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Lighten Up #47: This Is 40

Here’s a special “this is 40” episode of Lighten Up. That’s right, I’m turning 40 this week and can’t think of a better person to process this milestone with than my bestie Chantel Adams. Chantel is the owner of Forever We, which connect kids with a story with families who care, and we try to cover everything about aging — weird growths on your skin, our perceptions of getting old, my midlife crisis, our favorite things about getting older, lessons we’ve learned, my husband’s month of gifts he’s giving me, and a fun game of growing older word associations. My favorite quote from the show is when Chantel said, “For some reason, Melanie tends to bring out the worst in me.” I get that a lot.

I say on here that I’m excited to be 40, and it’s absolutely true, but I need to be honest with you guys and admit that I totally fell apart last week. Full snot all over everything and babbling incoherently about how I just got married after college and never had that thing like on TV when 20somethings go out for brunch or happy hour and make irresponsible choices. My husband handed my tissues and patted my leg supportively while I pooped all over our life together, and now I feel slightly better. So turning 40 is apparently bringing out all kinds of emotions.

Download Episode

Links from the Show:

40 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years

Firefly: A Celebration

The Color Purple


These are the credit card thin bifocals that fit in your wallet: Thin Optics Glasses!!!

Voltaire game

Alex and me at my 80s-themed THIRTIETH birthday party:


My boobs were positively breathtaking because I was nursing Elliott. In the last decade they’ve settled somewhere around my waist.

Check out Chantel’s organization Forever We:

Forever We connects kids with a story and families that care by combining physical play with a meaningful generosity experience. We engage kids in a conversation that helps them understand what’s happening in their own lives and in the lives of the people around them. Our hand-crafted doll and accompanying book promote community and friendship by validating the real issues kids are experiencing in the world today. We are intentional with the details, including features that affirm the child’s journey, inspire adventure, and promote continued advocacy. Our message is, “We are with you.” Currently, we offer a huggable companion that represents the experience of kids with cancer. New designs and stories releasing Summer 2018. Visit for more information.

Guys, we have fantastic people coming up on the show. Amena Brown and I talk about our favorite albums and awkward relationships, Chewbacca Mom Candace Payne and I talk Star Wars and laughter, and next week I have a special Halloweenie episode with my friend Kendall Ashley who writes for places like Nerdist and Geek and Sundry. So get thee to the SUBSCRIBE button so you don’t miss an episode and hey, lighten up!

How to Leave a Review:

If you enjoyed this conversation, would you jump over to iTunes and leave a quick review? This will help other people find the show. Now, I have to admit that I’m so technically challenged that I struggled to even figure out how to leave a review. You are smarter than I am, but just in case you, too, aren’t sure how to do that, here’s a quick tutorial on Leaving a Review on iTunes:

  1. Go to the Lighten Up iTunes preview page.
  2. Click “view in iTunes,” which will launch iTunes.
  3. Click the “ratings and reviews” tab. (You can also click the “subscribe” button while you’re there, heh heh.)
  4. Select a star rating, then write a quick review.
  5. It might take awhile for it to show up in iTunes, but please give yourself a hug from me.


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