Category Archives: Blog

Hello, WordPress. Remember Me?

It's that girl! You know...the one who...who did that thing...

It’s that girl! You know…the one who…who did that thing…

No, it’s not Liam from One Direction finally coming to ask you to marry him, and it’s certainly not the stuffed teddy bear named Jerry that you dropped out of the car window when you were three and hadn’t yet come to terms with the laws of physics. But it is that girl who used to write this blog, coming back (again) to explain her lapse in writing (again).

It’s been nearly four months since I last posted about the newest makeover to my blog and made it seem like I was coming back for good. And now, I’m about to make a slightly similar post, although hopefully with a different outcome. Over the past two years, KDL has gone through some serious ups and downs. It’s gone from a bucket list blog, to a happiness blog, to nothing, to a revised happiness blog and then back to nothing again. I kept making changes to my blog’s subtitle, hoping that it would get me closer to the type of blog that I’ve always wanted to have. But nothing I changed made it feel right.

I tried to publish posts once my blog transitioned to “A Journey of Choosing Happiness”; believe me, I did. I tried writing about the science of happiness, about tricks and tips for getting happier and staying happy. Yet, even once I’d finished a post I couldn’t bring myself to publish it because it didn’t have my voice, it didn’t have a story, and it didn’t feel like me. I certainly didn’t gain happiness from reading it or writing it, so how could I expect others to? In the months of not posting, I realized something that I couldn’t have realized before trying that type of happiness blog and failing. And that is this: I don’t want a “happiness blog,” I just want a blog that makes others happy.

It doesn’t need a list of things to be crossed off of a bucket list or the hottest collection of hard-core science straight from the positive psychology books, and it doesn’t need a theme. It just needs writing by someone who is happy writing it. So recently, I made a subtle change to the subtitle. It now says The Knee Deep Life: A Journey. That’s it. It’s just one grinning girl living her life, writing because it gives her joy, and attempting to spread some good KDL cheer to anyone who needs it.



What Does Happiness Mean To You?

"The purpose of our lives is to be happy" -- Dalai Lama

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy” — Dalai Lama

Recently–or not so recently, depending on your definition of nearly three months–the subtitle of The Knee Deep Life underwent a makeover to become “A Journey of Choosing Happiness”. I could say that all the time that has lapsed since this change was caused by my busy schedule, and I wouldn’t be lying. But, I wouldn’t be telling the full truth either.

There’s an underlying worry that’s nagged me since I chose to make the move…How does one write about happiness? Happiness has always been an important focus in my life, and there is nothing I enjoy more than making others happy too. But happiness is an intimidating subject.

It’s something that’s so simple yet so difficult to pin down or define. The things that we think will make us instantly happy often don’t, and the things that do make us happy are sometimes unexpected. And perhaps most difficult of all, the advice or conclusions that we draw from our own lives could come across as sanctimonious or even downright inconsiderate of others’ situations. My thoughts on happiness on a bad hair day will inevitably be different than my thoughts on happiness after losing a beloved pet. Happiness isn’t always an immediate answer, nor should it be. Grieving is often an important element of any journey towards happiness.

So here is the inevitable disclaimer: This blog is meant for the average Joe or Joette who may need a happiness boost in their daily life, and while I sincerely hope it helps some of you along your journeys, it is not meant to be a roadmap for every situation nor will everything I write be applicable to your unique circumstances. The most I can do is write based on my own experiences and opinions, hoping that you may find some tidbits that resonate with you or can be applied in your life. And if all I can do is help you feel better when you’re having a bad hair day, then I guess I’ll take it! With that, I hope that while I travel my own journey of choosing happiness you will choose to travel yours along with me!

The Knee Deep Life: A Makeover

The miscreant pie responsible for keeping me away from you

The miscreant pie responsible for keeping me away from you

I know it’s been a slow start back into my blogging career, but there are some things that you just have to ease into, like yoga or a pair of jeans after your fifth slice of pie. While pie certainly has contributed to distracting me from my blogging goals, I’ve been M.I.A. mainly because I realized I have been falling out of love. Falling out of love with the idea of a Bucket List, that is.

