Raised on a farm in Rushford, Minnesota, one of nine children. Graduated from Winona State University in 2001. Majored in English Writing and Minored in Women's Studies and Art. Studied Interior Design at Dakota County Technical College from 2004-05. Married Benjamin Ries of Vermillion, Minnesota, in August of 2005. Moved to Spearfish, South Dakota (thus putting Interior Design studies on hold) in September 2005. Welcomed children Adelaide in 2006 and Rusty in 2007. Moved to Zimmerman. Minnesota in December of 2007, then to El Paso, Wisconsin in May of 2011.