It appears that I shouldn’t have gotten too excited about our mortgage because I don’t think we’re going to get approved right now.  So sad.  The new (very strict) laws require that you show two years of steady income, but it goes by tax year, which means we would base our mortgage off 2009 and 2010.  In 2009, I employed at the land development company for half the year, and the Husband was in school.  Thus, we don’t qualify.


So the game plan is to wait until January 2012 and re-apply with 2010 and 2011 on the books instead of 2009.  If you’re self-employed, too, the best piece of advice I can give you is to keep copies of everything, don’t change corporate structure, and don’t write off too many expenses on your taxes.  More expenses = less taxable income, which is not good for a mortgage.  Don’t sacrifice the long-term for the short-term!


I’m disappointed, but more time to prepare isn’t the worst thing.  However, I loved reading about your non-negotiables for house hunting and will definitely keep your advice in mind come time to house hunt!


Here’s LUNCH!


This is actually leftover from last night. The Husband and I got Chinese food.  I topped a bed of spinach with leftover white rice and tofu.  Plus a little goat cheese for garnish!


End of Season Girls on the Run Gifts


I wanted to share what we’re giving my girls at the end-of-season party on Thursday – fun little memory books!


All season, I’ve been snapping pictures of the girls at practices, trying to take pictures of them alone and with their best friends.  Each album includes 9 photos of each girl + a blank page for Coach Husband and I to write a personal message to the girl.  I got them made on Snapfish for only $5 each.


We only have two more practices left, and then the 5K is on Saturday!  It’s bittersweet.  It’s fun to see the girls accomplish what they trained for, but then it’s goodbye – maybe forever!



  • Jackie @ Baking Charms May 2, 2011, 1:30 pm

    I’m newly self-employed… like in the last couple of days… so thanks for the advice!!

  • jen @ taste life May 2, 2011, 1:33 pm

    Those gifts are great, but I can see why it would be bittersweet!

    I bought my house 5 years ago, and although we have no problem paying the mortgage, it would definitely be waaaay harder to get financing now. However, maybe that’s a good thing for you guys – maybe the perfect house won’t be available until next year or something 🙂

  • jen @ taste life May 2, 2011, 1:34 pm

    Maybe it’s for the best and the perfect house won’t be on the market until next year 🙂

  • Brittany (healthy slice) May 2, 2011, 1:35 pm

    January 2012 will be here before you know it and it will be so nice to have some extra time to explore areas and prices!

  • Jamie@everydaydolce May 2, 2011, 1:38 pm

    Wow, this is inspiring! You seem to have really invested your heart and soul into these girls. I’m sure the return for your hard work is well worth it, you’re such a great influence for them!

  • Emily May 2, 2011, 1:43 pm

    Serious wow! Those gifts are amazing!! What a beautiful thing to give them.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday May 2, 2011, 1:44 pm

    That really sucks for you about the new mortgage rules.

    At least the increased regulation is really better for everyone. Does the economy really need another mortgage crisis as a result of practically no regulation on lending? I don’t think so.

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg May 2, 2011, 1:45 pm

    Those photo books are such a good idea! And $5 each isn’t bad at all!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin May 2, 2011, 1:46 pm

    Wow Caitlin. Those books are such wonderful gifts for the girls! They are VERY lucky to have you and your husband for coaches!!

  • Freya May 2, 2011, 1:48 pm

    Awh I love those little gifts!
    I’m sorry about the money tax stuff 🙁 my mum is self-employed so i know all about how tough it can be! I hope 2012 is better.

  • Hating ED May 2, 2011, 1:49 pm

    What cute photo books! I’m sure the girls will look back on those for years to come.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife May 2, 2011, 1:50 pm

    What a cute idea-the photo books and all 🙂

    So sorry about the house–I will def keep those tips in mind, though!

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) May 2, 2011, 1:50 pm

    The mortgage situation sounds like a serious let-down. On the other hand, you now have more time to really research the market and evaluate what you need. And pull your paperwork together like nobody’s business. And save more for a downpayment, which means a lower monthly payment.

    It still sucks, though, and it’s perfectly normal and a-ok for you to be pissed. Go ahead and do it.

    Those photo albums are awesome – I will have to look into getting some for my swimmers.

  • April May 2, 2011, 1:54 pm

    What a great idea for the girls. I coach a group of girls here in Poolesville MD and they would have LOVED those. I’ll have to remember that for next season!

    • Caitlin May 2, 2011, 9:48 pm

      Thanks for being a GOTR coach!!!

  • Parita @ myinnershakti May 2, 2011, 1:56 pm

    Sorry to hear about the mortgage situation…but thanks for the tips! And those are the cutest gifts ever! I think they’ll love them!