Don’t get me wrong; there are many unforgettable reasons why I fell in love with the Bucket List to begin with. I love that it has pushed me to have new experiences and to try crazy things. I love that it has dared me to escape from my comfort zone and to fight my fears. I love how it made life feel exciting and rich with adventure. But there are are some things that I don’t love about it.

Despite the great strengths of a Bucket List, it has definite drawbacks, the first being that it tends to revolve around the idea of “checking things off”. Sometimes a Bucket List causes you to do something with the underlying temptation of being able to check it off the list–such as standing for eight hours in the world’s most uncomfortable shoes to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower despite your claustrophobia and fear of heights–instead of focusing on the good that comes out of the event itself. Worse yet, the opposite happens, and the Bucket List gives the impression that an activity was completed in order to receive the satisfaction of checking it off. I don’t want to do something nice for someone in order to check it off my list; I want to do something nice for the sake of doing something nice.

And what about the serendipitous things in life? What about the adventures that were unplanned and unexpected? Flying in a helicopter, climbing in a volcano, cutting my own hair, holding an alligator, going sledding on dining trays; these things and many, many more that I have blogged about were in fact completed long before I even wrote a Bucket List or even had the intention of writing one. So if many of the things I have blogged about weren’t even originally on the list, what about the things that are important that never even make it to the list? What about the everyday moments that fill us with the happiness, light, and laughter that we most value in life?

The truth is, at least in my eyes, the Bucket List falls short on all of those fronts. While there are things that I want to do in order to live a good life, none of them come down to a checkbox on a list. While a Bucket List can help motivate me to live big, ultimately it’s not the basis for my life, nor is it what I want as the basis of my blog. But can I be turning my back on a Bucket List lifestyle completely? The answer is no. There are too many things I value about the Bucket List for that to be the case. And while the Bucket List fails to capture the full picture of happiness, it’s still a part of that picture. So this year, I’m simply taking a wider stance.

What can you expect from The Knee Deep Life in 2014? Still some good old Bucket List achievements, but ultimately you can expect a fuller image of adventure, happiness, and life.

May your 2014 be all that you hope for, and may you be Knee Deep in the wonder of it all!

KDL’s year in review as told by pictures:

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Back to the Future? That’s ambitious. How about just “Back to Blogging”?


I know what you’re thinking: “Ooo ooo someone’s coming! Must. Not. Pee. From. Excitement.” Ahem, pardon me, my telepathy seems to have been hijacked by the neighbor’s dog. (At least I sure hope that was my neighbor’s dog). You’re thinking: “Where on earth have you been? It’s been a month!”

Since my telepathy skills are clearly very on point today, why don’t we chat about this right now. You won’t have to do any heavy lifting–just sit back while I read your mind:

*Traveling deeper and deeper into the dark caves of your mind. It’s kind of cluttered in here. And I keep running into Barry Manilow. But I found your car keys! Alright, focusing…*

You: It’s been a month!

Me: Has it really? I could have sworn it’s only been half that time. But I also wrote November 29, 2009 on my homework the other week…so what do I know.

You: Why weren’t you here when I needed you??

Me: I didn’t have a choice! Or any left-over brainpower!

You: You always have a choice! And you didn’t have any brain power to begin with.

Me: Touché.  But you would be in the same boat if you accidentally got a CIA supercomputer downloaded in your head and then had to save the world! Or if you were a wizard that had to fight he-who-shall-not-be-named with his rag tag band of friends!

You: ….Or if you were struggling to use the plots of Chuck and Harry Potter to get yourself out of trouble.

Me: You watch Chuck?! Finally, someone who understands. Did you see the one where Ellie goes to—

You: Ahem.

