I went to an art festival with my mom and her hubby about a week after I got home from Haiti. It was so much fun to wander around with them in that environment! They both lean handmade/handcrafted, and seeing what makes their hearts sing makes me appreciate those kinds of things (and them!) all the more. I just love art festivals, don’t you? The food, the music, the jewelry, the ART- they always make me want to jump heart-first back into that world again. (I painted folk art and pet portraits full-time for a bit in my early 30s.)
Anywho- back to the art festival in Milton. It was beautiful that day, and there were so many great booths. My favorite, was Donna Tucker’s. Her paintings caught my eye from three booths away.
There wasn’t anyone else shopping in her tent when I stepped into it, so I took my time looking at each and every painting she had. I swear I could’ve taken home every one! There was one in particular though- of a pasture and big round hay bales. That one really captured my attention.
I wanted to think on it though, so I turned back toward the middle of the tent and began to look through the bin full of her matted prints. Rooster, crab, goldfish, then boom: a bubble.
I gasped and clutched my chest the second I saw it, and a lump zoomed straight up into my throat.
In a flash, I was transported across time back to that first day in Haiti…to that first hour we spent with our son. Him, processing the mama and daddy from his photo book that were now standing right in front of him. Us, processing his precious face in person– the one we had only been allowed to see online for the past year and 8 months.
It was blowing bubbles together that broke the ice.
(photo: Billy Pope)
Once that little plastic wand came out, time slowed and the three of us were home. We had our first “family laugh” in the middle of all those bubbles. I’ll never forget that.
So obviously I *had* to have Donna’s bubble print. I carried it up to the little sales counter she had set up in the corner of her tent. I silently chanted “don’t cry. don’t cry. don’t cry.” in my head on the way.
Long story short- I cried. Right there at the register. Poor Donna didn’t even see it coming, bless her heart. I really did try my darndest not to, and I was smiling while I was boo hoo-ing, but somewhere between swipe and sign, I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. Those tears just had to bust on out. My mom came up behind me around that same time and, boy, it was really over then. Seeing your mom + thinking about being a mom = guaranteed water works.
Donna was sweet about it though, and I did end up buying the hay bale painting before I left her tent that day, too.
The print now lives inside one of the frames in Sweet P’s bedroom. One day I’ll tell him all about why seeing bubbles will always make me smile and cry. 🙂
PS- I grabbed one of Donna’s cards so that I could remember to tell you that she has a blog: ArtOfDonnaTucker.blogspot.com, is on Facebook, and that she has a website: donna-tucker.artistwebsites.com. Oh! Also, thank you for your prayers about my throat. It seems to be a case of “silent reflux” so I am sticking to the anti-acidic diet and will continue to take Prilosec until it’s totally gone. It’s uncomfortable to feel like your airway is restricted, but it is comforting to know that it really isn’t and that things are improving! XO
Oh my goodness–that makes me want to cry. I love that you are able to appreciate and recognize the signs that your son is always with you–at least in spirit for now. I’m so going to check out Donna’s art. Thanks for sharing.
What a wonderful story, Layla! You really draw me in. 🙂 I love the bubble print and what it means to you. Meaningful art is the best kind. I somehow missed your post about your throat, but I’m glad you’re doing better. I hope it goes away completely and quickly!
P.S. I meant to tell you that my husband and I have started watching Doc Martin after your post about the village, and I’m loving it! 🙂
Thanks for your health update – praying for you. Glad you are on your way to being healed. And your post made me cry — he is fortunate to have you both as parents!!
Art that resonates with us is always the best! I’m glad that you were able to purchase them and have them in your life. Daniel Merriam is like that for me but I can’t afford his work except in calendars and such but I love it!
Seeing the bubble picture took my breath away! God is awesome!
Ok. This totally made me cry! Happy tears!
Layla seeing the words ‘art festival in Milton’ had a similar effect on me as did the bubble print for you. I have taken my son to the Milton art festival so many times and have so many happy memories. Years ago we moved (what feels like) a billion miles away and my son has grown up and left the nest to begin his own adventure. I miss him every day. Seeing the words you wrote brought me right back and my eyes teared up at the memories of my son and I browsing through those booths. Reading about your emotions opened the flood gates of my own. Just as that painting brought you happiness through memory, you have brought the same happiness to me. Thank you.
Layla, I love your blog. I love your style. I love you the way you love the Lord and your family!! Thank you for sharing your heart!
Love the story and thankful for answered prayer!
Beautiful…isn’t God truly amazing?! I’d like to think he orchestrated the whole thing=)
What a wonderful story! I am sure she will read up on your posts to share in the story now. I LOVE the picture of your son with the bubbles! Those little, perfect lips. What a moment for you. So glad you found such a special piece and it looks great on the gorgeous gallery wall you have created!
wishing you a wonder-full day…thanks for the precious beginning of mine : ) love you!
Leave it to you to make me cry in my tea! I’m drawn to the ants on a log painting. Did you see it in person? I’ve been looking for a piece of art for my kitchen it might be the one!
Loved the rooster the instant I saw it so I went to her website and bought a print. Thanks for sharing! Your blog is my new favorite. I love your positive attitude, organic, sweet nature and creative mind. Thank you for making every day a little bit happier. 🙂
What a beautiful memory to have Layla!
I’m sure we will all shed some tears
when Sweet P finally comes home!
As soon as I scrolled to the print of the bubbles I teared up too since any of us following along know what that meant. There’s a reason she painted that and you saw it.
Marianne in Mo.
I had the same thought!
