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Compensation was provided by McDonald’s via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of McDonald’s. I can’t believe I’m 41 years old already.  I feel young.  I’m living young and find enjoyment in simple moments.  Life has changed so much over the years and change is a good thing.  I embrace it and I’ve evolved, but who I am will always be tied to who I was years ago.  We all have a history that shapes our future.  I’ve always enjoyed a spontaneous get-together with friends and family.  I’ve become much more sentimental over the years.  I love to reminisce about life and visit places I frequented as a child. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES Today, when a friend invited me out for coffee, we headed over to McDonald’s. I got a Happy Meal to take home, a Premium Southwest Salad to eat there, and I topped it off with a Frappe Mocha to-go!   I was able to cater to the all-grown-up-me and my inner child!  I’m still making memories. McDonalds Lunch #ad It felt like I was traveling through time.  I even started to cry happy tears.  Years ago, when I was about ten-years-old, a grandfather-like neighbor used to take me to church every Sunday.  After the service, he always bought me a Happy Meal from McDonald’s.  It was our tradition.  To this day, whenever I get one for my kids, I remember him and how much I enjoyed our Sundays.  McDonald’s was the perfect place to catch up with my friend, Crystal. McDonalds Memories - Birthdays #Ad My oldest son, Antonio, tagged along and snapped some pictures to add to my digital memory book.  When I placed my order, I offered to get Antonio something but he declined.  A few minutes later, I noticed an order of Chicken McNuggets on the table! So I got emotional again because he paid for those Chicken McNuggets with his own money.  I’ve gone from a little girl begging for a Happy Meal, to a High School student grabbing an afternoon munch with friends, to a mom with a teen and four younger children.  So much has changed.  I get so much enjoyment from taking my own children to a fun place I used to go to when I was a child.  There’s also the added bonus that I can afford it! With five children with healthy appetites and very different taste, even eating out can get complicated.  McDonald’s is a place I can afford and still please all of the children and even dad. McDonald's Birthday Salad #ad While I was eating my salad and chatting with Crystal, I thought about some other good life memories that McDonald’s is a part of; Road Trips!  As a child, whenever my family took long road trips, I always searched for the Golden Arches.  Even when a rest stop was near, I always declined the offer to stop, and I held out for those soon-to-be-seen arches. I couldn’t wait to get a Happy Meal and climb in the awesome Play Areas! The last road trip I took my children on, they did the same! I caught them and I couldn’t stop laughing. I really love my Birthday.  I try to enjoy it as much as possible.  It’s my way of living appreciation for the life I have and the people I have in it.  I don’t want to waste one moment.  There’s so much to be happy about.  Thanks for growing up with me, McDonald’s! It’s quite the journey we’re on. Did you grow up with McDonalds, too? Be sure to follow them on Twitter and Like them on Facebook. Disclosure: Compensation was provided by McDonald’s via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of McDonald’s. By: Alicia Gonzalez