It is officially NOVEMBER!! I love November. I mean, who doesn’t? I, personally, am partial to any month that is filled with football, great weather, and ends with a holiday celebrated by giving thanks and tasty foods. All of which, create the perfect napping combination.

November is also the month that we wrap up our Autumn Bucket List. As I mentioned in last month’s At Home with The Hills, we make an annual bucket list filled with different activities that we can do together as a family. We love this little tradition, because not only is it fun, but it also holds us accountable to doing things outside of our normal routine.

We haven’t gotten everything marked off the list, and to be honest, we probably aren’t going to complete it, but here is the run down incase you need a refresher.

 2015 Autumn Bucket List

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

State Fair

Donate to a Food Bank

Watch a Scary Movie

Decorate Pumpkins

Bake Cookies

Visit the Zoo

Haunted Housing

Go to a Football Game

Make S’mores

Prior to my October update, we had marked off the list visit a pumpkin patch, and watch a scary movie. Since then, we have decorated those pumpkins (which took entirely way too long), baked cookies, and went on our annual zoo trip.

I don’t know what it is about decorating pumpkins, but I am a firm believer that pumpkins have to get decorated every Fall. Otherwise, you might as well consider yourself a failure. This year, my genius husband got the ridiculous brilliant idea that we should make ninja turtle pumpkins.

A little family of four ninja turtle pumpkins…sounds cute, right? Wrong. Do you know how long it takes to paint an entire pumpkin? How about four pumpkins? Days. It takes days.

About five minutes into this little adventure, everyone’s attention span died off, and those gourds set up shop, half-painted on our back porch for about a week. I did however get them finished in time for them to sit by our front door before Halloween.


JD picked who would be which color, because apparently the turtles personalities had to correspond with each family member.

 Next on the docket is one of my absolute favorite things to do during the holidays. Bake cookies. Something about baking sugar cookies just fills my heart with all kinds of happy! I’m sure it has to do with the fact that I grew up baking sugar cookies with my Mema on a regular basis. So now that I have kids of my own, it’s only right to pass the tradition on. This year, Noah got to test drive the cookie cutters for the first time.

This kid is practically a cookie cutting master. It must run in the family.

Two weeks later, I made my husband take off work in the middle of the week so we could enjoy a full day together as a family with minimal distractions; and with that day, we took our annual zoo trip. (PS. If you can take off in the middle of the week, then do it. The Fort Worth Zoo is an absolute parenting nightmare on the weekends. We went last year during Boo at the Zoo, and vowed to never return.)


 Noah was THRILLED. He could not stop talking about the flamingos, rhinos, and elephants. We made animal noises all day, ate pizza for lunch, and took about a billion photos; but this one was by far my favorite picture from the day. Our failed attempt at a group selfie.


Unfortunately, we were unable to go haunted housing or make it to the State Fair this year, and due to weather, we had to miss the Alvarado vs. Kennedale game. I did, however, try to even things up a bit by subjecting ourselves to another scary movie. This time around, we watched The Awakening – which was super suspenseful, and had a creepy twist. I highly recommend it.

A few days after our zoo day, we got to celebrate our first Halloween as a family of four. Originally, I wanted JD and I to dress up as farmers and then have the boys go as farm animals, but apparently Halloween isn’t JD’s “thing”…whatever that means. So I settled for the next best thing and made Noah go as a cowboy and Emmett went as his cow.



We spent our Halloween evening at our neighborhood’s Trunk and Treat, where the boys took second place in the Halloween costume contest (which I’m still bitter about…), and Noah got to test out his trick or treating skills. Since he rarely gets a taste of candy, the kid didn’t even know I ate all of his hard-earned treats. #parentingwin

 In the world of blog, I had the pleasure of introducing you to my dear friend, and owner of The Avery Grace. If you missed her awesome feature, you can catch it here.

I also had the opportunity to team up with my new friend from The Champagne Supernova. Jennifer is an attorney, wife, and mama to two, which is why I reached out to her in hopes of tackling this whole “mommy wars” issue on a unified front. If you didn’t catch our collaborative posts on stay at home moms vs working moms, you can check them out here and here!

The most exciting thing from the month of October though, would be that the Cupcakes and Coffee Grounds Facebook page has reached a big milestone of 1,000 likes! #whoopwhoop 

Haven’t checked it out yet? You can find my Facebook page here. Go. Now. You won’t regret it.

 Last, but certainly not least, my health update from last week’s post, A lump’s a lump, no matter how small. If you had the chance to read my article, than you know two weeks ago at my annual physical, my doctor found a small lump in my right breast.

That news alone has by far been the most nerve-wracking statement that I have ever heard.

My doctor decided that I needed to see the radiologist, where an ultrasound confirmed that the lump is not a clogged milk duct. Thankfully, the radiologist didn’t have any immediate concern that the mass is cancerous (which is a HUGE positive), however they have scheduled me to come back in this Thursday to have a biopsy done.

To say I’m not nervous would be a complete lie. While I’m not in mommy meltdown mode, I have been getting waves of anxiety. I guess a part of me thought that I would go in, have the ultrasound, and they would say, “Oh, the mass has magically disappeared! See you when you’re 40.”

That, unfortunately, was not the case. I’m not sure what the turn around time is to receive the results from the biopsy, but I will definitely be keeping you posted as our family continues to travel through this current season in our lives. We also want to say thank you to all of those who have sent us your words of encouragement and have included us in your prayers. It sincerely means the world to us.

On a positive note, for all of you fashionistas out there, I thought I would let you know that the cape trend has made its way to the world of mammography.


16 comments on “At Home with The Hills: November 2015”

  1. Sounds like a fun time clearing off part of your list.
    When I had my biopsy a few years ago I had the results before I left the surgery center. Prayers

  2. phone is going bananas lol.
    So much typo! But what I meant to say is that it looks like you completed most of your bucket list and love how the pumpkins turned out. Good luck on your biopsy results and I hope everything comes back normal!!

  3. Mammography is always so cutting edge when it comes to fashion. I’ve noticed that, too 🙂

    We’ve (made the rookie mistake of going) gone to Boo at the Zoo (Denver) before. Also, free day at the zoo is equally nightmarish. I love the Ninja Turtle pumpkins! Enjoy the rest of your Fall!

  4. What a darling family- looks like you had a fun month. Congrats on reaching 1,000 likes- that is SO awesome!!

    Abby //

  5. What a darling family you have! I love your blog too (and cute name)! Amber I will be praying for you as you wait the results of your biopsy. May God give you peace! Thank you for linking up at #100HappyDays! I hope you come back and keep us posted on your results. Blessings to you!

    • Thank you – I actually received my test results yesterday. Looks like it’s a lactating adenoma (which is just a fancy word for estrogen produced benign tumor). It should go away once I’m done nursing! #whoopwhoop

      And yes, we also like to make a Winter Bucket List. 🙂

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