Thanks for your update on your throat. I had replied to your original post wondering then if your problem was “silent reflux”. I too was recently diagnosed about 3 weeks ago and have been trying really hard to stay on the diet i found through Dr. Jamie Koufman’s website and her book/diet cookbook & cure “Dropping Acid”. But if you have any other helpful recipes, links to other websites and doctors I would love your input too. This little book has been helpful in explaining the difference between just reflux and silent reflux. I know you must have been just as surprised as I was when they told me what I had. But I am better 3 weeks out and I know you will be as well. Take care of that throat!
I do love the artwork too and your heartfelt response to the bubble painting & Sweet P story. So very sweet.
Best of blessings to you in your journey to be well!
With Mother’s Day around the corner, your bubble story was perfect! Brought tears to my eyes, “it’s a Mom thing” Sweet P is going to bring you many Happy tears over the years!
So glad to hear throat issue was acid reflux and nothing “harder” to fix!
Enjoy the lovely spring weather and Thabk you for making the time to share your decor ideas and life with us!
The rooster picture was right up my alley! Went to her website and saw you could buy it on a pillow! One cute rooster pillow coming my way! :0)
I just cried reading….Very special picture and story. So glad to hear you are on the mend. We don’t get to see the other picture? 🙁
That little picture was meant to be 🙂
Oh that print is perfection! I can’t tell you how excited I am for you. Motherhood is a precious thing. Thank you for introducing us to Donna. Her paintings are so lovely!
hello haha narf
annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd now i am crying at my desk.
it feels good to care about invisible internet people. thanks for sharing your lives with us!
I like how the frame resembles crosses. Coincidence? 🙂
I love that picture and the story. Sweet P will cherish it when he is older. Just think it could hang in your grandchild’s room some day!!! So glad to read you are feeling a bit better.
Brought tears to my eyes. We headed to Russia 14 years ago to meet our two sons directly from my brother’s wedding. I had thrown in a couple of bubble bottles from the wedding and blowing bubbles was our first family activity also. Sweet memories. They are now 16 and 18.
I cried too. 🙂 Can’t wait to see your little family of three all together!
What a precious story! I love Donna’s painting of the measuring spoons. I grew up using spoons like that with my mom, and those look so real! Glad to hear that you are healthier than you thought!
Yep God found you that painting…. Reminder of better days to come.
Leigh in Dallas
I’m crying at my desk too! LOVE this. Personalized items like this painting are what make a house a home, and how special for your Sweet P to have this in his room to remind him of the day he met his family!!!
Sue @ My Painted Door
Yet another beautiful story! I saw the photos of your family blowing bubbles in Haiti. And now this print. It is perfect, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing Layla.
Oh my goodness. What a sweet story, Layla! I can totally relate to that seeing your mom and thinking about being a mom making you cry thing… being a mom is so teary sometimes. 🙂
I’m so glad you bought it. I really, really love the celery, peanut butter, raisin painting. I think that combo of such a beautiful piece of art based on such a simple, silly subject is so fun.
Krystle @ Color Transformed Family
I love it! I love the painting and I love the story. This is just one of the many reasons why adoption is beautiful.
Awesome, Layla! Thank you for letting us be a part of your something wonderful. I love your Momma stories! Have you bought any bubbles for when your Sweet P actually gets to come home yet? I always have a huge refill bottle and several smaller individual bottles at the ready with our sidewalk chalk bucket in the garage for our daughter and her neighborhood friends. I just adore the sweet simplicity that those outside toys can bring such lasting memories for all of us.
Thank you, Dawn. No, we haven’t bought any yet. It will probably be at least a year before he gets here, so we have some time. Looking forward to visiting him this summer though! 🙂
A lovely post, had me in tears at my desk in my oh so dull office job in Nottingham. I’m so thankful I discovered your blog 🙂
Thank you so much, Claire. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and I’m happy to have e-met you here today, too! 🙂
So very sweet.
What is the next step in your adoption process. When do you get little Sweet P? I’m so ready and I KNOW y’all are. Anxiously awaiting.
Thank you, Jan. 🙂 Here’s a link to the post I published about the next steps:
Can’t wait to see his little face again! 🙂
This is so awesome and it is totally a “mom” moment. Tears are good! The paintings are so precious-I will be checking out her site.
As soon as I saw the painting I immediately remembered you talking about the bubbles in a previous post and the water works started for me. I have read your blog for years and have followed your adoption story since the very beginning. So happy for you and your husband in this wonderful time of your lives.
No fair making me cry. I bet Sweet P also has wonderful memories of bubbles.
How are you feeling?
So-so. Lots of anxiety daily because of the sensation that’s still in my throat. I try to keep reminding myself is HAS gotten better. I’m just so ready for it to go completely away. 😛 Thank you for asking, Kris. I appreciate your thoughtfulness! XO
Having gone through something similar (with similar symptoms), I remember how anxious I was. Hang in there.
Betsy @ Happily Ever After, Etc.
Such a sweet story… it’s amazing the triggers that little meaningless things hold. What was once such a little thing now holds such memories! Those bubbles hold memories now! Here’s to many more bubble filled afternoons!
omg totally crying! love this so much!
It’s such a small world…you might not remember but I sent you the CL fair tickets several years ago when I couldn’t attend…today I pop on here to find your post about where to shop in Montgomery because I’ll be driving thru headed back home to The Florida panhandle tomorrow and then I find this post about Donna!! Her husband has worked with my husband for years and I have loved watching her Art go from a hobby to a business. She is so talented and sweet to boot! I’m so glad that you posted about her work!
As an Aunt to three beautiful adopted kids, I have cried many a tear for them. And now I cried a few reading this. Wasn’t even expecting that!! Have followed your blog for a long time, and can’t wait for you to have your little one home with you!!