MoDeRn FaMiLy

We LOVE it.

I just took down the Christmas Tree.
After finishing up, I said, "Wow, our apt looks empty!"
Then of course, Derek, being the jokester he is, went on for about 10 minutes to say this...
"Well, yeah. Besides the couch, the books on the floor, the tv, the entertainment center..." etc. He continued going from room to room, naming everything in sight. Then he ended with this...
"But yeah. Besides all of that, it's pretty empty."
Followed by the end of his joke, was him applauding and whistling and saying, "Thank you! Thank you! I'll be here all night! Have a good night everybody!"...like he was a famous rockstar.
In the time that he was naming everything, I ate a candy bar, went to the bathroom, washed my dishes, and wrote a thank you note. No joke.
So glad I have a husband to keep me entertained.


-Keith Hallsted-

My Grandpa passed away around 7:00 last night, in Mesa AZ.
Words can't describe the influence my grandpa had on so many lives.
He served more than I've ever seen someone serve.
He laughed at my jokes.
He listened to my silly childhood stories.
He served me.
He taught my Dad how to work harder than I've ever seen someone work, who then taught me to work HARD.
About 5 years ago, he had a stroke. He started to forget things.
This was the start of Alzheimers.
About 2 years ago, he could still remember who I was after some talking and story sharing together.
After visiting him in October, he had no idea who even his son (my Dad) was.

It's been a bitter sweet experience.
I wish so bad I could have been there with Grandpa in the hospital and been there with all of the cousins to help paint, re-carpet, re-do the lawn, and replace furniture, etc. at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
We leave for AZ tomorrow. I can't wait to see everyone at such a special time.


I am SO HAPPY that Grandpa is himself again in Heaven. He knows who he is now, and knows who he is talking to. He can be with his brother and son. He can see that I got married and see what an incredible man I married. He can know how much I love him. I can't wait to give him a big hug again someday. Miss and love you Grandpa.

*Can't wait to give this sweet lady a hug.*


No school, somehow = productivity

I've been trying to figure out why all of the sudden I feel so productive in the day.
I have so much motivation to get things done.
And I've been so very happy!
I'm thinking it's because school is done.
But I like school, sometimes.

Speaking of school......
I graduate this summer!!!
I can't wait.

Then......I'll probably go back to school.
If my brain isn't fried by then.


The Happiest 6 months on earth!

Yesterday was our six month anniversary!
I cannot believe how fast time flies.
I feel like our wedding was just yesterday.
It has truly been the best six months of my life. I woke up early to make breakfast in bed for Derek, then continued stressing out for my final. Derek is the master of "breath in...breath out".
I was a mess last night and this morning.
He is so good at helping me to not stress out and just breath.
I went to take my 2 hour final and came home to a spotless apartment, and flowers on the bed! He is the sweetest thing in the whole world. It was so very nice to leave a messy apt feeling stressed, and come home to a clean apt feeling so relaxed.
He also spent some of the night before and the morning of, helping me study.
He is amazing.
Also, last Thursday we spent the day at the Happiest place on earth. Yes it's true. We went to Disneyland right before finals. We spent a lot of time doing this in line....
We went with 4 of my siblings and mom. We can fly for free cause she works for jet blue. The reason we went at the most inconvenient time ever: we had free passes that were about to expire. Now I'm trying to decide if it was worth missing that extra studying. Of course it was. It's the happiest place on earth!
Small World was INCREDIBLE

Derek's the nicest brother in law. Hyrum loves him.

Space mountain is the best ride ever!

3 finals down, 3 to go...


Birthdays and getting festive!

My eye's decided to get a little festive and add a little more red to the holiday season.

Yes, I'm ok and nothing is wrong. :p
This is the never ending question when my yearly pink eye shows up.

I'm loving the Christmas season!
Derek and I got our Christmas ShOpPiNg done for each other up in Park City!
Now the question is, what to get for our families?!

For Derek's birthday, I surprised him and we stayed in Park City for the night!
It was SO FUN! And yes, he was VERY surprised.
He thought we were going to be performing in Savior of The World that night.
And if you've talked to him, you know how much he LOVES that. ;)
We had a BLAST.

