Love day


We’re celebrating Valentine’s Day weekend with Jackie, Jessica, and the Job family! It’s SF Beer Week and Josh’s birthday week too so there’s plenty to cheers to. With two extra adults and two extra toddlers in our 700 square foot apartment for 5 days, you’d think we’d go crazy. But we’ve become experts at the nap time shuffle and even got everyone bathed today. I’ll post all the pics next week, but prepare yourself for the cuteness that is Tilly, Sydney and Wyatt!


In case you were wondering, Beatlemania is alive and kicking in 2014!  Tilly is OBSESSED with Ringo Starr.

tilly starrIt all started when she saw “Help” for the first time a few months ago – In the movie, a lady’s chasing Ringo the whole time because of a special ring he’s wearing.  I don’t know if it’s because of the correlation between the words Ringo and ring, or if she just likes his dorkiness, but she was sold!

We’ve now gone through our Yellow Submarine phase and have entered into the realm of Hard Day’s Night.  We’ve recreated a drum kit out of bongos, a giant pot, and one drum stick and one chopstick.  We’ve taped up the liner notes from the DVD on the wall in her room and she points to each one and says their names “John Lennon!  George, Papa’s favorite, he’s winking!  Paul McCartney plays the bass guitar!  and…… RINGO STARR!”

So… now I’ve started to sing her a special lullaby.

Twinkle, twinkle, Ringo Starr.  How I wonder what you are.

Up above the world so high.  Like a Lucy in the Sky.

Twinkle, twinkle, Ringo Starr.  How I wonder what you are.

She thinks it’s the best song ever!!  (After Yellow Submarine, of course.)

Christmas Video

I forgot to share our 2013 Christmas Trip video… ta da!  Here it is.

Christmas 2013 from Mary Pendleton on Vimeo.

So Long Old Friend

Living is a gamble, loving’s much the same.


It’s with a heavy heart that I share the passing of our beloved beagle, Tank.  I still can’t even believe it’s true.  Last week he got sick and after being in the vet’s ICU for about 5 days, we had to put him down.  Apparently he had a weak kidney to begin with, and a bacterial kidney infection simply took the life out of him.

As I read these sentences I think to myself “What!  That’s impossible!” I am totally in denial.  Tank had been staying with our family in Fullerton from Thanksgiving to Christmas, since we have been traveling back and forth so much.  We would have brought him home with us next week at the end of our Christmas visit.  Lucky we were also visiting last weekend, so we were there while he was sick and were able to say our goodbyes two days before he passed.  I’m so thankful I was able to tell him that he was such a good boy and thank him for keeping me warm and apologize for calling him an a-hole so many times.

We only knew Tank for 5 years, but it feels like longer than that.  He was born a few months before Josh and I got engaged and he was with us as we welcomed our first child into this world.  a true Tank from the start.  I fell in love with his grandpa face from the moment I saw him, and dutifully applied his eyeliner every morning for the last five+ years.  (not really but that’s what I always told people.)  He is the handsomest dog I’ve ever known!  He moved with us from the suburbs to the city and taught me what responsibility really was.  When we first moved here, he was still “in tact” and some people in our neighborhood started calling him the Regal Beagle because he still had his family jewels.

 He was the best co-worker I’ve ever had and even got me jogging again these last few months.  Our floors were impeccably clean, as he graciously ate any food we happened to drop.  When someone new came to the door, he played the role of security guard and made sure our visitors were safe before they fully entered our apartment.

His crate has acted as our coffee table ever since we’ve lived here – it’s going to be weird to rearrange.  His favorite chair, the bamboo one, is always available now and no one will have to fight him for it again.  So unbelievable.

The day he died, I had to get out of the house, so I walked from Stanyan down to Broderick and back.  At first I listened to Local Natives’s Hummingbird Album, specifically Black Spot and Heavy Feet.  It fit my mood perfectly and helped me contemplate on what exactly was happening.  Then I listened to Mississippi John Hurt’s Library of Congress Recordings, from 1964.  Further Along, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Weeping and Waiting – I felt like they were all being sung by Tank himself.

