Our new blog is LIVE. Join us at Trekking with T4 – A Family Travel Blog to see the story continue…

Not ready for Tommy’s story to be over? We are thrilled to announce a new blog! Think of it like a Part 2. What happened AFTER Tommy arrived. What did we do with this family we worked so hard to create?

All of our latest shenanigans and adventures will be shared at Trekking with T4ย  – A Family Travel Blogย 


Part 2: What happened after Tommy arrived? A New Blog is Coming Soon!

Blog family! Hello!! It feels so good to be writing again. Two years has gone by since Tommy entered this world and this blog was my heart and soul every week. Excuse my absence… We have been BUSY raising two sweet kids. ๐Ÿ˜‰ They absolutely adore each other by the way and could not be sweeter siblings. The whole journey was worth it a 100 times over.



Tommy just celebrated his 2nd birthday (with amazing unicorn Brandi and fam) and Teagan is 5.5 and about to enter Kinder! (Well maybe??)ย  Life is good…well as good as anything can be in 2020 ๐Ÿ˜‰

We are finally in a stage of life where it’s more manageable with the kids ages. And we are starting to dream of what we want to do with this family we worked so hard to make. And for us that’s traveling. If you know my childhood you know my parents are basically nomadic in the best way possible. And if you know Travis and I, this is something we have been thinking about for a while. We flew two kids to Vegas this past September and rented an RV and did a week in Zion and Antelope Canyon. Did I mention we had never driven an RV in our life?! It was crazy. We were insane to do that trip and ya know what?! We LOVED it. So much so that we rented another RV and did another trip to Apostle Islands.

So this past Spring when Covid hit we saw the writing on the wall and decided we were going to get an RV so we could continue to travel. And it comes…today! Like Travis is picking it up as we speak.ย  And of course even the name of our travel trailer starts with a T๐Ÿ˜‚. World, meet our new Taxa Mantis! #T5?! ๐Ÿ˜‚


The new blog will be a Part 2 of sorts. What happened after Tommy arrived. What has T4 been up to. We will document all of our adventures and share tips and tricks along the way for RVing with kids in a family travel blog.

Stay tuned…

#T4travels #T4tipsandtricks












Tommy’s First Birthday!

As Teagan would say…ohhh Tommy Thomas the Tank…. Happy First Birthday!

94908518658808208918983.jpegA year ago, on June 12th Tommy was born!

And he was HUGE and deemed Thomas the Tank Engine by hospital staff.SO Thomas the Tank Engine was the theme… naturally for his birthday party! Snacks included train items like “smoke puffs”, coal (Oreos), cheddar popcorn (gold), Timber (pretzel sticks), animal crackers (livestock) and even a veggie train!

And yes a unicorn was obviously included in the decor… #represent

Grandparents even flew in all the way from Ohio to celebrate!Tommy did not disappoint when it came to the cake smashing. That boy can SMASH a cake. Video below.๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿคฃ

Then came gifts. And he loved his new trucks/boats/trains! Anything with wheels and he is a happy camper. But his best gift was his birthday itself, which he thanked his unicorn for. We consider each other family after this experience and making this beautiful little boy together. ๐Ÿ’™ Gosh we make cute kids ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿค—. It was like getting to celebrate a baton race. Like V6 had done the first 9 months and handed us off the baton and we did the first year!


Our miracle baby is now a miracle toddler. Happy Birthday Tommy!! You are so loved Tommy! But I have a feeling you already know that based off the smile almost always on your face. ๐Ÿ™

Tommy Goes to the Capital!!!

Exactly 9 months ago today this little boy came into the world. And he has been changing it ever since.


It’s never too young to fight for what you believe in…

So with the help of mom and grandma he rolled his way to the capital to discuss the 2016 Gestational Carrier Act of Minnesota – the act that gave him,well, his life. This act protects surrogacy in Minnesota and makes sure that the surrogacy process is systematic and protects all parties involved.

Some groups in this state oppose surrogacy and are trying to make it unaccessible to those in need.

We went with Resolve, the National Infertility Association who set up meetings for us to tell Tommy’s story to two different senators. Tommy HAMMED it up for both meetings! (At one point he had a senator picking up his puffs he dropped on the floor). They both agreed he was the poster child for surrogacy! And that they supported our efforts.


Never underestimate the power of a cute baby in polictics ๐Ÿ˜‰

In baby news and not political news…Tommy spent this month getting teeth! He has one big tooth and more coming in any day. He is working on standing up by himself for long periods at his activity center and can roll out of the sitting up position. He gets on all fours a lot but doesn’t crawl quite yet. Teags crawled in month 9, so, excited to see if he follows that pattern! And finally, in amazing news, Tommy will graduate from PT this month! His tortillcolis is almost gone!

Tommy Bahama

When your name is Tommy and your first stamp in your passport is the Bahamas…this picture is basically a requirement.


