Hoda Kotb may be thousands of miles away from her daughter covering the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, for NBC, but that’s not stopping her from celebrating Haley Joy’s first birthday. The Today anchor shared incredibly sweet photos and videos celebrating Haley’s big day on social media this week, as she revealed that the family commemorated the milestone before she left for PyeongChang last week.
Hoda kicked off the celebration on Instagram by sharing an adorable video of the Kotb family singing “Happy Birthday” to Haley, who turns one on Valentine’s Day.
Posting about her daughter’s big day on Korean time, which is 14 hours ahead of New York, Kotb then gushed about her daughter, who she adopted last year, in the caption.
“It’s already Valentine’s Day in South Korea and I am missing my Valentine’s baby!” the anchor wrote alongside the adorable birthday video, confirming to fans that she and her family celebrated before she left for the Olympics.
“Admittedly I could have been a bit better [with] camera placement,” she then joked of the clip, which showed Haley sitting in her high-chair as her mom presented her with a cake – which appeared to have been baked and decorated by Hoda herself.
Kotb then followed up her initial video by posting a few photos from their celebration a few days ago, including a close up of the cake and two sweet family photos of her holding her daughter as she tried to taste the dessert.
Fans then left hundreds of sweet messages for the mom of one in the comments section, gushing about her now one-year-old daughter.
“Dang! Time flies!! No way! Happy Birthday, Baby girl!” wrote one fan after seeing the clip and various photos of Haley turning one a few days early. “So happy for you and your momma! I just adore you, Hoda!”
“Aweee. Happy Birthday Beautiful loved baby,” another told the Today anchor in the comments. “You have brightened your mom & dad’s life, as well as so many others.”
Hoda’s peek into her very first birthday celebration for Haley came shortly after she and co-host Savannah Guthrie opened up about the difficulties of being away from their children while covering the Winter Olympics in Asia, as Kotb shared a video of her daughter helping her pack for her trip on February 9.
Hoda revealed that, despite missing Haley’s first birthday as she was away for work, she was making the most of her time at the Winter Olympics and has been focusing on her job.
“I think if you feel at all depressed, or turned off by what’s happening in your life… all you have to do is look into the eyes of a 17-year-old kid who just made history, or whose life changed, or who achieved a dream, because he worked so hard,” Hoda told Entertainment Tonight when asked about the difficulties of being thousands of miles away from home.
“Or a young lady who was scared before she hit the ice and she finally had all this confidence up,” Hoda continued. “It just makes you believe in things that are good and right and joyful.”
Kotb – who was announced as Matt Lauer’s permanent Today replacement back in January – confirmed on the NBC morning program back in February 2017 that she had officially adopted Haley with boyfriend Joel Schiffman.
“That little girl, Haley Joy — I’m crying — is my daughter,” Kotb said of her decision to become a mom one year ago, per CNN. “I adopted her, and you can hear her, that’s her crying. She’s a Valentine’s baby. She’s a little nugget. She is the love of my life.”