Family Portrait decision time

I know that I’m kinda dressed like Santa’s helper meets a disco flight attendant in 1973. But this may be the last year that I can pull this off, although I’m sure I will still try. No one can really stop me.

David took a bunch of portrait options, and now Brian and I can’t decide which we like the most to use as our Christmas card.

Portrait A: This next one was our foray into the balloon trend, not sure if you have heard of it. It’s so big that the world is running out of helium. I’m personally blaming it on Ban-do and Max Wanger. I like this one, but it’s probably not it. We wanted to buy HO, but they were out of H’s so we bought XO, because we do love to give hugs and kisses.

Portrait B: This is the un-faced man, just in case we break up and I start dating another tall brown-haired man who loves plaid, I can still keep the photo. KIDDING.

Portrait C: The “he just told me that one about how many stylists it takes to change a lightbulb joke again” and I’m laughing. (Answer: “I don’t know … What do you think?”) This one reminds me of us a lot.

Portrait D: The requisite family portrait. Bearface and “Other Cat” really enjoyed the portrait process. “Other Cat” especially enjoyed being forced to stare at a stranger who was holding a black weapon toward her. Look at the look of sheer panic in her face. She later destroyed two cardboard boxes that day.

Wow. It’s impressive that you are still reading this, it is. That was a lot of the us, especially when I’m dressed like a practically pre-pubescent girl meets Dolly Parton. With a touch of the Honey Boo Boo?

So vote which one we should do: Portrait A through D, and I promise to never show you another portrait of me wearing a bow.

Well … except this one where the twee factor is out of control (and yet, it’s totally me):

Because David Tsay did such a great job that I had to post it. Thanks to to the amazing Danielle Walch for making me go from “Sissy Spacek in Carrie” to that bow wearing flight attendant above. Transformation complete.

And sometimes we just have a ball … together … in our polyamorous relationship.


  1. Stephanie Haworth

    I think option A! It's silly and maintains an impish quality, while also being sweet.

  2. Bobbi

    I think it should be E. It is a great picture and reminds you of the two of you! Definitely E.

  3. jackiebd

    Definitely the one with the pets! So sweet.. :)

  4. Jesse A. Lowe

    Option E. It's really sweet.

  5. Megan

    Definitely A! F is my second choice.

  6. tracey

    portrait e — so sweet.

  7. Crissy

    A or B, but honestly they are all super fun and cute. And I love how you put your house together for the holidays. As you say, Stop. It. So. Cute. Just. Stop. It.

  8. amber

    B & D are my favorites. If you feel like D feels more like you guys, then go with that!

  9. erin

    D! You both look adorable.

  10. Michelle

    I like D !

  11. kelly jo

    why is this even a questions? it's 'E' for Emily of course! Plus, it's the best one.

  12. Stephanie

    Option F. You look truly happy which makes it beautiful.

  13. Laura

    F! The whole family!

  14. Wiggs

    A or E. But almost certainly A. It's so good!

  15. olga

    Love all the photos. You are so beautiful and talented! True inspiration!!! My favorite is the first one ;o)

  16. hr4979

    I LOVE the one with the cats except the light is making it hard to see Brian's face. Too bad the curtain's weren't drawn. Therefore, Portrait E is my next choice.

  17. Jamie

    A!!! The others were nice too, but A is the only one that made me chuckle.

  18. Sarah

    E is my favorite! I like that you said it represent you guys as a couple.

  19. Kim

    D or F

  20. JILL

    my vote's for A. so fun.

    i wish more people sent these types out!!!

  21. Kate

    A. The background is good but not distracting. You both look good and your body lines are especially attractive in your bow-tastic get up. .

    Definitely don't do the balloon one. It looks like Brian and the X are turning your polyamorous tri into a quad.

  22. Lauren


  23. Lynne

    Has to be A!

  24. Frida

    A, or with a little post-production B (the cellphone-in-pants-situation :)

  25. Annie P*%$cell!

    A!!! Love it! So much You Guys!!! xo Merry Christmas

  26. Jennifer

    E is the obvious choice!

  27. Phoebe

    Either E or F, for sure!

  28. Katie G.

    I vote for E! Super sweet and in-the-moment.

