How it all began…

I grew up in Central Wisconsin in a middle class family. We lived in a suburban neighborhood with night games and bike races. I had both sets of grandparents close by and they were an important part of my life growing up. I have two siblings. A brother that is 2 years older than me that lives back in my hometown. I also have a sister that is 10 years younger than me and lives in Southern Wisconsin.

Homesteading is something that was introduced early on in my life and became my standard. There are so many fond memories of growing a garden in my childhood home, harvesting rhubarb, making jam with my mom or strawberry picking with my dad. My grandma and grandpa grew up during The Great Depression, when food was scarce and the economy was struggling. Though they lived in a fairly affluent community later in life, they still carried forward so many of those practices that they learned earlier in their teenage years. My grandma believed in baking bread from scratch. Lots and lots of bread! Braids, buns, sweet breads, savory breads, dessert breads and delicious breads for dipping into your corned beef and cabbage soup. She even used the heat from the sun on her dashboard to raise her butterhorn rolls! Every spring, my gramps would start his seedlings in his kitchen in preparation for the late spring and summer plant. There was always dirt on their kitchen table. I loved the smell of it. Their house always had the aroma of sweet vermouth (they loved their Manhattans), and yeast bread. He used caraway seeds for many of his famous loaves. There was always a loaf waiting to be delivered to the neighbors or friends that they played cards with. Everything that my grandma made was from scratch. She was resourceful and frugal in her own right.

I have a lot of great memories from my childhood home as well. There was always a faint breeze blowing in through the windows. No air-conditioning so we had to rely upon nature to cool us off. My mom loved cooking as well. We ate at home most of the time growing up. Partly because it was just more economical, but also because she knew what she was feeding us. My mom was ahead of the curve when it came to feeding her family. She avoided lots of processed foods, aspartame and food additives. We had a small garden in the very back corner of our yard. We would go out there and see what was popping up. Sometimes it was a bunch of weeds with an occasional tomato. Sometimes it was a full bounty of goodness. There were always clothes hanging on the line being dried by the wind. I loved sliding into my cool sheets every night because I could smell the fresh air on them. Both of my parents worked hard to put food on our table. Their jobs provided a modest income that helped pay for sports and other extracurricular activities. We didn’t have it all, but it felt like it. We enjoyed many nights on the back porch, listening to the radio with our wet hair from showering. The combination of a cool breeze and wet hair in the summer is something I will never forget. The radio would be quietly narrating the baseball game in the background while crickets chimed in once and a while. Often times we would go for drives in the car. It was free and it was family time. We loved every second of it!

 We moved out of that house eventually into a larger home, while awaiting the arrival of my little sister. Great memories were made at the new house too. There is just something special about the first home you ever lived in. It creates a sense of nostalgia thinking of it. I’m getting to my point! I had to get this out there so you understand who I am and where I came from. 

Fast forward a bunch of years later, I graduated college and went on to pursue a career in advertising. It was a stepping stone into the corporate world. I did that for a couple of years and eventually moved into the corporate retail setting. I worked for over 7 years for two large retailers. I worked in sourcing and product development. I loved what I did, but always felt like something was missing. It was a rat race. Finding the next newest ideas, stressing out while shipping millions of dollars of merchandise a year from overseas, making sure everything was compliant and correct. I traveled quite a few times overseas and was gone for 2, sometimes 3 weeks at a time. There was a yearning for climbing the corporate ladder, but then a secret desire to leave it all behind…to really focus on having a family, focus on homesteading and becoming more self-reliant. Sure you can have both. There was no doubt in my mind you could. However, corporate climbing wasn’t as important to me after the birth of our children. I wanted to redirect some of that focus back into our family. Thankfully, we were blessed enough to do so. Before the birth of our second child, we decided to take the leap. I became a stay-at-home mom. I never thought I would say those words! Sure, it was a big leap. We both knew it was the very best decision for our family at the time. An even bigger leap came when we left our little home in the suburbs (and amazing garden that I worked on for years to perfect), and truly became country bumpkins. We found a nice house on 3.25 acres, plenty of fruit trees that we had always dreamt of, plenty of room to run and a little more detached from the chaos.

A 12-pack of chickens and 4 ducks later, we are fully in. No turning back. I keep up with our 900 square foot garden, fruit trees and birds in the back. We hope to eventually add to our little homestead…goats that is! We are surrounded by farm life. The kids play barefoot in the creek catching frogs and swinging on their tire swing. We continue focusing on self-reliance. I try and make all of our food from scratch. Though many of life’s modern-day appliances serve a purpose in our home, we try and create what we can from what we have, locally.

Homesteading is something that is ingrained in every cell of my body. My husband shares the same passion. He enjoys hunting for most of the meat we eat throughout the year. Nothing is closer to nature than that. We fish as a family for our meals too! Nothing goes to waste, ever. Every living thing serves a purpose. Our chickens and ducks provide nourishment for our family as well. Though we aren’t a full scale farm, most of our needs are met by way of self-sufficiency. Canning, dehydrating and freezing help us through the year. Four Cracked Eggs came to me one day when my son and daughter both brought in eggs from the coop and they were broken. The name seemed cute and fitting. Though we are far from perfect, we try. My academic and professional background in writing, coupled with our love of homesteading, has created the perfect platform for Four Cracked Eggs!

Homesteading isn’t about perfection. It is, and always has been, a state of mind. You don’t need to live on a farm to be a homesteader. Most of you are probably already there!

Join us on our “less than perfect” journey to a more self-sufficient life…one cracked egg at a time!





  1. Beth Freitag on July 7, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Courtney, I LOVE this! Congrats on 4 Cracked Eggs! Just as I love hanging out with you, now I will love following 4 Cracked Eggs. You are inspirational and our family could learn a lot from you. Unfortunately we are very wasteful and we eat a lot of junk. We try hard not too, but there is a ton of room for improvement. While I love eating homegrown fresh food, I’m just really don’t enjoy cooking or baking. Hoping to learn more from you. Thanks Courtney!????

  2. Pat Birrenkott on July 7, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Courtney I am so impressed by your writing and telling the story of your life which in part is mine since you are my daughter. It is now my turn to learn from you. You are an amazing, mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend. Looking forward to more from 4 Cracked Eggs. Love you, Mom

  3. Four Cracked Eggs on July 7, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    I adore you guys:)

  4. Lori Brown on July 8, 2017 at 1:26 am

    Bring on the goat!

  5. Lisa on July 8, 2017 at 2:44 am

    You are fabulous! I love this!! And you! ❤️❤️ I can most definitely use some tips from you!!

  6. Amanda on July 8, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    As I was reading this I realized that first house you have such fond memories of is MY house! Love it! Wonderfully written, can’t wait to keep reading!❤️

  7. Four Cracked Eggs on July 9, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Aw thanks my friend:) Loved seeing you and reminiscing in that wonderful home. You’ve created a beautiful home!

  8. Warez on July 16, 2017 at 12:17 am

    Thanks for this!

  9. Warez on July 16, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks for this!

  10. PHP on August 22, 2017 at 12:30 pm

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