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:

Scan 4

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.

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Angel Girl, Bruceville-Eddy High School, 2009.

IMG_2407 (2)

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

IMG_2415 (2)

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:

IMG_2421 (2)

2012

IMG_9583 (1)

2014

IMG_4862

2015

I LOVE CREATING GOODIE BAGS!!

Here are my babies attending homecoming dances:

IMG_5452

Angel Girl, Freshman Year, 2015.

IMG_5469

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

IMG_8545

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

IMG_5292

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

I LOVE MY BABIES!!

Here are some of my favorite homecoming victories:

IMG_5772

2013

IMG_9861 (1)

2014

IMG_1359

2016

IMG_5308

2017

IMG_5376

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…

IMG_5419

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.

Blame it on the Son[Shine]

We have a little joke around our house these days: blame it all on SonShine…he’s gone to college and not here to defend himself. ¬†Of course, he knows we are only teasing.

IMG_5212

I miss him…he misses torturing his baby sister.

And yet, we also have a saying around our house: all jokes are rooted in truth.

Therefore, it only makes sense to blame my perfectly precious SonShine for the fact that I have cooked dinner at home this semester precisely ONE time.

YIKES!

Here’s the deal, though…I have done spectacularly well with his leaving home and moving into the dorms at TU. ¬†I give him oodles of space, I never nag about schoolwork, and I don’t even “lecture” when all my maternal instincts go on full-alert sending me signals that perhaps I should simply remind him of the basics (Rule #1, slow down when you drive, be extra aware when out and about, etc…).

IMG_5178.jpg

I love that he loves college.  I love seeing his smiling face when I am on campus.  I love watching him thrive in his environment.  I love that he has found his place.  I love when he calls me out of the blue just to talk.

And yet, I miss him being at home.

I miss him most at dinnertime, and without realizing it, I just quit creating dinnertime.

Angel Girl eats anything, I eat everything, and Coach is rarely home to eat at all – at least before 9 pm.

But my SonShine, he is picky. ¬†He likes what he likes, he loves what he loves, and that’s about it. ¬†He is by definition finicky and difficult and has zero intention of branching out, broadening his horizons, nor expanding his palette.

He is also the very biggest, most enthusiastic fan of my cooking. ¬†He will take my home-cooking over absolutely anything else. ¬†As long as it’s one of my recipes and prepared by my hands, he’s all over it. ¬†He digs into what he likes; he devours what he loves. ¬†And he eats and eats until he absolutely cannot eat anymore.

For a crazy, southern momma like myself, there is no greater display of love!

I treasure that.  And I miss that.

And since he is not here to relish in my cooking, I just kinda stopped.

But my hard-working Coach and my beautiful Angel Girl deserve a little mothering, too, so I am climbing back on the horse and jumping back into the game…

First step: take my own advice:  plan a month of meals.

IMG_5222.jpg

It’s a [tiny] bit sad to start by filling in all the nights that I won’t need to cook due to other engagements and obligations. ¬†One can see how transitioning from “dinner every night mom” to “mom who doesn’t cook” was so effortless! ¬†But after all the fun stuff is penciled in, I am still left with at least three nights a week to take care of my crew.

Last night was Night #1:

Nana’s Chicken Spaghetti.

IMG_5220.jpg

IMG_5221.jpg

My theory on this recipe is that – like all the very best recipes – it stands the test of time and taste because it is easy to make, scrumptious to eat, and plenty filling. ¬†I received the recipe from my mother-in-law when Coach and I got married almost 22 years ago. ¬†I have also seen it nearly character-for-character in Ree Drummond’s first cookbook which leads me to believe that it has been present at many a Texas/Oklahoma church potluck over the past 100 or so years. ¬†Needless to say, one can never go wrong with a recipe that has found a long life on the Church of Christ cookbook circuit!!

 Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups (or 2 cans) chopped, cooked chicken
  2. 1 c. chopped celery
  3. 1 bell pepper, chopped
  4. 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  5. 1 can chicken broth
  6. 4 oz. chopped pimentos
  7. 12 oz. spaghetti cooked in broth
  8. grated cheese (original recipe says Velveeta melts best)
  9. salt and pepper

IMG_5223.jpg

Instructions:

  • Saute celery, bell pepper, and onion in a small amount of oil.

IMG_5225.jpg

  • Mix with soup.
  • Add chicken, pimentos, and spaghetti.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

IMG_5227.jpg

  • Place in 9×13 pan.

IMG_5230.jpg

  • Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts.

