1. Fairy-Tale Beginnings
Matt Logelin and Liz Goodman both grew up in the Minnesota town of Minnetonka. Their lives would forever be linked after an impromptu meeting at a gas station that fueled the beginning of a fairy-tale love story. Both Liz and Matt were high school seniors when she approached him and mispronounced his name. No matter though, the sparks instantly flew and the two were inseparable after that. That is until it was time to go to college…
2. Enduring Long Distances
As graduation rolled around the picture-perfect high school sweethearts had to deal with the reality that they had enrolled in colleges in different parts of the country. Liz was going to study in California while Matt chose to stay closer to home at the University of Minnesota. The pair endured the distance however and maintained their connection by enduring a long-distance relationship. After graduating, Matt went on to complete his Master’s Degree at Loyola University in Chicago. He was then contemplating the prospect of pursuing a Ph.D. when he made another life-changing decision.
3. Matters of the Heart
After all those years apart, Matt couldn’t stand to be away from Liz any long and he decided that life would be best if he was with her. Therefore, in 2005, he packed up his belongings and moved halfway across the country to be with his beloved in Los Angeles. From there, the two took life by the horns. With life and love seemingly on their side, Liz and Matt traveled the world. Seeing that the pair loved to explore the globe and make new memories together, it was only fitting that Matt got down on one knee, and proposed to Liz in Nepal.
4. Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them
On August 13, 2005, Matt and Liz pledged their eternal love to one another and wed surrounded by friends and family. The newlyweds were ecstatic to start the rest of their lives together and things seemed to be going great. Professionally, the couple was making strides in California with Matt as a project manager at Yahoo! and Liz working as a financial executive at Disney. Personally, the Logelins were over the moon and had just taken the big step of buying a house together. But the happy developments didn’t end there.
5. And Baby Makes Three
Two years had passed since Liz and Matt Logelin had married and the young couple was hoping to expand their little family. The pair was elated when, in 2007, they discovered that Liz was pregnant with their first child. They couldn’t contain their excitement and were more than thrilled to share the joyous news with their near and dear. The expectant couple excitedly prepared to welcome their little one into the world, but little did they know, an earth-shaking turn of events was looming around the corner.
6. Launching a Blog
Seeing that their friends and family back in Minnesota couldn’t be around for every exciting step along the way, the soon-to-be-parents started a pregnancy blog to keep their loved ones in the loop. There, they posted adorable photos and regular updates on Liz’s progress. One of Matt’s favorite photos of Liz was one in which the glowing future mother is seen pointing to her pregnant belly. The thrilled first-time parents had no idea, however, that in the months to come, that picture would become part of an unexpected, widespread sensation
7. Not the Easiest Pregnancy
The world seemed bright for the Logelins, but despite the joy of anticipating their growing family, Liz was having a difficult pregnancy. She was coping with severe morning sickness and concerned doctors eventually ordered her to rest in bed for a few weeks. Meanwhile, Matt kept a watchful eye on his wife, who was usually very healthy and active. Liz, who typically enjoyed the outdoors and jogging, was then hospitalized for a couple more weeks of bedrest. Matt continued to update the couple’s pregnancy blog but never could have imagined the words he’d soon be writing.
8. Rushed to the Delivery Room
It was seven weeks before Liz’s due date and suddenly she was rushed to the delivery room. Seeing that her pregnancy was classified as high-risk, the doctors weren’t taking any chances. Twice Liz was wheeled into to the delivery room and both times the baby changed its mind. Finally, it was actually time for the baby to make its entrance into the world. However, the baby was nearly two months premature and Liz had to undergo an emergency C-section operation. On March 24, 2008, Mat and Liz Logelin’s lives changed forever.
9. A Brief Look
After a successful surgery, the pair welcomed daughter, Madeline (Maddy) Logelin, into the world weighing barely 3 lbs. 14 oz. The new parents were overjoyed and Liz saw their beautiful baby girl briefly. But, since she was born premature, the hospital staff hurried her off to the neonatal intensive care unit. Meanwhile, Matt took to the blog to announce the birth: “Madeline is here!” he wrote excitedly. “The proud parents will continue to update everyone on our beautiful baby. Look forward to even better news.” But no one was expecting the news that would follow.
