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‘Southern Charm’: Shepwrecked. 

Chelsea is at the center of the Shepwreck.

Shew! I made it back from a fantastic trip to Las Vegas – I’m writing this from my bed at 11pm, having just gotten home and showered.

Naturally, one of the first things I’m doing upon arrival is watching tonight’s (last night’s if you’re reading this on Tuesday) episode of “Southern Charm”.

Polo match. Austin picks up Chelsea. He asks her if there’s anything going on between her and Shep. She says they made out but he’s an idiot (huh?).

At the match, everyone thinks it’s a little awkward seeing Austin and Chelsea on a date. Agreed.

T-Rav’s kids are there and Craig gets offended when he doesn’t give the children proper attention. Craig then proceeds to tell everyone that he’s leaving because Thomas “ignores his kids”.

The next day, Shep is realizing his 37th birthday is in a few days. He asks Whitney if Chelsea was at the polo match. Whitney confirms that Shep indeed has competition.

Meanwhile, Austin has already made drink plans with Chelsea and he’s telling a friend maybe he did break Bro Code. The friend says no, that Shep isn’t the guy that’s likely to care. Yikes.

On the date, Austin and Chelsea are having some pretty serious conversation – from having kids to one-night stands. She seems to be getting pretty drunk, and Austin suggests they go back to his place. The scene cuts before she answers, but it shows Shep calling her the next morning asking if they can meet up soon – she agrees.

Shep also called Landon to invite her to his birthday party… So that should be interesting.

Later, Naomi and Cameron go to get their nails done and Naomi confesses that she feels like it’s her fault Craig hasn’t taken the bar exam because she has created a safe space at home where he doesn’t have to talk about difficult things, such as why he hasn’t taken the exam yet. Cameron thinks Naomi will leave soon if Craig doesn’t get his act together.

Shep visit Chelsea at her work – a hair salon – and she cuts his hair. He asks her about Austin, and although she’s coy about it, Shep can tell something is up between them.

For his birthday, the gang joins a bunch of Shep’s friends on a boat that Whitney dubs the “SS Tart” – which literally made me laugh out loud.

Cameron grills Chelsea about her feelings for Shep vs. Austin – and she says she felt more emotion when she kissed Austin. She says she can’t get over how much of a player Shep is. Fair enough.

Cameron tells Shep what the deal is and he says he knows Chelsea’s hesitation is because of his reputation as the “town bicycle” – LOLZ. Although he denies his status, he proceeds to flirt with every girl on the boat except Chelsea. So, looks like she was right.

Meanwhile, Whitney and T-Rav are talking about Landon, and T-Rav admits he likes her body. They call Landon over and she says, yes she is attracted to Thomas, because they like a lot of the same things, but it’s all of the baby mama drama that turns her off.

But perhaps from that little snippet in the first episode, she will get over it and they will date. Only time will tell!

‘Southern Charm’: Step and Release.

Geez, I love this show.

I started last night by watching part three of the “Vanderpump Rules” reunion, so that was juicy, and then settled in for another episode of “Southern Charm”.

It kicks off with Cameron hitting the gym, saying she’s taking charge of her health after living off “gas station food”, which makes me even more jealous of her. Chelsea joins the training session and says Shep stayed over, but they didn’t have sex. Not buying it.

Later, Craig and Landon meet for lunch where he says he’s helping Naomi put on a charity event, but shocker – he has no clue what he’s doing and hasn’t done much. Craig and Landon bond over how much they both hate Shep.

Meanwhile, Naomi is at Shep’s to pick up a donation and apparently have a glass of wine… hmm…

Later, Catherine shows up to meet with a modeling agent. While her pictures from the past are quite stunning, her agent gives her a reality check: she’s older, and well, doesn’t present as well in person. She suggests perhaps modeling with her children for family shoots – but because of her past, her visitations must be supervised. So, we’ll see.

Then, Landon heads over to T-Rav’s house for a cocktail, and he tells her he wants her help putting on a polo match for charity. He says he also wanted to reach out since he hadn’t in awhile. She seems really excited about both of these things, and we alllll know the relationship wheels are turning.