  • Kara May 2, 2011, 2:02 pm

    That’s a bummer about the mortgage situation. I don’t remember doing all of that when we bought our house, but my husband took care of most of that stuff, so maybe it happened and I just missed it.

    That is a great gift for the girls!

  • Gavi @ Gavi Gets Going! May 2, 2011, 2:02 pm

    So sorry about the mortgage! These gifts are so thoughtful and sweet. Photo books make such amazing presents. I made an iPhoto book for my boyfriend on our 4-year anniversary and it was very special for both of us. By the way, I love your new homepage photo!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 2, 2011, 2:04 pm

    Sorry to hear about the mortgage, but on a positive note, I LOVE your GOTR gifts!! Those are so cute and I bet the girls will really appreciate them!

  • Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) May 2, 2011, 2:10 pm

    What a great gift…. 🙂 I love the whole idea of GOTR

  • Christine May 2, 2011, 2:14 pm

    I love those books – what a great idea! That’s something that most of them will keep forever.

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef May 2, 2011, 2:15 pm

    that stinks about the mortgage stuff. 🙁 but at least you’ll have more time to prepare!

  • Kathleen May 2, 2011, 2:16 pm

    I’m sorry, definitely a let down with the mortgage news, hopefully it leads to increased savings, a fat down payment and the perfect house. The way this year is flying by, it will be here before you know it. I had a rough time getting a house after my husband passed away. Going from dual income to single made it very hard to qualify and that was before all the new requirements, but I stuck it out and after saving a lot of money was able to pull it off and I LOVE my house. As for the girl’s photo books, what an amazing gift – something they will cherish for a very long time. Who knows, maybe they will become bloggers as they get older and they will share the photo albums and talk about you and your husband and their first 5K to inspire others…Now that would be cool!

  • Dana May 2, 2011, 2:17 pm

    Sorry about your mortgage, but it’s so great that you already have a plan for next time. And who knows, maybe this was meant to be for some reason? Maybe the perfect house will be ready and waiting for you in 2012.
    What a wonderful gift idea! You are so dedicated to these girls, you’re a great coach!

    • Caitlin May 2, 2011, 9:47 pm

      That’s a good way to think of it… everything happens for a reason.

  • Katie May 2, 2011, 2:18 pm

    Such cute gifts for your girls! I hope I can get involved with Girls on the Run soon!

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy May 2, 2011, 2:19 pm

    Never forever. Maybe you can volunteer to work at their field day or something! What a great idea. They’ll really love those especially later on in life. It is so fun to find old scrapbooks and photo albums 🙂

  • Amy May 2, 2011, 2:19 pm

    I think you are awesome.

    That is all.


    • Caitlin May 2, 2011, 9:46 pm

      I think you are awesome too!!!


  • Jennifer May 2, 2011, 2:30 pm

    Or you need a massive downpayment. We put down 25% and they didn’t care that neither of us were employed for more than 6mo.

    • Caitlin May 2, 2011, 9:45 pm

      Oh man…. 25% is so much! I’m working on building our stash!!!

  • Nacho Lindsay May 2, 2011, 2:32 pm

    Those books are great! Those would make great wedding gifts. Yes, save EVERYTHING when you know you are in the market for a house. It is SO much better to be safe than sorry.

  • Marina May 2, 2011, 2:39 pm

    Sorry about the mortage 🙁 I hope evertyhing works out soon!
    You are like the best coach ever. I bet girls will be thrilled when you give them tooks cute books. You are amazing.

  • Sarah for Real May 2, 2011, 2:40 pm

    So sorry to hear about your mortgage! A few more months is not a bad thing though. I definitely advise you to keep shopping around online. The more you know about the homes in the area the better!

    My husband and I stalked real estate online for months and wound up choosing our house on the first day of looking at homes in person. It was only about the 8th house we saw but knew it was the one based on our research.

  • Errign May 2, 2011, 2:42 pm

    What thoughtful gifts 🙂

  • Lindsay May 2, 2011, 2:45 pm

    Caitlin, My GOTR 5k is the 14th and it’s a bittersweet ending! I love the photo books, what a wonderful idea. Keep your head up with this house stuff–now you have more time to pick out what you really want 🙂

    • Caitlin May 2, 2011, 9:44 pm

      Isn’t it so sad when the season ends? ;(

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) May 2, 2011, 2:58 pm

    Sorry about the mortgage Caitlin. Here’s to a good year this year though, right?! I love the gifts you did for the girls. What great memories and keepsakes!

  • Tammy Root May 2, 2011, 3:08 pm

    I’m sorry Caitlin. 🙁 I know how disappointed you and Kristien must feel. Hang in there. It was not meant to be now. Come 2012 you will get approved AND the perfect house will come your way. Things happen for a reason.

