Grit Blogs > Transitional Traditions

The Journey Is the Reward

Hello, friends!

We are honored to share a bit of our lives with you in this blog. It seems appropriate for our first blog to introduce the family and give a little history in a nutshell.

Andy and I met in college here in Wisconsin and were dating about two years before I graduated and moved to Colorado Springs as a graphic designer. He followed me with a job transfer about half a year later. By May of the following year, we were engaged, married and into our first house together. All was splendid. We were the mid-twenties corporate junkies so typical of our generation. We thought we'd be in Colorado for quite some time, far away from our family and our roots. However, two months after the wedding, our lives changed forever.

The Farm

My grandfather passed away back in Wisconsin and we flew home for a whole week to aid my parents and see family. We enjoyed helping out on my parents' farm and on the drive back to the airport, we confided to my father that we wanted to take over the farm someday. Dad was receptive to our plans for the farm, which was to take it from a struggling crop and livestock farm to a successful "tourist farm" for city people and their kids to experience life in the country. I had always wanted to return to the farm in some capacity; it didn't matter how. That spurred into action a series of events we were not prepared for. I don't know what you all believe, but we know things happen for a reason; it's a part of our faith.

The day after we got home and back to work, Andy was fired from his job. He did nothing wrong; his supervisor wanted to hire a relative, so they made up some charges and that was that. We were shaken and scared, but suddenly saw the sign. Maybe coming back to Wisconsin is what we're supposed to do. After a month of no decisions and living pretty tight, Andy still could not find a full time job. Then we found out that I was pregnant. It should have been wonderful news, but we were stunned. I had always dreamed of being a stay-at-home mother but now I was the bread winner. Meanwhile, after continued denials from Colorado employers, Andy started to put feelers out back in Wisconsin. Immediately he had three bites from three employers begging for a face-to-face interview. We sent him back for a week to look for a job and an apartment. I put in my resignation and, by the end of November 2006, hauled our whole lives back across the Wisconsin state border.

Elly and an appleWe chose to live in a city close to Andy's work and close to the farm. Plus, we were near both sets of parents (grandparents) and managing to live off of Andy's salesman income and my newly formed career: freelance graphic design. In May, three days after our first anniversary, we welcomed our daughter Eleanor into the world. All the while, we were living off the farm but wanting to be on the farm. Our ideas had begun to metamorphose and we no longer wanted to have a tourist farm. We wanted the real deal: healthy food that we grew ourselves to be sold directly to the consumer right off the farm. We began to immerse ourselves in literature and learn as much as we could about many different ventures: grass-fed beef, milk-fed hogs, pastured poultry and organic produce.

In August of 2007, my parents bought a home in a neighboring town and Andy, Elly and I moved onto the farm, renting just the house. I stayed home with Elly, and Andy continued to work his 8-5. We had no time at all to be involved in the farm operations. Things weren't much better than when we were living in the city. So after much debate and prayer, Andy left his full time job in February of this year and began full time work on the farm as my father's apprentice ... of sorts.

That brings us to now, August of 2008, and we are still afloat! We just celebrated two years of marriage in May and feel as though we have lived a lifetime together already. In two short years, we went from chasing that illusion of corporate success to living out the reality of true and amazing life. We are actually living! We don't have a dime in savings, and my freelance checks are few and far between. But we couldn't be closer to each other or happier. Elly actually knows her father because we are blessed to both be working from home. Andy has finally found the job of his dreams, having never fit within the business structure of the military or corporate America. I have my family farm secured for at least another generation and get to learn all about self-sufficiency and homesteading.

The Homestead

Welcome, fellow readers! Welcome to our home! Share with us as we live and learn and make mistakes. Laugh with us, cry with us; we are an open book. And as we have already discovered, the journey is the reward!

Becky & Andy

Rebekah Sell lives on a small plot of land with her husband, Andy, on which they are hoping to build a sustainable homestead. With a small business and four kids, life is always interesting as Becky and Andy live fully the idea that the journey is the reward. Find her on .

paul gardener
11/5/2008 12:58:46 PM

What a great story you have together and after such a short time. I can't help but say that I envy you in many ways with your access to the farm and such a great knowledge base to work with in your family. I hope everything works out well for you both and for that cute little girl of yours, and look forward to following your journey; that is indeed the reward isn't it! P~

cindy murphy
8/26/2008 6:17:12 PM

Hi Becky, Andy, and cute little Ellie. I've been remiss in welcoming you to the Grit community. An "old-reliable" computer that crashed, and a new computer that blew less than an hour after I got it, (who can blow up a computer by just touching's a good thing I'm not anywhere near your electric fence), and I've spent the last week just playing catch-up with a lot of things. So please excuse my lateness in saying it's good to have you here; I look forward to reading more of your journey, and learning of the rewards you discover along the way.

8/21/2008 8:57:27 PM

Hey there Becky & Andy .. SO nice to meet you! I bet I will learn quite a bit from you - what a great spirit you have! I think that is the basis of country living .. you truly love the land and living! Gorgeous baby girl!

8/20/2008 7:15:51 AM

Becky & Andy, WOW, what a lifestyle change for you! I admire you for taking this step. I'm sure you will be investing a lot of time and hard work, but it is also very rewarding, and as you put it you are "actually living"! When I look at the picture you posted of your house, I get the feeling of a comforting and welcoming place. A great place to raise a family and create lots of wonderful memories. Your daughter, who is a cutie pie, will have lots of great things to explore and discover! I wish you luck with this move, and welcome to the GRIT community!

hank will_2
8/19/2008 12:58:30 PM

Becky and Andy -- The kind of risk-taking (grit, pluck, you name it) is the stuff that this country was founded on. I am amazed at the strength of your convictions and I am impressed with the level of family cooperation you have. Welcome and thanks.

razor family farms
8/18/2008 9:09:25 PM

What a wonderful introduction! I love that you decided to stay on the farm and that it is working out so beautifully! I can't wait to read all about your journey! Blessings! Lacy Razor NEWS at Razor Family Farms