05/14/2014 at 06:00 PM EDT
At 10:50 a.m., Angelina Jolie is well into juggling a hectic day by the time she settles into a private booth at New York City's Mandarin Oriental Hotel, happily exhales and orders breakfast: scrambled eggs, whole-wheat toast and tea.
She's already taken meetings about two movies – and played travel agent for six young tourists.
"We just got the kids sorted," she says with a relieved sigh.
"There's a section that's going to the Statue of Liberty. Z wants to get her hair done. And Mad wants to go buy music and then walk in the park. Everybody's on their way."
For the tightly bonded family of eight – Jolie, 38, fiancé Brad Pitt, 50, and their kids Maddox, 12, Pax, 10, Zahara, 9, Shiloh, 7, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 5 – their journey has evolved in surprising ways.
In an intimate interview, Jolie talks about everything from her health a year after her preventive double mastectomy to her kids' role in her new movie Maleficent to just how the couple of nine years envision that long-awaited wedding. (Could the dress code be camo?)
For much more on this story, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE magazine