Her husband used to beat her frequently, so she took her children and ran away from home.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, they say. Well, we are all well aware that this is something better said than done, but the truth is that when we put our mind to something and work really hard for it, nothings is impossible.

Cara Brookins found herself in an abusive marriage. Being a mom of five, she knew she needed to save her children from the toxic environment they were forced to live in, so she left her husband, took her kids with her, and built herself a new home from scratch. How she did it? By drawing construction plans all by herself and watching YouTube videos that taught her how to lay a foundation, build a wall, run a gas line, and install plumbing, among other building techniques. This sounds incredible, doesn’t it?

At the time she started building her family’s new home in 2007, Cara, who worked as a computer programmer analyst, couldn’t afford to buy a home that would be comfortable enough for all of her children, and that’s when she came up with the idea to build it from the ground up.

“It felt like, ‘If anyone were in our situation, they would do this,’” Cara said. “No one else saw it like this, and in retrospect, I realize it sounds insane.”