Where in the WORLD have I been?
As I sit to write this blog, I realize that it has been an entire year since I last updated anything… good gravy! I’m not sure anyone reads these, so perhaps its not a big deal that I have not written. However, for my mom and husband and the sake of consistency, I’ll fill in the gap!
A month after my last post, we celebrated the first heavenly birthday of our dear little Saint Vivian Martin Rund. It was beautiful and could only be made more perfect if I could have held our sweet babe in my arms. Our three living children received brown scapulars of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to remember the day their sibling met our Lord. We shared our wishes for this child to be a part of our family still and we celebrated our littlest one. Not because we don’t miss all of the memories we could have made together; rather, we celebrated that God chose us to love Vivian. We rejoiced that He trusted us to care for this child while on this earth; and mostly, we reveled that our saint was seated with our Father in heaven, likely laughing full on belly-busters with our Lord. For Vivian's celebration, the kids decorated cupcakes and enjoyed another birthday of sweets in honor of their sibling.
Also during this time, I began focusing on a couple different oil paintings (… yet to come). Suddenly, the oils seemed to make me ill and then I realized EVERYTHING made me feel sick and exhausted... We all know what that means – enter our newest baby! I found out I was pregnant with a little one at the end of July 2019. This halted most artwork, as I was unwilling to risk any possibility that my art materials/chemicals would cause harm to our unborn child. I worked on sketches occasionally; but really, I just took a hiatus from art. During these months I learned A LOT about thyroid issues and their impact on pregnancy. I got over my fear of shots, as I required biweekly injections. And although I have always been the last person to take any medicine, even for a serious headache, I became the pill guru, with a myriad of special vitamins, Omega-supplements, thyroid medicines, baby aspirins… my nightstand looked like a Walgreens medicine aisle. It was all a little overwhelming but outrageously worth it in the long run.
WHOA, Nelly! There is nothing so awesome and so humbling as those last weeks of pregnancy!
Leap ahead to March 2020 and we greeted the very unwelcomed COVID-19 pandemic… ugh. During that time, let’s be real… we all had struggles (still do). If it wasn’t the constant news banners of increasing outbreaks, scarcity of ventilators, hospital beds, and rising death tolls, it was a complete nuthouse of transitioning from traditional school to e-learning with two school-aged kiddos and a pre-school child in my last weeks of pregnancy. Suddenly, I found that we were down to one roll of toilet paper and none could be found throughout the lands…. Awesome. And then there was this little nagging realization that I would be entering a hospital in a couple weeks to bring forth life amidst a completely germ filled insane world. I know there were many families also wading these waters and unfortunately, the scariness of these times has yet to fade away. We were beyond blessed to make it through!
E-learning like little champs!
Our little 4-yr old, taking on the US map puzzle for homeschool.
Caroline, the budding artist, worked with me to paint our door for Easter.
We constantly checked for hospital news to see if Anthony would be able to come with me into the labor room and how long we would be able to stay at the hospital. (Let’s be real, fourth child means that the hospital stay is essentially a vacation… I WANTED to stay). Churches closed their doors and I found myself praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the church parking lot, begging for peace, begging for safety, a tear soaked mama before our Lord. Then I heard the words in my heart, “Jesus, I trust in you.” There is a reason St. Faustina gave us those words. In reality, they signify the only thing we truly have on this earth should we have the grace to receive it, faith and trust in our Lord. On April 8th, as our little Ethan Anthony Rund joined our world, all the hospital attendants could hear were those words, as I repeated them aloud, over and over, grasping at the opportunity to get to hold this beautiful boy of ours ALIVE and in my arms.
Some of my first snuggles with Ethan
A little over 24 hours later, we joined the rest of our kiddos. What a welcome Ethan received! Nothing but beaming smiles, giggles and love bursting forth from his big brothers and sister.
It has been nearly 3 months and he is so precious! We have nearly established a good sleep routine which is rather unreal to me because, despite all efforts, I’m a mess with schedules and routines. Everyone in this home continues to offer nothing but love to Ethan, perhaps because we all know how precious he truly is after our loss of Vivian. Each child loves on Ethan in his or her own way, but Taggart, our now 6 yr-old, absolutely dotes on him. After we lost Vivian, Tagg told us that he had been praying for a child and he was so disheartened that God answered his request but then took this child to heaven. He vowed that he would begin praying again for a baby he could hold (Seriously, what a kiddo! – at the age of 5!) So, Tagg is our go-to babysitter in this home. He relishes in entertaining Ethan, has mastered how to sooth him, and eagerly accepts any opportunity to join in laughter with him.
Just two weeks ago we had the most tremendous blessing of graces, Baptism and First Holy Communion on the same day! Absolutely amazing! Although different than we had originally thought, the beauty of sharing a special day together between our youngest entering into our Catholic faith and our oldest receiving our Lord in the Eucharist filled our hearts in ways we’d never dreamed.
Ethan was the 117th child in the Rund family to be baptized in the family gown, dating back to 1902.
Abram & Ethan on their big day
So here we are, beginning of July… and I’m all caught up!
The Rund kiddos