Turning 43

This week I shall turn 43.

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It ain’t pretty.

Spanx have become a staple.

The white glistens in my hair within about 20 minutes of dying it dark.

I’m drooping, sagging, and flopping in places that one should never droop, sag, nor flop.

Sometimes, when I walk past a mirror, I do not even recognize that the reflection is me.  Don’t even get me started on if I accidentally walk past a mirror unclothed!

I have only one ovary, just one functioning knee, and at least one trip to the restroom per night.

My eyes have been repaired, and my uterus has been removed.

My esthetician is on speed dial, I use my eye cream religiously, and I am not above miracle cures for sun spots and wrinkles.

Its true: I am not going down with much grace.

But I am going down with a fight.

I am doing everything possible to retain the health of my body as well as my brain…

I continue my yoga practice and attend a class at Barre 3 as much as my schedule and knee allow.

I strive to eat healthy and have studied and learned enough about my nutrition that when I do splurge, it is my decision and a conscience choice.

I cook and clean and read and sew and stay active, and I get plenty of sleep each week.

I say my prayers, count my blessings, and sing praises for this amazing life which I have been gifted.

I advocate and work towards a world without Alzheimer’s so that I may remember this life until its end.  And so that my children may enjoy the final years that we are together.

One way in which I am making a different in the fight against Alzheimer’s is with my membership in the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement.  I have written once before about AIM, so I will not rehash the who, what, and how, but I will revisit the why…

To begin, you need to know the basic process for affecting large-scale medical advancement in America:

-> Local events educate small groups who begin to share what they have learned which becomes part of regional conversation.

-> The small groups and those concerned across the country unite to become a large, national voice.

-> Elected officials hear the large voice and become aware of broad-based concern through advocacy efforts.

-> Legislators fund impactful research.

-> High level, innovative, creative, and critical research paves the way to treatment and cures.

Over the past 50 years, this process has provided major developments in the treatment and survival of cancer, breast health, heart disease, and HIV/AIDS though political action groups and advocacy organizations.

It is imperative that this process now take hold in the battle to end Alzheimer’s Disease, and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement is the platform that will get it done.

There is strength in numbers.  The work that AIM has done in conjunction with local efforts through the Alzheimer’s Association has procured big budget gains in ALZ research through the NIH over the past few years.  The greater our numbers, the louder our voice, the louder our voice, the stronger the pressure, the stronger the pressure, the more likely legislators are to support, the more supportive the legislators, the more that gets approved, the more that gets approved, the bigger the steps forward, the bigger the steps forward, the sooner we have some way – some chance – of fighting this disease.

Sadly, we are still terribly underfunded and way, way behind.

So, here is my birthday wish:

Help me celebrate my birthday.

I ask that you take a quick 5 minutes and just $20, and please use this link to join AIM with me: AIM Membership Referral.

It is an annual membership, so I will be sure to remind you to renew next year…

You know, when I turn 44 and hopefully have no additional “signs of aging” to report 😉

With love and hugs,

Ashli (age 42 + 362 days)

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Bethany’s Almond Grahams

A beautiful friend shared this recipe with me a few years ago, and now I will share it with you.  And you will thank us both.

It is very quick to make, very easy to serve, and very addictive to eat.  What more can one wish for or want from a scrumptious snack?

Bethany’s Almond Grahams

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Ingredients:

  1. 24 Graham Crackers (1 cracker = 1 long “sheet” made up of 2 squares or 4 rectangles)
  2. 2 Sticks of Butter (I use sweet cream and salted.)
  3. 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  4. 6 oz. Sliced Almonds
  5. Dash of Sea Salt

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Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Line 2 cookie sheets with foil and place graham crackers side by side, covering the cookie sheets.

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  • In saucepan, melt butter and dissolve brown sugar over medium heat until it thickens and begins to bubble.

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  • Spoon butter mixture over graham crackers and smooth to cover all. (I like using a basting brush better than a spoon, but both work just fine.)

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  • Sprinkle with almonds.

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  • Bake at 400 degrees for 5-6 minutes, or until bubbly and almonds begin to brown.

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  • Remove from oven and sprinkle very lightly with sea-salt.
  • Let cool completely and break into odd-shaped, bite-sized pieces. (The crackers seem to lift off the foil in a big layer, and then they are easy to break apart into small pieces.)

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I (on the spur of the moment and at the last second, of course) have decided to make these for Halloween treats by putting 3 “sheets” worth of crumbled grahams in a bag and tying with a bow (each recipe batch with make 8 goodie bags).  I should go to the store to purchase cute Halloween baggies, but I am dead-set and determined to use up the horde-like stash of junk crap stuff mess *#@! craft supplies that I already own, so boring bags and random ribbons will have to do.  Luckily, I have found in my years of mothering that goodie bag recipients typically do not care all that much about the packaging yet almost always love the contents 😉

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And if I should snag a baggie to enjoy with the best Halloween book of all time and a favorite cup of tea?  Well, there is certainly no shame in that, either!!

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Happy Halloween…with 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.

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.

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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…).

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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.

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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.

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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

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Instructions:

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

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

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  • Place in 9×13 pan.

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  • 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.

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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.

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

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Baby steps, I reckon.

With love and hugs,

Ashli

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

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!

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 😉

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!!

Voting, Believing, Investing

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  • 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

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