Author Archives: Y

Because #BasketballMom

It’s been a while, yes?

So much has happened in the last seven months.

Seven months.

Mostly things that involve The Middle Child. He played his last season of high school basketball, probably his last season of basketball ever. Because he doesn’t want to play in college. He wants to focus on college. I respect his choice, but if I’m being honest. I’m heartbroken. He’s played since he was three years old. City ball. Travel ball. Junior and High school ball. What will I do when next year rolls around and there won’t be any games to attend to cheer for #3? Though the sadness will linger, I’m sure, I’ll always have the memories. And oh, what wonderful memories.

The Starting Line Up.

Oh, just my son putting in another 3 to tie the game and send it into ovetime. Go Braves!! #basketballmom

A video posted by Yvonne Valtierra (@yvonnemarie_v) on

Hitting the game tying shot

Aaand my son putting in the game winner in double overtime!! Great win, Braves! #tribe #basketballmom

A video posted by Yvonne Valtierra (@yvonnemarie_v) on

And then hitting the game winner in double overtime

Winning All Tournament Team honors

000FINAL700 (1 of 5)

000FINAL692 (1 of 1)

000FINAL655 (121 of 151)

000FINAL655 (149 of 151)

So proud of our Braves and of my son on his double double! #basketballmom

A photo posted by Yvonne Valtierra (@yvonnemarie_v) on

000FINAL650 (1 of 1)

Me and my husband embracing just before walking our son out on Senior Night. I cried on his shoulder because I just couldn’t believe it was all over.

000FINAL655 (53 of 151)

14 years of basketball with this kid. 3-17 years old. @ethan_v3 #basketballmom #tbt

A photo posted by Yvonne Valtierra (@yvonnemarie_v) on

Speaking of college. Our son was accepted into his first choice college. Not only was he accepted, but he received a $15,000 annual academic scholarship. (Insert “proud mom” comments here)

Ethan got his first college acceptance letter and an academic scholarship. We are thrilled! So proud of my son! #Vanguard

A photo posted by Yvonne Valtierra (@yvonnemarie_v) on

On April 27th, we made if official. Our boy will be attending Vanguard University this fall.

I hope to not make it another seven months before I write here again. Now that all Things Basketball and High School are coming to an end, I will have a bit more time to focus on other things besides driving the basketball team to tournaments.

(Or, maybe not because I may find myself in a corner crying because MY BABY IS ALL GROWN UP AND DOESN’T NEED ME ANYMORE EXCEPT HE TOTALLY NEEDS MY MONEY BECAUSE… COLLEGE.)

We have two more events to attend. Senior award night tomorrow night and his high school graduation ceremony on May 20th. I can not believe how quickly this all happened, but you know what they say about time, flying, and fun.

Before I leave, there is one more thing that I must mention because out of all of the great things my son has accomplished in high school, this is the one makes me the most proud.

Top that, Moms and Dads. Pretty sure you can’t.

Photos: The Last Homecoming

This year will be filled with “lasts” for my son.

His last Homecoming. His last season of high school basketball. Last Prom.

My son has been blessed with a solid group of friends who have become like family. Some of them have played basketball together since Junior High (one of them since they were 8 years old.) They are all good students, they are smart, driven, loyal and they always have each other’s backs.

This weekend was their last Homecoming. Of course, I brought my new baby with me and well, I took over 270 pictures. That sounds crazy, but my son was with a large group and I took it upon myself to photograph all of them.

Here are a few of my favorite shots.

154620FINAL(1 of 1)

154622FINAL (1 of 1)

154626FINAL (1 of 1)

154628FINAL (1 of 1)

154631FINAL (1 of 1)

154636 (1 of 1)

154639FINAL (1 of 1)

154644FINAL (1 of 1)

154665FINAL (1 of 1)

154677FINAL (1 of 1)

154679FINAL (1 of 1)

154690FINAL (1 of 1)

154701FINAL (1 of 1)

154710FINAL (1 of 1)

154714FINAL (1 of 1)

154720FINAL (1 of 1)

154740FINAL (1 of 1)

154742FINAL (1 of 1)
I am honored to be able to capture their Senior year through photography, to share these memories with their parents (who are all awesome people) and to give them all something to take with them as they all go out into the real world to become the great men they are destined to be.

Time For a Change

I grabbed my camera and headed out for a drive last night because I was feeling restless and nervous about things. Photography always soothes my soul, so I thought I’d drive around with my camera, to see if anything photo worthy caught my eye.

I drove past a church parking lot that I used to go to weekly for boot camp. The sun was setting and I noticed how beautiful the tall, white cross looked with sunlight behind it. I turned into the empty parking lot. I sat there for a few minutes, just looking at the beautiful sunset, thinking about life and people and all of the crazy, fun, challenging workouts I’ve done in that parking lot.

