Courtesy of Hoda Kotb
"Sunday is going to be great. Monday is going to be even better," Savannah Guthrie said Friday morning on the Today show plaza. "Because Hoda is coming back from maternity leave on Monday morning!" After a nine-week break to be with newly adopted daughter Haley Joy, Hoda Kotb will return to co-hosting the fourth hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford. And everyone is putting on their waterproof mascara while talking about it!
"When I look at her I see forever. I see past me," the new mother said through tears on a pre-recorded segment for Friday's episode. "I want her to know that she is loved by me, by my family, and by everyone who's held her."
Hoda has made a number of tear-inducing phone calls into the show over the past two months. Most notably, Hoda made a call in February to make a formal announcement for Haley Joy's arrival, which surprised most of the hosts on the show. "She's the love of my life," Hoda said on the phone to a roundtable of anchors and hosts who were noticeably surprised by a photo of her holding her new baby girl.
"This little girl, Haley is the luckiest girl on the planet," Matt Lauer said in response. "You are going to be one of the most fantastic moms I can ever imagine."
Kathie Lee, who knew about Haley Joy prior to the birth announcement, shared her excitement at the end of Friday's show. "We are very very excited to say Ms. Hoda Mama will be back with us when? MONDAY!"
Everyone from Today has shown their love for Hoda and Haley Joy during the past few months. "We've been taking our turns," said Matt. "We've been going over to her apartment to meet her new daughter, Haley Joy, and it is pretty clear that Hoda is kind of happy."
Hoda has posted a plethora of adorable photos showcasing friendly visits and baby gifts from her crew. "I don't know she's going to know what to with all the love," Hoda said through tears.
Savannah, who said Hoda is happy beyond words, tweeted this right after Friday's show. "Hurry @hodakotb - can't wait!" In addition, Jenna Bush Hager, who has been one of the many guests hosts for Hoda while she was away tweeted, "@hodakotb, know it will be hard to leave the babe, but we have missed you dearly. Tears will be had by all!"
Hoda won't only be returning to the show on Monday, but she will be joining Today's "new mommy club." Dylan Dreyer was out earlier this year after giving birth to her first child, son Calvin, in December. And Savannah was also out while welcoming her second child, son Charles, in December, too. With all these happy tears flowing, Matt joked he will be out buying tissues this weekend.
Welcome back, Hoda!
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)