'Pioneer Woman' Ree Drummond Shares Emotional Moment With Son

Ree Drumond has an empty nest. The Pioneer Woman star got emotional on social media earlier this month as she sent her youngest son Todd off to college, Drummond documenting the milestone on Instagram as she shared a hug with Todd as he prepared to continue his educational career at the University of South Dakota, where he will continue his football career with the Coyotes.

After first announcing on her Instagram Story on Sunday, Jan. 8 that she, her husband Ladd Drummond, and their son "Made it to SD yesterday," the Food Network star posted a slideshow of two images documenting the final moments she and Ladd spent with Todd. She revealed in the caption that they "said bye to our baby today," adding, "We couldn't love him more." The emotional Drummond said she kept "zooming in on his eyelashes in the first pic. Todd, I'll miss your eyelashes so much!" She concluded the post with an encouraging message for her son, writing, "Go have an awesome experience and keep bein' yourself, son. Go Yotes!"

With Todd now off to college, Drummond and her husband are now empty nesters. The star's daughters Alex, 25, and Paige, 23, have already graduated and started their careers. Meanwhile, her son Bryce, 20, and foster son Jamar, 20, are still attending and playing football. Drummond revealed in a blog post back in December that Todd committed to the University of South Dakota just one day after a campus visit. Drummond shared that following their initial visit to the university, "it was crystal clear that Todd had found the right spot. He couldn't stop raving about the school and the football program, and I smiled the whole way home." She said he "committed over the phone the very next day, and in the ensuing months, he's felt consistently solid about his decision."

"As a football mom who has watched every game since this kid was a little boy, who rang cowbells and hollered and cheered for Todd for years, I couldn't be happier that he's getting to continue to play football---and that he's so pleased about the football home he's found. I couldn't ask for anything more," Drummond continued, admitting that as she and her husband prepared to send their son off to college, "the lump in my throat is starting to expand, and I've noticed the tears well up in my eyes a little more easily each day. Yes, I'm about to be entering the empty nest stage, but I'm not really thinking about that. What I'm thinking about is how I'm going to cope with Todd no longer being in our house on a daily basis."

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As Drummond and Ladd dropped Todd off at college, many of The Pioneer Woman's followers were quick to congratulate the parents on a job well done, Jen Hatmaker commenting, "You've done it. Well done, mama. You launched the last. What a beautiful family story you've written." Danielle Walker added, "you're an amazing mama and have launched them all so well!!"