Savannah Guthrie returned to her co-anchor seat beside Matt Lauer on the "Today" show for the first time this year to report the news. Even though she and meteorologist Dylan Dreyer have been on maternity leave since December 2016, they returned on January 2 for Lauer's 20th anniversary celebration. At the time, Katie Couric was sitting in for Savannah.

Why anchor returned early

The anchor was not scheduled to return until Friday, March 3, but she returned earlier than initially planned because of a busy schedule for this week's show. Former President George W.

Bush was on the show Monday, February 27 to discuss his new book, and Savannah wanted to be there for that exclusive interview. During the interview with Guthrie and Lauer, President Bush discussed his painting project, “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors.”

Savannah's update

It was natural for the 45-year-old mother to share what has been going on with her growing family since she has been on maternity leave. On Monday's show, she showed photos and home videos of her newborn son, Charley, and her two-year-old daughter Vale. She described being with her children as such a lovely and magical time.

Guest hosts

A number of guest hosts filled in for Guthrie during her absence.

Former anchors Katie Couric and Meredith Viera each replaced Savannah for an entire week. Other guests included journalist and sportscaster Bryant Gumble, NBC and MSNBC journalist Sheinelle Jones and "NBC Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt.

Savannah tweeted her excitement for being back with her “Today” family even though she missed being with her children.

She posted a precious note she had left them saying she was missing them already.

Savannah's fans and longtime viewers of the "Today" show are glad she has returned. The news was reported and everything went well in her absence, but there is just something about having the same co-anchor with Lauer every morning. Even though Lauer and the guest co-hosts got their jobs done, the chemistry between Matt and Savannah is something special that viewers like.