We relaxed for a bit,
went shopping at the outlets,

had dinner at Cafe Rio

Watched a little
went to the pool and hot tub

did a little homework

and loved every minute of being with just each other.
I wish I would have taken better pictures.
Here is the video of him being surprised.
He was blindfolded, and thought for sure we were going ice skating. :)

Hope you are are all having a wonderful Christmas Season!


The turkey is good here too

This was our thanksgiving dinner view.
This pool is the biggest circular pool in the world!
The dessert bar was delicious.

These mini chocolate cakes had gold sparkles on them!

This Thanksgiving holiday is being spent in Newport Beach with Derek's family.
It's BEAUTIFUL here. The Thanksgiving buffet was DELICIOUS.
The weather is perfect.
The company is great.
I'm definitely not missing the cold.
I love it!
But.....I am missing one thing.
This is the first Thanksgiving without my family.
I missed them lots yesterday!
Three things that would have made Thanksgiving perfect:

1: My family also being there.
2: I could have done without the throwing up bug yesterday.
3: My mom's rolls and cooking also at the buffet table.

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving with the Walker Fam!

Hope you all had a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!


L is for...

Let's eat!
Jk, but really, I'm always game to eat.
L is for LOVE. I've decided that being in love is the greatest thing in the whole world. I love "love butterflies", and yes I still get them when I look at or am with Derek.
I know lovey posts are annoying, but I'm in love with my best friend.
The past few days, I've had my eyes on my handsome husband and can't help but smile when I look at him. He is the greatest thing that's ever happened to me.
And we get to be together.....FOREVER.
What a blessing and joy this gospel brings in the knowledge that families are forever.


We love you Nana Jo

Nana Jo passed away Monday November 15, 2010. She was truly one of the greatest people. She was so spunky and happy always. She had the funniest sense of humor and was always cracking jokes. She was such a great example of service. While in the hospital, she was still planning a big Christmas dinner for us and saying what she was going to cook. She never gives up. She has done so many great things in her lifetime. We love her so much and are going to miss her dearly. I wish I had more pictures but boring wedding pictures were all I have on my computer. She has some of the funnest and craziest pictures.



Sometimes girls just need to cry and don't know why.
It's stupid, but it's a fact of life.
Today was one of those days.
I am so busy and school is overwhelming me.
Anyone else feel this way or am I just crazy?

School is hard.
Semesters would be perfect if they were just one month shorter.
It really is one month too long. Don't ya think??

Then I was thinking how stupid it is that I feel overwhelmed when I don't even have a job, besides managing our apt complex and doing little chores around the complex occasionally. I'm super lam-o. But I wonder if having a job would help me feel less overwhelmed? Sounds weird I know. I've never NOT had a job though since I was 14! And I used to have 2 or 3 at the same time, while being in musicals and being Senior Class President and planning graduation.

All day I was wishing I could just leave and go on one of these with just Derek and leave the world behind...As much as we love family, friends, and school, we really love being with JUST each other. Our only vacation alone so far was our honeymoon. I was sick, and SOOO tired. I slept on average 11 hours a night and took about 3 hour naps almost every day. I want to go on a second honeymoon, not being sick and not needing to catch up on sleep. On a boat. To somewhere cool. With my best friend. Call me high maintenance, but I can dream can't I?

I'm kinda thinkin' that all these thoughts and emotions are a sign that I'm focusing too much on myself and not enough on the Lord. Time to go serve I guess.


Christmas has begun...

...like 3 weeks ago.

I got really excited.

And then this happened.
I'm so excited for christmas!
Now we just need presents under the tree and to start creating our own christmas traditions. I'm very excited for our first christmas together.

This season we are also in Savior of the World at the conference center.
I love it. Derek likes it....sometimes :p
He is a trooper to do it with me though.

Happy holidays! :)



I don't want to ever try and change our blog template ever, ever again. That was the biggest nightmare. I had about 5 different things goin' on. But of course, I'm gonna try it again. Cause i'm just stubborn like that. :p


Our blog is goin crazy

Sorry if you see a million different designs. I'm struggling.

