Who's the cutest girl around?

I am a mom of a cutie pie (very biased). And I wanted to share my experiences with others (including my cuties grandparents, great-grandparents, numerous uncles and other relatives). I love being a mom and can't imagine doing anything else.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

From Uncle Andrew

Of all the uncles, Livi made Andrew work the hardest for her affections. I'm not sure why...maybe because she knew he could handle it and wouldn't take it personally, maybe because of the reaction she got from everyone. When we would all be sitting together and she would be handing things out she would tease Andrew. She would walk towards him and we would all think she was heading for him then she would turn at the last second and get this mischevious grin on her face as we all laughed and said "oh Livi". But she said his name early. She knew him in pictures when he wasn't around and she made sure he followed her even if she wouldn't let him have a toy. I know she loved you Andrew.

I can't write a be-all, end-all, ode to Livi, because these are just words, but I'd like to take this space to say how special she was and is to me.

I wasn't real excited when I first met Livi. She was just small and didn't do much. Time passed though and her golden personality developed. And her place in my heart grew and grew until she had taken over large pockets of the entire thing.

She was very thoughtful, beautiful, warm, kind, and hilarious. We always had fun playing with her. When I'd go for a weekend in Lancaster, I'd stay on the couch in the living room. I'd wake up early and go check on Livi to see if she was up yet. Sometimes I would even be in there waiting for her to awake before Pa. Oftentimes she was still asleep and I'd wonder if it would be 'bad' for me to wake her. When she'd get up, she'd have this sweaty head and look really cute. We'd go into Pa and Gigi's room and she'd wake one of them if either was still sleeping by hitting them in the face and yelling 'Gup!'. This was funny to her (and us). Then she'd make us breakfast in her deluxe kitchen set, and she'd always take her time making sure everything was cooked just right and that the meals were prepared and presented impeccably. She'd be really creative too and put ice cream on the toast sometimes.

Then we'd just play little impromptu games all day that were always fun. Though sometimes they went on for quite a long time. Livi would take little breaks and have yogurt and some cinnamon toast. She would try to eat as little bread as possible by just picking off the buttered cinnamon and sugar. There's a picture on my parent's fridge of her eating toast and my brother and I are next to her playing guitars. She has the best look on her face and a perfect little outfit w/ little Elmo slippers. She had many cool little outfits. After some time Livi would have to take a nap, so we all became bored for those hours.

Eventually, she'd get up and the games would resume interspered with book readings and maybe a trip into town out for dinner. Having Livi at a restaurant brought a lot of attention from other patrons who enjoyed watching her and smiled. They were a little jealous too because she was with us and not them. She was a really good person to have with you. Nighttime meant more playing, maybe a bath for her, and the great nightcap: dance party hosted by Livi. Then she had to go to bed and I would miss her. Usually she didn't want to go to bed. The next day would be the same, full of laughs, hugs, and happiness.

Then I'd have to leave and it would be sad for me. Because I missed her while I was gone. She was always on my mind in between visits. I'd be having a great time at the beach with buddies, but I'd think how much more fun it would be if my little friend was here running around and exploring. I'd see a dog and think of how Livi would be excited to be here and see the dog. But I was mostly sad to leave because I was fearful of a day like this. Days when she wouldn't be around anymore. And now those are the only days we have.

Even though she is gone, she is always very close to me because she is in my heart and the hearts of my family. And good things everywhere have a touch of her, from a little wave breaking on the shore to Jerry Garcia's guitar in "Morning Dew", she is there. Alivia was a special gift from God to our family. And I feel very blessed to have known her and been in her life. The impact she has left on us is greater than anything we gave to her. I wrote a poem:

There you are again little friend
drawing on my heart
with the well crafted etches
of a graceful girl quite smart

And I wistfully recall
with luster and fond cheer
the richness and charisma
of a treasured pal so dear

But I don't know how to capture
your presence ever strong
mere words cannot express,
you're the solo in my song

So I'll try to keep my head up
and look toward brighter days
ever mindful of shared moments
all your special little ways

Little Livi Ladybug
of beauty and sweetness rife
I love you Monkey Allen
silver lining in my life


Blogger Briana Almengor said...

