Introducing Jessica Stahl…a Livonia Mom

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Hello my fellow mamas! Jessica here, coming to you from Livonia where I live with my husband, our four kids, a dog, and a cat. I was born and raised in Huntington Woods, a small city right outside of Royal Oak.  It’s the home of the Detroit Zoo, beautiful old homes, an elementary school, a library, a rec center, and a police department, all packed into one square mile. It’s the type of city that once you’re in, you never want to leave. In fact, my parents still live in the same house, 42 years later. In ’97, I graduated from Berkley High School (Go Bears!) and headed straight off to college. I spent a few semesters at Oakland Community College and then attended Eastern Michigan. Eventually, I transferred to Wayne State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.  

While attending college, I worked part time at a major retailer where I met my future husband. We married in 2003 and purchased our first home in Royal Oak. Just after our one-year anniversary, we welcomed our son, Abram (Abe). Shortly after, in 2006, our daughter, Leila, was born. As we outgrew our sweet bungalow, we built our next home in Warren and enjoyed a few good years there. Unfortunately, life took a turn, and we amicably divorced in 2010.

Fast Forward

Several years later,  I met my husband Mike through a mutual friend at a dive bar over karaoke, Words with Friends, and beer. He brings so much energy and certainty into my life. He is my person, my rock. We married in June of 2013 where I also gained a “bonus” son, Michael. In our case, opposites do attract. He helps with math homework, and I take English. He wants to fix things where I’d like to pay someone else to do the job. It’s a good thing he cooks because I. DO. NOT. I am a proud wife of an officer. My days can be consumed with worry, but I know he is out there protecting our country.

Together we are raising three teens and navigating life with two other sets of parents! Both boys are nearly 15 and Leila is 13. Michael is the world’s next music producer. Like his dad, he loves music. Our home office is now a “studio,” and our basement has any instrument you can think of. Abe is my incredibly intelligent jock who seriously lacks common sense. “How do you know the water is boiling?” will go down in history with him. Leila, welp, she’s 13. Boys, music, make-up tutorials, and oversized tees are her jam right now. Since they are so close in age, they keep us entertained with the up and coming teenage slang, most of which I am usually asking, “What does that even mean?” 

Starting Over

At the tender age of 39, I found out I was pregnant. Shocked, scared, and feeling OLD, we decided to “start over.” On November 26, 2018, Sebastian was born. Even though I had an easy pregnancy, he made his grand entrance swiftly at 35 weeks. Undetected through genetic testing and ultrasounds, Sebastian was born with a potential life-threatening birth defect: congenital bilateral choianal atresia. We spent three weeks in the NICU at U of M where he underwent two major surgeries to open his nasal passage. Those few weeks rocked my world more than I could have ever imagined. The NICU nurses and his medical team will always hold a special place in my heart. Sebastian is a thriving eight-month-old now. He is funny, sweet, and already a bit devious. Although he wasn’t “planned,” he has truly completed our family; our true rainbow after a terrible storm.

After Sebastian was born, our dynamic changed drastically. Life got even busier and the nights a little longer. Part of me truly wanted to go back to work, but mostly I couldn’t imagine leaving my kids again. After a ton of deliberation, planning, and tough conversations, I decided not to return to Corporate America. Being a SAHM brings some unexpected challenges. Enter in DMB.  This is where I am hoping to find a new tribe and some new norms. I also have a few side hustles in the realm of health and wellness. 

Stahl, party of six

With three teens, it’s proving to be difficult to do much as an entire family unit. Someone is usually off with a friend or at a sporting event, and I’m usually driving them back and forth. When we are together, we enjoy catching a movie, checking out new restaurants, and spending as much time as we can at Houghton Lake. As a couple, Mike and I are concert-goers. We’ll see anything from Korn to Greg Laswell. Next up is Social Distortion and Flogging Molly. The gym or a fresh cup of coffee brings me inner peace, and I hope to find that daily.

I live a pretty simple life and wouldn’t want it any other way. I am so excited to be apart of the DMB family and to engage with our amazing contributors and readers.

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