Sunday, October 28, 2012

I'm officially a World traveler

So I haven't shared this with you guys yet 
(I know, shocker... right?) 
but I am leaving TOMORROW to go to Medjugorje. 
(For those thinking, "What in the world is that?..."  please click HERE to learn more.) 
This is a town where over 30 years ago, 6 different children started having visions of our Blessed Mother Mary.  They are all now adults.  And two of these adults continue to have visions of Mary.  One on a monthly basis, and one on a daily basis.  Medjugorje is an extremely holy, and from what I hear, a very peaceful place. 

This trip has been planned for about 6-8 months now.  I am going with my parents and some close family friends, along with a group of about 60 other people from around this area. Fr. Mark Beard, a priest and our very dear friend, (who spoke at Tripp's services) will be one of the spiritual leaders for the trip.  Fr. Mark has been to Medjugorje multiple times.  He only became a priest within the last 3 years, and actually, the very first time he traveled there was before he was a priest.  He was traveling to Medjugorje to prove that the place was a scam... He came back, and joined the seminary. 
He's one of the most genuine and spiritual people I know.  Hearing him speak about his experiences in Medjugorje is so amazing and uplifting.

Initially, I was really, really nervous about going and almost didn't reserve my place in time.  Mom, dad  and I kept going back and forth with whether we were going to book the trip.  Because 6 months ago, I had no idea where my state of mind would be at this time or what would be going on in my life.  But now I am SO glad that I decided to go.  I am looking forward to this trip more than I could ever explain.  I'm hoping to find peace of mind and praying that I find answers to what I'm supposed to do with my life and my career.  Most importantly, I am so excited to strengthen my faith even more than I have in the past 9 months.  

We leave tomorrow out of New Orleans around 1pm, then we fly into Houston.  From Houston, to Frankfurt, Germany... then on to Dubrovnik, Croatia.  From Croatia, we will take a bus into Bosnia and hopefully (if all goes well) arrive in Medjugorje around 4pm on Tuesday (including the 8 hour time difference). We will stay in Medjugorje for about 7 days.  There, we will have the opportunity to share faith with thousands of pilgrims across the world.  We will attend daily mass at St. James Church (James is my all-time favorite book of the Bible, if you haven't noticed :) We will also climb Apparition Hill where Mary first appeared to the young visionaries.  We will get to also be able to do things such as meet with the visionaries themselves and see the "Blue Cross," which is a place of great healing and grace.    

When we leave Medjugorje, we will then fly into Rome for 3 days where will go into Vatican City and be able to attend the weekly Papal Audience and Blessing given by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.  While we are in Rome, we also get to visit the Vatican museums, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and much more.  

I'm not even fully aware yet of ALL the things we are going to get to do (like I said, I've been very nervous about it, so I haven't done much research.... I kind of just booked it, and told myself I wouldn't think about it again until it was close).  
Well, it's close.  
I'm not a good traveler... and I don't like to fly.  
But I'm offering it up!  I know Mary will grant us safe travels!  

I can't WAIT to tell you guys all about it when we get back.  

So, for EB Awareness week, I'm spreading the word all the way to Bosnia!
And I'm bringing prayer intentions for every single EB patient and their families. 
I'll have plenty of time to pray in peace at one of the most holy places in the world, so if you have a special intention, send me an email, and I will do my best to say a special prayer for you. 
It's the least I could do, for all you guys have done for me!

OH, and for those who wanted me to keep them in the loop...
Here's how our new house is coming along! :)
I'm so blessed. 



  1. Wow I am so jealous!! You are going to have such an amazing time. Will be praying for safe travels and for God to fill you with His Peace. Can't wait to read all about it!

  2. Say some prayers for my mom....battling breast cancer for the 2nd time...she's not doing too well and we have already lost my father to cancer. Enjoy your trip...i hope you are able to find some peace. You truly are an inspiration <3

  3. I'm a fellow Catholic reader who has been following you for quite a while. I must say, I am VERY excited for you and would love to make that trip myself! I have been on the Rome leg, but not the Medjugorje part. The Vatican is simply amazing. Saying prayers for a safe and spiritual trip!

  4. i hope you have an amazing trip! i have been wanting to go on a pilgrimage for a long time. im curious what group are you traveling with? do they have a website?? i like how yall are traveling to the vatican city. safe travels!

