Just a couple of things to add to all the good info already posted. First - if you're shooting a semiauto by plan, wear a baseball cap! Male or female, it'll keep those hot cases off your head and your glasses. Button up that shirt or blouse, or wear a t-shirt to keep brass out of sensitive places.
The other - already noted - is to strongly consider a S&W Model 10 or 64 (the latter being the stainless version of the 10) for home duty. There are lots of them around which are cop trade-ins and quite affordable. I got a pair of M64s a few years ago for around $250; J&G Sales in Prescott, AZ (they do a lot of on-line sales) has a bunch M64s in stock for the $300 range now. The 4-inch models have heavy barrels and they are just easy shooters, especially compared to the snubs. I sleep with a 1911 on the nightstand next to me, but when I'm out of town one of the M64s is there for Mrs. Smitty's peace of mind.