We just got back yesterday from our Disney Merrytime Cruise and I can’t say enough about it!! Disney thought of everything and made the trip so enjoyable for both the kids and the parents!

We traveled to Miami from Minneapolis and it was Tommy’s first plane ride ever! We were pretty nervous as the plane ride was over 3 hours. But in true Tommy fashion he flirted with anyone that gave him a smile, demanded his lunch, and then went to sleep on daddy’s lap most the way! Sister enjoyed teaching him all about traveling on airplanes and the “rules”.


We traveled with my parents and it was nice because every night we got to have dinner as a family and then go see one of their shows on board. We saw Tangled the Musical and a rendition of Cinderella. Many nights were themed and one night, Pirate Night, they even lit fire works off the ship!

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We were on the boat for 5 days and it had 3 ports of call. We got to see Disney’s private island Castaway Key and go snorkeling! This was the first time Tommy touched an ocean!


And while we were on the island we even ran into Minnie Mouse!

1143-27732568-Cove-34636_GPRThe next port was ATLANTIS in the Bahamas. And it TOTALLY lived up to my wildest dreams. It even had a toddler water playground made just for Teags age group! She loved her mommy daddy day! The most hilarious moment of the day was when we took her on the “lazy” river – yeah it was a WAVE lazy river. Not so lazy after all. We were holding on to her for dear life. She went from flat out screaming at first…to by the end screaming, “THIS IS AWESOME!!!” haha

Mommy and Daddy even did some grown up slides!



The last port of call was Key West! We did a trolley tour and looked at all the “rainbow” houses and ate a slice of the keys ;)…key lime pie!


We ended the trip with Teagan’s favorite moment of all – her meet and greet with Elsa and Anna!

1143-27903452-Frozen FZ Anna and Elsa 4 MS-34892_GPR

Overall the trip could not have gone better – we got to make so many memories as a family! AND thanks to the kids camps on board mom and dad even got a couple hours off to have drinks in the hot tub. A very merry time cruise indeed.

From our family to yours,ย  Merry Christmas!

1143-27668360-Embrk Terminal-34630_GPRLove,


Travis, Tory, Teagan (4 years), Tommy (6 months)

Santa Baby Tommy: And one HUGE bday surprise!

Next week Tommy turns 6 months old and Teagan turns 4!!! These sibs basically share half bdays/bdays. Teags was born on December 11. Tommy June 12. Six months apart (and a day… but close enough ;)).

We have a ton to celebrate and have a big surprise for the kids! Well Teags knows, but Tommy has no clue ๐Ÿ˜‰ In my family there is a tradition that when you turn 4, you go to Disney! It’s my first memory. Eating my pretzel cake with the princesses. We considered Disney Land but decided to wait until Tommy can enjoy too, SO instead we are going on a Disney Cruise!!! And we leave next week!!!

Teags and Tommy will be sailing the high seas on the Merrytime Christmas Cruise to the Bahamas and the Keys with Santa out of Miami.

And fun fact, you have to be 6 months old to sail. Tommy will be 6 months and one day old. He will be the youngest person on the ship! Because Tommy was just born to stand out…always lol!

Mommy and Daddy are extra excited about Teags big bday gift on the trip. We got her an all day mommy daddy date to ATLANTIS.

We purchased the excursion that let’s us use all their water slides and aquarium for the day when our boat docks in Nassau. Tommy will be in the the “It’s a small world after all” day care on the ship…yes they offer daycare! (And nana and papa will be on the ship also, we are cruising with my parents)!! Teags we love you and if any big sis deserves a day alone with Mom and Dad it’s you. You have been the best big sister we could have EVER imagined. Happy birthday sweet girl.

The last couple months Tommy has grown up so much since my last post! He is 23 pounds, in 18 month clothes and maxed out his infant car seat. After the help of PT to help strengthen his neck to hold up his noggin (size 4t hat size… not joking), he can ROLL over!!! He also has hand eye coordination and can grasp and put things up to his mouth and clap. He has the best smile and rosy cheeks. He loves peek a boo, sister, patty cake, standing in his activity center, and food. Any food. He’s all for it.

We met Santa recently and I think santa described him best. The elf said he matches me! (He was wearing elf Christmas PJs.) But Santa said. But he LOOKs like me haha!

Santa Baby!!! I agree with you santa!

(Pics of the last phew months! Tommy’s first Halloween and Thanksgiving!)

(Also, in the name of keeping it real because believe me life is not always sunshine and rainbows…my kids have been sick for a week. Stir crazy over here. I told them be sick this week. Go through your 6 months regression and not sleep this week kids. Not allowed next week. And yes we are totally terrified of having the youngest kid on the ship and we may be nuts for doing it. Just keepin’ it real folks! Ha!)