10. Waiting to Hold the Little One
Liz couldn’t wait to hold her new daughter. However, doctors first ordered her to 24 more hours of bedrest. Once that time had passed, nurses prepped Liz to see the baby, who was healthy and alert. She was placed in a wheelchair, as new mothers are, and wheeled to the ward. Matt, who’d always wanted to have children, was there helping his wife as she took a practice walk around her room. It was a moment they had long been waiting for. Finally, the three of them would be able to have some much-needed bonding time. But then, tragedy struck.
11. A Terrifying Blur
Matt caringly helped Liz into the wheelchair when suddenly she uttered “‘I feel light-headed” and collapsed in his arms. The nurses tried to calm Matt down and tell him that it was common among new mothers to faint after the exhausting experience of giving birth. However, Matt felt that something wasn’t right with his dear wife. Doctors and nurses started rushing around and as things got more frenetic he was ushered out the room. Left alone, the new father could wait in apprehension fearing the worst.
12. 27 Hours After Birth
“Suddenly there’s this ‘code blue,’ people rushing past me,” Matt painstakingly recalled. “All of a sudden it hit me,” he tearfully told The Guardian in 2011. “She was going to die, today, here in this hospital. And she was never going to hold her baby.” Only 27 hours after giving birth to Madeline, doctors determined that a deadly blood clot had traveled to Liz’s lung and caused a rare, fatal pulmonary embolism that had tragically taken Liz’s life at just 30-years-old. Devastated, Matt was left reeling.
In just one day, Matt had gone from an ecstatic new father to a devastated widower. He had been expecting to fill the pregnancy blog with doting pictures of the happy family, but instead, his next post was a heartbreaking one. Mere days before, Matt Logelin had written an elated birth announcement for Madelin. Although words were hard to find, he now found himself penning a heart-wrenching obituary for the love of his life “Five weeks ago … things were perfect,” he mournfully wrote in the blog entry entitled “Liz.” “On that same day, my world fell apart.”
14. A Bittersweet Realization
All of the sudden, Matt’s world was turned upside down. The 30-year-old simultaneously found himself to be a grief-stricken widower and an enamored new father. Additionally, he was floored by the thought of raising the newborn Maddy by himself. Although he was instantly smitten with the infant, he’d always imagined sharing the adventure of parenting alongside Liz. Left navigating the confusing onslaught of emotions, he had to cope with the despair of the untimely loss of his soulmate and the rapture of becoming a father.
15. Intense Emotions
In the haze of grief over losing his partner of the past 12 years without warning, Matt Logelin went to the one place where he could find comfort. Taking Madeline from the tearful nurses, he held his infant daughter for the first time with the devastating knowledge that his late wife had never and would never hold her. After the funeral, the new father rushed to the hospital still in his suit to bottle feed his infant. Coping with grief and the reality of single fatherhood, Maddy was eventually released from the hospital. Matt has recalled that “when I finally got to bring Madeline home for the first time, I felt the house alive again.”
16. Agonizing Reminders
The first few weeks after Liz died had been agonizing for Matt. He couldn’t bring himself to remove her wedding ring from his pinky finger, and every Tuesday, when the clock struck 3:11 p.m. he was transported back to the fateful moment when his life was turned upside down. At times the unbearable weight of the world seemed too much. It was hard to bear being at home with so many reminders of Liz surrounding him. However, when he went out with Madeline, he found himself comforting strangers who were overcome by his response to where the baby’s mother was. “She passed away the day after the baby was born,” he’d say.
17. Coping with Reality
Despite his crippling grief, Matt was emboldened by the thought that his daughter needed him and that a part of his wife lived on in her. “The hardest thing about being by myself after Liz died was just not having her around me, when she wasn’t here to share in the joys of having our brand new daughter with us.” Overwhelmed by heartache, Matt knew he had to do his best to raise Maddy. Seeking a way to channel his intense feelings, he took to the Internet. He started posting to an online parenting forum hosted by his hometown newspaper, The Minnesota Star Tribune. But that wasn’t all.
18. Extreme Highs and Lows
He also refashioned his and Liz’s pregnancy blog into a personal parenting blog and found some solace in the writing process. The single father poured his heart out into the desperately-needed outlet and soon something unexpected happened. His honest writing helped Matt fight off the urges to let the grief consume him and was able to find some relief. As a single parent and widower, he also sought out the support of other parents to related to and who could provide support during the trying time.