  5. what an awesome way to celebrate EB week!

  6. wow what an experience and adventure you will be having. I wish you the best of luck on your travels. may God bless you and look over you.

  7. Hi Courtney,

    I only came across your blog a few days ago... a link from baby Easton's FB page brought me here. I've read Tripp's entire story and your blog posts and am just in complete awe over him and the amazing mommy you are. He is an absolute angel and I know he is watching over you every single second.

    EB is such a horrible disease and now that I know it exists, I want to do something to help find a cure. Thank you for allowing strangers into your life and teaching us what it means to be such an amazing mother. I am your age and not a mom yet, but I was brought to tears by the love, selflessness, and courage you showed to baby Tripp. I hope one day I am half the mom you've been to Tripp.

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU - honestly, your story changed my life. It's so easy to take our blessings for granted and forget to take a few minutes to stop and thank God. You've taught me to remember to appreciate every blessing (no matter how big or small) that comes my way.

    And on another note, I briefly passed through Medjugorje on a day trip to Mostar this past summer. I didn't even know it existed, but our tour bus made a stop there and people got on with tears in their eyes. Everyone just said it was so peaceful. I hope you have an amazing trip - I hope you find PEACE and even some of the answers you are looking for. You most definitely deserve that.

  8. I have a Mary medal that was blessed Medjugorje that stays in my car. It has been in there since I was in my late teens. My neighbor brought it back for me when she visited. She said it was unbelievable there. Enjoy!

  9. Your testimony still brings me to tears! I pray Our Lady showers you and your amazing family with Peace in abundance! I continue to be humbled by your strength and Spiritual maturity! Thank you for sharing your life with us. Many Blessings to you all and I know God will honor your faithfulness.
    Love, Gretchen Twickler

  10. This sounds wonderful - what an amazing opportunity! You will have a great time and I'm looking forward to reading about it :)

  11. Wow, Courtney! So much is going on in your life. It is a joy to read about it all. Loved (!!) your visit to Sesame Street. How precious it must have been for you to meet "Elmo".

    May you have a rich, rewarding, life-changing experience in your travels. I have been to Rome (Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museum, St. Peter's, Colosseum, etc.) and it is amazing. I was so deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to see the Sistine Chapel and St. Peters. SP's is truly awesome in size. One feels so small. It is amazing!! I cannot wait to hear about your trip when you return and see your pics.

    Looks like a lovely home is coming along. I'm really happy for you.

    God bless!

    Deb D.
    Fort Wayne, Indiana

  12. Have a great trip! I don't know if you noticed, but your post is just so full of hope and excitement - I have been waiting to see one like that from you and here it is :)
    I went to a nearby hospital chapel for a mass this morning - and for the first time I noticed that there is a beautiful statue of Mary right by the entrance. But what is so special about this one is that Mary is holding her little newborn son and looks at him with all the love and care that a mother has for her baby. And she holds him in that typical, motherly way that all moms hold their sleeping babies, trying not to disturb their peaceful rest. She just seemed so human, just like all of us mothers. I hope that's the Mary you will find in Medjugorje. My dad has travelled there and he loved it. I myself spent a few summers in Italy and Croatia, so my advice is to enjoy the beauty of all these places, try every meal, coffee and ice cream that you come across, take photos and share with us! Have a safe trip!

  13. Wow -that sounds like a great trip! Praying for safety for you and all that are going with you, and that God will bless you and give you His peace. Can't wait to hear about it when you get back!

    Love from TX,

  14. Praying for you, your family and everyone else going on the trip! Safe travels and I look forward to hearing about your journey! God Bless!

  15. This is Awesome :) I know you guys will enjoy this so much. Any extra prayer in Medjugorie: As my son begins his journey towards Christ in a Catholic setting in the PSR class at St. Joseph's, that he finds peace and continues to grow and love our God for all of his life (and those same intentions for my youngest son who will follow in big brothers footsteps) thanks in advance :)

  16. How exciting!!! That is a beautiful region. :-) Prayers for you as you travel!

  17. Prayers for a safe, peace-filled and life-changing trip. Your story, and your son, have changed so many it's your turn :)
    Michelle in NV

  18. hope you find your peace Courtney! you certainly deserve it! have a safe, blessed trip!
    christiana (cyprus)

