It’s a hard word for me.

No comes much easier.

No requires less thought.  Less commitment. Less passion.

No you can walk away from.  No IS walking away.  No requires no change.

But yes, it pushes you forward.  Makes you take another step.  Let’s those you love jump ahead.

Yes is agreeing.  Yes is partnering. Yes is acceptance and devotion.  But Yes can be hard.  Yes can be Work.

Fourteen years ago I got a call from this guy.  This guy that I didn’t know, but had heard much about.  He asked me to go on a date. And without knowing how he looked, how he smiled, how he dressed, how he acted, I said Yes.  I said Yes to Hope after a few too many discouraging blind dates.  I said Yes to his sexy voice. His hearty laugh.  His guts to call.  I said Yes because my romantic heart felt Yes.  Even though my reasonable head was shouting No.  No would have been easy.  No would have been comfortable.  No would have been continuing As Is.  Yes was scary.  But Yes felt exciting.

And when we met, my Head joined my Heart.  And I felt Yes.

Ten years ago in a dimly lit bar at the same table we had sat on that First night together, full of questions, full of anticipation, full of hope, he held up a sign.  A sign created out of stubs.  Movie and concert stubs pasted together end to end forming angular letters and the words Will U Marry Me? (Although it seems he ran out of stubs for the question mark… or got lazy). From the day I said that first Yes, he had saved the movie and concert stubs from many of the events I had said Yes to.  He had saved them, so many of them. Romeo and Juliet.  Beavis and Butthead. Life is Beautiful. Enemy of the State. Saving Private Ryan. Erin Brokovich. The Bodeans.  There they all were.  And I studied the sign, stunned at those hard-to-make-out words and yelped a resounding Of Course (aka Yes).  One more step forward.  One more opportunity to show my faith in what felt right.  No would have kept us where we were.  No would have held us back.  No would have been calling it quits.

Nine years ago I walked down an aisle lined with the loves of my life.  Family and friends from our present and past as we said Yes to our future.  I walked down this aisle while Pachabel’s Canon sang around me.  The music sweetly playing in my head and my heart.  I saw that man ahead who I had promised my love to, and all of me screamed Yes.  He stood with that smile I had grown to adore, his hand outstretched to take my hand shaky with nerves.  We stood under the chuppah decorated with roses and hydrangea, the Long Island Sound sparkling behind us.  We looked back at our audience, all of whom had said Yes to this affair.  Yes to bare witness to our vows and celebrate our new life beside us.  And I looked at that guy, the One I had chosen to be my husband and (even after the hysteria of the totally messed up vows, thanks to a confused and forgetful Rabbi ), I said Yes.  I Do.  A promise to Yes.  Yes I will be there.  Yes I will support you, comfort you, dance with you, laugh with you.  For all time.

And since then, we have said Yes to babies. To new jobs.  To compromise.

Because Yes is a compromise. Often something else needs to become No when you say Yes.  But Yes brings smiles and No brings tears. Yes brings change and No is status quo. Yes catapults us forward where No keeps our feet stuck in the ground.

I’m not always good at Yes.  I get lazy and choose the easier route of No. But at this moment, as I sit outside with the sun shining on my face and look at this sign that Tim made ten years ago, I feel this desire for Yes.  This desire to continue bounding ahead.  Helping my kids move ahead. Letting go of old grudges, and making more possible.


It may be harder, but it feels good to say Yes.

This was the last segment of Momalom’s Five For Ten.  The subject was YES inspired by our friend Aidan Donnelley Rowley‘s first novel Life After Yes, hitting stores TODAY (5/18.)  Five For Ten has been amazing.  Jen and Sarah from Momalom have been Rock Stars reading hundreds of posts over the past 10 days.  Please go check out their beautiful blog and read some of the other posts all about YES.



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44 responses to “Yes

  1. this was just beautiful! Yes. Yes indeed. Yes to all the joy that is out there, waiting for us to be open to it.

    (PS TOTAL points for creativity, that proposal sign.)

