I love Oklahoma. I was raised in Tulsa and returned after graduate school to this beautiful state. I was made in Oklahoma and I’m going to raise my children here. I find it humorous when I visit the coasts and I tell people that I’m from Tulsa. There’s a mix of exclamation and surprise in their response, “Oklahoma?!” Apparently they’re surprised that I speak proper English and don’t drool during our conversation. I’m proud of Oklahoma. We are a beautiful state full of wonderful and interesting people. And we have Russell Westbrook, so there’s that.

I propose, during this month of love and romance, that we try to find joy and beauty in the things and people around us. Find something new in Oklahoma to love. Love your village more. Find a way to love Oklahoma, whether on a small scale in your neighborhood, or on a larger scale, if that moves you. February is not just about chocolates and flowers — it’s about showing love to those around you. So love your people, love your city, and love your state. I’m proud to be made in Oklahoma because of the people in Oklahoma. Let’s be ambassadors for our fantastic state. Love from the inside out.