Celebrating Fifty One

McDonald's, Houseful Of Nicholes, Birthday

On Saturday, my mommy turned 51 years old, and celebrated at McDonald’s. Yes. 51. Yes McDonald’s.

She looks great. Since I know that I’m cute, I realize that I will grow to be even cuter, because of this lady.

My dad informed me about a month ago that he was going to have her birthday party at McDonald’s. Yes. You read that right, a McDonald’s birthday party.

Ladies, and gentlemen, if you’re reading this, you’re probably having the same thoughts that I did. RED ALERT MAN! YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG! But my dad (affectionately known as Poppy by the collective) stood firm in his decision to host a 51st birthday party for his wife of 30+ years at McDonald’s. Oh, I tried, and tried to get him to change the venue, but he stood firm. And because I’m a daddy’s girl, I stood firm in my support of him – and dared anyone to say otherwise.

On the day of her birthday party, we found out why.

My parents are empty nesters. They take little date nights here and there, and for lunch one day, they happened to stop in a local McDonald’s that was just built a little ways from our house. It’s “cute” for lack of a word at the moment. It doesn’t have a large dining area because of its location, but had enough for several people to gather. It was in this McDonald’s that my mom informed my dad that she could see herself hosting a birthday gathering there. Like, there. IN a McDonald’s. You know, the place usually reserved for kids who go gaga over the fries and toys in the Happy Meals? A McDonald’s. Full of reds and yellows, and burgers and fries. Yet also full of simplicity, and no atmosphere of NEEDING to impress others. You come, you sit, you eat, you laugh, you go home.

That’s what we accomplished on Saturday. I don’t think that I’ve seen my mom smile this much in a very long time. She was surrounded by friends and family, and the Sherlock Holmes of our family suspected NOTHING! I mean, it’s hard to surprise her. Really, really hard to surprise her.

But to see this look on her face when she walked through the door, was priceless.

McDonald's, Houseful Of NicholesBecause she had truly been bamboozled. My dad had me create a red herring invitation to give to her stating that she would be going to Weber Grill. This is important, because she has duly noted to all of our household that she doesn’t want to see Weber Grill for a good while (I think it has something to do with my father’s love of it) and my dad REFUSED to go to Famous Dave’s (my mother’s love.) So essentially, the invitation was meant to make her grumble a little bit.

Before heading there, my dad said that he wanted her to come inside so that he could grab something quick to eat. She came in, and that’s the photo that captured her when she saw everyone waiting for her. She was happy, and that made me happy.

McDonald's, Houseful Of Nicholes

Then the hugs started. Lil’ Miss Twizzler had her arms open wide to welcome Mor Mor to her birthday party and begin the festivities.

Houseful Of Nicholes. McDonald's , Fries

Sir Twizzler really came for the fries.

McDonald's, Houseful Of NIcholesMy mom and dad. High School Sweethearts. They’ve been through a lot, but they let me know that with God and a GREAT support system, marriage is well worth the rollercoaster ride.

McDonald's, Chicken McNuggets, Houseful Of NicholesI think that I should get some sort of compensation for all of these promotional McDonald’s shots. I mean, look at the cute kids!

McDonald's, Houseful Of Nicholes, Birthday PartyThe staff was phenomenal. In the background, you can see the store manager, Debbie holding my mother’s cake. She was a pleasure to work with, and didn’t make us feel like we were a big traveling circus having an adult birthday party in her restaurant.

McDonald's Happy Meal, Houseful Of Nicholes, McNuggetsThe ladybug enjoying her McNugget Happy Meal

McDonald's, Houseful of Nicholes, Mor Mor,

Mor Mor and the collective Houseful. I would like to direct special attention to the way that Lil Miss is posing. Seriously, who taught her that? My babies are growing up. It makes me a little bit sad.

McDonald's, Houseful Of NicholesThe cellist had her to himself for an entire 8 years before other grands started showing up. The bond is pretty strong.

McDonald's, Houseful Of NicholesNOT FIGHTING!!!

McDonald's, Houseful of NicholesMy oldest brother (and let me clear the air, that *I* am the oldest, he’s just the oldest boy) drove all the way in from New Jersey to surprise her. She was super happy.

McDonald's, Houseful Of NicholesMy sister in law (married to my baby brother) and Mor Mor.

McDonald's, Houseful Of NicholesBest friends since high school. This lady is the reason I hate bologna sandwiches. Apparently, she brought my mother one everyday while she was pregnant with me, and that’s all she wrote.

McDonald's, Houseful Of NicholesMy mom with the most handsome man this side of heaven. I almost had a paparazzi moment here. I mean…oh…my apologies.

McDonald's, Houseful Of NicholesMy mom and paternal grandmother. Let me just put it out there. Getting this woman to WILLINGLY take a photo AND look STRAIGHT into the camera while SMILING is nothing short of a miracle. She hasn’t liked taking pictures for as long as I’ve known her and this makes me happy.

McDonald's, Houseful Of Nicholes

The cellist, his grandmother, and great-grandmother.

McDonald's, Houseful Of NicholesMor Mor with all but one grandchild. That’s the nephew that can be seen HERE swinging on a tire.

McDonald's, Houseful Of Nicholes

And a photo op that I normally don’t get to have since I’m always behind the camera, my mommy and me.

McDonald's, Houseful Of NicholesLast, but not least, the entire clan (minus my baby brother who had to work.) We’re all busy, we’re all adults now (it happened so fast) yet I’m pretty happy to know that we’re solid. There’s nothing fake about this photo, and I can say with great assurance that everyone here has the back of everyone here. Did I lose ya?

Anyhoo, she got loads of gifts, loads of laughs, and loads of hugs from her guests. My daddy did a wonderful job, and I’m proud of him.

There are other photos, but they are of friends and colleagues of my mom and dad, and I don’t feel comfortable putting them on the blog without consent. Also a housekeeping note, this is NOT a sponsored post, and not a post open to criticizing people who happen to like McDonald’s. I’ll be open to the picket lines later. 🙂 Have a great day!


  1. Monica H. says:

    Natasha, happy birthday to your Mom!!!!! And 51??!!?? What the what! She looks MAYBE 35!!!! And your Dad looks young too!!!! You betta’ grab hold of those genes and don’t let go!!!!!

    • Natasha Nicholes says:

      I think that I have it good on both ends. My granny (my dad’s mom) is looking pretty darn good for 82. She’s a firecracker! My mom is ALWAYS getting mistaken for my sister. ALWAYS. I don’t even correct people anymore. What’s even more hilarious is people automatically default to her when we’re out with my children. *giggle*

  2. Arelis Cintron says:

    What a lovely time! It looks like you guys had a blast and who would ever think to have a party for adults at McDonalds! Glad your mom was surprised! Yes McDonald’s should pay you lol

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