  2. So touching Becca. Tears have sprung into my eyes because of the emotion behind it all. Thanks for sharing. It’s a journey full of ups and downs, but rich in it’s rewards if we only allow ourselves to find them, wouldn’t you agree?

  3. So sweet! You are absolutely right: for everything we say “yes” to, we’re saying “no” to something else. But that’s not always a bad thing. Thanks for sharing!

  4. That sign is freaking amazing! Oh, your man has a romantic heart! Loved this post!

  5. That sign is so sweet! How could you not say Yes! You’re right – No is easy. Yes can be hard. But sometimes it is sooo worth it! Great post!

  6. Nicki

    This post is beautiful, Becca!

  7. Oh, my! How sweet is he?! I love that sign (and the sentiment).

    I really like this – ‘yes’ is a leap and a risk. It’s putting yourself out there and opening yourself up to failure, heartbreak, etc.


  8. Beautiful story of yes!

  9. Becca this post is gorgeous. That sign would be on my mantle or hanging above my bed or something how utterly adorable! Yes is hard because change is hard, because it is often out of our comfort zones. But yes brings new possibilities and yes keeps us young and alwasy anticipating new and exciting things.

    Great post. Congrats on finishing 5 for 10!

  10. This was an absolutely lovely testament to the power of Yes.

  11. Liz

    I love this. I actually am thinking along very similar lines for my post on the topic…Yes is hard for me. I’m not that brave, and YES to a lot of stuff, big and little, is scary and difficult. And as I thought about this idea, I realized the scariest YES ever changed my life. So as soon as I recover (?) from a sleepless night of holding Ben’s head as he puked into a bucket by his bed every hour as Hubby slept feverishly, I will get to my post, too!

  12. What a lovely story. Brought tears to my eyes. So glad you said yes when he asked you out.

  13. Wow – Becca, how wonderful. And props to Tim for a thoughtful, creative proposal.

    You’re right – a life of yes propels us ahead, and sometimes it feels like we’re going against the current but once there, we are glad we did. Yes!

  14. sooo sweet. I love this story, I love this yes. I love that you got a *real* proposal. 😛

  15. Awwww! I had my good cry for today! I showed my husband that sign and started crying because it is just so sweet.

    Sometimes saying yes requires that we let go of the past. In cases like this, it leads to remarkable endings.

  16. I am so impressed by his crafty proposal!
    And you’re so right about compromise and work. Saying yes just that once really means saying yes every day and always.

  17. I agree sometimes saying no is a cope out, but sometimes No is said to protect.

    I am not a frequent “yes” kinda gal.

    But I do try hard to let my kids have they things that make them happy.

  18. I’m actually are choked up right now. Such a beautiful “yes” story! Simply beautiful!

  19. what a cute and original way to get you to say yes.

    I agree. Yes is hard! Loved your post.

  20. i love the part about yes being a compromise, because saying yes means you have to say no to something else. so true.

    and i love the sign 🙂

  21. That sign… romantic. Great post!!

  22. Oh, Becca, what a beautiful way to propose!

    Yes is hard for me, too. I’ve perfected the art of saying no. No doesn’t ignite fire. No is not bold. No doesn’t change anything. And participation by going with the flow, though it can be nice and peaceful, does not require conscious choice.

    But yes? It’s kind of a big deal. Saying yes to one thing means saying no to a whole lot of other things. And that’s what I want to do more and more. I want to say Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Loved this post.

  23. LZ

    I love this! What a guy…saving all those stubs. How could you not say yes?

  24. I LOVED this! Your proposal story is one of the best I’ve heard, not just because of his very romantic idea but because of the wonderful way you told it.

  25. What a wonderful courtship story and proposal story and wedding story (forgetful rabbi and all) and parenting story and partnership story. Yes, yes, yes.