    • Caitlin May 2, 2011, 9:42 pm

      Thanks Tammy!

  • kimmy May 2, 2011, 3:16 pm

    We are closing May 20th, but it was a long drawn out process. The rules are so strict now! The best thing about it is though that you can have more time to save (which is what we did)

  • Laura May 2, 2011, 3:28 pm

    Sorry about your disappointing news! In the meantime, enjoy the perks of being a renter…namely not having to pay for major home repairs (which often just come with age, weather, etc). My husband and I own our home and are getting ready to spend a pretty penny on exciting things like wood rot repair on our trim and siding, and possibly a new roof in the next year or two. On a more positive note– the books are so cute!!

  • cathy May 2, 2011, 3:30 pm

    Love your choice of gift for your girls! I bet many of them keep their mementos for years.
    Sorry about your mortgage news, but 1) at least the extra year’s wait is not too intolerably long and 2) this gives you more time to save $!

  • Emma (Namaste Everyday) May 2, 2011, 3:33 pm

    they are going to love those books, how fabulous! I can’t believe they are only $5! I want one of those made for my trip to New Zealand

  • Kelly May 2, 2011, 3:40 pm

    We have ran into the same issues with trying to get a home equity. Not because of the income thing but just the tighter restrictions in general. I thought I had a lot of hangups on what my house had to be like, until I fell in love with our old house. Now, I know that the things I want will come in time. The area and the proximity to a good elementary school was something I couldn’t pass up regardless of the lack of closet space and other little quirky issues.

  • chelsea May 2, 2011, 3:58 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that! At least that gives you guys a few extra months to save and save for a bigger down payment. We got turned down a few years ago and it broke my little heart but it turned out for the better because I was able to quit my job and go back to school, start a small business, and we moved across country!

  • Liz May 2, 2011, 4:09 pm

    I actually don’t think the two year rule is new. When I bought my first house back in 2003, I had to have been at my job for two years also to be able to qualify for the mortgage. It is even harder when your self employed.

    Think of it this way, you’ll have a whole extra year to save up more downpayment. That way your mortgage payment will be less. The more money you can put down in the beginning, the better off you are.

    • Caitlin May 2, 2011, 9:41 pm

      True that… more down payment is a good thing!

  • Baking 'n' Books May 2, 2011, 4:13 pm

    Why is more taxable income better? Shouldn’t the gross income be the main thing? I hate taxes. I just had to hand over my life in them…

    I agree with Liz above though! What is a typical downpayment anyways??

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss May 2, 2011, 4:13 pm

    Those gifts are so cute!! The girls are going to love them. 🙂

  • Natalia - a side of simple May 2, 2011, 4:14 pm

    Those gifts are too precious!! What a great way to capture the memories and the strength of the team 🙂 Sorry to hear about the mortgage…but all things will work out and it just means there is something better in the future!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 2, 2011, 4:20 pm

    That’s such a sweet idea for your GOTR girls!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal May 2, 2011, 4:31 pm

    What a sweet gift for your girls! You’re such a good coach 🙂

    Sorry to hear about the mortgage news 🙁

  • Morgan May 2, 2011, 4:34 pm

    Those gifts are a wonderful idea! That is such a sweet gesture!!

  • Abby May 2, 2011, 4:37 pm

    Those little photo books are awesome! You are so thoughtful! 🙂

  • steph May 2, 2011, 4:53 pm

    Those photo books are going to be so special to the girls! Great idea!

  • Jen May 2, 2011, 5:06 pm

    The husband and I have been married for almost 10 years (August) and between him being in school, having babies and finally getting a decent job (for the husband) we are just starting to house hunt and will be hopefully moving in this summer. It’s such a long process sometimes 🙁

    Love the photo books, great idea!!!

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) May 2, 2011, 5:15 pm

    Aww those books are so thoughtful! You are sweet. 🙂
    Sorry about the mortgage news. You are right that you have more time to prepare! Maybe it will work out better for you guys long term to have the extra time to plan and think about what you want. 🙂 Lots of people rush into it and regret it.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) May 2, 2011, 5:17 pm

    oh those gifts look perfect!!

  • Jaclyn May 2, 2011, 5:26 pm

    Those are so sweet – I love the books! I love the idea – I have done similar things before but never with snap fish! I would love if you could explain how to make one!

  • Heidi - apples under my bed May 2, 2011, 5:46 pm

    what a fabulous gift for the girls!! well done, Caitlin, they will love it! I wonder if we have something similar to GOTR here in Aus… I’ll investigate!
    Heidi xo

  • Megan@Dirty Dishes Daily May 2, 2011, 5:52 pm

    I think those memory gifts are such a great idea. The program is such a confidence builder that it should be remembered always.

