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Hoda Kotb Returns to ‘Today With Hoda and Jenna’ and Explains Absence

Hoda Kotb Returns to 'Today With Hoda and Jenna' as She Shares Adorable Video of Daughter Hope
Hoda Kotb with an inset of daughter Hope.Nathan Congleton/NBC; Courtesy of Hoda Kotb/Instagram

Hoda Kotb returned to Today With Hoda and Jenna after taking a one-day break from the NBC morning show.

“I miss you when you’re gone,” Jenna Bush Hager said at the beginning of the show’s Thursday, March 28, episode. After thanking her cohost, Kotb, 59, seemingly explained her absence. “A good friend of ours, who we both love dearly, Laura [Castorino], who does our hair, her mom passed,” she explained.

Kotb went on to call the hairstylist “one of the good eggs,” adding, “She’s kind of mothering everybody.” Bush Hager, 42, agreed before she and Kotb offered their condolences to their friend.

Kotb was not present on the Wednesday, March 27, episode of Hoda and Jenna despite appearing on the first two hours of Today. Sunday Today host Willie Geist filled in to cohost with Bush Hager, though neither addressed why Kotb left ahead of the episode.

Today Anchor Hoda Kotb s Family Album With Daughters Mother Sameha Kotb and Loved Ones Photos 793

Related: 'Today' Anchor Hoda Kotb's Family Album With Daughters and More

On Wednesday, Kotb gave a glimpse into what she did after filming Today via Instagram, posting an adorable video of her daughter Hope, 4, riding a scooter on the streets of New York City while belting “Firework” by Katy Perry.

“This makes me so happy. Little Hopey ❤️ @katyperry,” Kotb captioned the sweet clip, which featured Hope sporting a helmet with a unicorn horn. (The TV host shares Hope and her daughter Haley, 7, with her ex-fiancé Joel Schiffman.)

Earlier this month, Kotb missed a week of the Today show to take a spring break trip with her girls. “Beautiful days … magical nights ❤️❤️❤️,” she captioned an Instagram slideshow of vacation pics on March 21.

Among the sweet snaps was a video of Hope and Haley running up and down the beach. “Run to me!” Kotb yells in the clip, to which Hope informs her to not step on “pricklies” scattered in the sand.

Hoda Kotb Returns to 'Today With Hoda and Jenna' as She Shares Adorable Video of Daughter Hope
Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager during ‘Today’ on March 26, 2024. Nathan Congleton/NBC

Kotb’s week-long hiatus came one year after she took time off after Hope was hospitalized in the ICU for a health scare. “I’m so grateful she’s home … I was waiting for that day to come,” she said upon returning to Today in March 2023. “And we are watching her closely. I’m just so happy.”

Though Kotb has not shared specifics of Hope’s health condition, she told People earlier this month that she doesn’t want her struggles to define her. “It’s really tricky, because I don’t want Hope to get labeled,” she stated. “She’s a kid who is so vibrant, and most days everything is totally fine. I don’t want people to look at her differently.”

Kotb went on to note that she doesn’t like to place her worries about Hope’s health on her daughter. “Even just always saying, ‘How are you feeling? You feeling good today, honey?’ is saying, ‘I’m worried,’ because you’re not saying that about your other child,” she explained. “I’ll be discussing how it’s going with the nanny, the nurse, whoever, and if she’s there, she’s like, ‘Am I OK?’ I’m trying so hard to let her be a kid and not have all of the grown-up worries.”

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