After two months of maternity leave, Hoda Kotb is slated to return to the "Today" show on Monday, April 17, and as E! News reminds us, viewers couldn't be happier to welcome her back.
The NBC co-host, who recently moved in with her boyfriend, Joel Schiffman, surprised fans when she announced in February that she'd adopted a daughter. Almost immediately, her social media accounts blew up with happy wishes and congratulations.
"I knew everybody would explode with joy the way they have," Kathie Lee Gifford said on "Today" at the time. "You know why Hoda?" she asked. "Because you're beloved. Everybody loves you. You have so much to give other people and we're so happy to see something so wonderful happen for you because you deserve it."
If Hoda's got a loving fan base, E! Notes, it's at least partly because of her onscreen friendship with Kathie Lee. The co-hosts team up regularly for segments like "Ambush Makeovers," "Who Knew?!" and "Spanky Tuesday," all of which give them a stage to share their shared positive spirits and tight friendship with viewers.
"I told you this before, but I cannot believe the path my life took after our lives intersected," Hoda told Kathie Lee when she called in from her leave in honor of the pair's ninth anniversary on the air together.
Kathie Lee was emotional, too, telling her pal: "You've changed mine, too, Hoda. Honestly, I have been blessed in my life two times to work with the most extraordinary people in the world and it just keeps getting better, and I love you and come home to us soon, OK, baby?"
As her return date approaches, Hoda's enjoying her last few days at home with her daughter, Haley Joy, who joined Hoda at a tea with friends and family on Saturday, April 15. (According to Hoda's Twitter, she slept right through the get-together.)
"I just picture her sailing through the sky," she told E! Back in February, explaining why she named her daughter in after Halley's Comet. As for her middle name? "She brings us joy," Hoda said. "She's got a beautiful way about her."