I was playing around with a new template and can't get it back.


I love fall!

Ignore my stupid talking. Just look at mother nature. We are so blessed to live in such a pretty state!


Nothing makes me more upset than this...

Smoking while pregnant...
While her kids and husband wait for her in the the car.
Seriously?! She is damaging her child's development and she knows it.
It was so hard to not go over and say something. Poor baby.


OcToBeR aDdIcTiOn

My excuse to buy them last time was I needed them to decorate the halloween cupcakes I was going to make. Hmmmmm....yeah never made those and the candy corn is gone.

What's my next excuse? :)


ADD: Always disctracted disease

It is something extremely serious. It is hindering my ability to succeed. It somehow leads me to...

*facebook instead of textbooks.
*To this blog instead of making dinner.
*To distracting my husband as well as myself.

*To reading books instead of studying.

*To napping instead of preparing for my test tomorrow that I haven't studied for at all.

*To eating candy corn instead of writing my paper due in 2 days.

If only they had a cure.... This terrible and saddening condition is called......ADD which stands for attention deficit disorder. I takes over lives. It's also a


for my lack of



***October LoVe***




colorful leaves




School 1/2 way mark!


We went to....He got his....we auditioned for...

We went to Cali over the weekend for the holiday! It was a blast. We stayed with the Richards. They are awesome! When we called to ask if we could stay with them, we found out that we weren't the only ones going. Come to find out.....
Trey, sara, mikey, darby, ted, ben, and stephen were also going!

It was so fun! They haven't made it into a house yet. Yup, you guessed it. All 14 of us stayed in their apt! It was packed, but a blast. Derek and I shared a twin size bed, trey and sara shared a twin, even stephen and ben. It was a giant slumber party. We spent all day monday at the beach. It's been a long time since I've actually gotten in the water! It was FREEZING but so fun!

We took Derek's little brother Jacob with us. It was a surprise for him. It was fun surprising him. Hugh, the Richards boy, is best friends with Jake. So we decided to surprise Hugh also.

Recently, Derek and I tried out for Savior of the World. I am so excited about it. We still don't know if we made it, but I hope we can share that experience together this winter. We tried out hoping for just ensemble. Funny enough, we both got called back to read for leads!! Derek got called back to be a PROPHET. Yes, a prophet. He wouldn't go for it though. Haha. He is such a doll for wanting to do the show with me though. Really. I got called back to read for Joanna/Salome. The are in a few scenes after Christ is resurrected. Very neat scene. I went to my audition tonight. I have wanted the part so bad. I still do, but I found out tonight that all leads have to perform every night..................................that's a HUGE commitment. But I'm going to pray and think about it. Who knows if I'll even get the part.

School is good! Very busy. My cute husband is such a hard worker. He has his first real estate client. Since we've been married, he has become a real estate agent, built a website, and really become quite the business man. Sometimes it's hard to let him go do business even though I know it's to support our family, cause I want him all to myself and LOVE having him around. But I am trying hard to be happy to let him go. :p I just miss him when he's gone. That's all.

Best for last.............................................................................................................DOCTOR HALLSTED IN THE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!

My Dad, Barry Hallsted, is now Dr. Barry Hallsted.
He got his PhD!
He has worked a LONG time for this!
My Dad is probably my biggest example in life. He inspires me so much. I couldn't be more proud of him. He is the hardest worker I know. I say that in all honesty. He is so giving, and always looks for the good in people. He was always my go to when I was having a hard time, wanted to tell someone something exciting, had a question about school or anything in life, and the person that has been my best friend throughout life. I love my Dad so much.

Congratulations Dad! I LOVE YOU!


And it came to pass...

...that Amanda became a Ute. It's true. I have transferred to the University of Utah. I'm now majoring in Human Development and Family studies. I'm excited about it. I'm taking 18 credits this next semester and hoping to continue working towards my ASL interpreters license. Derek is majoring in economics at the U.

Derek just graduated from Real Estate School!! I'm so proud. He has worked so hard all summer. He is working with his dad, and going to be a real estate agent during school. He is incredible and such a hard worker.