Me: OK. Fine. It wasn’t that exciting. School got busy before Thanksgiving and then it was finals. And professors generally don’t like it if you tell them that you failed your accounting exam because you were busy blogging about going to opening night of Anchorman 2 dressed as Ron Burgundy. Unless they’re not your accounting professor. Then they probably don’t care..

You: Well, I guess I understand. And I’m frankly just too excited to have you back to be angry! Must. Not. Pee.

Sorry, I seem to have lost you again..but I think we had a good talk. And thanks for the thoughtful poster. Don’t worry, you’ll be seeing me around the blogging sphere a lot more often from now on.

Two Elephants and a Giraffe: A Big Thank You



It finally happened! Lauren Conrad’s getting married! And The Knee Deep Life just broke 200 followers! No, not like that–they’re all intact. Mostly. I think. Although 200 followers might not equate to blogging fame, when you have such quality supporters like I do, it counts for a heck of a lot. And if you don’t know what a heck of a lot equates to, let me help break it down for you. Wrapping your head around the enormity of 200 people is hard to do when the dorm party limit is 8, so I had to be resourceful when coming up with other visual aids.

First, I discovered that 200 followers is about 34,000 pounds of pure fanage (I called each of your doctors–it was very important to me). Which, using some very complex and highly accurate calculations equals about 2.27 very large elephants, or about 4.42 small ones. Then I went with height. That’s about 13,400 inches of followers. Which equals about 69.79 small giraffes or 58.4 big ones. And then, just before I tried to tabulate the number of shark followers using teeth (Alright…maybe just after. It’s about 2.4 very toothy sharks), I realized something. Not only is it apparently the easiest to acquire giraffes, none of what I’m doing is making any sense, nor is it making anything easier to visualize.

So I decided I should just get on with it, and write you all a beautiful Thank You Poem:

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An Acceptance Speech: The Liebster Award


liebster-awardIs there such thing as being fashionably late to accept an award? Because I’m going to go ahead and assume that even though I’m wearing shorts with paint on them and an Old Navy shirt I stole from one of my guy friends that I’m pretty fashionable because it’s been a month since I was nominated for the Liebster Award by the very lovely Lindsey @ The Day Dreaming, Candy Eating, Red Headed Bookworm. (I am not ashamed to see that winning the Versatile Blogger Award has evidently tricked others into giving me awards as well). The great thing about online awards is that I’m pretty sure you can take as long as you need to write your acceptance post, and there is no chance you will trip up the stairs when you go to accept your award. And even though I can’t see you giving me a standing ovation, knowing that you’re doing it from afar is enough for me. (Now please sit down, you’re embarrassing yourself).

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The Calendar Was Great, Because it Gave People a Chance To See a Side of My Versatility



The Versatile Blogger Award

Upon returning home from gallivanting around Europe (or more literally, eating my way through France and Spain, which is the only real way to get to know a country) you might expect me to make my first post about a foreign adventure. Well, my friends, as you can quite clearly tell from my sense of humor, I thrive off of randomness. So, in keeping with the trend of being predictably unpredictable, I first must share with you the very pleasant and very unexpected surprise that awaited me when I arrived home. When I checked my WordPress notifications yesterday morning, I came across a nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award, for which I have Dave Cenker @DaveCenker to thank.

Naturally, I assumed that there was some sort of mistake, since the only thing I’ve ever won in my life was a 10 dollar gift certificate to a frozen yogurt place (which I’m very proud of, by the way) and since Dave seems to normally have impeccable judgment. So, as an upstanding WordPress Citizen, I decided to come clean and admit there was a mistake immediately accept the award and share my seven fun facts before anyone could say anything about it.

First, let me say that Dave is one of the best bloggers WordPress has to offer. If he hadn’t been nominated already, he would be at the top of my list for this award. His endlessly profound and provoking posts are second to none, and I can’t encourage you enough to check out his blog. (I use the word encourage loosely. That is to say, if I could, I would break into your homes and set his blog as your home page. You would thank me later).

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