Carson and Connie Ode were born in Iowa at opposite ends of the state. Connie's birthplace was Mrs. Murphy's Nursing Home in Kingsley and Carson was born at his grandmother's farmhouse near Ossian. They each stayed in their respective area of the state for their college education. Connie graduated from Briar Cliff College in Sioux City and Carson from Luther College in Decorah. Their lives merged when they each obtained their first employment in Minneapolis. Connie was employed as a medical technologist at Mt. Sinai Hospital and Carson found work at an advertising art studio. They met, dated, married and moved to Owatonna, Minnesota, where Carson began a new job as a designer of Christmas and other greeting cards at Jostens, Incorporated. After he served two years as a Jostens branch plant art director in Porterville, California, they chose to move back to the Midwest. Carson secured a job as a graphic designer with Meredith Corporation in their Better Homes and Gardens® Special Interest Publications department. After two years in this position, he began freelancing with Connie by his side—doing everything but the artwork. They have made the south side of Des Moines their home and have raised five children in this environment. They love Iowa and won't be moving south anytime soon.