When the wind is howling, the outside temperatures are consistently sub-zero, and sheets of ice cover almost every surface, it can be hard to appreciate living in North Dakota. Every winter, I ask myself why I live in the midwest tundra. The frigid temperatures sometimes make me resent my home state.

Then, I see stories about how North Dakota is actually a great place to be. And I remember that this really is a cool state. Despite the long, brutal winters, there's something to be said about our great, beautiful state. I mean, there are reasons why we are always on the lists of best states.

According to Wallethub, North Dakota comes in at number three on the list of "Best States to Raise a Family." This list is based on salary, housing affordability, and unemployment rate. We come in behind Massachusettes, at number two, and Minnesota, at number one.

Of course, we don't need a list to tell us that our state is great. I love so much about North Dakota. I love that we have all four seasons. I love that I can get anywhere I need to be in a few minutes. I love that, for the most part, I always encounter friendly people wherever I am. And I love that I can quickly and easily find peace and quiet, just by driving a couple of miles outside of the city.

Sometimes, I really do wonder why I live in such a cold place. But it isn't so bad to live in a safe state, where most people you come across are very neighborly, and our version of "city living" has affordable housing and low traffic. I'm proud to be a North Dakotan for these things and more.