All posts by Mark Turner

Goodbye, car seats!

Travis turned 8 years old last week, and with that milestone the state of North Carolina deemed him qualified to ride in cars without a carseat. Kelly’s been dragging her heels on making this switch but I’ve known for a while that T has been ready for it.

I didn’t know the right time to introduce this carseat-less adventure but it presented itself to me anyway. Travis’s birthday party was at the newly-opened Buffalo Road Aquatic Center and I was tasked with taking him and his two friends, Patrick and Jacob, to the pool. When both of his friends told me they didn’t use carseats that was all it took for me to take Travis’s out of the car.

T made the trip like it was no big deal and, so far, it hasn’t been. It is an end of an era, though. From their very first days, the kids have seen the world from a carseat. The day we did away with the seats brought me back to those earliest days, and how our lives have grown since then. It’s pretty amazing how quickly we’ve gone from then to now!

A year of no posting

It’s sad that Travis’s 7th year (and half of Hallie’s 9th and 10th) has gone undocumented here. It’s not like our kids haven’t been as important to us. In fact, we’re more engaged as a family than we have ever been. I suppose you could say we’ve been so busy living life that we’ve not found enough time to document everything. I hope to change that.

Consider this my reintroduction to the Hallie and Travis site!

Travis’s wishes

I was making lunches for the kids this morning when Travis walked in.

“Daddy, if I could have wishes I would wish for:

1. Peace in the world
2. Enough food for everyone on the planet to eat, and
3. The environment to be protected.”

Wow. That is some pretty heavy stuff from an 8 year old. I would’ve expected something like “unlimited Legos” or something but this really touched and surprised me. That’s our guy!


We went last night to watch a game between our local professional soccer team, the Carolina Railhawks, and the Rochester Rhinos. They were having a ceremony at halftime to honor the athletes from each CASL team who were recognized for their outstanding sportsmanship. I am quite proud that our daughter Hallie was among those good sports.

We got lost on the way to the stadium, arrived late, and endured an especially sweaty night, but the family enjoyed the game in spite of the Railhawks losing 0-2. I hope we will see another game soon, even if Hallie isn’t being honored!

Hallie learns a lesson in good deedership

We were delighted today to find a letter from the library in the mail today responding to Hallie’s note about the misbound book:

July 14, 2010

Miss Hallie Turner
1108 Tonsler Drive
Raleigh, NC 27604

Dear Miss Turner,

We just found a note you left for us in the returned book, Young Cam Jansen and the Substitute Mystery. Your note let us know that the book had been assembled incorrectly with the chapters in the wrong order. Thank you for telling us about this. We can return the book to the publisher and receive a replacement copy, hopefully with the chapters in the correct order. We may not have found the mistake without your careful detective work!
Continue reading Hallie learns a lesson in good deedership

Hallie’s complaint to the library

Hallie checked out a book from the library which was bound incorrectly, getting the chapters out of order. Not one to let a problem go unreported (she takes after her dad), Hallie write the library a note to bring this to their attention.

The note reads:

To: Library

The Book Young Cam Jansen And the substitute Mystery is totally MIXED UP! The chapters should go like this 1,2,3,4,5. In the book, they go 1,2,4,5,3. No wonder it doesn’t make sense! It was bound out-of-order! Somebody already wrote the correct Page numbers in the book. I know it isn’t good to write in books, but What Are You Supposed To DO When You Find A mystery in a mystery?

-Hallie Turner,
age 8

A special walk home

I met Kelly and the kids at Hallie’s school to hear an update from the teacher on Hallie’s progress. I left smiling when her teacher called her “phenomenal,” but little did I know I wasn’t done with hearing good things. I decided to forgo hitching a ride home with Kelly in the van in keeping with my carpooling experiment today and opted instead to walk the 1/2 mile home. Travis decided to join me, so together we walked up the hill back to our house.

As we walked, we chatted about lots of things. He wanted to hold my hand and so we walked up the hill hand-in-hand. As the conversation continued, he said something that made me remark “that wouldn’t be my favorite thing.”

“You know what’s my favorite thing?” he asked as we kept walking. “My love for you.”

All I could say was “awwww” and returned the compliment. It was so sweet to hear but as I thought about it later I only appreciated it more. Travis will often tell someone he loves them but it’s rare that he offers it the way that he did.

His hand in mine, the pleasant walk, and words that would make any father proud: it doesn’t get much better than this.

Perfect weather for a fun weekend

We had perfect weather for a weekend full of fun. Storms rumbled through late Thursday night that washed the insane amounts of pollen away, leaving the weekend with crystal-clear air.

We followed up yesterday’s great day with more fun stuff Sunday. Once again, the house windows were open to let in nature and we ate a somewhat-chilly-but-fun pancake breakfast on our screened porch. Then in the late morning we finally got motivated to do some bike riding on the greenways. We started at Atlantic Avenue and rode to Lassiter Mill Falls again, taking some time to practice skimming stones on the water.
Continue reading Perfect weather for a fun weekend

Famous family

Tonight at our dinner out, I was talking with the kids about people who shared last names with famous people. Just for fun, I asked them if they knew anyone famous who had Turner as a last name.

Hallie looked at me and said, “well, … you, Daddy!”

“Who, me?” I playfully scoffed. “What makes you think I’m famous?”

“Well, you’re on the Parks and Recreation Board and do all those neighborhood meetings,” she answered matter-of-factly. There was a look of pride in her eye and I wasn’t going to argue with her.

I live a crazy life between work, family, and community. For too many evenings to count, I’ve been in some meeting when I might have been putting the kids to bed, attending one of their practices, or some other event. It’s hard being away, and not always fair to Kelly, but I’m glad to know that Hallie admires what I’m doing. It’s a true honor being famous in the eyes of my kids!