Thanks for visiting our new website and new blog. In case we haven’t met yet, Hello! I’m Eva. Nice to meet you. While this space is brand new, I’ve been in the photography business for seventeen years. We decided to completely revamp our website and blog, and here it is.
I personally am beyond excited for 2021. I am full of hopes and dreams and ready to crush some epic goals. How about you? Don’t get me wrong…. 2020 was so hard on me personally and on our family. I look back at last year in a bittersweet way. The fear of the unknown was hard on all of us. My kids couldn’t understand why they couldn’t go back to school after Spring Break. All of a sudden, I had to juggle working my business and ensuring my kids had paper packets weekly, were set up on Google classroom, stayed on task, had enough food all day long, got enough exercise and were emotionally doing well. I thank God my college sophomore, who also was unable to return to UT after Spring Break, was available to be their distance learning guru. As all kids in 2020, my kids couldn’t understand why they couldn’t see their friends, why we couldn’t hang out with extended family, celebrate birthdays the normal way, or attend church (which is a huge part of our lives). They were so upset that all of their extra-curricular activities had been taken away from them. Understandably so. My Danny worked so hard to start a computer science club at school. It was on its second semester! Gone! Track: gone! Emma’s dance classes: gone! She wasn’t a fan of online classes much less online ballet. We all struggled with the isolation. Depression wanted to come in and make itself comfortable. No way!!! Putting our trust in Jesus, in the midst of the unknown, was all I could resort to teaching them.
On top of dealing with all of that, I personally didn’t know if my business would survive the pandemic and economic shutdown. While I couldn’t allow myself to go down a rabbit hole of fear (my mind can easily wander and create very detailed scary scenarios), doubt always wanted to creep in. As a single mom at the time, my business failing wasn’t an option, even if nobody was booking and even if we were in the middle of a shutdown. I prayed. I prayed a lot. I sought His will constantly. I honestly just wanted to curl up on the couch, watch TV, eat bonbons and escape reality. That wasn’t an option either. I’ve been working my rear end off since I was fifteen. Giving up on myself or my situation has never been an option for me. I focused on future bookings. I focused on all I needed to ensure my shooting space was disinfected and ready for each client. I put practices in place to ensure I could safely photograph my clients. I explained what I was doing to every single potential who called or messaged me. I advertised future sessions like crazy. Hmmmm. The future…. You know, when the pandemic would be over and Covid went away. When masks wouldn’t be a thing anymore. Right…. I sit here now, typing away almost a year later. I had to adapt my business practices, advertising, disinfecting methods, etc. So much has changed, but I’m thankful to God He led me in such a way that despite all of the obstacles of 2020, my business thrived and had record breaking sales. It didn’t magically happen. I am so thankful to God it did.
So I’ve told you what was rough about 2020. Let me tell you what was great about 2020. The same things. While my heart breaks for every lost life due to this horrible virus, I’m grateful I have been able to see the positives that came out of this for our little family. I got AMAZING quality time with all three of my kids. We filled our time with movie watching, walks in the neighborhood, hikes, cooking together, board games, and family Bible studies. All of a sudden, I was no longer spending 9-10 hours a week as an unpaid Uber driver to my kids. All of a sudden, online church and Bible study was all we could do. No more church activities allowed. It definitely wasn’t the same and our hearts hurt. But we invested that time wisely in each other.
You know who else loved that everyone was home? Our beautiful golden retriever puppy, Caramel. The bond that she has with the family is incredible. She loved being a part of it all, and I honestly don’t know how we could have survived 2020 without her. God brought her to us at the most perfect time.
Let me tell you something else that was beautiful about 2020. Shane, Emma, Logan, Hope and Simeon. You see, after being a single mom for 6 years, I met the most amazing, handsome, loving, romantic, God-fearing man in November 2019, Shane. We had been seriously dating a few months when Covid turned our lives upside down mid-March of 2020. We had just met each other’s kids in February. All of a sudden, everyone was quarantining, and we were asked to stay home for a few weeks to flatten the curve. We quickly became our little bubble. Our kids had each other and that’s it. They quickly bonded in a way that wouldn’t have happened without being forced into this bubble. I fell in love with his beautiful children that I literally prayed into our lives (that’s a story for another day). Shane and I got to know each other very well. With everything shut down, we had to get creative with our dates and time spent together. Our love and bond grew deeper. On July 10, 2020, he proposed in the most beautiful and elaborate way. He swept me off my feet and left me feeling like the winner on the Bachelor. The shutdowns showed us we could get through anything. We learned that we could spend crazy amounts of time together without killing each other. It actually showed us that we not only loved each other but absolutelyfreaking LIKED each other. ALOT! We realized that with OUR Jesus as our foundation, we would be amazing together for life. We ended the year with the worst hit of all. Covid pushed back our small 12.31.20 wedding. While painful at the time, it made us even stronger. How can I not be thankful for that?
I type this only a few weeks after our January 16th tiny little ceremony at the same spot he proposed and a week and a half after the most beautiful honeymoon. That’s right. I couldn’t be prouder to now be Mrs. Eva Magaña-Kibbey. How can I not be grateful for all God did for me in the midst of one of the most difficult years of my life? I haven’t even scratched the surface on that… We will dig deeper on another day.
So as we begin the second month of 2021, I am filled wih hope that we will all come out stronger after the difficulties we have all been through. I am hopeful that we can all see the blessings in the midst of the hard days. I am excited to work hard to serve my clients whom I love so much. I’m excited to see our kids thrive in school and extracurricular activities as their new normal is ever changing. In the middle of so many unknowns, I know who still sits on His thrown. That’s all I need to keep focused, joyful, and ready to take on 2021 with my new expanded family of nine.