His appointment was set for 4pm, and Josh met me in the panhandle at around 3:45.  We walked in silence together, arm in arm, tears streaming down our faces.  At 4pm, we were right near St. Ignatius Church (at USF), and we heard the bells chime on the hour.  Then, gong, gong, gong, gong.  4pm.  T-A-N-K.  L-O-V-E. We wept.

We decided to tell Tilly that evening, but couldn’t bring our selves to do it.  We decorated our Christmas tree and took turns leaving the room to cry.  We barely got through.  Jules Holland came on the TV, and one of the performers sang a cover of Simon and Garfunkle’s “Blues Run the Game.”  I broke down – I felt like it was written just for us in that moment, as we were eating our delivery dinner and feeling cheated out of a friendship we had worked so hard for.

The next morning as we were getting ready for daycare, I told Tilly that Tank wasn’t coming back anymore, he had gone to Doggie Heaven.  She said “Oh Wow!  Cool!”  I guess it does sound pretty cool.  My friend Jackie said she’d rather go to Doggie Heaven than human heaven – me too.

And so it goes. I’ve been taking myself on walks twice a day, just like he would want me to.  Our day to day life is easier without Tank but it’s colder and emptier too.  But no matter how painful losing him may be, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Rest in peace old friend.  Our souls will be reunited one day.

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Baking with a toddler

If there’s anything Tilly loves more than cooking… it’s baking!  After I made our “Tilly Makes a Pizza” video, I couldn’t help but document our latest cupcake kitchen soiree.  Thank goodness for mini cupcake tins and pre-made frosting!

Cooking with a toddler

I never knew a two year old would be so into cooking!  Tilly doesn’t just love to help… she insists on it.  She actually specified the other night that she was the chef and I was the cook.  I died laughing.

I made this video of her helping out with our pizza night a few weeks ago.  Turns out her favorite part is taste testing… smart girl!

Tilly makes a pizza from Mary Pendleton on Vimeo.

Gift Wrapping 2013


For the past few years I’ve been picking a theme for my gift wrapping.  It actually makes it much easier to buy the supplies in bulk and then just do each gift the same way!  I had a ton of black kraft paper left over from last year*, so I figured it should be the focus of this year’s wrapping as well.  But this year I printed out black and white pictures of each gift recipient and am taping them with washi tape to the top of the gift.  No tags!

It’s a great way to personalize each gift, and also helps my 2 year old identify who each gift is for.  What’s more, it’s gender neutral – a great wrapping option for the men in your life!

* I don’t think I ever posted about last year’s wrapping theme… here’s a pic:

wrapping 2012

Tilly at 2.5 years

T: Mama, I need a prince.

M: Oh wow.  Hmmm…..

T: How about Papa?

Tilly 2.5

Time is flying!  I’ve been wrapped up in studying for my CAE certification exam for the past few months and had to put the blog on hold.  But my test was last Friday and now I’m happy to fully immerse myself in the holidays!

Tilly had her half birthday on Friday… she’s 2 and a half but sometimes I swear she’s 14.  Lots of personality, preferences, and well… pink!  In my usual form, here’s a bullet list of all things Tilly, followed by some pictues:

  • The one and only thing on Tilly’s christmas list is a pony.  I thought this type of thing was an urban legend… who planted a pet pony in her brain??  She didn’t specify a live pony, so we may be looking for a stable play set or something…
  • She’s developed a bit of a stutter and it really frustrates her!  She says things like “mama, my words are stuck” and asks me to make a doctors appointment so the doctor can fix her mouth.  It blows my mind that she’s this aware of it…  Luckily Josh’s mom is a speech therapist and said we shouldn’t worry, most stutters for kids this age go away on their own.  It’s not even there all the time, mostly just when she’s overwhelmed or tired.
  • We are still at zero progress on potty training!  We’ve  coaxed her with all kinds of rewards, but once she sits on the potty, she says “it’s not working” and jumps right off.
  • She loves pretend play, including tea parties, puppets, play kitchen, dress up, and doctor’s office.
  • We love to have dance parties in the living room!  I made some “ribbon dancers” by taping streamers onto chop sticks and we twirl around dancing to records.  She’s just figured out how to dance on her tippy toes, and I’m trying to get her to call it releve, like in ballet.
  • Favorite show is still Caillou, favorite foods are cereal and apples, favorite movie is Sleeping Beauty.
  • I’m not sure of her height or weight…but she slept in a size 18 month pajama set last night with no complaints!

