17 years of marriage with J.R. Sauder

This year Tiffany and J.R celebrate 17 years of marriage. In honor of the occasion, Tiffany brings J.R. back on the show to reflect on their relationship—where it started, how it’s evolved, and how they’ve grown together.

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A marriage changes and evolves over time. We all know it, but it’s different when you experience it.

This year Tiffany and J.R celebrate 17 years of marriage. In honor of the occasion, Tiffany brings J.R. back on the show to reflect on their relationship—where it started, how it’s evolved, and how they’ve grown together.

Tiffany: I decided to invite JR back on the podcast. Our anniversary is coming up 17 years. It's hard to believe, and we oftentimes do a check-in and I thought an anniversary is a great time to sort of take a moment and take stock. And so this is that conversation .

I'm your host, Tiffany Sauder. And this is Scared Confident.

So welcome back, babe. Good to be

JR: back for my annual visit and

Tiffany: stuff. Do you get a guest lineup? So here we go. Our anniversary is coming up. So you're going to be my April featured guest, I think, from here to far into the future because at anniversary April, put it on my calendar. So it's April, it's our anniversary month.

We're coming up on having. Well,

JR: we got married in oh five. So it's 17

Tiffany: years, 17 years. How does it make you feel to say 17 years you've been

JR: married. It goes fast. It's a quickly approaching 20. I don't know. Almost more so than birthdays. Oh, it's you the years go with the kids. I feel like as your kids take on experiences almost more than what you and I share.

That's what, I don't know how I mark at the time.

Tiffany: I remember when I realized my mom's anniversary was like, I don't know, 23 years or something. And I realized she had been married for more years, like on earth. And she hadn't, and we're like getting close to that or 25, but it's not that far away.

JR: I had just had this conversation.

I was interviewing somebody the other day and they're asking me about how long I've been in Indiana. And I've almost lived in Indiana now longer than anywhere else. From my childhood. I stayed in one location from the first 18 years of my life. So I was like, yo, I've almost lived here in Indiana longer than I.

Tiffany: Yeah, that is really interesting. You're going to be like a real Hoosier here soon. Pretty close. Also kind of a sweet serendipitous thing that happened is my, my grandfather, my maternal grandfather's name was Wendell. He married us and he passed away a couple of years ago, but he was. Uh, giants in my life very much.

So he married us in my uncle. Randy. And my mom were cleaning out his office and they found his handwritten notes from the ceremony that he had, that he held in our vows, which is really cool to be touching. These is like, these papers are 17 years old and my grandpa wrote them. So what do you remember from the day?

JR: Well, obviously grandpa Wendell's presence on the day and just his, his smile, which, you know, I can still envision now. But to that point, really just the smiling faces around at the reception. And I think the, the atmosphere that was created and a lot of that has really translated for us into our home, where there just seems to be a lot of people around.

Typically we're laughing and having a good time. I think it has carried forward from, uh, April 24th in 2005. So today

Tiffany: we are both the oldest in our families and our families both played, I would say like leadership roles in our small communities. So it was like live with a lot of people there eating like four or 500, a lot of people.

And I think that's what I remember is just being like, Our community is so big. And I think it was like, it was novel that we were, we were kind of on the front end of our parents, his friends getting married the front end, like all the cousins were still there. I

JR: mean, big families, a lot of cousins who we both have that in our family trees, I guess.

So. Yeah, just large family, but then different diverse friend groups as well that showed up. I don't know what the acceptance rates was, but it seemed like they invited we're there to celebrate us. And it was fun to have all them there.

Tiffany: I think that when you're at the beginning of your marriage, you see like the outline of your life and like the outline of these vignettes that you picture. Like for me, I pictured kids, but I couldn't see their faces. As an example of like where you can see the outline. And I think that like different perspective that I have 17 years in is that you begin to like live and experience the whole thing in full color.

And just like in real life, it has texture and there's places where it's like bright and sunny and shiny. And there's places where there shadows. I think your relationship starts to have a more like in real life understanding as you go through the actual experience of being married, the experience of changes, the experience of figuring out how to fit your dreams into the same picture and you have one life to make it happen.

And so when I think about my expectations as I was standing there as a bride, I knew that Jr and I were going to be called. To a life that was bigger than I could see. We both knew that really early in our relationship that we were probably going to be asked to lead. We were probably going to ask to do things.

We were probably going to be asked to step into discomforts that we didn't totally understand. I, I remember really vividly a couple of times having the conversation. We just knew that there was going to be a sense of adventure in life and also a sense that things were going to be, I say hard, not in like a, like this is the cross I have to bear hard, but that it was going to take work to do it well.

