Thanks to everyone for the replies. They are very helpful.
Perhaps I should expand a little on why I came to the conclusion and plan that I did, and it may change some of the suggestions (although perhaps not).
As I stated earlier, I'm an attorney. I don't have the luxury of daily time, or weekend predictability. It isn't uncommon for me to work from 7 a.m. till 8 or 9 p.m. If I have to work a weekend, I usually don't know until Friday, if I'm lucky. In the coming years things will get more flexible, but being the low man on the totem pole, you don't get to make those decisions. For those reasons, I would prefer to start (at least the first year or two) with low maintenance items. The remainder of the chores will likely fall on my wife. While I love her to death, she does have some limitations. She grew up in a city in Europe, and she knows little to nothing about rural lifestyle. If it was all up to me, I'd probably stick with the bees alone and buy the rest of my food. I like the idea of a simpler life, but due to student loans and other various bills, I've got to pay it off so working is a requirement. She has agreed to take the bulk of the work on the homestead. So keeping that in mind:
Garden - last year I built her a small garden. I told her she could plant anything she want, and we went and picked out some seeds. She chose a boat load of strawberry plants, grapes, black berries, and watermelons. The watermelon got so large that it turned the rest of the garden into a bramble. A snake was once found in there, and my wife wasn't seen in it again. :) At least until I killed the watermelon plant. I reminded her that she could have as many strawberries as she wanted (she's a big fan) but the majority of them just rotted on the ground. She never touched the grapes, and the blackberries were my treat when I came home from work. We discussed why I'm reluctant to do a garden again, if she isn't going to help, and she promised she would be better. For that reason I would like to start small, to build responsibility. A 4'x8' bed would be large enough to let her plant what she likes, but not so large as to consider it daunting. If I built one four times as large, and spent the money on a fence & plants only to have them die, I would not be a happy camper.
Chickens - my wife has never had a pet . . . until our golden retriever two years ago. She's an animal lover, but not really too good about keeping them. For that reason, I'd like to show her the responsibility of plants before I dive into the chicken area. I agree chickens today would be more beneficial than in two years, but an alive chicken two years ago is better than a dead one today :)
Cow - 100% behind everything you guys mentioned. I'm not a fan of the cow idea. But it's my wife's dream. Dairy products are very big in her country, and many of them arn't available in the states. She would like to be able to try various fresh dairy products, and she really likes cows (not that I can question it, I'm a big fan of a bug, lol). If she want's it, and really wants it, she can take care of the garden and chickens to show that she's used to a schedule. We can take it from there. That's why it's on the five year mark, not sooner. I think once she has chickens, dogs, a garden, a job, and a family, her goals may be different.
Its nice to see that so many others have done similar things. I was weary that I'd get a bunch of puzzled responses, or worse.