Home for the holidays has a whole new meaning for the Frahm family this year, especially because they’ve all been back home since March, the beginning of the pandemic shutdown.
The three Frahm kids – Russell, Bobby and Lee Ann – all grew up in California, but their careers took them all to New York City. Lee Ann moved back to the Bay Area a few years ago, opening a restaurant with her husband, Steve. But it was the pandemic that brought Russell and his wife Whitney, and Bobby and his wife Kim, along with their children, back home to the family compound in Diablo, where they are back in their childhood bedrooms. Like everyone who escaped the pandemic hotspots at the start, they expected to be there just a few weeks. But here they are going on nine months.
They’re living in California but working on New York time, so they all wake early to align with their East Coast colleagues starting their 9 am workdays. By 3 pm Pacific, the workday is done, and they spend the afternoon with their kids in the family pool. Evenings are spent making big family dinners together and eating outside on the back deck overlooking the Diablo hills, always with wine, stories and lots of laughter.
We photographed all three of the Frahm kids’ weddings, spanning 2012 to 2017, so as you can imagine this family is very dear to our hearts. In addition to their weddings, we joined them in New York for Lee Ann’s going-away party when she was moving back to CA, and they’ve had us over for dinner at the Diablo house. Mom Nancy even hand-delivered us a batch of her famous peanut-butter balls after I raved about them (when we lived in Oakland).
Having the opportunity to document their lives during this unusual time was such a gift. And even though I’m sure some days are harder than others when (almost) your entire family is living under one roof for a year (they won’t return to New York until 2021), we hope the Frahms will look back on this era as one of the most special times of their lives – one in which they bonded a little more deeply, learned a little more about one another, and realized how lucky they are to have a family like theirs.