The Gift of Improv–in Life and Love

Last week, I called our grown daughters. “Guess what? Your dad and I are going out Saturday night with our new friends Debbie and Todd!”

“Umm, that’s not really a big deal, Mom,” they said. “People go out all the time.”

But to me it was HUGE.

We were going to an improv comedy show, something we’d never done, with new friends, at the Aurora Theater in Lawrenceville, GA a place I’d never been.

Sometimes I’m a little slow to make friends. And when a new friendship forms, I let the other person initiate the first invitation. And Debbie had invited us! I was so excited!

I even looked up “improv” to make sure I understood.

Wikipedia:

“Improvisation or improv–a form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment it is performed.”

The actors can’t practice ahead of time. Holy cow.

Before the show started, the empty stage gave me goosebumps.

Nothing but three boxes and a couple of chairs.

Talk about faith–

To walk out on stage and not know your lines! 

Even getting coffee and M&Ms was exciting–the list of shows, the atmosphere. And $10 for our tickets, $4 for snacks.

After the theater company introduced themselves, they asked the audience to toss out clues.

The cast had to totally wing it.

Zero control.

Free falling. 

They nailed it, too! The show was hilarious, and clean :).

Laughing with new friends–such fun.

Sorry for the photo quality–improv phone pictures.

Todd and Debbie.

And us.

We talked on the way home.

“I had such a good time tonight,” I said. “I think I’m supposed to live more improv.”

“How so?” Rick said.

“Have more fun. Take more chances. Roll with whatever comes my way, even if I haven’t memorized my lines.”

“Yep.”

“Totally trust God.”

Have you been to an improv show? Live theater?

What about friendships? Do you trust easily?

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

When You Married Your Exact Opposite

For years, I believed a big fat lie. I thought to have a good marriage, husbands and wives had to enjoy the same hobbies, foods, and even have similar personalities.

When we married 36 years ago, my husband Rick loved loud cars. He talked about RPMs, MUSCLE CARS and MOPAR–things I didn’t understand.

I loved books and libraries and diagramming sentences.

I kept thinking pretty soon he’ll discover the beauty of literature, antique shops, and brussels sprouts.

I couldn’t change him, but guess what?

Something better happened.

We went to a car show this past weekend in Tucker, GA. This wasn’t our first car show, but this one was special.

Rick delivered a customer’s car he’d restored to the show. A 1967 Camaro.

He’s wiping smudges. Car people do that all the time. 🙂

Richard, my FIL, helping …

Cars, cars — everywhere you look.

Brittany (our son’s girlfriend), Chase (Brittany’s rescue German shepherd), our son Thomas, Richard (my FIL) and Carolyn (my MIL).

My FIL showed me some neat cars–a 1936 Ford.

Rick with his happy customer …

From what I understand, the way a car sounds is really important.

Listen…

But you know what’s even more important?

Listening in marriage.

After all these years, Rick still loves loud cars.

And I still love quiet words.

Here’s our secret connection.

A few months ago, we started praying for each other.

Every day, I ask God to bless the work of my husband’s hands as he fixes cars.

He asks God to bless the work of my hands as I write.

Marriage-changing.

Life-changing.

You don’t have to understand someone to pray for him. Or her.

Is there distance between you and someone you love? Praying this way might bring you closer.

Love,

Julie

 

 

Having Fun…101

Some people just naturally know how to have fun. I love people like this. They don’t take themselves too seriously. They go with the flow. I’m going to become a fun person. Seriously. I mean it. I am! The problem is, sometimes I’m too busy checking things off my list to have fun.

Last week–and this was huge for me–I discovered the Countdown to Christmas | Hallmark Channel.

I’d always assumed light-hearted movies were a waste of time. If I was going to watch a movie, I wanted a complicated plotline–something deep, that made me think.

But late Thursday afternoon, I took a break and discovered this movie…A Very Merry Mix-Up | Hallmark Channel.

At first I felt sort of self-conscious. Maybe a little guilty.

Watching a Hallmark movie on a Thursday afternoon.

It wasn’t on my calendar. 🙂

But there’s something about these movies…

And Saturday, my husband and I were in the North Georgia mountains in a quaint little town called Dahlonega when I noticed a sign.

 

“Look at the small letters,” I said. “‘The Art of Having Fun.’” The words stole my heart.

 

We walked past a decorated wrought iron arbor.

Hmmm. An entrance. Maybe its welcoming me to a new way of living.

I asked a random teenager to take our picture.

I wanted to remember the spot where I decided to do something fun every day.

Even something as simple as smiling for a goofy picture.

Just like the sign says, having fun is an art–one I’m acquiring.

The new Julie…

1. Lives in the moment.

2. Doesn’t mind looking silly.

3. Doesn’t waste time worrying.

Does having fun come naturally to you? What’s something fun you do this time of year? Are you watching the Countdown to Christmas movies?

P.S. We’ve also watched Snow Bride | Hallmark Channel, Catch a Christmas Star | Hallmark ChannelHoliday Engagement | Hallmark Channel and A Princess for Christmas | Hallmark Channel.

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Praising on the Patio

I didn’t grow up celebrating the seasons changing, but at three o’clock this past Friday afternoon, an idea tiptoed in. Something stirred my heart as I read my BFF’s blog about decorating for fall–a thought very different than my predictable self.

Every morning, my husband and I have porch parties, his idea. What if I shook things up and we had a patio party that night?

I called him. “Will you pick up some vanilla ice cream? We’re having a fall party tonight!”

“Who’s invited?”

“Just the two of us.”

By the time he got home from work, a wreath hung on the door, hotdogs were roasting on the grill, and I’d tried a new recipe for dessert.

 

Apple Pecan Crumb Pie

 

 

He lit the tiki torches and umbrella lights he’d bought to celebrate summer. 

 

After supper, we turned our chairs in the same direction and ate warm apple pie and ice cream. Listening to the crickets, we welcomed fall as we watched daylight softly fade into night.

Then I had an aha moment.

Celebrating for the seasons means more than shopping, cooking, and coordinating colors.

It’s a way to love others and worship our Creator.

#876 in my gratitude journalWatching the nighttime sky together. 🙂

How do you celebrate fall? And life? And those you love?

~Apple Pecan Crumb Pie~

(I added pecans and used gluten-free flour.)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped pecans

4 apples, peeled and thinly sliced

Mix above ingredients and put into a greased pie pan

Mix below ingredients and cover apples with the mixture:

1/2 cup flour (I used Pamela’s gluten-free Pancake and Baking Flour)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes

“My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Ps 121:2 NAS

Love,

Julie