T-Rav, Austen (Austin?), and Shep head out for a guys’ night, which doesn’t happen without a little Landon bashing. They move on to a separate bar and proceed to have shot after shot, and Shep runs off with a random chick, who then actually turns him down for T-Rav! What!?

Despite his little efforts, Craig pulls off his part of the charity event and Naomi is happy, for now – I’ll still be shocked if they stay together this entire season. At the event, Landon is telling her friend that she doesn’t think her boyfriend has a “real job” because he sent her a picture of a fish he caught. Umm, ok? What’s your job, Landon?

Also at the event, Chelsea and Austen get to talking…flirting heavily, and he says they should go to the polo match together. She agrees, and gives him her number. Uh, WHAT?

Then, of course the episode is over and in the previews for next week, it looks like things get REAL awkward after they have their date.

Well, I’ll be there to watch it all go down and will report back!

Goodbye, to you.

The pier at Folly Beach, South Carolina.

The pier at Folly Beach, South Carolina.

On Tuesday, my mom delivered the news to me that a dear family friend of ours had less than a 10 percent chance of surviving.

I wept behind the closed door of my office. This was not just any person – it was Cheryl, my mom’s best friend, a woman she’d known for 34 years, and someone who had influenced my life in many great ways. I wept for my mom, for Cheryl’s daughter, for her husband, for her family, her coworkers, and for anyone who’d ever knew her – even if just for a short moment.

Cheryl was a ray of light in the darkness – she always found a way to laugh at pretty much any situation, which is a trait I’ve always admired. I can recall so many fun times with Cheryl and her daughter, Sarah – times I will cherish for the rest of my life.

I know Cheryl meant so much to my mom, and to her family. To me, Cheryl was South Carolina sweet grass. She took her daughter and I on a rode trip one summer, from the middle of Indiana to the shores of South Carolina, where we stayed, for what seemed like a month.

It was my first time really discovering a new culture – we went to the market, bought handmade jewelry, tried homemade ice cream, walked cobblestone streets leading to plantation homes, and chased crabs in the sands of Folly Beach. It was heaven.

I’d nearly forgotten that Cheryl and Sarah had also joined my mom, dad, and I for a trip to Disney World when I was 10. Sarah and I met as many of the Disney characters as possible, having them all autograph pages in little journals we kept.

Although Cheryl divorced from Sarah’s father when we were very young, later she rekindled with a high school sweetheart whom she married and he became an integral part of the family. I always admired their love story – it was a fairytale.

But the entire time, Cheryl was battling Crohn’s Disease, which affects the digestive tract. The cause of Crohn’s is unknown, and even determining if you have it can be a complicated process. There is also no cure.

Personally, I know very little about Crohn’s, and have only known two people who’ve had it, including Cheryl. I know it affects each person differently, and I know I often forgot that Cheryl was fighting the symptoms of her illness.

But Crohn’s is eventually what took her body from this earth too soon – a move I know she didn’t let happen without a hard fight.

Yesterday, her body was laid to rest in its final place, and my mom was able to say her goodbyes to her dear friend. I couldn’t make it to Indiana for the funeral, which I feel terrible about, but I’ve already had a few talks with Cheryl’s spirit and I hope she understands.

I plan to honor Cheryl in a few ways, aside from just daily “What’s ups” and singing along to some John Mellencamp (she LOVED him). I have registered as a team to do the “Take Steps for Crohn’s” event in Austin at the end of May, so if you’re in the area and would like to join my team – Cheryl’s Southern Belles – or donate to my personal goal of $500, I would really love that.

I have also set up a GoFundMe campaign for Cheryl’s immediate family, as they are stressed about covering the costs of her funeral and her remaining medical bills. Although she had insurance, we all know that isn’t going to cover everything.

I am offering homemade baked goods and free blogging and Twitter courses for the higher donors, but if you would like to donate any amount, or share the link, it would be greatly appreciated.

I know the next few months will be emotional, and that we all deal with loss in our own ways. I wish my mom peace, and I hope everyone that loved Cheryl finds comfort in the fact that she touched so many lives and that we are all better people because of her.

Life goes on, long after the thrill of livin’ is gone.” -John Mellencamp, Jack and Diane