…the very beginning and spofford lake

…a very good place to start.

DH and I love a good project. DH and I are also getting older. Kids getting older. Time moving onward. So, when the opportunity arose to purchase a lake home that was not a complete fixer upper, we prayed. And what does God do, He gives us this nest way, way under the listing price. I always say that God answers prayer with doors. If a door is open, I move forward. If a door is closed, I move in another direction until I find an open door.

This door was open and we walked through.


Although this has always been DH’s dream and I was thrilled to see him achieve it – because he is the hardest-working, most-talented, smartest person I’ve ever met – I was pulled into his dream based on my memories of Spofford Lake. Spofford is a lake in New Hampshire where I used to go as a child with my family and my beloved Gram. I still remember her putting on her white swim cap and swimming out to what we referred to as “the rock”, which was a large, long rock just beyond the shore. She looked so big and brave when she did this.

The house was painted red, the family room had bamboo seating and the kitchen boasted an old fridge with a metal handle. I remember the sound of the water licking the small, sandy beach and the taste of the raspberries that my sister and I picked from the bushes. To this day, I cannot bite into a raspberry without immediately being brought back to this time. Sharon and I floated around the muck in our floaties, pulling strands of wild seaweed that grew upwards. We made a kitchen out of the roots in the trees, the bits of flaked wood our chicken. The woods were just a part of this wonderland as the water.


So, when we saw this property and the woods that surrounded the water, my need to have my children grow up playing in a forest grew. I really believe that imagination is as it’s greatest in nature. In our hometown, just outside the city, we do not get the opportunity to explore our brain’s potential for play.

I think Gram would be thrilled for us. I smell her in the house and feel her in the water. I feel it so strongly that I was shocked when I was driving to the one grocery store on the lake, listening to music and thinking of her and Spofford, when a car pulled in front of me. I stopped breathing when I saw the New Hampshire license plate directly in front of me, speaking just to me – Live Free or Die.

I hear that, Gram, and I’m moving in that direction.

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  1. Lucky lucky you! Now I’m excited to keep reading your posts about your remodel. I lived in New Hampshire for many years (went to school there, and married there). It’s a beautiful state. I still miss it.

  2. Julie Hinman says:

    Welcome (back) to NH! We raised our kids in the Monadnock region and it was wonderful with the lakes and Mt. Monadnock in our backyard. Now up living by another lake and mountain, Sunapee, and still just as beautiful. I have been following your site for a while and love the style, creativity and honesty you share with so many. Best wishes on this new adventure!

  3. How wonderful! Life is too short to not walk through the open doors of opportunity. Life has twists and turns that are unexpected. I will forever live in regret at not walking through a few doors now that my husband is not in the best of health. We always said “one day” but, every day really is “one day”. So happy for you and your family and cannot wait to watch this come alive for you!

  4. alejandra cartin says:

    What a beautiful place! So excited for you and your family. I wish you the best of the memories you can get in this new place!

  5. Congratulations! So nice to hear the special memories of you and your grandmother. It is amazing how one smell or sound can you take you back to her. I miss my grandmother every day. What is it about grandmothers that impact our lives forever? I hope they know how truly cherished they are. http://www.cityfarmhouseantiques.com

  6. So, so excited for you and your family. Looking foward to going on the ride with you. I love the way you decorate your house and can’t wait to see what you do with your new place. On Another note,when will you be writing your blog on the rust oleum top coat? Looking flocking forward to reading that:)

    • christen says:

      hi sandy! thank you so much! i actually did write the post on the topcoat. do a search for it and if you can’t find it let me know. xo

      • Thank you, thank you, thank you for always being so kind to oldies like myself and taking the time to reply. I found the rust oleum post and read it. Love your honesty.

  7. SOOOOO happy for you and your family! Best thing we ever did with the kids was buy a log cabin on a lake in Wisconsin. Having all boys…, they relaxed, built things, created things, campfires you could see from space as we called them, swam, skied, boated and bonded as a family in a way that you can not do in the city at home. Great treasured years and memories for a lifetime. Best decision you will ever make and lets you be creative in a new unique way. Enjoy all that lies ahead with your lake home, even the problems because they are an opportunities.

  8. Could you tell me where you found the tall Topiaries. I cannot find any like the ones on your dining room table. Thanks.

  9. Hi Christen,
    Loved reading about your New Hampshire summer home. I have lived in NH all of my almost 60 years. My best memories are of being with my grandparents at their camp on a lake in NH. We swam until our skin wrinkled, we explored, thinking mica we discovered was like gold, looked for Red F’s, and learning to fish. My grandfather made donuts and sold them to other folks living around the lake, and I still remember the smell. Your children will have the most wonderful memories too. Can’t wait to see what you do with the place. Love your videos too.

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