Rachel Awtrey

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California Friends & Photos

There have been so many “favorite moments” of this summer but last night took the top. 

One of my quickest friends, Mary Grace Baker, happens to be out at the ranch this summer at JH Ranch as well. Our friendship is fueled by our inspirations for each other’s life, encouragement of our dreams and giggles about the silliest stuff. 

One thing you may not know about Mary Grace is her abilities behind a camera lens. It seems these days that photography is the “thing to do” but this one has been gifted with one crazy talent.

The talent has nothing to do with a camera (but it overflows to her ability behind her equipment). It actually is a talent of her heart: to see others as their truest self. She doesn’t add any filters to the way she sees them, but fights for their true identity regardless of what they have done or said to her. I love that. 

Yesterday Thomas and I had the privilege to romp around with her on mountain tops, no joke.

I threw on my favorite outfit, snagged my favorite pair of new shoes (Thomas picked them out, what a man) and headed out the door. Mary Grace and I had this picture for what we both needed. I needed a play date, she needed a change of scenery and creativity. So we headed to a friend’s property full of cacti bushes, dry land, tall grass and the grandest views. 

We tried taking the truck we were loaned to drive this summer, but the road turned treacherous pretty quickly so we headed back down and grabbed a four wheeler. Holding on tight to each other and laughing and screaming through all the bumps and ditches, we fought through to our ideal spot. 

Thomas and I ran and jumped, laughed and kissed, smiled and twirled and literally chased the light. 

We saw that the light was going behind the mountain, since we were in a valley, so we ran and hopped on the four wheeler again, stepped on the gas and full-speed-chased the light to the peak of the property just in time to get a few more favorite shots. 

Encouraged, we settled back on the four wheeler, held on tight and rolled back down the mountain, put away the four wheeler and drove off a few more miles to treat ourselves to a deserved Brown Bear Burger, curly fries and an Oreo shake from the greatest (and only) dinner spot in town, Dotty’s. 

This takes the top of many memories out here at the Ranch because of the balance we had of fun, laughter, running and rest and filling ourselves up with exactly our desire. 

Like the pictures, we have to adjust and move and sometimes can’t settle until we can make exactly what we pictured. Other times we’ll never be able to attain the image in our mind, or meet expectation, but the outcome is far greater than anything we could have imagined. 

That’s why last night was my favorite.

Thomas: Top (Banana Republic) // Shoes (Vans) // Watch (Daniel Wellington)

Rachel: Top (Anthropologie) // Shaw (Old Navy) // Shoes (Old Navy)