And so that part is not surprising to me. I always pictured, I think that piece of our life, it being really complex. I think there's a richness of like texture. To our lives that I don't know that I had the maturity to be able to even picture when I was 24, 25 on my wedding day. But I'd say the one thing that is the same, a wedding was huge.

And even today are like, our relationships are huge. There's so many people around us. That is the same in our life. We've always been surrounded by a huge group of people that we love and that we feel their love in our lives.

when you think back to the last 12 months, last time we were on the microphone, I was going through my fear journey. We talked a lot about how my, one of my biggest concerns about this project was you are more private and introverted, like internal processor, keep things close to the vest. I'm not. And so your willingness to like, let me go on this journey, open up our family and our lives a bit to the outside world.

I had a lot of fear that that would create conflict for us. So 12 months into it, how has it been for you? Well,

JR: I think even when you talked about going through this project, it's not all that different than our everyday life, truly like things that you say, even in our friend group, I would never share.

That's just how it is. So that's part of who you are and you want to use this platform to talk about what's going on and it's seems to be helping a lot of people. And I think it helps you and gives you energy, which is then good for. Our family. So I don't know that there's any, my expectation. Hasn't been very different from what the reality has been.

It's it's been connected. It's been connected to you and who, who you are, you know, for the last, almost 20 years.

Tiffany: Well, let's get people up to speed on if you think about our lives, April of 2021, and now we're a year forward. What are some of the big events that have happened? In our family in our lives,

JR: the largest one, just from us personally as me taking a new job, right.

That changed our family dynamic the most required, more travel for me early on. And then also. Just a different intensity. I will say, as moving a company's headquarters from California to Indianapolis hiring a bunch of employees, it's just a different level of engagement than what my previous role.

Tiffany: You're on the road a lot more. Yeah, it was interesting. I listened to our episode from a year ago this morning. And you said, it seems like as soon as we figure things out, there's a big change dynamic and we used to blame kids, but now it's lots of other things. And I think that's kind of, it's kind of like as soon as things started to normalize a bit with having Quincy.

Taking this role we knew was going to just push some things in our home to a different level. That the way I have to support your schedule has certainly changed. And I think the other piece is we've talked about different times in our marriage. Sometimes it has been that my career and like what I was doing elementary.

And my job was like first. And you were first on deck. You know, being consistent for the nanny and picking up kids and running, and then there's times where that's flipped. And when you were taking this job, I don't know if we'd stated it explicitly, but I understood, like I'm not gonna be able to travel and I'm going to need to be the steady one in the home so that you can freely be able to leave with a week's notice.

You're not in a role right now where we have where it's super, super plan.

JR: Right. I think we talked about it. I don't know that we knew the exact specifics about how it'd be like, Hey, you need to be in Dallas in three days. And that's just what has to happen. There's that aspect of it. But we knew it would be some period of time where there would be a different.

Requirement on, on my schedule. And then, you know, this upcoming year, I think there's going to be more demands on your schedules, definitely in the evenings and on weekends. And so I think we're relatively aware of how it, how it's going to go and then try to be more planful around what that means. I think on the logistics side, You tend to run point and from that for our family, but I'm overall, I'm aware of what these, uh, transpire and take place and how I need to look at my own schedule.

Tiffany: So in the last 12 months, where, what are the things as you look at our marriage, We hope that each year takes us forward and backwards. We've had some backwards. Heres what would you say looking at this past 12 months, what are the things that you feel like we really grew in our relationship and where are places that, you know, your hope like that you look forward and say like, Hey, I think these are places we need to really make sure we're paying attention.

As we look forward into the next 12.

JR: We've grown, having really two teenage daughters. I know our second daughter Ainslee is not a teenager yet, but she acts up just. The maturity level and experience. So having intentionality between us and how we parent that age group, I think we've really grown in that and support each other.

And that's something that takes an effort with girls. I think maybe in particular at that, at that age as an area that's that comes to mind. I would just say as a, as a family, I feel like. Pretty tight knit. We've got to have the opportunity to go spend time together and you talk in, I think that's something that draws our family closer together and there's been definitely support there.


Tiffany: would say from my perspective, we are for the first time experiencing the real. Logistical realities of, of having four kids. We had Quincy in 2020, but we're, you know, COVID, it was kind of still locked down. She's a baby. He doesn't like go as much. And I think this year. We're at full tilt and there is more complexity, I think, in staying connected as like you and I as a couple when there, so it seems like there's just like another dimension of activity that girls are more like teenagery.

