As I've mentioned in passing a few times, I started running again this summer. I'm hoping that none of you actually remember this post I did back in May saying I was starting the Couch 2 5k program the next week. Because I didn't. In fact, it wasn't until the beginning of July that I finally laced up my running shoes and got out the door.

By that point, I had given up on my goal of running another 5k this year and was having a pity party by myself. I remember the day quite clearly actually. I was sitting at home, depressed by yet another pregnancy announcement and feeling quite miserable that my life wasn't going as planned. I then took a look at my 14 goals for 2014 and got myself more depressed with how slowly I was progressing with them. After a while of pouting and grumbling, I finally pulled myself together and decided that the only way that I would reach my goals is if I sucked it up and actually did them. And so, I started to run again.

Since the beginning of July, I have run steadily every Monday, Wednesday and Friday except for a small almost two week break in the middle there somewhere. But on a whole, I've been doing really well and sticking to it. Mia loves that I have taken up running again and she comes with me every time.

By the end of this week, I'll be done week five of an eight week program. I've NEVER made it this far before and I have started it four times before this, so I'm feeling quite proud of myself. I may actually finish it this year!

Since my goal was to run another 5k, I have scheduled one for September 7th and I'm getting excited for it. It's actually a virtual 5k, so I will be running it by myself but the money is going towards a really great cause, international adoption. I will have more details of it all when I do a post about the actual 5k.

Another thing I am proud of, I've been getting up early to go for my runs. And by early, I mean getting out of bed at 6:30am. While I realize that this isn't early for everyone, it is most definitely for me. I love to sleep and I find it hard to get out of bed in the mornings, especially just to go for a run. But I've been trying really hard to get up when Dan gets up and so far, I've been doing well. But in order to motivate myself even more, I've been giving myself stars every time I get up early. So for the last two weeks, my calendar has been looking more and more shiny.

While this star reward system may seem silly to some, it actually works for me. I love giving myself a star and being able to see how well I've done over the last few weeks makes me ridiculously excited. So I'm going with this system since it works and people can laugh all they want at me. I am in the process of forming good habits, so there.

The only downfall to my regular running again was the weight loss. The beginning of July I was up at 116 lbs and loving it. Then I started running and I dropped down to 113 lbs. The good news though, as my body adjusts and I work on consuming more calories, I am slowly working my way back up. I'm only at 114 lbs right now but at least it's going in the right direction.

So overall, I've been doing really well with my running and I am feeling good about it. It makes me so proud to see how far I've come and I know that exercise is important for health. Now I'm just trying to figure out how I can keep working out during the winter without actually having to go out into the cold.

I'm back this week to show off some more garden pictures as well as what I've been up to with said garden produce. Ready?

The onions are just about ready to start hanging

Our third cucumber we have gotten from our garden

The potatoes are slowly being overtaken with weeds
The herbs are growing well and I'm happy to report that their new garden suits them much better than the gutters. Now to get out there and actually use the herbs! Making pesto is on the to do list for today.

Our tomatoes are in full swing now and I've been picking and making stewed tomatoes out of them. I'm pretty sure this will now be a weekly occurrence, given how many green tomatoes are left on the plants.

Speaking of canning, here is a picture of last weeks efforts! I finally worked my way through all the cucumbers and beets I was given. 12 jars of pickled beets, 15 jars of bread & butter pickles and 10 jars of relish. Pretty amazing, right?

I'm also in full bean freezing mode and work on prepping them while watching Gilmore Girls. This is considered my "break".

And because I love to flaunt just a little bit, this next picture is of our meal we had last week. The chicken is one of ours from last year, as well as the beet pickles and bread & butter pickles. The carrots, beans and potatoes are from our garden this year and the crabapple jelly is not from any of our trees but I picked and jellied it. So this WHOLE meal was completely ours!

Nothing we've eaten lately tasted quite as good as that meal did.

And because I like to occasionally leave you guys with a small bonus picture on these posts, here is a picture of the things that are currently growing the fastest around here.

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday and the rest of your week goes well.

Home Behind the Sun is a book that is meant to encourage us in our daily walk with God and to spur us on to live in His brilliance every day of our lives. It shows us that it's possible to find the joy of living in the day to day, while healing and forgiving along the way. Both of the authors give examples from their lives when it was hard to find the beauty in a circumstance but when looking at it with an eternal perspective, they were able to work their way through it. Each chapter touches on a different subject that we can all relate to on a certain level and there is even a discussion guide at the end of the book for those who are reading it in a small group or with a friend.

I was looking forward to reading this book, hoping I would benefit from what it had to teach and be able to put some of what I had learned into my daily life. This was not the case, considering I could barely follow along with what was being said. The authors both seem to write in a more poetic way than I am used to and I often found myself confused and not sure what was really being talked about. A lot of the stories were portrayed in a way that was full of description of the surroundings and beauty of the moment and I got lost in all the words and usually missed the point of the story. Some of the their points did make their way through to me and I was occasionally encouraged by something they had to say, but on a whole, this book was a disappointment to me.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLookBloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FederalTrade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I kind of like the Five Things Friday post and it's a nice easy way to end off a week, especially when it has been a crazy busy one like this one has. So hopefully you guys don't mind if I do more posts like this when there is a lull in ideas and I need some material to work with.

I figured that I could start giving these posts themes, such as favourite movies, books, recipes, etc, and that way I can keep them interesting and you can learn a little more about me along the way. Sound like a plan?

This week the theme is movies and I thought I would share my top favourite movies of all time. The only problem is, I honestly couldn't tell you what my top favourite movies are. I like too many and it's really hard to choose between them all. So instead of my top five favourites, I'm just going to share five movies that I love and could watch over and over and over again.

