Quite the change. Ree Drummond‘s kids are getting older and leaving the nest, and the food writer has now noticed that there has been a big shift at her Oklahoma farm.

“When Alex, my oldest [daughter], left for college in 2015, it was sad and difficult as is always the case when the first kid goes to college,” the 50-year-old revealed during an interview with Cowboys & Indians for their January cover. “But I still had my second daughter, Paige, at home, so while we experienced a void where Alex had been, the vibe in our household was still the same.” However, that didn’t remain once Paige went off to start her life.

“When Paige went to college in 2018, all bets were off,” The New Frontier author continued. “There was an immediate difference in the culture of our house. It was suddenly, very noticeably, a man cave, where ranching and football were (and still are!) the primary focus. So I’ve definitely had to fight to keep the female strength and energy flowing around here … while also learning to appreciate the quiet spans of time in the Drummond house, which allows me a new avenue for creativity and focus. The glass is half full around here!”

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My babies.

A post shared by Ree Drummond – Pioneer Woman (@thepioneerwoman) on

The TV personality shares four children — daughters Alex, 22, Paige, 20, and sons Bryce, 17, and Todd, 16 — with her longtime husband, Ladd. This is not the first time that Redd has opened up about her kids setting off for college. She once spoke out as she let Paige go.

“Red nose, trembling chin, tight throat, aching heart. Leaving your child at college is no picnic. I’ve done it once before and thought maybe this time would be a little easier. I think it’s a little harder. But through all the tears, I see this clearly: What a joy it is to usher her into the next stage of her life. Paige, I’m so grateful to be your mom,” Ree wrote alongside a photo hugging her daughter.

Even though her eldest kids may not be under her roof anymore, it is clear that Ree still has a huge connection to them.