbook:

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When the program began, I took my place on stage with my SonShine and Angel Girl by my side. ¬†I was tasked with sharing a personal – and inspirational – story. ¬†I certainly did not want to be a “downer” on such a fun occasion, but the fact of the matter is that Alzheimer’s is a downer. ¬†I decided on a story about Coach’s mom, Sandra; here is that story and the first part of my script:

ASHLI:

Hi, everyone!¬† I am so happy to be here with you this morning!!¬† Coach sends his ‚Äúhello‚ÄĚ and wishes he could be here, too.¬† But he is preparing for our Homecoming game this afternoon¬†so instead he¬†send his greetings as well as our two kids.

Many of you may have heard that this cause is personal for us.¬† Philip‚Äôs mom, Sandra, was diagnosed with Alzheimer‚Äôs Disease just a few years ago.¬† You‚Äôve never met a sweeter, kinder woman!¬† It has been really tough watching this disease take its toll.¬† Just last month she was in town for our first football game of the season and something tiny happened ‚Äď something that probably only Philip and I noticed. ¬†But it was something that served as a huge indicator of just how ravishing this disease can be.¬†

Sandra was raised the oldest daughter of a preacher.  She then married a preacher.  She has served the Lord and the church her entire life.  Over the course of 73 years, I would estimate that she has taken communion more than 3,200 times.  But on Sunday, September 4th, when Philip held the communion cups out for her to take one, she looked up at him with blankness and confusion in her eyes.  He went on to hand her one, and still she looked to him, unsure of what to do.  Finally, he helped her drink the juice, and in that moment we both felt a sharp stab of helplessness.  Helplessness and deep sadness that something so important and so personal to her was lost.  We don’t want to lose our Nana!

That is why we walk in her honor today; we are Team Sandra Jean!

I went on to accept a challenge from this year’s Walk chairman to raise an additional $100 to my Walk campaign before Thanksgiving, so if you meant to donate but didn’t get around to it, there is still time. ¬†Click here to go to our Team Sandra Jean website to give a gift online: ¬†TEAM SANDRA JEAN.

And finally, I finished my speech with lots of cheers and a huge invitation:

We are standing here today because we truly believe that the end of Alzheimer’s starts with us. I can tell by looking out into this sea of purple that we are not in this alone. Who’s ready to put a stop to this devastating disease?

[PAUSE FOR AUDIENCE CHEERS]

Let’s let all of Tulsa know that we’re here today to lead the way to the end of Alzheimer’s!

[APPLAUSE/CHEERS]

WOW – You all sound great!¬† So great that I can easily imagine you all cheering loudly from the stands at H.A. Chapman Stadium!¬† In fact, we would like to invite each and every one of you to a very special TU football game on November 5th. For the second year in a row, Coach and his Golden Hurricane will host an Alzheimer‚Äôs Awareness Game.¬† We have created this special edition t-shirt for the event, and we want to see you wearing one as you cheer just like that ‚Äď or maybe even louder ‚Äď at the game.¬† Best of all, the proceeds from all the t-shirt sales will be donated to the Alzheimer‚Äôs Association. You can go to TulsaWalk.org to get more information about purchasing your special edition t-shirt & tickets for the game!

We can’t wait to see you all there!

THANK YOU for being here ‚Äď THANK YOU for walking today ‚Äď and THANK YOU for supporting this fight to end Alzheimer‚Äôs!

My precious models on stage did a terrific job of showing off our November 5th game shirt!  The shirts are now available at the TU Campus Corner Bookstore at 11th Street and Harvard.  Please run by and pick yours up today!

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In love and hugs on a Wonderful Wednesday,

Ashli

Kickoff Couture

Two of my favorite words in our English language: KICKOFF & COUTURE

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couture

I adore football, and I adore clothes; what better thought to ponder than the ultimate question of “What am I wearing to the game??”