19. A Transformative Process
Matt was determined to devote his time and energy to making Madeline happy and healthy. And even if her mom couldn’t be there, he made sure Maddy knew all about her. “I have great memories of Liz and I can tell her all about these things.” But Maddy wasn’t the only one who would see it. “Some minutes, I am extremely happy and there are other minutes when I am so down I don’t know what to do. That’s what I try to convey through the blog,” he has said. Before long, the blog transformed again into something broader that would have lasting effects on the small family.
20. An Overwhelming Response
Matt thought the blog, which was now called “Matt, Liz and Madeline: Life and Death, All in a 27-Hour Period,” would be a meaningful virtual scrapbook for Madeline when she grew up. However, the forum also became a widespread Internet phenomenon. Matt was receiving useful advice on how to deal with things like diaper rash and nasal aspirators. He had also created a place for other parents in similar situations to related to one another. In addition, the forum was attracting tens of thousands of page views a day and about 1 million to 1.5 million visitors per month. But where would it take Matt?
21. Easing the Pain
The blog had produced something inspiring and incredible out of tragedy. It served as a cathartic outlet and also a place where the single father could get the type of advice from others that he had been desperately missing from Liz. Along with their valuable words, the online community also rallied together for something truly heartfelt. Although it hadn’t been his intention, the single father started to get more than well-wishes. Complete strangers were so touched by his story that they started to send in a variety of items to help ease the pressure of the situation and help the single dad focus on raising his child and dealing with his grief.
22. Unimaginable Care
People sent in items he didn’t even know he needed. Along with the toys, stuffed animal and baby clothes Matt received diaper bags, formula dividers, baby nail clippers and hair clips after he wrote of his fear of not dressing Maddy in the way Liz would have wanted. The Logelins soon received so many gifts that they filled the modest living room of their home. “I never imagined that people would care about us the way they do,” he said. With the help of some of his avid readers, Matt eventually set up a charity organization in Liz’s name and did something incredible with it.
23. The Liz Logelin Foundation
Run by volunteers, the Liz Logelin Foundation organized fundraising events like 5-K walks and runs in her memory. One event raised $4,400 that was intended to go to Matt and Maddy. However, Matt envisioned another way to honor his wife’s testament. “Matt asked me if it was OK if he gave away all the money that had been raised for him and Madeline to the widows and widowers he had met through his blog,” recalled the foundation’s co-executive, Rachel Engebretson. “They didn’t have the same network of support and he wanted to help them.”
24. Remembering Liz Around the World
Part of the Liz Logelin Foundation’s activity includes the Celebration of Hope gala, held on the weekend closest to Liz Logelin’s birthday on September 17. The gala features a number of auctions benefiting the foundation, as well as a traditional 5-K walk/run held close to her hometown in Minnesota. The organization also holds an event called 5K Walk/Run/Hope Around the World, in which people are encouraged to buy race packets, and walk/run in their own hometown. All the profits from this activity go directly to the Liz Logelin Foundation. Such a heartfelt tribute, considering Liz herself was a runner. But the story doesn’t end there.
25. A Love Letter
As the time passed, Matt Logelin was struck how much his daughter Madeline resembled his late wife. He realized that his blogging had not only been vital for his survival but held a greater purpose. “In many ways, it’s a love letter to Madeline and to Liz,” he said. “Liz will never read it, of course, I want Madeline to know that her dad didn’t just curl up in a ball and start drinking heavily. I want her to know I was out there, doing as much as I could for her, and trying to make her as happy as I could,” he told the Daily Mail. Still, he didn’t intend to keep the blog active forever.
26. The Year Milestone
Although Matt Logelin’s blog had become a rallying point for widows, widowers and empathetic parents alike, he had initially planned the end of the project after a year. However, its popularity, cathartic effects, and purpose as a scrapbook for Maddy meant otherwise. Matt was blown away by the response to his blog and all of the opportunities that it presented. Matt and Maddy were now also heavily invested in helping others in similar positions. But the two would soon start on a new path that would again change things in a big way.