They want to be with their friends more, the weekends isn't so much family time. There's still a lot of family time, but. It's like natural, they should want to do those things. And so I think being more intentional, if I were to be critical of last year, it's like being more intentional about uni finding the space to be you and I, because there is an endless amount of activity here and running and all the things.

And so that's a place as I was reflecting, I think we could do better. Absolutely.

JR: And I think that. Okay on your theme for this year about just, and being the theme and is hard. You've talked about just different roles that you're stepping into. Maybe a little bit less element three, but you know, more than some of the other business ventures and boards, I'm helping on something in the community and that's along with a bigger job girls aging up.

So it is just other responsibilities. But in a vacuum, I would say are all good and in a lot of ways necessary for our own growth and what we want to accomplish. But yeah, sometimes at the detriment to us spending time together, just because of evening commitments and maybe not really sometimes at the detriment, but usually at the detriment of us having any like quiet time or ability to

Tiffany: get away.

Yeah. And I also think that as the kids have gotten older, They want to do with us. A lot of the things that we used to do alone, like we used to travel a lot more alone, like skiing. We used to just go us. And now the kids come, like when we would go to a new city, like it would just be us. And now that the girls want to come, like, it's great to have those shared experiences with them.

But if I look back critically at the last year, I think that that's the thing we need to be more intentional about. Where would you say we are on our relationships on a scale of one to two.

JR: Seven or eight, probably somewhere in that range by seven.

Tiffany: He said, now I'd

JR: probably say we're like a five.

Tiffany: Okay. You want to expand on that?

JR: I think it gets back to what we were just being critical about ourselves on just from a time perspective and not having as much time together that leads to a lower ranking when you're just not with somebody. And it seems even more recently, it seems like. The way the schedule has broken either I'm gone.

And then when I'm home know, that's when you need to schedule things and book things, because you've got coverage for the kids and, you know, having Mrs. Garcia and losing her as our support system in nanny, who's just around day to day. There's just a lot more moving pieces around the house. I think we've lost some of our own.

Flexibility to, to spend time and be together on top of all the obligations that a new role has put on me and new business ventures and other things that have. Do

Tiffany: you think it's okay. I I'm I'm like, this is a sincere question. Like, imagine it's not our relationship, that's a five, is it just a cycle of things that like, things get to a five, I'm asking this, like objectively as an adult, do you just feel like, yeah.

They're like relationship cycle. Like they go to there's tens, they're eights, they're fives, there's threes and they go back, like, that's what it is. Or. Uh, should our expectation be that no, we, we can make the decision for it. Never to get below a number that we pick. Yeah. I

JR: think the younger me would have said you shouldn't get below a seven.

You know, you're going to blow seven, like warning signs should be going off. Now. I would say. I just like in almost everything in life that you, you do for a long time, whether it's your job, any relationships you have, whether that's parents, siblings, spouse, friends, you know, it cycles, it does cycle your faith walk.

If you're at a 10 all the time, like. There's typically a burnout or hard crash that can happen from my experience. So the faculty that cycles, and, you know, if it's like a one, then I think we, you know, we we've gone too far, but if it's at a five and we both recognize like this isn't good, we need to do something about.

And we know what that is. And you know, for us, it's like, Hey, we probably just need to get away and spend some time together. There's usually things that we have to talk about. And after 48 hours, we'll be back on upward trajectory.

Tiffany: babe. I just want to say thanks for 17 years. I'm so proud of. Maturity that isn't our love today. I'm so proud of the family that we have together and I'm excited for where life continues to lead us. And that we continue to fight through the dance of allowing both of our dreams to live out loud and big in our lives.

Thanks for letting me make you crazy. My mission for secure confident is to help women confidently pursue a life of ant. And I want to be available to you. I'm passionate about vulnerably, stepping into my stories so that it can help women. This is about creating the resource that I wish I had as I was going through this journey.

So if you have questions, comments, or feedback, I'd love to hear from you text me at 3 1 7 3 5 0 8 9 2 1. So here's what this tool is. It's a personal number that I've set up for scared, confident it comes straight to my phone and it allows me to see and us to interact with one another, like directly. So I can text you back and answer your questions.

So this opportunity to be able to interact directly, not necessarily have to jump through. Algorithms of social media, but have a really a direct conversation and relationship is what I'm really excited about with this project of scare confident. If we help just one, the whole project will be worth it.

So 3 1 7 3 5 0 8 9 2. One is the way that you can get in touch with me and don't think your question's stupid. It's not, we're all wondering the same thing. So step into courage, ask for help and help other people who have the exact same questions, normalize their journey. Thanks for sharing this.

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