Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Letter

We sent out only a few Christmas cards this year (and late at that). I attempted my first ever family letter so I thought I would post it and share it here for all our extended friends and family as well.

I’m attempting our first ever “family letter” for Christmas this year. It just seems so difficult to keep in touch with all of our friends as we all get busier and busier with school, activities, etc.

The biggest news of 2009 for the McDowell’s was that we welcomed our third little boy, Ross Jacob McDowell, on October 24th. He was 8 lbs, 2.3 oz and had a full head of dark hair. We’ve got two Ross’ in our house so he has become known as “Baby Ross Jacob.” We’ll see how long it takes him to grow out of that name.

Our second Ross is another hockey player staying in town to play for the Russell Stover’s team. Ross Kovacs came to live with us in August shortly after our last hockey boy, Mike, left. We had debated rather to house again with a newborn in the house but we’re very satisfied that we did. “Hockey Ross” not only helped us come up with a name for our new little guy but he has just fit right into our family. The boys love having him here and Russ loves having someone to talk hockey with.

Reid started all day kindergarten in August and is doing really well. He played baseball and soccer earlier in the year and is now participating on his first hockey team. His skating has really improved over the last couple of weeks and he’s getting more and more into it. He’s really buddied up with the best kid on the team and I think it’s helped fuel his desire to play harder.

Ryan… ah, Ryan. Ryan has truly begun to improve in the behavior department over the last couple of months but there are still plenty of days in the week where we just shake our heads. Ryan does what Ryan wants to do when Ryan wants to do it. He can be such a joy much of the time but can also be the most stubborn person ever. He is a very smart little boy too. He’s starting to recognize letters, loves reading books, and is a whiz at puzzles. Ryan does best when he gets to spend one on one time with Russ or I.

Ross is turning two months old on Christmas Eve. He’s probably close to 13 pounds now. His hair has really started to lighten and thin out. He has learned how to smile and is getting a lot stronger at holding his head up. He’s usually pretty easy going and is starting to get in more of a natural schedule which unfortunately is a 10 pm bedtime. Regardless of what we try he always passes out at 10:00. He usually gets up every three hours at night. Ross starts daycare on 1/4 when I return to work. He will be going to Beth’s house as each of our boys has. Beth has watched all of our boys since Reid was 10 weeks old and we didn’t even consider taking Ross anywhere else.

Russ has re-entered the world of playing hockey although maybe more for entertainment than competition this time. He’s still going to school, working, helping with the Stovers’ website, and competing in orienteering events. Russ did a 12 hour adventure race this summer and has been one of the top placers in several orienteering events.

I had a great year as well. I was able to run while being pregnant up until July so Ross Jacob got to compete in a half marathon and four 5Ks with me. I didn’t do much after July and I’m very excited to get back to working out and competing. I’m excited to partner up with Russ in several orienteering events as well.

What’s up for 2010? Russ and I are both planning on many events – adventure races, 5Ks, half marathons, orienteering. Our biggest adventure will be a trip to San Diego, CA in September where Russ will participate in a boot camp challenge. I haven’t quite decided my biggest event yet. I’ve toyed with the idea of a full marathon in the fall but I’m not sure that I can dedicate myself to training that hard this year with the three boys. I will certainly complete a couple of half marathons – that training schedule seems more feasible at this time in our lives. Reid will continue with hockey and Ryan is going to begin a parent/tot soccer class. He doesn’t separate as well as Reid did so we’re hoping this will get him excited to start participating in activities as well.

I try to keep our family blog updated as often as I can. You can stay up to date with us at

We’re hoping this letter finds you all well and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a great 2010!

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