We are loving managing at our complex here in Salt Lake. Things were a little interesting this last week with having to evict a drug addict, cleaning out his disgusting apt, and another apt growing mold from the freezer and fridge. We were able to get lots of hours in though! Today we scrubbed and cleaned for 3 and half hours. We have worked off 1/5 of our rent for this month which we are very excited about.

We are speaking in church tomorrow. Surprisingly I'm nervous. I haven't felt nervous to speak in front of people for a while. We'll see how it goes!

This next week we get to babysit these cute boys.

I'll update about our honeymoon and canada soon!


Gellystone round 2, then off to the c-eh-n-eh-d-eh!

Hello friends! It's the Walkers here. Just sending a friendly hello from yellowstone.

We're at this cool resort in Big Sky Montana. It's a blast. We've been here since monday, and tomorrow we're going to the famous WATERTON! I'm excited. I've heard lots and lots about it and now I finally get to see it first hand. That's all folks! Buh Bye!


Sociological Success

The title just sounded cool. I'm in a sociology class right now and I'm ROCKIN it.

It's the best feeling in the world.
The semester is almost done and I have a hundred percent with two 6-8 page papers and 14 assignments under my belt. I'm shocked. This is rare. Maybe it's because now that I don't have free tuition i KNOW i have to do good. :/

I have had people ask me to post pictures of the apt, so here they are! Derek as you know left to Ohio a couple weeks ago, and while he was gone I decided to decorate. It was super fun. And thanks to all who helped! It feels so much more homey. I didn't get a picture of the kitchen but it's cute. I took these all from my laptop, so I'm sorry they're weird.

Music "room" Bookshelf & key holder
Dinner table w/ hw on it Entertainment center :p

I have LOVED making home, home. I have LOVED being married. I LOVE spending everyday with my BEST FRIEND. We have so much fun. He makes me LAUGH all day long.

Get this. I woke up at 8:00 this morning, which is a little later than we've been trying to wake up, but I woke up and Derek was laying in bed doing his real estate stuff. I was amazed. I went for a little run, and came back and talked to him for a second. He mentioned something about how on "his run"....what?! You went running already too?? He's incredible!!

I'm not done yet. And yesterday HE made lunch! And he wouldn't even let me clean up! He is the best husband in the world.

We recorded last night for a few hours and it was SO FUN! He is a music genius. I love what we have come up with so far. I'll post the song when we're done.


Slumber Partay!

My lovely sister in law and I are having a slumber party!

It's super fun. She's darling.

I LOVE my in laws.

We're watching Hannah Montana at the moment when really we should be sleeping.




My cute husband.

Makin music. We're recording the song from our luncheon that we wrote.
I love sitting down in the middle of the day or at night and playing music with him.

Also, we're leaving for yellowstone in approximately 2 hours.
I'm so excited. We're going with my family and some cousins. I love camping. I haven't been in almost a year. The last time I tried camping, we failed. The car died on the way up and we had to hitch hike home and ended up sleeping under my trampoline outside.


Here we sit....on the floor...near the door...

No couch.....
so here we sit........
on the floor......
near the door........
and I LOVE it!
Our apt is coming along great. We have been here almost a week and are pretty settled in. There is still a lot to do, but it's been a blast. Derek and I have loved sitting in the front room building carts, a bookshelf, an entertainment center, etc.

I am excited to decorate. If any of you have a talent in this and have any great ideas, let me know! I have this amazing looking apt in my head, and chances of it actually looking that way I'm feeling are slim. :p I guess we'll see!

Derek and I walked to our church for an interview with the bishop a bit ago. Our bishop is awesome. We love our ward!! Let me tell you a little about it.

-It's the tenth ward. And when I say tenth, I mean the actual 10th ward the church created. I'm sure you've all heard the story of when President Hinckley gained his testimony in church when the man started singing Praise to the Man. Yeah, that building. President Hinckley's church building growing up.

-It's got a balcony for seating.

-It has stained glass windows.

-It's like a maze.

-Our ward has every race imaginable.

-They give out bagels at church every week for the homeless people.

-They have lots of service projects.

