Abraham, 35, is a subject matter expert in the Middle East - thanks to years of military training and a graduate degree. He speaks three foreign languages. He is a full-time member of the Utah Air Guard, so his work will always be in Utah and close to extended family.
He is also working part-time as an online BYU-Idaho instructor teaching a class about Pakistan. He is a devout Christian and disciple of Jesus Christ who lives his life with the same dedication he took with him on his LDS mission to Texas before his successful career of military service began.
Abraham's favorite title, however, is Daddy. If there is anyone who understands the magic of of fatherhood it's him.
Abraham as a Dad
(According to Chanté)
From day one, Abraham assisted in bottle feedings, diaper changes, and walks. He naturally assumed the role of helping to care for our son in every way.
He defers to my instincts as the mother, but he is constantly ready to jump in and lend a hand, not just for playtime but mealtime, naptime, and whatever time he's needed. If he's home, he's here. I've noticed his brothers have a similar involved approach to fatherhood. These are golden-hearted men.
Abraham is the toy connoisseur and has purchased most of Ephraim’s favorite toys like the marble tower, HotWheels collection, large floor puzzles, and LEGOs. He seems to know instinctively what kinds of things Ephraim will like.
He says he just thinks of what he liked or would have liked as a kid. Thankfully, he’s still a kid at heart, at so he enjoys playing with them too. Ephraim relishes spending time with his attentive playmate.
Just today, Ephraim hurt his finger while hitting pots and pans like drums on the kitchen floor. He immediately ran to Daddy, who enveloped him in a hug, and said in a concerned tone that he was sorry for him and asked him where it hurt.
Ephraim was so happy with the overflow of affection that his needs for connection and attention were met that he didn't even bother responding. He jumped back to the ground and resumed his play. It was only a brief interchange, but it spoke volumes of comfort to my motherly heart.
Another one of Abraham's endearing quotes that I know I'm lucky to hear is, "Your happiness is my number one concern." He's since expanded that to include Ephraim. "You two are my world," he often says. I know without a doubt he is sincere and dedicated beyond belief to our family. He works hard to provide for us and he enjoys his job, but has his priorities straight. Family comes first with him. Always.
Basic training is brutal, as Abraham can attest. He recently mentored a family friend who wanted to join the military and gave him advice on how to survive. "Think of it as a game," he said. "They will try to find the smallest ways to intimidate you and break you down. Don't take it personal."
This sounds a lot like parenthood to me, and he approaches it in a similar way. Nothing seems to break him. I've watched him in some of the most stressful, sleepless, and challenging times of parenthood and he stays calm as a summer's breeze. He is still human, thankfully, and he gets tired, sad, or frustrated - I can see it in his eyes sometimes, but in the heat of those "basic training" moments of parenthood, he has ultimate control of his emotions and chooses to be the peaceful influence everyone needs.
Q&A with Abraham
How would you describe your personality?
I’m an introvert who observes and listens. I prefer deeper conversations with close friends or family over socializing with a lot of new people. I value peace over many things. Consider me quiet but confident.
What are your favorite things to do?
I could spend all day collecting seashells, skipping rocks, or putting together a 3,000 piece puzzle - all while listening to an audio book about history or politics.Throw in a new YouTube episode of DudePerfect with some Hawaiian pizza and call it a perfect day.
I also enjoy running and ran the Deseret News Marathon. My favorite runs, however, are where I'm just competing with myself. Traveling also tops the list. I like seeing new places, but I never tire of Disneyland. I grew up going there frequently with my family.
What skill do you wish you had?
Cooking. A few of my brothers have learned how to barbecue or cook really well - each has a specialty. I'm starting by making Sunday dinner each week and love the InstantPot.
What do you spend too much money on?
Anything at slickdeals.net. It's amazing how many good deals I find on things I didn't know I needed.
What's on your "someday" list?
I'd like to finish writing the fantasy novel I started. The plot is finished in my head, I just have to add a few thousand words to bring it to life on paper.