Last night I had the opportunity to co-host the White Rock Youth Ambassador Pageant with Bob Davidson, a distinguished toastmaster and husband to White Rock mayor Catherine Ferguson.

The theme of the evening was “news,” which, as a journalist, I had a lot of fun playing with. The 10 candidates performed a dance number to a song from the film Newsies, and I sported (at one point) an outfit that I thought was the epitome of journalism cool: A tan trench coat, a fedora and an eight dollar cigar, (which was only three-quarters of a cigar by the end of the show due to my over-zealous cigar-chomping skills, or lack thereof).

It was my first time emceeing the gala, but what made the night special was that my sister, @ChloeWoodin, was the outgoing Miss White Rock. Our family has been a pageant family for quite some time now, but my sister and I have seldom shared a stage at the same.

Three years ago, I was crowned Miss White Rock 2008, and spent the most wonderful year with my White Rock Youth Ambassador team. In 2009, I crowned a fellow high school band student and friend as the new queen of White Rock. A year later, she crowned my sister.

Last night, Chloe crowned her successor, officially ending the Woodin sisters’ days as royal ambassadors… At least for the time being. From August 2008 to July 29, 2011, one of us has worn a tiara to city functions, fundraisers and other community pageants, (apart from a couple of weeks in August 2009). There was a short period when we were both ambassadors: She was Miss White Rock, and I was a British Columbia Ambassador.

Besides that, our reigns have been separate. And in a sense, I’m glad they were. We have each had our moments in the spotlight, and had we ever reigned together, neither of us would have grown as much.

Last night was a night to remember, and I am so very proud of her and what she and her team have accomplished this year.

I should also thank my co-host Bob, who let me announce the new Miss White Rock (which was the best part).

Congratulations to Alexandra Barberis, the new queen, and her team. And to the retired sparkleheads…

“Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait. The grip of your hang, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas,” Henry Ford.

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@HayleyWoodin

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I’ve been wanting to blog for several weeks, but really haven’t had much time. And on the days where I have had an hour or five to spare, I just simply never thought to write. (How journalistic of me…)

The truth is, when I touched down in Vancouver after an exciting couple of weeks in Wainwright, I was raring to continue to write and produce stories, to read news and to tackle my big long list of journalism-related goals.

But to be frank, life here just isn’t anywhere near as exciting, and my energy soon dissolved into a missing-the-military funk.

And then I saw this Buddha quote: “Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life.” (That is a complete lie. I just found this on wisdomquotes.com. But I really should have seen this quote.)

Anyways, I decided to let things happen, and happen they did. Here is a big long update on everything I have been doing since my last post.

I tweeted not too long ago about my new job: I am a sales associate with a development company called Genex, pre-selling units in a South Surrey apartment building called Gemini. It’s a fantastic job with great hours, and it’s a good opportunity to learn a little about real estate, the market and the process that takes place from construction to home ownership.

At the end of May, I played my first round of golf. I also tweeted about this (see, I’ve at least made a small effort to remain in the social media loop) and about how ridiculously unprepared I was.

I had volunteered to golf for a Kwantlen Eagles’ golf club fundraiser, and was in the only student foursome there. I was grouped with three male golfers, all of whom had their own clubs, and was one of the few women actually golfing. I also wore a dress and cute pink-snakeskin flats because I was under the impression that golf was a classy affair.

Long story short, it rained, my hair was disgusting, and so were my cold grassy feet. But I had a great time, and outshot some of the guys on occasion. Unfortunately, everyone now knows me as the girl who wore the girly shoes.

More recently, I went to see Bruno Mars in concert. He was absolutely phenomenal, and I swear he was singing directly to me the entire time. Janelle Monae was one of the opening acts, and she was very entertaining as well.

Even more recently, I was fortunate enough to receive one of Surrey’s Top 25 under 25 awards through the Surrey Board of Trade. I knew five of the other recipients, and it was nice to see some of my peers be recognized for their achievements in the community.

This past weekend, I attended a Miss White Rock reunion, which was organized by my sister, and current Miss White Rock, @ChloeWoodin and her team of ambassadors. The pageant has been running for over 50 years, and has drastically changed since its days as a beauty competition.

It was nice to meet some of the women from years ago, and swap experiences. The current ambassadors are compiling a scrapbook of all of the years, which I’ve heard may eventually find a home in the soon-to-be newly renovated White Rock Museum.

These have been the highlights of my summer thus far, and I’m sure there will be more to come.

However, I will not vow to blog as they happen, or to update you any more than I have been, because, as Mark Twain always says, “to promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing.”

Gotta love quote sites.

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@HayleyWoodin

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This weekend was my last pageant as a B.C. Ambassador: in seven days I will be passing on my crown and banner to another deserving individual.

On Friday, I travelled to Penticton with the newly crowned White Rock youth ambassadors and Miss White Rock 2010/2011, my sister, @ChloeWoodin.

My mom chaperoned us, and we met up with my other two ambassadors in the city of peaches and beaches.

The gala was lovely, and the 14 Miss Penticton candidates all did a great job. As usual, the visiting royalty had the opportunity to bring their greetings on stage.

Saturday morning we rode in the Peachfest parade, and spent the afternoon mini-golfing and go-karting before attending the royalty ball that evening.

This weekend was special not only because my sister and I both got to go to a pageant together as sparkleheads, but also because the Penticton pageant was my first out-of-town experience as Miss White Rock 2008, and my last as a B.C. Ambassador.

It has been a full two years, coming full circle. And although I will miss being an ambassador, I am looking forward to temporarily retiring from the public eye.

Final stop, Merritt on Wednesday, the beginning of the end.

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@HayleyWoodin

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After spending countless weekends away visiting other communities in B.C., I got to welcome visiting royalty from all across the province to my home town.

The Miss White Rock pageant and White Rock Youth Ambassador gala was held on Friday, kicking off White Rock’s Spirit of the Sea festivities held annually on the August long weekend.

It was an emotional night, partially because I know the retiring ambassador team very well as I’ve travelled and attended local events with them for the past year.

But the excitement, anxiety and joy I felt was mostly due to the fact that my sister @ChloeWoodin was competing.

And boy did she compete.

She cleaned up all of the program’s awards except for the talent award, winning the public speaking, essay, community quiz and fashion show components as well as the Committee Award.

Even though we (my family and I) knew all along she would win, it was nice to know it officially.

The rest of the weekend happened quickly. All of the sparkleheads attended the dance after the pageant, went down to the beach Saturday morning to check out the vendors and free concerts, and rode in the Torchlight Parade that evening.

I rode in a 1964 Ford convertible Mustang, red of course, with my fellow B.C. Ambassadors.

Like I said, this weekend has been a bit of a blur, but an unforgettable experience nonetheless.

And for the first time in history, two sisters have both won the title of Miss White Rock.

This is only the beginning.

So watch out world, here come the Woodins…

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@HayleyWoodin

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