27. Maddy’s First Birthday
Not long before Maddy’s first birthday, Matt was in his car driving when suddenly four numbers randomly popped into his head. As it turned out, those numbers where the PIN number for Liz’s bank account, which he’d long forgotten about. Figuring that’s what Liz would have wanted, Matt decided to use the money found in the account to throw his little daughter a wonderful birthday party, which also marked the one year anniversary of her mother’s tragic passing.
28. Going Full Circle
In 2009, Matt decided to take leave from his job to pursue something unforgettable. With Maddy by his side, the two traveled to India where Matt wanted to take a couple of months to write a memoir. India was a location of particular significance as Matt and Liz had traveled there a year after their wedding. Passing on his and his late wife’s passion for travel, Matt found the time in India with his toddler invaluable. Their two months there gave him the time and space to pen his memoir Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love. The book became an instant New York Times bestseller, and there was more good fortune in store.
29. Single Fatherhood
When interviewed about his life as a single father, Matt Logelin remarked that though he’s getting praised for raising Maddy on his own and giving her best life, he doesn’t feel like he’s doing anything differently from other parents. Matt originally chose to be a stay-at-home-dad and to devote his time to raising Maddy, at least for the first few years of her life. However, he doesn’t feel like he gets so much praise for it. He’s just fulfilling his human instinct and taking care of his little girl.
30. Another Chance at Love
The same year that Matt Logelin’s book about his first year as a widower and single dad was published, it seemed that love was in the cards again for Matt. He started dating Brooke Gullikson, who volunteered with the Liz Logelin Foundation. The two had met the previous year at one of the organization’s annual fundraiser runs. It would take another year until Matt asked Brooke out on a date around Thanksgiving. Brooke said she knew nearly instantly that Matt was the one and she met Maddy by Christmas. Finally, things seemed to be looking up for the young widower.
31. The Word Got Out
When Brooke moved from Minnesota to Los Angeles to be with Matt and Maddy, he felt the need to post an explanation on his blog. Underlining that he hadn’t replaced Liz, he wrote: “But even in my darkest … moments there has been happiness and with Brooke now in our lives, there’s even more happiness.” While the couple had initially wanted to keep a low profile regarding their relationship, the word soon got out. However, not everyone was as enthusiastic. While most of Matt’s blog readers were supportive, others were more critical and accused him of having “swept Liz under the carpet.”
32. Mommy and Brookie (after page 28)
After Matt introduced Brooke to daughter Maddy, it was clear to the couple that things were getting serious. However, Brooke made a point not to take Liz’s place and would talk to Maddy about her mother often. When asked whether Maddy calls her mom, Brooke replied she simply calls her ‘Brookie.’ The quick transition from single woman to full-fledged mother-figure wasn’t easy for Brooke — especially the part where she had to install a car seat in her car. However, Brooke said she wouldn’t trade her relationship with the bright and sweet little girl for the world.
33. Life With a Widower
When Brooke was asked about her relationship with widower Matt Logelin, she replied she started reading books, including Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking” and Matt’s own memoir, to gain perspective of how a person handles widowhood. She hoped it would help her get a better understanding of what her partner was going through. But help arrived from less ordinary sources, too. One of the devoted readers of Matt’s blog, a woman who herself married to a widower, offered her advice and sympathy. The two women started talking and soon became close friends. But what became of Matt and Brooke?
34. Going Their Separate Ways
With the word out about their budding romance, Brook conducted an interview with Parenting.com in which she opened up about her thoughts on being a “replacement mom.” By the summer of 2013, things between Matt and Brooke fizzled. Matt then took to Facebook to confirm in a now-deleted post that the two had gone their separate ways. Although thing didn’t work out with Brooke, life still had more surprises for Matt and love wouldn’t be lost on him.
35. On-Screen Adaptation
Back in 2012, the Lifetime network considered making a screen adaptation of Matt Logelin’s book Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love. The plans to have writer Marta Kauffman at the forefront of the TV movie project, however, didn’t materialize. In 2016, word started to circulate that Channing Tatum was going to take on a bigger-budget Hollywood film adaptation of the book. The popular actor is slated to serve as executive producer and might even start in the pending father-daughter drama. So where does it all leave Matt and Maddy?