  19. Courtney,

    I've been following you for, what seems like, EVER. I have prayed for you and Tripp, and so has my daughter. I don't think I've ever left a comment -- but I wanted to today. I hope your trip is wonderful. You are going to have an amazing time. Such a special place! I look forward to hearing all about it when you're back!
    Have fun,
    Another Courtney

  20. Safe Travels! I can't wait to read about your experiences. Godspeed.

  21. That trip sounds amazing! Praying for safe travels for you and your family.

  22. Courtney that is amazing!!! I am so excited for you! That sounds like a dream trip and I pray that you find inspiration and peace in all the places you visit. I would LOVE to go to Vatican City and St. Peters!! I have never heard of Medjugorje but Lourdes is on my bucket list. Have a wonderful trip and God Bless you!!

  23. I knew exactly where that was as soon as I read the name. Enjoy your pilgrimage...I think you will get a lot out of it. I'm glad that you're looking forward to this and that you're excited about it! I feel you will bring something back spiritually that you are needing.

  24. What a special trip, it can't be anything else then amazing for you. I wish you and your family a great vacation!

    Great with an update about the house, looks BIG!

  25. Courtney, how great for you to go to this special place. I know that it will do wonders for your soul. I can't wait to hear about it when you return. Safe travels.

  26. Safe travels! Also could you please pray for my mom who is battle Multiple Myeloma (cancer of her bone marrow) and my father in law who is battle lymphoma and colon cancer. Thank you and hope you are albe to find peace and relaxation while you are there! Enjoy your trip!!

  27. I would so appreciate some prayers when you get there for my dear friend with acute leukemia. Too much to remember individually, with all your followers, maybe just remember us and our intentions. I am so glad you are going. I have a dream to get to Knock (Ireland) and Fatima someday but don't know that it will happen. Safe travel.

  28. Many Prayers for Safe Travels!! Can't wait to hear all about it! I pray to be able to visit there one day!

    God Bless You & Your Family!

    Many Blessings,
    Tina Keller

  29. This post brings tears of JOY to my eyes!! I know that you will be so blessed on this pilgrimage... and that you will come back feeling the fullness of grace.
    I'll be praying for you all!! Interesting, my maternal family are Beards (; I am the only Catholic.

  30. Hope you have a great time, dear Courtney! :) I love traveling and your itinerary sounds amazing!!! We have been to Rome in 2010 and Rome is such an amazing city!!! Sooo full of history, you can definitely feel the energy of everything that happened in that land in the air there! You will love it! I know you will come back recharged in every possible way!! The Vatican is simply beautiful!! Can't wait to hear your experiences and see your pictures!!!

    Hugs and our thoughts are always with you! :)

  31. Amazing! Have a wonderful love filled trip there. You are so close to London! If you want to come visit, I would love to show you and your family around. Tripp will be so happy for you x

  32. Courtney! Sono così felice che tu faccia questo viaggio e anche che venga in Italia e ricorda che qui fa già tanto freddo, porta abiti pesanti e una bella giacca contro il vento e la pioggia! Buon viaggio carissima

  33. I'll be thinking and praying for safe travels for you! Your posts always show up on a day I need them most--days I need to be reminded of what is important!Please say a prayer for my angel baby whose extremely brief existence is still a heartache.

  34. I hope this place will be exactly what you want it to be. My whole family, who are all religious, have already been and all of them loved it. I am not religious but do hope your little butterfly will be fluttering with you when you enjoy some peace and quiet. We are not too far away in Switzerland! X

  35. Have a safe and wonderful trip. My husband loves the people of Bosnia. I can't wait to hear all about your travels.


  36. God Bless you on your faithful journey! Can't wait to hear all about your travels. I can't pretend to understand what you are going through...but I am a firm believer of faith and I do believe that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. We don't always see or understand HIS reasoning, and I hope that some day, when we meet him in Heaven that he can answer our questions. I'm sure Tripp will be watching over you (as always) on your journey. God Bless,

    Maureen H.
    Altoona, PA

  37. I am so jealous!! I am Catholic and have always wanted to go there or Lourdes, France. Mary was the saint I chose for confirmation and I have always had a special affintity for her, even more so as a mother raising a terminally ill child, like you. Blessings for a safe and wonderful vacation!!

