Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Colleyville Heritage Homecoming Game

So I promise this is the last post about our Texas trip (we have been home now for almost two weeks). The last Friday we were in town we headed over to the homecoming game for Colleyville Heritage, Cole's high school. Cole had a great time watching the team, seeing old friends and remembering just how crazy Texas football is. I thought football was a big deal in Oklahoma...but we can't touch this craziness.

My favorite part of the game were the Homecoming Mums. Many moons ago, couples who were going to the Homecoming dance would make a corsage of mums for their date to wear to the game. Cheesy but cute, right?

Today, the traditional mum has turned into the monstrosity you see above. Most Mums are purchased, contain yards and yards of streaming ribbons, multiple flowers and teddy bears, among more. The one above is resting on a cheerleader's megaphone but female students cart these around their necks and boys wear them around their arms.

Is this a Texas thing or have you seen it anywhere else? I was floored at the amount of weight these kids were dragging around. Oh well, you gotta love high school.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy

For those of you who have never experienced the rich and creamy beauty of Braum's Ice Cream, the photos below may seem silly. However, my family will know exactly what I am talking about.

My first job (at 15) was working in a Braum's store that was just down the street from my parents home (walking distance was key). I immediately fell in love with their vanilla bean and cookie dough ice cream, along with seasonal flavors like pumpkin, peppermint, cherry limeade sorbet and the like. A trip to Texas or Oklahoma would be lacking if I didn't stop for my favorite 2 scoops in a cup with a waffle cone on top.

What can I say, pure joy.

Our State Fair; "Don't Miss it, don't even be late!"

While in Texas, our #2 priority was to see if the Texas State Fair would be in swing. Luckily, it was! On a slightly overcast Tuesday morning Cole, Baylee and Stacy and I headed out to the fair, fully intending to make ourselves sick on fried goodness and the faris wheel.

Our first adventure came at the admission gate. In our hurry and excitement to get going that morning, we totally forgot to be frugal and see if there were any special deals. Once we arrived, we realized it was Dr. Pepper Tuesday. One can of "said soda" took the admission price from $14 to only $3. You can bet we got our fannies to a near-by grocery store to stock up on cans. Cole and I even joked that we should stand on a nearby corner and sell the rest of our 24 pack for profit.

Once inside we took a stroll through the car show, "made in Texas", homegoods and arts pavilians. We passed on the animals mostly because the smells make Cole sick. :)

We also partook of our full share of fried foods. Our favs were curly fries, corn dogs, fried oreos and fried cookie dough.

Heartattack, here we come!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Southern Politics!

Need I say more...

This scene is generously brought to you by a resident of my home town, Colleyville, TX.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

San Antonio Riverwalk

In the heart of downtown San Antonio is the well-know riverwalk area. The riverwalk winds around several hotels, shops, restaurants and a huge mall. While we were there, we ate lunch at the Lansford's favorite Mexican restaurant, La Margarita. My favorite part of the meal was those killer tortillas. After a tasty lunch we moseyed around the shops and vendors and took a boat tour through the riverwalk.

During the walk, Cole tripped and almost fell in, losing his favorite pair of "China Town sunglasses. The last photo below is in loving tribute to the occasion.

Remember the Alamo

After rolling into San Antonio for the weekend, the Lansfords took us to visit the Alamo. I have to admit that I had forgotten the story of what happened there and really enjoyed the tour, the story telling and the fun photo opportunity.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

There's No Place Like Texas

The Universality of Utah gave Cole a week off school so we decided to take a week and visit the family in Dallas.

The next several posts are of our adventures in ....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cole Lansford, Resident Expert on Ethics in Education

Only because I doubt our friends and family frequently pick up a copy of Utah CEO, I thought I would take a moment and brag about my husband's stint as a source for a recent article on Ethics in Education.

The full article requires a free username and password, but I will give you the Reader's Digest version of the article here. Cole is quoted several times. Feel free to skim, it is a long one.

