This is Amanda, JR.’s wife. JR. turns 32 today, so I’m taking over his blog.

I know that it has been FAR too long since a post has been written about the lives of the Forasteros Family, so I thought since one of JR.’s primary love languages is verbal affirmation, I figured that I would start with a surprise birthday post of the many reasons I think he is the bee’s knees. Fair warning: it might get a little mushy at times, but what can I say?  We are presh.

Without further ado, in no particular order, here are just 32 reasons I love JR.:

  1. beard1. He has a freaking SWEET beard.  I mean, he gets comments about his facial hair ALL the time.  Strangers stop him in the street.  He gets compliments from most people he knows.  His beard is awesome, especially when he rocks the point Leonidas style.  Seriously.
  2. 2. His tattoos ROCK and are super hot.  Every single one of his tattoos have an amazing story behind them with TONS of Biblical references, stories, and theology.  Most people don’t even realize he is a pastor because of them…and I just think that is fantastic because it breaks a lot of stereotypes and negativity that can get lumped in with the Church these days.
  3. He is an AMAZING cook with a seriously ridiculous palette.  He loves to be adventurous, cook EVERYTHING from scratch (he has SEVERAL specialties that are out of this world: general tsao’s chicken, chicken marsala, garlic mashed potatoes, bacon and eggs, apple pork, asparagus, anything on the grill, etc.).  JR. loves to be adventurous when cooking and has excelled from an early age at getting people to try random things that they never would give a chance.
  4. His honesty.  He can be brutally honest at times, and it is something that I sincerely admire about him.  I strive to be honest and communicate well with others, but I look to him for inspiration and help.  It is refreshing to know that he will always tell you what he is thinking. He is also able to provide honest feedback about stuff as well as super constructive criticism if you need help editing a paper, writing a sermon, giving a speech, etc.
  5. speaking15. He is an incredible crafter of words.  If any of you have had a chance to read his blog (shameless plug!, listen to his podcasts, or have read anything he has EVER written for ANYTHING (even silly descriptions of stuff on our church’s website), you can tell that it is a gift and that he is using it well.  I am always looking to him for new ways to say something, help with my own writing, resumes, etc.
  6. 6. His constant ability to strive for excellence.  This can be said for JR. in all areas of his life: at work, at home, in his spiritual journey, with his friends, with our relationship, etc.  He can never settle for anything but the best in anything he does.  He is ruthlessly competitive but in a way that challenges others to do their best also and not just settle for the status quo.
  7. cowboysHe is the most spontaneous and impulsive people I have ever met.  This has challenged me to not always be a stick-in-the-mud or be afraid of spending money for some silly reason or whatever else.  He is always wanting to try the next thing and purchase the new coolest gadget and then telling everyone why they should do the same thing.  It is so cute how excited he gets.
  8. JR. is an awesome reader.  He reads constantly.  He has read millions (maybe even billions) of words just in the 32 years he has been on this earth.  Probably 2-3 books a week, at least.  No less that 2 fiction at a time plus several non-fiction books, not to mention hundreds of blogs he is subscribed to as well as magazines subscriptions we get.  I could never match him but get most of my recommendations for what I am going to read next from him.  Plus it always gives us something new to talk about because he is constantly on an adventure in his imagination with a new story.
  9. He is a leader.  He is charismatic and the EPITOME of an extrovert.  He has this presence in the room that isn’t dominance, but just an absolute willingness to lead, take charge, step up to the plate, and do whatever it takes to get a task accomplished, have fun, plan things, etc.
  10. He has about a billion t-shirts that are hilarious, punny, nerdy (in the best way), or just plain awesome.  I love his sense of style and the fact that he can rock just about any look.
  11. Though this is something that still terrifies me, he does an extraordinary job dealing with conflict on a fairly consistent basis.  He is able to articulate many sides to an argument as well as be able to point out his individual frustrations, give the other person the benefit of the doubt, and also does a great job walking other people through conflict or potential conflict.  In just the three years we have been married, I have learned more and more to appreciate this skill and understand that conflict is not only necessary in relationships; it is also makes relationships better and longer-lasting (which is counter-intuitive).
  12. Something that goes hand in hand with conflict and being a crafter of words is his ability to communicate.  As I mentioned earlier, he is a quick think, a debater, and is able to articulate clearly and concisely in most situations, which is something that I know most people struggle with.
  13. I would say that most people would call JR. one of the best pop-cultures gurus that they know. He is constantly up to date on all the happenings with movies, TV shows, celebrities, etc., and it definitely causes there never to be a lull in conversation.  It is so much fun getting to talk to different people with JR. about his plethora of knowledge in this area.
  14. batman14. In the same vein as being a pop-culture guru, he is also quite the movie-buff. He LOVES movies, and had one of the first Netflix subscriptions before I even knew it existed.  We see movies in theaters, at home, wherever we can and we just cannot get enough.  His blog sees a TON of traffic just from the reviews he posts.  It is awesome and he has amazing insight into the themes and symbolism all kinds of movies.  Plus, if it weren’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have seen awesome movies like Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Seven Psychopaths, Narc, End of Watch, O Brother Where Art Thou, No Country For Old Men, etc.
