Rachel Awtrey


Lifestyle | Travel | Faith | Marriage

My summer in a tiny home

We’re placed in Northern California this summer up in the mountains in an itty bitty town named Etna with the cutest breakfast spot, glorious sunsets, amazing locations for off days, and fields full of cattle that run as long as the eye can see and eventually meet the purple mountains majesty we’ve always sung about. 

Who wouldn’t want a newlywed adventure up in these secret spots? We asked for exactly that: an adventure. We received nothing short of one, that’s for sure. 


The hectic days of Thomas running around checking on ropes courses, being able to gobble up a meal together so he can run back and check up again, pass by so quickly. And with working on a guest ranch, you’re also being hosted by the ranch. We eat our meals here, we take a four wheeler to work or, like we’ve begun recently, we walk.

There’s so many people to see, things to get done, books I want to read, but at the end of the day I look forward to our time to connect. 

Because of our desire for adventure + a place to connect, we took the opportunity to live this summer in a camper. A quaint, small  camper that we get to call “ours”. 

When it arrived, it got cleaned and handed over. Gosh, what a fun first home, right?


I was just so happy that we got somewhere to ourselves. Thomas was just so happy to have a project, he loves to tinker. 

So here we are, a month in as “happy campers” (literally). We bought patterned contact paper and Thomas, the handyman, cut the edges to exact measurements to fit on our wall to replace the other wallpaper. We bought white canvas fabric and reupholstered the couches to make our home light and clean looking; “dreamy and creamy” as my friend Edith would say. Thomas picked out the perfect throw pillow and with a couple of organization tools, we’d say we fit in perfectly. Our lofted bed with the fluffy pillows and white thick duvet and linen duvet cover (that just was delivered!) complete the “home.” I’m recently grateful for the love of my life because he installed an AC unit-that tiny place turns into an oven after noon. It’s the small things that make it ours and I’ll never be more grateful for this “first home” we share together. 

Yes, living in a camper at a ranch is quite a change from the all inclusive resort honeymoon lifestyle but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. A place I get to call mine with the man that’s mine forever is something that I can’t express in this brief blog post. “Home” is late nights playing card games at the table and getting in small tiffs over what rules are fair, it’s the early, cold mornings complimented with the smell of coffee brewing that fills the air quickly, or the cereal dates before the work day, the small squeaking hinges on the doors or the rattling wheels when we walk, the natural light coming from the right at dawn and the left at dusk, the scooting around each other so we can spit our toothpaste out in the sink. It’s lovely. It’s home. 

It’s not about the large house with spacious rooms with hardwood floors and high ceilings. Home is the people, not the place. It’s the feeling, not the location. 

Whether you’re in a camper, shack, apartment, cave, lake or beach house, what makes it “home” for you?

Photography // MaryGrace Baker