  • Courtney May 2, 2011, 6:08 pm

    What adorable gifts! I want one. 😛

  • emily May 2, 2011, 6:09 pm

    Those photo books are adorable, so sweet of you to get them gifts!

    Just a reminder though (former teacher here!), unless you’ve gotten explicit parental permission, you may want to blank out faces when you show pictures of the girls on your blog.

    • Caitlin May 2, 2011, 9:40 pm

      They sign media releases when joining GOTR so it’s ok! I’ve checked before.

  • E May 2, 2011, 7:22 pm

    Well that stinks about the mortgages, but I love your memory book idea for the girls!

  • Sarah@The Flying ONION May 2, 2011, 7:23 pm

    Those pictures are so precious! The girls are going to love them, and what a special memory for them to have. 😀

  • Morgan @ Endorphaholic May 2, 2011, 7:31 pm

    The girls look so happy in those pictures, they are so lucky to have had such a positive experience with you coaching them!

    Would you guys be allowed to have reunion picnics? That would be a fun way to keep in touch with the girls every month! Or pen-pals or an e-mail newsletter where each of the girls gets to send in a paragraph and picture of what is going on in her life that month!

    • Caitlin May 2, 2011, 9:39 pm

      I think it would be fun to do something like that… I love the idea of penpals.

  • susan May 2, 2011, 7:39 pm

    are your white plates the west elm “organic” plates?? a few months ago we got rid of all of our mish mash dishes and bought all of the organic shape white dishes from west elm…


    • Caitlin May 2, 2011, 9:38 pm

      Hahah yes it is! Love it. 🙂

  • Christine May 2, 2011, 7:42 pm

    It’ll still be a buyer’s market in a year and you’ll have more time to save. I know what you feel- it’s like the second you decide to take the leap you want it to happen NOW.

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) May 2, 2011, 7:50 pm

    Awww! That is a SUPER adorable idea! I wish I had thought to take pictures during practice!!! Hopefully next year I will be a HEAD coach and I would love to do something like this!

    • Caitlin May 2, 2011, 9:37 pm

      Yay! I learn so much from other coaches advice, too. Next year I am going to do so much more stuff!

  • Molly @ RDexposed May 2, 2011, 7:58 pm

    You have such a beautiful heart!

  • Carol May 2, 2011, 8:18 pm

    Everything happens for a reason. Your perfect house is out there and saving is definitely not a bad thing. I always tell my hubby I will only leave our current (small) house for better. The memory books look great and I am sure the girls will love them!

  • Ashley @ Feeding Ashley May 2, 2011, 8:22 pm

    Those gifts are amazing. I’m sure the girls are going to love them. I’m sorry about the mortgage issues :/ Your perfect house will be waiting for you though.

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul May 2, 2011, 9:11 pm

    so sorry that it didn’t work out! But it’s great to see your positivity and I’m sure you already know that there is a great purpose to everything? 🙂

  • Johanna May 2, 2011, 9:25 pm

    Very cute gifts!!

  • khushboo May 2, 2011, 11:33 pm

    Such a thoughtful gift! I bet they love it! Also goats cheese (or any cheese for that matter) on Chinese?? Hmmmm, interesting!

  • Orla May 3, 2011, 6:42 am

    They say Whats for you Won’t pass you so maybe getting not good news re: mortgage is a blessing in disguise. When I was approved I nearly put in offers on 2 houses as I just wanted to have my own place. I waited for a further 4 months (the approval was burning in my pocket!) and then found the house of my dreams. I walked into the place and just knew. I believe that things will fall into place once you are approved. Good Luck!

  • Jennifer May 3, 2011, 7:00 am

    One thing I’ve learned by working with kids is good bye is never forever. Even though you might not see the girls on a regular basis, a part of you will always be with them. I’ve been volunteering with Girl Guides for 7 years now, and every once in a while from across a parking lot, or mall or antique fair, I’ll hear someone call “Brown Owl!” and sure enough, it will be one of my “girls”. It has to be one of the sweetest sounds! I’m sure your “girls” will feel the same about the two of you, and you’ll be “running” into them for years to come.

  • Amber K May 3, 2011, 10:30 am

    That is such a great idea for mementos! I bet they’ll love them.

    Such a bummer that you’re stuck right now. But like other commenters have told you, that just means you have more time to look and more time to save up money 🙂

  • Sophie May 3, 2011, 4:31 pm

    Those books look great – such a good idea and I’m sure they’ll treasure them 😀

  • Lisa May 4, 2011, 11:24 am

    Some good advice on buying a home if you are self-employed:

  • Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep May 4, 2011, 8:56 pm

    The more I talked your situation over with my parents (who I work for), we found some solutions for self-employed borrowers that have been self-employed less than 2 years. Now I just wish I was licensed to lend in NC. I hope you find someone who can help!

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