  15. 15. To add on to the pop culture, and movie stuff, he is also like a kid in a candy store when it comes to comic books and video games.  It is so fun to watch how excited he gets about getting a new game or trade or whatever, and how involved into the story he gets.  He has definitely influenced me to participate in more videogames and reading some of my first graphic novels because of him.  Sometimes I can even hang with the best of them either in Mario kart races or talking about Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series or Watchmen.
  16. moviesNot only does JR. love to read and watch movies, but he is constantly falling more and more in love with the Scriptures everyday.  His deep love for knowledge and ridiculous intelligence can be intimidating to many, but is so humbly to learn from him all that is up in his big brain.  He is super smart and I like to show him off to people.
  17. My husband is one of the most generous people I have ever met.  Most of the time it is with his money and with his time, but it can be so much more than that.  He always is willing to lay down his last dollar for a friend in need or whatever the case may be.  I have learned a lot from him in this area, and we both strive to be givers of our time, money, and talents as often as possible.
  18. avengersHe is an achiever to the maximum degree. His blog is awesome (which he is constantly working on to make better), his bible studies and small groups are quite the fantastic experience, and his sermons are well crafted.  If he has to prepare a  blog post or a PowerPoint presentation for a meeting, it is done well, quickly, and is visually stimulating…always.
  19. The whole reason we chose Forasteros as our new last name once we got married is so that we can be travelers as often as possible.  He loves to travel to new places and try new things.  He also is a great traveler to friends.  He visits all his friends wherever they live, whether that be in rural Nebraska, England, or the great city of New York.
  20. He is a great friend, constantly spending time with people and getting them not only to connect to him, but he gives them opportunities to connect to others like them and also to God.  It is a beautiful thing to watch.
  21. arizona21. JR. is always striving to grow spiritually in his walk with Christ.  It is such a great example for all of us, especially to me who feels overwhelmed by the Bible sometimes because of my lack of comprehension.  But if a Bible scholar like JR.  still studies it, it is the least I could do, right?
  22. 22. He always takes the road less traveled, even if it is line with conflict and a lack of faith from people for thinking he is making the wrong decision…he sticks by what he feels is right and always things of things that are totally out of the box and gets you out of your comfort zone.
  23. He has excellent taste in music, whether it is Skrillex and dubstep to his guilty pleasures (ke$ha, katy perry, eminem, B.O.B., etc.) to Stavesacre and Ghoti Hook to Chevelle and Thrice to oldies and classics like Pat Benatar and Johnny Cash….he is willing to listen to almost anything, anytime.
  24. fun24. My husband is so much fun to be around.  We can laugh at silly jokes, TV shows or whatever our hearts desire, and we just constantly have fun together.  He has a fantastic sense of humor and is a big flirt.  In a great way. He also loves to dress up and go to costume parties, and in fact throws great parties himself.
  25. 25. JR. has an uncanny ability to draw really healthy boundaries for himself as well as say “no” to a lot of things.  He is really good at this skill and I admire him for it.  I am learning how to be better at this and he is teasnowboardingching me.
  26. He is willing to try new things and go on adventures.  For example, we went skiing/snowboarding with some of our dear friends earlier this year and he had never been before and ROCKED it! It was so much fun!
  27. He is a FANTASTIC gift giver.  I am constantly coming home or into his office and one of the first things he says to me is, “I got you a present.”  It consistently is something thoughtful, funny, or perfect for the person or occasion.
  28. baby whisper28. He calls himself the “baby whisperer” and it is no joke.  He can put any baby to sleep in any circumstance.  And most children are afraid of him at first, but once they have warmed up to him, they are lifelong pals.
  29. 29. Mi amor is not only a great bus driver on mission trips, but he is also a fantastic servant and really good manual labor.  He is constantly willing to do jobs that other people wouldn’t (liking picking up the trash outside of Target: Dayton Ministries) and will lead others to do the same.  We have been on many mission trips together and it is always a mixture of hard work, fun, and leadership.flappers
  30. He is and always will be a dreamer.  This goes with his tendency to be an achiever and strive for excellence.  He dreams of how things can be better, different, extraordinary, etc.  We dream about what our lives will be like 5 years from now, and then 10, 20, 50, etc.  It is awesome and encouraging for me because often I get caught up to only live in the moment.
  31. JR. has confidence and self-esteem that is unmatched.  I am always looking for ways to get down on myself and lower my self worth, but all I need to do is think about JR. and what he would think about me, and how he views himself as a person in the image of God confident in his abilities to do the things God has called us to do.
  32. Last but surely not least, and though it may seem like a given….JR. is the best husband in the world.  On top of all of the things I have said throughout this post, he is kind, he is funny, he is generous, and he is loving to me.  He puts my needs before his and always is seeking to make our relationship have more communication, more interactions, and more love.  He is amazing, people!


I am so grateful to share in this day of your birth, mi amor.  Please feel free to share in the comments below other reasons why JR. is so fantastic, or wish him well on this beautiful October day!

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