I’ll Always Say Yes to Us


What does it take to get a girl to say yes?!?


Fifteen years ago today, (August 8) my husband proposed to me.


an engagement ring in a velvet box


It was a warm summer evening in Saint Louis. My boyfriend of five years and I had spent the evening at a membership class at our church, and he suggested we head downtown for a date once the class was over.   


He had wanted to marry me that summer. 


But my sister was getting married that summer, and I was in the middle of grad school, and we hadn’t lived in the same state for four years.


I insisted we wait one more year until I finished my master’s degree and coined that summer “Our Make it or Break it Summer.”


We had navigated long-distance dating for four years, and he was convinced if we could navigate that, we could navigate anything life brought.


Hence, I titled it “Our Make It or Break It Summer.”


He smiled and shook his head, surprised I needed more assurance, and agreed to wait.


He didn’t wait to ask my Dad, though.  He flew home sometime earlier in the spring to ask my Dad if he could propose to me. 


I was livid when I found out.


It was supposed to be Our Make it or Break It Summer, after all.


He asked my Dad before the summer even started.


I wasn’t supposed to find out he had asked my Dad. But, he is not a very good liar, and I could tell something about his story on a Monday night when he normally played volleyball with friends was not adding up.


He was flying to O’Hare to meet my Dad for coffee that Monday.  There was no Monday volleyball that week. 


He asked my Dad before the summer even started.


So here we were, at the end of that summer.


We had enjoyed a summer of date nights, family gatherings, and my sister’s wedding. We had settled into seeing each other amidst day-to-day life instead of over whirlwind weekend visits.


He asked if I wanted to fly to San Francisco so he could take me to dinner at a restaurant he loves that overlooks the bay.


I loved that idea, it sounded like a once-in-a-lifetime whirlwind adventure.


I said no.



the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco



I hadn’t been home to Chicago since the wedding and thought it would be difficult to pull off that quick of a trip through Chicago to fly to San Fran, and I had a grad school class.


He called and asked if we should meet at Forest Park to spend a day reading on Art Hill and take out some paddle boats.


I loved this idea and had always wanted to spend a day that way.


I said no. 


I had just heard the forecast, and it was going to be over 100 degrees, and he hates the heat.


So here we were, on a date after our class at church.


He told me he had found a bar downtown he wanted to check out.  We sat at the bar of a sports pub and watched the Cardinals beat the Padres, and as the fireworks went off, he pulled me outside to watch them, and there was a horse-drawn carriage waiting at the corner.


He said we should hop on, and so we hopped on, and were taken on a little ride down to the riverfront and towards the Arch.


He asked if I wanted to get out of the carriage at the base of the Arch, so we could walk up and see it at night.


the St. Louis arch at night



I loved this idea— it looked pretty up there.


I said no.


The driver hesitated when my boyfriend said we’d like to stop and get out. I hate to inconvenience people or break the rules. So I said I didn’t want to get out of the carriage, that we should just stay put.


So here we were, on a horse-drawn carriage ride, being pulled away from where my boyfriend had planned to get down on one knee and ask me to marry him.


I said no to San Francisco.

I said no to Forest Park.

I said no to the Arch.


As we sat side by side, being pulled away from another proposal plan, he turned and took my hand and asked me to be his wife.


I couldn’t tell you the exact words he said, or the words I said, but,


I said yes to him,

I said yes to life with him,

I said yes to us.


Fifteen years later, it is so clearly one of the best yeses of my life. 


I still sometimes make decisions slower than he does.

I still sometimes meet his dreamy ideas with my pragmatic refusals.

I still sometimes hate to inconvenience people.

I still sometimes say no, when I’d like to say yes.


He still waits until I’ve decided.

He still smiles and shakes his head.

He still invites me into adventures.

He still asks me anyways.


I’ll always say yes to him,

I’ll always say yes to life with him,

I’ll always say yes to us.


I just might (unknowingly) make it hard for him to ask.

Thankfully, he knew what he was getting himself into, and he asked me anyway.

Previous articleKansas City: A Quick Weekend Getaway
Next articleTeachers Deserve a Gold Star!
Rachel Hodges
Rachel is originally from the Chicagoland area, but has grown deep Saint Louis roots over the last fifteen years. She married her high school sweetheart and they live in the Metro East with their three children and spunky puppy. Rachel is the kind of Mom who loves watching her kids grow and learn new things, and also wishes time would slow down a bit. Rachel and her husband love to travel together, dream together, and enjoy time with friends and family. Rachel loves getting lost in a story and is always up for a book or podcast recommendation. She loves time outside, good questions, long conversations, and a good theme to plan a party or meal around. Rachel works as a Child, Adolescent and Family Therapist who provides counseling, parent coaching and equipping. She loves helping parents strengthen their relationships with their children, and helping parents understand their children through a developmental lens. Rachel believes we were all meant to be heard, feel known and be absolutely delighted in.