36. Not an Octopus
After releasing his memoir, Two Kisses For Maddy, it was only a matter of time before Matt Logelin released another book. Luckily, things were a lot more cheerful this time! Logelin teamed up with his friend, creative director Sara Jensen, and together they authored the children’s book named Be Glad Your Dad…(Is Not an Octopus!). The book was written after the two friends realized they share the same parenting style. It is a humorous, G-rated version of the “would you rather” game, accompanied by adorable illustrations by Jared Chapman, and has been getting rave reviews. But that’s not all Matt Logelin’s been working on.
37. The Long Process
Although Matt has undoubtedly encountered his fair share of hardship and pain, the unexpected path that life has taken him on certainly provided a valuable learning experience and example for others on how to pick yourself up from a tragedy and make the best out of what seems like an impossible situation. Matt has reflected that his late wife Liz used to be the more outgoing one and he preferred to stay in the background. In light of everything, he has increasingly broken out of his shell as a guest speaker at multiple grief and widowhood summits and as a guest-columnist for Glamour magazine. And how is Maddy faring?
38. Maddy Today
Maddy Logelin turned 10 years old on March 24, 2018. That date also marked 10 years since the tragic passing of her mother, Liz. In spite of the tragic circumstances of her past, her father and extended family have done everything to surround her with love and happiness. Matt has made the details of his blog less intimate as Maddy has grown older. “The minute Madeline says stop, that it. The plug gets pulled,” he always vowed. Over the years, Maddy has grown to know her mother through stories and pictures and has become all the more inquisitive.
39. Not Enough Female Influence?
As his daughter Maddy grew, Matt Logelin feared that growing up without a mother meant that there wasn’t enough female influence in her life. He addressed this issue in a heartfelt blog post following his daughter’s decision to cut her hair short. After receiving negative feedback for his daughter’s “boyish” new style, Matt pointed out all the strong female role models in his daughter’s life, and thanked her for being “the kind of kid who challenges perceptions.” He then expressed how he encourages his daughter to make her own decisions and to ignore outdated gender norms. His only concern, he wrote in this inspiring post, is his daughter’s happiness.
40. Maddy’s Own Charity Work
Having basically grown up with the foundation named after her mother, it only made sense that little Maddy got involved in its activities as soon as she got old enough. She attends all the organization’s events with her father and has even participated in several charity events. Maddy’s also tried to help raise money for people in need outside the foundation’s usual activity. After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck in 2017, the kindhearted little girl started selling cookies to raise money for the survivors.
41. Camp Widow
Among the Logelins’ many charitable activities, Mat also participated in a yearly weekend-long activity for widows and widowers, named Camp Widow. Camp Widow is a program aimed to supply widowed people with much-needed tools and information, as well as support, to help them slowly get back on their feet. In 2011, Matt became a presenter at the camp. He held a workshop for fellow widows and widowers, in which he discussed the significance of revisiting places that were an important part of the couples’ lives — like when he came back to India with his daughter Maddy after Liz died.
42. Father’s Day
An avid blogger and author, Matt Logelin isn’t afraid to voice his less than conventional opinions. One thing he objects to is Father’s Day. For him, Father’s Day was made up to sell greeting cards and ties and is hardly a big deal. Matt doesn’t have to wait until Father’s Day to spend quality time with his beloved little girl and to give her his full attention like many other fathers do. For him, it’s an everyday thing.
43. A New Romance?
After his break-up with ex-girlfriend Brooke Gullikson, Matt took some time alone and things seemed to be quiet on the dating front. Not too long thereafter, however, rumors began to swirl about him dating Lizzie Molyneux, a writer for the animated series Bob’s Burgers. The rumors seemed to be confirmed when the two appeared together at a benefit comedy show for The Liz Logelin Foundation in the fall of 2016. The couple wanted to keep quiet and deter gossip before announcing anything official. Nonetheless, inquisitive fans discovered something wonderful.
44. A Secret Ceremony
Matt Logelin and Lizzie Molyneux had largely kept information about their relationship under wraps to protect their privacy and that of Maddy’s. However, inquisitive fans looking for more details on the couple happened to come across something astounding! The fans discovered a wedding website for Matt Logelin and Lizzie Molyneux. As it turns out, the hush-hush pair secretly wed in a nuptials ceremony in Palm Springs, California in February 2018. And while Matt Logelin might prefer to be discreet on his private life these days, his chronicles about Maddy have caught the eye of one particular A-lister.