(All Disney Images are not my own. Source Google images)

A year ago today, our Bun went in Brandi’s oven

A year ago this morning we were busy doing this…

Putting Tommy in Brandi’s oven on September 29th.

And this morning I am going into my son’s room to give him a bottle.

As this day has been approaching, lovingly referred to as Miracle Day around here, I keep saying to me Sept 29th may have almost more meaning than his birthday. Or at least the same. It’s the day Tommy started. How can it get bigger than that? It’s the day our family got intertwined with another family forever. We love you V6!

A year ago today I DREAMED I would be able to post this picture a year later. But never knew if I actually would be able to.

With a heart bursting it is so full..

Tommy holding his embryo picture a year later. Oh the difference a year makes.

Tommy Turns 3 Months!!

Tommy is officially out of the “4th trimester!!!” He is awake now much of the time, gaining head control more and more everyday (his head was so big this has been a challenge lol!), smiles and coos, and he is so much more interactive.

He has such a chill loving personality! A gentle spirit who loves glancing at you across a room or staring into your soul when you are holding him in your arms, giving you the biggest smiles, and even giggles recently!

And he is learning so much about words already too! Just today he was crying and I said the words milk and bottle and he immediately stopped and a huge smile spread on his face. I tested him on it all day and sure enough he recognizes words!

His favorite toy to play with? Sister! She told me today that when we get old she will be Tommy’s mommy and take good care of him for us. And do all the hard things like reading to him, feeding him, diapers, and giving him walks. (I have no doubt she would do an excellent job. She continues to floor us with how mature and nuturing she is with her brother. Nothing but love towards him.)

The most recent development is that Tommy has laughed a few times! Like really laughed! He loves when you sniff his neck or play this little piggy with his toes. But if there is a sudden loud sound that bottom lip pops out and he looks so scared (and adorably pathetic) and starts whimpering. It breaks your heart! Raspberries on his tummy? Yeah he’s not a huge fan. Lesson learned. ๐Ÿ™ˆ

Physically he continues with tank status. He is weighing in at…drum roll please…

19 pounds!!!

You guys at 3 months old I am already in the TODDLER section buying him clothes! He is wearing size 12 months.

Tommy had a busy third month! Month 3 in pictures below. (Including pics of tommy meeting his grandparents from Ohio this month and a BBQ with V6!

I woke up to post this blog and Facebook reminded me of this memory a year ago today.

Embie report and gender is in!!!!!!!

Of the 2 embryos from this IVF batch:

One is a strong……BOY! Perfect DNA. No question marks or flags.

(The other was a boy as well but did not have viable DNA.)

Tommy you are the biggest blessing and we can’t imagine our lives with out you. Our gentle giant. Your smiles and laughs MELT us. We love you to the moon and back, cheekers!!!

Tommy Turns Two Months!

Eight Tuesdays ago our little boy made his entrance into the world! Hard to believe this week we can say we have a 2 month old!

His biggest milestone this month is that he went from sleeping only 2 hour stretches (it was rough) to through the night?! This kid now goes down at 10:30 pm and sleeps until 8:00 am in the morning. How is this possible might you ask? He cluster feeds big time from 4-10:30 at night. But we don’t mind. You do what you gotta do to sleep through the night Tommy. Your parents are very happy campers.

Tommy continues to be the sweetest gentlest big teddy bear of babies. His smiles are much more frequent these days and we love getting to know him better now that he is awake more during the day! He loves swatting at toys on his tummy mat and mimicking mommy and daddy. Sometimes he will try to wave back at you! Or click his tongue back at you.

Tommy’s two month stats:

Weight: 15.7 pounds!

Jammies: 9 month size

Diaper: Size 3

Clothes: 6 month size, moving into 9 months

Socks: 12-24 months

HE CONTINUES TO BE A TANK. The cutest, sweetest tank there ever was. We are so in love.

Tomorrow is his 8 week check up for shots and to see where he is on the growth chart. Last time he was at 99% in all categories…

Our New Normal

SO I thought this blog was over. My last post I wrapped it up – at least on my end of things now that baby is here. Tommy was born on June 12th. We got our happy ending and what an ending it was. T4 happened. Our miracle somehow happened. Our unicorn made our dream come true.


Apparently I was totally off base. I have been receiving a lot of comments of people not too happy with me (in the nicest way possible) for ending the story just when Tommy got here. As they have put it people are invested in this love story. One comment said this was the greatest love story I have ever been apart of. Another said I am so sad this is over. It was good in my feed when right now there is so much bad. And yet another was from a mom wondering what its like after the baby is here as an intending mother.


I have been trying to find an hour to write an update. An hour is basically unheard of with two kids 3 and under, so bare with me as posts will be a little bit more spread out. But I will try to do posts every couple months!

I have so much to say. Where to start?

So what is our new normal?

