Savannah Guthrie paid sweet tribute to everything her mother has meant to her in celebration of Nancy Guthrie's 80th birthday on Thursday.
The TODAY anchor turned the Morning Boost into a reflection on the traits that make her mother special, as well as the determination it took to raise three children after the death of her husband, Charles Guthrie, when Savannah was just 16 years old.
"She’s lived a life of integrity and loyalty," Savannah said. "She is a consistent doer of the right thing and the hard thing.
"She’s a truth teller, whether you really want to hear the truth or not. She’s quick and she’s smart, she’s well-read, she’s curious about everything."
She has raised three children who have kept a tight bond, as Savannah showed in her emotional reunion with her mother and sister Annie last year after 16 months apart due to the pandemic.
Savannah was also beaming with pride in 2018 when she celebrated her older brother Camron's retirement from his career as a military pilot.
It's clear where Savannah gets her adventurous side that once led her to take a ride in an F-16 aircraft piloted by Camron in 2012.
"She's daring and adventurous," Savannah said about her mother. "She's willing to jet off anywhere, and I really do mean jet. She once got in an F-16 in Fort Wright (Kentucky)."
Nancy also faced the challenge of raising her teen children alone after her husband's death.
"She has met unthinkable challenges in her life with grit, without self-pity, with determination, and always, always with unshakeable faith," Savannah said. "She loves us, her family, fiercely, and her selflessness and sacrifice for us, her steadfastness and her unmovable confidence is the reason any of us grew up to do anything."
Savannah marked her mother's previous milestone birthday by surprising her with a phone call live on TODAY for Nancy's 70th birthday. On Thursday, she wanted the world to know what her mother means to her.
"She’s going to be embarrassed by this, but I hope a little pleased because when I think of her I think of that old proverb, the one she taught me about the woman of noble character," Savannah said. "It says, ‘Her children will rise up and call her blessed.’ And so we do. Happy Birthday, mom."
Take one look at Savannah's daughter, Vale, 7, and it's easy to tell that she is Nancy's granddaughter. Savannah said Nancy was born in Fort Wright in 1942 "carrying that family trait of round cheeks and curly hair and blue eyes that continues to this day."
Nancy has always been there with the perfect balance of motherly advice and humor when Savannah has needed it most. She also calmed her daughter when Savannah didn't know if ever having children was going to happen for her before Vale was born when Savannah was 42.
"She’s a truth-teller," Savannah said about her mom. "She doesn’t b.s. I guess I can say that, sorry Mom. When I was in my 30s, I wasn’t sure I would ever have kids. She said, ‘Of course you will honey, you will have your family.’"