Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
By Debbie Lagestee • Photos by Valerie & Ed Photography
The old saying goes, “Timing is everything”. For Nick and Sarah Ireland, this could not be more true. Both attended Christopher Newport University in southern Virginia simultaneously. Still, their paths never crossed, even though there were only 5,000 students on campus. Nick earned his degree in Business Management, and Sarah graduated with a degree in Communication Studies. Post-graduation, Sarah worked in the admissions office of the college. A coworker introduced her to Nick. Two days later, he asked her out on a date. They immediately hit it off, finding many things in common, including their love of travel. They were engaged nine months later and were married on May 2, 2009, in Gloucester, VA, in a beautiful historic home called the Inn at Warner Hall.
One of Nick and Sarah’s first trips together was to Charleston, SC. It was a weekend getaway, and they stayed in the heart of downtown at the Francis Marion Hotel. While touring around, they both fell in love with Charleston. It was on that trip they vowed they would live here one day.
While living outside of Washington D.C., they looked for opportunities and waited for the right time to make a move. 5 years passed, and they continued to talk about Charleston as they started their family. “We loved Charleston, and we knew we wanted to raise our children in a southern coastal area.”, said Sarah. All the while, Nick enjoyed working in sales at Ferguson Enterprises. In 2014, a new position within the company was offered to him. Although it was not the perfect position for Nick, the job was in Charleston. Sarah explains, “We took a huge leap of faith. We have never looked back, and we are so happy we did it!” Since the move, Nick has made several advancements and continues to enjoy working for Ferguson.
While living in the D.C. area, Sarah worked as a Corporate Recruiter when she was laid off from her job. However, the timing was perfect as she was feeling the pull to spend more time with her then 2-year-old son, so she became a stay-at-home mom. Shortly after graduating from college, she had a pang of regret wishing she had gone to school for interior design. She began taking classes and devoured design magazines and blogs from that point. Sarah experimented with design projects and shared them on her Instagram page. It wasn’t long before her friends and family started asking her for help and advice. Several years ago, Sarah decided to jump in with both feet and open her own business, Palmetto Haven Interiors. It is a boutique interior design company with the tagline, “Let us help you love your home.” As a full-time mom of 3 active kids, it can be challenging at times to find the balance between owning her own business, working early mornings, late nights, and family time. Fulfilling her dream to take her passion professionally is extremely rewarding and makes it all worthwhile.
Nick and Sarah have 3 children, Jackson, Ethan, and Charlotte. Jackson is 8 years old. He plays soccer, baseball, basketball, golf, and he recently started playing the piano. Ethan is the 5-year-old middle child. He does karate, plays soccer and t-ball, and loves the outdoors. Two-year-old Charlotte loves keeping up with her brothers and tries everything they do. She loves Minnie Mouse and playing dress-up. Nick’s parents and Sarah’s mom and step-dad also contemplated moving to Charleston after Sarah and Nick. Sarah and Nick joked if they moved here, Nick and Sarah would have a 3rd child. The grandparents took them up on it and moved 4 years ago. Nick and Sarah kept true to their promise and along came Charlotte. She is the first granddaughter on both sides of the family, so she gets some extra special attention from the grandparents! Ironically, both sets of parents moved into the same subdivision near Carolina Bay. They love babysitting for date nights, overnight sleepovers on weekends, and watching the grandkids at their games and activities. Sarah says, “We know we are very blessed, and that is not typical. We are so fortunate to have the support of our parents.”
Nick and Sarah’s favorite thing to do together is travel. They took the trip of a lifetime, celebrating their anniversary before having kids, exploring Italy. They spent 2 weeks visiting Rome, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, and the Amalfi Coast. They have also traveled to Colorado, the Florida Keys, Dominican Republic, and their favorite place in Mexico, Isla Mujeres, a tranquil tiny island they have visited multiple times. An annual summer trip to Lake Murray with Nick’s side of the family has become a tradition. It is a week spent boating, tubing, jet skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and playing cornhole. The best part of the week is time spent with family and eating their meals on the screened porch overlooking the lake. Last year they celebrated Ethan’s 5th birthday at Disney World, while Charlotte spent time with the grandparents. When the kids are a bit older, Nick and Sarah’s big dream family trip is to fly out west, rent an RV for a few weeks, and explore different National Parks.
The Irelands moved into Creekside of Carolina Bay in August 2016. They moved from James Island to be closer to friends who already lived in the neighborhood. Carolina Bay had all the appeal they were looking for in raising their family, pools, spaces for the kids to play, and other neighborhood amenities. Nick and Sarah found the perfect home on a cul-de-sac with a private backyard. They immediately got to work doing what Sarah loves, working on many DIY projects making the house their own. With Nick as her helper, Sarah put her design expertise to good use, creating beautiful spaces throughout their home. Sarah is grateful the kids have so many neighborhood friends.
Jackson and Ethan can be found playing baseball or football in their neighbor’s yard nearly every day after school. A sign hanging in their kitchen says, “This kitchen is for dancing.” They take that seriously as dance parties have always been their thing, complete with a portable disco ball. Sarah reflected on when she was pregnant with Charlotte and watched Nick and the boys dance around. Now two years later, Charlotte is part of the action. It is a true family affair with everyone dancing around.
It may have taken them a few years to get where they wanted to be to raise their family, but Nick and Sarah know without a doubt, good things come to those who wait!