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Single Mom Builds 3,500-Square-Foot Home by Watching YouTube Tutorials

The home, which they lovingly call “Inkwell Manor,” features five bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and a three-car garage

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    Single Mom Builds 3,500-Square-Foot Home by Watching YouTube Tutorials
    Cara Brookins
    Cara Brookins and her children in front of their 3,500-square-foot home, which they lovingly call “Inkwell Manor."

    Cara Brookins, single mom of Hope, Drew, Jada and Roman, left a marriage where she was a victim of domestic violence, and Brookins and her kids felt broken.

    “We lost ability to laugh together,” she told TODAY Home. “We had spent so long being beaten down.”

    Needing a place to live, Brookins found a home destroyed by a tornado. "I thought, 'I bet I could put this back up if I really tried,'" Brookins said. With a little help from YouTube, that's what she and her family did. 

    Her advice to others coming out of a difficult situation? “Set goals impossibly big — look at the big picture.”

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    (Published Friday, July 21, 2017)

    To read more about Brookins’ inspiring story, pick up her book "Rise: How a House Built a Family," out Jan. 24.