Ethics in education

Enron. Tyco. Shady subprime lending. If ever business ethics were needed, the time is now, and Utah's business schools have responded with aggressive curriculum. But can ethics be taught?

by Tami Kamin-Meyer

The teaching of ethics and related principles has taken on
increased importance in Utah’s colleges over the last few years, says a fifth-year finance major at the University of Utah. “I have been instructed on ethics and ethical practices in some form or fashion in the majority of my classes at the U,” says Cole Lansford, a senior at the Rice-Eccles School of Business.

In fact, he adds, the topic of ethics has been “one of the main business principles being stressed.”

So why the renewed focus on ethics? Could it be the result of major ethical lapses and criminal behavior that have splashed businesses into the headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent years?

Yes, according to several Utah business experts. But can ethics really be taught?

Ethics curriculum

“Ethics, or at least ethical standards, can be taught. The real question is whether a person will adopt those standards, act accordingly and live by them,” says Kip Kint of Mission Ignition. Kint is a certified Franklin Covey coach whose company is based in Spanish Fork.

Kint admits that the emergence of ethics as an increasingly important aspect of business school does not mean that universities are cranking out graduates who consistently act ethically. There will be those who “feel they know what works for them so they may conform outwardly, but inwardly, they act differently. Some will hear what’s being taught at business school and will adopt and buy into it because they are swayed by the respect they hold for their professor or the institution itself,” says Kint.

Ethics are also stressed at the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University, according to David Bradford, a Utah entrepreneur who plays integral roles with various business ventures, including Utah-based Linking Universe, an online social communication tool that seeks to harness the power of Facebook. A few years ago, while living in Southern California, Bradford was president of the Orange County Management Association, an affiliate of the Marriott School. He says that the college’s “whole philosophy is teaching ethics in business.”

One of Bradford’s responsibilities as president was to find speakers who would address Marriott students. He says every speaker was asked to discuss ethics in some way. “Ethics are a very strong thread [speakers] were supposed to talk about in every presentation,” says Bradford.

Teaching ethics to business school students is definitely on the upswing, according to Lansford. Just a few years ago, he says, class discussions about ethics focused on case studies. “But, with today’s real-world economic downturn, we are getting real-world experience in the classroom,” says the 24-year-old.

Bradford agrees that ethics have been increasingly stressed in Utah business colleges. “It’s a trend,” he says, primarily due to the incredible ethical lapses that led to Enron’s fall and the Tyco debacle, to name a few.

“People’s greed for money and power became so fundamental to their belief systems” that BYU’s Marriott School decided to alter its curriculum in an attempt to change behaviors. “BYU’s Marriott School wanted to reverse that trend,” says Bradford. The college “saw what Congress did by enacting Sarbanes-Oxley and decided to be part of that trend. They decided to be a leader in instilling ethics in our business students,” he says.

Can ethics be taught?

According to Steve Hawkins, a partner at Cohezion Communications in Sandy, ethics should be taught “as a good business practice.” However, he cautions, the foundation for future ethical behavior is laid well before a student begins their first day of college. “Honesty and fair play are instilled by parents, friends, teachers and business mentors,” says Hawkins.

Bradford agrees that a student’s background and upbringing play a significant role in whether ethics can be imparted upon a student. “Ethics are really taught in the home; 80 to 90 percent of ethics are taught before the ages of 10 to 12. What we do later in life is merely a reminder of the foundation of ethics learned early in life,” he says.

Cary Snowden, president of Square Compass, a company that builds technology-based Web sites, recalls negative feelings after he completed a course on ethics while a student at the University of Phoenix a decade ago. He says during class discussions, students expressed such varied views on ethics that he grew increasingly concerned about how ethical the world of business would be.

Snowden’s worries were exacerbated by the fact that his fellow classmates are often not the average liberal college student of today whose ears were either pierced or glued to an iPod or cell phone. In fact, he says, they were working professionals in high-ranking positions in various business fields.