I served Nana’s Chicken Spaghetti with fresh, steamed green beans and garlic toast.

IMG_5231.jpg

IMG_5238.jpg

I am happy to report that there were no complaints, so I suppose my cooking skills are still intact.

We did not, however, eat at the usual dinner table.  It stays set for 4, and I am no where near ready to remove a place setting.

IMG_5234.jpg

Luckily, the game table is less than 10 feet away and serves our purposes just fine.

IMG_5236.jpg

IMG_5237.jpg

Baby steps, I reckon.

With love and hugs,

Ashli

PS: Tonight is Layered Enchiladas…another family favorite, so I’m batting 1000 ūüôā

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.

IMG_1101.jpg

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.

IMG_5011.JPG

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 $

I hate money - day 10.jpg

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:

2017 Walk poster.png

Day 18

Caring is Sharing Banner.jpg

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.

challenge.jpg

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

Untitled.jpg

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

Day 25 Banner.jpg

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

alz email pic.png

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

Been There, Done That

Day 26 Banner.jpg

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:

Screenshot 2015-07-31 14.21.27 (1).jpg

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.

TUgetherf front.jpgTUgether back.jpg

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.

500.png500-1.png

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.

IMG_3633

Me and Coach and all our many adventures!!

Voting, Believing, Investing

Day 28 Banner.jpg

  • When you are in the running for a desired role, do you vote for yourself?
  • When you tackle a task, do you believe that you will achieve your goal?
  • When you ask others to invest in you, do you, too, invest in yourself?

These seem like simple questions, but when we reflect back on these specific situations in life, [if we are being honest and true to ourselves] our answers are often, “No.”

Recently, my Angel Girl had an opportunity to be elected to something she felt she can do, and has done in the past, really well, but when it came down to casting her vote, she felt it would be arrogant to vote for herself and showed great hesitation. ¬†In the end, she is very pleased with the outcome of the vote, and the experience led us into a great conversation and a wonderful, teachable moment that we shared. ¬†I left her with this question for next time: If you aren’t confident in yourself, what will make others confident in you?

I am a running joke in our house. ¬†Yes, you read that correctly. ¬†I am the queen of new projects. ¬†Which makes Coach the king of finishing them for me. ¬†I always have a grand plan, a huge vision, and an overload of enthusiasm. ¬†In the beginning. ¬†Somewhere along the way, which is usually about 65% through the project, I either lose my focus or another fabulous, new project comes along that “needs” me more than the previously begun project. ¬†So the first project moves to the back burner, and then I get really down on myself for not accomplishing my end goal, and then Coach jumps in to complete the undone project for me because he really, really hates to see me down on myself. ¬†You see, my problem is that when I start something, not even I honestly believe that I will see it through to fruition. ¬†I always circle back to this question: I think I am a quitter; therefore, I am a quitter?

So, when you set a goal to raise funds and awareness and excitement for a great cause, are you first investing in yourself? ¬†Maybe it’s start-up capital for a business. ¬†Maybe it’s saving money for your first car. ¬†Maybe it’s finding a cure to a disease that is currently a death sentence. ¬†Is the first penny in the pot your own? Let me ask you this question: How will anyone else see value in you, if you don’t see value in yourself first?

Today, which is 28 days out from our Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer’s, I challenge you to kickstart your Walk fundraising by making a donation to yourself. ¬†Whether it be $5 or $50, your self-donation shows the world – your world – that you are actively pursuing your goal, you believe that you will achieve your goal, and you have confidence in yourself that you will do a great job along the way.

To give yourself this gift, sign in to your Participant Center at TulsaWalk.org and click on the “Donate” button. ¬†From there you can post, tweet, and email your world to let them know that it’s GAME ON to #endALZ!!

Love and hugs,

Ashli

41diA6iAt-L._SR600,315_PIWhiteStrip,BottomLeft,0,35_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

Putting the Cart before the Horse

Day 29 Banner.jpg

I have a tendency to get a little over-excited when a brilliant idea takes over my mind…

Yesterday (Day 30), I challenged readers to find an activity they like, want, or need to do, and then to do it to shed light on our Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

But then I started thinking that perhaps, in my enthusiasm, I jumped the gun just a little.

So today’s task is simply this: go to TulsaWalk.org and register for the event.

If you have already done that, give yourself a hug, fix a cup of hot tea, splurge on a chocolate chip cookie, and put your feet up because you, my friend, are done for today!

See y’all tomorrow!