#1 Pride and Prejudice (The Colin Firth one, not the new one with Kiera Knightly). And this one is actually my favourite movie of all time. I have watched it probably over 30 times and I could still sit down and watch it again right now. I LOVE it that much.

#2 The Bounty Hunter. Hilarious movie that has me killing myself laughing every time and then quoting it for days to come. I'm a fan of both actors and thought they did a great job together in this movie.

#3 The Italian Job is one that I can watch multiple times and still discover something new about it each time. It's the perfect mix of action, love and pretty cars. I admit it, this movie makes me want to go out and buy a Mini Cooper.

#4 The Proposal cracks me up every.single.time. Some of the scenes have me laughing so hard I cry (like the one in the woods with the chanting) and other scenes actually make me cry because they're so sweet and touching. I also really like Sandra Bullock and enjoy a lot of the movies she plays in.

#5 Knight and Day is a bit of a silly action movie with a love plot mixed in there. While I like Cameron Diaz, I'm not usually a huge fan of Tom Cruise but the combo of them in this movie is actually pretty good. The story line kept me hooked right from the very beginning and had enough mystery to keep me slightly confused, while the ending always makes me smile. It definitely deserves to be on my top 5 list (for this week at least).

I seriously could have gone on for a while and actually had to cut myself off in order to stick within the Five Things Friday limit. The only bad thing about this post is that now I want to blow off all responsibilities and have a movie marathon today! Don't worry, I won't actually do it.

What are some of your favourite movies?

Here is a motivational quote for today that I found inspiring when I came across it.

Since I already blogged about our strawberry and raspberry picking adventures, I figured it was time to share my blueberry picking with you.

Our August has been and will continue to be pretty busy and I was beginning to get worried that we wouldn't find the time to get out to the blueberry fields again. But I knew that I had to find a way since I loved eating last years blueberries all winter long. Ideally, I prefer to go berry picking with someone and that someone is usually Dan, but this year that wasn't possible. Dan had to work and even though I had initially planned to invite a friend, I ended up going a little last minute.

I woke up Monday morning and checked the weather report for the week, thinking I'd head out to go picking sometime in the middle of the week. Except for that plan turned into a "must leave immediately" plan, since the rest of the week was forecasted as wet and cold.

So I put on some sunscreen, grabbed a hat and some buckets and jumped in the car for the 40 minute drive to the blueberry fields.

The picking was a little slow at first, but I kept at it and eventually filled one of my smaller buckets. I had noticed though that as I continued to pick along the row, the bushes I was coming up on had less and less berries. I eventually decided that the row must have already been picked recently and it was necessary for me to jump over to some more blueberry laden bushes. I didn't want to spend ALL day picking berries in the hot sun.

Fortunately for me, two rows over from where I had been, the bushes were heavy with fruit. Like so heavy that I probably only moved a few feet to fill my remaining three buckets.

By this point though, I was getting hot and lonely. The sun was beating down on me and I didn't have anyone to talk to about it. Most of the other people in the fields were in groups and everyone around me was chatting and appearing to have more fun. But I tried not to have too much of a pity party and thought about how much I would enjoy eating these berries over the next few months.

I picked for about an hour and a half before I had filled my four buckets, which totaled to almost 10 litres of blueberries. After precariously balancing all four buckets in my arms for the long walk back to the car, I was finally on my way home.

Similar to last year, I left some in the fridge to enjoy fresh but ended up freezing the majority of them. I think I now have 8 or so ziploc bags in the freezer filled with delicious blueberries.

Blueberries on my cereal all winter long, here I come!

The garden is now in full swing and keeping me plenty busy. It doesn't look much different than it did a week ago but the produce is multiplying quickly and I am out there almost daily harvesting veggies.

I picked about a thousand beans the other day but forgot to take a picture of them. Okay, so it probably wasn't a thousand but there sure were a lot. My basket was completely full by the end of the two rows. I've now started freezing the beans for next year, even though we haven't finished last years crop yet. I guess we'll need to eat more beans this winter.

13 bags of beans
The weather this summer hasn't been hot enough to get my peppers going yet so they are all a little behind in times. But every plant has small peppers on it, so hopefully they will begin ripening soon and I can get to freezing those. We ran out of them last winter so I'm hoping to be more prepared this time.

The zucchini is making slow progress which I am totally okay with. We still have a TON in the freezer from last year so I'm happy that we don't have a killer crop again. I have to find more ways to use it or else we'll never be free of it. Any suggestions?

The rest of the garden seems to be doing well. The tomato plants are still taking over the world and I feel like we'll soon be overrun with tomatoes in our house. Making stewed tomatoes and sauces will probably be next on my canning to do list. The potatoes are growing and we even dug up one hill already. They were tasty and it felt so good to eat potatoes from our garden again.

Our onion crop is a little sad this year and I'm pretty sure we won't have enough to put in storage to last us until Spring again. Oh well, every year is different. The carrots did better than we expected and we are now starting to pull them up and enjoy fresh garden carrots. They just have a better crunch to them than store bought ones.

That's it for this weeks update. I'll try and do better taking pictures of what I'm picking during the week so I can share that with you next week. I think we're ready for some variety and not just photos of the same plants from week to week.

Oh and I forgot to mention that since my cucumbers and beets didn't do well this year, a friend of ours offered some of theirs. And boy did she mean it! I am now scrambling to deal with the crazy amount of beets and cucumbers that we have by canning them all. I'm half way through them!

Anyone else in the midst of canning or freezing summer produce? What is your favourite fresh vegetable? And since I've been pickling all week, what is your favourite pickle?