A Balancing Act
By Debbie Lagestee • Photos by Valerie & Ed Photography
In 2011, what started out as a “Black Friday” purchase for Morgan unexpectedly became much more than she could have asked for or imagined. She bought a TV at a sale on Friday and the following Monday she bought a TV stand. When she got it home to her apartment on James Island, she soon realized it was an impossible task to get it up two flights of stairs by herself. She had passed the neighbor living above her on several occasions, but they had never spoken. She decided to go upstairs and ask him for help. When she knocked on the door, Sean had just gotten out of the shower. Assuming it was a friend and never expecting it to be the girl from downstairs, he answered the door in just a towel. After getting dressed, Sean helped Morgan carry the box upstairs to her apartment. Then he continued the good deed and spent a couple of hours assembling the TV stand and setting up the TV, all while they got to know each other. As the saying goes, “The rest is history.” They dated for a few years, and Sean proposed to Morgan on April 11, 2014.
Morgan and Sean got married exactly to the day a year later, on April 11, 2015. The outdoor ceremony was at Cottage on the Creek (now Saltwater Cowboys) at Shem Creek. The skies were threatening rain all morning but appeared to be holding off until they started making their way to the altar. It was a short walk, with a portion not covered by a tent. The clouds opened up and poured rain down on them, their parents, grandmothers, and escorts. Morgan reflects, “We just laughed. We were surrounded by friends and family, and dolphins were swimming by. So we just rolled with it.” Ultimately the storm did not last long. The rain cleared, and the sun came out just as the preacher gave permission for the first kiss. It was a perfect moment, and one Morgan and Sean will never forget.
Morgan and Sean have two young children. Luke is 3 years old, and Rory is 23 months old. Luke is captivated by Thomas the Tank Engine, and everything in his life revolves around that. In addition, he loves crafts, building, and picture books. Due to the pandemic, Luke has not had the opportunity to experience many classes or have the social interaction most kids historically would have at his age. Therefore, he tends to be on the shy side. Rory, on the other hand, is much more social. She loves meeting new people and playing with baby dolls. Both kids are enrolled in a gymnastic class, which they love. Their 12-year-old dog CiCi and 8-year-old cat Bear complete the McBride family.
Sean graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2009 with a degree in communication studies. He worked at a small PR agency after college. He moved to Charleston to work for the federal government in 2010, where he worked until quitting his job for self-employment in March 2021.
Morgan graduated from the College of Charleston in 2011 with degrees in accounting, business, and finance. She became a CPA and worked for an accounting firm doing forensic accounting and financial litigation. Morgan worked in the accounting industry for two years before determining it was not a good fit for her. She switched careers to data visualization and analytics at MUSC. She worked there until March 2019, when she turned her hobby into a career and resigned from her position to pursue self-employment.
Morgan has always been interested in DIY projects and crafts. In 2012, while she and Sean were dating, she said to him, “I think I’m going to start a blog and make things.” He was supportive of her endeavor, and together they made most of the decorations for their wedding. They launched their website, www.CharlestonCrafted.com, and it has developed into their full-time jobs. Charleston Crafted is a DIY home projects website focused on relatable projects people can do in their homes. Their projects include room makeovers, furniture building, crafts, and tutorials that can be done with little to no experience. Working together from home has its challenges but also provides them the flexibility they love. Morgan says, “It can be hard to strike that balance working at home with the kids there. We have to make a conscious decision about when to work. We choose to be present with our kids.”
Sean and Morgan put in many hours in the evening after the kids are in bed. Sean adds, “We try to alternate as best we can with the kids. We split things up, so one of us is always with the kids.”
Since high school, Morgan has had a heart for volunteering. She is extremely active with the Junior League of Charleston, currently serving on the executive board as recording secretary. This women’s organization has the mission of advancing women’s leadership with meaningful community impact through volunteer action. One of Morgan’s favorite outreach programs throughout the Junior League is the diaper bank which collects and distributes diapers to those in need in the community. She finds it highly rewarding to be a part of something impactful to more than 2,400 families in the Charleston area.
Sean and Morgan love to travel and explore new places. They took two trips per year before having kids and the COVID lockdowns. They went to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons for a week of hiking and another week in Yosemite and Sonoma for more hiking and wine tasting. Their honeymoon was spent in Italy, followed by an anniversary trip to Kauai.
The most magical place they visited was Bermuda for their babymoon before Luke’s arrival. “We just love traveling,” said Sean. Because traveling with kids and all the things they require is more complicated, they started making road trips to the mountains in the last two years. Hendersonville, North Carolina, has become their go-to place. It offers everything they need and love to do as a young family. Being self-employed allows them to take a break and head to the mountains or take their work with them as needed. Sean and Morgan have a goal in the next couple of years to buy a mountain house in the Hendersonville area. They plan to return to week-long family trips in 2023, an all-inclusive resort in Turks and Caicos, and a trip back to Yellowstone. The McBrides love visiting the National Parks and look forward to sharing that love with their children.
Morgan and Sean moved to Carolina Bay from a small home on James Island. They completed many DIY projects in their first home and made it their coastal dream home. Although they loved it and brought their first baby home there, they knew it was too small for their growing family, and it lacked the neighborhood feel they wanted. Morgan and Sean both grew up in communities with pools, playgrounds, tennis courts, and trails. When they found Carolina Bay, they looked no further. “It is everything we have ever dreamed of for our kids,” said Sean. In August 2020, 10 days before welcoming Rory to the family, they moved into their home in Essex of Carolina Bay. Their home is situated on one of the ponds with a trail and woods on the other side. They enjoy seeing alligators in the pond, deer and wild turkeys walk through their yard, and even spotted a bald eagle. They feel incredibly lucky to see nature up close and personal every day. They love cruising around in the golf cart and find the neighborhood friendly and welcoming. As a family, they have a great time at the parks, playgrounds, and pools. They enjoy the neighborhood holiday events and food truck Fridays. They are always in awe of how many people participate in the community events. With the end of the pandemic underway, they are looking forward to making good friends with people who have kids similar in age.
Life is busy for the McBrides. There is always a project going on, kids to chase, places to see and work to be done. For Morgan and Sean, it’s a balancing act they perform every day, and they wouldn’t want it any other way.