  38. How awesome! Enjoy it! My mom has always wanted to go to Medjugorje. In college, I had a Croatian friend and his mom had a bed in breakfast over there after she made a promise that her other son would be healed from cancer. And he was. I bet it will be amazing. I have been to Rome and it was the most incredible experience ever. You will love it! Safe travels!

  39. Courtney, I am so happy for you to be able to go there and maybe find a little peace that you so well deserve. I hope that when you return you will blog to us so that we can see through your eyes what a blessing you have witnessed. WOW !!! That house looks Great!!!. Safe Travels and will be waiting for your Safe return.

  40. How wonderful that you have the opportunity to make this journey! And as usual, you keep all of the other EB kids in your heart while you are there. :-) Safe travels and enjoy the journey!

  41. If you have the opportunity, my husband has suffered a 24/7 headache since 9/2/2006 from a lumbar puncture. He leaks cerebrospinal fluid, thus causing his headache. 6 years and 2 months later, he is still leaking and suffers daily headache.

    I don't share that with many people any more ... they don't 'get' it. But you've shared so many of the things people don't get about living and loving and letting go of Tripp ... in a way that I connect to. So, I will pray for you and your journey and will be grateful if you will pray for me, my family and my husband on ours!

    His name is Mike, he is my earthly rock and a servant of God. He is a hero, a wonderful father, provider and friend.

    Bless you Courtney and thank you!

  42. Yay! What a great trip y'all have planned! That is truly inspiring. It will be a wonderful healing journey for you all, I'm sure. Great to hear! I love the giddy positivity in your voice as well; it's like a ray of light. Those are great moments, and I'm so glad to read of one of them. Safe travels and can't wait to read about the experience when you return! Love, Tim & Ang

  43. Wishing you and your parents safe travels! I look forward to reading about your journey.

    As always, sending you love and hugs-
    Mary and Baby Jack

  44. Dear Courtney, it is so emotional for me to read that you are going to visit my home countries (I am half Italian and half Croatian even although I am leaving in Belgium since few years), and the special place of Medjugorje. I have been there many years ago and the atmosphere has something magic. I truly pray you will find some answers there. As for the flights, I hate flying myself but once my oldest son, who was six at the time, started waving as soon as our flight was above the clouds. I asked him the reason and he said to me " I am saying hello to Angelica and to grandpa because they are in Heaven so they must be hiding somewhere here in the clouds". I liked this idea that as we are up, we are closer to our angels. So think that when flying you are even closer to Tripp. My special prayer is for you to find answer and for you to contribute and witness that a cure for EB is found. Sending you lots of love and looking forward to hear about your experience in Medjugorje. <3 P.S. Your new house looks beautiful

  45. That sounds like such an amazing journey and I hope you find some answers. As for prayers, I live in eastern PA and we were spared from Sandy's terror for the most part ( still power outages and we had a scary 2 days) but our neighbors in NJ and NY will not be the same for a very long time. Please say a prayer for their journey as they rebuild their lives.

  46. Courtney, I love how far the Lord has brought you since 9 months ago. You are a testimony to us all. Enjoy this experience and go "taste and see that the Lord is good."

    Love and Blessings to you and your family.

  47. Hi I have been following you for about a year now, you are an inspiration to me can you say a little prayer for my 16 month old son please he has NF 1. Thanks safe travels!

  48. Hi Courtney,
    what an amazing opportunity for you and your parents, may God be with you and by now you are there already so I pray your flight was good! Keep sharing your story, you are amazing!

  49. Dear Courtney,
    Just to let you know that the story of your
    beautiful son came all the way to Croatia news, I'm sending you the link.

    I'm From Split (close to Dubrovnik, Croatia) and I have been reading your blog since. You are an amazing mom and you inspire me to be a better person. I hope Medjugorje will bring you peace and help you heal.
    When I was reading your blog I was thinkig how is it possible to feel somebodys pain and from milions of blogs i ran into yours and I'm glad I did, you are a special soul.Just like Tripp.
    Hope you enjoy Medjugorje and maybe you will wisit Split one day.You see, world is not such a big place.

  50. How did the trip go? I've been hoping for a post did I miss it? I hope your okay and as always your in my prayers! The "firsts" are always the hardest. I truly am sorry for your loss. But also great full for your amazing son who has given hope to so many! He truly is and was a gift!