One Moment at a Time
By Debbie Lagestee • Photos by Valerie & Ed Photography
Life is full of moments. Little moments that pass and go forgotten and more significant moments that become life-changing. In the latter, whether good or bad, our location becomes permanently ingrained in our memory. For Christina and Jason Millard, the moment that changed the direction of their lives was in February 2014, on a Caribbean cruise. While lying on the sundeck of a cruise ship with frozen cocktails in hand, they realized that there are much warmer places to live than their home state of Vermont. It was an “a-ha” moment. It was then and there they decided to move away from everyone and everything they had ever known. The question was, where to move? To help them decide, they pulled out a map of the USA, pointed a finger on the map, and it landed in Charleston, SC. Their decision was made. They were moving to Charleston. When they returned home to Vermont, they started planning for their departure. Six months later, Jason was invited to a job interview with Comcast in the Charleston area. They hopped on a flight filled with hope and anticipation. The interview happened to fall on Christina’s birthday. Jason was offered the job on the spot. That afternoon they went out to celebrate her birthday and Jason’s job offer. As if the day could not get any better, while walking along the beach on Sullivan’s Island, Jason got down on one knee at the water’s edge and proposed to Christina. It was a day neither of them will ever forget. Six weeks later, they officially became Charleston residents. “We were destined to be here, and now we absolutely love it,” said Christina.
Jason and Christina boarded another cruise ship in March 2016 with an extraordinary excursion planned upon arrival in Turks & Caicos. They disembarked the boat and ventured to a gorgeous beachfront resort. That morning they exchanged their wedding vows in a private ceremony with the turquoise water as the backdrop. Later that day, they returned to the cruise ship as the new Mr. & Mrs. Millard.
Jason continued to work in sales for Comcast for several years. Although he enjoyed his position, he felt it was time to make a change. With interest in house hunting and investment properties, he decided to get his Real Estate License. At the time, Christina was an Executive Administrator for a private aviation company. Initially, she was uneasy about the timing of Jason’s career change as they just had their first baby. He persuaded her that it was a solid decision and he was right! Jason is now a Realtor for Jeff Cook Real Estate. Three years later, after baby number 2 arrived, Christina left her job of 6 years and currently manages all of the administration sides of Jason’s business. They are a fantastic husband and wife duo, with opposite strengths and weaknesses, so they balance each other out.
Christina has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a minor in International Business. She is the Type-A end of the spectrum, and Jason, whose degree is in Public Relations, has a more laid-back approach. On occasion, Jason might offer her advice about a spreadsheet, or she may chime in about an offer on a property; they jokingly remind each other to “stay in your lane.” They have figured out how to work together and live together in harmony. Having their workspaces on opposite sides of the house helps. They love the freedom and the flexibility they have in their jobs. Christina says, “This is the path we’ve created for ourselves. We’re excited that when our kids are older, we can choose to be at all of their events.”
Christina and Jason have 2 boys. Zack is 4 years old, and Matty just turned 2 years old. Zack is in CD at Oakland Elementary, and Matty attends daycare at Little Sage School. Zack is a sweet, smart kid. He likes to draw, and he asks a lot of questions in his quest to learn. Zack just finished his first season of flag football. He also played spring baseball league through the Charleston Parks and Recreation Department at the Riverdogs Stadium. He had the good fortune to be coached by professional baseball player Chris Singleton. Matty is the typical 2 year old into everything. His nickname is “el Destructo” he is the type of kid to write all over his body with a marker, put his finger in an outlet, turn on the stove, and draw on the walls. Matty is a handful, but his smile lights up the room! Like his big brother, he has a love of baseball. Both boys love to play Legos with their dad. Their favorite things to build are police and fire stations. Christina loves being a “boy mom”. They are indeed the light of her life.
The Millards love being outside. The Charleston weather is a stark contrast to Vermont, so they take full advantage of the nice days. They spend most of their free time playing baseball, going to the pool or beach, and going on the swings at the park. Since going on vacation was not an option during the pandemic, they bought a golf cart to cruise around the neighborhood. They love to ride over to the train tracks and count the train cars that go by. The most they’ve seen at one time so far is 215! They also live for baseball. In September, they went to the Riverdogs games 3 nights in a row, culminating in watching them win the Championship.
Jason and Christina moved to Carolina Bay in 2015. They recall driving through the neighborhood for the first time, “It looked like Pleasantville. Neighbors out walking their dogs, moms pushing baby strollers, kids playing on the playground, and flying kites. Combine that with 3 pools and beautiful homes. We were sold!”. As residents for 6 years, they have enjoyed the semi-annual yard sales, movie night in the park, and Food Truck Fridays. Santa, the Easter Bunny visiting, and a Halloween parade for the kids is something they never miss.
Christina loves the convenience of the Bees Ferry Library. Christina professes, “We feel like we won the lottery! We couldn’t be happier with our street and our surrounding neighbors, who also happen to be good friends!”
On the sundeck of a cruise ship all those years ago, Jason and Christina had no idea what the future held. They took a risk and moved 1,100 miles away. Subsequently, both sets of their parents and one sister of each followed in their footsteps and relocated from Vermont to Charleston. Their risk paid off, and they created a beautiful family in a community they love living each day one moment at a time.