Like most Americans, Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager were back on the job on “Today” this morning, digging into the headlines and helping millions of viewers step back into the reality of the everyday routine. Unlike Al Roker, who was surprised by an unexpected pursuit by a parade participant dressed as a stick of butter during this year's Macy’s celebrations, Kotb and Hager absorbed themselves into quiet times of gratitude with family and friends.

Hoda Kotb did reveal a moment this morning, December 2, during the “Hoda & Jenna” hour, when she and the family let out loud cheers.

The littlest member of the family, Hope Catherine, who joined the family in April, accomplished a milestone that Mommy and everyone who adores her had been waiting to see. Hope responded as if “I do it all the time,” but she gave a joyous triumph to her assembled, adoring clan.

Jenna Bush Hager also has a baby at home, Hal, who shared time with family, too. His mommy shared the blessing of siblings, service, and strong family values embodied by her grandfather, President George H.W. Bush, known and loved as “Gamps” or “Gampy, to her and her daughters. The spirit of Thanksgiving and the blessing of family flowed through both personal offerings.

There she goes

Jenna Bush Hager was buoyant and bubbly, relating that she “became domestic” in hosting her family celebration. The younger sister, Poppy, 4, didn't want her hair brushed for any family portrait, but still looked perfectly lovely. Hoda Kotb gave overflowing praise to a good friend, Colleen, for the “magnificent” turkey. Little did everyone know that baby Hope had a special surprise of her own after the Thanksgiving feast.

A proud Hoda gushed as she pleaded, “just one more time…” presenting the video of her precious second daughter crawling for the first time in the cozy living room.” “No one had seen her crawl yet,” revealed Kotb.

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Two-year-old big sister, Haley Joy, moves aside in the video just in time to see Hope Catherine moving her tiny backside back and forth, revving up to go, and then crawling several feet along the carpet.

The moment was an occasion to jump up and down for mama, and even more sweet was Haley’s enthusiastic applause, as Jenna Bush Hager noted. Kids have a way of making any parent’s day a holiday.

Always remembered

In her actions, books, words, and parenting, Jenna Bush Hager often pays tribute to the values instilled through her family's legacy.

She used the plates and dishes handed down from her grandmother at her Thanksgiving table, enhanced by the talents of a florist friend.

Her two girls seemed to already reflect an awareness of what really matters. Without prompting, Poppy said she was thankful for her big sister, Mila, 6, who declared that she was thankful “for a house over our head.” Jenna is still getting used to adding baby Hal to all the names in the clan, but certainly the delights in the first family grandson.

In a touching post on Instagram, Jenna Bush Hager credited her grandfather’s greatest legacy as leaving behind “a family that loves each other.” She continued to lift up his example of “serving with humility” as the best way to serve.

“Living with kindness and generosity of spirit is the best way to live,” Hager continued in extolling her grandfather’s lessons. Generosity certainly seems to have been replaced by self-aggrandizement in this political era, and service as a selfless act seems all but gone.

41st President George H.W. Bush passed away peacefully on November 30, 2018, and Jenna Bush Hager honored a veteran by gifting the handicapped-accessible van used by the former president. Although the family will always feel the absence of their patriarch, young Mila rightly encouraged: “Don't worry mama,” as Hager wrote, “he’s celebrating in heaven with Ganny.”

The blessing of a baby, or memories of wonderful grandparents, warm Thanksgiving reflections for all generations.

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