Love and hugs,

Ashli

The Host(ess) with the Most(est)

30 Day Countdown.jpg

The countdown is on; the big day is near.
Not sure what to do? Look here, look here!

Only 30 days left ‚Äď that‚Äôs all that remain.
To throw in the towel would be such a shame. 

So follow me now.
I will show you just how,

To make your mark.
Will you, too, be at the park,

Or on a bike, or in a book?
You could even use a rook.

Maybe perhaps you’ll be set at a table.
You can do it, you can…you are really quite able.

I need your help, I need your heart.
Working together, if we all do our part,

We’ll make a world without this disease:
A world so lovely, like a soft, summer breeze.

So empower your brain, that you’re blessed is so healthy,
(And feel free to invite all your friends that are wealthy).

Plan a party, start the talk…
It’s time to gear up and go fund this Walk!

Poetry skills (or lack thereof) aside, we are officially one month away from the Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  To help us get from here to there in the most successful, most team-building, most fund-raising way possible, I (with the help of my brilliantly creative designer/assistant/niece…my precious Clara Belle) have created a 30 Day Countdown that will keep us on task to finish strong.

Day 30:  Be a host(ess) with the most(est) by planning an event to promote your Walk efforts.

This can be a quiet dinner party with a few friends or a rip-roaring backyard BBQ for everyone you know.  This can be a poker night with the guys, a Bunco night with the girls, or maybe a chess tournament for all.  This can be a Girls’ Night Out, a kids’ night in, or a guys’ trip to the ballpark.  You can organize a bike ride (bicycles and motorcycles are both a blast!)…maybe a lemonade stand with the littles, a cooking class for the moms, or a crawfish boil by the dads.  What about coffee or brunch, high tea with scones, gathering at the Botanical Gardens, your favorite museum, or a cute boutique just to browse with your besties?

The ideas are endless, and no matter what you choose, you cannot ‚Äď you will not – go wrong!¬† Simply pick an activity that you enjoy, and invite a few [dozen?] people to join you.¬† Be sure to say up front that your fabulously planned, super awesome event is in support of your Walk to End ALZ efforts.¬† Never be shy to tell your guests that this is a fundraiser‚Ķbe open and honest about your goals both financial and long-term when speaking about your passion and partnership to end ALZ.¬† Invite your guests to join you in every step of this Walk season:¬† your ‚Äúpre-party‚ÄĚ event, your fundraising campaign, and the 1.5 mile stroll that we will enjoy on September 23rd.

Dedicate yourself to being a lifelong Walker, and encourage others to do the same.

Remember…

  • People don‚Äôt know what we need or want unless we tell them.
  • Every donation – be it $5 or $5,000,000 – is a tremendous help.
  • Those we love also love to support us just as we strive to be there for them.
  • Happiness and fun are contagious, and people are happy to join in to have fun.
  • Together we can find the first survivor; we can end Alzheimer‚Äôs Disease.

Hopefully, your brain is storming, the pinballs are bouncing, and the ideas are bursting.

And you might be wondering about me, what I am doing to be a host(ess) with the most(est)…

Well, I am equally parts excited and terrified to invite you all to Yoga with Momma Monty in Centennial Park on Saturday, September 2nd from 9:30-11 am.

YWMM cent park.jpg

This donation-based class is my first time to teach yoga publicly.  I usually lead my football boys and my coaches’ wives in practice, and as I recently shared on social media, my normal classes cause minimal anxiety as I know those people already love me (or at least they are already stuck with me).  This is much different, potentially much larger, and it is certainly a much bigger test of my skills as a yoga instructor.  But this will also be a ton of fun and is totally worth the worry.  Yoga with Momma Monty in the park is open to any level of fitness, all ages, everyone is invited, and I hope many will come!

Coach, SonShine, Angel Girl, and I will be setting up tables to help guests register for the Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer’s, donate to TEAM SANDRA JEAN, purchase t-shirts for our 3rd Annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Game vs New Mexico, and pick up general information about services and programs offered by the Oklahoma Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association (and which are free to the more than 63,000 Oklahomans fighting ALZ and the more than 230,000 unpaid caregivers in OK who struggle and suffer alongside them).

We will also provide ice cold water, so all you need to bring is a towel or mat, your family and friends, and your checkbook ūüėČ

I’d love to see you there, and I would especially love to hear about your special event or dinner or ride or tournament or gathering to meet my Day 30 challenge to launch your Walk season by becoming a host(ess) with the most(est)!!

With love and hugs,

Ashli