We’re Moving. Across the Country. Again.

We’re moving.

It’s a cross country move.

For those who know us well, these words are not surprising. The only surprise may be in how long it took us to do it, but we did the 35 day road trip last year, which staved off a little of the wanderlust.

But not enough.

cross country moveI’m not sure if it’s because Dave is from New York and I am from Nevada (and raised mostly in Idaho) that the different coasts pull us, or, if it’s as Parker says: we have wanderlust in our DNA. (We’ve been working on family history, and every branch is filled with ancestors who gave up anything to explore a new place).

The last several times we’ve made a cross country move, it’s been to a familiar place. We moved from Boise to Bath, New York – my husband’s home town. We moved from Bath to Reno – my home town. We quickly escaped Reno and returned to Boise, a place we were intimately familiar with. And then we moved (again) from Boise to Bath.

This time is different.

We’re moving to Utah.

We had no specific reason for moving to Utah, other than that’s where my sister and her family live. It doesn’t hurt that the area we’re moving to aligns with our interest in living more peacefully with the earth (they have mass transit, encourage lots of green space, and some of the most beautiful mountains). It doesn’t hurt that they have an unemployment rate less than half of what we have in New York – along with a reciprocal agreement for teacher certification, so that Dave might be able to teach there.

But when it comes right down to it, we’re moving because last summer, when we arrived at my sister’s house to visit during our road trip, our kids and her kids cooked up the plan for us to be neighbors in about 30 seconds of being together again – and never let up in the two weeks we traveled together afterward.

So, we’ve found wonderful caretaker for our home in New York and found an even more wonderful place to live in Utah, where the kids will go to the same schools as their cousin and I will live only 1.8 miles from my sister for the first time in a very long time.

We move in less than two weeks. It might get a little quiet around here as we pack, clean, and load the truck…but I’ll be back in no time.

The Top 5 Tech Gadgets for a Safer, Simpler Home

MomsGetReal Guest Contributor Dixie Somers

Home security is slowly but surely advancing. Media and home theater systems are allowing the home to become more automated. Integrated alarm and media systems can be synced with wireless technology and smart phones now, which creates a system that is easy to monitor in real time. There are so many ways to create a safer home for your kids and your family. Here are the top five tech gadgets for a safer, simpler family home.

Wireless Door Mat Alarm

Home security is extremely important. When you’re home, you want to keep your family protected, and when you’re away from home, valuables must be guarded too. These gadgets will make your home and family safer. Your home security system can be augmented with a wireless door mat alarm.

When someone is standing on your door mat, they will ring the bell or knock at the door. Burglars trying to break in won’t knock. The door mat alarm will alert you wirelessly that there is a presence at your door.

Automatic Dog Barker

All the alarm systems in the world might not worry a tech-savvy burglar, but having a guard dog will. If you don’t want to buy a dog, take care of it and train it, you can buy an automatic dog barker. It will send out warning barks when there’s an intruder outside the home. If the intruder lingers, the automatic dog barker will get louder and more threatening. This will send burglars scurrying away in fear. Most burglars want an easy target without much security and especially one without a dog.

Wi-Fi Blocking Wallpaper

tech gadgetsWhether you work on sensitive documents or want to protect your online banking information, Wi-Fi usage can be picked up by outside sources. To protect yourself, there is something called signal-blocking wallpaper. It claims to block electronic waves. This means it will block your data from being stolen by outside sources. Nobody can steal your Wi-Fi or the data transmitted by that Wi-Fi.

LED Television Display

Instead of leaving your TV on for hours when no one is home, the television display projects a light into the room that emulates the flickering of television images. Burglars are not fooled by the timers that are available on lights allowing one lamp to be switched on when it gets dark. If they are watching your home, they know about the one light that is visible day after day. When that one light switches on and nothing else happens, they quickly figure out the trick. The LED television display simulates an actual television light flicker. It won’t cost a lot of electricity to operate, and it will keep your home safe when you are away.

Coffee Tables with Multimedia Functions

For guests or family, the coffee table offers web and media functions for picture sharing and playing games. This makes it easier for guests and family to sit around the coffee table and be social. Kids can use the table to color or play games. It’s less messy than crayons and markers, and it provides safe family fun.

This article was written by Dixie Somers on behalf of Birmingham AL home security system.

Choosing the Right Furnace for Your Home

[SPONSORED POST – HeatandCool.com is a MomsGetReal Affiliate]

Choosing an in-home heating unit can be tricky, there are thousands of brands and models to sift through. How do you choose the right one for you? There are a few factors to consider when choosing a furnace for your home.

1. Brand

HeatandCoolMany furnaces in today’s market have proven to be reliable and offer limited or lifetime warranties. HeatandCool.com carries a wide selection of Klimaire and Lennox furnaces, they also offer unlimited technical support and a hassle free warranty processing.

2. Efficiency 80% or 95%

Over time furnaces become less efficient. If you are looking for a replacement furnace your current unit is likely at 50% efficiency. An upgrade will certainly save you gas and money. If you’re going to be in a home for 5 years or less an 80% would be a great investment and offer you savings on gas. Of course 95% units are helpful for resale value if you plan to sell. If you plan on being in your home for 5 years or more, it makes a lot of sense to go with the 95%. HeatandCool.com offers an incredible selection of 80% efficiency units at low prices!

 3. Rebates (Incentives)

Many furnace manufacturers offer rebates or incentives on higher efficiency heating units. In 2011 gas companies started offering $200 to $250 rebate to install a 95% unit offsetting a lot of the cost difference. This rebate will help offset the cost of your new unit. Many of the furnaces at HeatandCool.com qualify for this federal tax rebate.

4. 1 Stage vs. 2 Stage Furnace

The stage refers to the burners and gas valve in the furnace. If you have a single stage furnace, all 100.000 BTUs come on at once all the time whether it’s 50 Degrees or -10 degrees. The 2 stage offers a gas saving solution that makes the burners and gas valve run at 60% capacity, so that same 100.000 BTU furnace now becomes a 60.000 BTU furnace or a 100.000 BTU furnace, depending on outside temperature.

 5. Variable Speed vs. Non-Variable Speed

This refers to the furnace blower. Most manufactures give you a standard 4 speed blower: low, med low, med high, and high. This means that it is not variable speed. It means you have 4 speeds. Before considering this investment to variable speed ask yourself, is my home comfortable now? If you answered yes, then you probably don’t need variable speed. If you answered no then you should consider a system that maximizes comfort. HeatandCool.com offers a great selection of variable speed and non-variable speed units.