-The list goes on.

It's such a neat ward and we are so excited to be a part of it. We loved our first week.

Married life is the best. Everyone should get married.
We are loving it. I love being with my best friend 24/7.
Derek is always making me smile and laugh.
He is such a good example and I'm always learning something new from him.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Thanks to all those who helped and supported us at the wedding.
It truly means the world to us. We were blown away by how much love was shown.
We LOVE our family that travelled from so far.
Thank you thank you thank you to everyone!!!!


Wedding Blog

For those who didn't get an invite. We're very sorry! We did our best! For information, you can visit our wedding blog at www.walkerhallstedwedding.blogspot.com.

Don't give up....don't give up......

I have had a little surprise the past few weeks. Let me tell a little story. Sharing this with the WORLD will give me more motivation.

About 2 weeks ago, I was called in to go to the dress alterer's house to get a final measure. I brought my two sisters, Brynn, and Haley, with me. The lovely alterer, Andrea Woodall, left the room as I changed into my wedding dress. Brynn began zipping up my dress, and stopped, when I heard these words come from her mouth. "I hate to say it but.......your dress,.............doesn't zip up." NOooooooooooooo! So to give a short summary of what I just told you, yes, I'll admit, I'm too fat for my wedding dress that I'm supposed to wear in 15 days. No actually 11 days, for pictures.
So the past couple weeks have consisted of dieting. My diet includes: veggies, fruit, chicken, and fish. AKA, no sugar. Mostly veggies. It's working slowly, but surely. Woo! It's one of the hardest things I've ever done, because if you know me, I LOVE sweets. And it doesn't help that Derek and his brothers are doing what's called BG. Biggest G
ainer. They eat fatty foods all day long. I am learning to just leave the room while they enjoy heavenly milk shakes. Mandy Pandy Queen of Candy is the nickname I was given at age 2. I miss sugar, but it'll be worth it. And surprisingly, I'm excited to eat like this more often! I've also been exercising daily. Being able to do this, has given me more confidence in myself and I know I can do it now! I never thought I could.

P90X came in the mail yesterday. I completed the cardio X disc. I was excited. This morning as I stood up out of bed, I almost collapsed I was so sore. But I'm going to do as much as I can again this morning.

Last thing, I miss Derek. We again, are apart. I saw him tuesday for a little bit after his ward shower. I seem him again Saturday. Hopefully Friday for a date. I hate being apart from him. I'm so excited to be married so we don't have to do this anymore. But we are both being productive at home. I've been working hard on wedding plans and school, and he's been working on finding a place for us to live with his dad, real estate, and helping his brother with these last weeks of school. He is such a good example of love. Nicest and most loving person I know.

Announcements are about done and should be arriving in the mail today and tomorrow. If you don't get one, it's not on purpose I promise. There have been many complications and we did our best. Let me know, and I can get one to you! There are extras! Love you guys!


Showering in Arizona

Dear fellow blog followers, we have missed you greatly these last couple days and/or weeks. The reason Amanda and I were gone for the last 3 days from Utah, is because of this: A bridal shower held in honor of Amanda, due to marriage, was held in Arizona. Therefore, you might be wondering why I went. It's because I want to be around Amanda 24/7. Also it's still winter in Utah and it's always summer in Arizona. Also to look at some properties in hopes of blossoming my career in real estate. In case you're wondering, the shower only had women food (salad). It was really good salad though. Because it was a bridal shower (not a groomal shower), I tried to hide from everyone while it was going on. Unfortunately, they kept finding me and bringing me in to meet people and etc. But overall, it was a fun and worthwhile experience.

At this current time, I am in bountiful and my lover, Amanda, is in Cedar Hills. We are both trying to be productive with getting certain things done and frankly when we are with each other, our productiveness decreases 50+/-%. That's why I updated the blog. Love you!


Dr. J.............and Happy Birthday!

Derek's little brother. One of the funniest kids I know.

Also, a shout out to my sister and soon to be sister in law, Haley and Mckenna! It was their birthdays yesterday! Haley is now 13, and Mckenna is 14. I was sad I couldn't be with Haley on her birthday, but I'm excited to see her and give her her birthday present today! It was fun being able to talk to her on the phone for a while yesterday and I got to hear all about her surprise party! Love you girls! Happy Birthday!!


