Hoda Kotb's Heart Is 'Aching a Little Bit' as She Celebrates Daughter's 1st Birthday From Afar

Happy birthday to Hoda Kotb‘s little girl!

The Today show anchor, 53, who has been working in PyeongChang, South Korea, for the 2018 Winter Olympics, celebrated her daughter Haley Joy‘s first birthday on Valentine’s Day (Tuesday stateside) from afar.

“It’s already Valentine’s Day in South Korea and I am missing my Valentine’s baby! We celebrated little Haley’s bday before I left,” Kotb captioned an Instagram video of her singing “Happy Birthday.”

The mother of one also proudly shared photos of the homemade cake that had “Yay Haley!” written on it with blue frosting.

Kotb told PEOPLE she had another sweet message for her daughter, saying, “Hi little girl!!!! Oh how I love you … Know that I may be far away right now…but my heart is next to yours… where it belongs… It may be YOUR birthday.. but I am the one receiving the gifts I love you Xx Mom.”

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Kotb left for PyeongChang last week and even got a little help from Haley Joy when it came to packing for the big trip.


The journalist and her boyfriend Joel Schiffman, who dated quietly for a couple years before going public in 2015, co-parent Haley Joy, whom they adopted last February. Kotb and Schiffman celebrated their four-year anniversary in June.

RELATED: Hoda Kotb On ‘the Minute’ She Learned She Was a Mom: I Knew My Life ‘Was Changing’

Kotb’s Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie is also at the 2018 Winter Olympics and is missing her kids — daughter Vale, 3, and 14-month-old son Charles — while working abroad.

“I think in this situation with the time change, the 17-hour flight, it just didn’t make sense for the kids. We’d be happy to see them, but I don’t know that they’d be so happy sitting around in a hotel room in the freezing cold,” Guthrie says of why her children and Haley Joy didn’t make the trip to PyeongChang.

“And they’re not old enough to go an enjoy the Olympics. I hope in future Olympics that we’ve got a whole little junior team,” says Guthrie, 46.

RELATED: Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb Host Adorable ‘Ladies Night’ After First Week Co-Anchoring Today

She shares: “I think it depends on the venue and it depends on the kids’ age. I know Hoda and I both thought very seriously about bringing the kids because mostly we just don’t want to be apart from them for two weeks.”

Adding, “That’s the only thing that’s got our hearts aching a little bit.”