  29. I love A and E! I also think your outfit is adorable. I think it looks like a modern version of Snow White! :)

  30. Dana

    I loved this post! It really brightened my day! You two are adorable and hilarious! My vote is for either A or E. Really like B too but it seems like you don't. Love how in your "family portrait" the dalamtion is included!

  31. A or E. Hands down. I personally like A best though.

  32. It has got to be A!!

  33. kim

    absolutely A.

  34. Leah

    A or E! You look fantastic!

  35. Jen

    Option A by a long shot!

  36. Jessi

    D! I like Brian's eyebrows (weird) and you can see your pretty face!

  37. Kelly V.


  38. Amie

    E for reals! ;) Super cutE!

  39. Christopher Drew

    Yeah A is really quite nice Emily!

  40. Kendra

    LOVE E and F is super cute too:)

  41. My fav is A all the way….. followed by D as a second.

  42. B or E!

  43. sue

    there really are only two choices: either A (because it just works) or the one where you said it reminded you of the two of you… :)

  44. I love D, but am very partial to the cat pic (F)! Better yet… use them all! We always do one main pic on the front of our card and six on the back.

  45. jane

    While they're all lovely, my vote is for portrait A or B.

  46. Devon

    I like E and F the best!

  47. They're all adorable, but A and F are my favorites!

  48. Katherynn

    Awe I LOVE B!! The XO is a really cute sentiment – esp for something sent to loved ones! F is my second option. But seriously, how cute are y'all! LOVE it!!

  49. Jill

    Definitely A! Absolutely love these.

  50. Crystal

    I like them all – even the balloon one! I like D or E for a card, but all the photos are fun. And your individual one is Bee-eautiful!

  51. A gets my vote. Amazing!

  52. E!!!! Love them all, but E is out of this world cute. :)

  53. ellie bee

    portrait A, all the way!! (since I rhymed you have to pick it, right??)

  54. Heidi

    There's a wee bit of a 'dick in a box factor' going on in the ones where your husband is holding the gifts. Sorry, it was just my immediate reaction.

  55. Muoi

    A!! Totally fun and cute.

  56. Definitely D!

  57. Ingrid

    Definitely E!!

  58. Charlotte

    I love option A! It just seems like your personalities are shining through.

  59. Sara

    I vote E because you said it's the most you, and it really does come across as sincere and adorable, without being posed. They're all cute, though!

  60. Ginnie

    D Or E! But E Looks More Natural

  61. Mary

    A E or F – but honetly, love them all!

  62. carol

    d or f…

  63. I like F with some cropping, or the very last one where you're throwing gold disco balls in the air, also with some cropping. (No offense to the dude in the bow tie.)

  64. Kate

    While I'm always a fan of including the animals, I have to say — definitely A. Hands down.

  65. Stephanie

    Aww! A & E ! Happy Holidays!

  66. Caroline

    A is my favorite! And I think your bow looks fabulous.

  67. I like A!

  68. April

    One vote for E!

  69. Cindy

    F! I'm a sucker for a pet portrait. For the record, I think you look like a blonde Snow White in that outfit, but sparklier–which, is a compliment, albeit a weird one.

  70. i think you could totally juxtapose A and E against each other. these are all such great shots, and i love how orlando has become a part of your family :)

  71. Elise

    A, E, or F. The scaredy cats add a certain something.

  72. Abigayle

    I love A but I also like F. We included our kitty on our card this year for the first time!

  73. A or E. These are all amazing!!

  74. EmilyHS


  75. Jane

    definitely E!

  76. They are all super cute! E is my favorite, but I cannot tell a lie…when I first saw him holding those boxes, my thoughts went straight to Justin Timberlake! :)

  77. Terri

    D! You look so pretty!

  78. Elyse

    you are so funny, i love reading your blog! anyway definitely E since it reminds you of the two of you.. and so i'm sure your friends and family would think it remind them of you, and look at it and go 'awww'

  79. Beth McDonald

    You both are so cute!! If I had to pick just one it would be E.

  80. My vote is for A, classic with a tipsy twist!

  81. Stephanie

    A hearty vote for A!

  82. Nicole

    A, then E for sure. Super cute!!!