As the father of young children, Snowden agrees that the foundation of an ethical life begins at home. However, due to both his University of Phoenix and business experiences, he says he realizes his version of ethics “may differ from others.”

Still, Snowden is emphatic when he says that college students “need ethics training, especially in business.”

The importance of learning ethics in business was reinforced for Lansford during a summer internship he recently completed in Salt Lake City. “One of the main business principles that was stressed was the importance of ethics,” he says. To reinforce that, his employer held a weekly learning series for interns featuring videoconferencing with management located in New York City.

One week’s lesson, in particular, resonated with Lansford.

“They focused on scandals in the last decade in the financial industry. They tried to instill how one’s reputation and ethics are intrinsic to business success,” he says.

The importance of teaching ethics

“Higher education concerns itself with encouraging students to adopt what they’re learning,” says Kint. That means if ethics, for example, are not being discussed in college, there’s less likelihood that students will demonstrate ethical behaviors in their personal and business lives after graduation.

Kint says it’s important to teach ethics to business students for a few reasons. Students will face ethical and legal dilemmas when engaged in the business world, so experience with resolving those conflicts will likely enhance their success. Moreover, “There are those who will fully adopt those standards and be better people because of them.”

“The best teacher is a good example,” says Hawkins. And whether a person is learning about ethics, business or sports, their education does not end after college graduation. “I’ve learned a lot from my partner, my clients and some of my vendors about being ethical,” he says.

While Lansford says he already had a solid, moral grounding due to his upbringing, his studies at the U have solidified his viewpoints on ethical behavior. “I’ve gotten a better understanding of the line in the sand,” he says.

It’s in the curriculum

[Writer lists curriculum from both schools. ]

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Working Hard for the Money

Cole and I spent last week in Las Vegas at the cycling tradeshow, Interbike. My agency is responsible for media registration, the press room, on-floor media center/tv studio and anything else the media requests.

Highlights included:

*Grand Lux Cafe (Love the spicy chicken flatbread sandwich)

*Super sweet room at Planet Hollywood Hotel

*Watching my first cyclecross race (road bikes with knobby tires, racing over hills and hurdles)

*Planning and executing a press conference for Lance Armstrong

*Meeting the more than 500 media folks I have been registering/emailing over the past 4 months

*Shopping in the Miracle Mile and the Premium Outlet Mall

*Paying the slots as we waited for our delayed flights (I only lost $6!)

Lance Armstrong himself!

My personal favorite amenity, the LCD above the bath tub.

Surprise Party

After a long day at work, Cole and I planned to spend the evening of my birthday out to dinner with my parents at Texas Roadhouse. After some tasty steak, my mom insisted on coming by our apartment to see some tables I refinished last month.

Once we got to the apartment, I went to unlock the deadbolt (I am the only one who locks up) and I was surprised the normal jiggle of the key wasn't working. I went to try one more time and I could literally feel someone on the other side "help me out" by turning the lock.

When I walked in, I was surrounded by some of our best friends, tons of streamers and balloons. I got to catch up with friends in our old wards, eat yummy cake, open presents and play Tiger Woods Golf.

Thanks to everyone who helped with food, decorations and coming to see me.

P.S. Thanks to my super cute hubby who hacked into my email account to invite all of my friends. And all the planning and super impressive secret keeping skills. Love ya!

Yours Truly is a Quarter of a Century Part 1

I recently celebrated my 25th birthday (September 19). Lucky for me, work was way too busy for me to think about the ramifications of passing the quarter century mark. I was super spoiled by my co-workers (proof below), dinner with parents and a surprise party with good friends waiting for me when we got home(Next post).

Lindsay bought me a balloon bouquet.

25 packs of gum with all my co-worker's well wishes

Cafe Rio Lunch complete with Oreo pie cake!