Lea Michele
Lea Michele, photographed at the Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment breakfast in December, shared a loving message about boyfriend Matthew Paetz on Instagram. Reuters

Lea Michele is finally able to smile again, and she credits much of her happiness to boyfriend Matthew Paetz. In honor of her man’s birthday, the 28-year-old actress shared a heartfelt Instagram post letting him and her followers know just how much he’s done for her throughout their relationship.

The former “Glee” actress uploaded an adorable photo of Paetz kissing her on the cheek as she smiles for the camera. In the caption, she thanked him for “bringing such a bright joy” into her life. As you may recall, Paetz is the first serious boyfriend Michele has had since the July 2013 death of her former co-star-turned-boyfriend Cory Monteith.

“Matthew, thank you for bringing such a bright joy into my every day … Thank you for loving me and my family … And of course Sheila too,” she wrote, referring to her cat. “May this be the happiest birthday ever!”

She also showed Paetz some love on Twitter, sharing a photo of her standing between him and her friend Hannah Davis. In the tweet she wished her beau and her BFF a happy birthday. The “Scream Queens” actress added that she loves them both “so much!!!” The trio, along with friend Brandon Bonfiglio, appear to have headed to Disneyland to celebrate.

About a week earlier, Michele shared a touching post honoring what would have been Monteith’s 33rd birthday. She tweeted a photo of her former boyfriend along with a sweet message reminding him that everyone he left behind still loves and is thinking about him.

“I know you’re serenading everyone right now,” she wrote. “We love you Cory! Happy birthday.”

Michele began dating Paetz in June 2014, nearly one year after Monteith’s overdose. The two met after he directed her music video for the song, “On My Way.” Although they’ve been together for less than a year, sources told Hollywood Life in January things were getting serious between the couple. The site reported that Paetz was planning to pop the question to Michele sometime in the not-so-distant future. The source added that the actress feels Paetz is “the one.”