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Lyft Driver Love

Sometimes life’s path takes you places you never saw yourself going…


About 6 months ago, I signed up to be a driver for Lyft!  Lyft is a community ride sharing platform that allows people with cars to give rides to passengers around the city.  So… I’m basically a cab driver, using my own car!  It’s a great fit for me because I work from home 10-5, so it gives me a chance to get out and see the city.  It’s also a great way to chat with people I never would have met otherwise and it also just feels good taking people to the places they need to go.  I honestly feel like I’m doing a service for the city of San Francisco.  Plus… it pays pretty well!

I haven’t had any scary experiences and most of the passengers are a lot like me.  The worst I’ve had was a couple who was fighting and kept forgetting things at home, so we had to drive back and forth in complete silence.  Another time a girl had food poisoning, and we had to pull over a few times so she could vomit… eeek.  Most of my Sunday morning rides are people going to brunch, going to bars to watch football, or going home the morning after a wild night (one guy had a freshly done homemade tattoo on his leg!).

I see several ads on Facebook attempting to lure Lyft drivers to cross over and drive for other platforms like UberX or Sidecar.  I admit I’ve been tempted, but in the end it’s the community feeling of Lyft that keeps me around.  The passengers sit in the front seat and it’s like you’re driving your friends around.  On other platforms, passengers sit in the back and conversation isn’t encouraged as much.

It’s exciting to be part of a new technology that is transforming the way people travel.  The platform has gone through some significant changes since I signed on – at first we were not welcome at SFO, but now we are.  And at first they had special “power hours” where drivers could keep 100% of their fare instead of Lyft taking a small percentage.  So obviously I was only working during those hours – but as of this week they did away with that!  Kind of a bummer.  But I still think I’ll keep driving for them.  My usual time to drive is Sunday mornings – Josh and Tilly stay home and watch a Beatles movie and I make $150!

Are you thinking about becoming a driver?  If you are, I’d love to answer any questions you may have… And if you’re looking for someone to put down as your reference, my name is Mary Pendleton!  #lyftlove

Happy Halloween!

Halloween card 2013

We ventured out to our favorite pumpkin patch in Petaluma last weekend – it was packed!  If you asked Tilly why it’s the best pumpkin patch, she’d say it was because they have ponies and a petting zoo.  If you asked me, I’d say it was the cool wheelbarrows and “exotic pumpkin” displays.  But if you ask Josh, he’d say it was because it’s around the corner from the best burgers we’ve ever had, Penngrove Superburger.  It’s about an hour drive to get to this pumpkin patch, but the burgers and milkshakes afterward make it sooo worth the trip!

Last year we went on a weekday and it was pretty mellow… this year we went on a Sunday and it was packed!  Tilly asked several times (using her best manners) to ride on the ponies and I was a little unsure because a)pony rides are kind of cruel, right?  and b) I didn’t believe for one second that she would last the entire ride without getting scared and crying.  But she asked so nicely!  So I gave in.

It was actually super cute and she yelled “yeehaw!” the entire time.  We even caved and spent $12 on the photo print.  She was the happiest girl in all of Petaluma!

We’ll be trick-or-treating again in Cole Valley this year.  Here are links to our 2012 and 2011 Halloweens, if you’re feeling nostalgic.    Our card at the top is from Tiny Prints!

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