Well Travis took 6 weeks offย  for paternity leave and it was glorious!!! We really got to establish our family as T4.ย  We alternated nights so someone was well rested for Teagan. We had so many fun adventures like the pool, a deer petting zoo, and even a trip to a cabin for a family reunion!


He just went back this week and oh my gosh do we miss daddy! It was a wonderful and I am so grateful. Tommy is basically a Travis mini me in looks and personality. They are the best father son duo! Just like daddy Tommy is a chill little boy who is quiet and loves his sleep, ha! Just in time for daddy to go back to work Tommy slept through the night for the first time. How considerate is he??

Tommy sleeps from 10 – 6. You feed him and he is back down until 9:30. Then you feed him again and he is down until 11 ish. Then he sleeps again until 4. At which point he really “wakes up for the day” and cluster feeds until 10pm. We see Brandi and family about once a week to visit and pick up the milk Brandi is pumping for him. When we can we try to have the meet ups somewhere were the kids can get together like the park! I love having another person to share all his milestones with and send pics all the time to Brandi.


I have been getting A LOT of questions now that I am walking around with a baby! Here are the top 3 questions I get!

The number one question I get is, “Can you believe he is here?”

Now, yes. But it took a while to fully let in.

I still tear up and get emotional.ย  I am not sure I will ever NOT be when it comes to Tommy.ย  I am coming to realize that I had a lot of walls up to survive this process. How could you not? SO many times I thought we might loose him. That we might not get him here at all. That I needed to come to terms with having one child. And because of that – he doesn’t seem real sometimes even still. Although the walls are coming down and it feels like the biggest weight has been lifted off my chest and shoulders. Like for the first time in nearly 1.5 years I can take a deep breath again.

The cashier at Target ran around and hugged me and started crying when she saw me come into her line today with a baby carrier. She had seen me buy all of his clothes and knew the whole story. She was in shock – she couldn’t believe it was him. She stopped and just soaked him in – you could see it in her eyes. Like she was seeing a miracle – and she was. She turned off her light in her aisle and we held hands and hugged for a good couple minutes tearing up in the middle of target together. This journey brings you together with people. People that you don’t even really know. People love, love. And Tommy and his story – it is the greatest love story I have ever been apart of in my lifetime too.ย ย 

The second question I get most often is,ย  “How is Teagan handling it?”

I have never been more proud of my daughter. Seeing her love for her brother is the other piece to this love story. This morning she said mom I will feed him his bottle. You make me eggs and I will feed him his bottle. Every morning she parks herself next to brother and gives him a paci or his bottle. I don’t ask her to do this. She just does. She swoons over him and “pets” him and just recites, “Tommy. tommy, tommy, Thomas the Tank…” On days when she sees me stressed trying to juggle it all (he is the easy one, she is more clingy these days) she gives me hugs and tries to feed me haha. She is taking care of mom and brother. She waited half her little life for the title of Big Sister and she is rocking it.

The third question I get the most is, “Can you believe this became your story? That surrogacy would be so fundamental to your life?”

No. Not in a million years did I think surrogacy or this would be in my life story. This blog reached 88 countries. What a crazy ride seemingly out of nowhere. But I have to say being on the other side of it – I am just so honored to be apart of this surrogacy community. Like goosebumps as I type that kind of honored. No one asks for infertility. No one asks for this and you question why you a million times. But looking back – wow. It enriched my life in the biggest ways.

I am still part of the surrogacy facebook groups. Every day I see people pouring their heart and soul into posts trying to find a surrogate or vice versa – a surrogate trying to find a family. The people on these sites have TRAGIC stories – I mean gut wrenching things have happened to them and not only are they sharing their story with the world in hopes to find a surrogate but even after all their pain they are still trying and determined, and HOPEFUL. And then you see in real time as a woman comments that she may be a good match. And then a couple months later you see this couple post that they are pregnant! My feed is full of miracle after miracle happening in real time. And I get to be a fly on the wall for all of it!? Its an honor. Lifetime could not come up with better love stories.

The other day a same sex couple uploaded a video of their 10 year anniversary party. At the party they let everyone know they were expecting. It was a surprise to everyone in the room. And then they had the surrogate come on stage and they did the gender reveal! But then in a awesome crazy twist they say, we have one more surprise. And they bring another pregnant lady on stage. Their other surrogate!! They were essentially having twins – 2 boys 8 weeks apart. I remember months ago reading their story. Their first surrogate had not panned out and they were looking for a match –ย  they got their happy ending x2!

Tommy and Brandi have enriched my life beyond anything I could have ever dreamed. I have learned so much from Brandi. And Tommy you have already done so much with your short little life. I am so proud to be your mama. Not to mention you give the best little snuggles ever.

My favorite love story – signing off as T4 with our first ever family pic!

I will be back as time allows – if you have anything you are curious about or would like me to share please comment!








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