I am forever pinning game day fashions on Pinterest:

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Since coming to Tulsa, I have found several new boards definitely worth following:

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This morning, I even discovered/connected that TU colors (royal, red, and yellow) just happen to be Snow White colors – who knew that there is an entire movement of Disney-character-based designs? FOR GROWN UPS?

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Most are not my style, but I could absolutely do this:

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Or this:

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Or even this:

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Of course, my actual outfit – on my actual body – never actually looks like all these fun pins, but last week I pulled off some cute Kickoff Couture. I can’t believe I am doing this. ¬†Publicly. ¬†But here it is…

What I Wore: Thursday, August 20, 2015 Edition

Coach has forecasted (and requested) White Out conditions for our season opener on Saturday, September 5th. I was having little success finding the 32 shirts I needed for family and friends traveling to Tulsa for the game, so I asked the football department how we could get a great, but inexpensive, shirt to the masses. I researched white outs at other colleges, Coach helped me design a shirt, and a local sporting goods store jumped on board to produce them for us. I am thrilled with how the project has turned out, and I can’t wait to see our shirts walking around H.A. Chapman Stadium in just 2 short weeks!!

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This past Thursday (August 20th) I attended Coach’s first ever Kickoff Luncheon, so of course I wanted to #1) look like a fun and spirited coach’s wife, and #2) promote our WHITE OUT campaign:

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I started with one of our soft, comfy, and cheap WHITE OUT tees, adding an undershirt because it was 65 degrees in Oklahoma that day (Really? It’s the middle of August!). They are silver on the front and will have a fabulous glisten when the sun touches the bleachers on game day. The back reads “The New Reign Begins: TU vs FAU September 5, 2015” and for only $5 per shirt, everyone should buy several ūüėČ

As awesome as cotton t-shirts are, they are not exactly business¬†attire, so I added a few glamorous touches to dress it up a bit…from head to toe.

In honor of my amazing sister’s very special birthday which just happened to be on August 20th as well, I began with some of my particularly¬†favorite jewelry, a matching Sorrelli necklace and bracelet set¬†that¬†my sister gave me for my 30th birthday. ¬†They are exquisite in shimmery, jeweled red and blue tones, and not once in the last 10 years have I worn them and NOT received multiple compliments on how gorgeous and classy the pieces are or how magnificently they reflect the light! They are examples of those “forever fabulous” items in your wardrobe that you’ll always go back to again and again and simply love to wear:

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Now for a quick side-stroll down memory lane ūüôā ¬†Me and my sis…Scan 1

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VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

(Anyone else notice that I am always the goofball??)

Back to business…

Next, I added a fun and flirty skirt with big, wide blue and red stripes. ¬†I felt like a teeny-bopping cheerleader in it, but since I truly am Coach’s biggest, loudest, and cheerleading-est fan, I was willing to go back in time to the rah rah days of old. ¬†The best thing about this piece: it was a $20 ModCloth gem that I simply had to have and ordered two years ago (when our colors were green and gold); it has been waiting patiently in the closet¬†for its turn, and the Kickoff Luncheon was the perfect excuse event:

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I finished my look with navy patent leather high heels and a little, red clutch. ¬†There is not much to say about “patent” and “leather” and “high” and “heels” except that they, too, are a few my favorite words when strung together, they are totally awesome, and they always look good. ¬†For my handbag I chose this Coach beauty that Coach and the kids gave me for Christmas last year as we were preparing for the move to Tulsa and new game day colors:

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TaDa!! The finished look, with the very best part of all my outfits added in…my arm candy, my Coach (looking very dapper himself!):

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Well, that’s all, folks, my first foray into fashion blogging. ¬†Now, go order a big supply of WHITE OUT shirts for family and friends and neighbors and strangers, and we will see you on Skelly Field at 2:30 pm, Saturday, September 5th. ¬†#ReignCane

With love and hugs,

Ashli

PS: Here are a few out-takes of me attempting (but NOT succeeding) to take a picture of my outfit to share.  How do all these youngsters excel at selfies??  That is NOT easy.

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