New normals are our new normal, and, as I mentioned in a post the other day, flexibility is the name of the game. Situations we could not have easily imagined a year ago seem to materialize in our lives constantly now. One example of this is our current living situation, which has us in a two bedroom trailer house, with a tiny kitchen that contains no coffee pot of any kind. We gave Ruth the diminutive extra bedroom, because sometimes a teenage girl just needs a little privacy and some space. So, all three boys are sleeping in the living room, on the fold-out couch and the other sofa. I'm not complaining, because there is truly plenty of room for everyone, and we are all finding that we need less stuff and space than we used to believe we needed. I'm simply making a point that things are different for us than they once were, and we are daily learning lessons in flexibility, patience, and creativity. Because of the close quarters and the elusive wifi inside our current home, we have adopted a new bedtime routine, which, at first, seemed frustrating but has now kind of grown on us. After baths, Jeff will bring Clay into our bedroom for a bedtime story, which will become progressively more boring until Clay (and maybe Jeff) falls asleep, while the older boys and girl read in their beds until the appointed lights-out time. During that time, I will slip out to the car, where there is a decent and fairly consistent wifi signal. I will take care of whatever business I need to take care of and soak up the glorious impenetrable silence, which, as an introvert living with incredibly loud and needy people in small spaces, I desperately need. (I also need this when we are living in large spaces, just to be clear.) When I come back in the house, everyone is enveloped in sweet slumber. I will then move Clay to his bed in the living room, having avoided the whole brothers-in-close-quarters arguing and roughhousing routine, that can easily spiral out of control at bedtime, especially when beds are being shared. It is starting to really feel like we win all the way around. So, if you had asked me a year ago if I'd like to live in a two bedroom trailer house with four kids and no internet or coffee pot, I would have quickly said, "No way, Jose!" But, our new normal really isn't all that bad, and we are discovering that there can even be freedom and joy in finding and embracing new normals. Are there any "new normals" in your life? How have you had to be flexible, patient, and/or creative as you've adjusted to them?