Derek's Premier Post (DPP)

Amanda has been kind enough to let me in on this "blogging" website. I think it's way cool. I always loved reading other classic blogs such as "My life..." by Amanda Hallsted and "Bradford & Jenessa" by Bradford and Jenessa Davis. I feel honored, excited, and hopeful as I approach the beginning of my blogging career. As for an update on right now; I am one week away from being done. Of school at Utah State University. I am rooming with Trey and Blake, my dear friends. In the near future, I will be marrying the brightest, most beautiful, most loving, most talented, most best person in the world. Her name is Amanda, the co-author/founder of the blog. I declare my love for her. Then, the rest will be history. Thanks readers! I love you!


We're changing the name!

I will be changing my blog site!
2 reasons:

1....my name is soon no longer going to be Amanda J Hallsted.
2....i get to share my blog with Derek now.
I thought I'd put this up to give a heads up. I'll also post on facebook the new address. It is available as of now, and if it is still available, it will then be:
I checked for derekandamanda but that is taken. And amandaandderek is weird. So derekamanda it is!


Missin the girls!

My cute sisters and mom were able to take a girl trip to NYC this week! They all could choose one friend to take. So 8 girls gathered in the Hallsted home on Monday night. I was able to go say goodbye and send them on their way. I was so sad that I couldn't go with them, but how fun for them that they get to do that! I have gone home 2 times this week while they've been gone, and it's not the same without them there! Miss the girls in my family. Boys are lovely too, but not quite AS lovely. :)


You can fly....no you can't....you can.....jk it's cancelled!

Derek and I were planning on going to Seattle for Spring Break. It's Monday and we're still here... But all is well! It's still been way fun.

Friday night we went to Christine Beckstrand's wedding
reception! I can't believe she's married! She's so grown
up! She was a beautiful bride and looked so happy. Her
and Devin have waited a long time for that day. The
friends guessed that she'd be the first married. Check!
Then they guessed me being second. Check! I thought for sure I'd be one of the last. Wrong...and I couldn't be
happier. :p Congratulations Chris! Sure love you!

After the reception, we ate some yummy soup my mom made, then headed over to the church to cheer on Breton. He had the most cheerleaders I've ever seen. He played unbelievable! He scored 20 points! It was awesome. Derek was able to see a mission buddy who I was actually friends with long before his mission. We played around at home and watched Forever Strong. Oh yeah and Yujin was there! She came and played with us which was fun. :)

Saturday came, and Derek had a huge Thai test to take at BYU for language credits. It was 2 and half hours long! Poor kid. While he was taking his test, I packed for Seattle and caught up with my good friend Josiah who is also getting married. After D's test, we ran lots of errands, got lunch, then headed home to find out the flights were really fully and getting cancelled. We headed up to bountiful to get Derek's stuff for Seattle just in case, and went to the airport to fly to Long Beach with my parents to then try to get to Seattle. CANCELLED. Boo! But we were able to spend a fun night up with the Walkers! It's always so fun up at their house. I sure love them. I feel so blessed to have them as family now!

We went to church with them and Justin gave an incredible talk on trials, and Mckenna and Joni sang! It was a great sacrament meeting. I was in charge of turning pages for the song. I FAILED. One page I put up floated away and one slid down on his hands. Oops. Hehe. We left early and came to my house to have dinner and hang out with my family. It was fun. We ended the night with watching the Fugitive with my parents. Such a good movie. Derek and I both fell asleep near the end.

It's now Monday, and I'm sitting in my 2 hour class so I don't have to take my final. Boo school. Jk I love school. Just not when I could be playing with Derek. But it's almost done! I passed time by playing on my blog. This guy giving this presentation is nuts! He is dancing and screaming to these songs he is showing us. He'll be telling us stories and all of the sudden switch to a different accent. It's so entertaining.

Well I'm off to get my midterm and test scores! :/ I'm nervous but excited to see if I'm able to keep 100% in my class!
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