“Life was really good 2 years ago.” I thought to myself.

I want life to be good again. Last night I realized I’m the only one in the way of that happening.


“Modern Family” Fall Event at The Grove + a Giveaway!

Disclosure: I was not paid to write this post. I was, however, offered to gift bags to give away to two readers and I always love the chance to give cool things away. Also? I love Modern Family and this sounds like a fun event and I was happy to spread the word.

Next Sunday (October 26th) a Modern Family Fall event will be taking over The Grove. The event is free! There will be lots of fun activities for families, including an interactive corn maze, a pumpkin patch (with hundreds of art pumpkins) snacks, face painting and more!

(Read more about it here.)

I plan on taking the family for a few hours, maybe I will see you there!


Now, for the fun part! I will be giving away 2 studio gift bags. Gift bags are valued at $200 a piece, and are each filled with lots of fun treats like Seasons 3 & 4 DVDs, branded clothing (black tee, tank top, and sweatpants), and more, all wrapped up in a fun reusable tote!

In order to be entered, simply leave a comment on this post. Please include your name and email address (in the comment.) I will choose two winners at random on Monday, October 27th. I will contact the winners via email and prizes will be mailed within 5 business days.


Congrats so Katelin and Jessica! mf1


My Best Girl

154342 (1 of 1)

I love her free, playful spirit. I love that she think she’s too “grown up” to kiss me goodbye in front of her friends at school, but not too grown to ask me to swing with her at the park. She is the perfect mix of little girl and young lady. I imagine us swinging together, laughing at life when she’s in college and I’m old enough for senior discounts at restaurants and that thought makes my heart soar with joy.


Swings at sunset with my best girl

View on Instagram

Shooting and Swinging at Sunset

She turned ten in August.

I still find it hard to believe that my last baby is ten years old.

Time is a jerk, for reals.

Yesterday I asked her if she would go to the park with me so that I could take a few photos of her. I told her that by allowing me to photograph her, she’s helping me to learn how my new camera works and to become a better photographer. She’s not a big fan of having me take her photos because “I’ve been taking her pictures her WHOLE LIFE!” But she was so kind and said she would help me. But only if I let her play at the park after I was finished.

Always negotiating, that one.

Of course I agreed. Anything for my girl. (And anything to get to practice with my camera!)

Fall Photos

154327 (1 of 1)

154343 (1 of 1)


154299 (1 of 1)

154316 (1 of 1)

154335 (1 of 1)

154331 (1 of 1)

154310 (1 of 1)

154342 (1 of 1)

Sunday Funday at Olvera Street in Los Angeles

This weekend we decided to take advantage of Metrolink’s Weekend Pass and take the train to LA Union Station for a day trip to Olvera Street. (Union Station is only an hour and fifteen minute ride from where we live.)

154244 (1 of 1)

154202 (1 of 1)

It was a beautiful day that I enjoyed because a) the skies were perfectly clear b) it wasn’t 100+ degrees.

154268 (1 of 1)

Olvera Street is directly across the street from Union Station. It’s a cool, colorful little place that makes me feel proud to be half Mexican.

154250(1 of 1)

Things to do while at Olvera Street include: Admire all of the colorful, adorable things that you don’t really need to buy but probably will buy anyway because those baby sandals are SO ADORABLE, drink (Mmmmm, Mega Margaritas) eat caramel stuffed churros, listen to live music, people watch and practice your People Maneuvering Skills (because small, tight spaces.) And of course, take a ton of pictures.

154257 (1 of 1)

154270 (1 of 1)

154253 (1 of 1)

154247 (1 of 1)

154249 (1 of 1)

154256 (1 of 1)

154252 (1 of 1)

154264 (1 of 1)

154272 (1 of 1)

154245 (1 of 1)

154259 (1 of 1)

154265 (1 of 1)

154258 (1 of 1)

154251 (1 of 1)

Oh! Don’t forget to take a selfie.

154267 (1 of 1)

Pet Me?

154182 (1 of 1)

He waits for me to wake up each morning. He sits next to my bed, staring at me, sometimes with a stuffed animal in his mouth. Sometimes he’ll make this noise that sounds like a growl but is more of a pssst, I’m here, wake up and play with me! When I finally open my eyes, his little tail starts wagging, he starts panting and running around in circles. I’ll hit my bed and say “Here, boy!” He tries to jump up, but he usually doesn’t make it up until the third or fourth try. Once he makes it, he runs straight for my face to give me doggy kisses. Then he cuddles next to me and waits for me to pet him.

And he never wants me to stop petting him for the rest of the day.

Oh, sweet little Choco.