11/27/2012 at 02:00 PM EST
Thinking back over 2012, Brad Pitt
acknowledges it's been a big year for his "familia" since proposing
to Angelina Jolie
– whom he affectionately calls "Mama" – last April.
"It's been a family type of year
, a down-home type of year," he tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story. "Mama's worked more. And quite frankly I've really enjoyed it."
The actor, whose Mob drama, Killing Them Softly
, hits theaters Friday, chatted with PEOPLE between bites of his dinner with 4-year-old twins, Knox and Vivienne, at their rental home outside of London. While he stopped short of confirming a wedding date, he did reveal what the couple have in mind for their big day: "Just family," Pitt says. "Keep it simple. Keep it simple – really."
For now, the actor is looking forward to being reunited with the rest of his brood
– Maddox, 11, Pax, 9, Zahara, 7, and Shiloh, 6 – who were in Cambodia
working on the family's foundation with Jolie.
Has fatherhood made him a better man? "Absolutely," Pitt says. Being a dad "takes you right off yourself."
As for turning 50 next year, the actor insists he's taking it all in stride. "This is what I think about: 'Okay, you're way over the mid-point [of your life]. You don't know how much time you have left,' " Pitt says. "I want to enjoy this year more than ever."
Reporting by K.C. BAKER