shutterstock_130932041People hate Texans for the same reason Texans love Texas—a huge sense of pride in their home state, er, country. Yes, Texas is still on the way to becoming its own country again, so visit while you can, before you need a passport. God bless Texas.

While Texas isn’t necessarily the best place I’ve ever lived, I was born and raised here, and I’m back again. I’m going to make the best of it, and I’m also raising my kids here. Contrary to popular belief, Texas doesn’t suck so bad.

There are quite a few benefits to raising your kids in Texas, if you like barbecue and a cheap cost of living:

1. Beautiful Weather Year Round.

Texas is a little too hot for my liking, but it does have a few seasons. Now that I have kids, I realize that the warm weather is a blessing in disguise because we are never holed up inside all winter. In Texas, you’ll be playing in the park in January and tubing the river in March.

2. A Short Drive To A Semi-Beautiful Beach.

3. Cheesy Family Pictures On The Side Of The Road During Bluebonnet Season.

4. Texan Culture.

Texans are crazy about their culture. I remember taking Texas History class in the seventh grade and visiting the Alamo religiously each year on class field trips. Remember the Alamo!

5. Easiest Kids’ Birthday Party Idea Ever: Grocery Store Piñata.

6. Mexican Culture.

I love where I grew up in South Texas with a rich Mexican culture; in San Antonio, Hispanics make up almost 63% of the population. My husband is half-Mexican, and my kids are a quarter Mexican, making my family the perfect example of Tex-Mex roots.

7. Missing School For Drinking Holidays: Viva La Fiesta!

8. Cheap Cost Of Living.

Probably my favorite part about living in a smaller town near a large city in Texas is the dirt cheap cost of living. My husband and I make a good income, and because of low housing prices, we have extra cash to spend on fun family outings and to save for the future.

9. NO State Taxes.

10. Strong Economy.

Texas dominated the Forbes list of Best Cities For Good Jobs, and it is a wonderful place to live if you are looking for steady work. Top cities include Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio—take your pick.

11. Wendy Davis.

12. Teaching Your Kids Southern Hospitality.

13. Good School Systems.

I’m no education expert, and teachers, you can correct me if I’m wrong—but I always hear so many things about good Texas school systems. Proof? Texas had over 400 schools ranked in the 2013 US News Best High Schools list.

14. An Excuse To Eat Barbecue Every Day Without Judgment.

15. An Excuse To Eat Queso Every Day Without Judgment.

16. An Excuse To Eat Bluebell Ice Cream Every Day Without Judgment.

17. An Excuse To Eat Breakfast Tacos Every Day Without Judgment.

18. Riding Horses To School.

This is one of the biggest misconceptions about Texas by far. Sorry to disappoint, but I’ve never ridden a horse to work or school. I just use my trusty car like the rest of the world. But I’m sure kids still ride horses to school somewhere in Texas… Right?

19. Down-To-Earth, Often Overly Friendly, Population.

20. Beyoncé, Enough Said.

(Image: David Lee/Shutterstock)

If you are interested in submitting 20 reasons why you think your state is a great place to raise kids, send an email to our editor Eveevevawter@gmail.com.