“Call out the Mommies”

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! Everyone has one.

No one would be here without a mommy!

Remember your mom this Mother’s Day and thank her!

An original song performed live by Susan LaVelle and Matt Dorland.

Of course, not everyone has had a great experience in childhood. Some mommies don’t live up to our expectations. Some fail the expectations that we have a right to expect, as children. However, it still must be said that if you were born and are alive, a woman went through the whole entire 9-month process of bearing you, then giving birth to you with the physical duress that comes with childbirth. That is just by itself, an amazing feat of selflessness.

Very few of us have only that act to thank our mothers for, but even so, just that act shows a terrific commitment of a woman’s time, health, and effort.

This mother’s perspective:

I am a mom and wrote the lyrics of this song when my kids were all between the ages of about 12 and 6. I knew how much work it was myself, with four kids of my own. But I also knew other moms that didn’t have the support of a good dad to help them. Aside from the actual effort and labor of bearing and giving birth, many moms carry that larger load of care for children and also, their aging parents.

These actions are done out of love and actually makes these women into super heroes. Not the characters-of-comic-books type of super heroes, but super heroes of character. Not perfect, but givers, who out of love and the duty of responsible maturity sacrifice their own wishes to meet the needs of those who are dependent upon them. Who but mommies could better define what it means to be a mature adult?

I found this definition of the word, “maturity” : “Maturity is not a matter of age, but instead, of how you choose to respond and react to various life situations. It is essentially a level of mental development or wisdom that has a bearing on all areas of an individual’s life, right from their conduct to their relationship with others.” * The process of motherhood is a crash course in developing this kind of maturity.

The song, “Call Out the Mommies” was written to call out for recognition this frequently overlooked group of women without whom, no one would exist.

When I entered mommy-hood, I had no clue what was ahead of me and might have been scared off if I had, but along with most mommies out there, I feel like my children are the best thing about life. I made my mommie a grandmommie and I know that also was the best part of her life.

Susan LaVelle

Mommies become grammas: Two grammas holding baby in hospital.
Two mommies now grammas: holding grandbaby in the hospital.


“There is freedom waiting for you on the breezes of the sky. And you ask ‘What if I fall?’ Oh but my darling, What if you fly?”

The message on the pillow in Susan’s AirBnB was so pertinent to her life! What a great trip and a great opportunity!

Susan visits NYC!

Performing with Matt

These pictures tell the story of Susan’s visit to NYC pretty well! After landing at LaGuardia from Minneapolis, Susan took a Lyft to her AirBnB on the Upper East Side, walked up the five floors—suitcase in hand—and so began a great week in Manhattan! The next day, Matt had reserved a practice room in the Times Square area. Susan and Matt rehearsed the songs to perform at Mimi’s Italian Restaurant.

That night, they grabbed supper at Mimi’s and met Susan’s friend Jeb, who came out to hear the performance. Lots of good vibes and response for original songs. And when the next day, Matt and Susan went over to Central Park, they climbed the highest hill with the Manhattan skyline in the background to announce the winner of our mug contest. The specially designed mug for the contest—our “Big-Apple. Mini-apple mug”—is for sale in our shop ($16 with free shipping).

Performing in Central Park

Afterwards, in the afternoon, Susan strolled through Central Park by herself and sat down to watch a jazz combo busking. When they took a break, she interacted with the bass player who asked why she was in NYC. At that point, the conversation turned to jazz singing and performance. The bass player chatted with the rest of the band and they decided to invite her to sing with them.

So, fun! Dream come true–performing jazz with a combo in Central Park! And the smiles on the band members faces and those of the people in the crowd told Susan that it went very well. Plus, it just so happened that a retired professional photographer was out shooting in the park that day, so he caught some great pics of the band, asked for Susan’s email, and sent her links to download the pics. More fun! Never expected that this visit of Susan’s to NYC would include a performance in Central Park.

Susan’s great visit to NYC

Lots of good food, great coffee, wine, rides on subways, music, and tens of thousands of steps on her Fitbit! Took in a show of Johnny O’Neal at Arthur’s Tavern. Steaks at Gallaghers. Pretended to be able to afford Ralph Lauren! Lots of fun! The last thing that Susan did on her visit to NYC was to watch Matt perform his sets at Melody’s Piano Bar. That’s where you can catch his weekly performance at Melody’s 1020 Lexington Ave. Easy to get to and great craft cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and a nice atmosphere. If you are in town, be sure to find out when Matt is performing and when you do, let Matt know you are there and that you learned about it here!

Susan’s podcast interview with Sharman Nittoli for “Live Your Bloom” Podcast!

On Spotify podcasts

Sharman is a life-long professional jazz musician and teacher in the NYC–NJ area. As a matter of fact, she has written songs for and recorded by Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, and others. Sharman *currently hosts a program and podcast (Bloomers) to encourage people to “Live Your Bloom.” Accordingly, she encourages the pursuit of new or renewed dreams to make the most out of this life! Sharman describes those dreams as seeds planted and ready to bloom. Podcast length: 22:19

Susan Lives Her Bloom on Sharman Nittoli's Live Your Bloom Podcast Episode 20

“Susan Lives Her Bloom” Episode 20 of Sharman Nittoli’s “Live Your Bloom” Podcast

Here you will find that Susan discusses her new small business and website, “song.wedding” This business’ tagline states “Your story, your song!” and the website Song.wedding promises: “We write beautiful, original, tailored to you, custom wedding songs, with lyrics and music to capture your unique story in song.”

Both Susan and Sharman discuss Matt’s career move to New York and how Just a Touch of Jazz will go forward. Also, a point of the discussion is how these changes impact Susan and her “dream seeds” blooming.” So, what is next? Find out in this podcast!

*Owing to Sharman Nattoli retiring her “Live Your Bloom” podcast and website, “Live Your Bloom” is not currently active. Consequently, Susan has uploaded the podcast audio here to replace the links.