  83. Go with option E!!! Its so adorable and you both look so in love with each other. <3

  84. Carrie

    A or F! Love the kitties :D

  85. A for sure!

  86. Missy

    A is the best with E a very close second!!!

  87. Becky

    A, totally unless you choose F.
    And I love you, but do you really want to be standing under HO?

  88. Megan

    E! is excellent!

  89. Angie

    I vote E! And I personally LOVE your outfit ;). It's totally something I would wear (and desire to own, frankly). A little personality dressing never hurts ;)

  90. Raya

    Portrait A + E are my favorites! You look stunning in all of them but those seem a little more personal than the rest. No matter which one you choose, it'll be a good choice. Happy holidays! xoxo

  91. npd


  92. Sarah

    A all the way! Lots of personality and charm. Your fam will love it!

  93. crkl

    Definitely A

  94. Katie

    My vote is E. So sweet, yet fun!

  95. Wanda

    Option A please!

  96. Michelle H

    A, without question!

  97. Lauren

    A, and then F.

  98. Susan

    The look on Other Cat's face made me laugh 'til I got tears in my eyes. Photos that bring joy like this should be shared!

  99. Shannon

    Option A for sure! They all turned out darling, but A is the IT pic. LOVE the one of you with the disco ball ornament, too…super cute. If it wasn't creepy to biggie size pictures of one's self and hang them over the mantel, I'd say DO IT.

  100. Anna Best

    A or E

  101. Cheryl

    Gimmie an E!!

  102. Julia R

    Definitely the one with the kitties. I'm sayin. :)

  103. D the most but you could easily wow your entire card list with either A, B or D so maybe a card with mulitple photos? oh, and BTW, the bow and sparkle skirt are amazeballs, love it!

  104. sofia

    PORTRAIT A!!!!

  105. deirdre*

    'A' is my favorite, but then you two are THE CUTEST couple EVER, so you really can't go wrong with any of them. So happy for all of your success. Your show and blog have had a big impact around our home. Have a wonderful, happy, healthy, holiday (0:

  106. E is definitely the best family shot so that's my vote. :)

  107. lynn

    Do a filmstrip photo card of 3 shots in succession. Start with C, you're getting ready, cute grin. Then E, looking lovingly/laughing, totally cute! Last is A, finally you just need a drink! BTW, all are really cute, you can't go wrong with any of them :)

  108. Maria

    Option A for sure!!!!! Rethinking our card for next year already – thisic screams FUN!

  109. eileen

    E, for sure. And you both look the cutest in it.

  110. Erin

    I'm torn between A & E!! Such fun pics!

  111. Jackie


  112. amy h

    E! or A. :)

  113. Maggie

    A….although it does bring to mind "My D*ck in a Box" ala JT.

  114. mosey

    D & E!

  115. Jo

    I love B!

    Also, I have to ask, how do you keep your house in tact with two cats? We have two as well and they love destroying everything I hold dear. Although I got some inspiration from your childproofing post, catchildren unfortunately can get up to those higher surfaces, so there is no uncharted territory for them.

  116. B! or A. but BBBBB!!!

  117. Dying right now. The polyamorous one? Hilar. But I say go with the one you said feels like you. Always the best one.

  118. Shu

    My vote's for A. But I LOVE you in B.

  119. Bonnie

    Portrait A (clever, sweet, professionally styled) but portrait D is a very close 2nd. As the mother who puts together a family Christmas photo every year, I like to choose the one I like to look at as I stuff the umpteenth hundredth one into an envelope.

  120. Donna

    I'm a cat gal (sounds younger, hipper than crazy cat lady) so I like the whole family portrait even if "other cat" isn't smiling. My second favorite is E. Plus the portrait with you and the sequined ball is definitely a keeper.

  121. Lisa

    Defiantly Portrait F: The Requisite family portrait & Bearface and Big Black-y.

    Love Secrets- Lisa in Granite Bay CA

  122. Della

    B! B! B! B! B! B! B!

    …but I always choose the one that no one else wants so don't listen to me.

  123. I think I'm a little partial to the balloon photo, photo C…. But I also really like photo F, genuine!

  124. Mt

    F is my favorite by far!!!!! then E, then faceless man