October 11, 2017 05:51 PM

“And then you blink, and they TURN SEVENTEEN!!”

Kate Gosselin‘s two eldest children — twins Mady and Cara — entered their last year of childhood on Sunday when the pair turned 17. In celebration of her daughters’ joint birthday, the Kate Plus 8 star posted a throwback photo of the girls to Instagram along with a loving caption.

“Happy birthday to my girls! My heart hurts because you’re almost adults and will soon leave for college, yet it smiles because I am seeing who you’ve become: brilliant, beautiful, kind, caring, logical, responsible, empathetic, honest, amazing individuals!” Kate, 42, wrote in the tribute post.

“I love you both SO VERY MUCH! Let’s have a wonderful day together celebrating Y❤️U!” she continued and added the hashtags “#Cara #Mady #SeventeenthBirthday #ILoveYou #ForeverAndAlwaysNoMatterWhat.”

WATCH: Story Behind the Story: Behind the Scenes at The Gosselin Family Photo Shoot

Jon Gosselin, who shares 13-year-old sextuplets Aaden, Alexis, Hannah, Leah, Collin and Joel with ex-wife Kate — the former couple divorced in 2009 after 10 years of marriage — also took to the social media app to wish the twins a happy birthday.

“Happy 17th Birthday Mady and Cara!!! Love you, Dad,” Jon, 40, wrote.

Speaking with PEOPLE in fall 2016, Kate opened up about what she predicts the next decade of life will be like for her.

“I’ll be the crazy cat lady … except with dogs,” she said.

“I’ve learned not to have any predictions about the next 10 years, because I certainly never thought I’d have wound up here 10 years ago! Given all the drama of our lives, doing a reality show honestly feels like the smallest issue we’ve ever had to deal with.”

Since her divorce from Jon in 2009, Kate shared she left her marriage with a very important lesson for herself and her children.

“I think from the experience that I have been through, my main message to my kids is to never settle,” she said. “Do be comfortable with yourself enough that you are not just, like, marrying the first person that comes along.”

“I think that’s a big mistake that a lot of people make, and this time around I have to be extra choosey not only for myself. The bar is set very much higher.”

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