    PS: I’m impressed that you said “yes” to Beavis and Butthead. =>

  26. That sign? Unbelievable. Amazing. What a romantic, loving gesture! I’ve really never seen anything like it. How did you hold back the flood of tears long enough to get the “Of course!” out? 🙂

    And I love what you say here about saying yes really being about compromise. I’m a total people-pleaser and someone once advised me to think about what I’m saying no to every time I’m tempted to say yes. Your post reminded me of that excellent advice.

    (And now I’m going to go call my husband at work to berate him about his decidedly boring marriage proposal.) 😉

  27. What a sweet post. Your hubby is one amazing and creative man.

    Yes really is a powerful and difficult word to use sometimes. But life would be so boring without it.

  28. That sign is adorable.

    I never looked at it this way.

    I have a hard time saying no. No when people ask me to do something that is really just taking advantage of me. No when I know that I’ll get hurt by saying yes and going along with what the majority wants.

    Because I want to please, I want to help, I don’t want to make waves all the time. So, I say yes.

    But, I’m learning how to say no. I say no to others sometimes so that I can put my family first. So that I can put my beliefs first. So that I can put my sanity first.

  29. I’ve got chills and tears and everything inbetween 🙂 Love love love that you saved the sign, and love that he made it! What a wonderful tale of YES!

  30. That He must’ve known something, saving all those little momentos from your time together.

    I agree: No is so much easier, because yes involves commitment, action, forward progress. But the times we do say yes always seem to be worth it.

    Thanks for sharing.

  31. There has been much joy in your yes moments. And that Will U Marry Me sign and story is sooooo romantic!

  32. I have to know where you keep the sign! It needs a frame and place of prominence. I love it so much.

    Also, your story of yes is beautiful. I love that you’ve learned to balance the good and the bad, the yeses with the nos.

  33. SO beautiful…. I love it when marriage can feel like one big long Yes.

  34. This is so beautiful and romantic!

  35. Oh, you couldn’t say anything but Yes! when presented with that sign! That man’s a keeper.

    I agree, NO is often so much easier than YES. But YES – now that’s where all the riches start.

    Great story!

  36. Hydrangeas were my wedding flowers too. “Yes” can be scary, but it brings us so many wonderful things. Here’s to many more yeses!!

  37. ck

    Dearest Bringer and Eater of the Bacon:

    This is one of the best proposal stories ever.

    Fan of the Bacon

  38. The sign is amazing. And so are you. You are so thoughtful. And kind.

    Yes! I am so glad I met you. I put myself out there and so did you. Out of our comfort zones. And there it is…YES!

  39. what a wonderful story and what a romantic man! so touching that he kept all those stubs and then used them for something soooo good. yes yes yes!!!!

    of course when i first started reading your post i automatically thought it was going to be about taking the time to say yes to your kids! because it is so much easier to say no to painting, playdough, etc. thanks for surprising me!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma, What’s For Dinner

  40. That sign, and his gesture-how precious! How could you not say yes?

    And a life full of love, compromise, babies, and togetherness-yes, indeed.

  41. Becca,

    What a beautiful story of taking that leap of faith into yes instead of hiding in the shadows of no…

    What a glorious chain of events that unfolded because you took that leap!

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us!!

  42. Kim

    OMG Becca,

    What a beautiful story both how you told it and how your husband proposed. I’m looking at my husband right now and he’s staring at me with this quizzical look of what are you thinking. In fact, he’s trying to read my comments over my shoulder.

    I’ll be kind and won’t berate him for how he proposed and how I don’t remember it at all because he rushed it out during a dinner while I had the flu and 103 fever. I think I ended up in the hospital that night.

  43. These words, “But yes, it pushes you forward. Makes you take another step. Let’s those you love jump ahead” – really spoke to me and where I am at right now.

    There is a whole world of yes out there, and I want my monsters to take it on!

  44. Jen

    It is easier to say no. It is scary to say yes. I could have said no to my Sweetie. (Well, I asked HIM out. I should have been saying no to my internal voices.) Everyone else was telling me no way. And yet. I trusted my inner yes. And almost 12 years ago we went on that first date, doomed by everyone else. And, DAMN, look at us now. Yes yes yes.

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