What an amazingly sweet poem, Andrew. So well expressed, yet I'm sure there's even more in your heart still that words simply can't capture. Still praying for you all.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful poem!!:):) Just one more amazing uncle to add to the list!! Praying for you guys.

Moriah Freeman

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so sweet andrew
erin w

7:00 PM  
Blogger The Laughing Gulls said...

What an amazing poem...

9:16 PM  
Blogger April said...

james and emily,
i have been so thankful to get the "inside scoop" on livi through these tributes. thanks for doing this, emily. i have wept often, and struggled to read through them.

you and your families continue to be on my heart and in my prayers. emily, please know that especially you are on my heart.

i wish i had known livi more and look forward to the day when i will.

much love to you,
april stoltzfus

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Andrew, how beautifully you express your feelings for our most lovable little Livi. Your love for her shines so brightly in the words of your poem. It is so difficult to find words that capture the essence of Livi's pure spirit. You did it so well ! Marmie

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never have I ever seen grown men so in love with a little girl.

What wonderful uncles she had all around her. No wonder she always had a smile on her face.

What a beautiful poem Andrew. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Vicki G.

12:04 AM  
Blogger momofcolin_chloe said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Andrew. Thank you, Emily, for continuing to share these precious memories. I'm sure it would be easier not to, so thank you.


7:47 AM  
Anonymous Maryann Plesnicher said...

That was just too beautiful!
What a great expression of your love for a wonderful and sadly missed little girl.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

That is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart with the rest of us.

WIth many prayers,
-debbie p

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not commented for a while. although I read everyday still. But I can not read your words, Andrew, without saying how dear and beautiful they are. You loved her so richly. She loved you dearly.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks again for these beautiful tributes. Praying for you! - Sue F.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Parmer Clan said...

That poem was so precious. I continue to appreciate you sharing these memories with us...you could have kept them all to yourself, but you graciously allowed us in again. Thank you for that.
Praying for strength.

4:23 PM  
Blogger angelastoltz said...

Thanks for your vulnerability in sharing your poem with all of us. Your words precisely captured her personality & sweet spirit!

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was so sweet Andrew! It really touched me and emphasized your love for her. I know you were such a blessing in her life.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Beth Young said...

What a beautiful poem. You have a gift, Andrew. I just am more amazed each time I see a new post from someone else's life that Alivia touched. It makes us feel happier for her instead of sad...

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved living through a "normal" day with Livi. Wow - She sure drew out the best in all of you. You all have been in my thoughts and prayers even more lately. Thanks for sharing Andrew, the poem was fantastic.
Diana B.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

Hey! I love to still read your posts and I am still sad that you had to lose your little girl!! I am still praying and thinking about you! God bless! I wanted to share this with you. If you want to post this you can its totally up to you! I'm trying to help my sister out with her fundraising that she's been doing for many months now for helping those with Leukemia and Lymphona. She has dedicated soo much of her time trying to raise her total amount required by this Friday the 12th. The total amount that she needed to raise was $5200 if I remember correctly, and if she can't raise the last of the $800 or so left within the next 4 days, she will need to pay for the rest of it out of her own pocket. Please try and tell or email as many people that you know that can help her out. It would mean soo much to her if even 1 person can donate to this great cause. You can view all the details and what to do at:
I urge you to PLEASE take an extra few moments to consider helping out, even if it's only a few dollars, or being able to tell atleast 1 other person about it.
Thank you guys soo much for taking the time to read this!!
If you have ANY questrions whatsoever, feel free to call her cell phone 484-354-5960. Her name is Colleen Hally.
Brian Hally

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Joanie said...

Dear Emily and James,
I heard "Held" by Natalie Grant last night and thought of you. And cried again, like I'm crying now, reading about how Emily was never apart from Livi more than 4 hours. I understand! So I prayed for you, for God's tender mercies to be evident in your life. And I mean no offense at all, but I also prayed for more children for you both. I know Livi could never, never be replaced. What an awful word. I prayed simply so that your arms would be full again, your house alive with rich sound again and that more joy could return to your life. Again, I don't want to step on any toes of gentle people whom I have never met; I just want for some of your suffering to go away. You are carrying on with such grace and courage. Take care!

Love in Christ,
Joanie in California

1:43 AM  

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